It’s APRIL! How did that happen so fast? It sure doesn’t feel like it here in New England, but it’s here none the less. April is Earth Month. I love it! It’s time to get the kids outside. I get to do yard work, which I love. It’s also a good time to teach the kids about the environment. Grammie got the boys a new book just in time for Earth Month. The Berenstain Bears Go Green. We read this book tonight. The boys liked it, although they think the story should have continued longer (not sure if that was just because they didn’t want to go to bed yet).
The bear family loves their little world, Bear Country. They enjoy the mountains, the rivers, and the fields of sunshine. One day while spending quality family time outdoors they come across something foul. Oil drums leaking into the river. *my kids gasping* The entire community bands together to help clean up. The book also makes wonderful suggestions about recycling, composting, and trying to conserve energy. All things my boys know, but it’s always great to remind them. Oh, and now they want their dad and Poppy to build a windmill for our house. Great.
Another book that is appropriate to share this month is Mercer Meyer’s It’s Earth Day. I shared this one before. It’s great! Any time my kids are wasting water or leaving lights on I just shout, “polar bears!”
It’s book fair time at school again. We get there and of course Deacon wants those damn Star Wars and Ninjago books that I can’t stand and they are beyond his reading level. Logan had his heart set on a dragon lore book, which is no longer available. Boo for this mom who didn’t give him money in the morning to bring to school because we would be going in the evening. So now it’s ALL my fault. Mommy fail.
When Logan has his heart set on something he’s a persistent (I’m trying to refrain from saying pain-in-the-ass). He sulks. Get over it son, there’s nothing we can do about it but try to find it online later. Please find another book! We rounded each table and every shelf multiple times. “What book do you want?” – “The dragon one,” he would reply with a sigh. Ugh! I made countless suggestions and still nothing. He’s into non-fiction, anything about animals and reptiles, but nothing there was really grabbing his interest and I just wanted out of the crowded stuffy school library.
I went back over toward the non-fiction and there it was, the prize gem of books, What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Howard McWilliam. With a rattle snake right on the front I knew he would bite at this one. First off, high-fives to Howard McWilliam because the illustrations are absolutely amazing. This was the perfect mix of fiction and non-fiction. The boys truly loved it. The book starts with, “So you’ve lost your front teeth. Before you know it, two new ones will push right into their space. But what if an animal’s teeth grew in, instead?” Fantastic question! The book goes threw the facts on beavers, sharks, hippos, and many more while illustrating what it would be like if a kid had teeth like an animal’s. It’s perfect for the stage we’re in now with losing teeth around here. I heard a lot of “whoa,” “that’s awesome,” and “imagine that!” Needless to say, we all loved this book and we highly recommend you go check it out.
It’s awful to find kids playing and then see that they’re excluding someone. It truly irks me and I have a need to get involved. As a parent I try to teach my kids to treat everyone fairly, even when their peers are not being so fair. Spring is coming and we’ll be hitting the playground more and more so I decided to revisit one of our old Berenstain Bear books, No Girls Allowed. I love this book. Now it’s not just about boys vs. girls, it’s about treating our friends with kindness. Not excluding people, and not boasting.
Brother bear and his friends get tired of sister tagging around (and beating them in sports). See, she’s not the most gracious winner. They decide to create a club out at Frog Pond…the Bear Country Boys Club: No Girls Allowed. It’s just awful. Poor Sister bear is crushed.
It’s a great book to engage a discussion about feelings. To place them in Sister bear’s shoes. To place them in Brother bear’s shoes. How would they react to being with a group of friends that want to exclude someone? Would they stand up for the poor friend who’s being treated unfairly? I put my boys in that scenario tonight using names of students in their classes. I’m proud to say that they both told me they would tell their very good friends that they’re not being nice. Now let’s just hope that when they are put in that situation in real life, which I’m sure will happen, that they have the same reaction.