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!