What the Kids are Reading (in November 2014)

Recently it’s been almost all about the science books and/or Dr. Seuss for our library book reading. We still repeat our favorites that we own, but for new material we’ve had a heavy rotation of:

I Can Name 50 Trees TodayI Can Name 50 Trees Today!I Can Name 50 Trees Today!: All About Trees (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth, illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu by Bonnie Worth, illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu.

A Cat in the Hat Learning Library Title, and I’ll be looking for more of them. It’s got lots of info, but in a fun style that keeps the kids listening, and keeps me reading happily.

Why Oh Why Are Deserts DryWhy Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?Why Oh Why Are Deserts Dry?: All About Deserts (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library) by Tish Rabe, illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu by Tish Rabe, illustrated by Aristides Ruiz and Joe Mathieu

Another Cat in the Hat Learning Library book. This series has been a good discovery for us, and I’m thrilled to see how many titles have been published (and are available through our library). They seem perfect for G’s age (5) and interest level as well.

The Wild Leaf RideThe Wild Leaf RideThe Wild Leaf Ride (Magic School Bus, Scholastic Reader, Level 2) by Judith Stamper, illustrated by Carolyn Bracken by Judith Stamper, illustrated by Carolyn Bracken.

Both kids love this one, which is part of The Magic School Bus series. I kind of hate it – after a half dozen times through it I was ready to hide it until it could go back. Fortunately it’s an early reader type book, and my son isn’t far away from being able to read it himself. I’ll look for another one in the series after he gets a bit farther along in his reading lessons and see if he can handle it all on his own, so I don’t have to repeat these titles.

Hop on PopHop on Pop (I Can Read It All By Myself)Hop on Pop  (I Can Read It All By Myself) by Dr Seuss by Dr Seuss.

Read by G with very minimal help (as in, only a couple of words – mother/father/sister/brother tripped him up, and maybe something else I’m forgetting).

We did also read two picture books:
Pumpkin BabyPumpkin BabyPumpkin Baby by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Susan Mitchell by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Susan Mitchell

Usually I like Yolen’s books, but didn’t care for this one, and I whisked it away before the kids could ask for it repeatedly. The language wasn’t as easy to read aloud as it typically is for her works.

What's in the Egg Little PipWhat’s in the Egg, Little Pip?What's in the Egg, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman

I didn’t realize what either of the picture book titles were about when I brought them home, and was amused that they both dealt with new babies coming into the family and the big sister’s feelings about that. How appropriate for us right now, although I could have used the Little Pip title even earlier – this one would work during a pregnancy that might be keeping mom from playing in the same ways as before. Great illustrations and very readable – I’ll look for more Little Pip titles, and other books by the author.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What the Kids are Reading (in June 2014)

The overall theme of this month’s reading has been “SPACE.” But there’s been some other topics too:

Dinosaur KissesDinosaur KissesDinosaur Kisses by David Ezra Stein by David Ezra Stein

My kids LOVE this book. LOVE LOVE LOVE. What’s not to love, from their point of view? There is WHOMPing and STOMPing and CHOMPing.

Digger Dozer DumperDigger, Dozer, DumperDigger, Dozer, Dumper by Hope Vestergaard, illustrations by David Slonim by Hope Vestergaard, illustrations by David Slonim

Not quite as good as Goodnight, Goodnight Construction SiteGoodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, but a solid choice for machine-loving little ones.

Let's Go for a DriveLet’s Go for a Drive!Let's Go for a Drive! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems / Today I Will Fly!Today I Will Fly! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems by Mo Willems

So much love by my children for these two. Elephant and Piggie are big hits.

DK Eyewitness Astronomy
DK Eyewitness Books: AstronomyDK Eyewitness Books: Astronomy

Eh, not the right fit. G prefers solar system and planet info to astronomy, and this one had a bunch of details about the history of astronomy, and lots of artifacts relating to it.

The Solar SystemThe Solar System (Early Bird Astronomy)The Solar System (Early Bird Astronomy) by Laura Hamilton Waxman

His favorite of all the space books I brought home the last trip. There are other titles in this Early Bird Astronomy series, and I may try some of those as well for him.

SpaceSpaceSpace (Kingfisher Readers. Level 5) by James Harrison by James Harrison

Simplified explanations of things make it a great intro book. This is meant as a reader, but for kids reading fluently. We’re just using it as a readaloud, because G is nowhere close to reading on this level.

Scholastic Atlas of SpaceScholastic Atlas Of SpaceScholastic Atlas Of Space

He likes some of the pictures, but it’s not as engaging as I expected it to be for him.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

Recent Readaloud: Welcome to Silver Street Farm

Welcome to Silver Street FarmWelcome to Silver Street FarmWelcome to Silver Street Farm by Nicola Davies illustrated by Katharine McEwen by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Katharine McEwen

This is an out-of-order review; I read this to my children before getting some better recommendations for us, but don’t want to let it get completely forgotten about as we move onto books that are better fits.

I also feel like I need to make all sorts of disclaimers about this one before admitting that it wasn’t a successful readaloud for us. But really, it probably just boils down to the fact that my children were too young for it. It’s marketed at 7 – 10 year olds, and 2 and 4 do not fit in that range. 🙂

The illustrations are cute, and the story seemed predictable, but maybe not so much if you’re the target audience. It’s also the start of a series, so if your children do like it, you’ve got several more books to offer them.

