Daily Archives: July 23, 2013

Summer Reading – Day 19! Royal Baby Books!

With all the royal baby buzz, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite baby books – not books FOR babies but books ABOUT babies!   And they just might provide some insightful tips for Duchess Kate and Prince William!

931906[1]Babies, Babies Everywhere – by Susan Meyers and illustrated by Marla Frazee is a celebration of all the babies who are born everyday, everywhere and the joy they bring to everyone, everywhere.  (I have borrowed that repetitive phrase from the book!)  This rhyming story follows a baby through many stages – from birth to first birthday – sleeping, sitting, eating, walking, talking.   I am a huge fan of Marla Frazee’s work, her illustrations as well as her stories, and she captures, with incredible details, the sensation of babies. (the only thing missing is the delicious smell of a baby’s head!)  I longed to hold a baby after I read this!

7171946[1]Boss Baby – written and illustrated by Marla Frazee is hysterical. “From the moment the baby arrived, it was obvious that he was the boss.”  This story follows two parents trying to keep up with the daily (hourly!) demands of their new baby “boss” – from beverages, to meetings, to baths and meals.  The parallels Frazee makes between the life of an adult “boss” and a baby are so clever (this baby even wears a one-ze suit!) It’s surprising to see how similar they actually are!  New parents will make many connections to this book, but students I’ve read this book to (particularly the ones who have recently become “big brothers” or “sisters”) laugh out loud at Boss Baby and always want to hear the story over again!

705429[1]Walk On:  A Guide for Babies of All Ages by Marla Frazee (for those of you who are keeping track – this is the THIRD book about babies written and/or illustrated by Marla Frazee!) is written in the form of an entertaining guide book for babies who are about to take their first step.  The illustrations, in the usual Frazee fashion, are delightful.  The book itself could also be interpreted as metaphor for the many “first step” experiences we encounter in our adult lives – from graduating, marriage, new job, and of course – welcoming a new baby.  This book would make a great gift for anyone about to take that “first step”.  This one’s for you, Will and Kate!


Filed under Connect, New Books, Picture Book

Summer Reading – Day 18! IMWAYR!

It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Since I’m already blogging every day about the books I’m reading, I’ve decided to become part of the It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? book blogger group, hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers.  

Here is my first IMWAYR post, or Summer Reading – Day 18! Wordles and Wumbers!

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is high up on my list of favorite children’s authors. Her ideas are simple, yet so clever and unique and often make me think “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”.   I have also used so many of her books as anchor books for lessons.  This week, I read her latest book about wordles and my head is already spinning with lesson ideas!  Here are some of my favorite Amy Krouse Rosenthal books:


I Scream, Ice Scream! a Book of Wordles is filled with clever, witty plays on words that had me puzzled and amused all at same time!  She puts her own clever spin on selected homophones (words that sound alike but have very different meanings).  The illustrations by Serge Bloch add to the humor.  She sets up the pages for interacting and guessing, encouraging the reader to figure out the wordle before turning the page.  (some are very challenging!)   Among my favorites were “Reindeer” – “Rain, dear” and “Princess cape” – “Prince escape”.  Too funny! 13156621[2]

In a similar word play style, her book Wumbers, she combines words and numbers to create – Wumbers!  For example, when you say the word “kindergarten” – you hear the number 10 at the end – so the wumber becomes: “kindergar10”; “fortunately” becomes “fortun8ly”; “wonderful” becomes “1derful”.   Again, the book is very interactive and children (and adults) love trying to figure out what the wumber is.  The illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld give lots of clues if you get stuck!  Try making up some of your own wumbers!  It’s gr8!

wumbers 2

“Would you like some honey 2 swee10 your tea?”

The OK Book is the book that first turned me into an “Amy” fan!

     39876[1]     The simplicity of turning the letters “O” and “K” on their side to create a little character was ingenious ( I have introduced this book at dozens of workshops and I still hear the collective “Awwwwwww!” when teachers realize how the character is made out of the two letters)

                 thCACCW8UQ       OK climber

The message that you don’t need to be great at any one thing – as long as you try and are “OK” at lots of things is such an important one for kids to hear.   I use this book to practice making connections with primary students and follow up with each student making their own personal “OK” page, using the letters as the character depicting something they are “OK” at.  These are collated to create a class OK Book, which, in turn, are amongstthe most frequently read books in the class!

             This Plus That – Amy Krouse Rosenthal

9733414[2]This plus that from book

Saving the best for last – This Plus That – Life’s Little Equations is my VERY favorite Amy Krouse Rosenthal book of ALL TIME.  It is charming, delightful, poignant, whimsical and beautiful – all mixed up into one “must have in your collection” book!  I think I have used this more as an anchor book for lessons than any other picture book.  In this book, Rosenthal creates simple mathematical equations for everyday things.  For example: smile + wave = hello;  hot soup + pink cheeks = winter.  Alone, it is an engaging read-aloud.  But in a classroom, it stimulates SO much excitement when the students start to create their own equations.  I have used this book with kindergarten all the way through to grade 7.  Teachers have used it at the beginning of the school year, inviting the students to create an equation that represents themselves:  __________ + __________ + _________ = ME.   Kindergarten teachers have used equations for learning about different emotions:  _________ + _________ = happy.  I have even had middle school teachers share how they used the idea of equations for end of a unit activity in Social Studies (see samples below).

Just in case you hadn’t inferred yet – I LOVE this book!

this that student 7 001

Grade 3 “equation” inspired by This Plus That

this plus that SS

Gr. 8 equations for SS unit on Medieval Times


Filed under New Books