Monday, November 30, 2015

10 Picture Books About Winter Clothing

Today I'm participating in the Winter and Holiday Children Story Books Series hosted by The Jenny Evolution. The books on this list are all related to winter clothing!

  • Under My Hood I Have a Hat by Karla Kuskin and Fumi Kosaka
    This poem about dressing in layers to go out in the snow comes to life with bright illustrations by Fumi Kosaka. The funny twist at the end is also an unexpected treat!
  • One Mitten by Kristine O’Connell George and Maggie Smith
    This book demonstrates that there are lots of things you can do with just one mitten - and just as many you can do with two!
  • The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel and Nancy Winslow Parker
    This cumulative story in the style of The House That Jack Built tells of a child’s experience playing in the snow, falling down, and heading inside for cocoa and comfort from his mom.
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
    A young boy’s grandmother knits him a pair of new mittens and urges him not to lose them. When a mitten is dropped in the snow, however, a group of animals use it to take shelter from the cold.
  • A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert and Anita Lobel
    Times are tough after World War II, but Anna needs to be warm this winter, so her mother barters with various neighbors in order to find the materials needed to make a beautiful new red coat.
  • A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Stoeke
    It’s a cold and snowy day on the farm, and Minerva Louise wants to keep warm, but, muddled chicken that she is, she has funny ideas about what makes a good hat, scarf, or pair of mittens.
  • Shall I Knit You a Hat?: A Christmas Yarn by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise
    Little Rabbit loves the hat his mother has made for him so much that he encourages her to knit them for all of his friends as Christmas gifts.
  • Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
    Annabelle’s magic box of yarn enables her to knit sweaters for everyone and everything, until it is stolen by an evil archduke!
  • Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell
    Cousin Clara keeps making hideous sweaters for Lester, who continually finds more and more creative ways to get rid of them.
  • Baa Baa Black Sheep by Jane Cabrera
    A young girl asks a sheep again to use some of her wool, only to discover that she sheep herself now has nothing to keep her warm.

Activities to Accompany These Books: 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Review Round-Up: Books for Beginning Readers, November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! Here is this month's collection of reviews of easy readers and beginning chapter books.

Easy Readers

This month, Round One Cybils judge Jennifer had reviews of a bunch of the nominated easy readers at Jean Little Library and Flying Off My Bookshelf:

Flying Off My Bookshelf also featured reviews of Stingrays: Underwater Fliers and Don't Throw It To Mo.

At Step Up Readers, Katie from Storytime Katie focuses exclusively on easy readers. This month, she reviewed The Little Butterfly, all of the 2006 Geisel award booksHamster Holmes: A Mystery Comes Knocking, and the first two books in the Lana's World series.

Additionally, Literary Hoots reviewed Hoot, Owl!, Becky's Book Reviews featured I Really Like Slop, Redeemed Reader posted about Flop to the Top and Written and Drawn by Henrietta,  and Shelf Employed used What Does Otis See? to discuss some of the problems with publisher-assigned levels for easy readers.

Chapter Books

There were tons of great chapter book reviews this month! Tons!

Jennifer from Flying Off My Bookshelf and Jean Little Library reviewed lots of Cybils nominees:

Jennifer also reviewed Race the Wild: Rainforest Relay and Gymnastic Jitters.

Here at Story Time Secrets, I also reviewed a few Cybils titles:

Additionally, I featured a vintage beginning chapter book, Bears on Hemlock Mountain, in one of my Old School Sunday posts this month.

Mo Willems's latest book, The Story of Diva and Flea, was just published in mid-October. It was reviewed this month by Waking Brain CellsLiterary Hoots, and Geo Librarian.  Geo Librarian also reviewed the Oliver Moon series and The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party. The Princess in Black was also featured in a post about sequels on What to Read to Your Kids.

Sal's Fiction Addiction and Kids Book a Day continue to be great sources for beginning reader book reviews. Sal's Fiction Addiction reviewed Jasper John Dooley, Lost and Found and Princess Pistachio and the Pest, while Kids Book a Day covered Shelter Pet Squad: Merlin, Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan, and The Best Friend Battle.

