Illustrated Poetry

Lately I have been thinking about rhyme.  And how important rhyme is in helping a young child to learn.  The best part about rhyme is young children usually are having such a happy time learning the rhyme that they don’t even realize any learning is going on.   I taught each of my sons to spell their names by adapting the lyrics to Bingo was his namo to their names.

I started to look for illustrated poetry books for children.  Something that would take their experience beyond the usual nursery rhymes, something that parents and children could equally enjoy.

I stumbled across God got a dog.  GodGotDog1

It is written by Newbury winner, Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Caldecott honored, Marla Frazee.  This little book will make your heart sing.  Read it to your children and read it for yourself.  I promise you will come away from this book with your heart lighter and a smile on your face.  The following is the first poem in this book:

godpoem

Also, don’t forget my book, Before I Was Born.  It makes a wonderful present. When you buy Before I Was Born you are giving two gifts.  A gift to the child who receives the book and a gift to a unknown child who benefits from the sale of the book.  I donate 100% of the cost of the book to Story Storks.  The folks over at Story Storks give a new book and a packet on literacy to children born in two area hospitals.  If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, just send me an Email at blag515@gmail.com.  The cost of the book is $20 and will be tax deductible for you.

Reading on a Snowy Day

It is winter here in spite of what the calendar indicates.  Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up and read a picture book to your child.  Somehow that quiet snowfall leaves a space in time that begs to be filled by a fire, an afghan, and a beautiful picture book.

Here are some suggestions from the Family Reading Corner for winter reading:

Winter Words… Brrr!

by Family Reading Partnership

SnowmanReading11CLRWith snow in the forecast and much more cold weather ahead, it’s time to read about the season with your children and appreciate winter while it’s here. Sure it’s chilly, but that the fun! There are plenty of ways to play with snow and traditions you can start now so your family will look forward to this time of year.

Winter books to read with your young child:

“The First Day of Winter” by Denise Fleming. What does it take to build a snow person? A song and friends! Written to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” this tale describes the ten days leading up to creating the perfect snow creature (will it be a snow man or snow woman?). Collecting trimmings such as a cap, mittens, and pockets builds the anticipation. Fleming illustrates her books with handmade paper images that are warm and colorful and uses playful words combinations.

snowballs “Snowballs” by Lois Ehlert. Each image in the book is a collage with added found objects such as buttons, fabric, and seeds. Children can recreate Ehlert’s illustrations outside with real snow and household items. Pack some snowballs; roll them in more snow to make them big, then add clothes, kitchen gadgets, sewing materials, and whatever else is handy to make a whole family out of snow. Make an indoor snow family by using white paper circles and small items you have at home, glued or placed on the paper snowballs.

“It’s Winter” by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Susan Swan. Even though this is written as a story, this book is full of facts about cold weather, snowflakes, and the change of seasons. Illustrations are beautiful cut-paper artwork and there are suggestions for activities in the back of the book. This book is the third book in a series of four titles on the various seasons, appropriate for early elementary ages.

“Snow” by Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman. Two kids play in the snow and tell us about the fun they have skiing, making snow angels, building an igloo, making a snowman, and finally relaxing with mugs of hot cocoa. The rhyming text in this book is designed for beginning readers.

“Animals in Winter” by Henrietta Bancroft. Illustrated by Helen K. Davie. Where do monarch butterflies go in winter? What does a woodchuck do when the grass is covered in snow? What do mice and deer find to eat when it is cold out? Each illustration in this short book has a few lines of simple text about the winter habits of a variety of animals.

“Snow” by Uri Shulevitz. You know the kind of day when the snow falls lightly, but steadily? The fluffy snowflakes drop down lazily and no one thinks it is anything to worry about. In this story, a boy and his dog know that a few snowflakes can add up to a city being transformed into a winter wonderland, despite what all the grown-ups think. The simple, poetic text paired with watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations mimic the mood of this slowly building snowfall.

