Weekly Low Down on Kids Books – Dinosaurs!

January 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm (Education, JARS, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

dinsaurs before darkI read Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark to the kiddo today, all the way through this time.  We have started it before, but she wasn’t old enough to listen to it all and grasp the concept yet.  We’ve been practicing our alphabet and started a notebook together, though, and now at age two and three months she knows that ‘D’ is for ‘dogs and dinosaurs’ and can identify their images in illustrations.  So reading Mary Pope Osborn’s first adventure was a little more exciting this time.

We had to stop a few times to draw a rhinoceros onto our ‘R’ page, check out whales and their sizes in relation to dinosaurs in our encyclopedia, and to correct behavior as she climbed in my living room window sill that is about three and half feet off the ground.  We even had a brief whistling lesson after reading how the wind was whistling around the tree house.  Overall, she enjoyed it, so we moved onto the Research Guide.

dinosaurs research guideMary Pope Osborne and her husband Will Osborne joined forces and started writing nonfiction companion books to the fictional Magic Tree House adventures.  When I first discovered this, I started purchasing them in pairs, vowing to use them as fun assignments while home schooling.  I’d like for kiddo to grow up in the habit of reading a nonfiction title that somehow relates to every fiction title that she devours, expanding both her facts and her imagination.  What better way than to start with research guides to her first chapter books?

Why am I reading these to her so early?  Frankly, it’s quite hilarious to watch a two  year old run circles in your living room chanting, “Fossils! Minerals! Dinosaurs!” at the top of her lungs, while her dog (who happens to be the biggest one we own) lays in the center rolling his eyes.

wanna iguanaChapter three of the research guide Dinosaurs talks about iguanas and how Gideon Mantell though the dinosaur teeth he and his wife found were giant iguana teeth.  Of course, we had to stop to re-read I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff and David Catrow.  It has quickly  become a favorite since we came across it at Half Price Books a few weeks ago, and the tie-in to our dinosaur lesson was flawless.  The banter between mother and son is downright fun and the illustrations are extra spunky.  It gave us a chance to talk about different iguana sizes and different ancient dinosaur sizes again, bigger and smaller is something I think the kiddo is really getting the hang of after our discussions today.

All in all, we had a good ‘school day’ this morning, something we have been working on being more diligent about now that kiddo is two and it has actually managed to get too cold to venture out as much.

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Weekly Low Down on Kids Books – better late than never

March 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

How Do You Hug A Porcupine by Laurie Isop

I love this one, and so did Ayla, but I must admit that I’m a little nervous about insinuating that the practice of hugging porcupines is acceptable at all! It reminds me of Dora the Explorer having picnics with snakes and bears.  Possibly a silly concern, but that’s what pops up in my head nonetheless.  We read this several times this last week.

The Mixed-Up Chameleon by Eric Carle

Eric Carle is always a good read, as I’ve said in the past, I love his illustrations and so does the kiddo (who doesn’t?).  This particular book is especially neat because Carle gives tribute to the idea being inspired by the kids he has visited in the past.  I thought that was a nice touch.

I Am The Biggest Thing In the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

Our absolute favorite this week! We read this over and over again and plan to purchase a copy first chance we get.  Its always great (even if a little shocking) when a kids book surprises even the adults in the room, every time, without fail.

How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends by Jane Yolen

We’re on a mission to collect all the Jane Yolen dinosaur books, so imagine my excitement when I came across this one at a school carnival! Of course, we both adored it, but Ayla still prefers the bedtime one best.  Because she’s familiar? Or because its better? I don’t know.

Lullaby and Goodnight by Jill Ackerman

Ayla discovered this at Half Price Books and just had to have it.  We bought it, brought it home, and she’s gone to bed with it every night since then.  She loves the light up moon feature, and rocks back and forth to the song.  If we tell her to ‘push the star’ she gets so excited, knowing it will start the song again.

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The Low Down on Kid’s Books

January 9, 2012 at 10:09 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

How do Dinosaurs Clean Their Rooms – Yolen

This is Ayla’s first dinosaur book and the first thing we’ve read by Jane Yolen. Cute, clever, and rhyming this is great board book for a 14 month old learning to put her toys away before she leaves a room and goes to another. Its quickly becoming an afternoon favorite.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – Barrett

Ayla and I read this recently for the first time. She seemed to enjoy it when I made the action loud enough, but its definitely going to be more exciting when she’s a little older. All in all, though, it does not live up to its hype.

Punctuation Station – Bryan P. Cleary

Ayla and I love Bryan P. Cleary books and are trying to collect them all. We checked this one out of the library this week, and as usual she found the rhymes exciting, even if she doesn’t quite know what they mean yet!

The Sea of Bath – Bob Logan

Ayla loves this one. She’s really into the illustrations and there’s the perfect amount of story per page, so she is able to sit still for just the right amount of time before she turns the page for you. We checked this copy out of the library, but I think I’ll have to go buy a copy soon.

Where to, Little Wombat – Charles Fuge

Ayla wasn’t sure about sitting through the first page, but by the second she was hooked.  The first time we read this she made me read it three times in a row and carried it around the house for an hour after that.  The illustrations are fun and she loved being introduced to new animals she hadn’t seen before: wombat, emu, and koala. Plus, the story is super cute too.
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