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Reading My Library

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday - Oceans Alive

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordTime again for another Read Aloud Thursday post over at Hope is in the Word!

This particular post is almost self explanatory. As I mentioned earlier this week, we went to our library's Under the Sea party. Following that party we moseyed on over to the non-fiction section in the children's area and picked up the following books which I loved for their simplicity.

The photographs are excellent. Each page spread offers a perfect amount of information for a three year old (just enough but not too much!) and were based on his favorite topic of choice. What's to complain about? If you are looking for some good informational books for young readers on ocean animals, see if your library has the Oceans Alive series. There are quite a few titles in the series and we picked up several. And this, my friends, is what we were reading aloud this past week. :) Enjoy!

(We also brought home the Shrimp title but I couldn't find that image online.) At any rate, great non-fiction series!

What are you reading aloud with your kids these days? Hop on over to Hope is in the Word and share in the fun of these meme!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DVDs at the Library

I've decided that this particular website is just going to breathe in and out and track with our lives. Every time I think I've got it under control, life explodes in some way and this blog falls by the wayside. I am still making it to the library about once a week (and, in fact, have more to share) but this past week was lived a little differently. Bookworm1 came down with some kind of nasty food allergic reaction and got a cold on top of that! That brought things to a standstill to some degree around here but that's when our local library came through for us once again! How so? DVD's!!!

We've been watching Reading Rainbow (which I've written about before - click on the link if you'd like!)

Recently, Bookworm1 has developed a fascination with bugs and insects and so we found a few videos on that topic. (I confess to not watching those with him. I don't really do bugs. I did LISTEN to the videos though and we talked about creation vs. evolution as he watched. (We're creationists. It's hard to find a good video that supports that view. It sure would be nice if they would carry some creation videos alongside the ones that promote evolution!) That said, we did learn about bugs! So woo hoo (I think?)!

Our library has quite a collection of DVDs and videos, and what they don't have is easy to request through interlibrary loan.

Sometimes we find the library useful for things other than books. Especially weeks in which we're spending a lot of time on the couch!

What are some of your favorite videos or movies to get from the library? Do you have a title to suggest to us that I could tuck away for future use?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Activities at Your Local Library

Every year our library hosts their annual summer time Teddy Bear Picnic. We've made it the last two years. This year the weather was absolutely stunning and perfect.

Here we are enjoying the entertainment provided by Greta Pedersen. I checked out Pedersen's blog and found her post about the Teddy Bear Picnic if you want to see more pictures (and the boy with the stuffed snake!)

Per usual, our local children's librarians pulled together an entertaining program. I think I enjoyed this year more than last (although we did forget to bring our favorite animal friends along with us!) It's so fun seeing so many moms and children flood Central Park. We sat amongst day care groups, moms with babies and lots and lots of stuffed, furry creatures.

Then, just this past week, Bookworm1 and I attended the Under the Sea Party hosted by our friendly librarians. They picked out ocean-themed reading materials and songs. The room was filled with various craft stations and a fishing game. The theme alone was enough to send Bookworm1 to the moon and back but the librarian also picked one of our FAVORITE shark books:

Smiley Shark, by Ruth Galloway. We quoted the book while the librarian read it aloud. I have the thing almost 100% memorized now because we have read it so many, many times!

As an aside, Playing by the Book featured this particular shark title (and a few others) in a Fantastic Fiction for Kids - Sharks! post. (BTW, Happy One Year Anniversary to Playing by the Book! ;) If you haven't yet checked out her site, you may very well want to do so as she comes up with fantastic activities to go along with the books she and her children are reading! Amazing stuff!

We were also introduced to a new (to us) book entitled I'm The Biggest Thing in the Ocean.

This was a huge hit and we're going to have to check that one out to read again on our own time.

Following the books and singing, we made ourselves a jellyfish and an octopus at the various craft stations and we brought home a treasure chest to share with Bookworm2.

We had a ton of fun!

We really do have a marvelous local library that plan and organize some great reading times and activities for kids. We appreciate their efforts.

Does your library do anything like this and, if so, what activities and events have you taken advantage of? Have any links to share? Stick them in the comment section below!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordTime again for another Read Aloud Thursday post over at Hope is in the Word!

This is what we found in our library bag this past week.....

The Apple King, by Francesca Bosca tells the story of a king who loved his apples. He had a glorious apple tree that created "the sweetest and most beautiful apples" you've ever seen. THe problem is that the king liked them so much, he refused to share! In order to get attention, and to spread the apple wealth around, the apple tree invites some worms to come and eat her apples. (Worms, you see, are small enough to get past the king's guard who was placed in front of the tree to guard it against anyone else.) This is a cute story about sharing and is fun to read aloud.

We all liked this one, albeit for different reasons.

Granted, Lady Bug Girl at the Beach, by David Soman is kind of out of our reading order around these parts. It was on the display shelf and I snatched it up because a.) Bookworm1 has expressed an interest in ladybugs of late and b.) I was curious to find out who Ladybug girl was.

