Posts tagged ‘interactive’

RIGHT OR WRONG?

E is for Ethics: How to Talk to Kids About What Matters Most

Written by Ian James Corlett

Illustrated by R.A. Holt

 

The author is a Children’s TV writer and animator by trade. Distressed by the fact that schools no longer include ethics and civics teaching in their curriculum, he decided that he and his wife must assume that responsibility. Many years ago when his children were young, he and his wife decided to set one night a week as a family discussion time. Corlett developed a series of twenty-six stories that exemplified different aspects of moral behavior. Following each story, the children engaged in interactive questions for discussion as well as suggested activities.

The following is a list of the topics discussed in these stories: honesty, understanding, forgiveness, courage, perseverance, tact, politeness, loyalty, gratitude, truthfulness, sincerity, integrity, citizenship, responsibility, kindness, generosity, helpfulness, empathy, charity, trust, willingness, respect, fairness, acceptance, patience, and effort. There are simple colorful illustrations of a young child like the character of Lucy or Eliot featured in each story. A few famous quotations are sprinkled throughout.

This book provides a wonderful opportunity for parents to spend time getting to know what their children are thinking as well as fulfilling a necessary parental responsibility to guide and form a child’s character and values. Recommended for all ages in the family to enjoy and share.

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#KIDSREADCLASSICS – PUPPY LOVE

Puppies Are Like That

Written and illustrated by Jan Pfloog

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This book was one of my favorite read aloud picture books for both my son and daughter. It remained their number one choice for a bedtime story or rainy day read aloud for quite some time. My copy is rather tattered, soiled, and dog eared, a bit like the beagle who is the star character in this Random House Pictureback Book that was copyrighted in 1975.

A good part of the appeal of this tale is the analogy the puppy presents with the life of a growing child. Puppies like to chew on things they shouldn’t, but don’t like to be scolded. Neither do children. Puppies like to bark and make too much noise as do children. Pups often stick their noses into places they don’t belong and dare each other to see who is stronger. They love to get dirty, but hate taking a bath. At the end of a long day, all puppies really desire is a warm bed and a soft cuddle. Can you see why this book would appeal to preschoolers and beginning readers?

The illustrations portray puppies engaged in all of these antics. They are large, colorful and cute. As the activities change from one to another, the author repeats the phrase, “Puppies are like that!” My children loved repeating these words over and over again in affirmation. This tale lends itself to an interactive read aloud between parent and child or younger and older siblings.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jan Pfloog wrote many books about animals in the sixties, seventies and eighties. There is a companion book to this one, Kittens Are Like That. Most of her books centered on animals, farm animals, zoo animals or individual animals like the ones previously discussed. Copies of the book are still available on amazon https://www.amazon.com/Puppies-Are-Like-that-Pictureback/dp/0394829239/re

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MONKEYING AROUND

The 3 Monkeys Christmas Treehouse (Monkey Tales Book 5)

Written by Rob “Nanook” Natiuk

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This is my first time reading a book in this series. Delightful story about three monkey siblings, Booey, Fooey and Hooey and their Jungle friends. The book is an interactive reading experience with ample opportunities for the reader to pause and allow the listeners to blurt out their responses by repeating, singing, or animating the sounds and actions of the characters in the stories.

In the first tale the three siblings receive a gift from their Grandpa Monk. At first they are puzzled by the red, white and green Christmas balls and stringed lights. Booey, the female, figures out they must be ornaments for a Christmas tree like the one she saw in the town. So they set off to find the perfect Christmas tree. Readers will meet some of their friends like the gorilla, crocodile and turtle. In the end, they find the perfect tree right under their noses. Tale two finds our friends looking over their Christmas list. As they travel to Coconut Town, they sing clever monkey songs adapted to familiar Christmas songs like “Jingle Bells,” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” They knock on doors of animal friends seeking to find the true meaning of Christmas. Finally, they discover that, “ A friend in need is a friend indeed.” In tale three, wise old Grandpa Monk tells his grandchildren the story of Santa Paws in the Jungle with his circus wagon pulled by eight zebras. Will the siblings find presents under the tree? The fourth tale speaks of the let down feeling many of us experience in the days after Christmas. Our friends have already tired of their presents; they ponder their New Year’s Resolutions. What do they share with their readers?

This book is perfect for elementary school children. Older siblings can read to younger brothers and sisters or the family can share the reading experience. Young children will love the repetition and songs. I will be reading other books in this series. Very entertaining, clever, and highly recommended.

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INSPIRING CONFIDENCE

Title: Kool Kid Kruncha And The High Trapeze

Written by Emma Calin

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Interesting early chapter book features protagonist ten year old Charlie. The author calls it an interactive bedtime story adventure. This book touches on many of the issues facing today’s children like bullying, moving, and living in a divorced family. Charlie has carrot red hair; children love to pick on him. To make matters worse, his mom tells him that she has been offered a better job in London. He will have to leave his friends and home in Suffolk and move to the city.

On the first day in his new school, the “popular kids” make fun of Charlie’s physical appearance and athletic abilities. His Aunt Kate suggests that things will be better after he makes a friend. Charlie is puzzled when she takes him to the circus. What does Charlie discover? How can this possibly be a solution to his problem?

This book contains seven short chapters whose length is perfect for children who are learning to read content independently. I would recommend it particularly for seven to ten year old readers. The simple black and white drawings enhance interest. Free downloads, video clips, and competitions included in the book will sustain interest and extend reading.

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DEVELOPING CHARACTER THROUGH PLAY

A Boat Full of Animals: Fun Activities to Develop Character in Kids

Written by Sally Huss
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I have read many of the Sally Huss books, but this one takes her work a step farther by showing children how to put the lessons into practice. This book contains thirty animal games which allow a child to play while developing skills in kindness, gratitude, appreciation, goodness, patience, and truthfulness. We have all heard the expression, “ A happy life makes a happy wife.” Huss believes the same applies to children; by creating happy children we will build cooperative communities of future happy adults putting these virtues to good use worldwide.

There are thirty games featuring different animals; they can be divided according to time, virtue or animal preference. Each of them provide interactive questions for the child and then create a scenario in which to imagine and act the game out. Here is one example: #4 The Cat Game. Huss points out one of the best qualities of a cat is how it cleans up after itself. Then she gives the child reasons why cleaning up is a good thing and how good it makes you feel. Next she presents the steps in playing the game. The child is asked to make a mess at different times of the day and then clean up seven times. At the end of the day, think of what has been done and how much you have learned. As time goes on, be sure to remind yourself how happy your success has made you.

Each of these games is so cleverly crafted that it is hard to choose. Let me give another example. In #16 The Rabbit Game, the child learns that a rabbit’s long ears are for listening as well as hearing. He must be alert for danger. The child is asked how many times must he hear something before he pays attention. Listening is fun because when we listen we learn new things. Instructions are to really listen at least five times when parents, teachers, siblings or friends speak to you. Then put your rabbit friend on your animal boat and both he and you will be happy listeners.

As a child moves through the book, he will eventually have filled his boat with thirty animals and all their good character traits. A child will have learned how to assimilate their good traits and apply them to everyday life situations making each day a happier experience for the child and those around him. These games are fun to play, and parents or teachers may choose to zero in on those qualities which need the most reinforcement. Highly recommend the book, particularly for children in the five to eight age group.

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SAFARI GONE WRONG

Lost in Lion Country

Written by Blair Polly and D.M. Potter

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This book is an interactive adventure for children age ten and above. The setting is Serengeti National Park. A young boy traveling in a Land Rover on safari is our protagonist. He is standing beside the truck taking photos when suddenly it zooms off. No one appears to notice that he is missing. Suddenly he is alone being chased by hyenas faced with his first decision. Should he climb an acacia tree or follow a dried creek bed to get out of viewing range? At the end of each chapter, the reader is given the opportunity to determine the outcome of the story. Each section has two choices. Readers may decide to go back and change their mind or reread the story an entirely different way.

Students will enjoy being in control of the outcome of their adventure. The author provides tips on how to navigate the story on different types of devices. The size of the chapters make them perfect for teachers to use as a short classroom read aloud over a period of several days. Topics are interesting for adventure lovers, environmentalists, animal lovers and enthusiasts of African culture. Highly recommended for reluctant readers. The complexity of text is just right for middle school readers, but is not condescending. As an adult, I found it pleasurable to read as well.

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