Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a child and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy American city. The language is unfamiliar. Food, habits, games, and gestures are puzzling. The child clings tightly to a special keepsake from home and wonders how he will find his way. Walk in his shoes as he takes the first tentative steps toward discovering joy in his new world. Recommended for grades 2nd - 5th.
Do you have a few favorite things? I just love chickens, the Muppets, and silly books. So, for my last blog of 2013, I’ve combined them all into one! Read some wonderful stories about mischievous poultry while you listen to classical music presented in a whole new way.
Five years ago, I had the privilege of hearing Anna Dewdney (the author and illustrator of the Llama Llama books) give a presentation to a group of teachers and librarians at the Mazza Weekend Conference. She talked about her life, work, and creative process, and I went away (like I always do at Mazza) with a deeper appreciation of her and her books.
Earlier this month, I was very sad to hear that Dewdney had lost her battle with cancer. I read in several articles that, in lieu of a funeral, she asked for people to read to a child instead. Llama Llama Misses Mama by Dewdney is of my favorite recommended reads for children starting preschool. Check out that title and some of her other books below!
- Llama Llama Red Pajama
- Llama Llama Misses Mama
- Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop!
- Grumpy Gloria
- Nobunny's Perfect
- Roly Poly Pangolin
Three very excited cows are ready for fun in chicken's home. It's time to jump, dance, and wiggle all on an unhappy chicken's tiny couch. The fun ends with a quiet and cozy nap. F-U-N for ages 3 and up.
Jack has been looking forward to playing the trumpet in his first concert, but on the morning of the big day, Jack becomes anxious about performing and his worry starts to grow. Ages 0-8.
It’s time to have fun with food! There are a lot of great picture books out there that celebrate food – from using food to make art, as in The World of Food by Carl Warner, to the life of vegetables as seen in Little Pea by Amy Rosenthal, to the fun of discovering all that our utensils can do, as seen in The Table Sets Itself by Ben Clanton – there is plenty to get imaginations running and full! And if reading all about food gets your appetite going there are also some great easy recipe books for kids too.
For a sneak peek at one of my favorite books about food, The World of Food by Carl Warner, check out the video below. Warner creates stunning, fantastical worlds using food as art. Each page is themed with a different color and an imaginative description. This book not only teaches kids about colors and offers an interactive experience trying to guess what foods make up the different landscapes, but it provides a backdrop to making up stories that go with each world. For more information on how he creates these fantastical worlds see his website Carl Warner.
There are also some great books that celebrate all things utensils. A few of my favorites are:
The Table Sets Itself by Ben Clanton tells the story of when a young girl’s task of setting the table turns into a fantastic adventure as the utensils come to life, spoon and dish run off on their own, and they must be convince to come back! This book turns a routine task into an imaginative adventure.
In Chopsticks by Amy Rosenthal, explore the wondrous life of chopsticks! This story celebrates both friendship and independence as, after a slight food mishap with a very tough stalk of asparagus, the chopsticks, who have been together forever, must spend some time apart. One is on “bed” rest and the other ventures out on his own. What will the pair do without one another? And how many amazing stories will chopstick bring back to tell his best friend?
Spork by Kyo Maclear celebrates individuality and uniqueness as Spork, a little bit fork and a little bit spoon–but not quite one or the other–must find his way in the world of utensils.
Oscar, a cute and friendly dachshund, is constantly being made fun of by all the other dogs at dog school because of his size. On Halloween night Oscar, dressed as a hot dog, ends up bravely rescuing his schoolmates from a mysterious phantom.
It's springtime! Let's follow the wind and see where it blows. The wind makes our kites fly and boats sail, but watch out for the darkening skies and the changing winds, because there might be a storm coming! A fun rhyming time for ages 3 and up.
There's a full moon on Friday, September 16! Get in the full moon spirit with By the Light of the Harvest Moon, filled with beautiful illustrations of mystical leaf people who wake up when the moon comes out.
Today’s children are expected to have strong pre-literacy skills before they enter kindergarten. How can parents ensure that they are providing the right experiences for their children to develop these skills? Many parents don’t realize that literacy education actually begins in infancy.
The good news is that helping your child attain such skills is much easier than you may think. Almost ANY activity that you do with your child is helping them develop literacy skills. It can be as simple as talking and singing to your child, reading to them, or even describing to them what they are feeling, hearing, tasting, touching, seeing and doing.
One simple activity to start with is looking at pictures. Look at family photos, or pictures from books and magazines and talk about what you see. Better yet, check out some of the UAPL’s wordless picture books. Snuggle up in your favorite comfy chair, look at the pictures and make up your own stories! This activity helps your child develop narrative skills. We have many wordless books, but some of our favorites are: