This weekend my girls both had birthday parties - fun! The most fun part about my daughters' having birthday parties is going shopping for gifts at Chapters. On the one hand, I love the gift options at Chapters - books, of course, but also innovative and different toys, art supplies and activities. On the other hand, I love having an excuse to wander around the store, browsing books and watching my children browse books (my 3 year old loves to sit on the floor or in the teacup and would probably stay there for hours). Here's what we picked up for ourselves during our little birthday gift shopping trip!
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (William Joyce) - I couldn't resist everything about this book. From the beautiful and intriguing cover, to the fact that it inspired an Academy Award-winning short film, to the wonderful words about libraries, about reading, about writing. And once I brought the book home I realized that it has an augmented reality app (albeit with mediocre reviews) that I am excited to check out. This book just begs to be read aloud, over and over again.
My oldest daughter is just starting to read and she has discovered the Step Into Reading series of books. This series of books proves the adage that not all books are created equal as there are many similar series available but none are nearly as well leveled as these. Earlier in the year, Kristi expressed frustration at these types of series, as the numbers can be very misleading for young readers and their families, particularly if their school uses PM Benchmarks or a similar (much slower progressing, numerically) system. What I like about the Step into Reading series is that the level 1 books really are for very beginning readers, like my daughter. There are short, repetitive sentences, words that are easily figured out from context and picture clues and simple vocabulary. I have yet to decide if I love or hate all of the movie and TV show tie-in books - I know she loves them and I'm sure they support her decoding and comprehension, I just wish they weren't so commercialized. What I do know is that she loves these books and they are encouraging her to read. 'Nuff said.
Ivy & Bean - Book 1 (Annie Barrows) - We picked this one up because we have season's tickets to a children's theatre company (Bumbershoot Children's Theatre - it's fabulous!) and this just happens to be the next play on the bill. For every play we have seen, I have tried to read the girls the book first (something my mother did for me & my brother) and this play is no different. Ivy & Bean is a fun little novel perfect for read-alouds and readers ready to make the leap to short novels. The mischievous Ivy & Bean are fun, adventurous and full of lessons about friendship. I look forward to reading more about the antics that these two friends get up to.
Obviously I could have bought many more books, many many more books. But the point was not to buy books for ourselves but rather for friends (not to mention that I have to ration or we will break the bank buying books!). So we enjoyed celebrating our friends during the day and snuggled down to read some new books at bedtime. A wonderful, wonderful day!
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!