Monday, December 29, 2014

Sneezes and Sniffles!

It's that time of year!  Everyone is sneezing and sniffling.  Here are some titles to enjoy with your little one that help explain that it happens to all of us.

Product Details

"Stand Back, " Said the Elephant,  "I'm Going to Sneeze!", by Patricia Thomas

Told in rhyming verse all the animals are in a panic because elephant is about to sneeze!  Children will delight in the anticipation of the BIG SNEEZE!

Tissue, please!
Tissue Please!, by Lisa Kopelke

For those kids who refuse to use a tissue, this title will encourage them.  Frog's runny nose is disgusting to others, what's worse is he wipes it on his arms!  Finally Frog discovers tissues but what will he do when he's in the middle of a dance recital and there are no tissues to be found!

The flea's sneeze
The Flea's Sneeze, by Lynn Downey.
Another fun sneezing book told in rhyming text.  This time it's the flea that sneezes.

Barn sneeze

Barn Sneeze, by Karen B. Winnick.
When a pig sneezes does it sound like Aah-choo or Oink-choo?  Another fun rhyming book that will also help your little one learn animal sounds.


Five little fingers playing all day

Getting really dirty

Wash the germs away

Four little fingers catching a sneeze

Needing some gel soap

Just a squeeze please

Three little fingers staying pretty clean

Sneeze into your shoulder

See what I mean

Five little fingers happy to say

We’re clean and healthy

Hip, Hop Hooray!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review:

Three bears in a boat

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman.

This beautifully illustrated picture book will be read time and time again.  Theo, Dash and Charlie decide to climb up the mantle to get some honey while their Mother is not around.  While in pursuit of the honey their Mother's favorite blue shell falls and shatters.  The bears decide it would be best to find another shell just like their mother's so she won't even miss it.  They set out on their boat on an adventure to find a blue shell.  They encounter other boats with bears but alas no luck.  Finally they meet up with salty old bear and he tells them just where they'll find it.  Each watercolor spread evokes the mood during their adventure.  They pass islands that look like fun, and islands that look pretty scary.  When they finally find the island they hope has the blue shell they are left disappointed.  They venture back and are caught in the midst of a wild thunderstorm on the sea, but just as fast as the storm appeared they are sailing on water as clear as glass.  When they finally make it home they are delighted to find a blue shell just like their Mother's.  Their mother comforts them and reassures them of her love.  However, after a meal they are still not allowed dessert.

Soman's watercolors align so beautifully with the story that any child will immediately relate to the bears' dilemmas.  This picture book will be enjoyed on so many levels.  Each page with its fine detail will be examined and absorbed.  Three Bears in a Boat succeeds in sharing an adventure while also managing to sneak in a lesson on taking responsibility.

Monday, December 15, 2014


We just had a big snowstorm so I planned this hoping to excite everyone about the snow!


The snowy day

The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats-
This classic Caldecott winner captures the sheer joy of waking up after a snowfall.

Snow on snow on snow

Snow On Snow On Snow, by Cheryl Chapman
A young boy wakes up underneath blankets on blankets and blankets.  He ventures outside with his dog Clancy and enjoys the snow on snow on snow.  Help him find Clancy who's disappeared.

All you need for a snowman

All You Need for a Snowman, by Alice Schertle.
It starts with just one snowflake but soon you have enough to build the perfect snowman!  Enjoy finding all that you need and then all that you need for the snowman's friend!

Shhhhh! Everybody's sleeping

Shhhhh! Everybody's Sleeping, by Julie Markes
After all the fun in the snow it's time to rest.  This picture book takes a whimsical look at the different people in the community and how they sleep.



Five snowmen all in a row (put five fingers up)
With a big black hat and a pretty red bow (tap head and make bow around neck)
Out came the sun and it stayed all day(raise both arms for the sun)
One of the snowmen melted away (put one of the fingers down)

Four snowmen all in a row (put four fingers up)
With a big black hat and a pretty red bow (tap head and make bow around neck)
Out came the sun and it stayed all day (raise both arms for the sun)
One of the snowmen melted away (put one of the fingers down)

Countdown to One.....

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Storytime!- Rhyming Books


Duck on a bike
Duck On a Bike, by David Shannon
                             A duck on bike?  This is a winner!  The bold illustrations along with the rhyming text make for an excellent read-aloud.  Kids will love looking at all the farm animals and laugh along with you as they ride along with duck and friends.
Sheep in a jeep
Sheep in a Jeep, by Nancy Shaw
                            Another great rhyming read-aloud.  The only problem is that the jeep won't go, oh no!  Little ones will once again laugh along as they watch the sheep try to get their jeep to go.

How do Dinosaurs say good night?

How do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?  by Jane Yolen
                             When it's time for bed do little dinosaurs jump and shout?  Your little one will love sharing this over and over again as they hear that little dinosaurs have to say good night too!

Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, by Eileen Christelow
                             This familiar rhyme is loads of fun as a read-aloud.  The illustrations capture the monkeys bedtime antics and the ending leaves everyone laughing!


Fingerplay: “Baby’s Nap”
This is a baby ready for a nap. (hold up index finger)
Lay him down in his mother’s lap. (place finger on open palm of other hand)
Cover him up so he won’t peep. (wrap fingers around finger)
Rock him till he’s fast asleep. (rock hands back and forth)
Credit:  Storytime Katie


Shake Your Sillies Out, by Raffi


Thursday, November 6, 2014


When selecting books for babies it's important to understand that the primary purpose is to model reading techniques. 
  • Book sharing with babies is more about interaction than reading.
  • Babies are stimulated more by books that encourage an activity like bouncing, or moving. 
  • Don't expect to read a book from beginning to end. 
  • Babies are interested in grabbing and holding the book themselves. 
  • Make sure it's a pleasurable experience, if the baby is upset don't force it.

Pajama time!
Pajama Time, by Sandra Boynton
It's bedtime and different kinds of animals put on their pajamas to get ready for bed.

All of baby nose to toes
All of Baby Nose to Toes, by Victoria Adler.
A rhyming book that celebrates all of baby, from nose to toes.

A child's good morning book
A Child's Good Morning Book, by Margaret Wise Brown
Colorful illustrations celebrate the beginning of another day with birds, bees, rabbits and flowers.

Me baby, you baby
Me Baby, You Baby, by Ashley Wolff
Simple rhyming text describes a day in the life of two babies.  They go to the zoo with their mothers and return home at night.

Monday, November 3, 2014


In previous posts I've emphasized the need for the parent/caregiver to take seriously their role as the child's first teacher.  Baby's learn through their relationships with the adults in their lives.  They learn through their senses.  It is critical that the adults in their lives take full advantage of the brain development that is taking place.

Why Read to Babies?

Babies can't understand what you're saying, they can't hold a book, so why read to your baby?
Because it introduces your baby to the connection between what you say and the written word.  More importantly it's an opportunity for your baby to hear your voice and make a connection with books.  When you read to your maybe you're using emotion which helps the baby develop social connections.  Your baby hears many words.  They may not understand them but they are hearing them and eventually they will.  The more you read to them the more they'll understand.  Babies who are read to frequently before the age of 2 are introduced to far more words than those who are not.

My personal experience with my granddaughter has proven to me that as soon as you start reading to your baby your baby is making connections to you, your voice, the book, the pictures and the words.  When she was just weeks old we would open a book and read it.  Of course she did not seem to respond, but she was looking at the pictures, responding to our voices and learning how it all fits in her little world.  We never stopped reading to her.  Now at 22 mos. she pulls her favorites, points to the pictures we name, tries to tell the story herself, even in "made-up" words.  Most importantly she LOVES the experience.  Her brain is ALWAYS developing.


Friday, October 31, 2014



Machines at work
Machines at Work, by Byron Barton

Simple text and pictures show workers on different construction vehicles.

Construction countdown
Construction Countdown, by K.C. Olson

Count down from 10 and see what important job each kind of truck has.

Digger man
Digger Man, by Andrea Zimmerman.

Come along for ride on a great big digger!

Mighty dads

Mighty Dads, by Joan Holub.

Simple rhyming text tell the story of Mighty Dads building something new!


The backhoe digs a big big hole
The dump truck hauls the dirt
The grader scrapes the ground so smooth
While all the workers work

 (sung to the tune of "twinkle twinkle little star)
See the dump truck drive so slow
It must have a heavy load
Full of dirt or maybe rocks
Working hard it never stops
See the dump truck drive so slow
It must have a heavy load