Friday, October 26, 2007

Picture Books - Babar's Little Girl

There are so many books I want to share with you, but we have been busying regrouping from last week’s vacation and this week's odd happenings. Right now the wee one is battling a mean case of the croup. Unfortunately, for me she woke up this morning after an extremely difficult night without her voice. Although she is only 2 1/2 she really has an amazing vocabulary that I have come to rely on for communication. Now she is a bit frustrated with me because she is trying so hard to tell me things and I truly have no idea what she is saying. So, I’m having to revert back to what I did before she had this marvelous way of expressing herself.

In the meantime we are reading a wide variety of books and watching some of those great educational videos. One of the books she is really enjoying is from the Babar series. Ah, you can’t go wrong with a classic Babar book in my opinion. We picked up Babar's Little Girl by Laurent De Brunhoff a few weeks ago at the library. I am amazed at how well she sits for an extend length picture book. The story is a fairly straightforward tale of how Babar’s little five-year-old wonders off without telling anyone and worries everyone. Although she is safe, the story explains without drama how wondering off is not a good idea. With so many unfortunately incidents of today’s world this would make a good introduction to the topic of staying safe and letting others know where you will be. The wee one is a bit too young to understand this from the book, but a seed planted here and there at this age can never go wrong. Most sites recommend this for ages 9 and up, but I think preschool and up would work if the audience is one with patience or sits well for longer stories.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Harvest time - Pumpkin Books

Oh, what a beautiful day for a stroll in a pumpkin patch. The family is taking some time off this week to treat our wee one to her first pumpkin patch/hayride experience. What a treat she had (we all had).
These beauties are just a few we selected. The place we went to was great in that they had already “picked” the pumpkins and just left them around the patch making it so much easier than trying to cut our own off the vine. Prior to the visit we have been reading the typical fall books with many including pumpkins as the theme. As I have mentioned in the past we are not Halloween people, but we sure love the harvest season.

This weekend I had a delightful trip with the wee one traveling just about an hours drive north of us to visit with a longtime dear friend. Along the way we had the pleasure of seeing field after field being harvested. There were trucks loaded or being loaded with grain while other fields that were complete were being tilled under for the winter. The drive and scenery made this wonderful harvest time so real and makes me so thankful we are able to have a table of plenty.

I won’t go into too much about the following books, but we found them entertaining and informative also they are varied in content when it comes to the text. Hope you find an opportunity to check one or two out from the library. They range in age interest from about one to eight years or so.

Pumpkins: A Story for a Field by Mary Lyn Ray illustrated by Barry Root 1996 - A man harvests and sells a bountiful crop of pumpkins so that he will be able to preserve a field from developers.

Biscuit Visits the Pumpkin Patch by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and illustrated Pat Schories 2004 (available in board book as well) - Biscuit visits the pumpkin patch where he not only finds the perfect pumpkin, but a new friend as well.

From Seed to Pumpkin (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1) by Wendy Pfeffer and illustrated by James Graham Hale 2004 - Pumpkins can be baked in a pie. Pumpkins can be carved into jack-o'-lanterns. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted for a healthy snack. But how does a tiny seed turn into a big pumpkin? Read and find out what a pumpkin seed needs to help it grow!

Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo and illustrated by Valeria Petrone (board book) 2004 - Peter finds the perfect pumpkin so that he and his Dad can make a jack-o-lantern.

Patty's Pumpkin Patch by Teri Sloat 1999 - Rhyming text and illustrations featuring the letters from A to Z follow Patty as she plants pumpkins and watches them grow.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bee Careful!

Ah! The fall weather has really moved in. After 90 degree weather this week and the past several months, it has been nice to feel the crisp air. As with every year this being no exception, the bees have been out trying to get their winter supply taken care of. Unfortunately for me, I accidentally interrupted one of those bees yesterday. The wee one and I were at the park enjoying some great sunshine and mild weather, plus helping her get over the horror of that morning’s flu shot. Upon leaving the park I bent over to pick the wee one up before we entered the parking lot at the same time a bee came buzzing by. We collided and the bee proceeded to become entangled in my hair. I placed the wee one quickly on the ground and tried to frantically remove the frustrated bee from my way too long hair. As I “helped” it to freedom it flew into my jaw and promptly stung me.

Now of all places it had to be on the under side of the jaw line right out of my eyesight. Being somewhat visually challenged it has been difficult to see if I really did get the stinger out or if it is still what is irritating me. Boy does this sting itch and hurt at the same time. From a distance looking into the mirror I can see the redness, but can’t really see the entry area. But, one of the many nice benefits having a great husband is that when he gets back tonight I can have him look it over. And, I’m sure he will do it without mentioning the many humorous comments that this can generated. Almost felt as if I was playing a comedic role in some silly show the way it happened.

Anyway, this is a great time of year to visit your local library and checkout some interesting books about how bees spend their fall season like - The life cycle of a Honeybee by Ruth Thomson.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

DVD - Letter Factory

Yes, this is a blog for books, but there are some really good tools that can add extra fun in learning those letters. We here have discovered (I know I'm a bit behind the times) the DVD put out by Leap Frog back in 2003 titled Letter Factory. This is one of many entertaining and yet useful DVD's available from this mega marketing and "Toy" company. With the hubby out of town this week I haven't had much time (read in there no time) for myself. So, to save my wee one from a crazed mama I picked up this rated G, appears to be okay, DVD and plugged it in for a bit of peace while doing the dishes. And, to my and wee one's delight it was so much fun. She has seen the 35 minute DVD each day this week (no judging here there have been at least 6 to 8 books a day to add to that). Now I am not an advocate for this company nor do I think it is "the" tool to use in teaching reading or phonics, but it sure is a nice bit of change from the norm and the wee one is having fun talking about tapping "T"'s and jumping "J"'s. If your in a spot or need some extra support, I would try this DVD out. It is recommended for ages 2 to 5, which seems about right. Also, helpful for those struggling with there letters.

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