 Also, don’t forget my book, Before I Was Born.  It makes a wonderful present. When you buy Before I Was Born you are giving two gifts.  A gift to the child who receives the book and a gift to a unknown child who benefits from the sale of the book.  I donate 100% of the cost of the book to Story Storks.  The folks over at Story Storks give a new book and a packet on literacy to children born in two area hospitals.  If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, just send me an Email at blag515@gmail.com.  The cost of the book is $20 and will be tax deductible for you.

Thanksgiving

This post from the Family Reading Corner perfectly captures how grateful we should be that we can buy our children books and spend time reading together.

Thanksgiving Day reminds us of what we should be thankful for all year: a loving family, food to eat, warm clothes on our backs, and time spent with children reading together. Yes–reading together!Reading together is an essential part of growing up, just as important as food and shelter. Reading to your young child, snuggled up to you and a book, feeds his or her brain and makes your child feel loved at the same time, nurturing both cognitive and emotional health.

What books are your favorites to read in your family? Do you read a story with words that are bouncy and rhyming or so silly that you laugh together? Maybe a favorite book is about something familiar that is comforting that your child wants to hear again and again. If your child is curious, a book about the natural world could become a favorite.

Thank you to all the grown-ups that read to young children and help them get the best start in life. Here are some ideas of books that could become classics in your household.

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  • “Silly Sally” by Audrey Wood. Rhyming, repetitive, and downright goofy, this story about Sally walking backwards and upside down into town will have your pre-schooler giggling in no time.
  • “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats. Told from a young child’s perspective, this little boy discovers the wonder of snow as it falls in his neighborhood. He finds out how to make snow angels, go sledding, and how snow melts.
  • “ Pete’s a Pizza” by William Steig. Making a boy into a pizza can be a very ticklish activity! This is a book you can act out over and over.
  • “Officer Buckle and Gloria” by Peggy Rathman. Police Officer Buckle and his dog assistant Gloria give safety lectures throughout the town. No one listens to the lectures until Gloria starts acting out the safety tips without Officer Buckle knowing. Humorous and informative, too.
  • “Where is the Green Sheep?” by Mem Fox, illustrated by Judy Horacek. Is he here? Is he there? Every page is an enticement to turn to the next. Where is that green sheep?

Also, don’t forget my book, Before I Was Born.  It makes a wonderful present. When you buy Before I Was Born you are giving two gifts.  A gift to the child who receives the book and a gift to a unknown child who benefits from the sale of the book.  I donate 100% of the cost of the book to Story Storks.  The folks over at Story Storks give a new book and a packet on literacy to children born in two area hospitals.  If you would like to purchase a copy of the book, just send me an Email at blag515@gmail.com.  The cost of the book is $20 and will be tax deductible for you.

CONNECTING READING AND WRITING TO PLAY

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To start our celebration of Picture Book Month, I want to share some suggestions I read recently on twowritingteachers.wordpress.com.  The article discussed the connection between reading and writing and encouraged parents to have their children write their own books.

Children have such vivid imaginations and love to draw.  Why not supply them with a cozy corner for drawing.  Fill that corner with a basket of books, a clipboard and plenty of colored pencils and crayons.  Encourage them to let their imaginations soar and produce their very own Picture Book from their drawings.

Another fun source for free writing fun is a weekly Email from Sias Studios, http://www.Ryansias.com.  Ryan is a wonderful illustrator who sends out weekly emails that contain original art projects to encourage children to invent their own stories and to make art without boundaries.

William Faulkner once said, “Read, read, read.  Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad…..”

Don’t forget to help celebrate Picture Book Month, I will be giving away once a week a copy of my book Before I Was Born.  Just leave a comment on the importance of picture books to you to enter the random drawing.

Happy Halloween – hope your day is filled with treats!

Bernadette

Before I Was Born is available on Ebay, on my Etsy Store BernadettesBooks, or contact me directly via Email.  It is a fun book to spark imaginative conversation with your children and it makes a wonderful baby present.