Monday, October 29, 2012

Red Sings from Treetops a year in colors By: Joyce Sidman Illustrated by: Pamela Zagarenski

A 2010 Caldecott Honor Book
Imagine trying to explain the wonders of the seasons to young and inspired eyes.  How can you do it justice?  How can you explain something so magical and beautiful?  I know a way.  A beautiful and awe inspiring way.  A book that takes you on a poetic journey to experience the different seasons with color and through brilliant imagery.  Red Sings from Treetops a year in colors provides parents with a colorful tool to discuss seasons and bring our children on the journey with us.  I love the illustrations in this book.  The woman and dog with their crowns followed by the cardinal on each page are fun and whimsical.

My children love color. They will often recite their favorite colors to anyone who is listening "I like pink and purple best.  Oh, and silver and gold.  Well I guess my favorite color would be rainbow".  Like all children color is so important to them.  Not only artistically but they see the world so brightly and lit up!  Living in a part of the US where we are lucky to have a taste of each season my girls have grown to love each one of them.  And as of recently winter is their favorite.  As an adult long removed from childhood it reminded me of a time where snow was such a delight and wonder.  Children have a wonderful way of reminding us of what is fun and how magical our world really is!

SPRING: "In spring, Yellow and Purple hold hands.  They beam at each other with bright velvet faces. First flowers, first friends."  Describing Pansies.

SUMMER: "In SUMMER, White clinks drinks. Yellow melts everything it touches...smells like butter, tastes like salt."  Imagine lemonade, and corn on the cob.

FALL: "Brown gleams in my hand:  a tiny round house, dolloped with roof."  The author describing an acorn.

WINTER: "Pink prickles: warms fingers against cold cheeks." Imagine going out without your mittens.

Do something to spark your children's love of learning.  Read them this amazing book and provide them with a wonderful learning experience in a beautiful way!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes Story By: Eric Litwin Art By: James Dean

Looking for a fun book to read?  Check out Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes.  Pete the cat has some new white shoes that happen to keep stepping in different things to turn them into different colors.  But does "Pete cry? Goodness, no! He kept walking along and singing his song."  It's a book that will get the kids attention immediately and once you play the song for them they will be laughing,singing along and learning their colors! 

Pete the cat was imagined years ago by the illustrator James Dean. With his recent collaboration with Eric Litwin who wrote the words a great book was born.  The song sounds like a smooth jazz tune that is fun and silly!

You can find the song for free at
The publishers also offer some Pete the Cat activities for more fun!

Parents need a couple of free minutes to yourself? Turn on this video of the book performed by the author. Included are all the pages of the book for viewing!

It is a catchy tune and quite a cute tale!  If your children enjoy this story there are other Pete the Cat books to check out.  Including a Christmas story just in time for the holidays!

The Little Blue Box of Bright and Early Board Books by Dr. Seuss By Seuss, Dr. (Google Affiliate Ad)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything By: Linda Williams Illustrated by: Megan Lloyd

Go on a walk with a little old woman on a dark and eerie night. As you walk with her you will find that she is being followed by various clothing items and each of them makes a spooky sound.  Even after she yells to them she isn't afraid they continue to follow her.  By the end of her walk she has a pair of shoes (CLOMP), pants (WIGGLE), a shirt (SHAKE), gloves (CLAP), a hat (NOD), and a very scary pumpkin head that goes BOO, BOO! The old lady begins to run all the way home and locks the door behind her.  She then hears a knock on the door and when she opens it there are all the items waiting to scare her.  When she tells them she isn't afraid of them they become sad.  So the little old woman has an idea.  She looks out her window the next morning and there you see the scarecrow she has made out of all the items scaring the crows away!

This story is one that I can remember being read to as a young child at school during the Halloween season.  It stuck with me and I couldn't wait to share it with my girls.  My girls get a lot of laughs out of making the silly noises and I like to try to scare them with a big "BOO"!  The sounds of the items following her are all in capital letters, repetitive, and easy to point out and get your kids "reading" along.  Remember to engage your kiddos with questions about what they might be afraid to see on a night walk or ask if they could be as brave as her.  Kids love elaborating on the what ifs of a story.  My little girl Emma has told me many times she would like to jump into a book or movie so she could be apart of the fun. 

Bring delight to your little ones with the story of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Skin and Bones By: Raffi
 Looking for something to surprise the kids with today to get them all spooked out and ready for Halloween?  Why not try one of my favorite children's singer Raffi and his song Skin and Bones.  You can preview it online if you have never heard it and get the gist to sing it to them or borrow the CD from a local library.  I guarantee your children will love this song!

there was and old woman of skin and bones. 
oh oh oh oh.  
she lived down by the old grave yard.  
oh oh oh oh.  
one day she thought she'd take a walk. 
oh oh oh oh. 
she walk down by the old grave yard.  
oh oh oh oh.  
she saw the bones a'laying around.  
oh oh oh oh.  
she went to the closet to get her broom.  
oh oh oh oh.  
she opened the door and BOO!

Happy Halloween! 

Myself and my children are huge fans of Raffi and love singing along to everyone of his songs! (especially in the car)  Raffi also has made board books featuring some of his most popular songs.  My girls loved baby beluga and down by the bay.  The illustrations made the songs come to life for them and it is always fun listening to them belt out a tune! 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Witch Grows Up By: Norman Bridwell

When I started this blog in the spring and was thinking of books to use this book immediately popped in my head.  I knew I would have to wait to showcase it though until the Halloween season.
"The lady who lives next door is a witch. She is our friend."

The Witch Grows Up is one in a series of books about a witch and her little neighbor friends.    The illustrations are done in black and white with little pops of color here and there.  The pictures are really great and as a child I can remembering wishing I could have a neighbor that could conjure up such fun and exciting things!  Kids will love seeing the witch reminisce on growing up with her witch mom and wizard dad.  The author Norman Bridwell is also the author of the Clifford the big red dog books. (Great for beginner readers)  The Witch Grows Up will fit the season and bring smiles to the faces of all who decide to open in up to our little ones precious imaginations! If they love this witch book try finding some of the others in the series.  All of them are clever and silly and will be enjoyed by all. 

So get some giggles out of the kiddos today by asking them if they want to be tucked in by their own beds!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Spooky Wheels on the Bus By: J. Elizabeth Mills Illustrated By: Ben Mantle

To the tune of the wheels on the bus The Spooky Wheels on the bus is a Halloween version of the classic song.  Get your sillies out with this book and have your kids singing along with you as you read. With fun illustrations of monsters, goblins, and ghosts the kids will want to read/sing along over and over again!

Everyone will get a huge chuckle out of the spooky bus that flies through Halloween night picking up some odd characters and like my little one Emma said "They can't all fit in that bus!"  Well of course they can it is black magic they use on a Halloween bus where any and everything is possible.  We all get a crack out of the "Mummies" holding their mummy babies on the bus!

 Go on have fun with your little ones and get your best spooky and scary singing voices ready for this one!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Littlest Pumpkin By: R.A. Herman Illustrations By: Betina Ogden

The Littlest Pumpkin is a tale of a very small pumpkin on Halloween who hopes someone will take her home and carve her so she can shine in the dark with all the kids dressed up around her singing.  Many children come that day to the stand to buy a pumpkin but as the last pumpkin was picked for the night she was left alone.  But just as she began to feel sorry for herself she found that mice were scurrying around her decorating in their costumes for their own Halloween party.  The mice carved her into a jack-o'-lantern and there she was living out her dream shining in the dark!

This cute story will delight little children as they can play along and get a chance to pick what pumpkin they would have taken home.   No matter what size you are you are always the right size for someone!

 Happy Halloween Reading!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Moonlight The Halloween Cat By: Cynthia Rylant Illustrations By: Melissa Sweet

Follow Moonlight as she goes through her favorite night of all, Halloween. See the kids trick-or-treating and all the night creatures out on this night bright with a full moon. The text is simple to read and the illustrations are adorable!

My girls love this sweet little cat.  Moonlight reminds me of my first cat Velvet.  She was a tiny black cat with a smooshed nose and was the loyalist of companions!  It gives me a chance to reminisce and talk about my animals I had growing up with my girls. My girls love to hear all about their silly personalty quirks!

 Don't let Halloween go by without introducing your little ones to Moonlight!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Trick or Treat By: Louis Slobodkin

It's that time of the year for Trick-or-Treating!  Most kids say trick-or-treat, get their treats and they are off to another house. But this book deals with the tricks.  This book feels very nostalgic being written in 1959 you get a glimpse of the costumes and the "simpler" times of letting the kids run around the block to collect their treats without the worry.

Some neighborhood kids stop by the "haunted house" on their block because they see lights and when an old man (Professor Purple)  answers the door instead of giving them a treat he says trick.  He invites them in where he performs trick after trick for the incoming children that keep knocking on his door.  With each trick Professor Purple shouts "Sassafras Dumplings!" (My girls do this part and always giggle the more and more we get into this book).  The parents start to wonder where all the kids have gone and when they find them they bring the party to their new neighbors house.  "From then on Professor Purple always did Tricks for the Willow Street children on Hallowe'en"

 Trick or Treat is a fantastic read that will have you wishing you had a neighbor like Professor Purple that could entertain the kids all night with good ol' fashion fun!  Get this fun book to find out what tricks Professor Purple did for those lucky kids!