Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category
By Cybele Young
Nancy the elephant can remember all sorts of things, but she knows she’s forgetting something important! As she tries to remember, we can see all of the things she’s thinking about filling up her line art. To try and determine what she’s forgotten, she remembers things that she knows. All sorts of paper sculptures fill the elephant as she thinks about things that are similar, like the same shape or color, things that face one way, then another, things in neat rows and things that are a jumbled mess. Nancy helps the reader lean about many opposites in her quest to remember what she’s forgotten. When she finally stops thinking and lets her mind rest, the answer finally comes to her!
Nancy Knows is a precious book with lots of little details to offer. You and your little one will find yourselves examining each picture to see what all you can find in Nancy’s thoughts. Challenge your child to think of other opposites that Nancy has forgotten, like hot and cold, or high and low.
Recommended for ages 4-7.
This board book combines simple text with adorable puppy pictures, each one with a sensory aspect. Your little one can touch fluffy fur, a soft pink tongue, silky fur, a smooth ball, and a shiny bright blue bow.
Though the words in the book are few, you can increase your child’s vocabulary by having him/her describe the pictures to you (or you can describe them to him/her if they aren’t yet verbal enough)
Having your child touch and feel the different textures can also improve their hand-eye coordination.
Books that incorporate textures for little hands are super engaging, and when they are combined with real puppy photos, that’s a jackpot in my book. Happy reading!
Curious George and the Firefighters by iRead With
Yesterday in App Time, we looked at the app Curious George and the Firefighters. There are three ways to interact with this app. The first option is to simply listen the narrated story. The words are not highlighted as the narrator reads, so make sure you are running your finger along the text to help your child raise print awareness. The second option is why I chose to demonstrate the app. It is called Read & Talk. This option includes a parent avatar that acts as a guide while you engage in the story with your child. As you click on different colored words throughout the story, the parent avatar will pop up with a question or a prompt that requires an answer from your child. The act of asking questions helps increase reading comprehension. Statements such as talking about how characters feel or discussing why a character did something in particular helps keep your child engaged with the story. Feel free to incorporate this practice as you read other book apps and print books. In this option, you can also record your voice for specific words that are highlighted throughout the story. The app calls these words living words. When you select living words on the page, they complete an action along with the corresponding illustration. Living words help with word recognition. The third option in the Curious George and the Firefighters app is called the Theater. This option allows your child to recreate different scenes from the story with stickers. They can record their voice as they animate the scene. This is great way to boost reading comprehension and narrative skills.
Toca Nature by Toca Boca
available in iTunes for $2.99
Our activity app in App Time was called Toca Nature. This is one of my favorite apps we’ve explore in App Time, so far. It encourages open-ended play, something that is so important for children’s early literacy development. The app starts off with an empty plot of land. It’s your child’s job to create a whole new world using the options at the bottom. They can create mountains and hills, lakes, rivers, and ponds, and all kinds of different forests that contain various wildlife. Once they are happy with their creation, they can explore the landscape with the magnifying glass at the bottom. In this explore mode, your child can move forward, backward, and side to side. To turn, use the globe at the bottom left corner. You’ll come across lots of different wildlife as you explore. There are bears, bunnies, foxes, birds, and deer. Sometimes they get hungry!! A thought bubble will appear above their head with the specific food they are craving. Feed them from your food collections at the bottom. There are berries, nuts, mushrooms, and fish. If you run out of berries, for example, search the ground until you find berries. Click on them and you can add them to your collection. To exit the explorer mode, click the arrow at the top right corner. To start over and create a new world, use the axe to erase trees, the water to erode mountains, and the mountains to fill up water.
Hope to see you at App Time! This program is held at Haggard Library on Fridays, 11am.
By: Jordan Quinn
The Lost Stone is book one in The Kingdom of Wrenly series. Eight-year-old Prince Lucas of Wrenly has everything a boy could want – except for a friend. He is very lonely because his father, the king, doesn’t think it’s proper for him to be friends with the village children. His mother, the queen, convinces the King that their son should have friends. When the queen’s prized emerald pendant goes missing, the prince goes on a quest with his new friend, Clara, to find the stone. Their adventure takes the children to the fairy island of Primlox, the trolls’ home of Burth, the wizard’s island of Hobsgrove, and finally the Mermaid’s Cove.