I’ll probably try it again in a few years, as I do think it was mostly a matter of poor timing for us, not a poor book.

My verdict:
Thought it was fine, but no strong feelings about it either way.

The kids’ verdict:
Not interested in it – I think if they were a little bit older it might have worked better.

Publisher’s Description:
Some animal farms are up in the hills, or down winding lanes. But Silver Street Farm is different — it’s in the middle of a city, and it’s run by kids!

Even though Meera, Gemma, and Karl live in the city, they’ve always wanted a farm of their own. And it looks as though their dream may happen sooner than they imagined when Meera discovers an abandoned railway station with grounds for grazing. Next, some eggs they thought were foul hatch into ducklings, and a couple of “poodles” bought off the Internet turn out to be lambs. There’s just one problem: how can the kids — and the community — persuade the city council not to turn the old site into a parking garage? The first in a series of fun-filled stories about Silver Street Farm, here is a tale with natural appeal for kids who love animals, aim to be green, and enjoy a do-it-yourself spirit of adventure.

Book Details

Title: Welcome to Silver Street FarmWelcome to Silver Street Farm by Nicola Davies illustrated by Katharine McEwen
Author: Nicola Davies, illustrated by Katharine McEwen
Category: Children’s Fiction

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What the Kids are Reading (in April 2014)

Here’s what I’ve been reading to the kids in April:

JourneyJourneyJourney by Aaron Becker by Aaron Becker
A wordless picture book, and my kids LOVED it. It’s very reminiscent of Harold and the Purple CrayonHarold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, although the illustration style is completely different.

LocomotiveLocomotive Locomotive by Brian Floca by Brian Floca
Beautiful illustrations, and packed with text. I wasn’t sure if my youngest would stay interested in the entire book, but she did. Highly recommended for young train fans, if it’s somehow slipped your notice (as a Caldecott winner, that seems unlikely)

How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant SunflowersHow to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers: A Simple but Brilliant Plan in 24 Easy StepsHow to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers by Mordicai Gerstein by Mordicai Gerstein
Very funny in a silly way, and while the kids liked it well enough while reading it the first time, they’ve never requested it again. I would have expected my son to want to hear it again, but he’s been much more interested in the JourneyJourney by Aaron Becker book mentioned above.

Ben Rides OnBen Rides OnBen Rides On by Matt Davies by Matt Davies
A gentle introduction to bullies, if that doesn’t sound completely contradictory. My son liked it a lot.

Have You Seen My New Blue SocksHave You Seen My New Blue Socks?Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
My daughter especially enjoyed this one. It’s a very quick, very cute read, with lots of simple rhymes that encouraged my kids to guess the sentence ending.

Awesome Snacks and AppetizersAwesome Snacks and AppetizersAwesome Snacks and Appeti/zers (You're the Chef series) by Kari Cornell by Kari Cornell
Very simple ideas and recipes, but this is an excellent introduction to following a recipe and cooking for younger children. My son has already selected one he wants to try, and if I would ever remember to buy the ingredients we need for it, we will.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!

What the Kids are Reading, vol. 6

Some of the highlights of the books we’ve been reading lately:

The Bee TreeThe Bee TreeThe Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco by Patricia Polacco
We have several trees in our backyard, and two of them my kids call “bee trees.” I think they saw a bee nearby once and made the jump to calling the trees that, but either way it made me speculate that they’d enjoy this book. As soon as I read the title, both kids were enthralled – a bee tree! They loved the story, the action, and the illustrations. Would they have loved it as much without that connection? Probably not, but it worked.

Minnie's DinerMinnie’s Diner: A Multiplying MenuMinnie's Diner: A Multiplying Menu by Dayle Ann Dodds by Dayle Ann Dodds
Fabulous illustrations, and a fun story. The kids liked guessing what came next (hint: it’s always a double.) They didn’t get the math in it at all, but that’s ok – they still loved the book (my son), and liked it (my daughter).

On a FarmOn a FarmOn a Farm (Penguin Young Readers, L1) by Alexa Andrews by Alexa Andrews
My son picked this out on a recent library visit, and was thrilled to discover that he could “read” it. The repetitive structure and picture clues make it so that he can recite the text, whether or not he’s actually reading it. It’s also free for Kindle, so I downloaded a copy and my son was so excited to discover it waiting for him on the one I let him use during quiet time.

Harold Finds a VoiceHarold Finds a VoiceHarold Finds a Voice by Courtney Diemas by Courtney Diemas
I’m not a fan of this book, but my kids adore it. I keep trying to put it in the library bag to return it, and they keep discovering it there and pulling it out – it’s my book! This doesn’t go there! The illustrations are nice, I just find the story line annoying. Mostly the kids look at it themselves now so I’m off the hook for reading it.

Bob booksBob Books, Set 1Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers by Bobby Lynn Maslen
As my son is learning to read, he is loving reading these books. I doubt they’ll remain favorites for long, as he progresses to books with more appealing story lines (Mat sat. Cat sat. Cat sat on Mat. or whatever it is isn’t exactly gripping reading material), but they are working well to let him have the satisfaction of reading a WHOLE BOOK by himself.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting The Deliberate Reader!