Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two-Post Tuesday

I have recently been receiving lots of ARC's in the mail to review for publishers and authors alike. Some of them have tied into my weekly blog plans, others, not so much. In the hopes of keeping on top of things and getting reviews out in a timely fashion, I have decided to feature Two-Post Tuesdays, which will consist of just that, two posts on Tuesdays - My regular themed blog posting at the usual 10:00 AM time and then a second post later in the afternoon. The second post will focus on books that have either just been released or are up for release soon.

Today, I've got three of those for you, all of which were released earlier this month. All three are also board books, making them perfect for the tots, as well as young children!

Newgarden, Mark.
Bow-Wow: 12 Months Running.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Board Book.

This board book introduces the concepts of months and seasons to the youngest of readers/book fans. A small dog appears on each page with an illustration that depicts the season that the month falls in. For example, in January, the dog is frolicking on a snowy pasture. The only text on the page is simply, "January." For "June" the same dog is running in a grassy field wearing a flower lei. The sun is shining, flowers have bloomed and bugs, butterflies and flowers fill the page.

This is a cute book! The illustration leave tons of room for discussion... about months, season, the type of weather in each season, activities that take place during that season/month, etc. It would make for a great tool as an introduction of months and seasons for the pre-school age child. I could also see this being used in say... kindergarten or first grade. You could assign each month to a different student. Have them describe what they can based on the season and month using the illustrations from the book. This could be used as a an assessment tool for a thematic unit on weather.

Burton, Virginia Lee.
The Little House.
2009 (1942).
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Board Book.
Guided Reading Level: L

This book really shows the impact of industrialization on a given area. What happens when we build roads? High rise buildings? Train tracks? Subways? How does this have affect our lives? The lives of our children and grandchildren? Originally published in 1942, The Little House, just when you think the end of an era is coming, readers are in for a big surprise!

I vaguely remember hearing this story as a child... I don't know if we had a copy of it back then or if it was just borrowed from the library or a story that was read in school, but I do remember some of the illustrations and the story. I loved reading it again! While it shows how communities were changing in the 1940's, children will definitely be able to connect to it today, as changes are occuring on an almost daily basis in their communities as well. Definitely worth a read!

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities:

Lord, John Vernon.
The Giant Jam Sandwich.
2009 (1972).
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Board Book.
Guided Reading Level: K

The residents of Itching Down are facing a huge, life-threating problem! The invasion of four million wasps in their town! The wasps are stinging, chasing, driving picnickers away, diving and humming, and buzzing and eating. Not to mention the noise! The residents come together to figure out a plan as to how to get rid of these pestulent wasps! A giant jam sandwich, of course! Wasps love strawberry jam! Together the town comes together to solve a problem (a lesson that will be useful to many children, emphasis of teamwork). They prepare the bread dough, bake the bread, figure out how to slice such a loaf, and then trapping the wasps inside underneath the top slice of bread!

Between the illustrations, the rhyming text and the story told, kids will be begging you to read this again! It really is a great story and could be used for any number of activities!

Lesson Plans/Reading Activities
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.