Friday, April 29, 2016

Review Round-Up: Books for Beginning Readers, April 2016

I am just finishing up a month of reviewing nothing but picture book biographies, so I haven't reviewed much of anything for beginning readers, but many others have picked up my slack. Here are the easy reader and chapter book reviews I collected from around the blogs during April.

Easy Readers

I didn't find too many easy reader reviews this month, but there are some new and old favorites among the ones I did collect.

Step Up Readers reviewed four easy reader books this month: Dance, Dance Underpants, SplashAmelia Bedelia By the Yard and Get a Hit, Mo!

Flying Off My Bookshelf had a review of an older title soon to be reissued with new illustrations, The Last Chocolate Cookie. Its sister blog, Jean Little Library, reviewed What am I? Where am I?

Becky's Book Reviews highlighted two classic picture books in easy reader format, Best Friends for Frances and A Bargain for Frances.

Finally, Provo Library Children's Book Reviews had posts about Freckleface Strawberry: Loose Tooth! and Big Cat.

Chapter Books

There was a lot of variety among chapter book reviews this month.

Jean Little Library and Flying Off My Bookshelf had a total of 6 posts about chapter books:

Ms. Yingling Reads reviewed the third Syvlie Scruggs book, The Spelling Bee Scuffle, as well as the new Hardy Boys chapter book, The Video Game Bandit and the first two books in the Dr. Kitty Cat series.

Kids Book a Day also had three reviews: Weekends with Max and His Dad, Noodlehead Nightmares, and Fluffy Strikes Back. Weekends with Max and His Dad was also featured at Librarian's Quest.

Other chapter book reviews from this month included:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Reading with Little Miss Muffet and Little Bo Peep, April 2016

The Influence of Books

Miss Muffet has always loved books, but lately I am seeing their influence in her daily activities more than ever. For example, earlier this month, she was playing with the sock baby doll I made her for Christmas and we had the following exchange:

Me: Is your baby a boy or a girl?
Miss Muffet: A boy.
Me: What's his name?
Miss Muffet: Maurice Sendak!

The only Sendak book she really knows so far is Alligators All Around, but she also heard my husband and me discussing the illustrations in The Wheel on the School, and apparently his name made quite an impression. And of course, now that she has seen that hearing her call the baby Maurice Sendak amuses me, she does it all the time. She is also quite fond of John Burningham, and attributes every book we read to either him or Bill Martin, Jr.

Another interesting habit she has picked up because of a book is calling me "Pa." This started happening after we read and/or watched the Weston Woods adaptation of Owl Moon every day for a week. I have told her that I prefer to be called "Mama" and that "Pa" would be a better name for her father, but she gets such a kick out of saying, "Hi, Pa!" that I secretly kind of enjoy it. I'm also so, so thrilled that she likes that book. I hesitated about sharing it with her when she is still so young, but she is so fascinated by owls that I'm glad I didn't wait.

Listening to Books and Magazines

Another new introduction to Miss Muffet's life this month has been audiobooks. Now that she has mostly stopped napping, she often needs something to do to make "quiet time" last long enough to be worthwhile, so I decided to give audiobooks a shot. We started with Penny and Her Song, which I downloaded from the library through Overdrive, and then moved on to The Adventures of Johnny Chuck from Librivox. These were okay, but I'm finding that what really works well for her is the audio version of her Highlights High Five magazine. An audio edition of each issue of the magazine is available for download or streaming on the Highlights website, and the recordings all have signals to indicate when page turns occur. I loved "read-along" books like this as a kid, so it's great to see her enjoying the same experience. It also saves me having to read the magazine cover to cover ten times a day, and it has fostered a great love for the magazine's recurring characters, Tex (whom she calls "Tag") and Indi. My husband also raided the audiobook section at the public library this past weekend and checked out a bunch of read-along versions of favorite picture books, so I'm looking forward to seeing her interact with those in the coming weeks.

A Book for Baby

On a recent trip to the used bookstore, Miss Muffet was pulling books off the shelf in typical toddler fashion when she happened upon Jeanne Titherington's Baby's Boat, which is an illustrated version of a lullaby we have been singing to Bo Peep for the past few months. I'm not entirely sure Miss Muffet understood what she had found, but once I told her it was a book version of her sister's favorite song, she was very excited to sing it with her, and we decided to purchase the book.  Though we have many baby-friendly books around the house for Bo Peep to explore, this is the first one we bought for her because of her own interests. We have only read it a few times, but she absolutely loves the baby in the pictures, and Miss Muffet pointed out that the baby even looks a little bit like Bo Peep. I probably would not have chosen this book for either of my children on my own, but I'm so pleased to finally have something in our collection that represents Bo Peep's budding personality.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon, May 2016

Bout of Books

It's time for another Bout of Books!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
During January's read-a-thon, I managed to read 30 digital ARCs in a week. I read so much that I have only just finished scheduling reviews of some of those titles! During this bout, which runs the week of May 9th, I'm hoping to have similar success. Here are my tentative goals:

  • Read three titles for Fumbling Through Fantasy (which takes me through the end of June)
  • Read one Old School Sunday title (to fill the next available date, June 12th)
  • Read my 1960s and 1970s titles for Newbery Through the Decades. (Total of 2 books)
  • Read ARCs for middle grade books coming out in June and July. (Total of 7 books)
  • Read ARCs of chapter books coming out in June and July. (Total of 7 books)
  • Read all the YA ARCs I currently have. (Total of 4 books)
This is only 24 books, so hopefully I'll get these done and with the time leftover, get started on the rest of the titles I want to blog about this summer. Check back here, and on my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts the week of May 9th to follow my progress.

Monday, April 11, 2016 5 Library-Themed Songs to Promote Literacy Skills

It's National Library Week! Celebrate the library in song with this list of tunes that will promote literacy skills in young children, which I recently posted at The Library Adventure.
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