While checking out children’s books for Martin Luther King Day, I discovered some terrific titles, some recent and some almost vintage. I especially liked Brown Like Me by Noelle Lamperti, The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler. As I was looking and reading through other stories, I was reminded of how books can be used to help children deal with all kinds of situations and challenges. These stories talk about different colors of skin, others look at feeling left out, being different, and dealing with fears. There are books for being adopted, living in an area where there is war, having someone very ill, going to a new school, a family that is living in 2 homes, and even more.
All too often when we talk about kindergarten readiness we focus on information and academics. We forget that families have other concerns. Books can be used to help children cope with these concerns and, in the spirit of Martin Luther King, to connect with community, country and world issues. When it comes to stories and books, like the title of Vera Williams’, we need More, More, More Said The Baby.
Finding a book about fall is not a problem; choosing one is. There are so many wonderful stories with incredible illustrations. Here are a few favorites, both old and new.
Clifford’s First Autumn, by Norman Bridwell: Clifford, as usual, gets into trouble when he explores fall changes.
Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf and Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert: The illustrations in these two books are striking. Also includes activities.
Wild Childby Lynn Plourde: Mother Earth says it’s time for bed. A rhyming text, this book may even help with getting little ones off to bed!
Leaves, Leavesby Salina Yoon: This is a board book with flaps and textures that adds a sensory dimension to the story.
What fall books are favorites at your house?
Is there a mouse in the house? No, but there’s a moose on the loose. This moose has been on the loose long enough, for now at least. The moose has helped us with math, reading, drawing, cooking, science, movement and more–see previous blogs.
One area we haven’t covered is social and emotional development. Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose can help. In this Dr. Seuss book, Thidwick helps kids learn to respect each other and each other’s things. This is another important skill and not just for kindergarten, but for developing healthy relationships.
Since this is the last moose post, here’s another book. A Chocolate Moose for Dinner, by Fred Gwynne. It’s not a moose for dinner, but a mousse, chocolate of course, and other confusing expressions done in rhyme (great for phonological awareness). A chocolate mousse is just what we need to celebrate all the learning. Do you have an easy recipe for chocolate mousse?
Once children have the idea of taking turns, it may be necessary to talk about letting others have the first turn, too. This book is also a story about a pig (see yesterday’s blog) that has a lesson to learn. The lesson ‘teacher’ is a sand witch. The author is Helen Lester and the title is … Continue reading Taking Turns – Me First!
Another of my favorite books to share with kids is the I Spy Alphabet book. I must confess that I am not very good at finding the hidden pictures but I love to spend a few minutes searching. I feel so clever when I do locate a few. And kids enjoy the books, too. … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Eye Spy the Alphabet
Motivating children to want to learn about all those squiggles on a page and what they mean can be done by cooking together. Here’s a fun recipe to make mud that good enough to eat! Measure into the blender 1 cup of milk, 1/2 banana, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 2 or 3 ice … Continue reading Yummy Mud
Of all the activities that parents and caregivers can do to get children ready for school, reading books and stories with them is the most important! Since we’re talking about mud, here are a few of my favorite muddy books. Pigs in the Mud, in the Middle of the Rud by Lynn Plourde Puddleman by … Continue reading Mud Books