Book Review: My First Touch and Feel Seasons by Xavier Deneux

seasons-book

  • Board Book
  • Ages: 0-3
  • My First Touch and Feel Seasons, Deneux. Twirl/Tourbillon, 2016.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Bright Colors
  • Simple Illustrations
  • Unique and Rich Vocabulary
  • Tactile Learning
  • Sparks Conversation
  • Builds Reading Comprehension

Infants and toddlers explore the world through touch. They love to put toys, books and anything they find on the ground into their mouths. It is how they figure out what objects are and how the world works. This is the perfect age to explore reading with touch and feel books. My First Touch and Feel Seasons book has bright, simple illustrations and labels all the pictures on the page. It is a great book for building vocabulary, not only through the unique words present, but also through the textures on the page. It is proof that simple books can have big impacts on our children. Babies and toddlers will love the simplicity of the book. It is perfect for a waiting room or in the car. Board books make it is for little fingers to hold and turn pages and with the sturdy construction it can double as a teething ring.

It is proof that simple books can have big impacts on our children

This book will build your child’s words about seasons, but also much much more. You can talk about the textures on the page. How does water feel? Is sand scratchy or smooth? Is the sun hot or cold? For infants, of course they won’t answer! But the back and forth, ask a question and pause for an answer, helps them understand how conversations work. You might even find that your baby will babble back an answer. As language develops they will be able to answer simple questions with simple answers. But by starting the habit at birth will help build towards better reading comprehension in the future.

There are also a lot of colors to explore on the page, patterns and shapes. And of course each season has its animals and clothing and foods. This is a great book in building readers but will also keep young learners engaged and participating.

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK:

It can be uncomfortable to read a book that doesn’t have a story. At this age, infants and toddlers are interested in anything you show them. As soon as they are done he will let you know by turning his head, if he is a baby, or finding his favorite toy, if he is a toddler. Point out what you see and don’t worry if the child wants to skip pages. Let them lead and relax.

This book can be read lots of different ways. Focus on textures with one reading or the objects on the page in another. You can also do a read through of just colors. Books don’t always have to be read the same way.

Make up a story about what happens during each of the seasons. Where is the child and what is he doing? What do you think will happen next. Older kids can help you with the story and, for infants, they just want to hear the sound of your voice.

Infants and Toddlers love to explore, so take them out of the house and explore whatever season you are in. Take a walk or play in a yard or go to the park. No matter where you end up talk about what you see. Point out the leaves, or if there are no leaves, say why. Talk about the animals or insects, the temperature, whether it is windy or hot or cold or whatever else you see and feel around you. Mention the Touch and Feel book and relate your experiences outside with what you read inside.

WHAT TO READ NEXT

 

Here are just a few of the many books in Deneux’s My first touch and feel series.

(I am an Amazon affiliate. Clicking on the picture will take you to Amazon where if you make any purchases I will receive a portion of the sale.)

 

What are your favorite touch and feel books? Comment on the post and share ideas!

 

Happy Reading!

Book Review: This Old Band by Tamera Will Wissinger

  • Ages Infant, Toddler, Preschool
  • Illustrated by Matt Loveridge
  • Skyhorse Publishing Inc, 2014

I love picture books you can sing a long to. Not only are they fun, singing is a great way for young children to hear sounds and how they are broken apart into syllables and singing also accentuates consonants and vowels in ways we don’t always get in reading.

But, if you are musically challenged, don’t worry! Reading the text is still a great way to help build these skills. The great thing about songs, read or sung, is the rhythmic text and the alliteration.

Phonological Awareness

This old band is sung to the tune, “This old man” It is a song most kids will recognize and join in with even if they don’t know the words they can hum along. I love the playful use of onomatopoeia and alliteration throughout the song. The pictures are fun and comic like. There are lots of different objects to talk about on the page. And after a few repeats your kids will be singing along.

Math Literacy

Another great part of this book is the math literacy it builds. Although I wish they used the actual numbers along with the written out number, counting backwards is a skill young preschoolers will find fun. And after the book is finished you can continue the conversation by grabbing sticks, or toys or whatever is at hand and using them to count 1-10 and then 10-1.

Narrative Skills

It is also great to help your child build narrative skills. Talk with your child about what instrument is played first. Maybe write it out on paper, cut them out and help your child organize as you read through the book again.

After all when we talk about literacy we aren’t just talking about words.

This is a great book to pick up when you are short on reading time. It has the vocabulary, the sounds, and the narrative skills we are looking for in a book.

Happy Reading or in this case Happy Singing!

 

Other fun books to sing with your child

(Reminder I am an amazon affiliate. When you click on a picture it takes you to amazon, where if you make a purchase, I get a portion of the sale. I do not get paid to promote any particular book. The views and opinions are mine and mine alone.)

 

Book Review: Too Princessy! By Jean Reidy

  • Infant, Toddler, Emerging Reader
  • Illustrated by Genevieve Leloup
  • Bloomsbury Books for Young Readers

 

Board books aren’t just for babies! The sturdy pages and simple illustrations and text make this a perfect book for kids on the go, toddler fingers and kids learning to sound out words on their own.

