Posts tagged ‘vocabulary’

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.

March 8, 2012

Where is the Green Sheep?

A very helpful librarian handed me this book as I was doing research on picture books that dealt with prepositions and opposites. I have to admit when I first read this book (alone), I didn’t think much of it. Later I read it to my four-year old and saw her face light up. I guess sometimes to really understand the appeal of a book, you just have to read it to a kid. This has become my daughter’s new favorite book, which is really saying something since she normally only wants to read Disney princess or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. So in honor of my little girl I write today’s book review.

Title: Where is the Green Sheep?

Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator: Judy Horacek

Publisher: Harcourt, 2004
Book Type:Fiction
Ages: 2-4
Themes: Vocabulary, Opposites

Opening Sentences:

Here is the blue sheep. Here is the red sheep.
Here is the bath sheep. And here is the bed sheep.
But where is the green sheep?

Synopsis (from Harcourt site):

There are red sheep and blue sheep, wind sheep and wave sheep, scared sheep and brave sheep, but where is the green sheep?

Activities:

Classroom:

  • This lesson plan has numerous activity ideas. Make flash cards for the word and have kids pair the opposites together. A song to the tune of “Are You Sleeping”. Create artwork of sheep doing the different activities and then write a few sentences about what the sheep is doing.
  • This reading guide provides discussion questions, suggestions for creating your own “Where is the Sheep? story”, phonological awareness activities, and many more.

Craft:

Parent-Tot:

  • Sit your kid in the lap, and have them point to the sheep matching the text you just read.
  • Once your child has become familiar with the book, encourage them to tell you lines from the story or even the entire book.

Why I Like this Book:

This a sweet, simple, colorful book perfect for pre-schoolers. In the beginning I had my doubts of the moon sheep and the bed sheep, since it isn’t grammatically correct. But after seeing my four-year old fall in love with the book, and read it to herself (more like recite from memory) any concern I had faded away. Each page just has a short line with a complementary picture, this works great for kids taking that first step into reading. After every four sentences the question “where is the green sheep” appears; this will keep kids turning the pages hunting for that elusive green sheep.

Here is one of my daughter’s favorite page spreads.

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

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.

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