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Read Aloud Thursday

For some reason, I seem to have an inherent ability to locate science-related picture books without even trying.  I have noticed this trend in my library hunting-and-gathering.  Hence, several science-related books are in the spotlight here at Read Aloud Thursday this week.  Oh, and an art book, just because I like to keep you guessing.  : )
The first science read-aloud this week is Water Dance by Thomas Locker.  In this beautifully illustrated book, water is described in its various forms and conduits.  Water tells the story of its own life as it follows its cycle through nature.  This is a very gentle introduction to the water cycle.
Out of the Ocean by Debra Frasier is a visual delight.  In this story, a young girl learns from her mother about all the treasures the ocean can bring.  Bright and graphic artwork is interspersed with actual photographs of objects one might find at the beach.  Can you identify a sea urchin shell? A skate egg pouch?  A wooden float?  An Ocean Journal at the end of the book provides more explanation about the photographs in the story.  This would be a great book to read in preparation for a trip to the seashore or to show the importance of observation in nature.  Highly recommended!
Something about the cover artwork of Footprints and Shadows appealed to me at the library enough to include it in the twenty-or-so we checked out this week.  I think it is because we so rarely get any significant snowfall here in our part of the country.  The inside of the book is just as beautiful as its cover.  With a refrain of “footprints come and footprints go” and “shadows come and shadows go,” this book provides a gentle and lovely look at the seasons and different landscapes.  This book makes a particularly calm and soothing bedtime story.  Written by Anne Wescott Dodd and illustrated by Henri Sorenson, this book would also be a great introduction to nature study and observation.

What would it be like, as an artist, to have the opportunity to visit the gardens of Claude Monet and actually paint there, like he once did?  Bijou Le Tord did just that, and this book, A Blue Butterfly:  A Story about Claude Monet is the product of that experience.  The illustrations are reminiscent, of course, of Monet’s impressionist paintings.  The text is poetic and non-intrusive.  This book would make a lovely addition to an artist study.

I saved the very best for last, at least from the overly-sentimental parent’s point of view (that would be me).  Paul Fleischman’s The Animal Hedge is actually not a new read this week at the House of Hope.  In fact, I picked it up off the library shelf for the express purpose of blogging about it for Read Aloud Thursday.  The Animal Hedge is the story of a farmer who has three sons.  The farmer’s “heart [glows] like a how wood stove with the love of animals.”  However, due to economic hardship, he has to sell his farm.  He eventually finds solace in the discovery that he can groom the hedge around his small cottage into the shape of the various animals he once raised.  This lesson is taken to heart by his sons as they seek out their vocations.  This is a story about parenting, guidance, and letting go.  It is also a story of family love.  The illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline are beautiful and reminiscent of Grant Wood’s American Gothic (although friendlier).  Highly recommended!

What have you shared during your story times this week?  Leave a link to your blog or tell me about it in the comments!

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10 Responses

  1. I’ve gone and posted already and missed out on Read Aloud Thursday AGAIN! I’ve been reading aloud the same books all week. We have this series of Penuin books of classic children’s fairy tales but with a touchy-feely thing on each page.

    We bought them for my youngest son, but my oldest has become attached to them. I like that he has because now that we’ve read the stories so many times he reads them himself when no one’s around to read to him.

    It’s the sweetest thing in the world to sit and listen to him read to himself. His favourite (and mine to hear) is The Gingerbread Man. He gets so excited everytime it gets to the part where he says ‘Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!’

    There’s quite a few books in the series, and we have others but the bedtime routine is for us to only read four books. So he brought up The Gingerbread Man, Jack and Jill, The Three Little Pigs and Jack and the Beanstalk.

    Because those are quite short, we do sometimes cave and read him one or two more stories but those have varied from day to day.

    This is the link to The Gingerbread Man book:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gingerbread-Man-Fairy-Tales/dp/1844229580/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1233841578&sr=8-3

  2. Finally did the book meme that you tagged me for … very fun!!!! 🙂

    http://herdofsteph.blogspot.com/2009/02/amy-at-hope-is-in-word-tagged-me-for.html

  3. I’m out of town this week so I’m not participating this week but loved reading your read alouds. Esp. the last book as you mentioned. I also like the idea of The Blue Butterfly very much! Thanks for sharing!

  4. […] child must make his own way.  In this regard, it reminds me of The Animal Hedge (read my review here).  While my girls listened contentedly to this book, I really think it might be more appropriate […]

  5. […] again.  (If this sounds interesting to you, check out my review of another of Locker’s books here.) Pat Hutchins really needs no introduction, but aside from (possibly) reading Rosie’s Walk […]

  6. […] Well, folks, this is the final post for the Read Aloud Week book giveaway.  I’ve had a great time sharing some of our favorite read alouds with you all week long, and I hope this has at least been an inspiration to you in your own family reading.  The book I’m giving away is The Animal Hedge by Paul Fleischman, and you can read my review of it here. […]

  7. […]   The Animal Hedge […]

  8. […] author, that first caught my attention at the library. Bagram Ibatoulline illustrated Crossing, and as usual, his illustrations beautifully capture the bygone days of country roads criss-crossed by railroad […]

  9. […] We’re no stranger to Thomas Locker’s beautiful artwork; we have read a companion title, Water Dance, before, as well as the beautiful book Sky Tree.  Would that I had known about Cloud Dance earlier […]

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