It is a fun book about a girls who can’t find anything to interest her on a rainy day. I’m sure our kids can all relate. Everything seems not quite what the girl is looking for until the end of the book where she finds something that is just right.

I like this book for its Vocabulary and Rhythmic text. Not only will your child hear new words he will also hear the sounds through the use of rhyming (last syllables sound the same), alliteration (the words begin with the same sound), and assonance (begin with different consonants but repeat the same vowel sound). It will help him become a discerning listener and reader.

The only problem I have with this book is how princessy it looks. It is a great book but may turn off readers for its pink cover. I almost wish it had Too Marsy instead of the girl with the crown on front.

Regardless of the book cover this is a great book for infants, because it is short; toddlers, because it is sturdy enough to withstand their sticky fingers; and emerging readers because the text is simple and the pictures support the words on the page.

This is a great book to highlight the point, all good books grow with us.

 

Happy Reading!

(Reminder: I am an Amazon Affiliate. When you click on a picture you are redirected to Amazon, where if you make a purchase, I receive a portion of the sale. I am not paid to review specific books. The opinions on the books are mine and mine alone.)

Find Others in the TOO! Series:

 

And other great books by the author:

Top Books to Read with Toddlers this Summer

Reading 20 minutes a day is critical. Especially during the toddler years. It may be hard to get a toddler to sit still for a full 20 minutes, so break up reading throughout the day. Remember even if they are doing something else they are still listening. So grab a book and read while they play or while you wait at an appointment or for a break at the park.

Books should only have a few lines per page. Even basic board books are a great read for this age. Choose short rhyming stories about familiar routines. Books about shapes, counting and feelings will help build basic vocabulary and help your child identify the world around him. Find books with bright simple pictures. Talk about the books you read to help draw the connections in the book.

Toddlers love to learn and you are the perfect teacher!

TOP 8 BOOKS TO READ WITH TODDLERS TODAY:

  1. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont, Harcourt, Inc., 2005. Rhyming, colors, singing this book has it all. The text can be read or sung to the tune of (It ain’t gonna rain no more, no more.) A mother warns her son to stop painting and he wants to listen but he just can’t help painting. EVERYTHING! The book builds vocabulary, increases phonological awareness and  a book kids will return to time and time again.
  2. Move Over, Rover. Karen Beaumont, Harcourt, Inc., 2006. Another picture book win for author Karen Beaumont. Great pictures, unique words, fun rhymes, and a strong narrative make this a great book for toddlers. Find out what happens when a dog has to share his doghouse with animals escaping the rain. Until a very unwelcome guest arrives.
  3. One Hot Summer Day. Nina Crews. Greenwillow Books, 1995. (DIVERSE BOOK) Crews is a master of photography and text. In this book a young girl finds a fun time despite the summer heat. The familiar routine of summer play and the basic text will attract the youngest readers. It builds vocabulary, narrative skills, and will motivate readers to come back to the book again and again.
  4. Hickory Dickory Dock. Keith Baker. Harcourt, Inc. 2007. Familiar nursery rhymes help build phonological awareness. The repetition of sounds and the ability to sing along with the book make this a great choice for young listeners. They will learn counting and time, hear unique words, and be able to participate fully in the story.
  5. Counting Kisses. Karen Katz. Margaret K McElderry Books. 2001. Katz is known for her gentle illustrations, showing love between parents and children all while introducing vocabulary, counting, shapes, and everyday routines. Counting Kisses is a simple story of a child waking and a family sharing kisses throughout the day. Letter awareness and vocabulary are built with each reading.
  6. The Very Busy Spider. Eric Carle. Philomel Books, 1984. Carle’s books are classics. This story is about a spider who works hard all day while ignoring the pleas of the other animals on the farm to come and play. Children will learn animal names and sounds through this book. The illustrations, which Carle is known for, are simple, bright and inviting.
  7. Ten, Nine Eight. Molly Bang. Greenwillow Books, 1983. (DIVERSE BOOK) This Caldecott Honor book helps all children get ready for bed by counting its way through evening routines. Letter Awareness, Vocabulary and Print Motivation are strong in this goodnight story.
  8. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? Bill Martin Jr. Eric Carle. Henry Holt and Company, 1991. Martin and Carle team up again in this book describing the sounds of different animals they will find at the zoo. Using Carle’s signature bright simple illustrations and Martin’s simple lyrical text. This is a book you will read again and again. It builds vocabulary, phonological awareness, and narrative skills.

Find the books at Amazon:

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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: I Know a Bear by Mariana Ruiz Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

Ages 2-5

With simple text and beautiful illustrations, I Know a Bear, tells the story of a little girl going to the zoo and imagining what life might have been like for the animals if they were free to live as intended. At the end of the story she thinks about her own pets and how they are meant to live.

This book has unique and strong vocabulary that is repeated throughout the book. It can take kids about thirty times of hearing a new word before it becomes a part of his vocabulary so books that introduce new words and repeat them help build a large repertoire for the future. The concepts might be too abstract for the young age. Children are very concrete so extrapolating what he sees in a zoo and putting it in the world might be hard for them to grasp.

