Tuesday, September 20, 2011

BIG WORDS FOR LITTLE PEOPLE by Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by Laura Cornell

Lexile    Not Rated          Pages    40          Ages     4-7
AR Quiz No. 127019 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 3.6 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP

I loved this book! It's funny and it can be slightly irreverent, but each 2-page spread has a lesson within a lesson. Not only does it expand your child's vocabulary, the words chosen convey principles that our children need to learn in their journey to becoming productive members of society - privacy, consequence, cooperate, persevere, respect and inappropriate to name a few.

Ms. Curtis also explains how a little word can have a BIG meaning - "Love is your family, your siblings, your friends.  Love is your ocean without any end."  Not all big words are big!

Laura Cornell's illustrations are brilliant! While some might find them a little busy, if you look closely you'll find all sorts of fun. You can use them as a search and find puzzle - in the classroom scene on the page spread for "consequence" you'll find a sign for a missing frog and her seven tadpoles. Upon closer inspection you will find them hiding in various places around the room.  Some of the humor is geared more toward the adults - "'I'm RESPONSIBLE,' you say when you pick up your toys" and all parents should recognize the picture of toys, all marked as "mine" or "not mine." Sound familiar? : )

Big Words for Little People is the eighth book by the Curtis/Cornell team and I think it's a real winner! You can find it at the Lake County Public Library or with your library card number and PIN, you can click here http://tinyurl.com/7ms3m57 and reserve a copy for quick pick-up from the Circulation Desk at your favorite branch.

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie

Monday, September 19, 2011

TWEAK TWEAK by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier

Lexile    Not Rated          Pages    40          Ages     3-6
AR Quiz No. 144013 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 1.9 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP

Mama Elephant and Little Elephant go out for a walk, Mama telling Little Elephant, "Hold on to my tail. If you want to ask me a question, tweak twice."  Along the way they see a frog, a monkey, a songbird, a butterfly, and a crocodile. "Tweak, tweak!" With a child's typical curiosity, Little Elephant wants to know about each one. "What is that? What is it doing?" Mama patiently answers each question. "That is a frog. It is jumping," or "That is a butterfly flying high in the sky." Little Elephant then asks, "Can I do that?" while fantasizing himself jumping or flying or climbing a tree. Mama Elephant explains that no, he cannot do that because he is not a frog (monkey, songbird, etc.) BUT he can do THIS! She then proceeds to show him something he can do because he is an elephant and asking him how he likes it. The story closes with Little Elephant leading the way home full of confidence and happy with being himself.

I like this book because it shows children that not everyone is good at everything, but that everyone is good at something. I think that sometimes we parents push children to excel at everything. The truth is, some people are good at one thing while not being very good at others. And that is nothing to be ashamed of! I, for one, love to read and I am, and always have been, good at it. On the other hand, I have ALWAYS had a rocky relationship with math - hence the fact I work at a library, not an accountant's office! : )

Sergio Ruzzier's illustrations are cute, friendly and eye-catching. The "fantasy" pictures are rather reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, with purple trees, giant flowers, fish with noses and all other manner of imaginative things.

I would highly recommend Tweak Tweak as part of any one's permanent collection.

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie

Tweak Tweak can be found at the Lake County Public Library, or click here http://tinyurl.com/73j8u9z to use your library card number and PIN to reserve a copy for pick-up at your nearest branch.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WIN OR LOSE BY HOW YOU CHOOSE! by Judge Judy Sheindlin, illustrated by Bob Tore

Lexile    Not Rated
Pages    80
Ages     7-12

This is a great book for parents to read and discuss with their children. Written by Judge Judy Sheindlin of television fame (I love Judge Judy!), Win or Lose by How You Choose! presents moral and/or safety issues faced by today's children: "All your friends are smoking. They are making fun of you because you are not," or "You are home alone and someone knocks on the door." The scariest and I feel one of the most important issues she opens for discussion is, "You find a handgun in your father's closet." Yikes!

The questions are presented in a multiple-choice format with some of the answers laugh-out-loud funny. Usually the answer is obvious. But some of the questions get into a gray area where more than one answer may be appropriate, dependent upon the parents' rules or wishes. The simple line-drawing illustrations by Bob Tore give the book a friendly look, making it seem like fun rather than like a lesson.

Win or Lose by How You Choose! is not a book that will work well for children to read alone, and many of the 36 situations are geared toward the younger of the 7-12 age group. But as a tool to instill fairness, honesty, kindness and other desirable traits, you can't do much better than the good, common sense of Judge Judy.

You can find Win or Lose by How You Choose! at the Lake County Public Library or click here http://tinyurl.com/6qszm9h and with your library card number and PIN reserve a copy for pick-up at your nearest branch.

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie