Thursday, October 30, 2008

Picture Book Thursday - Fall Edition

I happily proposed fall as a topic for today, figuring we must have a bunch of fall books. Hmmm. It was harder than I thought! This one, Apples, Apples by Salina Yoon, is really our most overtly "fall" book, and it's a winner. A diverse group of apple-cheeked children pick apples with their families, then enjoy the treats their parents make with them. At the end, everyone bobs for apples. The illustrations are very cute and brightly colored, and the simple, singsongy rhymes are fun to read aloud. The flaps revealing the apple treats add interest for young ones. This would be a fun one to read before taking the kids to an orchard and then baking/saucing/pressing the apples.

See, I'm cheating a little, since we've already done Halloween books...twice, but this is such a fun book to read out loud during fall. The three bears decide to explore the spooky old tree, bringing a light, a rope, and a stick, which they lose along the way as they continue through the scary tree. This is skewed much younger than the usual Berenstain Bears books, and the rhythm of the text is perfect for reading out loud. Matt and I both love reading this one, and Lilah is riveted.

Ha! School starts in the fall, so I can slip one more book in here. Lilah loves the Spot series, with or without flaps. This one is "with flaps." Spot's first day of school is great. Each page has a different activity the class enjoys, from show and tell to painting to dress-up. We don't have many "school" books yet, since it's a ways off for Lilah, but this one makes school sound like an absolute blast. Lilah loves Spot and his animal friends. The Spot books aren't necessarily Matt's favorites. He finds them choppy and disjointed, and they really are. Some books seem to have better illustrations than others, too--in some, the crocodile and hippo both look a little lumpy. But it's fun to read them to Lilah because she loves them so much. At any rate, this would be a good one to read to a child preparing for school, since school is very non-threatening and even downright fun.


The Little Bit Scary People by Emily Jenkins is not directly about fall, so I'm cheating a bit with this one. :-) The story is a little girl who is frightened of certain people for various reasons: the boy with big eyebrows and a mohawk playing music really loud as he rides down the sidewalk on his skateboard; the grumpy bus driver; the music teacher with a crazy beard who picks her to sing a solo; the girl in her science class who chews on her pencil and mutters to herself. For each person the little girl thinks is scary, she imagines what they are like at home. The bus driver making pancakes for her kids in the morning, the music teacher reading at home with a shaggy dog on his lap, the little girl from science class learning to ride a bike with her mom alongside her. It's a really sweet book and a good one to teach kids not to be judgmental about what people are like based on their appearances. I threw this in with fall books because several of the illustrations (which are really cute by the way!) have a fall feel to them and several of the pages are about school. And I really like Emily Jenkins! She also wrote Toys Go Out and Toy Dance Party.

We're Going on A Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger is a take on We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. It follows the same repetitive text format and uses great sound words as three little kids go searching for various kinds of colorful leaves. Little kids will learn about different kinds of trees and what color and shape their leaves are as the children in the book go on their journey. While I think this is a bit of a rip-off and not nearly as good as the Bear Hunt book, I think it does make for a nice fall book and my girls seem to like it.

My last book for fall is Ruby's Falling Leaves by Rosemary Wells, part of the Max and Ruby series of books. In this book, Ruby is looking for leaves to put in her leaf book for school. Max "helps" her look for them. He jumps into the leaf pile which makes it more difficult for her to find the perfect leaf. But in the end she finds it. My girls LOVE Max and Ruby, the show and ALL the books. We have checked out every Max and Ruby book from the library multiple times and my husband and I pretty much have them memorized. While I don't think this is the *best* Max and Ruby book, it is a fun fall book. If you're looking for more Max and Ruby books, Bunny Mail and Max Cleans Up are particular favorites in this household.

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