Saturday, November 20, 2010

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman

This is a great, fast read. It is about a boy who will not lie. And when his English teacher asks for an essay on the book they just read, he tells the truth about how much he hates it. Because he refuses to change how he feels about it he gets detention and ends up helping with the play based on the book. It's not only a fun read, but it can lead to an interesting discussion on friends and truth.

Reading Level: grade 3 & up

Friday, June 4, 2010

Freight Train by Donald Crews

"Freight Train" by Donald Crews is a great, simple first book.  Besides being about trains, which my 2 year old boy loves, it goes through primary colors also, using simple words and phrases he can understand.  He likes to sit and "read" this one to himself.  The English/Spanish version is actually enjoyable as well. The pictures are simple and bright.  We love it! It's one of those Caldecott books that truly deserves the award.

Donald Crews also has several other books similar in style that are really enjoyable.  They all have simple illustrations and language.  We've enjoyed "Truck", "School Bus", "Harbor", "Parade", and "Bicycle Race" as well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick

Our book club read this book last month for our juvenile fiction book. I fell in love with it and knew instantly my 8 year old son would love it. It is a historical fiction inspired by turn of the century film maker, Georges Melies. I would say that it is a great book for grades 3 and up to read on their own, but we read it aloud together with my 6 year old and he loved it as well. The artwork is beautiful and keeps the younger reader engaged. As with any good book a Hollywood producer has bought the rights and has made it into a movie. I suggest you read this book before Hollywood ruins it for you. You can visit here for everything about the book, author, characters and the future movie.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Silly Sally

Silly Sally by Audrey Wood is another one of our favorite books by one of our favorite authors. Some of Audrey Wood's books are a little too long for the really young ones, but this one is perfect. The rhymes are simple and after reading it a couple of times, the kids can read along with it and the parents have it memorized. (Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards upsidedown...)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan

We have really been enjoying this series lately. The first book starts with several orphans being chosen to train in different areas of the kingdom. It mostly follows Will, who becomes apprentice to the mysterious rangers (obviously). He quickly becomes involved in more than just training though.

One of my favorite things about it is that even though the books are part of a series, each book is able to stand on its own. They are not over-the-top funny, or high-action. Just a really good read. There are good characters and interesting story lines. And they have the perfect length for their reading level. I just really like these books. I heard they might be making a movie out of this, so now is a good time to read it (before the movie ruins it).

Reading Level: Grade 4 & up

Friday, January 29, 2010

Eat Your Peas by Kes Gray

This is a great book that we have just discovered. It's about a little girl who doesn't like peas. And she won't even eat them when her mother is bribing her with all kinds of treats. The ending is the best.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Too Many Toys by David Shannon

This picture book is another great one by David Shannon (author of the No, David books). I think most parents have felt this way about their homes, and David Shannon captures the responses/whining/negotiating that goes on from kids who don't want to part with even the smallest toy from Wendy's that they've never played with. David Shannon does have the Diaper David board books that are aimed at younger toddlers. This one is probably aimed more at age 4 and up.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

This is one of my favorite children's books, and my kids love it also. It's a great twist on a "save the princess" type of story, with Robert Munsch's typical sense of humor. It's fairly short, so toddlers will enjoy it, and it has a princess a prince and a dragon. What's not to love about that?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pickle-Chiffon Pie by Jolly Roger Bradfield

My daughter found this book on the shelf of our library and casually said, "This looks kind of fun." Little did she know that this was one of my favorite books as a child. I haven't even seen it since my childhood.

Reading it out loud for my kids for the first time since I was a child was an amazing feeling. (In fact, one of my favorite things to do is read a favorite story to someone for their first time and watch their eyes light up with the same love that I have for the book.) I hadn't really remembered what the book was about; mostly just the pie. But as I read it memories came flooding back.

It's a story of a king who wants his daughter to marry. He chooses three favorite knights to go in the forest to bring back "the most wonderful thing". The winner will get to marry the princess.

I think I love everything about this book. I love the illustrations. I love the story. It's probably not a toddler book since there are long paragraphs on some pages, and some of the pages might tempt small ones to finish coloring them. But all of my children stopped what they were doing to listen and look. Enjoy.

Do you have a favorite children book that you haven't seen in a long time?