A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long is a breath-taking picture book and an all-around great introduction to butterflies. I was pleasantly surprised by the combination of beauty and butterfly facts, and I think children can't help but have a fun time learning about this amazing creature.
The thing that really jumped out to me about A BUTTERFLY IS PATIENT is how beautiful the entire book is. Not only is each page just filled with gorgeous images of butterflies, but there are also some pages with small pictures of the various varieties. Even the inside covers are beautiful close-ups of a butterfly's wing. Truly, the illustrations are spectacular and so colorful. I realize that butterflies are a pretty wonderful subject to draw, but there is a reason that Ms. Long is an award-winning illustrator of children's books. This book could (and should) be looked at over and over again.
Once I was able to stop gawking at all of the butterflies, I began to realize that this book is chockful of important facts about butterflies. In fact, I thought I was somewhat familiar with them; however, I quickly discovered a ton of new facts. There are pages about butterflies' eating and drinking habits, their ability to help pollinate, their navigation patterns, and of course, how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. I had no idea that some varieties eat poisonous plants so that they eventually become poisonous to predators.
If your child is interested in science or the beauty of butterflies, then I highly recommend this gorgeous picture book. It would also make a wonderful addition to early education classrooms.
HIS SHOES WERE FAR TOO TIGHT by Edward Lear, masterminded by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by Calef Brown is probably the book that Booking Son (and his dad) enjoyed the most. This adorable picture book is a little different from most kids' books that we read because it contains lots of silly poems. I thought the book was cute, but Booking Son and his dad kept repeating the poems and giggling long after they finished reading it.
The poetry in HIS SHOES WERE FAR TOO TIGHT were originally written by Edward Lear over 100 years ago. They are nonsensical and terribly silly, but they obviously still stand the test of time. Just to give you an idea of the uniqueness of the poems, check out these titles: The Jumblies, Mrs. Blue Dickey Bird, and The Quangle Wangle's Hat. My favorite one in the book was probably the last one -- Nonsense Alphabet. I just found it fun to read.
One thing I can definitely say about this book is that it it is highly entertaining. Naturally, there will be a lot of laughs at the silliness, but I also have a feeling that these poems will help stretch kids' imaginations. The poems themselves use lots of silly made-up words, but the illustrations and presentation of the poems also contribute to this overall creative feel of the book.
HIS SHOES WERE FAR TOO TIGHT is a guaranteed winner for fans of children's poetry!
I absolutely adored WHY DO I HAVE TO MAKE MY BED? OR A HISTORY OF MESSY ROOMS by Wade Bradford and illustrations by Johanna van der Sterre. I think many moms will relate to the young boy in the story who feels as if he has already done his fair share of chores and wonders why he has to make his bed. What mom hasn't heard the following:
"So why do I have to make my bed? It's just going to get mess up again?"
In WHY DO I HAVE TO MAKE MY BED?, the mom tells her son that his question reminds her of her mother (his grandmother) who wondered why she had to make her bed. She had already finished her other chores such as "dusted my rock 'n' roll records, picked up my slinky, my Hula-hoops," etc.She teaches her son about the chores of early Americans, the ancient Egyptians and Romans, the Vikings, etc. all the way back to the cavemen! In the process, she gives the boy an answer that every mom will recognize, "Because I said so!"
This book was too fun! Not only did it teach a lesson about obeying parents and contributing to the responsibilities of the household, but it also teaches kids about chores throughout history. Kids will love seeing the variety of duties that their ancestors had to do while at the same time realizing that they aren't alone. Hopefully, WHY DO I HAVE TO MAKE MY BED? will make kids less reluctant to help around the house! And if you're lucky, they just might see how much easier their lives are now when compared to children of the past.
I was excited to find a teacher's guide for WHY DO I HAVE TO MAKE MY BED? There are some pre-reading activities along with some discussion questions. There are also some activities to do after reading the book including creating a "how-to" book about making a bed, vocabulary skits, and a chores throughout the ages presentation. I would be thrilled if the teachers in my son's classroom did a brief unit on this book!
Thanks to the publishers for sending copies of these books.
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