Monday, July 15, 2013

Love That Dog and Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech

Love that Dog and Hate that Cat
by Sharon Creech

Looking for a great way to introduce your kids to more poetry? My kids and I just finished reading Love That Dog and listening to the audio book of Hate That Cat.  Both of these wonderful stories are narrated through first person poems by, Jack, the main character. Jack initially is skeptical of the new poetry unit, but soon learns to love, understand and write poetry. Creech uses other well-known poets poems throughout the story to illustrate different poetic ideas.  Having just done poetry with my three kids (first, second and fourth grades) the poetic elements discussed in the stories (metaphor, simile, onamoapia, and alliteration) were a great reinforcement of ideas they learned at school. These two books show kids that poetry is everywhere and can be written in many different ways. Creech is a brilliant author (check out her other books!) which is apparent in these two funny, heartwarming, and educational books.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Review -- My Side of the Mountain by Stetson age 10

by Jean Craighead George 

Sam Gribley runs away from his home in New York and lives in the Catskill Mountains and this book is about how he survives using plants and trapping animals.  He creates a shelter in a tree and stores nuts and deer meat for the winter. He eats what the animals are eating and he knows that meat is usually good for you. Sam wants to live on Gribley farm, in the Catskill Mountains, because that is where his Great-Great-Grandfather lived and flattened and cleared the land. He doesn't like life in NY because he has five brothers and sisters and they live in a tiny apartment. Sam abducts a falcon from a nest and raises it, trains it and names it Frightful. Once during the winter he doesn't get any vitamin C and starts to get sick, but then goes to the library in a nearby town and learns that liver has vitamin C and he eats liver for three days and gets better. Will he survive? Read the book to find out!

My favorite part was when Sam tried to steal Frightful from the falcon's nest. The mother falcon comes and attacks him, but Sam gets away by sliding down the mountain.  Sam wants a falcon to capture food for him. I liked this book because it was exciting, there was a lot of suspense because you didn't know if he was going to survive or not. I liked how it was set outside because I like to be outside. I would recommend this book to kids who like adventure books and survival books.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Tedd Arnold -- Illustrator of the Goggly Eyes!

Tedd Arnold's unique illustrations (with goggly eyes) and humorous stories make a perfect combination!  His well known series, Fly Guy, is wonderful for kids on the verge of reading.  In addition to his Fly Guy series Arnold has a many other wonderful picture books!

Parts (and sequels) -- a young boy is worried when things start to fall out of his belly button, his nose, his hair.... What is wrong with him!?!  Is he falling apart?  Kids will love this hilarious take on things that happen to our bodies!

Jumping on the Bed  -- Walter cannot resist the lure of jumping on his bed even though he knows he should not. Or course, once he starts jumping he can't stop even when the bed collapses and he falls slowly floor by floor through his apartment building accompanied by his various neighbors.

Green Wilma -- Wilma wakes up one day green and with a appetite for flies.  Her parents try to keep her home from school, but Wilma insists on attending.  During the day she manages to cause a disaster in the cafeteria, eat a fly off her teacher and inspire her classmates to paint themselves green.  A fun, whimsical book with fabulous illustrations and a surprise ending!

The Twin Princes -- When two twin princes are born and no one remembers who was born first, the king must decide which son should rule.  He plans an unorthodox horse race with the one who comes in last winning.  A funny and clever, and perhaps slightly complicated, story with many puns and riddles.

Detective Blue -- Detective Blue is on the case!  In this inventive detective story Detective Blue must find the missing Miss Muffet. As he searches for clues he interviews many different nursery rhyme characters.  A fun book for kids and parents as they try to identify the various rhymes referenced.  Having a book of the original nursery rhymes nearby while reading this book would be a great idea!

Huggly Gets Dressed -- A monster from under the bed decides to dress up in human clothes.  Kids will love the fun illustrations in this charming book. Arnold has written several additional stories about Huggly trying out new things in the human world.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Five Fantastic Books about Dogs

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, Illustrations by Margaret Bloy Graham -- An oldie, but a goodie!  The classic story of Harry, who hates to take baths, learning being dirty is not all it's cracked up to be!

How to Be a Good Dog by Gail Page -- a comical book about a dog who tries so hard to be good. Very fun colorful illustrations. My favorite part is Ms. Birdhead, his owner, who actually wears a bird on her head!

Buster by Denise Fleming -- Buster is not excited about the surprise his owner "Brown Shoes" brings home.  He is determined not to notice his new roommate, until she comes to rescue and he realizes that sometimes it's nice to have a new friend.

Superdog by Carolyn Buehner, Illustrated by Mark Buehner -- Chester is tired of being told he is too small and getting picked on. He decides to take matters into his own hands and become a superhero! Instead of worrying about being picked on, he sets out to help others.  Of course, in the end the cat who picked on him is the one who ends up needing help.

Taxi Dog by Debra Barracca, illustrated by Mark Buehner -- Maxi the taxi dog loves his new owner and riding around in his taxi.  They pick up all kinds of interesting and unusual fares as they travel around exciting New York City.