What skills your child builds reading this book:

iknowabearskills

Questions to ask while reading:

  1. For children 3-5, point to the front cover of the book and ask your child what she thinks the book will be about. For younger children point to the picture on the cover and in the pages and help her name the objects.
  2. Flip through the pages without reading the text and have her make a guess about what will happen. For younger children, flip through the pages and make a guess about what the story will be about. This helps children draw context and meaning from the pictures while building narrative skills, being able to tell the story on his own.
  3. Talk about feelings. Look at the expressions on the girl’s face. Ask your child what he thinks the girl is feeling. For older children you can ask them how they might feel.
  4. Discuss what animals your child has seen at the zoo.

Take it further:

  1. Go to the zoo with a world map. Go to the different exhibits and place a dot for each of the animals and where they live in the natural world. Label it with the animal name. This will help build vocabulary through the naming of animals and the countries and continents of the world.
  2. Research bears! Go to your local library or bookstore and find a book on bears. Add the different types to the map.
  3. Find ways to use the unique words from the book in your conversation because repetition equals learning. Lush and vast are not words we use everyday but make an effort to find ways to include them in your conversations.

What activities have you used to enrich the reading experience with your child? Post suggestions in the comments to share ideas.

Best book practices for Toddlers

When I was in library school we learned Ranganathan’s 5 laws of library science.

Ranganathan Law

When it comes to toddlers it is very important to remember the number one rule of libraries.

Books are for use.

Your toddler will be hard on books. They will eat them, throw them, try to flush them down the toilet and try to wash them in the dishwasher. They will leave them outside in the rain and step on them in the car.

Books will be loved by toddlers very hard and it’s okay.

Especially if you check out books from the libraries the librarians will understand.

One of the biggest problems I see when I work with parents and children is that parents want their children to respect books. Which is completely appropriate when the child is older. What can sometimes happen though, is books get put out of a child’s reach. Or a family doesn’t visit the library as often. Books are taken away too much because parents don’t know the number one rule of books.

They are for use.

I often hear parents say they will start reading when their toddler is more mature but by then it is too late to develop it into a loved routine.

Do not stop reading to your rambunctious toddler.

Start reading from birth and continue through the toddler years. Now is your chance to develop a deep love of reading with them. The time you spend now enjoying books together and making books fun builds a life long relationship between your child and books. Which leads me to my second point.

Toddlers are terrible audience members.

They are like the guy at the orchestra concert who brought popcorn and talks on his cellphone all night. Toddlers can be horrible listeners when it comes to books. They will sit on your lap then roam around the room. They will come back and drop on your lap and demand you keep reading and then go off and play. This doesn’t mean your child isn’t curious about books or listening to you read.

It means they are curious about the world around them.

So you have two choices:

  1.  Pause while they explore.
  2. Keep on reading.

How often do you turn on the TV or radio and do another task? A lot, right? So be the background noise for your toddlers. Hearing your voice is an important piece of language development. Keep on reading. Sooner or later they will tire out and come back over for a cuddle.

Here are a few tips to keep story time enjoyable with toddlers:

  1. Pick short books. Board books are still appropriate at this age or you can start to introduce books with one or two short sentences per page. This is not the time to break out Shakespeare. Keep it simple.
  2. Rhyming books are perfect for our burgeoning speakers. Find books that play with word sounds.
  3. You don’t even have to read the words on the page. It is okay to tell the story without reading the words. Point out the pictures and tell your own story. The best part, you get to pick when it ends.
  4. Stories in songs! Toddlers love music. There are a lot of great picture books that illustrate well known songs. As your child explores you can keep singing.
  5. Find a good routine for reading. Use reading as a calming down activity before nap time or bedtime. It’s a time when they are naturally sleepy and more willing to sit.
  6. Keep reading fun. If your child isn’t interested in a story right then, no worries! You will have plenty of opportunities to share a story. Never make a child sit still to listen to a story. Make reading fun and flexible.
  7.  Concept books are perfect for this age. There are tons of great books introducing color, numbers, shapes, sounds, etc. The skies the limit.

Toddlers are in an explosion of learning and physical growth. Reading is a critical skill during this time of rapid development. However, keeping it fun and interesting will ensure your child is a happy reader in years to come.

 

Great books to read with toddlers:
This is a great book to read with toddlers. It is interactive and helps them build vocabulary surrounding the body. If you buy the book it helps to reinforce the flaps with tape so you can enjoy it for a long time.

 

 

This series is great for building word sounds. All the books rhyme and follow the adventures of mischievous sheep. You can add to the experience by finding rhyming words of your own with your toddler. They won’t be able to make rhyming words on their own yet but your example will help them in the future.

 

 

Karma Wilson is my absolute favorite children’s author. She pairs with great illustrators and really understands what kids like and need to hear to become future readers. She has fun with language and creates books kids love. This book is a concept book focused on colors and will fit the attention span of your toddlers.

 

What books does your toddler love to read with you?