We attended the book fair a couple of weeks ago. Of course we had the same issues as last year where they want books on predators, rattlesnakes, and Ninjago, but we still managed to get some good books for us all to enjoy together.
We picked out The Monster That Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber and illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds. I had never heard of it before. I’m now in love.
This book sends such a great message. It addresses bullying, friendship, and kindness. The boys just loved it. Apparently the “M” in Monster stands for mean. When Monster loses his “M”, he loses his mean. He starts acting differently and those around him take notice. At first Monster isn’t quite sure how he feels about this big change. The other Monsters tease him. Monster then realizes that being nice and not being mean is so much more fun. You make new friends.
This story is super cute and the illustrations are, for lack of a better term, just happy. Colorful and happy. We highly recommend you add this one to your bookshelf. We’re glad we did.
Let me preface, we’re not a big techy family. I have a tablet that the kids very, very rarely use. The kids don’t use smartphones aside from an occasional 10 minute session of Angry Birds. There are no iPod Touch things or any of that. They play Wii and Playstation, but that’s it. You won’t find them at a restaurant with a DS in hand or any other type of mobile device.
While perusing through Facebook the other day I came across an app called Jurassic Park Builder. I immediately thought of Logan. I knew he would love it. Then I pondered downloading it. My curiosity won and I hit “install.” I called him into the room and he was overjoyed with excitement! “You mean I get to build my own Jurassic Park!?” Yes you do kiddo. As we started I realized that he’s learning lots of things. First, he’s practicing his reading because you need to read what your missions are and execute them. Secondly, he’s learning about business and how to make some money by investing money. He’s also learning to take care of his dinosaurs by feeding them…which then again costs money. He’s having a BLAST!! From doing research and hatching dinosaurs to installing ponds and other features, we’ve been exploring all the possiblities and building a fantastic park.
At first I was really thrilled about us spending some time together and him coming to me for help and advise. However, now he’s become a little obsessive (okay, me too). As soon as I get home from work, “Hi Mom, you know what I’m going to ask, don’t you?” Yup, he wants the tablet. I even find myself collecting money from the dinosaurs while he’s sleeping. I tell myself I’m doing it for him. Deep down I know I just really want to get enough money to add a Stegosaurus.
I now almost understand this crazy Candy Crush saga that has been plaguing society….wait, no, I don’t think I’ll ever really understand it. How addicted are you to apps/games?
He just asked this morning for his own tablet. And so it begins.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a bookshelf post. Honestly, we’ve been basically reading the same books over and over lately, or using the learn to read books, such as We Both Read where the parent has a page to read and then the child does. I’ve been finding these very helpful. I am constantly getting, “Can’t you just read it me?” With these books it’s specified as parent page and child’s page.
My boys both needed help in reading this year so we’ve been focusing on easy to read stories to help build their skills and confidence.
Logan loves the Jane Yolen dinosaur books. He’s confident reading them and will sit and read them to his brothers, which just melts my heart. I’m trying to find some books that challenge him more, but that he’s interested in. The child is seriously obsessed with non-fiction and dinosaur encyclopedias. Not the best of reading material for a good night story.
When meeting with the reading specialist she mentioned the “Magic Tree House” books. I, myself, have never heard of them, but everyone I’ve talked to seems to have. I looked them up online and saw that book #1 was Dinosaurs Before Dark. Perfect. I was seriously excited and immediately went out and purchased it. I found it right in Target. I was thrilled. I glanced through it and it combines a fictional story with real facts about dinosaurs. I brought it home and the first thing he said was “Where are all the pictures?” May I preface, yes there are pictures in these books. They just don’t have elaborate colored illustrations. So we went from Jane Yolen, quick and easy reads, to chapter books.
I jumped the gun too fast and overwhelmed him a bit. We started reading the books together instead. I’m thrilled to say he’s excited for each new chapter. Now I just need to build his confidence so he realizes that even though he reads slowly, he can still read the stories to himself. We’ll get there eventually I supposed. What I really need is an in between type book.
So I’m looking for recommendations. What’s on your bookshelf for your first and second graders? Any good books that they enjoy to read independently?