It seems like things have gotten a little off track here at the House of Hope in the past week. I always strive to finish (or mostly finish) Lulu’s kindergarten lessons before lunchtime, but this week it seems that we’ve usually only started the formal stuff (phonics, math) after lunch. I’m trying to realize that this is a season in my life–one in which I move incredibly slowly and sometimes painfully (I have back issues which have been greatly aggravated by this pregnancy). This really puts a crimp in my plans sometimes. Plus, I’m trying to be a more relaxed homeschooler–to realize that no, we can’t do it all in one day, and that’s okay. Anyway, what this has meant is that we have been doing a fair amount of reading in the mornings on the couch. While our read-alouds times in the morning usually do have some direction (i.e. either a FIAR book or go-along or something that goes with our human body study), we’ve also been doing a good amount of “free reading.” We’ve picked up quite a few winners!
Rabbit Inn was almost returned to the library before we had a chance to read it, but I’m so glad I held it out for one more day! Patience Brewster’s gentle little story is about a rabbit couple who are innkeepers. When the Mrs., Pandora Lapinandro, learns that some important visitors are coming to Rabbit Inn, she begins to see her beloved home through new eyes: it’s in disrepair! It’s in disarray! Quick, Bob, let’s clean this place up! The job is too big for just the two bunnies, though, so Bob Lapinandro calls upon the residents at the inn to help them. They willingly help, two-by-two. By the time the visitors arrive, everything is in order, and Pandora can relax. Three things are great about this book: first, it is (unexpectedly, I might add) perfect for the place our family is right now. (I’ll let you figure that one out! 😉 ) Second, the words and illustrations are so very detailed. Much of the story rhymes, and all of the animals have funny names. Third, the fact that the animals all come in pairs made it easy to turn this book into a little mini-math review. (No, I don’t turn everything into a lesson, but some books make it easy, right?) 🙂 This book surprised me, and I’m glad we read it. You can find out more about the author and illustrator, Patience Brewster, by visiting her website.
I’m putting in this next one not because I think anyone out there might miss Jan Brett, but because I’m still hoping to attend one of her book signings. Although we enjoy her books at Christmas time, I don’t often check her out at other times during the year (although we did have a books for Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day that she illustrated). Unlike these holiday books, Berlioz the Bear is illustrated in the way we’ve all come to recognize as her style: with sidebars and “extra” illustrations to alert us, the readers, to what is going on elsewhere in the story. The story of Berlioz is a good one, one that really engages young listeners. Poor Berlioz is a double bass player who is trying to get to the village square for the gala ball his orchestra is scheduled to play in. He has a problem, though: his double bass is making a funny, buzzing noise. Once all the other musicians arrive and they all board the bandwagon, though, his one problem quickly morphs into two problems: a wagon wheel gets stuck in a hole soon after they begin their journey, and the mule pulling the wagon characteristically sits down in the road and refuses to budge. Lots of well-dressed animals come to their rescue, but it’s Berlioz’s first problem that finally solves his second. This one is fun both to read and look at! I found this page of illustrated notes about the story that makes me like Jan Brett even more. If you haven’t checked out her website, you really should. It’s positively brimming over with good stuff: coloring pages, contests, lesson plans, etc.
I have more books to share, but my girls are up from rest time. Duty calls! 🙂
What is your family enjoying this week? Please provide a link to a blog post or simply leave a comment. Oh, and spread the word! I’ve recently begun participating in What My Child Is Reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns (when I can remember to link up, that is, since it’s a Saturday event). I like to get Read Aloud Thursday out there as much as possible–the more the merrier, I say!
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Have a terrific Read Aloud Thursday!