Fun New Reads

Although it gets rather crazy this time of year, I have been able to read some new picture books. A few I really enjoyed–both for the stories and the illustrations–are listed below:

THE ODD EGG by Emily Gravett/ Simon & Schuster, 2008.
I love the softly drawn animals–who all have an egg, “except for Duck.”
Duck finds a special egg and proceeds to hatch it, despite the hoots from the others.
The book has some fold-and-reveal flaps which young readers will enjoy.
And when Duck’s egg finally does crack, everyone is in for a surprise.
ALL THE WORLD by Liz Garton Scanlon/ illustrated by Marla Frazee/ Beach Lane Books, 2009.
Even though this is not a Christmas book per se, its message is the Christmas message of “hope and peace and love and trust.”
This is a lyrical book, with an unassuming rhyme and easy flow, as writeen by Ms. Scanlon.
I was already a fan of the illustrator, Ms. Frazee–who I’ve had the privilege of meeting.
She creates lush pages, splashed with color and life.
This would be a sweet present to find beneath the tree for most anyone.
YUMMY: EIGHT FAVORITE FAIRY TALES by Lucy Cousins/ Candlewick, 2009.
I’m a fairy tale fan from once upon a time, and this new collection–written and illustrated by Ms. Cousins–presents easy to read stories with bright, bold pictures sure to capture young readers’ interest.
I shared this book with a second grade student, and he thoroughly enjoyed reading three of the eight tales–we ran out of time for more.
Too many young readers are not given adequate exposure to the richness and fun of classic fairy tales. Thanks, Ms. Cousins, for creating this wonderfully magic tale collection.
Reading with the children in your life is the best gift you can give them.
Have fun!


As promised, here are some additional notes from Mem Fox’s book, READING MAGIC.

  • When reading be expressive—have fun! (As I like to say, feel the words.) Voice variations can be loud/soft; fast/slow; high/low; and pause.

  • Playing games with the words/letters in a story is encouraged also sometimes. As is using word magnets on the refrigerator, etc. And scribbling (writing) for the child. This helps him learn to read—associating the symbols with the sounds/words.
  • Mem suggests telling the child an unknown word if it is taking much time for the child to sound the word out—encourage the child to recognize words at sight. While she still acknowledges the need for phonics in reading, the author warns that many children will become discouraged when words are difficult to decipher with only these clues. Too many words in the English language do not follow the norm and must be learned as sight words.
  • Mem also encourages the reading of rhyming books/poems/songs. “Rhymers are readers,” according to Ms. Fox. Studies have shown that students who know 8 nursery rhymes by the time they are four-years-old are usually among the best readers by eight-years-old.
    The use of rhythmic, rhyming, and repetitive readings encourages the child to learn how to SKIM by guessing from clues in the patterns of the reading. This is a great advantage in mastering reading. When Einstein was asked by a mother how to help make her son more intelligent, he told her to read Fairy Tale stories to him.

Following is a list of additional titles on the subject of reading aloud:

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reading with Your Child by Helen Coronato.

Baby Read-Aloud Basics: Fun and Interactive Ways to Help Your Little One Discover the World of Words by Caroline J. Blakemore and Barbara Weston Ramirez.

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease.