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Puddle Jump Through Life With Us - Living... Loving... Growing... washed in the love of Christ

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It's time for a good book

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

3 New Animal Books For Kids From Schiffer

Three new children's books from Schiffer's Publishing lay a fun foundation for learning about animals. Science lessons and lessons of literature will spring forth naturally from these pages.  Schiffer Publication, Ltd. sent me the following books in exchange for an honest review:

Are You Sure That Was A Rabbit? By Clay Harper & Jas Ingram is an adorably fun book that takes a classroom of kids out to their school garden where various animals pass by.  Each time, the animal is mistaken for a rat.  The kids are quite alarmed at the thought of a rat in their garden.  Yet, each time the teacher reassures them that it is not a rat and explains what animal it truly is.
It's a cute book to get kids interested in noticing characteristics of various animals:  rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, and yes - rats.

Mallory The Forgetful Duck by Elaine Allen is about a duck who is so forgetful that one day she forgets where she laid her eggs.  The story introduces different kinds of nests and eggs including:  Canadian Geese, Osprey, Herons, Oystercatchers and Ducks.
It is a fun story to read that will expose your child to names of animals, their habitats, their nests and egg size and colors, in a light-hearted and fun way.

Wild Colt by Lois Szymanski is a sweet poetic-style story of a colt who finds a home.  The story is written in a phrase poem style that opens up doors to literature lessons as well as all the science that surrounds the colt in the story and the wetlands as portrayed in the story.
The story doesn't stop at the end.  The back of the book is filled with information about animals you will find in the wetlands and more wetland facts.

A couple additional books from Schiffer Publishing that do not involve animals are Tales From Sweet Sweet Big Billy And The Ice Cream Truck That Wouldn't Stop! by Joe Consiglio and Shirley's Cakes by Ambur Lowenthal & Joe Werner.  Both are stories that are creative and fun to read with your children.

Be sure to express that they are just fun books when you read these last two stories as Ice Cream Truck safety is something of personal terror to me.  It seems like at least once a year or so there is a news story of a child being struck and killed by a school bus or an ice cream truck, or other vehicle that is supposed to be child friendly.  I would hate for a child to misunderstand the story of Big Billy and go into fantasy mode when he or she sees an ice cream truck.  The story does, however, play out a bully scenario and a fight between good vs. evil where kindness wins out.  And, it's a very fun story to read aloud as it gives the reader a chance to express herself with all the fun adjectives and sound action words.

The cake story includes a few cake recipes that would be fun to try out with your child.  And, it could be merely a cute little story.  However, there is one part of the cake story that stood out to me as I wondered if the story actually was intended to have a deeper, more political meaning between the lines as the teacher sits with the little girl who hates cakes and explains that:
I'm upset that you don't accept the life choices of others
The others are those who love "cake".

If you want to teach your child that there is right and wrong choices and that not every choice is a choice that needs to be embraced (though she needn't be hateful about the choices of others - she still should be commended for standing up for her own values), then this may not be the book for you.  This would not bother me like it did if the story had ended differently.  As it turns out, this cake-hating girl ends up not only accepting the choices of others, but embracing their choices and making it her own.  I'll let you read the book for yourself to get the full details surrounding the end of the story and whether or not you believe it is an ending to be celebrated.

1 comment:

  1. I disagree with your analysis of Shirley's Cakes. Specifically, I don't agree that Shirley simply embraces the choices of others. Rather, I think she finds a way to create an environment in which her values and the values of others both flourish. That is, she makes cakes that both she AND others love.

    Granted, this seems kind of Pollyanna in today's world but it really is possible to keep your beliefs and yet nourish and support others who do not.

    While I support you in not wanting to encourage children to give up their beliefs on demand, I think finding a way to accommodate everyone WITHOUT COMPROMISE is an amazing skill that should be encouraged.