My daughter has just turned 8, and she is a very fluent reader. Very often I hear the same question, What did you do with her when she was little? Well, we read a lot, and I maintained a diary of our reading activities in weekly What My Child Is Reading entries in my blog. I decided to make these reading diaries more useful and create a new series on my blog where I will share our best books for each month for ages 3, 4, 5, and 6. Moreover, I will pair each book with an extension activity – sometimes with ours and sometimes with activities from my creative friends from Kid Blogger Network. In this post I am featuring books that we read when Smarty just turned 5 years old.
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1. Thelonius Turkey LivesA lot of Thanksgiving books are dealing with serious matters of Pilgrims fighting for their lives in a new land. Some center around Thanksgiving dinner. We certainly read a fair share of those books as well, but Thelonius Turkey Lives by Lynn Rowe Reed is a quirky fun read of Thanksgiving from a turkey’s point of view. Thelonius is a clever turkey who doesn’t want to be a "guest of honor” on Thanksgiving table. As it turns out his owner has different plans for him anyway. To find more, read this book! Any number of turkey crafts would work well with this story, but we chose “fashionable” turkey hats.
2. Pancakes, Pancakes!
I wrote about our love of Eric Carle in my November book recommendations for 4 year olds last week. Here is another favorite from the time Smarty was 5. Pancakes, Pancakes! is a classic Eric Carle book, but it also reminds me somewhat of How to Bake an Apple Pie and See the World. Red Ted Art took an extension activity for this book to the next level by making these adorable edible mini-books.
3. Stone SoupI will introduce another book that has a topic of food. Stone Soup is a classic folk tale, and this version of Ann McGovern follows the classic story line faithfully, with no modifications. Interestingly, I remember a Russian version of this tale from my own childhood, only it was a “Ax Porridge”. Of course, the natural extension of this book is to make a stone soup, and this is exactly what we did at home. But I also really like the idea from Crafty Moms Share to use Stone Soup story as a library story time book and connect it to a food drive for families in need. This would be a great thing to do in early November to ensure everyone can get a Thanksgiving meal.
4. Miss RumphiusWhat is a flower book doing in November recommendations? Well, there are several reasons. For once, it’s comforting to read about spring and summer as the weather turns cold and rainy. Secondly, Smarty just happened to get Miss Rumphius as part of their weekly book bag program in kindergarten, and she really enjoyed it. And, lastly, fall is a great time to learn more about seeds, and do some fall planting. I love this activity from Teach Preschool where children had an opportunity to explore fall seeds from different plants on the nature table. The Wise Owl Factory also has great reading response printables for Miss Rumphius.
5. Lifesize Zoo
Life-Size Zoo is mostly a photo book by a Japanese photographer Toyofumi Fukuda, but the concept is fascinating. There are photos of 21 animals (or photos of their parts, all life-size), and every animal introduced with some stats and fun facts. This gorgeous book can make a great Christmas gift for animal lovers from 3 to 93. An extension fun activity would be to draw a life-size animal, and KC Edventures even drew a life-size whale.
6. Around the World with Mook
My last recommendation is also a book from an author from a different culture. Marc Boutavant is French, but his books are getting increasingly popular in US, and Mouk now is an animated TV show. Around the World with Mook follows a busy bear to different places around the world. Every page is a delightful visual treat with a lot of facts sprinkled in between bright drawings. I also appreciated the fact that the book doesn’t follow a very beaten path of major landmarks and takes readers to less known places, such as Finland or Burkina Faso. The book also comes with reusable stickers that kids can use to create their own adventures around the world. Or they can pick a country of their choice and do a craft from that country. No Time for Flash Cards has a great round up of crafts around the worlds that might provide extra inspiration.
More November Books Recommendations
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