What is My Child Reading?

This week there seems to be a focus on sea, ocean and wood-life books. And I’m thinking about moving forward with this theme for Tot School because the children are so interested in it at the moment. Petra is also expressing a strong desire to read the books herself!

We’ve began to incorporate many more older books in our readings and I’ve decided that the older books have been a better variety of words than some of the newer books we read. Now, I know this is a broad generalization. But it appears that many of these older books have words or phrases in them that may not be as common today. So, I am finding that mixing in a good number of older books is very constructive for building the children’s vocabulary. And we are in luck because we had a bag of older books given to us by a good friend, and the local goodwill bookstore also has a large number to choose from.

Petra picked up The Circle Of Seasons from our bookshelf to read, mainly because she loves the summer pages with the beach illustrations. The book introduces your child to the seasons and shows children actively engages in common seasonl activities. I don’t particularly love the way this book reads, but the illustrations are fabulous and are loved by the children as well. Looking at the beach page is a very common activity in our home.

Any book about the beach is an automatic hit with my children. I Saw the Sea Come In is a serene story of a young boy who goes to the beach first thing one grey foggy morning. There he finds a skitter y sandpiper, spindly-legged crab, and a clam blowing bubbles and sets off to explore the beach as he is the very first one there. He explores the sands, builds a castle, and pretends to be a knight, all while the tide creeps in. And before long the beach is full of beach umbrellas and other visitors. The children enjoy the tale, but I most appreciate the vocabulary words they are exposed to in this book.

Lizbeth and the Clam by Sonia Wyntree is an older book as well. I looked online for information on the book and an image and couldn’t find anything. So, I had to take this photo. In this story, Lizbeth disobediently walks down to the beach to play. There she finds a sad clam who also disobeyed his mama and left his rock home. He was washed away by waves and onto the sand. After Lizbeth listens attentively to the clam she helps him find his way back home to his mama, papa, brothers and sisters. Then, suddenly concerned that she may get lost as well, she heads back home. And upon arriving home she immediately confesses to her mother that she was disobedient and had left the yard to play on the beach. This book is a “story book” with about 200-300 words per a page. I was worried it may be too much for the children, but they listened attentively. It was sweet to see how the clam missed his brothers and sisters – and when I read this Jasper immediately pointed to Petra and himself to clarify that they were sister and brother.

In the Woods: Who’s Been Here? Is a tale of a sister and brother taking a walk through the woods and finding clues that tell them what animal has been there before them. If your child enjoys hiking or nature walks, this book will likely be a huge hit. The animal illustrations in this book are great. There are two pages with dead animals that have been eaten/killed by other animals – so if you have little ones that will be bothered by it, you might want to avoid this book. As we love the outdoors, I expect this will be a book we read over and over again through the years.

Who’s Hiding? by Satoru Onishi is a hide and seek game book for children. Eighteen animals lined across the pages randomly disappear on each page. On one page all the animals can be seen except the reindeer who is invisible except for his antlers. As the book continues other animals disappear and some are also backwards.  Petra showed little interest in this book her early two’s, but now at 32 months she is frequently asking for the book.

Jasper picked out Sleepy River for a bedtime story. This book uses heavy alliteration to tell the story of a mother taking her young child for a canoe ride before bed. Along the way they see a plethora of animals and other sites. The book doesn’t flow or rhyme like many children’s books, but it is a wonderful bedtime tale with interesting words and unique illustrations.

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