Wednesday, January 14, 2009

February is Oatmeal Month!

Children's books about oatmeal are very hard to come by. On that note I have just two reviews for today and one is not so much about oatmeal, but sort of goes along with the topic and is a childhood favorite of mine!

Asch, Frank.
Oats and Wild Apples.
Holiday House: New York, NY.

Ages: 4-8
Genre: Fiction, Animal Fantasy
Guided Reading Level:


Although the story isn't about oatmeal, it does make mention of oats (and one of the purpose of oats), the grain that oatmeal is produced from. This sweet story is a favorite of my from my own childhood. Two baby animals, desperately lonely from the separation from their mothers meet up in the wild and become quick friends, following each other around and sharing bits of their own lives with each other. Fawn introduces Calf to wild apples, and Calf introduces Fawn to oats. Although the story leaves you feeling a bit sad at times, the ending is enough to quickly change the mood! This is a must read for young children who adore baby animals and stories that display the affection between a mother and her child.

Mother Cow is not in the Mood to play with Calf, so Calf sets out to explore on her own and takes off, kicking up her heels and landing flat on her face. In the distance she can hear someone laughing at her - Fawn, also out to explore on her own that afternoon, after she was separated from her mother after a wolf chase the night before. The baby animal pair chases butterflies and watch frogs hop and jump in a nearby brook. Later in the afternoon, although Calf thinks her mother will be worrying, she agrees to go along with Fawn to the place where wild apples grow. Once Calf tastes the wild apples, she agrees with Fawn that they taste better than the grass in the pasture and possibly even better than the oats that the farmer gives Calf and Mother Cow in the barn. As the sun begins to set, Fawn and Calf head back to the farm where Calf returns to her mother. Fawn follows behind and gets a taste of Calf's favorite food - oats from the farmer. Just as Calf is about to suggest that Fawn lives with them (her mother is still missing at this point), a shadow appears at the barn doorway - Mother Deer has found her baby and the two are reunited!

Ford, B.G.
Don't Forget the Oatmeal!: A Supermarket Word Book
Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Ages: 2-8
Genre: Fiction
Guided Reading Level: N/A


This Sesame Street book would be a wonderful resource in an early childhood classroom for a thematic unit on food! Emergent readers can easily look at the pictures and determine what food items are mentioned and begin to make a word-to-text meaning, as the book provides a word wall of sorts. The ending, Bert and Ernie forgetting to buy the oatmeal leaves the opportunity for discussion about how they may handle the situation, as it is never mentioned in the text.

Bert and Ernie have made a shopping list and are headed to the supermarket to make their purchases. Ernie has just one thing in mind to buy: oatmeal! He even goes so far as to tie a ribbon on his finger so that he won't forget to buy the "delicious, nutritious oatmeal." However, their shopping trip soon gets a major distraction in the form of Cookie Monster! Cookie Monster has discovered that there's a cookie sale going on at the supermarket. In his excitement to stock up on a year's worth of cookies, he turns the cookie aisle into a garbage bin - cookie packages and crumbs are strewn about everywhere! Being the friends that they are, Bert and Ernie help Cookie Monster clean up the mess and then guide him out of the store after paying for their groceries and Cookie Monster's cookies. When they get home and begin putting away groceries, Ernie discovers they've forgotten the oatmeal!

Some fun links for Oatmeal crafts/activities:


style='clear: both;' Corey Schwartz said...

We call our oatmeal "porridge" and play Three Little Bears whenever we eat it, with three sizes of bowls and spoons. My kids love it.