Monday, April 28, 2008

Lots of Reasons to Get Your Hands Dirty!

The recent spell of gorgeous weather and today's much needed rain are making me think about gardening. As the title suggests, we have lots of gardening books for kids that will make them want to dig into the soil barehanded (as if they needed an excuse). From beginning gardening to container gardening to gardening crafts--we've got it all. And if you'd rather read about someone else getting dirty, we've got picture books as well. Here are just a few:

Garden by Robert Maass
Gardening Crafts for Kids by Diane Rhodes
Green Thumbs by Laurie Carlson
Starting Gardening by Sue Johnson and Cheryl Evans
My Backyard Garden by Carol Lerner
Container Gardening for Kids by Ellen Talmage
Kids Container Gardening by Cindy Krezel

Picture Books
Eddie's Garden and How to Make Things Grow by Sarah Garland
Cecil's Garden by Holly Keller
Flora's Surprise by Debi Gliori
Green Beans by Elizabeth Thomas
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
Gardener's Alphabet by Mary Azarian

Happy Spring!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day! If you haven't already, this day presents the perfect opportunity to initiate a conversation with your child(ren) about the environment. Take advantage of the gorgeous weather we're having and go for a walk. Bring a bag with you and pick up the litter that you find along the way. Investigate vernal pools and rotting logs that may appear at the side of your path. Sit on a rock in a quiet spot, enjoy a snack, and just listen to the sounds of nature that surround you. Celebrate the day!

We have lots of books about nature and the environment for you to borrow. Here are some suggestions:
Kids Care! by Rebecca Olien
A Log's Life by Wendy Pfeffer
Woods and Backyard Pond by David M. Silver
Ecology for Every Kid by Janice VanCleave
Frog Heaven: Ecology of a Vernal Pool by Doug Wechsler

Perhaps you would like to make an earth-friendly craft. Look to these books for guidance:
Nature's Art Box by Laura C. Martin
Organic Crafts by Kimberly Monaghan
Ecology Crafts by Bobbie Needham

However you celebrate, may you have a joyous and peaceful day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

April Showers Bring May Flowers

April is a great time of the year to talk about weather with your child. It is a month where anything from snow to a 70 degree sunny day can happen. Start by checking out the "What's the BIG Idea? Exploring Weather Kit." It contains the book Who Likes the Rain?, a rain gauge, 2 thermometers, and a mini manual chock full of activities. We have several nonfiction books and lots of picture books about all aspects of weather. Here are some suggestions:

What Will the Weather Be? by Lynda Dewitt
Weather by Rebecca Rupp
Let's Look at Weather by Nicola Tuxworth
Weather Words by Gail Gibbons
In the Rain with Baby Duck by Amy Hest
Listen to the Rain by Bill Martin, Jr.
Come on Rain by Karen Hesse
Puddles by Jonathan London
Peter Spier's Rain by Peter Spier
The Rain Came Down by David Shannon
Red Rubber Boot Day by Mary Lyn Ray

Take some time to enjoy the increasingly improving weather, but don't forget your umbrella!

Monday, April 7, 2008

April is Poetry Month

Jim Trelease, author of the New Read Aloud Handbook, has this to say in the introduction to Jack Prelutsky's Read Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young:

"...the first sound a child hears is actually a poem--the rhythmic, rhyming beat-beat-beat of a mother's heart. This early and fundamental relationship sets the stage for a natural and lifelong love of rhythm and rhyme."

Cultivate your child's innate love of poetry by sharing a book of poems with him/her. Our shelves are bursting with poetry books, stories in rhyme, anthologies, etc. Some favorites:

Touch the Poem by Arnold Adoff
Flamingoes on the Roof by Calef Brown
The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders by Jack Prelutsky
Timothy Tunny Swallowed a Bunny by Bill Grossman
Today and Today by Kobayashi Issa
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices by Paul Fleischman
Here's a Little Poem collected by Jane Yolen
Barn Dance by Bill Martin, Jr.
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

Maybe you'd like to have some fun writing your own poems. Make it a family project. Pick an object and write a poem, and then share your verses. Include an original poem in a hand made card as a gift for someone dear. Keep a journal of poetry--ones you've written and ones written by someone else that you fancy. And enjoy poetry all year round--not just in April.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Looking for the Answers?

If you're looking for the answers to the podcast entitled "Book Beginnings 2", you've come to the right place. If you're looking for the answers to life's big questions, you'll have to look elsewhere.
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater