Singing Kiddo

September 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , )

A Weekly Low Down on Kids Books

P1000289I remember singing a lot as a kid.  I was a choir girl.  I loved the oldies, I loved the nursery rhymes, I loved hearing my voice, I loved making noise, I loved it all.  I also loved books.

Kiddo is very much the same.  Instead of oldies, though, she listens to a lot of Michael Jackson.  I’m terrible about remembering old nursery rhymes, but we sing a lot of Disney music.  She adores a good book.

So when I found Sing With Me, I grabbed it on the spot.  I didn’t want kiddo to miss out on the childish songs.  The “Ants Go Marching” is fun! “Down by the Bay” = Awesome! “Skinamarinky Dinky Dink” is also a fantastic favorite.  But when I was faced with singing them with my kid, I couldn’t really remember them.  And apparently I’ve been singing all the wrong words to “Pop Goes the Weasel.”

Kiddo loves this book.  It came with a cd and we play it in our radio in the library of our house.  Sometimes we take it on car rides.  She likes flipping through the pages and following along with the lyrics.  The audio and visual word recognition at the same time (that I don’t have to do) is a nice break from reading all day.  We love it and I highly recommend it to other moms and teachers for their preschoolers.

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Patricia & Max

April 1, 2014 at 2:47 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

PatriciaI’ve had Patricia Von Pleasantsquirrel by James Proimos for quite sometime.  It’s been one we’ve read in spurts since kiddo had the physical ability to hand me books from a stack – so, yeah, quite awhile.  My inner monologue while I read it aloud it always pretty much the same.  So, naturally, I thought I had reviewed this book for my Weekly Low Down on Kids Books series.  Apparently, I hadn’t.  Or, I just really stink at using my own search feature.

Anyway, we read it tonight, and I wanted to be sure I shared this with the world.

Patricia Von Pleasantsquirrel is a snotty little girl that thinks she’s supposed to be queen of everything.  Her mother won’t let her stay up past midnight, her dad won’t let her eat cake before dinner, her baby brother has the audacity to act like a baby instead of be her servant, and her dog has the bigger audacity to be a dog instead of being a great white stallion.  She is one who suffers from the great illness of entitlement, when she hasn’t done a darn thing to earn any titles.

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In front of my moatless cottage before it broke in half.

“Patricia was certain that a one-level, three-bedroom, moatless cottage was no place for royalty.”

Part of me wants to say, “No kidding, sister.”  The other part of me says, “Hey! I love this one-level, three-bedroom, moatless cottage that’s literally falling apart at the seams…” Oh, we’re not actually talking about MY house…

So then, in protest to a life that is not exactly what she’s dreamed, Patricia puts on her frilliest dress, takes out all her books, and settles on one…

If you haven’t felt the familiar tingle of a child who has “made mischief of one kind and another,” we can spell it out for you – as Proimos does.  Patricia decides to read Where the Wild Things Are.

wild thignsThis is the point in the book when I gently close it and actually pick up the Caldecott winning children’s book by Maurice Sendak.  This is where we jump into Max’s adventure… we roar with beast… we gnash our terrible teeth… and come back home to settle into Patricia’s story.

Where Patricia thinks:

“If a silly boy with no social graces could be made king with no effort at all, then imagine how easy it would be for me to find my princessdom.”

I won’t give away her whole story.  I won’t riddle this review with spoilers.  But I will say, my favorite parts include two jelly beans named Edith Wharton and Louisa May Alcott as well as a hippo named Elvis.

The only thing that could make this reading experience more complete would be if I finally bought a copy of The Giving Tree.  Maybe then, kiddo and I could read it to our non-existent fish and after a long discussion decide we have no idea what it is really about.

 

 

 

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Easy Breezy Reads…

May 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm (Education, Events, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

mercy-watsonTitle: Mercy Watson Fights Crime

Author: Kate DiCamillo

I heard a rumor that Kate DiCamillo used to work for Half Price Books. With that being said, and me being an event coordinator for the company, I am bound and determined to get her in my store. So of course, I have to read everything she wrote aloud to my daughter in the interim.

And the kiddo loved Mercy Watson. It’s an easy reader chapter book with lots of pictures, and after sitting through countless Magic Tree House books, her attention span is right on par with these pig stories.

I highly recommend Mercy Watson books for toddlers on up to kiddos who can read this for themselves (8 years?). Mercy is highly entertaining as are her co-stars.

And for the Adults in the room…

Stay posted for future signings.

Stay posted for future signings.

Title: Don’t Die By Your Own Hands

Author: Reeshemah Holmes

I booked nutrition coach Reeshemah Holmes for a book signing at Half Price Books in Humble. The signing was just last night and she was kind enough to give me a copy of her book to read and review.

It truly is a busy person’s guide. It’s just shy of 70 pages and depending on your reading speed could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to conquer. I read it right before heading to bed after coming home from the signing.

It’s a great motivational tool for those who have already selected a diet plan; encouraging them not with a specific diet, but the tools to stick to the diet they’ve chosen as a lifestyle rather than a fad.

Don’t Die By Your Own Hands is definitely worth while for anyone wanting to change their life but uncertain of their power to do so… or someone who is convinced that they can change at any time, but haven’t changed yet.

For homeschooling parents who read my blog, this is also a good book to hand your teens as a lifestyle guide to follow their sports/ P.E. programs and rituals.  There’s a lot of good advice about handling goals, nutrition, and staying healthy mentally in order to stay healthy physically.

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Coach Reeshemah Holmes talking with customers at Half Price Books Humble book signing, May 2013.

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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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The Weekly Low Down on Kid’s Books

January 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , )

Where to, Little Wombat? – Charles Fuge

This title was actually added to the previous Low Down on Kid’s Books post in an edit before I decided to make this a weekly ritual, but it belongs in this grouping.

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.

 

Busy Penguins – John Schindel & Jonathan Chester

So I totally thought this rocked, despite the page dedicated to penguins pooping. But I love penguins. Ayla, on the other hand was not so interested. It didn’t matter how cool or cute the penguins were being, she was 100% focused on Where to, Little Wombat by Charles Fuge. Therefore, no matter how cool I thought it was, I can’t give it higher than a 3 out of 5 stars because kids books really should *mostly* be for the kids.

 

Jon’s Moon – Carme Sole Vendrell
Oddly spiritual in a creepy way for a kid’s book. Didn’t care for it. We had originally picked it up thinking the title would be fun for her because its got her daddy’s name in it, but you can’t judge a book solely on its title. The illustrations are beautiful though. Could be useful for teaching personification to a small child.

 

The Tickle Tree – Chae Strathie and Poly Bernatene
“A phantasmagorical flight of fantasy at your fingertips…” is no misconception! We adore this one at our house. The writing is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, if Seuss were more soothing and less rambunctious. The illustrations are worthy of being compared to Bryan Collins (of bacstudio.com) and if you follow me on anything, you know how much I love his work. The Tickle Tree should be part of every child’s bookcase, and maybe a few adults’ as well if you are a collector of poetry and art.

 

Click on the titles to see the books on Amazon.com.

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