Children's Book Reviews

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Sylvan Dell - Winners Again

We all like to win things. Of course we do, yet somehow we all think we never do. How many times have I heard at events where there is to be a doorprize "I never win anything." I've won doorprizes and usually they weren't all that useful. They'd end up in the box for white elephants or Goodwill.
I was pondering this morning as I planted out some strawflower seeds that my friend had brought to me from Hungary, Now, I'll be a big winner if these flowers come up! It was a special gesture to receive a packet of seeds from so far away. We win in all these little ways everyday. I remember each of my children's first steps as if it was yesterday. Those were two of the best winning days of my life. These are gifts bigger in heart than the biggest lottery win.
Nature too with it's countless ways to delight and inform us creates myriad little gifts as we spend time outdoors. That's what I love about the books from Sylvan Dell. The books point out the gifts nature offers our young children from insects to whales. And they do it in a way that tells a story rather than a dry science lecture. Here are three books I just reviewed yesterday. Tomorrow, I promise, I'll post four more of their books, which I've previously reviewed. Enjoy.

Tudley Didn’t Know
Young children love to play imaginative games, pretending they are being made into a pizza, knowing they can fly to the moon, or that they can fight dragons. In the moment of the game what they are pretending is reality. Of course they can! The same goes for young Tudley the turtle. Of course he can hop like a frog, glow like a firefly, fly like a hummingbird, and sing like a katydid. When he accidentally lands on his back, which is a most difficult predicament for any turtle, Tudley is afraid. Will his ever-lasting confidence pull him through to safety?
John Himmelman has created a special, delightful book, which will spark a deeper sense of imagination in his young readers. The story hums along and the illustrations follow in a fascinating, animating style. To make it even better readers are introduced to variety of small, engaging creatures and their behaviors in story form, the best way to absorb nature next to being out in it. The animal facts and activities at the end are not to be missed. Children will love to make the hopping turtle in art. Highly, highly recommended for preschool through early elementary years!

Happy Birthday To Whooo?
Who doesn’t love babies! Even the most jealous two to three year old new sibling can’t get in enough play about babies in the preschool house corner. Those new siblings, and indeed all children, will adore this book about baby animals. They will be bound to pour over the illustrations and animal facts.
Kudos to the author-illustrator combo, Doris Fisher and Lisa Downey, for creating such an endearing picture book. Lisa Downey’s pastel illustrations are as soft as the baby animals they depict. It’s always amazing how adept pastel artists are at painting so fully in this seeming elusive medium. Doris Fisher is able to present animal facts in a clever, guessing game way. Children will have fun guessing who the new little baby is, either with their parents or in circle time at school. The animal information at the end of the book will be a wonderful jumping off point for a delightful lesson plan on baby animals. Toddlers will enjoy identifying and mimicking the baby animals, while older children up to seven or eight years old will have fun making up their own guessing game about these and other animals. A recommended read for sure.

The Giraffe Who Was Afraid Of Heights
Can you believe that a tall young giraffe is afraid of heights? Or, that a hippo is afraid of water? Or that a monkey is afraid of climbing trees? "That’s silly," you say. "Giraffe’s are supposed to reach their long necks up high for food. Monkeys climb trees ever so quickly for safety. And, hippos need water to play in and stay cool." Yet, in this adorable story these animals are afraid; and, when they meet each other on their way to the doctor for help, they find a way to help one another overcome their fears instead. A crocodile unwittingly helps.
Author David A. Ufer adeptly combines fiction and facts about animal behavior and habitats. He gently lets children know they can overcome their fears too, just like their animal friends. Kirsten Carlson’s lively illustrations bring this sweet story alive with both humor and compassion. The fun facts and activities at the back of the book will delight children and classroom teachers alike. Highly recommended for young preschool and early elementary children, classrooms, and libraries.


Blogger suszen said...

First of all i like this article very much. Ofcourse everybody wants to win things and we will do untill it succeed.



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