Book Review: Bug on a Bike by Chris Monroe

Bug on a bike. By Chris Monroe.

Ages: 3-5

(I am an amazon affiliate but I am not paid to review any book on this blog. If you click on the picture it will take you to Amazon where if you make a purchase I receive a percentage which allows me to build a literacy non-profit.)

Bug is on a trip and invites his friends to come along- the only problem- no one except bug knows where they are going!

I love the simple rhyming text and pictures of this book. It is easy to follow the text and the added dialog bubbles. Everything rhymes! (PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS, PRINT MOTIVATION) As each animal joins bug your child will build sequencing skills that are a great help in telling their own stories and understanding what they read on the page. (NARRATIVE SKILLS) There are a lot of unique words for your children to learn. (VOCABULARY) Monroe does a great job in providing a fun story that will help children build a lot of literacy skills that will assist them as they become readers.

Skills Learned:

  • PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
  • PRINT MOTIVATION
  • NARRATIVE SKILLS
  • VOCABULARY

QUESTIONS TO ASK:

  • Look at the first page and ask your child what they think the story is about. Look at the last page and ask your child how they think it ends.
  • Count the animals on the pages as bug invites more friends. Keep a tally on a piece of paper. This helps build math literacy.
  • Question to ask during the story: Why do you think buy is keeping where he is going a secret? What kinds of place do you think it is? Do we know from the last page of the book where he ends up?
  • Why do you think his friends follow if they don’t know where he is heading?
  • How do you think his friends feel when they arrive at a birthday party? Relieved? Happy?

TAKE IT FURTHER:

Go on a word scavenger hunt! Put on your walking shoes, get out the bikes or hop in a car. Write down a list of letters (or words depending on age of child) and hunt for the letters. Make up a sheet so they can see their progress.

Draw pictures of the animals and cut them out. Put them in order of who follows bug! You can number them on the back and have them put them in order by number or by memory of the story.

OTHER BOOKS BY CHRIS MONROE

Book Review: Chicken Lily by Lori Mortensen

Chicken Lily. By Lori Mortensen. Illustrated by Nina Victor Crittenden

Ages: 3 1/2-5

(I am an amazon affiliate. I am not paid for my review but if you purchase any book by clicking on the image from amazon I do make a percentage which goes to helping me start a literacy non-profit)

 

Chicken Lily is the story of a chicken who is always careful and cautious. She dislikes taking chances and misses out on Continue reading “Book Review: Chicken Lily by Lori Mortensen”

Book Review: Small Elephant’s Bathtime by Tatyana Feeney

Ages: Preschool 3-5, Toddler age 2

(I do not get paid to review books. The opinions I express in the post are mine. If you click the link it takes you to Amazon, where if you make a purchase I do receive a percentage of the sale.)

 

 

 

Small Elephant loves to play with water unless it is bathtime! His mother finds different ways to get Small Elephant into the tub but she only succeeds in making him more mad. When Small Elephant disappears his mother brings in reinforcements in the form of his Dad who finds a way to make bathtime funny.

Children will identify with the routine of bath and not always enjoying the process. It is a familiar situation for them which will engage the young reader in PRINT MOTIVATION. The pictures are simple drawings but drive the story helping a child to retell on their own building NARRATIVE SKILLS. The unique VOCABULARY and emphasis on feelings will introduce the child to new words and ideas. The simple text and colorful print will highlight LETTER KNOWLEDGE. This is a great book to demonstrate PRINT AWARENESS by using your finger to follow along with the text, point out the different parts of the book and the pages are sturdy to allow little fingers to turn the pages.

Interact with the Book:

  1. Why do you think Small Elephant likes to play with water but not take a bath?
  2. What happens when you have to do something you don’t want to do? How does it make you feel? What picture in the book looks like the face you make?
  3. What face would Small Elephant make while jumping in puddles? What face does he make when his mom asks him to take a bath? How does he look when he sees his Dad in the bathtub? How do you think he feels at the end of the story?

Take it further:

Go outside on a rainy day and jump in puddles just like Small Elephant. Put on some rainboots and a rain coat and explore the different splashes that the puddles make. Have your child guess which puddles will make the BIGGEST splashes. Shake tree branches and see what happens.

Put on some of your child’s favorite music and blow bubbles! Sing along and have them join in. Singing is a great way to build PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS which helps your child learn to pull apart the sounds of words as they begin to read.

Go to the library or bookstore and find other books that explore feelings. Classics such as:

Book Review: Maya’s Blanket La Monta De Maya by Monica Brown

(I am not given books to review. All books are chosen by me for the early literacy skills they possess. If you click on the picture you will be redirected to Amazon where I do make a small commission if you make a purchase.)

Ages:4-6

A retelling of the classic Yiddish tale I had an overcoat, Maya’s Blanket tells the story of a much loved blanket that Maya’s grandmother made for her. She loves this blanket so much it begins to wear out so her grandmother transforms it into a dress, skirt, shawl, scarf, ribbon and bookmark. She loves the blanket in all its many forms and is sad one day when she can’t find her special bookmark anywhere. Maya finds a creative way to keep her much loved blanket close to her for the rest of her life.

This book is rich in VOCABULARY, NARRATIVE SKILLS, PRINT MOTIVATION, PRINT AWARENESS, LETTER KNOWLEDGE and PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS. It is a great book to hit all the early literacy skills your preschool child has developed throughout their childhood. He will be introduced to layered language in the spanish and english text. There are many words to explore throughout the pages. The book also has vibrant and beautiful illustrations which will engage your child reading after reading. The way the story is laid out will highlight how readers follow a story and draw meaning from the pictures. The Spanish word is named first and then the child will derive meaning from the pictures and following text to understand what that word means and how it is used. Spanish words are in italics which draws attention to the letters. Lastly the mulilingual book is perfect for hearing letter sounds and putting together words from those sounds. The book teaches sequencing in story from the repetition of the transformation of the blanket to each of its next forms.

This is one of those rare books that engages children in every early literacy skill. I love it for its diversity and focus on universal themes of love between family members and those mementos every child keeps with herself to feel safe and secure.

What skills your child practices?

6prereadingskills

Questions to ask will reading the book:

  1. What is your favorite toy or blanket. What could you do to reuse it if it got old and frayed like Maya’s blanket?
  2. How do you think Maya felt when she lost the bookmark? What would you do if you lost your favorite toy, book or blanket?
  3. Can you tell me the story using the pictures?

Take it further:

  1. Create a storybook about your child’s favorite toy, book or blanket. Write down special memories, draw pictures and read the completed story together.
  2. Go to the library or favorite bookstore and find other retellings of the Yiddish tale or other books that are strong in narrative skills like Maya’s Blanket. Joesph had a little overcoat by Sims Taback is a Caldecott Honor book. The bag I’m taking to Grandma’s or any of Shirley Neitzel’s wonderful books.
  3. Make your own special blanket together. Go to a fabric store and pick out fabrics in your child’s favorite colors. Explore the store while there and point out the signs your see and the objects he may not be familiar with.