In this story, Lulu (or "Ladybug Girl") goes to the beach. Lulu might be afraid of the water - but LADYBUG GIRL isn't! A cute story about a girl and her dog. I've never read any of the other books in this series and I'm not sure what they are like. We liked this particular story but if someone could share more about the series, I'd be curious to hear!

Fox Tale Soup is a cute story by Tony Bonning. Fox is out looking for food but none of the other animals are particularly interested in sharing. (Hmm. Maybe that's our theme for the week?) Sheep eventually decides to share a pot of water and Fox sets out to prepare a most delicious pot of stone soup. The other animals are doubtful that stone soup could be remotely tasty and in order to improve the quality of the soup, each animal contributes something to it. In the end, our sly little fox has his soup and it IS tasty!

I like the illustrations in this book by Sally Hobson. She has a really unique style and I'm grasping for words to figure out how to describe it. It reminds me of a mix of Jane Cabrera and Pam Adams of There Was an Old Lady fame. At any rate - I like it.

Other than these three books, I can't say that my latest haul produced anything that really stood out to me. Turns out the Bo's have a lot of history books. Normally I LIKE historical picture books but these just didn't hold my interest. I'm not sure why. So...three for this particular week and we'll see what happens when next we visit the library!

In the meantime, what are you reading with your kids? Anything in particular stand out to you? I'd love to hear about it OR have you share with us over at Hope is in the Word.

Have fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Introducing Paddington Bear to Younger Readers

Who doesn't love Paddington, right? I confess that I didn't read about him until just a few years ago. Of course, I knew who he was but I only acquainted myself with the first book back in 2008. I figured that I would be sharing him with my boys when they reached about 5-6 years old. Given the fact that it's a chapter book and slightly above our heads, I wasn't sure that introducing Paddington too soon wouldn't back fire on me.

But then! The library.

There was a series of Paddington Bear books illustrated by R.W. Alley that are absolutely perfect for where we are now at age 3. These books are stories taken from the Paddington books, broken down into "bite-sized" reading chunks, and delightfully illustrated by Alley. I was ecstatic to see so many from the series at our local library. What a fun way to introduce my little guy to Paddington. Furthermore - I was not disappointed. He LOVED them and sat through each book - even though they are longer story books than what we are used to.

I would probably peg these books to be for ages 5-8, but at 3 1/2 my son enjoyed them just fine. Each story is a little long, but since the story is illustrated with color full-page spreads, he had plenty to look at as I read along.

I know we aren't quite ready for Paddington as a chapter book, but these books definitely help to whet the appetite and familiarized my son with this lovable bear from the darkest Peru.

I'm a huge fan of these books and, if you haven't seen them for yourself, I'd heartily recommend them. These books went on my Amazon wish list. I'd love to add them to our home library! (See, that's one of the beauties and the hardships for me in going to the library. Sure, I weed through the books and dismiss the ones I'm not as fond of. On the other hand, I find all of these great books and fascinating new titles that I want to own for ourselves. Confessions of a Book-a-holic. I'll need to invest in some new bookshelves in the near future here.)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday

Read-Aloud Thursday at Hope Is the WordAh ha! We're back with some randomness, courtesy of our library book bag. This time I'll give you pictures and a quick "snapshot" of the storyline and you can go from there.

For starters, we stumbled across a book that isn't exactly relevant for us anymore (I say in a hallelujah sort of way!) but would have been beyond perfect at one time. (No doubt it will resurrect itself at a future point in time as well.) I'd rather potty books not be explicit and I frequently don't appreciate the lingo used in them but I can handle "pee" and "pooping" because those are the words we use. (Even though I still think that sounds a bit crass but I suppose you have to communicate somehow.)

No Potty! Yes, Potty!, by Emily Bolam is a lift the flap storybook which sounds more dangerous than it actually is. (Don't worry.) It's a really silly book that asks the question, "WHO sits on the potty?" Does a bear? Does an elephant? No, silly! YOU do. (Or, at least, the reader is supposed to.) This book is simplistic in nature but really is cute and funny and held the attention of both boys (ages 3 1/2 and 1 1/2.)

Annabel, by Janice Boland tells the story of a young little pig named Annabel who wants to be important! So she goes around the farm asking the various animals what they do that is so important and then she participates in their activities with them - from plowing fields to hatching eggs. Annabel can do it all and feels very puffed up and important until the dawning realization that she is still just a pig. But her mother is very pro-pig and gives Annabel her jollies back. A happy ending when Annabel realizes she is a V.I.P. (Har, har.)

Lastly, we've got Cat and Mouse by Tomek Bogacki and I dare you to say his last name ten times fast! No prizes if you can do it, I just want to hear you try!

In this book we met an unusual cat and an unusual mouse. They are unusual in that they discover that they make great playmates. Neither is scared of the other and eventually their friendship wins over the hearts of those in their respective families and before you know it, all the cats and mice are playing with each other. I'm not going to think about what political message that the book is trying to share. I'm just going to say that it was a funny book because the friendship was unexpected and that's how we read it (for simplicity sake.)