Young, emerging readers now have their very own fantasy series and can embark on imaginary quests. The illustrations complement the text perfectly and set the fairy tale scene and they take up enough page space so new readers won’t feel overwhelmed by text. The Plano Library system already has six books in The Kingdom of Wrenly series for children to enjoy.
Ready Rabbit Gets Ready
by Brenna Maloney
It’s time for Ready Rabbit to get out of bed and get ready for school, but he would much rather build a spaceship or play dress up. Eating breakfast and brushing your teeth—no fun! Whether he is riding on his make-believe motorcycle or saving whales, Ready Rabbit likes to imagine, and what an imagination he has!
Brenna Maloney captures what it is to be a kid with Ready Rabbit Gets Ready. The photograph illustrations of cloth-made Ready Rabbit feature miniature furniture and toys laid out in perfect little scenes, and Ready Rabbit has a face for every feeling and expression. A fun read every child will identify with.
Recommended for ages 2 and up.
(Jocelyn, Davis Library)
Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera and paintings by Raúl Colón.
Beautifully illustrated, this compilation of Hispanic American heroes is a gem begging to be shared with your favorite child. Children will be inspired by the brief biographies of twenty men and women who have been part of creating a wonderfully diverse America.
And speaking of diversity, have you seen the Cultural Connections page in the library’s Engage brochure? Page three highlights diverse programs that may interest you and your children. On March 7, Davis Library will celebrate Holi, and on April 18, Harrington Library will celebrate El día de los niños/Day of the Child. These are just two of the many opportunities, so check out the events brochure on the library website for more!
Visit the library and enrich your life!
This week in App Time we looked at Boats, an app based on the book of the same name by Byron Barton. It’s produced by Oceanhouse Media and is available as part of the Byron Barton Collection #1 for $4.99 from the App Store.
This app has the bright colors, bold outlines and simple shapes that are familiar from Barton’s books. The book will automatically read aloud unless you go into the settings. There is the option to record your own voice.
There are sound effects and animation as the different boats move onto the page. Navigation is intuitive with the triangle appearing in the bottom right.
Tapping on a boat repeats a sound effect. You can also move the boats by holding and dragging. Tapping on objects or parts of the scene will identify the object and the word will appear, a great way to build on a child’s vocabulary.
The activity app this week is MOMA Art Lab from the Museum of Modern Art in NY. It’s available for free from the App Store and encourages open-ended creativity.
Once the app is opened, you’ll see 3 colored buttons on the left. The button with the lightbulb gives you ideas for your artwork; the scissors and pencil button gives suggests activities based on a specific artist’s work. Each of these button also has the option for audio, so that a pre-reader will have the activity or suggestion read aloud to them. The third button is your gallery where you can save your artwork. On the right side, there’s the option to start a new work, take a picture of your art, change the canvas color, or delete your artwork.
In the middle is a blank canvas with drawing, shape and color options at the bottom. Bring shapes onto the canvas by tapping on them. You can move shapes around, resize them and turn them…or drag them off the screen to remove them. Practice shape and color recognition with your child using the app. There are lots of color and drawing options, and a handy eraser if you need to revise your artwork. The drawing option will allow a child to scribble and practice pre-writing skills by “writing” in their own way.
This app has so many possibilities: discuss the artists featured on the app; visit a museum; try some of the artwork with real art supplies; talk with your child about their artwork.
Compiled by Eric Carle
“Everybody has a favorite animal. Some like little white dogs or big black cats or hoppy brown bunnies best. Others prefer squishy snails or tall giraffes or sleek black panthers. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, 14 children’s book artists share their favorite animals and why they love them.” -from the book jacket
Artists include: Nick Bruel, Lucy Cousins, Susan Jeffers, Steven Kellog, Jon Klassen, Tom Lichtenheld, Peter McCarty, Chris Raschka, Peter Sis, Lane Smith, Erin Stead, Rosemary Wells, Mo Willems.
I loved seeing the different illustration styles and hearing my favorite book artists’ stories. What is your favorite animal?