Archive for April 2016

Watch Out for Bears!

April 28, 2016

We live in a woodsy neighborhood with a conservation area behind us. While talking to one of the neighbors last week, the subject of bears came up. He mentioned that he saw bear tracks going in between our houses and into the conservation area. I appreciate wildlife, but knowing there may be a bear lurking outside my window makes me a bit uncomfortable I like to be prepared for anything that might happen. I did what any lover of picture books would do. I got A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting.

Bear Spotting

This charming book with delightful illustrations is written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by David Roberts. In between the two covers of the book, I learned everything I need to know about bears from the cutest little bear expert. She taught me that black bears and brown bears can be dangerous. I learned that if I come across a bear, I should “play dead” or “back away s l o w l y,” depending on what kind of bear it is. She gave me tips on what I should or should not do when a bear is around. I also learned the golden rule about bear spotting. If you want to know what it is, you need to get this book to make sure you’re safe if you ever come face to face with a bear.

Don’t mess with me bears. I come prepared!


I Am Yoga

April 21, 2016

Parents! Teachers! Have you ever had one of those days when you think your kids have gone to WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE? I have the perfect answer to tame those fidgety bodies.


I Am Yoga written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds is a picture-perfect book to bring a sense of serenity to a restless child. The gorgeous watercolor illustrations done in pastels have an immediate calming effect. Verde’s text begins by referring to a “world spinning so fast,” a “wiggling body” and a “thinking mind” that won’t be quiet. Using a variety of yoga poses, the young girl in the story is able to imagine herself soaring, sailing, dancing, and becoming more focused. Each of the poses relaxes her mind and body and brings her world back to the “right speed.” An excellent author’s note is included in the back matter. It talks about the importance of yoga for kids and explains the different yoga poses found in the book. This is a just-right book to share with restless kids. Follow it up by trying the yoga poses to help relax and strengthen both body and mind.


Earth Day – April 22

April 14, 2016


Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd. We have been given a precious gift. To continue to enjoy all of Earth’s treasures, we should make it a point to celebrate Earth Day every day.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Its founder was U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. You can find more about the history of Earth Day here, and check here for some great Earth Day activities for families. Below are a few of the outstanding books that are ideal for parents and teachers to share with children in celebration of Earth Day. 

Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World written by Laurie Lawlor and illustrated by Laura Beingessner, Holiday House

Water Is Water A Book about the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin, Roaring Book Press

One Plastic Bag Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.” ~Chief Seattle

S is for Save the Planet written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Linda Holt Ayriss, Sleeping Bear Press

If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor, Henry Holt & Company

Miss Maple’s Seeds written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, Nancy Paulsen Books

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” ~Evo Morales


April – National Poetry Month

April 7, 2016

“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” ~Leonardo da Vinci

Poetry is an ideal way to encourage oral language skills in children. It has a rhythmic quality with rhymes, sounds, and patterns. Poetry is like a dance with words. It can be slow with beautiful images of quiet and calm, or it can be fast with quick rhymes that elicit smiles from young listeners. Poems are something that can be shared again and again for the enjoyment of all.

Here are two poetry books I’d like to share with you – especially if you have young children or grandchildren. Both of these books have poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, a talented poet, poet anthologist, and the recipient of the Regina Medal Award for 2016.


Lullaby & Kisses Sweet: Poems to Love With Your Baby selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Alyssa Nassner, Harry N. Abrams Board Books

This book contains original poems by well-known authors such as Lee Bennett Hopkins, Laura Purdie Salas, Ann Whitford Paul, J. Patrick Lewis, and Jane Yolen.  It’s divided into five sections:  Family, Firsts, Bedtime, Play, and Food. Each section includes poems that are attention-grabbing and fun. This book is sweet, snappy, and delightfully entertaining for all, and it’s a perfect gift!

Jumping Off Library Shelves:  A Book of Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins and illustrated by Jane Manning, Wordsong

This is a collection of fifteen poems written by well-known authors that explores the library and all the magic that takes place inside. Readers will enjoy Jane Manning’s enchanting illustrations done in soft pastels. This is another keeper!

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