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 (

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

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Picture Book Review: One Windy Wednesday

One Windy Wednesday

One Windy Wednesday by Phyllis Root

Picture Book: ages 0-4

Genre: Wind, farm animals

One windy Wednesday, the wind blows so hard, that it knocks the noises right out of the farm animals. It blew the quack right out of the duck and it blew the oink right out of the pig. Now its up for Bonnie Bumble to put the noises back where they belong.

This is an adorably cute book. I love the colorful illustrations. As a book that’s over 20-years-old, its holds up well over time. Farm animal themes are ridiculously prevalent among children’s books, but this one stands out for its originality, ease of reading and the illustrations. This book introduces a number of new vocabulary about farm life that other farm animals books often omit.

She hitched the moo back onto the cow…

She knit the baa back onto the lamb.

I think this is a book that parents will enjoy reading with their children. Toddlers might understand some of the humor (knitting the baa onto the lamb had me chuckling), but its a book to grow with. I think children will find something new and interesting in the book with each read. Its a great book to pair with Bark! George and The Cow That Went Oink. Mixed up animal noises are always a treat, especially for the kids who have the opportunity to correct the reader. Kids love pointing out mistakes in books. I love that these books cater to that experience.

The book itself is quite small and square. So its not ideal for a large crowd. It could translate quite well as a flannel board story. Small groups, especially preschoolers, will really enjoy the book in a classroom setting.

Primary Reading Skills

  1. Make Sounds (Phonological Awareness) This book is a wonderful way to introduce and discuss animals and their noises. Kids will have fun making the noises and figuring out what noise belongs to each animals.
  2. New Words (Vocabulary) I appreciate the additions of new vocabulary to a farm animal books, particularly with the different actions Bonnie takes to put the noise back onto the animals. Whether it is hitching it to the cow, knitting it to the sheep or tying it to the pig.

How to use this book

For the parents

Read this book before a visit to the farm. Talk about the different animals and their noises. Talk about the wind and strongly it blows. Ask your child if they’ve experienced a strong wind before. You can use this book to talk about the days of the week, or words that begin with the letter W.

For the librarians

The addition of the wind gives this farm animal book a nice little twist. I’m quickly becoming a big fan of the misplaced animals noises genre of picture books. Its great for a number of themes; farm animals, misplaced noises, the letter W, days of the week, etc.

Suggested reading

The Cow That Went OINK Bark, George
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Easy Reader Review: Spring is Here! A Story About Seeds

Spring Is Here!: A Story About Seeds

Title: Spring is Here! A Story About Seeds by Joan Holub
Simon and Schuster Books, 2008
Ready to Read, Pre-Level 1
Ages: 3-5
Genre: Gardening, Spring

Spring is Here is a wonderful story about an army of ants planting seeds and watching them grow into beautiful tulips. Created for new/pre readers, the text is large and terse with lots of rhyming. The full page illustrations match the text exactly and show the cycle of planting, watering and waiting for a seed to turn into a plant. The illustrations are vibrant and fun and its a wonderful book to read about gardening, about spring, about flowers and more.

“A drip” says Chip.
“Lots more!” says Tor.
“Yay! Rain” says Jane.

You can encourage kids to create their own garden rhymes. Sound out the word seed, and have see what rhymes your child can come up with. What I really appreciate about this book is that despite the simple text, there is an actual story to follow with a variety of characters. This is a great addition for spring booklists or for a real-aloud for Kindergarteners.

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

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Bookmarks: Interesting Links of the Week (March: 20th)

bookmarks final


Raising a reader

Added to my TBR pile

  • Oh No, George! (by Christ Haughton) – book review via Readertotz

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

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Picture Book Review: Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson (2013)
Picture Book, Ages 3-6
Genre: Trees, interactive books

Find this book at your local library

Fans of Herve Tullet’s Press Here will really appreciate this book by Christie Matheson. It works much in the same way, in which children tap, blow or move the book to see a change of the image on the next page. The book  features an apple tree transforming through all four seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter, and back to spring again.) Kids are encouraged to interact with the book, tapping the tree branches to produce leaves, blowing on the page to see the leaves falling off the tree, etc.

There’s magic in this bare brown tree.
Tap it once..
Turn the page to see.

This is a really great changing-of-the-seasons book on top of being a fun read. The rhyme is wonderfully soothing. This is a great book to read one-on-one or to a larger storytime crowd. The illustrations are beautifully done in soothing tones of browns, greens and pinks. The only image is of a single tree going through numerous transfrmations

Brush away the petals (swish!)
and blow the tree a tiny kiss.

Primary Reading Skills

Love Books (Print Motivation):  This is a great book for promoting print motivation. Children will love having a handheld book that they can interact with and have some control over what happens next.

Tell a Story (Narrative Skills) Use the rhyme scheme in the book as inspiration to create your own rhymes and poems.

How to use this book

For the parents

Read this as a bedtime book, talk about the changing of the seasons, let your child interact with the book in anyway they please. Create your own narrative about the tree. Walk around the neighborhood and spot trees going through the season-transformations. Which are blooming, which leaves are falling, which have changed color and which stay the same all year long. This is a great way to build vocabulary and provide background context for the book in hand.

For the librarians

This is an excellent toddler/preschool storytime book. Match with Press Here for a really interactive day. Or match it with A Leaf Can Be for a tree theme, change of seasons theme.

