Sunday, June 26, 2011

Book Report(s)!

 I'd call this a book review except that the phrase "book review" evinces a certain amount of professionalism that I find difficult to muster these days, what with the sporadic showering and such. At the same time, even if I had the professional moxie to write a real book review, book reports are way more fun. No matter what sort of school our kids end up with, home-schooling, private-schooling, Catholic-schooling, Montesorri-schooling, public schooling, private Catholic Montessori schooling, un-schooling....there'd better be book reports. Who can forget their days of book-reporting, of dutifully informing classmates how many pages, how big and how many are the illustrations, why or why not it was a "dumb" book? Well, I can't.

Hearkening back to the good ol' days of book reporting, I bring you some of our current favs around here.

Deep In the Swamp Donna M. Bateman (author) Brian Lies (illustrator)

This book was one of those happy accidents that got tossed in our library bag on a whim. The book describes the vibrant inhabitants of Florida swamplands, each page focusing on a different animal mother and baby.  The illustrations are pleasant, the rhyming cadence is musical, and the counting motif is not cheesy. I enjoyed the variety of verbs employed to describe the different animals and Gianna and I had lots of fun acting out the different ways the animals moved. A large portion of her therapy is geared toward increasing her vocabulary and this book presented a fun and engaging opportunity to do so along with practicing numbers and counting.

Baby Brains Super Star Simon James
James has written a few books about the baby-genius, Baby Brains, and each book is great, but this one is my favorite. Baby Brains was born a prodigy because his parents "did everything right," like playing foreign language tapes and listening to classical music while he was in the womb. The tongue-in-cheek playfulness of James' description of Mr. and Mrs. Brains as modern superparents makes this book as fun for the parent reading it as it is for the child listening. Children will delight in the silliness of seeing a baby do grown up things like read a newspaper and learning to play a musical instrument.

The Three Questions Jon J. Muth

This book was a birthday gift to Gianna from Brad's older brother and sister-in-law. The text is a re-working of Tolstoy's short story by the same name and the water color illustrations are just lovely. This has been on our book shelves for over three years now and we still reach for it frequently.

The Beeman Laurie Krebs (author) Tessa Strickland (editor) Valerie Cis (illustrator)

Another happy library accident, this book tells the story of a little girl and her grandfather, who is a beekeeper. I'm really into rhyming books to help Gianna with the prosody of her speech and this one is great while providing information on the life of honey bees. It's a perfect summer read, when you've finished it take a stroll through your local farmer's market and buy some raw honey from your local beeman!

Happy reading!

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