Friday, April 17, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Hands Say Love by George Shannon

Title: Hands Say Love

Author: George Shannon

Illustrator: Taeeun Yoo

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (December 16, 2014)

Age: 2-5

Topic: Hands, Love, Family

Opening: Hands that do all they can do are also saying, "I love you."

Summary: Hands touch, hold, and hug. Hands feed, give, and share. Hands create, mend, and heal. Hands say love! Every day, our hands show the most important people in our lives how we care about them, from parents helping children learn to walk to families playing and working together to friends waving hello and good-bye. This perfect read-aloud for toddlers celebrates the many hands-on moments we share and reminds us that even the simplest gesture can be a profound expression of love.

Let child(ren) come up with their own ways of saying "I Love You" with their hands.
Encourage child(ren) draw a picture of something they like to do with their hands.
Teach the sign for “I love you.” The sign for “I love you” in American Sign Language is the pinky finger, index finger, and thumb pointed straight (with the middle two fingers held down to the palm). Another fun thing to do is make up an original sign together for your own family to use to tell each other how much you love each other. Find more hands-on activities that teach children about love here.

Why I Like This Book:

This gentle book for toddlers and young children celebrates all the loving ways the hands of their caregivers care and love them. Cute pictures illustrate loving and kind acts. From holding, to hugging, entertaining to feeding, healing and so much more. Starting at the beginning of the day to the end, follow along as memorable hands-on moments are created and shared. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Red: A Crayon's Story

Title: Red: A Crayon's Story

Author: Michael Hall

Illustrator: Michael Hall

Publisher: Greenwillow Books (February 3, 2015)

Age: 4-8 years

Topic: Identity crisis, social issues, emotions and feelings,

Opening: He was red. But he wasn't very good at it.

Summary: A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis

Resources: find a fun printable activity here.

What I Like About the Book:

Hilarious and touching.

Red wants anything to be the perfect red. He tries his but all he can manage is blue. Even with the help and encouragement from his friends, Red is more blue than ever. It is not until he meets a new friend, he begins to appreciate himself, as does everyone else.

A great story to help children learn to be themselves and appreciate their unique abilities and talents. Red's new friend does not try to push Red to be a better red but encourages Red to see that the color he makes is equally beautiful and useful. It illustrates to children we can't all be or do the same but we can all be important and come with our own unique talents and abilities to share with the world and make it a more beautiful place to live in.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: A Kiss Means I Love You

Title: A Kiss Means I Love You

Author: Kathryn Madeline Allen

Illustrator: Eric Futran

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company, 2012

Age: 2 - 6

Topic: Stories in Rhyme, Communication,

Opening: A kiss means I love you, a wave means hello, a smile means I’m happy, a tug means let’s go!

Book Summary: Explores the meaning of different actions, expressions, words and sounds, from a kiss and a clap to a wave and a yawn.

A fun thing to do is allow children to make up meanings for their own actions, expressions and sounds.
Guess the meaning: children can guess the meaning for various actions, expressions and sounds, like wiggle, tickle, growl, stomp and wink.
A common core guideline for this book can be found here. It is geared for 2-6 year olds.
For much younger audiences, try having them act out the actions with you as you read the story.

Why I Like This Book:

This is a really fun way to engage children in learning how to understand all kinds of communication. Since communication is not limited to speaking, it teaches children various ways they can express their feelings and wishes as well as understand what others want or feel by looking and listening then interpreting those actions, expressions and sounds. The use of photography makes it wonderful and realistic. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Reading Activity Calendar

What a great idea from Reading Is Fundamental. 

What a perfect way to share the joy of reading with your child.

Find more calendars of age appropriate reading and writing ideas for different months here.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Recommended Picture Book: Yatandou by Gloria Whelan

Title: Yatandou

Author: Gloria Whelan

Illustrator: Peter Sylvada

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; 1st Printing edition (August 22, 2007)

Age: 6 and up
Topic: Hard work, learning how to read, Mali culture and lifestyle, family life,

Opening: Our Mali village lies beneath rocks that stretch like two arms holding us safe.
Book Summary:

In contemporary Mali, a country in West Africa, a little girl named Yatandou explains how a simple machine changes her life and the lives of all of the women and children in her village.  The introduction of this amazing new piece of equipment means that the women and children will no longer spend their days pounding millet by hand.

Find some activities, games, recipes here. 
Why I Like This Book:

This book shares more than just a story, but the hopes, dreams and achievements of young Yatandou and the women in her village. This story explores the heritage and daily routines of Yatandou and her family. I love that the narrator is Yatandou herself, allowing children to experience her day with her. Yatandou shows children that hard work and teamwork goes hand in hand when everyone wants to achieve success.