Ready, Set, Read!

The ABC's of being a children's Librarian

Ready to Read Skills

  1. Love Books (Print Motivation): Being interested in and enjoying books.
  2. Use Books (Print Awareness): Noticing print, knowing how to handle a book and how to follow the words on a page.
  3. See Letters (Letter Knowledge): Knowing that letters look different from each other and have different names and sounds.
  4. Tell a Story (Narrative Skills): The ability to describe things and events and tell stories.
  5. Make Sounds (Phonological Awareness): Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.
  6. New Words (Vocabulary): Knowing the names of things.

Via (www.lexpublib.org)

© 2014 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me@TheNovelWorld.

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Picture Book Review: What Am I?

What Am I?

Title: What Am I?
Author: Linda Granfield
Format: Picture Book
Source: Library Copy
Publisher: Tundra Books, 2007
Pages/Format: 32/Hardcover
ISBN: 9780887768125

I have many pages that you can read and turn. I come in all shapes and sizes. What am I? A book!
This delightful and colorful book of riddles and guessing games is perfect for your toddler or preschooler.
The clues are quite obvious, but there are three clues for every question, with five possible answers. What I like is that along with the answer, you find out more information about the topic. For instance, the first clue is for a bicycle. Once the answer is revealed, you see this:

I am a bicycle.

I have two wheels.
You can ride me around the block
or in races around the world.
I am a good way to exercise
while you travel.

The illustrations are colorful and enticing for young children. This would be perfect for a preschool storytime or to read for a class setting. The kids will love shouting out the answers. I’d love to see a sequel called Where Am I?

Primary Reading Skills

New Words: A riddle book like this is an excellent way to introduce new vocabulary as well as expand vocabulary about known concepts.

Love Books: This book shows that reading doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun, interactive and maybe even a little competitive.

How to use this book

For the parents

Read this at anytime during the day. Use it as a guide to make up your own riddles with your child. Play guessing games like I Spy before or after reading this book. Encourage kids to use their words and really try to think of an answer. Ask them to explain why they think their answer is correct. This is a book that doesn’t have to be read all at once, key for the really squirmy kids. Read one riddle a night, see if they ask for more.

For librarians/teachers

This is a wonderful selection for storytimes as well as for kids who don’t really sit still for reading time. This is something you can use for class visits or storytimes. I’d recommend for preschool and up, as kids will be able to call out their answers and guesses better than the early toddlers. It can fit virtually any theme you have planned or be its own standalone book.

Suggested Reading

Who Am I? Baby Animals Zoomzingers

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Playing to Learn

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood. (Fred Rogers)

Summer is here! There is no bigger element of childhood than playtime, swimming and exploring during the summer months outside of the classroom. Although the summer slide is a very real and worrisome concern, letting your children enjoy their free time by playing and being creative is another great way to let them learn and expand their horizons.

Playtime is one of the most valuable ways in which children learn about their world, hone in and define their gross and fine motor skills, as well as develop new critical thinking and analytical skills.

  • Play promotes the ability for children to learn deliberately.
  • Play gives children a way to express themselves when they don’t have the words to do so.
  • Play promotes language, critical thinking and organizational skills.
  • Play allows children to build problem-solving and team building skills when interacting with other children.

Although it may not seem like much, but when your child is engaging in one of these activities, they are training their brain for school readiness and academic success.

pencil and brushWhat it looks like: Painting/Drawing

123 abcWhat is really is: Writing skills

For young children, working with crayons, markers and paintbrushes is a basic introduction to literacy. They are working on their fine motor skills by learning how to hold onto a writing tool. They are learning brush strokes, which will help with forming letters as they get older. They are learning in an easy and relaxing environment, allowing them to be creative with their designs.

bird singingWhat it looks like: Rhymes & Singing

mother goose story timeWhat is really is: Storytelling, narration

Basic nursery rhymes, fun and silly songs help children develop their narration / storytelling skills. Through nursery rhymes, they learn that stories have a beginning, middle and an end. Singing allows them to develop and learn about concepts outside of their daily experiences.

animals at the zooWhat is looks like: Trips to the park, zoo, etc.

the worldWhat it really is: An awareness of the larger world

Play can be done safely in the home, it can also be done outside in parks, grocery stores, the zoo, museum, or even the post office. Every outing has the potential to be a fun and educational venture. By exploring the world around them, children learn about the societal functions of their community. They learn about community helpers (police, fireman) local retailers, volunteers, organizations, business, vehicles, buildings, etc. All the details that make up the world around them. Exposing children to a variety of cultures, people and experiences broadens their knowledge of the world.

