Sunday, June 22, 2008

Begin Smart

Begin Smart is an excellent new series of board books amid at our youngest readers (you can find an extensive list at - search Keyword: Begin Smart). This series has many great features; the books are compact and easy for the child to handle, they have bold, bright colors, and feature a Ready to Read component. Each book has a note to parents and extension activities that fit perfectly with the 6 Ready to Read skills!

We have been enjoying this series at home and many of my colleagues have started using these books in their storytime line-ups! Our three favorites are Look at Me!, All Gone, and What Does Baby Do?

*Warning: while we encourage babies to chew on books these books tend to damage easily! They are very soft and not as sturdy as traditional board books. In a 10 minute car ride my little monkey ate all the way through to the spine! Her new favorite book, Look at Me!, will now be a permanent part of our at home collection!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

Even before our little monkey was born she was hearing stories daily. It was not our practice to read to my growing belly but being a librarian who shares stories with children of all ages throughout the day, Ava had the benefit of hearing lots of different books before her birth.

This photograph of a 2 day old Ava being read to by her daddy is one of my favorites. We have been committed to reading to Ava every day. She has been able to associate the love of reading with cuddles and hugs. Books are all around and Ava always has access to her favorites.

In celebration of Father's Day we will be sharing some books about Daddies at our house, including, My Daddy and Me by Tina Macnaughten, Daddy Hugs by Karen Katz, Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman, When Daddy's Truck Picks Me Up by Jana Novotny Hunter, and Spot Loves His Daddy by Eric Hill.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy Monkey!

Curious Little Monkey

Our little monkey will be turning 1 in a couple weeks and it is hard to tell where the time has gone! Every day I am amazed by all the new things she learns and absorbs.

Ava has lots of favorite books but she is most taken with Curious George. Probably because we have completely surrounded her with his image. The nursery is lovingly decorated with paintings created by my mom of scenes from the classic H.A. Rey stories. When we are picking out books at the library she instantly becomes animated when she sees that happy little monkey.

We are currently enjoying 2 of the newer board books that feature the "movie" George, as my husband likes to call him. This is also the same upadated image that is featured on the PBS cartoon. Ava loves the Curious George Good night Book. There is a wonderful little poem/song at the end that I like to say to her at night - "Hush, hush, little monkeys must close their eyes so they can grow up to be curious and wise."

We are also having fun with Curious George at the Zoo: a touch and feel book. Ava loves looking at the animals and repeating their sounds. Sharing animal sounds is an excellent Ready to Read activity to share with your little one. Hearing and manipulating sounds helps them to develop Phonological Awareness - getting your child one step closer to being Ready to Read.