Top Ten Tuesday: Picture Books about The Beach

#10-Beach by: Elisha Cooper

Gorgeous watercolors on each page depict a day at the beach. Several mini pictures on each page with descriptions give readers a real feel for what the beach is like. A good book to put over the illustrations with your child and discuss.

#9-Good-Night Beach By Adam Gamble 

This sweet board book takes readers through a day at the beach and the lyrically words provide a soothing ending to the day. Good bedtime read for young ones.

#7-Curious George at the Beach by H.A. And Margaret Rey

I love Curious George and so does my son. George is up to his usual mischief on his trip to the beach, but ends up saving the day. Fun read for any child.

#6-A Day at the Seashore by Katheryn and Byron Jackson

A golden book classic that tells all about what can be done on the beach. A sweet read for any preschooler.

#5- If you Ever Want to Take a Piano to the Beach, Don’t by: Elise Parsley

Super silly and fun read about a little girl named Magnolia who is determined to take her piano to the beach. Hilarious, fun ensues one the family arrives with piano in tow.

#4-Seashells By the Seashore by Marianne Berkes

This book uses lyrical text to introduce young children to different types of seashells and their uses. Great lesson with a sweet story for the reader.

#3-Beach Feet by Kiyomi Konagaya

There is nothing cuter than little toes barefoot in the sand. This book details one little boy’s unique perspective on his time at the beach.

#2-The Seashore Book by Charlotte Zolotow

A young boy asks his mother to describe the Beach. Her words transport readers as if they are really there. A not to be missed story!

#1-Time of Wonder By: Robert Mccloskey

A tale of a summer spent on a Maine Island is an enchanting book with beautiful illustrations. Probably best enjoyed by older children.

Strawberry Pickin’ Time

So did you know that today is National Strawberry Picking Day? Who knew that there is a day for that? Here at the Words blog, we have been eating fresh strawberries all month. To celebrate the day, here are some great picture books to enjoy with your fresh strawberries. 

The Little Mouse, The Hungry Bear, and The Big Red Strawberry By: Don and Audrey Wood is a classic and a favorite at our house.  A tale of a little mouse that does everything he can to save his Strawberry from the big, hungry bear. 

The Grey Lady and the Strawberry Snatcher By Molly Bang is a wordless picture book that received a caldecott honor for its illustrations. The grey lady loves strawberries, but so does the strawberry snatcher who keeps trying to steal her strawberries. She outwits him in a fun chase to the woods. Caution: If you have a sensitive child, they might be scared of the strawberry snatcher’s depictions in the story.

Jamberry By: Bruce Degan is another classic that makes a fun read-aloud. Told in verse, a boy and a bear go on a berry picking adventure to make their favorite jam. A very whimsical and rhythmic tale that leaves you wanting some jam!
The First Strawberries By Joseph Bruchac is a retelling of a Cherokee legend, which details how strawberries came to be. A very captivating story with gorgeous illustrations.

From Seed to Strawberry by Mari Schuh is a fascinating look at the life cycle of a Strawberry from a seed to eating it. With simple text and realistic photos, it is perfect to give a child an introduction to what it takes to grow the food that they eat.

Whether you are growing, picking or just eating strawberries, I suggest you find one of these fun books to pair with your tasty treat! 🍓

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: All the Places to Love

Written By: Patricia Maclachlan
Illustrated By: Mike Wimmer
Suitable For Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: family, home, farms

Brief Synopsis: A young boy describes all the favorite places of each family member on their farm to his baby sister.

Links To Resources:

Why I Like This Book: This book is amazing! With beautiful watercolor illustrations, that pull you into the story and leaves you with a peaceful and soothing ending. The story is deeply moving and evokes memories of family and home. I highly recommend it.

Journey Through the Newberry Medals-The Story of Mankind

I have always wanted to read through the medal winners of the Newberry Medal and decided to chronicle my adventure here. The Newberry Medal is given every year for distinguished American literature for children. The first year it was awarded in 1928 to The Story of Mankind by Hedrick Van Loon. I was a little taken back after starting this book because it is a history book and not the type of book that wins the modern Newberry Medal.

The author wrote this book for his grandchildren to chronicle the history of mankind. It is a very long book, but the author’s voice shines through the retelling of history. The book is written in a conversational tone with lots of hand-drawn maps and pictures, anecdotes and his opinions. The chapters are very short and it moves at a fast pace through the scope of history. I found the text very readable, but I’m not sure the intended audience would think the same thing.

