Will You Wear a Blue Hat? – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

Will You Wear a BLUE Hat?by Scholastic
Published by Children’s Press, an imprint of Scholastic

First farm animals, now primary colored outerwear. I’m starting to really dig the Rookie Toddler series from Scholastic. In Will You Wear a BLUE Hat, a little boy is being questioned by an unseen other about which of his primary colored pieces of clothing he will wear in order to go outside and stay warm.

We read this book three times just today, because it is just awesome. Daniel is making really good progress on his letters (he can identify almost all of them, and say nearly the entire alphabet) and can count to 10 pretty well, and knows lots of animal names and noises, even some shapes, so I figured the next thing we need to work on is colors. I adore Will You Wear a BLUE Hat for that.

For starters, all of the color names are printed in their eponymous color. The question (for example, “Will you wear a blue hat?”) is repeated in a sing song fashion with a great cadence, with the options shown, and then on the next page the child is seen wearing the item. It was a great conversation starter about color, we talked about all the different colored items on the page, and by the third time we had read the book, Daniel seemed quite confident about naming the color of each item.

I taught elementary school, so I am comfortable pulling out textual and pictoral elements to enrich a reading time, but for parents who are not comfortable with this, this series of books has “Rookie Storytime Tips” in the back of each one, giving clues for taking the learning experience besides just the text in the book.

I’ll be looking for more from this series, and I’m sure we haven’t read this one for the last time.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Library copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Touch and Feel Baby Animals – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

Touch and Feel Baby Animals by DK Publishing
Published by DK Preschool, an imprint of DK Publishing

Spring is (more or less) here, and Easter is coming up! Our local children’s museum has eggs and chicks as the new rotating exhibit, so it is definitely time to read books about baby animals.

Of all of these types of books that Daniel has so far, my favorite by far is Touch and Feel Baby Animals from DK. I picked it up in the first place mainly because of the fact is is from DK, I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by something they have put out.

Why is this my favorite tactile animal book? A couple of reasons. First of all, in addition to the baby chicks, rabbits, and calves, they also include baby elephants and even baby gorillas! I love that they move beyond the barnyard. Also, they do a great job of rich language with varied verbs and adjectives. We stroke, scratch, feel, touch, and tickle the soft, rough, fluffy, velvety, and furry baby animals.

Daniel just prefers it because he’s a big fan of tickling things, and he loves being told to tickle the baby gorilla.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin

If there is any children’s author who gives Dr. Seuss a run for his money in the fame department, it is Eric Carle, and if there is just one book that Eric Carle is known for, it is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. After the tiny caterpillar hatches from his egg he is ravenously hungry, eating more and more each day, until he eats a ridiculous amount of food and gets a stomach ache. Soon enough, he eats a nice green leaf, creates a cocoon and, voila, butterfly!

We are big fans of Eric Carle in this house, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar in particular. In fact, Daniel’s whole room is decorated in Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric, put together by his fabulous Nana.

We actually hadn’t read this book for awhile, but I was really glad that I pulled it back out. Daniel is really into counting right now, and he had absolutely the very best time counting all of the foods that the caterpillar was eating. That is part of what makes The Very Hungry Caterpillar so timeless: no matter what developmental level, there is something in it for pretty much any young kid.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.
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Everywhere a Moo Moo – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

Everywhere a Moo, Moo by Scholastic
Published by Children’s Press, an imprint of Scholastic

Despite the suggestive title, Everywhere a Moo, Moo is not the entirety of Old McDonald Had a Farm. According to some reviews I’ve seen, some readers who were expecting Old McDonald have been somewhat disappointed. Instead, each page has an animal – the cow, for example – and says, “Old McDonald had a cow. Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo, moo.” The book goes through a slew of Old McDonald-worthy farm animals: cow, pig, sheep, duck, horse.

Let me tell you, this book has been GOLDEN around here lately. We love it because it has really solidified Daniel’s naming of these basic farm animals (he was a little iffy on ‘sheep’ before) and his command of the animals’ noises (‘oink’ and ‘quack’ are now second nature). Daniel loves it because there are ANIMALS, people! Plus, he gets to interact with it, I read “Old McDonald had a…” and he gets to fill in the name of the animal AND tell me what the animal says. Plus there are pictures of real animals, not drawings, and that realism is always a plus. I think we read this every night for three or four weeks, and are still reading it occasionally.

This is a fun, well constructed way to work on farm animals. Lots of learning here, and lots of room to make it interactive for the child who is really starting to ‘get’ them.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound | Amazon*

Source: Personal copy
* These links are all affiliate links. If you buy your book here I’ll make a very small amount of money that goes towards hosting, giveaways, etc.

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2011

Elmo’s ABC Book – Saturday Story Spotlight

Welcome to Saturday Story Spotlight, my feature where I discuss books my husband and I are reading with our son, Daniel. These are books that he, we, or all of us particularly enjoy.

Elmo’s ABC Book by Deborah November, illustrated by Carol Nicklaus
Published by Random House Children’s Books, an imprint of Random House

Over the last few months, our house has rang continually with requests (demands!) for Elmo and Cookie (Monster). We aren’t home when Sesame Street is on, but we do have a few of the dvds. Educational as those dvds may be, however, we generally prefer that Daniel not spend his entire day watching them. Luckily, he also loves books, so I have made an effort to find him some Sesame Street books, so that he can see his ‘friends’ without sitting and staring slack jawed at the TV for 45 minutes.

In general, I am sort of anti-books based on electronic media. The Disney books based on the movies I find particularly insipid – although they do have a place in enticing some of the more reluctant readers. However, as it stands now, Daniel adores books, so I haven’t felt the need to lure him to books with characters he knows from other contexts. Until, of course, I decided to fight to keep him from forming the TV habit. Of course I have always adored The Monster at the End of This Book, but I hadn’t given much thought to other Sesame Street books until Sesame Street became Daniel’s Favorite. Thing. Ever.

One of the ones we like best right now is Elmo’s ABC Book, partly because Daniel’s other current obsession is letters (he points them out whenever he sees them anywhere, and can identify about half of them by name at 19 months old. Yes, we are raising a giant nerd, and we are proud of it). It is perhaps not the most inspired alphabet book in the history of alphabet books, but it is a great one for young children who may not have the patience to sit through some of the longer, more complex alphabet books. Early on Elmo devotes one page to each letter, trying to decide which is his favorite. As the book continues, he gets somewhat less verbose about each letter, but it does lend itself to reading with an increasingly frantic voice as Elmo begins to lose hope of really being able to decide which letter is his favorite. Some of the pages do have some very good alliteration, though, and nearly every letter has a description of something that starts with and might inspire love for said letter.

This is perhaps not my favorite book, but it is a solid alphabet book offering, particularly for something based off of television characters. Besides, it most certainly is Daniel’s favorite book right now. Elmo + Alphabet = Love.

Buy this book from:
Powells | Indiebound | Amazon*

Source: Library copy
* These are all affiliate links.