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More Rhyming Books

“The Measured Mom”    blog shares five ways that rhyming stories and songs benefit children.

  1. Rhyming teaches children how language works. It helps them notice and work with the sounds within words.
  2. Rhymes help children experience the rhythm of language.
  3. When children are familiar with a nursery rhyme or rhyming book, they learn to anticipate the rhyming word.  This prepares them to make predictions when they read, another important rhyming skill.
  4. It can help children understand that words that share common sounds often share common sounds with common letters.
  5. When listening to rhyming songs and poems, children create a mental picture, expanding the imagination.
  6. Because rhyming is fun, it adds joy to the sometimes daunting task of learning to read.]

http://www.themeasuredmom.com/why-is-rhyming-important/

Here  are some books that combine rhymes with fun stories and encourage children to predict the outcomes of the story:

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Baby Danced the Polka-Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jennifer Plecas

This is such a perfect read aloud for the very young.  In this story of a baby who refuses to nap, Karen Beaumont skillfully uses rhyme to encourage children to guess the animals hiding under the flaps.

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Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Gurarino, illustrated by Steven Kellogg

This book will conjure up memories of Dr. Seuss and P.D. Eastman, author of Are You My Mother?. as a young llama asked questions all the  animals nearby.  Children have the opportunity to use their rhyming skills to answer the questions.  This book will be quickly memorized.

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Mrs. Brown went to Town by Wong Herbert Yee

Mrs. Brown lives in the barn out back

With a cow, two pig, three ducks and a yak.

These animals are nothing but trouble for Mrs. Brown, but it’s clear, she loves them anyway.  Children will be too busy laughing at the silly antics of the animals to take this story seriously.

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Move Over Rover by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by Jane Dyer

Rover is sad and lonely until a thunderstorm arrives.  Suddenly all the animals are seeking shelter from the storm in his doghouse.  Children will enjoy chanting,  “Move Over Rover.”

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Good Rhymes Make Good Readers

Rhyming words are a key ingredient in helping children develop the skills they need for reading.  There is significant research that children well versed in rhyme have an easier time mastering reading.   http://www.bookstart.org.uk/professionals/about-bookstart-and-the-packs/research/reviews-and-resources/the-benefit-of-rhymes/

Here are a few of my  favorite rhyming books:

The Nonsense Show by Eric Carle    41n1rZGSsYL._SX393_BO1,204,203,200_

A new book by Eric Carle is always a treat.  Carle wanted to expose young children to surrealism.  The children may not care about that but they will love the silly rhymes and illustrations of birds swimming, fish flying and a boy in a kangaroo’s pouch.  Fan of Carle will notice that he recycles some of his illustrations from other books.

 

 

Louella Mae, She’s Run Away by Karen Beaumont Alarcon, illustrated by Roseanne Litzinger

51BVlF6vc0L._SX424_BO1,204,203,200_Louella Mae,  She’s run away!

Look in the cornfields!

Look in the hay!

Where, oh where is Louella Mae?

When Louella May runs away, the family goes on a frantic search to find her.  Rhyming words provide clues to the action on the next page.  Making predictions is also a key reading skill.  This is great to read aloud with a southern accent.

 

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Tumble Bumble by Felicia Bond

A tiny bug went for a walk.

He met a cat and stopped to talk.

They fell in step and strolled a while,

And bumped into a crocodile…

The bug, the cat and the crocodile continue to make new friends as they travel along and enjoy each other’s company.

 

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Shoe Baby by Joyce Dunbar, illustrated by Polly Dunbar,

A baby goes for an adventure in a flying shoe.  He goes to the sea, stops by the zoo, and meets the King and Queens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Random Readalouds for Preschoolers

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 This Book Just Ate My Dog by Richard Bryne

When Bella takes her dog for a walk, strange and unusual things happen. This is one of the best read aloud books ever.

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Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

When a duck decides to ride a bike, the barnyard animals have various reactions until they all have a chance to ride for themselves. Children love the silly illustrations.. The large pictures make this a good choice for a large group of children.

