|Nathan and Nicholas Alexander by Lulu Delacre|
Nathan and Nicholas Alexander by Lulu Delacre
|Silly Tilly’s Thanksgiving Dinner by Lillian Hoban|
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Silly Tilly Can’t Remember
Silly Tilly’s Thanksgiving Dinner by Lillian Hoban is an “I Can Read” book first published in 1990. Lillian Hoban is credited for both the story and pictures.
Although some children might enjoy the story, it is not one of my favorites. In my experience, children like the animals in the pictures, but struggle with the story content. Most of the pages concentrate on what Silly Tilly, the mole, forgets. She seems to have trouble remembering almost everything.
The first pages let children know that it is time for Thanksgiving. Leaves have fallen and summer is in the past. Within the next few pages, a bird and a bunny come by. The bird flies south and the bunny is wearing winter clothing. Silly Tilly expresses that she has forgotten to remember where summer went, that winter is coming, and that it is Thanksgiving. In an effort to give the Bunny his Thanksgiving dinner invitation, Silly Tilly bumps into a tree, looses her glasses, and then fails to remember that she was about to give the bunny his invitation. Once she remembers, she heads home to find the invitation, but finds her house full of fog (I’m thinking, what does the fog have to do with anything and how does it contribute to this story; then I realize it is her glasses that are foggy, but young children would never pick up on that). Forgetting all about Bunny and the invitation, she tries to get the fog out of her house. When she is reminded by Bunny that he is still waiting, she remembers that she can’t remember where she placed the invitations. Then, Silly Tilly makes an effort to cook Thanksgiving dinner, but on her way to get the pots and pans, she forgets where she is going. Finally coming across the invitations, she gives one to Bunny. She realizes she has a handful of invitations and that she forgot to send them all out. Mr. Bunny decides to help and give out the invitations but he sees that they are not invitations at all, but recipe cards instead. He decides to give them out anyway, but fails to tell Silly Tilly about the recipe cards. Meanwhile, Silly Tilly goes to the kitchen to cook Thanksgiving dinner but she can’t find the recipe cards. After looking for them, briefly, she forgets what she is looking for. She sits down to try to remember what she was doing, but she falls asleep. When she wakes up, she realizes it is time for Thanksgiving dinner, but then she remembers that she forgot to cook it. Just as she begins to cry, her guests begin to arrive with the dishes from the recipe cards. They have Thanksgiving dinner and sing songs. The story ends.
The pictures are colorful and the animals are cute. