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.

Leave a comment »

Bookmarks: Interesting Links of the Week

bookmarks final Activities for Kids

Raising a Reader

Booklists

30+ Fabulous Books for a Space Theme via The Measured Mom

Book news

Story time Ideas

2015_poster

The official poster commemorates the 96th

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

Leave a comment »

Easy Reader Review: Friday the Scaredy Cat: The Scariest Day Ever…So Far

Friday the Scaredy Cat: The Scariest Day Ever . . . So Far (Ready-to-Read)The Scariest Day Ever … So Far by Kara McMahon
Simon Spotlight, 2013
Level 1: Star Reader
Series: Friday the Scaredy Cat
Ages: 5-7
Genre: Cats, fear

Events unfold as Friday the scaredy cat experiences the scariest day of his life, seeing a number of new things in his house all in one day!

Friday woke up one day to see a new pink bed next to his blue bed. Being new made the bowl instantly scary and Friday hid under the rug. After that, he goes around the house, spotting all sorts of new objects and smells. New bowl, new toys and even new food! But as Friday keeps exploring, he finds out what is behind all these new and different things. With the help of a new friend, Friday realizes that perhaps they aren’t so scary afterall.

Trying new things, or seeing things that are different can be intimidating to some kids. They don’t like change or don’t understand it. I like the way this book approaches this type of fear. The illustrations do a fantastic job of highlighting Friday’s emotions as he goes about his day, discovering all these new things in his home.

As a level 1 book, this book features larger font, repetitious phrases and a humor that children will be able to relate to.

It was different, so he was scared. Friday hid behind the sofa.

Friday’s hiding place changes with every new object that he encounters. I do like the ending, when he discovers who all those new objects belong to. I like that Friday tries to be brave and scary when its time to meet the “monster.” This is as great book to read when talking about upcoming changes that will be taking place at home. Are you moving, or expecting another child? Will there be a reshuffling of routines at the house? This book deals with these topics in a way that lets kids express their emotions through Friday the scaredy cat.

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

Leave a comment »

Picture Book Review: That’s Mine by Michel Van Zeveren

That’s Mine by Michel van Zeveren
Picture Book, ages 2-4
Genre: Jungle animals, sharing

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, a little frog finds an egg. But what happens when other animals want the egg too?

This is a fun and sweet book about ownership and sharing. The illustrations are cartoonish, colorful and really do a great job of complimenting the story. The author is very inventive and I love this story, because I think its a really fun one to read aloud. Some books are great for reading, but some books are meant to be spoken aloud. This one is in the latter group.

Ack…
ack…
ack…
…actually, its mine,”
says the eagle.

I love, love that the author uses the sounds of the animals to star their sentence. Each animals also wears a different expression on their face throughout the book. There are so many great talking points in such a simple story. One a close reading, you can focus on the facial expressions of just one animal as the story progresses. On each reread, you can look at another animals. How is the frog different from the snake, or from the eagle? I also like how the topic of ownership is broached in this book. Its not so much a book about sharing, but a book about who can claim that something found is theirs. No one really can claim the egg as theirs, but they try. There is a moral to the story, one that frog learns the hard way.

Primary Reading Skills

Make Sounds (Phonological Awareness) Put away your shy pants and have fun making animals noises as you read this book. Encourage your child to make the noises too. 

See Letters (Letter Knowledge) Different sounds can start with the same little. Similar sounds can almost look alike in spelling. Make a note of these differences as you read through the book. 

How to use this book

For the parents

Talk about jungle animals and who lives in the jungle. Talk about the topic of ownership. If you find something on the ground as you are walking, is it yours? What do you do in this situation? Talk about sharing and taking turns with an item during playdates. So many kids all want the same toy, all calling outs “that’s mine” during an endless tug-of-war struggle. All parents of toddlers have been there. This a great book for addressing this behavior.

For librarians

This is an immensely fun book for a read aloud for a baby/toddler storytime. Kids will relate to the concept of claiming something as theirs when it’s not, and they’ll appreciate the humor of the text and illustrations.

Suggested Reading

 The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems

 Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier

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

Leave a comment »

Interesting Links of the Week

bookmarks final

Dr. Seuss

Booklists

Book news

Story time Ideas

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

Leave a comment »

Picture Book Review: One Tractor: A Counting Book by Alexandra Sky

One Tractor: A Counting Book

One Tractor: A counting book by Alexandra Sky
Picture book, ages 2-4
Genre: Counting, trucks, transportation

Follow the imagination of a young child as he is visited by two planes, three boats and more while his tractor sits in the grass, out of gas.

This book has been very popular in my household. My son loves the illustrations and the variety of transportation vehicles. I love the rhymes and the variety between ships, trucks and bikes. Its a bit of a twist from just construction books, or just street vehicles.

Two planes
Fly in the sky,
small plane low,
big plane high.

One thing I appreciate about this book is the subtly of the concepts. Yes, it is primarily a counting book. But if you look at this one segment, it’s also a book about sizes, and about opposites. The same mentality is carried through the entire book as new groups of machines are introduced. The illustrations are lively and colorful full-page spreads. A little boy playing in the sandpit with an array of toys and a large imagination. This book could even work as a bedtime book. In the last few pages, the words are gone and all we have are images of the ships, the bikes and the trucks leaving as the little boy falls asleep in the grass. All the while, his tractor is stuck without gas.

Primary Reading Skills

New Words (Vocabulary) New and expanded vocabulary is a big theme in this book. Although kids reading this book might already be interested in all things on wheels, this book introduces planes and ships as something new to behold. 

Tell a Story (Narrative Skills) Older children can make up stories or adventures based on what they see in the illustrations. 

How to use this book

For the parents

This is a fun book to read to child and to have your child read on their own. Discuss the different concepts of opposites and sizes in addition to practicing counting. Try counting up to each number on the page each time (ie, count to 2 when you see two planes, count to three when you see three boats.) This will reinforce the numbers for your child.

For librarians

This will be great for a toddler or even a preschool storytime. Kids playing with these toys will relate to the main character and his imagination. Pair it up with other construction books or transportation books. Red Car, Red Bus anyone?

Suggested Reading

Little Blue Truck Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherrie Dusky Rinkler

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

Leave a comment »

Easy Reader Review: The Loopy Coop Hens: Pip’s Trip

Pip's TripPip’s Trip by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Penguin Young Readers, 2012
Level 2: Progressing Reader
Series: The Loopy Coop Hens
Ages: 5-7
Genre: Farm animals, friendship

Every day, hens Midge, Pip and Dot watch as the farmer’s truck drives away. One day, Pip climbs onto the truck to see the “wide world” and goes on an expected journey.

The book is divided into 7 pages, about 3-4 pages each. From start to the finish, the story is engaging, with wonderful graphics that illustrate the storyline. There is some intriguing plot development taking place throughout the story, especially the fun twist as to what Pip regards as his joy-ride in the truck. This is the second book of the Loopy Coop Hens series.

As a beginning reader book, it features large font size, and repetition of phrases and humor to appeal to a wide audience. Although the chapters are short, I felt like there were a couple too many. It made the story feel unnecessarily choppy. Although I do like the message of being brave and trying new things. Pip’s curiosity took her on an unexpected adventure, even if she didn’t actually go anywhere. It is a great book for starting a discussion about trying new things and going to new places.

Leave a comment »

Picture Book Review: I Love Cats by Barney Saltzberg

I Love Cats: Super Sturdy Picture Books

I Love Cats by Barney Satlzberg
Picture Book 0-2
Genre: Cats

Do you love cats?

Okay, that was a lame summary, I’ll grant you that. But this book is still a good books about the various types of cats that the author loves. Stripey cats, scaredy cats, cats that curl up like a ball. The list goes on and one. The illustrations are very simple. Each spread has a different color background, and there are just a few simple images of cats doing cat things. There is also a little girl in pajamas either holding onto or being near a cat. There should also be a note about the diversity in this book, as the little girl represented is not Caucasian.

Primary Reading Skills

Love Books (Print Motivation) Kids who live with cats or love cats will be drawn to this book like glue. 

Make Sounds (Phonological Awareness) There is a slight nuance to the words in the book, so kids will learn to differentiate between similar sounds and rhymes on each page. 

How to use this book

For the parents

Do you have cats? Do you plan on bringing one home? This is a great book to share with a cat-lover. Cats do so many silly things. After reading the book, discuss all the silly things your cat does that you think are funny. List all the reasons why you love your pet.

For librarians

As are most of the books I review, this is another great one for a baby/toddler storytime. Do a theme on pets or cats in specific.

Suggested Reading

I Love Cats and Kittens I love Cats and Kittens by David Alderton

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin

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

Leave a comment »

Interesting Links of the Week 2/13/2015

bookmarks final

A round-up of interesting bookish blurbs around the web this week

Booklists

Book Awards

Book news

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

Leave a comment »

Picture Book Review: Red Car, Red Bus by Susan Steggall

13239763

Red Car, Red Bus by Susan Steggall
Picture Book, Ages 2-4
Genre: Transportation

The events of a day unfold as we follow a bus along its route.

The simple story, illustrations and text make this a wonderful book for toddlers. My son and I had fun reading this together. He would identify the different vehicles trailing behind the bus. We would point out the matching colors as we read.

Orange truck, orange van, yellow van, yellow car, red car, red bus.”

This is basically the text of the book, but it works so well. As another vehicle is added to the list, I would speed up my reading. It made the story more engaging than simply listing the cars, trucks and vans. I didn’t get to look too closely at the illustrations while reading the book, but looking at it afterwards reveals a lot of minor details that are fun to catch. The small drizzle of rain, the people running to catch the bus at the bus stop, the everyday work of painters, postal service employees and more. This book as been read on repeat so much in my house that I actually had to hide it for a few days so that we could read something else. The book itself is actually quite large. Its and 8″x17″ and is a little bit unwieldy. But the span of the books fits in all of the vehicles perfectly, all 10 of them.

Primary Reading Skills

Use Books (Print Awareness) This book is a great introduction for the flow of language in a book. We read from left to right and as such, images in the book appear from left to right. 

This

How to use this book

For the parents

This is a great book for toddlers. They will love identifying the colors and vehicles in this book. Although it’s a bit large, it might make for a great road trip read. Have you child point out how many matching cars, vans and trucks he/she sees on the road.

For librarians

This a great choice for a baby/toddler transportation theme. Or even a theme on city life. Through in Raffi’s The Wheels on the Bus and you’re all set.

Suggested Reading

The Big Red Bus The Big Red Bus by Judy Hinely

Hurry Up! Hurry Up by Ann Bryant (it’s an easy reader, but it also lists vehicles in ascending order)

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

Leave a comment »

Book Review: Loki’s Wolves by KL Armstrong & MA Marr

Loki's Wolves (The Blackwell Pages, #1)

Loki’s Wolves (The Blackwell Pages book 1) by KL Armstrong and MA Marr
Genre: Fiction, Norse Mythology,
Age Range: 5th – 8th Grade
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013

Norse mythology foretold of the epic battle of Ragnarok, otherwise known as The End of the World. An event that only the gods can stop. Fast forward centuries later to South Dakota, where Matt Thorson (a descendent of Thor) along with Fen and Laurie Brekke (descendants of Loki) are now placed with the responsibility of fighting monsters the size of the moon and saving humanity. But first, they need to assemble an unbeatable team made up of descendants of other Norse gods. Will this new generation stand a chance?

I really wanted to like this story, but there were a few things that just held it back throughout the entire book. I wish this story had more of a background. Unlike Harry Potter and Percy Jackson (which it’s often likened to), there was no big reveal about the character’s relation to the gods Thor and Loki. They just know what they are and what their powers are. The entire town knows. It was a little bit of an awkward start to the book for me. Everything just starts off running. I also wish that there was more history involving the Vikings and Norse gods in the books. It’s almost as if the writers expect readers to already have a preconception of Norse mythology going into the book. Although many of the myths are mentioned throughout the book, I still wish there was more detail or even a little FAQ at the back of the book. I do hope that this will encourage kids to seek out these books on their own after reading this book.

Matt and Fen are overly protective of Laurie. As much as she can stand up for herself and has proven herself at every challenge, we still hear both of them try to protect her as if she’s a little child. It was annoying from the start, but the repetition of this stance was frustrating. I wish she would only  to tell them to stop being overprotective once or twice maybe. Not at each and every obstacle throughout the entire book. Everything is somewhat simple in this book. Matt needs to find the rest of the descendants to form his group for the battle. But there is little to no challenge in gathering the group. He just happens to find them. They easily believe his story and are on his side. It was all too easy, to rushed, for me. In a way, it felt like the authors wanted to cram in so much into the first book, that they didn’t expand or extrapolate areas that would have made the book more thoughtful.

What I liked about the book
I like the array of characters, I think they are all unique and bring something interesting to the group and the story. I like the even mix of boys and girls in the group. I think this is a book that will be an easy sell for both genders. It’s very action-packed with wonderful illustrations. The characters are flawed, but in very relatable ways. I think this is a book that will appeal across the board to many ages and reading interests. I like that the chapters alternated perspectives between Matt, Laurie and Fen. Although these three are the main leads, I hope that the other group members will have a voice in the upcoming books in the series. This is the first book of the series, so it’s really the launching pad for all the characters and the plot. Everything is just sort of jumbled together. I do plan on reading the next book. I hope that the authors slowed the pace down to give the characters more breathing room for their own back-stories. I’m really curious to know what’s going on with the twins and Balder especially. And what Matt’s grandfather has planned for the family.

Odin’s Raven’s is book 2 of the series, it was published in 2014. Book 3, Thor’s Serpents is set to be published March 1st this year.

  

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

Leave a comment »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 174 other followers