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The Super Hungry Dinosaur by Martin Waddell

Hal and his dog Billy save his family from the super hungry dinosaur. The dinosaur apologizes for his rude behavior and then stays for dinner.

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Lola at the Library-Anna McQuinn

Lola looks forward to Tuesday when she and her mom visit the library, attend story time, choose books and have a snack. The special day ends with a bedtime story.

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Toot and Puddle by Holly Hobbie.   Toot and Puddle live together in Woonsock Pocket.  Toot loves to travel but Puddle is a homebody.  Toot travels around the word sending postcards back to his best buddy.   They reunite in December when Toot return. This is the same Holly Hobbie of the bigheaded dolls but her pigs are infinitely cuter.  Don’t be surprised if you like this better than your children.  Try to avoid the cheaper knockoffs by National Geographic Press based on the TV show.  These are usually done by other authors.  National Geographic Press does an amazing job with nonfiction but these books are a poor imitation of Hobbie’s books.

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The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort, illustrated by Brian Karas

In this great sing along to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus,   Noisy animals board the bus.  All goes well until the skunks arrive.

 

 

 

 

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Diverse Books-What we really need!

There is a big movement within the library community called “We Need Diverse Books.”

If I were leading the movement, I would call it,  “We need more diverse books that children like.”   We have many award winning multicultural books that lack child appeal.

 Award winning books are often what librarians call “shelf sitters.”  They will be purchased by books sellers and librarians but not read much.  They are the brussels sprouts of the library’s book collection. (I remember the first time I enjoyed Brussels sprouts, it was last Thanksgiving at cousin Jane’s.)

 We  need  contemporary books about multicultural children.  Since I find it hardest to find diverse books for our youngest readers, I have chosen four books for preschoolers and primary students:

51007CEiUpL._SX442_BO1,204,203,200_Lola Reads to Leo by Anna McQuinn, begins with Lola, her pregnant mom, and dad sharing a bedtime story. When her new brother is born, Lola picks out a special book for Leo. Dad shows Lola how to hold the baby. Lola delights in being a big sister helping her mom by running errands and attempting to entertain the baby. It ends with the new family gathered on the sofa for a bedtime story. Rosalind Beard’s illustrations are delightful.

 

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Big Red Lollipop by  Rukhsana Khan is a story about Arab  Americans in  Canada.

Rubina is delighted when she is invited to a birthday party. Birthdays aren’s part of her family’s tradition. She sulks when her mother insists she must take her younger sister along. At the party, Rubina is the only one with her little sister in tow. Sana embarrases her when she cries during musical chairs.  She is not invited to another party for a long time.

Several years later when Sana receives a birthday invitation, Her mother insists that she take her youngest sister, Maryam. Rubina steps in and takes Sana’s side winning her younger sister’s admiration. This book is illustrated by one of my favorite illustrators, Sophie Blackall, winner of the Caldecott Award.  I love her signature use of colorful patterns.

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In Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, Grace loves stories of all kinds.  When her class begins planning a production of Peter Pan, Grace plans to audition for Peter. A classmate informs her she’s can be Peter because she’s a girl. Another declares that Grace can’t be Peter because she’s black. Grace’s mom and aunt encourage Grace to try out. Her Nana takes her to see a ballerina from Trinidad.  Grace auditions and amazes her classmates when she performs as Peter Pan.

untitled (2)In Splash, Anna Hibiscus, we meet Anna and her extended  family spending a day at an African  beach.

Everyone is busy at the beach but no one wants to get wet.  Her grandparents are reading the newspaper. Mama and the aunties are braiding their hair. Her female cousins are playing in the sand, the boys play soccer. Only Anna Hibiscus wants to go swimming.  In the end, we see a loving extended family enjoying themselves in the waves.

Children of many cultures have enjoyed these delightful stories of childhood.  We need more diverse books like these.

