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Read Aloud Thursday


I haven’t highlighted a nonfiction title for Read Aloud Thursday in a while, but I just couldn’t leave this one out.  Growing Frogs by Vivian French is a part of the Read and Wonder series by Candlewick Press, and it is a perfect fit for my little girls.  This is a story that incorporates lots of information, so I guess it’s actually hybrid–part nonfiction, part story.  This book contains the main story in larger typeface and extra information in smaller.  Part of what makes this book so appealing are the lovely, bright, and kid-friendly illustrations by Alison Bartlett.  I’m sure that our own frog-raising experience  made this book more interesting to us.  I think this book would be a great book to transition into listening for facts in a story, etc.  Highly recommended!

I just knew that I had already written up the book Tiny’s Big Adventure by Martin Waddell for Read Aloud Thursday, but when I went back and did a search on my own blog, I learned that I hadn’t.  🙂  (Please tell me I’m not the only person who actually has to go back read her own posts to see where she’s been!)  Well, this one is a must-read!  It’s the story of Tiny Mouse and Katy Mouse who go on a wheat field adventure.  They encounter all sorts of things, from a rabbit, to a tractor, to a boot, and timid Tiny always looks to the larger and braver Katy for reassurance.  As if simply being by the wonderfully prolific Martin Waddell isn’t enough, what makes this book a not-to-be-missed gem are the interesting illustrations.  They look like woodcuts, but I just learned from reading the publication information that they are “vinyl engravings, watercolor washes, and printed wood textures,” all brought together through the marvel of technology.  I don’t know much about all of that, I just know that these illustrations are beautiful.  I think this book would be especially appealing to toddlers or young preschoolers who might identify with Tiny Mouse.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I picked up In the Garden:  Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George.  Something about the cover made me expect a simple story that might not appeal to my (at times) persnickety listeners.  Although it is a simple story, I think this book did appeal to them because they can identify so much with the experience of the children in this story.  Siblings Christina and Jeremy are instructed by their mother to go out to the garden and gather vegetables.  When they get to the garden, they realize something else has been there before them.  Every other page of text ends with the question “Who’s been here?”  Of course, the reader is given hints to figure out what might have preceded the children.  All kinds of vegetable-loving critters make an appearance in this book.  One great thing about this book are the large illustrations of the animals–each query of “Who’s been here?” is answered with a two-page spread of the animal that answers this question.  This is a great summertime read!

My children have always loved the book Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (read my thoughts here), so it follows that another take on the same folktale should be a winner, too, right?  The Hatseller and the Monkeys, written and illustrated by Baba Wague Diakite, is a winner for sure.  This time the story is set in Africa, and although the backstory is a little different, the fun is the same.  I must have a thing for woodcut–these illustrations are very similar to those in Tiny’s Big Adventure, so I’m assuming that they were made using a similar process.  I especially love that each page is bordered with black and white somersaulting monkeys.  This is a fun read aloud, especially if you have a gift for languages since it contains several phrases in some African language.  😉

What’s in your book basket this week?  Leave a comment or a link to your blog entry in which you tell us about your family’s read alouds!  And as always, don’t forget about the button!


Happy Read Aloud Thursday!


3 Responses

  1. I’m participating with a Shel Silverstein book this week:


    As always, I leave your post eager to find these beautiful books at the library.

    We’ve read a few good nature books recently too: Tadpoles (Betsy James), Mt Visit to the Aquarium (Aliki), and Across the Big Blue Sea (Jakki Wood).

  2. I did one this week … http://herdofsteph.blogspot.com/2009/08/read-aloud-thursday-sort-of.html … rather sheepishly I might add. 🙂 What fun nature books you have found!

  3. Growing Frogs looks like it would be PERFECT for us! I’ll have to look into that one!

    And no, you aren’t the only one who re-reads her own blog to find out where she’s been. 😉

    This week I wrote about books that Daddy reads aloud but that I’m not personally allowed to read to him. For whatever reason!


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