Sunday, 28 December 2008

The Big Pancake by Ladybird

Now that our toddler can "read" picture books with single words on his own, sing a few nursery rhymes and also enjoys listening to stories, I am introducing story books. Looking around Borders, I was happy to find "Big Pancake (Ladybird Tales Mini)" (Popular seemed to have limited titles). 

Since Borders was having a "buy 3 free 1" offer for the Ladybird Keyword Reading Scheme books, I was happy to get 3 books for him for only RM7.43 each (nearly 25% discount)!

This classic story under the "Ladybird tales" collection is about a mother who makes a big pancake for her 7 hungry little boys. However, the pancake decides it doesn't want to be eaten. The pancake JUMPS off the frying pan and off it goes in search of freedom!

Of course, the toddler (one of whose favourite snacks are pancakes) loved the story when I read about the mother baking his favourite pancake, the hungry little boys and the pancake running away...

Although I'd found other classic stories like "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Hansel and Gretel (Well Loved Tales)", "Puss in Boots", and "Elves and the Shoemaker" which would interest little boys, he seemed to like the storyline and illustrations in "The Big Pancake" the most. 

Maybe he's not ready for these stories yet... The story was exciting, full of action and familiar enough to hold his attention. The illustrations were vivid, descriptive and closely tied to the plot. The repetitive sentences also helped him join in the reading.

This Ladybird book seems to have updated graphics - the colours are richer and the people and objects seemed to have a more textured feel to them. See the Ladybird book on the left with the older pictures? It's the 1982 edition :D

What's best about Ladybird books is that they only cost RM9.90 each (15% discount for Citibank card holders) and kids can read them all the way until they are 7 years old :-)

Sunday, 4 May 2008

My Dinosaur by Mark Alan Weatherby

Children who love dinosaurs will LOVE this book!

Mark Alan Weatherby, who paints with "fairy dust", takes us on little Sophi's night ride with her imaginary friend, the dinosaur.

Together, they sail through the night sky, meet forest creatures, play with fishes and reach for the stars!

The next morning, a yawning Sophi has us guessing if her dinosaur is really her imagination. Or not.

The text is more prose than poetry, which does not make for a smooth read-aloud session but the beautiful, vivid and rich colours of Sophi and her dinosaur will keep them engaged.

When I read the book with my son, he participated at the parts where questions were posed:
"Will he come tonight?"
He nodded.
"Is that his tail behind the trees?"
He pointed to the tail. And nodded.

He also pointed out familiar creatures/objects he knew the names to e.g. owl, fox, rabbit, star, girl, spoon, bowl.

Preschoolers and lower primary children will reinforce their grasp of verbs in the present tense as they read through this book. If anything, they'll enjoy this magical ride with a favourite pre-historic friend!

Saturday, 29 March 2008

The Star That Fell by Karen Hales and Cliff Wright

This picture book with beautiful life-like water colour illustrations caught my eye at a second-hand bookstore. Published by Ladybird, I was immediately curious to see if the story is as good as it looks.

The story begins with:
"One night a star fell..."
and we are taken on the little star's adventure in the woods as it meets different animals who do different things with it.

Finally, the star is brought to a little girl named Maddy. After a chat with her father, Maddy makes an incredibly selfless move that leads to a happy ending for all.

Children will learn about animals' habits and habitats while adults will enjoy reading the book aloud with their kids.

Most importantly, a child will take delight in the animals the bright star meets in its adventure and the little girl's actions when she finds it.

An excellent "do-the-right-thing" book without sonding preachy.

Knowing that this 1996 book is now out-of-print has made my used copy more precious. I only wish that the previous owner (or the parents) had the sense not to deface the book cover with a crude felt tip pen drawing of a face on the star!