The Best Thing About Kindergarten by Jennifer Lloyd. Illustrated by Qin Leng. Book Review.

This book takes place on the last day of a kindergarten class as they prepare for their little graduation. The teacher poses the question, “Who can guess what is the best thing about kindergarten?”

As the day progresses, children propose different answers: calendar time, playhouse center, block corner, arts and crafts time, math time, writing center, story time, and recess.  After the children have received their diplomas and marched probably in front of their parents they demand to know what the answer is. “What is the best thing about kindergarten?” they shout.

The teacher replies, “It is each one of you of course! You, my students, are the best thing about kindergarten!”

 This is definitely a feel good book for children going to school. I think it would be a wonderful thing for the teacher to read at the end of September in order to get across the idea that although she has to fill the jam-packed day with curriculum, yes even for kindergarten, the best thing about it is the kids.

The illustrations are simple. There are children of different races in the kindergarten class but no one with any obvious disabilities is represented. A pleasant book to share. 

Click on the covers to buy the book or for more information.

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More great books about kindergarten.

  

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Social Skill Wrapped in Hilarity: Bossy Flossy written and illustrated by Paulette Bogan. Book Review.

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Click here to buy Bossy Flossy

It is such a great feeling when I find a picture book that both my granddaughter and I enjoy. Bossy Flossy had turned us into Paulette Bogan fans by the third page.

Flossy butts heads with everyone, including her toys. The book begins with Flossy standing in the middle of her bedroom telling all her toys what to do. With one hand on her hip and the other pointing, she demands, “Sit up straight. Look at me. Listen to me. Pay attention. Do what I tell you.” She is bossy to her cat, her little brother, and even her mother.

Although flossy is a simple, cartoonish character, her big wild red hair, her dramatic gestures, and her expressive face make her a real person and a force to be reckoned with.

Flossy does not understand that she is being bossy. When she is sent to her room, she tells herself, “I’m not bossy. Mom is bossy. She always tells me what to do. She never listens to me. I’m just trying to tell her something.” We realize that Flossy doesn’t see herself the way others do. As well, we aren’t sure about her interpretation of her mother’s behavior. Maybe Mom is bossy. At times, it seems as though Flossie is trying to be helpful but is unaware of the effect her behavior has on others. She tells a classmate how to paint and then takes the press and draw the line on her artwork. She orders another classmate to wear a hat she has chosen to complete his dress-up costume.

When a new boy, Edward, joins her class, Flossy meets her match in the overbearing department. Frustrated, Flossie challenges Edward but he doesn’t back down. The argument escalates until they are both sent to timeout. There, they agreed to stop bossing others. They both improve and become great friends.

Although it might sound like a didactic book, it really isn’t. Bogan disarms us completely with humor and charm. Children might identify with Flossy’s problem but will find her behavior intriguing and silly. If you have an overly dominant child, I would avoid discussing bossiness immediately after reading this. It is such a delightful book, you wouldn’t want to spoil it. After reading it a couple of times, you might want to bring up the difference between being bossy and being helpful, taking turns, listening to others, and so on. In my home, “Bossy Flossy” has become a code that can make either my granddaughter or myself stop and think about how our words sound to the other person. Even if you don’t have a bossy member in your family, this book can be just pure fun to read.

The illustrations are interesting in that they appear to be drawn individually, cut out and arranged on the page. This could be a fun art activity to do with your child. You can both draw and cut out several different characters and then arrange them into different story scenes.

Highly recommended both for fun and value.

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An interview with the author, Paulette Bogan, will be posted on this blog, March 8, 2017.

A copy of this book was generously donated by the author to my Little Free Library.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

L M N O Peas by Keith Baker. Book Review.

Click here to buy LMNO Peas

This is an adorable, funny alphabet book. It is difficult to come up with original ideas for the ABCs. Amazon.com listed 47,112 results in a search for alphabet books.  Keith Baker has designed a unique one using his Peas series.

The picture book’s large size emphasizes the tininess of the adorable little peas who are acting out each of the letters. For example, A has seven little peas with hoops climbing up the letter A that say, “We’re acrobat’s.” One lonely little pea is painting a tulip that is twice his size. Two other peas are conducting a spacewalk from a capsule (astronauts).

Children will enjoy finding the peas on each page and deciphering their occupation or hobby. The artist has cleverly incorporated the letters into the activities. For example the right side of the K is a river for kayakers. The book ends with, “We are peas from A to Z. now tell us, please… (Turn the page) who are you?