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Interesting Links of the Week (5/22)

bookmarks final

Summer Reading

Booklists

Raising a Reader

Book news

Parenting

© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld

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Picture Book Review: Stick and Stone

Stick and Stone

Title: Stick and Stone
Author: Beth Ferry / Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld
Format: Picture Book
Source: Library copy
Publisher/Date: HMH Books for Young Readers/ 4/7/2015
Pages/Format: 48/ Hardcover
ISBN: 9780544032569

This beautifully illustrated and colorful book is about two characters, Stick and Stone and how they are both alone until they form an unlikely friendship when Stick “sticks up” for Stone against the bully Pinecone. The concept is perfect for older children learning about friendships and relationships. Particularly when it comes to dealing with bullies. The simple and terse text makes this a quick read for preschoolers and older toddlers. It carries a wonderful message about friendship. I was surprised to learn that this is the author’s first book. Its so eloquent (eloquent puns!) with inviting and warm illustrations to further carry on the story.  What I like is that the author tells the story of forming a friendship the way children actually experience it in real life.

Primary Reading Skills

Tell a Story (Narrative Skills) The simple storyline and the colorful illustrations allow for a lot of communication and discussion between parent/child or teacher/child. There is so much going on in this book in regards to emotions: feeling lonely, attacked, brave, scared, nervous, happy, etc. It lends itself well to a range of topics and themes for young children.

Love Books (Print Motivation) This is a great book for promoting print motivation because it is a story that so encapsulates what forming a friendship is like for young children. Its a story they can relate to and read over and over again.

How to use this book

For parents

Use this book to talk about emotions, about forming friendships, about standing up for your friends and being brave. Talk about love, and feeling empathy for those around you.

For librarians/teachers

This book is a wonderful resource for promoting proper social skills in young children. Although its about friendships, its about the range of emotions within a friendship. This is wonderful for a toddler/preschool storytime. I would recommend this for a small crowd because of how detailed the illustrations are. Large crowds won’t be able to appreciate or get a good view of the artwork from the back of the room. Although the story will still resonate with all families.

Suggested Reading

My Friend is Sad (Elephant and Piggie, #2) A Birthday for Cow! Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit

© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld

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Series Review: Tales from the Odyssey Book 1- The One-Eyed Giant

The One-Eyed Giant by Mary Pope Osborne
Series Name: Tales from the Odyssey
Title: The One-Eyed Giant
Author: Mary Pope Osborne
Age: 8-12
Publisher: Hyperion, 2002

When Odysseus is summoned to fight in the Trojan War, he never thought that it would take him almost 10 years to return to his family on their home of Ithaca. With cunning and ingenuity, Odysseus manages to win a victory for Greece over Troy, but on the way back, he angers one too many of the great Gods of Olympus, thus delaying his journey home. This first book covers the first of his many blunders, particularly with the Cyclops and the God Poseidon.

I really enjoyed this series. Mary Pope Osborne is renowned for bringing history to life for young children. Her “Jack and Annie” books are one that I am asked for on a daily basis. (That’s the Magic Tree House Books if you’re uncertain). The Tales from the Odyssey do a wonderful job of simplifying an epic saga into an entertaining format for young readers. The story is well paced, with just enough action to keep the reader interested. Its missing much of the history and emotion that so well covered in the lengthier versions of the tale. This book is very cut and dry with the details. I didn’t love it, but I think young readers will want to seek out more about Odysseus, the Greek Gods and Greek mythology in general. Although the audience for these books are a bit younger than the Percy Jackson crowd, I would suggest it on the same booklist or for reader’s advisory. Reader’s of this series will have a better understanding and appreciation of the Greek Gods that are mentioned in the Percy Jackson series.

I’m hopeful we’ll see another series like this for Virgil’s The Aeneid.

Additional Titles

2.  3.  4.  5.  6.

  1. The One-Eyed Giant
  2. The Land of the Dead
  3. Sirens and Sea Monsters
  4. The Gray-Eyed Goddess
  5. Return to Ithaca
  6. The Final Battle

© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld

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Interesting Links of the Week (5/15)

bookmarks final

Summer Reading

Booklists

Raising a Reader

Book news

Story time Ideas

© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld

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Guest Post – Cybils Booklist

Cybils Logo 2014

Catch me on the Cybils Blog today! I’ve written a guest post featuring some great Easy Reader titles to read to your toddler. Its one thing we love to read at my house with my little bookworm. Easy Readers are in constant rotation at in our reading retinue. They provide a great wealth of characters, fun stories, colorful illustrations and very basic storylines that expand beyond the simple listing of objects found in most picture books for the toddler age range.

 

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Picture Book Review: I Love School

I Love School!

Title: I Love School
Author: Philemon Sturges
Publisher: Harper Collins. 2004
Source: Library Copy
Age: 3-6
Other Titles: I Love Trucks, I Love Trains, I Love Planes

From the very first page, Philemon Sturges makes school exciting and fun. The inside cover is a mock chalkboard with fun facts about rainbows (they are made up of seven colors), crayons (the average child in America will wear down 730 crayons by his/her tenth birthday) and more. The book covers most of the topics and activities that kids will encounter at preschool and kindergarten. It’s a wonderful introductory book for kids about to start either session. A young narrator lists all of their favorite things at school from the school bus dropping them off, to learning to count and being able to go outside to run and shout. My toddler loves the Sturges books, and this one is no exception. The illustrations are warm and colorful and the characters are diverse.

I love to build great big block walls.

I love to play with baby dolls.

I like to draw trains speeding by.

I like to paint birds flying high.

Primary Reading Skills

New Words (Vocabulary) This will introduce lots of new vocabulary and concepts to a child just entering preschool or kindergarten. Use this book as a way to talk about school and the changes that will be taking place once they start.

See Letters (Letter Knowledge) This book is rife with letter knowledge! Come up with a list of school-related words that begin with the letter S (scissors, slides, swings, seats, etc).

How to use this book

For the parents

As mentioned above, this book is a great way to prepare your child for all the fun they’ll have at their new school. This book is also a good resource for children having trouble transitioning into their new environment. Talk to your child, find out what they don’t like about school, then create a list together of all the reasons why they do like school. Emergent readers can practice reading this book due to the rhyme making it easy for them to practice and repeat what they are reading.

For librarians

This is a great book for a toddler/preschool storytime, especially during daycare and school outreach events. I would definitely add this to a Back to School type booklist.

Suggested Reading

Chu's First Day of School (Chu, #2) Starting School Mouse Loves School

Check out the Goodreads List for Books About School for more titles

© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld
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Interesting Links of the Week (5/8)

 

bookmarks final

Summer Reading

Booklists

Book News

Storytime

Literacy Tech

Just for Fun

© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld

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Easy Reader Review: Dog on Bus

Dog on His Bus

Title: Dog on Bus by Eric Seltzer
Penguin Young Readers,
Level 2: Progressing Reader
Guided Level F
Genre: Animals, Transportation, Daily Errands
Dog, the bus driver, goes around town picking up a few of his friends. Cute illustrations, a variety of animals and a simple rhyming text make this book very appealing for preschoolers. We’ve been reading it to my toddler for nearly two weeks as a bedtime book. Beginning readers will appreciate the structured rhyme, giving them the ability to sound out and learn new words. I like the story and the illustrations. There is so much to look at on each page.
I am Dog.
I drive a bus.
I pick up Frog.
Come ride with us.
I drive in rain.
I drive in snow.
I drive in Fog.
Off we go.
The sentences are very short, 3 or 4 words. The font is relatively large, but not as much as earlier chapter books. There is a story, from start to finish. I like the different errands the riders go on. Hat shopping, browsing books, going out for lunch, etc. There are a lot of picture and context clues to help navigate the story. The story, I think, will be a bit too simple for older kids. But I think kids in Kindergarten and younger will really enjoy this book. The book reminds me of Byron Barton’s My Bus. Although My Bus doesn’t have the rhymes, the sentences are likewise short and simple, and the plot is fairly similar. The only difference with My Bus, is that its more of a math-orientated book.
PS – Suggested Reading
Hello, School Bus! My Bus Wheels on the Bus .
© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @TheNovelWorld
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