book stack · lift the flap books · media · picture books · universal themes

It’s Icy! It’s Monday! What are you reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kids’ version has been adapted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS. Visit their blogs to find out what other people are reading.

All of the rules go out the window when my daughter is sick.  Last week, she was really sick with a fever, a cold, and croup.  Therefore, I let her watch as much TV as she wanted.  She watched HOURS of “Sesame Street,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Super Why,” “Cat in the Hat,” and “Curious George.”  As she got better, I tried to coax her back to her toys and books.  However, she tried to assert her independence pitch a fit every time I turned off the TV.

My husband and I put her on a “Television Detox” program over the weekend.  We allowed her to watch one show “Sesame Street” or “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” each day.  She was less than pleased about this. Since she was well enough to go out (to synagogue and dinner on Saturday and to breakfast, grocery shopping, and on a play date yesterday) over the weekend, the detox program went pretty well.

Overnight we had freezing rain that topped the dusting of snow that fell yesterday.  Enter an ice day where not much is moving in the outside world today.  So we’re home.  ALL DAY.  I brainstormed a list of things we could do this morning in lieu of television. Heck, I even looked on Pinterest for ideas (since I’m pretty tapped out after being home with her for a week!).

This morning Isabelle has rediscovered her toys that she shunned while she was sick.  She also rediscovered some of her favorite books and enjoyed some new ones with me.  Here’s what we’ve read so far today:

Izzy’s favorite page in The Silver Button.
  • Chloe, instead by Micah Player — A post I wrote last week sums up my thoughts about this favorite.
  • Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems — I tried to introduce the Knuffle Bunny books to Isabelle earlier this year, but she wasn’t into them.  NOW she loves hearing them read aloud.  In fact, she even gets some of the humor.  What a treat for me since these are some of my favorite picture books.
  • The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud — The illustrations are exquisite in this book, but they seem to overwhelm Isabelle.  There’s a LOT on each page and therefore I tried reading it to her this morning while she was playing.  She really enjoyed hearing the story without looking at the pictures, which makes me think she’ll come to love the illustrations in this book as she gets a bit older.
  • The Queen of France by Tim Wadham and Kady MacDonald Denton — This is a book about a little girl, Rose, who loves to dress up as the Queen of France.  Her parents go along with her and make her realize just how lucky and treasured she is as Rose.  (Izzy likes the pictures in this one since she enjoys putting on my bracelets — just like Rose.)
  • The Runaway Hug by Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood — This is a new picture book I received a review copy of last week.  The book is filled with specific words, which I’m trying to infuse into my interactions with Isabelle.  There’s a loving sentiment to this book, which needs to be added to our bedtime stack.  (I’ll have more on this book in an upcoming post!)
  • The Silver Button by Bob Graham — This book helps youngsters realize lots of other things are happening in the world at the same time as they’re engaged in their own lives.  Isabelle, who is great with babies, especially likes the page where the baby is born!
  • Truck Stop by Ann Rockwell and Melissa Iwai — This is a favorite book of Isabelle’s, which she requested when I went upstairs to brush my teeth this morning.  We explored the book’s end pages, which contain colorful illustrations of a variety of trucks, at length this morning.
  • Walk This World by Lotta Nieminen — There are LOTS of flaps to lift in this book that takes you on a journey around the world.   The illustrations helped me travel around the world from my couch this morning.  What a treat!

After two straight hours of reading books we made banana bread:

Mashing the Bananas and the Butter in her Play Kitchen

And then… I caved.  I let her watch “Sesame Street.”  But just one.  (She’s watching as I’m typing on my laptop.  I never use my computer in front of her, but if I have to watch any more kids’ programming after the week I had in with her, I might lose my mind. Therefore, I’m breaking my “no computer in front of the kid” rule.)

Next up we’ll eat lunch, read some more, and then I’ll put her down for a nap so I can get some work done.

book stack · lift the flap books · picture books · universal themes

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kids’ version has been adapted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS. Visit their blogs to find out what other people are reading.

We’re getting ready for Thanksgiving and Chanukah, which has been affectionately nicknamed Thanskgivukkah, around our house. Gel clings for both holidays have been purchased and affixed to the mirrors where my daughter brushes her teeth.  Isabelle and I have begun talking about what she’s thankful for. We’ll be starting a gratitude poster, which she’ll share at Thanksgiving dinner, today.  And, of course, we’re reading about the upcoming holidays.  Here are some of our favorite titles right now:

9780062198693_p0_v5_s260x420My daughter is OBSESSED with Pete the Cat these days. There’s one Pete the Cat book that will prepare her for Thanksgiving, Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving.  Pete the Cat starts in his school’s Thanksgiving play.  He is nervous about acting in the play, but he is as cool as ever as he retells the story the first Thanksgiving in a way that is genuinely enjoyable for kids to hear.  This is a lift-the-flap book, which keeps Isabelle engaged in a historical lesson that she probably wouldn’t sit for if it didn’t involve Pete the Cat.

Han Board BookIsabelle has been carrying around My First Hanukkah Board Book, which my cousins passed down to her last year.  It’s a pretty basic book about the holiday, which is helping her learn about the symbols and the foods we eat.  I’m not sure I would’ve picked it out myself, but it’s perfect for teaching her basic things about the holiday.

papa's latkesThis week I’ll begin reading Papa’s Latkes by Jane Breskin Zalben. We received this book through the PJ Library.  On the surface it’s a book about a family’s latke making contest.  However, it’s really about shalom bayit (peace in the house), since the family comes together to do something fun.  I’ll talk with Isabelle about things we can do as a family — perhaps playing dreidel together — during Chanukah.

What books are you reading to prepare for the upcoming holidays?  Please share your favorite titles when you leave a comment.

animals · book stack · picture books · universal themes

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey and the kids’ version has been adapted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts.

Two new picture books have found their way into our book stack, which includes lots of board books, in the past week.  They are Foxy by Emma Dodd (HarperCollins, 2012) and Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney (Knopf, 2012).

Foxy initially caught my eye since the title of the book is the same as my neighbor’s son’s nickname.  In fact, since he’s six years old, I lent him my copy before I even read it to see what he thought of this first-day-of-school-jitters tale.  He liked it and was able to read it aloud smoothly and independently.  Once he returned it, I liked Foxy since Foxy is a magician whose magic tricks to help little Emily get ready for the first day of school sometimes go awry.  In addition, the message Foxy sends to nervous Emily is that making new friends (at school) doesn’t involve magic.  That’s the kind of reassurance all kids need.  Essentially, it’s a way of reminding kids to just “be yourself, always.”  (That’s a little advice one of my elementary school teachers wrote in my fourth grade yearbook.  It’s stuck with me for a long time!)

This is one books I know I will read to my daughter when she prepares to start pre-school, Kindergarten, and even first grade.  So why read it to Isabelle now?  Well, it’s simple.  The illustrations are fabulous!

Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket is one of those stories with universal appeal.  It’s the story about a young bunny who has a blankie that is dirty and needs a washing.  Have you ever waited for something you needed to go through the washer and dryer?  You know when it seems to take an eternity to get an item back that you need.  Well, that’s what this book is about, but it’s from a child’s (or rather a young bunny’s) perspective.  It’s a well-written, simple story that will spark personal connections and empathy with the main character.