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Read Aloud Thursday

read-aloud21This week we have enjoyed several animal books that most certainly should be added to our “best picture books” category (if such a category existed) at Hope Is the Word.  My girls would listen to any one of these books over and over again.  Since my girls have fairly long attention spans when it comes to listening to stories, that may not be the best indication of a quality story; however, the fact that I would gladly read any of these over and over again is an indication that these are enjoyable to read aloud, as well.  Enjoy!

Good Thing You’re Not an Octopus! is a fun and simply-worded story that is perfect for older toddlers and preschoolers.  Written by Julie Markes and illustrated by Maggie Smith,this story is based on the premise that many animals have to do things that young children often do not like to do.  For example, the first sentence in this story is, “You don’t like to get dressed in the morning?”  The facing page answers, “It’s a good thing you’re not an octopus.  If you were an octopus, you would have eight legs to put in your pants!”  As we parents know, responding to young children’s grumpiness and cantankerousness (?!?) with humor will often disarm the worst of humors, and this book capitalizes beautifully on that idea.  Highly recommended!

The next two books are useful and enjoyable on many levels.  For my preschoolers, leaving out much of the extra information included in the backs of the books or in smaller typeface throughout the story reduces each of these to a fun introduction to many different kinds of animals.  However, each book contains enough information to be beneficial and enjoyable for even upper-elementary aged students.

What Do You Do with a  Tail Like This? by Steven Jenkins and Robin Page is a visual delight, evidenced by its Caldecott honor in 2004.  Similar body parts and appendages of vastly different animals appear on a two-page spread (i.e. the eyes of an eagle, chameleon, four-eyed fish, bush baby, and horned lizard are compared).  On the next page, the animals are identified and fascinating information about those particular animals’ body parts is related.  (Did you know a horned lizard squirts blood out of its eyes?  We didn’t, and Lulu and Louise were quite intrigued by this.  Quite intrigued.)  For little ones, this is a great book to play match with by having the children match the body part on one page with the animal on the next.  For older children, there is plenty of additional information about the animals in an appendix in the back of the book.  Don’t miss this one!

The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins was probably Lulu’s most requested book this week.  I don’t know if it is the novelty of a male penguin incubating an egg,  just her natural curiosity about the reproductive process (which is explained in a very gentle way, with no specific details),  the gentle and conversational tone of the book, or a combination of all of these, but this book was a hit at the House of Hope.  This is not a story, per se; it is more of a very well written informational book.  I don’t know about your family, but that’s the way we like our information served.  Jane Chapman’s sweet illustrations (who could resist the Emperor penguin chick on the cover?) make this a special book indeed.  This is a book I’d love to own for our own collection, and as an avid-library-user-in-an-overcrowded-house, that’s saying a lot.  Highly, highly recommended.

What’s in your book bag this week?  Share your family’s read-alouds in the comment section or by a link to your blog! Oh, and be sure to use the NEW Read Aloud Thursday blog button!  You can get the html code for the button here, or simply save the image from this post.

Next week I’m hoping to share some of our Easter read alouds for Read Aloud Thursday.  Feel free to do the same thing next week in YOUR Read Aloud Thursday post, or just share whatever you’ve been reading together.

Happy reading!

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4 Responses

  1. Good Thing You’re Not an Octopus sounds really, really cute. And I’ll have to hunt up some new Easter books for next week. Good idea!

    You’ve already been to visit, but here’s the link to my Read Aloud Thursday post.

    http://www.readingtoknow.com/2009/04/two-in-one.html

  2. Click over and read krazzymommy’s Read Aloud Thursday post here—>

    http://vikingpress.blogspot.com/2009/04/read-aloud-thursday.html

  3. Sorry – I was in a hurry when I left and posted under the wrong post! 🙂

  4. No problem!

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