This book was written almost a hundred years ago so it is only history up to that point in time. I believe it has been updated, but I read the original version. The book has no references and is just the author’s account of history, so I would not take averything in it as truth. The author states in the beginning that it was written to give his grandchildren an appetite for history and leave them wanting more. It includes history texts in it that he feels every child should read. The history mainly focuses on what he deems “great men” of the west, so obviously a lot is left out from this text.

I can not see many children wanting to read this book. I think it’s best use would be to use for educational purposes and then back up with other sources to compare the two.

Books about Being Yourself

I had never read a Bill Peet story before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved the story of The Whingdingdilly after reading it and now am a Bill Peet fan! This story is about a dog named Scamp who isn’t happy with being a dog. He wishes to be the famous horse, Palomar, who everybody admires. He meets a witch, who turns him into a completely new creature named a Whingdingdilly. Scamp finds that he isn’t happy becoming something else and learns it’s just better to be yourself.  Bill Peet’s illustrations are fantastic and really complete the story. The book is longer than most pictures books so it would be good for ages 4 and up.

After reading, The Whingdingdilly, it reminded me of another book that my son loves to read. I want to be Somebody New By Robert Lopshire is an easy reader and written in verse form.  Spot is tired of doing tricks in the circus and wants to be something else. After turning into several different animals, he realizes that it’s just better to be yourself.  Both of these books are great little lessons for children on being happy with yourself.

Read Aloud Thursday

I have been reading Our Friends At Maple Hill Farm by: Alice and Martin Provenson to my oldest son because he loves any type of farmyard book. We live on a farm so he loves reading about anything to do with a farm.  This book is packed full of animals and each one has its own story. It is hard to get through it in just one reading.  This book is one of the best representations of farm animals that I have read. The text underneath each illustration give an idea of the quirky characteristics of each animal and gives the reader a real feel for the animals in the farm. There is a second book I the series titled The Year at Maple Hill Farm that I might just have to include on our collection.

Since Mother’s Day is this weekend, I grabbed The Mother’s Day Mice by Eve Bunting off the shelf at my library to read to my son. This is a cute story of three little mice that go out to get gifts for their mother on Mother’s Day. The littlest mice comes up with the sweetest gift for mother and illustrates what is most important on Mother’s Day. This sweet book would make a great gift for any book-loving mother 😉.

My youngest is a ball of energy and at 13 months old, he never quits moving. Most days it’s hard to get him to sit still for a story. Every day before nap this week, though he has brought me That’s Not My Puppy from the Usborne series. These books are perfect for toddlers with limited text, bright colors, and touchy-freely elements. We love Usborne in this house so much that I signed up as a consultant for the discount last year😂. It allowed me to greatly expand our library and that makes this book loving mom super happy!

I’m linking up with the Hope is the Word Blog for the Read Aloud Thursday.

The Read Aloud Handbook

I was browsing a bookstore last week and spotted The Read Aloud Handbook By: Jim Trelease on the clearance shelves. I had heard this book mentioned several times on the Read-Aloud Revival podcast by: Sarah Mackenzie (which is a really great resource for books and reading aloud), but had never felt a desire to read it because I have been reading aloud to my boys since they were born. I couldn’t turn down a good deal on a book so I grabbed it off the shelf.

This book is a real gem that every parent should read. I have always read to my boys; mainly because I enjoyed it and wanted to pass my love for books on to them. I never realized how important it is for the success and well being of the child. The first part of the book talks about the importance of reading aloud and it is backed up by research and statistics. Here are a couple of quotes that stuck out to me.

  • “Reading is the ultimate weapon, destroying ignorance, poverty, and despair before they can destroy us. A nation that doesn’t read much doesn’t know much. And a nation that doesn’t know much is more likely to make poor choices in the home, the marketplace, the jury box, and the voting booth. And those decisions ultimately affect an entire nation–the literate and the illiterate.” (Page xxvi)
  • “The last thirty years of reading research confirms this simple formula–regardless of sex, race, nationality, or socioeconomic background. Students who read the most also read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest. Conversely, those who don’t read much cannot get better at it”

The book also delves into the importance of reading aloud in schools and SSR. Being a former elementary school teacher, I was blown away at the impact this can have in academic success for students. I think back to the years I was in the classroom and while I did read aloud, it was crammed at the end of the day or right before lunch if we had free time. It was not of importance. SSR was not done in the schools that I taught.  I wonder why more schools are not implementing this when it is one of the easiest things that can be done. 

The end of the book is a giant treasury of books that make great read-alouds and gave me some fresh ideas for my sons 😉. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that has children in some form or fashion in their life.