Archive for ‘Concept’

November 16, 2012

Tons of Trucks

Title: Tons of Trucks

Author: Sue Fliess
Illustrator: Betsy Snyder

Publisher: HMH Books, 2012
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: Birth – 4
Themes: Trucks, Rhyming, Interactive

Opening Lines:

“Tons osf trucks before our eyes, in every color shape and size.

Big trucks, strong trucks, scoop and dig trucks.”

Synopsis (from Amazon website):

Big trucks, small trucks, dump trucks, tow trucks, and all kinds of other trucks can be found in this playful touch-and-move book. A backhoe scoops and digs, a cement truck spins, a tar truck oozes sticky tar, and tabs pull up and out to reveal surprises. The trucks eventually slow down for a rest, where little hands can lift the flaps to see animals snuggling up for sleepy-time—under a rising moon. Filled with vibrant art and adorable characters, this book gives a child everything he’s looking for when he presses his face against the fence at a construction site!

Activities:

Read more truck books, sing truck songs, or do truck crafts! (see this awesome post by Playing by the Book)

More links for truck crafts, printables (coloring sheets, mazes, word puzzles), and Pinterest boards on Cars & Trucks and Transportation.

Why I Like This Book:

Colorful, engaging concept book about trucks which have cute animals too. I fell in love with this book right away. The rhyming text has a good cadence, and the illustrations are just gorgeous. I love the way the colors just pop and the animals have a roundness to them making them appear child-like. The best part is the interactive aspect. The reader gets to pull, push, spin, swing, and lift as they explore all the different trucks. A unique aspect of the book design is that in some of the “lift” or “slide” parts, you don’t just see the rest of the truck but also the characters doing something fun or silly. Good feature which increases the re-readability and play-ability. Each spread shows the trucks at work. The final spread is a bedtime scene with parked trucks under a full moon. Lift the flaps to see how the animals are getting ready for bed.

Perfect holiday gift for any toddler, girl or boy!

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

September 13, 2012

Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch

Title: Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch

Authors: Mary Peterson and Jennifer Rofe
Illustrator: Mary Peterson

Publisher: Charlesbridge, 2010
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 2-5
Themes: Concept-Prepositions, Farm Animals

Opening Lines:

Piggies in the pumpkin patch
peak and sneak,
under crinkly clean sheets,
over growing, green beans
behind snoring, sleepy sheep,
into the clover field.

Synopsis (from Charlesbridge website):

Two little piggies run amok on the farm, as they travel from the pumpkin patch, through the garden, into the black bull’s pen, and back to mama pig in time for a nap. The piggies’ antics introduce young readers to prepositions of direction. Alliteration, assonance, and rhyme in each of the three stanzas make for a great read-aloud.

Activities:

Why I Like This Book:

A simple, short jam-packed story with action words like sneak, peek, crash, dash and a slew of prepositions. But it is not boring, no way, these little piggies are off on a chase which leads them into trouble.

This concept book has the perfect combination of story and education value. Kids will be engaged with the story of the chase wondering where the piggies will end up next, while adults will appreciate the vocabulary building aspects of the book. The text is short and descriptive; one of those books where each word is pitch-perfect.

The illustrations are colorful and the animals have a cute roundness to them. The layout of the text was creatively interspersed within the images. For example the text “between teasing tabby cats” splits the group of animals in half, or the text “along winding wagon tracks” is actually printed out along the curve of the wagon tracks. The endpapers contain a map of the piggies chase around the farm.

This book is sure to delight young readers and can be used for storytime or in classrooms to teach prepositions.

Check out the book trailer below.

This review is part of Susana Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

July 24, 2012

Yawning Yoga

Title: Yawning Yoga

Author: Laurie Jordan
Illustrator: Aaron Randy
Publisher: 4th Street Media, 2011
Book Type: Fiction
Ages: 3-6
Themes: Yoga, Bedtime

Opening Lines:
“The day is done and it’s time for bed,
but your body’s still moving
and there are thoughts in you head.
So give thanks to your body
for all that it’s done;
from the moment you woke,
’til the day’s setting sun.”

Synopsis (from Yawning Yoga website):

Yawning Yoga is kid-tested (and parent approved!). It is truly and uniquely a book designed specifically to help kids sleep. The books’ careful sequencing makes it the perfect sleepy time book and helps a child establish a bedtime routine that is proven to work.

Incorporating Yawning Yoga into your child’s bedtime routine, provides the perfect sleep solution for your child by helping shift her minds’ focus from being preoccupied with daily stressors to focusing her attention to yoga postures, relaxation techniques and breath work, with the ultimate goal being a restful sleep.

But perhaps what’s most wonderful about Yawning Yoga is that it offers parents the opportunity to positively interact and bond with their children before bedtime, Not only will it help relax kids and increase the quality of their sleep, but will afford parents the same benefits.

Please check out www.yawningyoga.com for more info and to see some of the press and praise Yawning Yoga has received from leading experts in the sleep and yoga fields.

Why I Like This Book:

This is a unique book which provides kids with a sequence of yoga exercises to wind down at night. The first half of the book involves easy yoga positions to help get rid of that extra bit of energy; while the second half of the book shows relaxation exercises to calm the mind.  Perfect combination to calm boisterous little tikes.

Each exercise has its own rhyming stanza and an accompanying illustration.This book is full of kid appeal with both silly exercise names like Jiggle and Wiggle or the Twister, and the accompanying artwork, that starts with vibrant colors transitioning to a soft, soothing palette. The author has also included an index at the end containing a detailed explanation of the benefits, instructions, and photograph for each of the exercises in the story. Laurie Jordan, the author, is a New York-based yoga instructor. She is the creator of Little Sprouts Yoga for Kids and the Director of Kids Programming at Kaia Yoga.

I have read this book several times with my girls and they enjoy the exercises. I love the interactive aspect of this book, it’s a great way to connect with the kids and a lot of fun. I am still working on getting my girls to relax their minds. Funny how kids have ask ten million questions, right as you are trying to turn off the light, or maybe that is just my kids.

Click here to see the book  trailer on the Yawning Yoga website.

Disclosure: I received my copy of Yawning Yoga from the author. This review nevertheless reflects my own and honest opinion about the book.

February 24, 2012

Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons

Title: Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons

Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator: Jane Dyer

Publisher: Harper Collins, 2006

Book Type: Fiction, Concept Book

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Manners, Vocabulary

Opening Sentences:

“Cooperate means,

How about you add the chips while I stir ?”

Synopsis (from Harper Collins site):

Everyone knows cookies taste good, but these cookies also have something good to say. Open this delectable book to any page and you will find out something about life. Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons is a new kind of dictionary, one that defines mysteries such as “fair” and “unfair” and what it really means to “cooperate.” The book is by turns clever, honest, inspirational, and whimsical. Go ahead, take a bite!

Activities:

In the Classroom:

  • Lesson plan that discusses ways to include this book in a language arts class.
  • Felt cookies containing a character trait of the week. Click Here.

Downloads:

  • I couldn’t find a crossword puzzle on the web, so I made one up using Crossword Puzzle Maker. Here is the puzzle and the key. If you see any errors, please let me know.
  • Word matching game from Harper Collins for One Smart Cookie.

Why I like this Book:

Cookies is a very unique book, it teaches etiquette without being preachy. The book uses “cookies” as a means of explaining concepts such as Patience, Trustworthy, and Fair. My favorite line to use on the girls is “Patience means, waiting and waiting for the cookies to be done”; the best part is they get it! The illustrations complement the text very well in helping to convey the meaning of these higher-level words.

Older kids can read this and understand the meaning, as the text is simple and precise. For younger kids I would recommend a parent and child read it together, the book is a good conversation starter. Perfect for story time, classroom, or home library.

Other books in the series are: Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons, Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love, and One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond.

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

December 16, 2011

A Book About Color

This review is part of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book series. Visit her site to see the other books recommended.

Title: A Book About Color

Author & Illustrator: Mark Gonyea

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company, 2010

Suitable for: Ages 5 – 8

Themes: Color Theory

Synopsis:

Introduction to basic color theory such as primary/secondary, the color wheel. Also explains how artists visualize and choose colors.

Activities:

Book can be used in any classroom setting discussing color and art. A science discussion on primary/secondary colors could lead into a talk about the order of the colors in a rainbow. In Art classes, kids can do activities surrounding unsaturated vs saturated, and how it makes different objects “pop” out of the picture. Here is a link to some coloring pages from the actual book.

Why I Like This Book:

Explains color theory in a simple, easy-to-read format. The publisher has this book rated as ages 9+. However, I feel the simplicity of the book in text and pictures would lend itself better to a younger audience. The book starts off with the basic concepts of primary and secondary colors. Next it cheerfully describes how different colors can represent different things. The book then builds on those concepts to explain how artists choose colors in order to move pictures to the foreground or background. The book also discusses saturation, the color wheel, and complementary colors.

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