Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book 74: Over in the Ocean

Over in the Ocean, In a Coral Reef, written by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jeanette Canyon, Dawn Publication, 2004.   Toddler to Preschool to Early Elementary

My son is not yet two-and-a-half, and can count to ten by himself. What does that have to do with this book? Well, Over in the Ocean is a counting-to-ten book, and he has heard this story repeatedly. Never underestimate the power of reading to your children.

Over in the Ocean is also a "song" book (to the tune of Over in the Meadow), and it is a beautifully, polymer clay, illustrated book. It is also another book by my friendly acquaintance, Marianne Berkes. In fact, the first time I heard this book was when the children's library staff was helping her present it to a very full room of children at a summer program. I was really into the song until I got caught out by the seahorse. That one little twist makes the book memorable. And as I've said before, it is beautiful, with its turquoise ocean and brightly colored sea life.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book 73: The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!

The Pigeon Has Feelings, Too!, by Mo Willems, Hyperion Books, 2005.  Baby to Toddler

The infamous pigeon is back for an encore performance in the toddler book world. And fortunately, this book arrived in plenty of time to purchase before my son arrived in 2008.

This books does not have much of a story, so if you are looking for that, you may want to stick to the pigeon books for older children. What this book does have is a gamut of emotions. As anyone who has every been a parent to, or even probably around, a two-year-old knows, two-year-olds also have a gamut of emotions. And usually they go through them in about the space of time it takes you to read this very short books. Toddlers don't understand their emotions, and this book does not try to explain them. The book, with its simple text and expressive pigeon, shows them, and that seems to be enough.

If you are wondering if my son still has temper tantrums, the answer is "yes". He has stopped throwing himself to the floors. Now he just "goes boneless" (another Mo Willems book) slowly with the contorted grace of a 1920's ham actor in a death scene.

One caveat: It is probably not a good idea to take yourself too seriously when you are reading this book. I can read it and express the emotions and my son laughs because he thinks I'm being silly. When my husband reads it, my son cries at the angry part.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Book 72: The Pigeon Loves Things That Go!

The Pigeon Loves Things That Go!, by Mo Willems, Hyperion Books 2005.   Baby to Toddler

First a personal confession: I love, love, LOVE the pigeon in Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!. So much so that when I was decorating the baby's room in advance of the baby, I worked a little pigeon into all the paintings. Almost three years later, and I still find it amusing. So when I saw that there was a pigeon board book, of course, I just had to buy it.

And I did. Second confession: I don't LOVE this pigeon as much, but I still like it. And what's more, my toddler boy seems to prefer it to the original, at least right now. He loves the vehicles and thinks the pigeon is silly. So, considering that the Smidgeon of Pigeon series is not written for me, but is, in fact, written for toddlers, this book and the others are definitely a great investment if you are buying books for toddlers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book 71: The Seals on the Bus

Pretty much everyone who has a child or ever was a child is familiar with "The Wheels on the Bus", but did you know there is a sequel -- and, no I don't mean the fifty-odd verses that seem to go with the original. The sequel is -- you guessed it! -- The Seals on the Bus.

The Seals on the Bus, written by Lenny Holt, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, Henry Holt and Company, 2000.   Preschool to Early Elementary

The Wheels on the Bus is a fun song. The Seals on the Bus is a funny book. If you know the tune for the first, you'll have no trouble singing the second. The illustrations are appropriately silly; this is not the place for realism. So funny book, great illustrations, kids love it -- need I say more?