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Oscar Who Wasn’t Ordinary

 

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“For little snails with big dreams”-The Daily Ooze

Oscar Slimeglider is bored with sleeping all day, eating all night and looking dull.. He dreams of fame, adoration and good looks.. Unfortunately, Oscar lacks talent for singing, dancing or playing the guitar. He’s also a boring greenish-grayish-brownish color.

His only hope for fame appears to be his Fairy Godsnail. So he summons her:

Slime, Slime!

Slither, slither!

Fairy Godsnail, please come hither!

In typical fairy fashion, his Fairy Godsnail appears and grants him three wishes.   Unfortunately the wishes bring him nothing but trouble.

There is much to like about Ordinary Oscar. The illustrations are colorful and amusing. The reader will want to read this book several times if only to absorb all the jokes and puns.

Oscar lives at 16 Slug Street. He has twenty-six brothers and sister (Agnes, Bernard, Cornelius, Destiny, Electra, Fifi…) His mother, Gertrude, is expecting sixty eggs.  The dialogue includes phrases like “Slime my autograph book” and “He’s really coming out of his shell.”

Sam Hearn, the illustrator, adds lots of comic touches. The snail’s home is decorated with clever art pieces all featuring colorful snails. The Wise Od Snail is surrounded by books like “A Concise History of Slime” and “Mother Ooze’s Nursery Slimes.”

I have to give credit to the team of Laura Adkins and Sam Hearn for making even snails attractive and entertaining.  Preschoolers will enjoy this simple story. Older children will appreciate the humorous touches.  I recommend this book for children in kindergarten through third grade.

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Where Do Babies Come From?

The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall, Penguin Kids


Today’s post features  another book by Caldecott winner, Sophie Blackall.

When a young boy’s parents tell him that a new baby  is coming, he wants to know, “Where are they going to get this baby?”

Suddenly mom and dad are very busy.  He questions his babysitter, his teacher, his grandpa and the mailman. Their answers leave him more confused.  Does the baby come from a seed? an egg? the hospital? or does the stork bring them like Grandpa said.

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Finally, Mom and Dad explain the bare facts in one page accompanied by the illustrations.  There is enough information satisfy the curiosity of most preschoolers and kindergartners.  Sex is never mentioned. This book should be fine for any child who is able to read the book independently.

There is a page of advice for parents. It’s not very detailed either.  Parents needing more information will need to look elsewhere.

Blackall is a wonderful illustrator.  Each time  I look through this book, I find something new.  She makes extensive use of patterns especially circles in bedspreads and clothing.  A playful black cat is present in the family scenes.  The boy’s father is holding a copy of Locomotive, the 2014 Caldecott Award book.

This  book is written for children between three and eight. Older children and adults will find it amusing.

 

 

 

 

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Make Reading Aloud Fun!

Learning to read can be tedious.  When some children are learning to decode words, they need a lot of practice. Listening can be a chore for mom or dad, especially if the text isn’t very interesting.  This is a sample of an early reading book  by Margaret Hillert.

Here is a little cowboy.

And here is a big cowboy.

Here is something for the little cowboy.

It can go.   It can run.  (snore)

Mary Ann Hoberman’s You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You Series can help take the drudgery out of reading practice.  These books are designed for children and adults to read together.  There’s lots of rhymes and funny dialogue.  Here is a short section from Very Tall Tales tountitled (2) Read Together:

Reader  1:  Annie Oakley, what a shot!

She could hit most any spot!

In a contest with a gun,

Bet your  britches, Annie  won!

 Reader 2:  When she was a little kid,

She learned shooting, Annie did.

Shot to keep her family fed,

“Had to do it.” Annie said.

Here are some other books in the same series:

These books are fun to read.  They share a lot of the silly poetry that children love.  They are likely to forget that this is reading practice.   Rhyming and repetition make for great phonics practice for beginning readers.

These books can be a challenge to locate at the library.  They have unusual call numbers. Some can be found in poetry (J 811.54) and some in folk tales. (J 398)  It’s better to request them online.

See more about Mary Ann Hoberman’s Series