My library has a really awesome program called Books to Grow On They have put together theme kits on all kinds of different topics that are available for check out by any library patron. Included in the kits are not just books (usually around 10) but also cassettes or CDs, VHS tapes or DVDs, puzzles or other activities, and ideas for a parent or teacher on ways to expand on the theme. If you think this sounds like fun, ask your library if they have such a thing. And if you live in the Puget Sound Area like I do, take a look at the Books to Grow On page on the King County Library website and find whatever topic your little one is clamoring for!
We recently brought home the Books to Grow On Alphabet 2 box and enjoyed reading and reading and reading lots of unique and interesting ABC books that I am not sure I would have found on my own. Here’s some information on our favorites from this box.
Title: A is for Asia
Author: Cynthia Chin Lee
Ages:3 and older
I wasn’t sure how interesting my son would find this book. I flipped through it and thought it looked neat but wasn’t sure if there was too much text or if the content was too unfamiliar to him. I really wanted to read it with him because I think it will only benefit him to learn about other countries and cultures at a young age. I must admit as we got to the “P” page I was not really playing attention to what I was reading – I was too busy worrying about how to raise a culturally sensitive child. The last line on the “P” page is that pandas love to eat honey as a special treat. As I finished reading that page, my 3-year old said “Pandas like honey but usually they eat bamboo.” I was just amazed at how smart he was. How did he remember that? I looked at the pictures and sure enough there was bamboo but would he really recognize it? The mystery was solved when I asked him how he knew that they usually ate bamboo. He said “Mommy read that in the book.” Good job mom! If I had been paying more attention, I would have realized that was exactly what that page said. Anyway he really found this book really interesting and has already asked me to get it from the library again.
Title: ABC of Crawlers and Flyers
Author: Hope Ryden
My son is really into the ABCs right now so he enjoys seeing each of the letters as he practices. It was fun to learn about different insects and other creepy crawlers but I think it is pretty dumbed down. I don’t think your school-age child would benefit much from the scientific content but it was perfect for my 3-year old. We both enjoyed all the pictures (Ok – I did not enjoy the Tick page but he liked them all!) This was the perfect time to read it as they are studying bugs and butterflies now in preschool.
Title: O is for Orca
Author: Andrea Helman
Age: 3-4 years
I really like that this is a Pacific Northwest book. The photographs were great and we had some really long discussions about many of the items covered in the book. Anyone know other books that focus on this region? I’d love to get some more.
**This post was originally written 5/11/2006**