Friday, December 17, 2010

This Week's Library Loot and Reviews

We read this one earlier this year.  I had forgotten about it but Anna remembered it as soon as she saw it.  It's a funny book that tells the story of a teacher that is stuck in her coat because her zipper is stuck.  I'd love to read more of her books.

Jingle Bell Christmas by Catherine Lukas, illustrated by the Artifact Group
This is a Backyardigans book and we had actually read it earlier this year.  I am not a fan of the Backyardigans but Anna does like them, when I allow her to watch them once in a while.  She picked this book to take out again this time and I couldn't talk her out of it.  This is a lift the flap book and the story is a parody of the classic Jingle Bells song.

The prose, starting with one line, tells the story of a child that gets his zipper stuck in his coat while out playing in the snow.  Another line is added with each turn of the page and a picture is substituted rebus style in the previous line each time.  Kind of cute.  Would be a good story to use for a literture study on writing this type of story.  The author suggests some activities to go along with the book on the Teaching Activities page of her website.

Dora's Christmas Adventure by Christine Ricci, illustrated by Piero Piluso
This is one we read earlier this year too but Anna wanted to take it out again.  It is a lift the flap book.

I am not a fan of anything dinosaur themed so I didn't find this book the least bit enjoyable.  Anyone that enjoys anything dinosaur related would probably enjoy it.  There is a glossary at the back that shows the pronunciation and description of a number of different dinosaurs.

The Little Crooked Christmas Tree by Michael Cutting, illustrated by Ron Broda (Canadian author and illustrator)
Cute story about a tree that doesn't have what it takes to be a prized Christmas tree but it does end up being treasured.  We enjoyed the story.

Fun in the Snow by Laura Damon, illustrated by Diane Paterson (A Giant First-Start Reader)
Two bears have a fun day playing in the snow.  This book is written with just 37 different words and has just a few words per page.  Anna liked the story and also liked trying her hand at reading some of the pages.

This book is just what the sub title says, a collection of favorite holiday songs.  We had great fun singing our way through the book.

The First Noel pictures by Janina Domanska
The words of the Christmas carol are written a line or two per page under the pictures.  We sang it together as we turned the pages.

Kitten's Spring by Eugenie Fernandes (Canadian author and illustrator)
Just a couple of phrases per page tell about the adventures a kitten enjoys in the spring.  Love the illustrations.

On this particular day a particular cow has a particularly adventure filled day.  Just a few words per page and the word particular is on most pages.  Kind of funny but a little overboard for me, though it was kind of fun to say particular so many times.

Maxine goes for a very different point of view when her teacher gives them an assignment to look at their homes in a new way and drawing about it.  She decides to look at her home from space.  I didn't really enjoy this one and neither did Anna.  It's a little over her head yet.  It probably would have been better if I had taken a few days to read it instead of reading it all in one day.  There is a lot of information in the book about space and maybe I'll come back to it again for a space themed science study in the future.

We loved this one!  I'm sure I read it to my older kids at some point in time as it is an old classic.  Danny is looking for something to give his mother for her birthday and all the animals suggest things she already has, but Mr. Bear suggests the perfect gift.  We now give our bear hugs with a little bear like growl.  :)

This is a great information book which explains the difference between alligators and crocodiles and gives lots of information about both.  Anna found it a little overwhelming but I can see us coming back to it again for a science lesson.

Choco, a plump little bird, searches for someone like him to be his mother but ends up finding a mother in someone totally different.  A really cute book!  We loved it.

We read our first Anansi book recently and Anna was thrilled when she found more at the library.  In this story Anansi tricks her friends into thinking they have a talking melon.

More of Anansi the spider's antics.  Anansi finds a moss covered rock with magical powers and uses it to trick all his friends.  Anna enjoyed the story.  On the author's site he has a link to a PDF with ideas for activities to do inspired by the book.

This is The Star by Joyce Dunbar, illustrated by Gary Blythe
The illustrations for this book are beautiful oil paintings.  The prose starts with just one line.  It is repeated and another line added with each turn of the page as it tells the story of the birth of Christ.  We both liked this book.

This book tells the legend of the three wisemen that visited the Christ child.  While reading it I kept wondering how much of it actually followed the Biblical story.  If I read it again I will have to check to see how true to the account it is.  I can't say that Anna or I particularly enjoyed the book

Aunt Olga's Christmas Postcards by Kevin Major, illustrated by Bruce Roberts (Newfoundland author and Canadian illustrator)
Anna goes to visit her great Aunt Olga and gets to look at her collection of Christmas Postcards while Aunt Olga tells her about them.  Aunt Olga also encourages Anna to write her own prose for cards.  I love the idea of this book but it was a bit too much for Anna yet, though she did like that the little girl in the story had the same name as her.  I can see us coming back to it again for a literature lesson and also for a study of the history of Christmas cards and postcards.

I don't remember reading the classic Angus books before but Anna thought they were great.  In this book Angus, the Scottish terrier, finally gets to learn about cats

In this book Angus has some fun with a couple of ducks.

And this one was for me:
This is the second book I've read in The Red Gloves Series by Karen Kinsgbury.  Just days before Christmas Hannah discovers that she's destined to spend Christmas alone but she is encouraged to believe for a Christmas miracle.