My children are 8 and 10, are Harry Potter enthusiasts, have their own library cards, and enjoy reading independently. Now, for those who have read my blog before, it may seem like a random bit of information to share at the beginning of this post, but there’s a reason for it.
The other night my children and I read (and enjoyed)Owls Are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet, written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Jacob Grant. Yes, this is an alphabet book and my kids learned their letters a long time ago. But I saw this at the library and thought I would be interesting and grabbed it.
Now this may surprise you, but when we settled in for our bedtime read the other night and I pulled out this book and read the title, there were no complaints. These kids, who when reading independently are reading books with action and/or themes of bullying and friendship drama, had no issues with listening to a book about the alphabet. Why? Because just like as adults we have our guilty pleasure books or TV shows, kids sometimes like to just relax when listening to a story. Whether its silly, funny, or even what some may find babyish, a good story is a good story. Also, its just a relaxing way to end the day, so it doesn’t have to be complicated.
So, don’t feel like you always have to read a book that is heavy in content or equal to or above their own reading level. Sometimes they just want chill and spend some quality time with their adult, even if it is a book about the alphabet.
Author Lily Williams has struck again with the next book in her series about what would happen if an animal became extinct, this one titled, If Polar Bears Disappeared. In this book, we learn what would happen if polar bears became extinct animals. Not only do we learn what will happen to the polar bears if sea ice continues to melt, but how their disappearance will affect so many other aspects of the artic environment. With beautifully clear illustrations to accompany the text, this is definitely one to add to your library as you are #RaisingReaders.
There are many things I do enjoy about this book, both as a educator and as a mother. Here are a few of my faves:
–I love how Lily Williams explains it all. She doesn’t just start with the disappearance, she explains what would cause their disappearance. Also, she doesn’t just tell you they’ll be gone, she also suggests how you (even as a child) may prevent that from happening.
–She explains complex ideas, like global warming, in a way that a young child who picked up her book will understand.
–Like I mentioned in my review of If Sharks Disappeared, I love that the main character is a young girl of color, and now she has a female companion with her in this one. As the mother of a curly haired brown girl, I love the Girl Power!
My kids loved the first book in the series, so they were super excited for me to read this one. They definitely enjoyed this one, and are even more knowledgeable about the how the environment works as a result. This book would be great for a child who is an animal and/or environment lover and/or in a classroom where you are learning about global warming, Earth Day, endangered or extinct animals or animals in general. I could continue with other times this would be a great book to read, but really it doesn’t have to fit into a certain time, its just a great book to share with children.
*I was provided with an ARC of this book as a member of #bookexcursion.
Every time my daughter points to a character and says, “She looks like me!”, I remember how important it is for my children (and all children) to see themselves in books. She gets excited and instantly feels a bond, whether its the curly hair or the brown skin that she’s connecting to. Luckily, my child has been able to see herself in quite a few book (definitely more than I did as a child), and If Sharks Disappeared is one our recent favorites. I love that not only is the storyteller brown skinned, but I love the fact that the book has nothing to do with the fact that she is of color. She’s an expert on sharks…who just happens to have brown skin and curly hair. What a simple way to open up my daughter’s eyes to a different career option! Here’s our review of this intriguing title:
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams is a great book about what could happen if those pesky, scary, downright terrifying animals were to go away.
Of course, initially during our bedtime read, all 3 of us are down with sharks disappearing. However, with the help of the main character, we were eventually able to see that if sharks did disappear, there would be serious consequences that would even reach us in the Midwest! This informational picture book takes us step by step and tells us why changing that one thing could result in a disaster. The illustrations do their part in teaching and the text is short and sweet. And as with most good informational books, there’s additional sources and information at the end.
This book would be awesome for anyone, but if you have a #sharkweek lover, this would be the perfect time to introduce them to this book.
*Also, I recently learned from the author that there are going to be two more books in this series, If Polar Bears Disappeared and If Elephants Disappeared coming in the next year!
Like many kids, my children enjoy animals, both visiting them at zoos and aquariums, and reading about them. So when I came across this book, 50 Wacky Things Animals Do: Weird & Amazing Animal Facts, I knew my kids would love it…and I was right.
This book, written by Tricia Martineau Wagner and illustrated by Carles Ballesteros, is a collection of odd facts about a variety of animals. I purchased this book because it is a finalist for the Children’s Book Awards for 2018, so I knew it had a book that kids would like for sure.
Each page spread has a wacky fact and a wacky illustration to go along with it, and so far, each fact we’ve read has sparked conversation. For example, when my kids thought that a sloth moving 9 feet in a minute wasn’t that slow, we did a hilarious demonstration in our living room to show just how slow that was.
The book is so good that even after I stopped reading facts for the night, my daughter took the book, snuggled with her brother, and read a couple more pages. For that cuddling reason alone, we definitely recommend this book for any animal loving child that you may have in your mix.