Friday, July 14, 2023

Books for the Beach, Backyard or ....

 When folks ask, “hey, would you like to review this book?” very often I answer Yes without taking into account the books Already Piling Up in my book basket. So this week I’m sharing three books I think would be fun to take on a road trip, or just to the park to read with kids – or to enjoy for yourself while drinking something cool and refreshing as you rock in a hammock slung between two shady oak trees. Because, really, who doesn’t love reading a fun picture book now and then?

It just so happens that all three were published by Charlesbridge this year.
Theme: Fossils, Math, STEAM

Here We Go Digging for Dinosaur Bones 
by Susan Lendroth; illus. by Bob Kolar
(Board book)

Here we go digging for dinosaur bones, dinosaur bones, dinosaur bones….

In this book, young paleontologists will join scientists as they head out on a fossil dig – and you might find yourself singing along to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush.” Short sidebars on each spread tell more about fossils and the scientists who find them. And at the back there’s suggestions for acting out the song – great for getting kids moving after reading the book. 

Susan Lendroth and Bob Kolar teamed up on an earlier book, Hey-Ho, to Mars We'll Go! which I discuss over at the GROG. I love their light-hearted way of making science fun and accessible. 

Lia & Luis: Puzzled! (Storytelling Math) 
by Ana Crespo; illus. by Giovana Medeiros
32 pages; ages 3-6 

Lia and Luis receive a package from their grandma. Inside there’s a puzzle … with a secret message.

I am a sucker for secret messages – I mean, who among us has never sent a note in code? But this secret message is the sort of puzzle that must be solved by putting the pieces together. As with any spy novel – or mystery show – there is a time crunch. The twins are trying to put puzzle pieces together while their mom is trying to get them dressed and ready to leave. 

What clues are in the puzzle? Why is mom in such a hurry? And what’s the best way to do a puzzle anyway: corners or edges? Colors or design? What I love about this book (and others in the series) is that there are activities at the back to explore the math concepts – in this case, geometry and sorting. And what I like about this book in particular is the inclusion of Brazilian Portuguese words. Want more Storytelling Math? Check out this post over at the GROG.

by Philip Bunting 
40 pages; ages 2-5 

Wombat. Twobats. Threebats. Morebats.

From youngbats to oldbats, no bat is left out of this silly love story. It is a fun way to play with words, with rhymes (stinkbats and winkbats) and opposites (roundbats and squarebats) and even some compare and contrast (fruitbat and cricketbat). 

This book would be great to pair with Wombat, by Christopher Cheng or Abi Cushman’s not-so-serious guide: Wombats Are Pretty Weird.

Beyond the Books:

Dig for Dinosaurs. Bury some plastic dinosaurs in a sandbox or part of the beach and let kids dig them up while singing “this is the way we excavate, excavate, excavate ….”

Make your own message puzzle. Glue a drawing or photo onto a sheet of cardstock. Once it’s dry, write a message on the back side. Then cut it into puzzle pieces and put it into an envelope, and give it to a friend. You can also do this with extra-large postcards.

Play with animal words and see where they take you. For example, bluebird might lead to truebird or redbird or …. And what about bigfoot (which may or may not be a real animal?) or meercat? 

We’ll join Perfect Picture Book Friday once they resume. It’s a wonderful gathering where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copies provided by the publisher.

1 comment:

  1. Another great collection of books! Dinosaurs, puzzles, & wombats, oh my! Wombat lookes like a lot of fun.