Category: books

Reading books to H on the theme of interconnectedness has helped me find peace and calm at my center at a time when so much of the world seems to be hurting.

You Are Stardust by Elin Kelsey, illustrated by Soyeon Kim

Pond Circle by Betsy Franco, illustrated by Stefano Vitale

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

A Little Story About a Big Turnip retold by Tatiana Sunshine, illustrated by Evgeny Antonenkov

Frederick by Leo Lionni

All the World by Liz Gargon Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp, illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr.

There Is a Flower at the Tip of My Nose Smelling Me by Alice Walker, illustrated by Stefano Vitale





We sprouted bean seeds in a jar; started carrots seeds in an egg carton and transplanted them to a pot; and covered scattered kale seeds with a quarter inch of soil. We’ve been watering, watching, wondering, awestruck by our ability to help food grow, and are already plotting what seeds to sow next summer: cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, green beans. We’ve been reading, too:

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert

The Big Princess by Taro Miura

To Be Like the Sun by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, illustrated by Crockett Johnson

What Kinds of Seeds Are These? by Heidi Bee Roemer, illustrated by Olena Kassian

From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long

H has had questions about bees recently:

Where are their stings?
Why do they want to eat my dinner?

We went to the library to see if we could find the answers in the pages of some books. Alas not, but we’ve enjoyed reading:

The Best Beekeeper of Lalibela by Cristina Kessler, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins

These Bees Count! by Alison Formento, illustrated by Sarah Snow

The Beeman by Laurie Krebs, illustrated by Valeria Cis

In the Trees, Honey Bees by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Cris Arbo

We slipped over seaweed-draped rocks, huddled around a creamy white jellyfish, prodded sea anemones gently; were introduced to chitons and barnacles and moon snails; saw starfish upon starfish upon starfish clinging to the undersides of overturned tide pool rocks; came home with sand in our boots and the smell of the ocean in our hair and have been reading these books ever since:

Oceans by Cathryn Sill, illustrated by John Sill

Come to the Ocean’s Edge by Laurence Pringle, illustrated by Michael Chesworth

At Home in the Tide Pool by Alexandra Wright, illustrated by Marshall Peck III

In One Tidepool: Crabs, Snails and Salty Tails by Anthony D. Fredericks, illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio

Ocean Soup: Tide-Pool Poems by Stephen R. Swinburne, illustrated by Mary Peterson

The letter at story time today was S (s).

We heard stories about snow, including Oh! by Kevin Henkes.

We sang Snow Falls Gently (to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Snow falls gently to the ground, to the ground, to the ground
Snow falls gently to the ground in the wintertime

Catch the snowflakes on your tongue, on your tongue, on your tongue
Catch the snowflakes on your tongue in the winter time

Build a snowman round and fat, round and fat, round and fat
Build a snowman round and fat in the winter time

The early literacy tip was about singing:
“Make it up! You can make up all sorts of words to familiar tunes to fit whatever you are doing. This is a great practice for kids to fit what they’re doing into a rhyme and rhythm. The more they understand about language, the easier reading will come when they start learning!”

The letter at story time today was A (a).

We heard stories about art, including Blue Chicken by Deborah Freedman and I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry.

We sang Making Great Art (to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus)
The painter with the brush goes swish, swish, swish
Swish, swish, swish
Swish, swish, swish
The painter with the brush goes swish, swish, swish
To make some great art!

The sculptor with the clay goes squish, squish, squish…
The sketcher with the pencil goes scratch, scratch, scratch…
The artist with the crayon goes scribble, scribble, scribble…

The early literacy tip was about reading:
“Read the pictures! The art in a book can sometimes tell us just as much or more about what is going on in a story. When you’re reading a book, read the pictures, too, and talk to your kids about what the pictures tell you.”

The letter at story time today was F (f).

We heard stories about families, including The Family Book by Todd Parr and Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell.

We sang We’re a Family Under One Sky (by Two of a Kind)
We’re all a family under one sky, we’re a family under one sky
We’re all a family under one sky, we’re a family under one sky

We’re sisters (we’re sisters), we’re brothers (we’re brothers)
We’re fathers (we’re fathers), and we’re mothers, too (we’re mothers, too)

We’re grandmas (we’re grandmas), we’re grandpas (we’re grandpas)
We’re friends (we’re friends), and we’re neighbors, too (we’re neighbors, too)


We’re plumbers, we’re doctors, we’re nurses, and we’re builders, too
We’re dancers, we’re astronauts, we’re teachers, and students, too


We’re lions, we’re kitty-cats, we’re puppy-dogs, and we’re sheep, too
We’re horses, we’re cows, we’re snakes, and we’re pigs, too


We’re American, we’re Russian, we’re Israeli, and Egyptian, too
We’re Mexican, South African, we’re Irish, and we’re Chinese, too


We’re happy, we’re sad, we’re silly, and we’re tender, too
We’re angry, we’re frightened, we’re curious, and we’re really excited!


The early literacy tip was about playing:
“Will you play with me? As kids get older, they can play independently more and more. But kids still learn best from interactions with other people, so play along with your kids. Not only is it fun for you, but it brings deeper understanding about the world and each other!”

The letter at story time today was D (d).

We heard stories about dogs, including A Dog’s Life by Caroline Sherman.

We sang BINGO
There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o
And Bingo was his name-o!

(Repeat five times replacing each successive letter with a clap.)

The early literacy tip was about talking:
“What are they saying? Animals usually don’t speak English, but it’s fun to imagine what animals might say if they could speak. If you talk to your kids about what they think that dog, cat, squirrel, or crow is saying, you might be surprised at what they come up with!”

The letter at story time today was T (t). We talked about the sound the consonant blend Th (th) makes.

We heard stories about giving thanks, including Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson.

We sang Thanks So Much!
(to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your  Boat)

Thanks, thanks, thanks so much
All day long I’ll sing
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you
And Happy Thanksgiving!

The early literacy tip was about singing:
“Clap, tap, and bounce! Singing and playing music is a great way to practice hearing the natural rhythm of language. As they tap or clap out a beat, kids can get the rhythm into their bodies. Then, as they learn to read, they will start separating longer words into syllables, or beats, to make them easier to decode.”