This book will definitely engage readers. The pictures post just enough challenge to keep both children and adults interested throughout. The fun thing is, peas are so easy to draw, that children could make their own response using their initials and their own hobbies or interests.

If the child is too young to draw the illustration, give their thumb in green fingerpaint and have them press on the “peas”. Then an adult can add the detail. Together, you can decide what to draw based on the letter. It can be simple. After, if the child wants, she can colour the letter with marker.

K peas B peas

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Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

New Release – Then the Tooth Fairy Won’t Come

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Click here to buy “Then the Tooth Fairy Won’t Come”

Timo wants to pull Dion’s loose tooth but his methods are pretty strange. Dion won’t let him touch it. All he can think of is how Timo’s crazy ideas will result in a lost tooth. Then the tooth fairy won’t come. Should Dion figure out how to get his tooth safely out or just let it be?

A funny, imaginative story with a subtle message of how worrying makes our fears grow.

Listen to the author read part of it on youtube

Rhyme for Learning – Author Rachel Lassman

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I have always loved writing and working with children. So, I decided to put both of my passions together to create my series of completely factual, rhyming children’s books. I have been an educator since 2009 and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Eastern Washington University and a Master’s in the Art of Teaching from Concordia University Portland. I went on to teach and develop curriculum for a number of secondary biology classes in Washington, Oregon, and California.

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Click here to buy Ladybugs

My name is Rachel Lassman and I am the author/illustrator of a new and innovative series of rhyming, educational children’s books which some have described as “Educational Dr. Seuss.”  My three-book series covers material on worms, ladybugs, and snails. While some children’s books are educational and others rhyme, the two categories have rarely been combined. My books are completely factual, but written in rhyme to make learning fun and easy. The colorful pictures help explain the information, makes the information relevant to kids, and helps to keep children engaged and excited about learning.

 

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The benefits of learning through rhyme are astounding and have been proven in many studies. It not only helps young children improve their recognition of words and overall reading, but it can also help students with memory, enjoyment of learning, and overall confidence. Because of the rhyming format, my books are not just beneficial for children in standard classroom settings, but children in Early Childhood programs, children in home schooling, children in daycare systems, children in speech, language, or reading programs, for children excited about reading and learning at home, and those children with special needs including ADD and ADHD.

Depending on reading level, my books are intended to help children up to 4th grade and there is no mature subject matter.

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Click here to buy Worms

These books are amazing! I can’t wait to purchase copies for my classroom. There is a wealth of knowledge in each of these books. The rhymes and illustrations make this content accessible and engaging for young learners (and teachers).

Brittany Hale Head Kindergarten Teacher at Belmont Oaks Academy Belmont, CA

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– “We had the pleasure of Rachel Lassman visiting our school to share her fun and educational books.  The colorful illustrations and rhyming text kept all of our kids engaged and eager to learn more interesting facts.  The children absolutely loved each book and enjoyed discovering more about the creatures they find so fascinating.”

– Principal of Merry Moppet Belmont Oaks Academy, Belmont, CA

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– “I read all three of Rachel’s books and I feel that they would be terrific learning material for both special needs children as well as regular ed. students.”

– Jerry Krauss Retired Head of Special Education Department San Mateo County, CA.

Purchase:

Directly through me at liv18soccr@hotmail.com or my website Morethanapoem.com

You can also find me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachellassman-9a92b519

 

Note: This promotion was written by the author.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

The Pocket Mommy by Rachel Eugster. Illustrated by Tom Goldsmiths. Book Review.

For those of you preparing little ones for school, here’s an extra book review that just might interest you.

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 Click here to buy The Pocket Mommy

This is a lovely little book to give to a kindergarten child who is experiencing separation anxiety. Samuel tells his mother, “Mommy, I hate it when you leave me at school. I wish you were the tiniest mommy in the world, so I could keep you in my pocket all day.” His mommy pretends to slip a tiny mommy into his pocket. When the pocket mommy becomes real, Samuel is happy to have her company and assistance. But she soon starts to be a problem and by the end of the day, Samuel is glad to see her go. On the way home with his actual mother, he says, “Maybe I just need you to do your mommying at home.”

I really like the idea of a pocket mommy. I see nothing wrong with giving a picture of yourself to your child, or drawing a little mommy together that she can keep in her pocket. After a few days of using the mommy, this should be a great book to read and share a laugh with your child.

The illustrations are all double-page spreads with words imposed on a background. They’re black outline with watercolor, giving the book a gentle, intimate feeling.