Other November chapter book reviews included:

Submit Your Reviews! 

Do you review beginning reader books? Please let me know about any reviews you post in December by emailing me at Thanks!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Reading with Little Miss Muffet and Little Bo Peep, November 2015

With my birthday and Little Bo Peep's baptism last week, and Thanksgiving today, as well as my return to teaching CCD on  Monday nights, this has been a very busy month, but we have been reading in spurts whenever we can. Read on to learn what Miss Muffet and Bo Peep have been enjoying lately.

Non-Fiction for Little Miss Muffet 

Though we continue to read lots of fiction picture books, I have recently been making a greater effort to share non-fiction with Little Miss Muffet. She picks up new vocabulary so easily right now, that it only makes sense to start introducing age appropriate non-fiction topics so she can be exposed to more interesting words. I have been using easy readers, mainly because the simple language and repetition make it easier for her to understand what is being presented and to actually learn something from hearing each book. Right now, we are focusing on community helpers, the weather, baby animals, and holidays, with the following titles/series:

Her favorite is Watching the Sun. She is obsessed with talking about the sun coming up and going down, so this book has been a perfect way to satisfy her curiosity. I'll be looking for Watching the Moon next because she also loves the moon and watches for it every night as she goes to sleep. She also really loves Mail Carriers, and keeps talking about the mail carrier's pouch.

Baby's First Read-Aloud

Little Bo Peep is still not really that into books, but I finally sat down the other day and read a picture book just to her while Miss Muffet played in her room. I chose Little Baby Buttercup by Linda Ashman and You Byunmostly because it rhymes, and because I enjoy You Byun's artwork even if the baby is too young to appreciate it. She had no real reaction to the book, but I do enjoy saying "Little BabyButtercup, look how fast you're growing up," which is occasionally met with a little smile.  We've also been trying some poetry, but I have to be more diligent about actually having baby-friendly poems on hand when I'm spending one-on-one time with just Bo Peep.

One Tip from Mom 

When Little Bo Peep is drinking her bottle, I often need to amuse Little Miss Muffet to keep her out of trouble. One way that I have been doing this is by laying a quilt on the floor and calling it the story quilt. I tell her she can sit on the story quilt and either look at books herself, or if I can manage to handle Bo Peep one handed, I will read to her. I've never said she can't get up from the quilt, but she seems to consider its edges to be some sort of boundary, as she will usually stay put for at least a few minutes. And if she does get up and wander away, I can usually entice her back with the promise of just one more book. If you have a wandering toddler, this might work for you, too! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Animal Traits Board Books

The board books on today's list talk about the characteristics that define different species.

A Tale of Tails by Elizabeth H. Macpherson, illustrated by Garth Williams (ISBN: 9780375833601)
A little boy questions why he doesn't have a tail when so many other animals do. Each illustration shows a different animal and briefly describes its tail. 

Tails Chasing Tails by Matthew Porter (ISBN: 9781570618529)
A parade of animals chase each other through the pages of this cleverly designed book. The front half of each animal appears alongside the tail of the next, so readers have the opportunity to guess which animal is coming up. I reviewed this book in detail here.

Who Can Swim? by Sebastien Braun (ISBN: 9781406338263)
This lift-the-flap book introduces young readers to some swimming animals. Because it is so simple, this is an ideal book for children under 12 months.

If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera (ISBN: 9781862337978)
This lively version of the favorite children's song focuses on the behaviors of different jungle animals. Monkeys clap, lions roar, and elephants stamp their big feet.

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle (ISBN: 9780061119729)
For busy toddlers, this book about animal movements is a great way to learn about animals and get the wiggles out at the same time. (For best results, ham it up when reading this book to your children. You'll be surprised how quickly they pick up  the movements once they've seen you do them!)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Third Grade CCD 2015-2016: God Created People to Share His Life (11/16/15)

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Third Grade CCD 2015-2016: God is Powerful and Loving (11/9/15)

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