Suggested Reading

1.   2.A leaf can be-- jacket

  1. Press Here by Herve Tullet
  2. A Leaf Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas
  3. The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger

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

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Easy Reader Review: Aaron is a Good Sport

Aaron is a Good SportAaron is a Good Sport by PD Eastman
Random House, 2015
Step Into Reading, Step 1: Ready to Read
Ages: 5-6
Genre: Alligator, Hobbies

Eastman’s classic character Aaron the alligator makes his first easy reader appearance in this book. Aaron is a good sport with many hobbies and he likes to try new things. But somehow, he manages to find trouble no matter what he does.

Aaron the alligator is a fairy amusing character. He manages to find trouble just doing the simplest things. Throwing the ball results in a broken window, roller-skating results in falling down flat. The rhymes are fun, the character is engaging and I think he participates in activities that young readers can easily relate to. The text is repetitive and the font is large enough to make this age appropriate for beginning readers.

Aaron rides
a scooter.
It has two wheels

He also rides a bike.
It also has
two wheels.

But what happens when Aaron tries to roller-skate? Too many wheels! Aaron falls down. The text is paired perfectly with the illustrations, which are simple and concise. For kids who’ve grown up with Aaron the alligator from picture books, this will be a great next step on their reading journey.

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

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Bookmarks: Interesting Links of the Week

bookmarks final   Booklists

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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Easy Reader Review: A Day with Miss Lina’s Ballerinas

A Day with Miss Lina's BallerinasA Day with Miss Lina’s Ballerinas by Grace Maccarone
Macmillans Children’s Publishing Group, 2012
My Readers, Level
Ages: 5-6
Genre: Ballet, Dance

Spend the day with Miss Lina’s ballerinas to see what they do with their time away from dance school. Where do they pose with their toes?

I think this is a great book for kids interested in dance or ballet. The illustrations are pastel, colorful and do a good job of relating the story. They align well with the text. The few things I didn’t like were the lack of boys. Quite a few boys take ballet classes, so it would have been fun to see one or two boys mixed in with the group. There isn’t much diversity in the girls that are presented in the book either. Only 1 girl out of 8 is non-white. I also wish that one or two ballet terms were used throughout the book, but I was glad to see the poses named at the end of the book. The text has a fun rhyme to it.

Class is over.
On the street,
they go to school
on dancing feet.

The rhythm of the book is great for a beginning reader. They can better sound out the words as they read aloud. Overall, the text and illustrations make this a very appealing book to young girls interested in dance or ballet.

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

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Early Literacy in Everyday Locations: The Garden

early literacy There are a number of ways to make everyday activities fun learning experiences for you and your child. Why not start in your own yard? If you don’t have a yard, try starting a small container garden on a balcony or windowsill. Talking Points

  • Talk about the word “garden.” Spell it out together, sound it out, and count the syllables. Talk about the definition of a garden and how it can be found in many shapes, sizes and varieties.
  • Help your child think of words that rhyme with “flower” (shower, power, etc.) Make up silly rhymes and songs with these words.
  • Help your child think of words that relate to gardens (garden hose, soil, seeds, etc). This is a great way to build vocabulary in an active setting.
  • Learn the names of flowers, plants and trees in your yard, or around your neighborhood. Go on a walk around town and talk about the different plants that you see. Discuss how some fruits and vegetables grow on trees and some you dig up from under the dirt.
  • Bring the garden indoors and plan a meal around a certain fruit or vegetable that you want to plant together. Talk about the different ways to cook with this food item.
  • Inspiration Laboratories has a wonderful selection of recycled container gardening ideas you can easily implement at home.
  • Look through cookbooks and talk about the different ingredients for a favorite meal. Pick out a particularly yummy treat that you can cook using ingredients you want to plant in your garden.

Suggested Reading 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

  1. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
  2. And Then its Spring by Julie Fogliano
  3. My Garden by Kevin Henkes
  4. Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
  5. Spring is Here: A Story About Seeds by Joan Holub

Rhymes and Songs to Share and Sing

In My Garden by Raffi (One Light One Year cd)
Apples And Bananas by Raffi (One Light One Year cd)
10 Little Peas in a Pea Pod Pressed
10 little peas in a pea pod pressed (clasp hands together)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest (slowly pop out fingers)
They grew and grew and did not stop (slowly lift arms up overhead)
Until one day that pea pod popped! (clap hands together)
© 2015 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me on Twitter @TheNovelWorld.
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Interesting Links of the Week

bookmarks final   Booklists

Book news

Book reviews

  • Lost in NYC by Nadja Spiegelman via School Library Journal. (This book sounds so cool!)

Books I reviewed in February:

Easy Readers

Picture Books

Chapter Books

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

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Easy Reader Review: Clara and Clem: Under the Sea

Clara and Clem Under the Sea
Under the Sea by Ethan Long
Penguin Young Readers, 2014
Level 1: Emergent Reader
Series: Clara and Clem
Ages: 5-6
Genre: Underwater Life

Friends Clara and Clem taking a rhyming look at underwater life in this colorful easy reader. They hug sharks, find buried treasure and more.

This was one of the Cybils shortlist titles that my group reviewed. Its a fairly fun read. I love the vibrant illustrations, the graphics pretty much sell the tale. I did find the text to be pretty simple and some of the rhymes felt forced. This is third book of  the Clara and Clem books. I like the range of topics that the books cover: Clara and Clem Take a Ride, in Outer Space. I’m curious to see where they go next.

Clara and Clem Take a Ride (HC) Clara and Clem in Outer Space

Overall, its a fun book that introduces new vocabulary in a fun way. The illustrations are really the selling point of the books for me. I like the pair of Clara and Clem, although there isn’t really much to their characters. They are just the vehicles that take us along with their adventures.

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

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