So what are you reading aloud with your kidlets these days? Hop on over to Hope is in the Word and link up your own post! I'll be looking forward to hoping around again and seeing what everyone else is up to!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Brambly Hedge

I think my Brambly Hedge post has proven to be one of the most popular around here! Those books are incredibly cute, are they not? I was excited to find a copy of Summer Story at our local used book store but I'm still hunting for others in the series.

In the meantime, I received an e-mail from a very talented and creative lady who has designed some Brambly Hedge characters for you to love on. She sells them in her etsy shop. Here's a sneak preview (photo courtesy of Dolls and Bunnies):

To check out her etsy shop and see more of the characters from Brambly Hedge - CLICK HERE.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Illustrator Felicia Bond

*PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A POST ABOUT MS. BOND. THIS SITE IS NOT OWNED BY MS. BOND AND THIS IS NOT HER CONTACT INFO!* Felicia Bond knew that she wanted to be an artist at the age of 5. She describes having walked into her mother's room at that age and noticing the contrast between darkness and light and she just knew. It took only 19 years for her to secure her first book contract and I doubt she's been bored since!

Bond graduated with a degree from the University of Texas-Austin so she hails from the state where I grew up. She lived in New York for many years, which is where a great many children's book authors and illustrators seem to gravitate, but now resides in New Mexico with her family (and a horse named Twister!) Her own personal favorite illustrators are Charles Schultz (Peanut fame) and Ludwig Bemelmans. (I wrote about Bemelmans before and if you click on his full name it will take you to my previous post.)

She is no doubt best known for her watercolor illustrations that she created to bring to life Laura Numeroff's "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..." series. In fact, I didn't realize until our last visit to the library that Bond is an author in her own right. We picked up four of her titles (well, it turns out that I only picked up three stories, although four different titles!) and enjoyed each one. These are the ones that we found:

Tumble Bumble has had multiple readings here in the Reading My Library household! It starts out with a little ant who is going on a walk. Along the way he picks up a multitude of friends - nine to be exact. It is told in rhyme which you know children love best.

"A tiny bug went for a walk.
He met a cat and stopped to talk.
They fell in step and strolled awhile,
and bumped into a crocodile."

And so on and so forth. The illustrations are typically cute Bond-style. In fact, it wasn't until these new animal friends bumped into the pig that I clued in - as the pig had a remarkably familiar look to it. This is a very cute story about friendship, animals, and counting from one to ten. Highly recommended.

The Day it Rained Hearts was apparently reissued by Laura Geringer Books which is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers and was given a new title to boot! It was originally released by HarperTrophy with the title Four Valentines in a Rainstorm, which is technically more accurate to the storyline but not as cute as The Day it Rained Hearts, me thinks. In either case, this book tells the story of Cornelia Augusta who went outside the day it rained hearts and caught some. With the hearts she has caught, she creates perfectly decorated Valentines to give to her animal friends. This is a GREAT Valentine's book and I'm certainly intending to snag a copy for our own home library in time for next year's V-Day celebrations. Cute and charming. But isn't that what you expect from Bond? Her illustrations are just so....cuddly and friendly!

Lastly, our library had a copy of Wake Up, Vladimir that I brought home. THIS book is perfect for Groundhog Day. You should know though that Vladimir decides to run away from home because he doesn't want to sleep away the winter with his parents. However, despite the fact that youngsters rail against sleep, eventually their bodies tell them that they simply must give in. Vladimir ends up sleeping the winter away, despite his earlier protestations. When spring comes he pops out of his hole and is scarred by a "monster" (which I called a 'creature' as I have explained before.) He hurries back to his parents and they celebrate the fact that winter is over.

This wasn't my favorite story and I did tweak it in parts. Still, my son really liked the book because the groundhog's name was Vladimir which he thought was "a very silly name!" and made him giggle and chuckle his way through. So there you have it.

Vladimir the groundhog.

Felicia Bond, illustrator AND author.

To learn more about her, you might want to check out this interview with Felicia Bond.

Here for your convince is a list of Felicia Bond books.

NOW I will recognize her work on sight and will definitely be scouring bookshelves to seek her out. Hopefully you'll find a few to enjoy yourselves. Fun stuff!

Friday, July 2, 2010


Annette at Live, Learn, Love has a fun American Flag craft project you could do.

Amy at Hope is in the Word (our hostess for Read Aloud Thursdays) suggested some Independence Day Books and an Art Activity.

Semicolon has a list of 52 Ways to Celebrate Independence Day.

However you are spending your 4th of July weekend - I hope it's a GREAT one!

And yes, I confess it! I am a Celine Dion fan. (I think her voice is amazing.) She recorded God Bless America and if you haven't heard it - well, its just beautiful!

Happy 4th of July everyone!

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