Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Picture books for little kids

We're still in the throes of the book fair and it's always so much fun to help the kids find new books.  Today I'm looking at some of the picture books for little kids.

I really loved this one called "Bear Sees Colors" by Karma Wilson.  It's about a bear and some of his friends who go for walk and see things of many different colors.  What makes this one so much fun is that there are some very fine, predictable rhymes and then each color page asks the kids to identify things on the page.  It's such a great opportunity for oral language, particularly really specific vocabulary (like the difference between a blue jay and cardinal or a poppy and sunflower).  The kids I  read it to really liked it a lot.  It would be great with an old favorite "White Rabbit's colors" by Alan Baker, which I also love because of it's lovely vocabulary.

I also loved this funny folk tale called "Noodle Magic" by Roseanne Greenfield Thong.  It's about a little girl named Mei who has a grandfather who makes noodles.  Grandfather's noodles are magical and Mei hopes to one day make noodles too but worries that she isn't good enough.  It has a great message about a person's magic coming from within and self confidence.  This would be a great one to use during your folk tale genre as well as story structure.
Here's a video of how a chef makes Chinese noodles without magic (but it sure looks like magic to me!)

Kadir Nelson wrote and illustrated the last picture book from the book fair.  It's called "If You Plant A Seed".  It's about a little rabbit and his friends who are planting a garden.  As they are harvesting the garden, birds show up hoping to share in the harvest and the rabbit and his friends are given a choice of responding with selfishness and anger or with kindness.  You might be able to guess which Nelson thinks is the better choice.  This is a very sweet book with lovely pictures and if you need to teach lessons in kindness, this would be a great one to use.  You could connect it to "Nico and Lola" by Meggan Hill which is also a book about kindness.  

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