I can see why this book has been so well received.

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Make your own pocket mommy. Take a photo of your entire body. Have it developed or print it on medium heavy stock paper. Cut it out and give it to your child.

Cafe Press118784649-13816863Kids’ Clothes, School Supplies

 

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Shop Amazon – Parents and teachers, find your school supply lists in one place

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Shop Handmade – School supplies

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Two Nonfiction Picture Books on Bakers

It is difficult to find good nonfiction books for preschoolers. Let’s look at two books in vastly different styles.

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Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington is a small board book created with straightforward pictures with little to no depth and simple colors. It tells in easy sentences, one per every second page, how professional Baker makes cookies. At the end he sells always cookies to children and closes his shop.

While accurate, there is little here that would really interested child past the first read. It does introduce step-by-step procedure in a way children can understand. This is a book it would be best to borrow from a library rather than purchasing.

BUY Mr. Cookie Baker (Board Book Edition)
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Meet the Baker: People Around Town by Joyce Jeffries uses photographs of several bakers at work. They make bread, cookies, pies, and cakes. It shows photographs of some of the things he or she does. It features diversity in its choice of bakers.

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However, this book has a helter-skelter approach and fails to have a satisfying storyline or ending like the previous book. While I prefer the photographs in Meet the Baker, I think the linear, logical, sequential method used in Mr. Cookie Baker has more for your child.

BUY Meet the Baker (People Around Town (Paperback))

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Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Guinea Pig Party by Holly Surplice. Book Review.

This is a count down book. Ten guinea pigs come to a party. On each page something happens to one of them until the book gets down to one. Then the ten return for more partying.

The departures are simplistic and I would’ve appreciated a little more ingenuity.

The pictures are double-page spreads with ink drawings and watercolor washes. The backgrounds are white. The guinea pigs are appealing and animated.

This is an acceptable book for ages two to five.

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Click on the image to buy the book.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

A Month of Cinderellas continued – Retell

One of the best strategies you can teach a young child is to retell the story book in her own words. A simple way to help her master this is through play. Children love to dress up and pretend they are someone else. They are born actors.

Once your child has heard the original story of Cinderella enough that you feel confident they know the story, get out your costumes and props. You can go to yard sales, thrift shops, and fabric stores. Use your sewing machine, thread and needle, or glue gun to put together costumes for Cinderella. Your daughter’s favorite fancy dress may already serve well as Cinderella’s ballgown.

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Here are some ideas I put together for my granddaughter.

It can be as simple as props necessary for Cinderella to cook

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clean

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and shop.

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The castle where she meets the prince can be made from streamers, a draped cloth, or a tent.

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The coach can be made from a wagon, a box, or a bench and crazy forts it as I did.

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Make it sumptuous inside.

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It is best to have your child act of the story in order, scene by scene. Retelling aids greatly in reading comprehension. Be sure to have your child mention what the problem is in the fairytale.

While the child is in costume, it is also a good idea to ask them how they think the character feels after each scene.

Most important of all, keep it fun!

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Hippity Hoppity

Easter is on it’s way and whether you celebrate it as a religious holiday or a harbinger of spring, there are books galore. It isn’t easy to find ones suitable for preschoolers though.

Chester’s Colorful Easter Eggs by Theresa Smythe is great for toddlers. Chester, the rabbit, dyes six eggs different colors and hides them for his animal friends. The pictures are big and bright, an interesting combination of computer graphics and montage.

 Click here to buy Chester’s Colorful Easter Eggs

Happy Easter Mouse! by Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond is similar in theme. As well as the six basic colors, counting is included. The mouse is adorable.

 Click here to buy Happy Easter, Mouse!

The Best Easter Egg Hunt Ever by Dawn Casey and Katy Hudson has more story and vocabulary than the previous two. Everyone but the little bunny can find hidden Easter eggs. In the end, she is happy to find an egg that hatches into a duckling. The illustrations are lovely, realistic watercolors.

 Click here to buy Best Easter Egg Hunt Ever!

The Easter Book: Packed with Fun Facts, Crafts and Recipes by Rita Storey is an excellent nonfiction book. It addresses the religious roots of Easter and also offers secular ways to celebrate. The reading level is about grade four and up. There are some cute ideas for card making and a few great recipes.

How about a cozy rabbit den to read the books inside while wearing rabbit ears or a duck bill? Afterward, you can try out a recipe or craft, or simply take turns hiding plastic Easter eggs.

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Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages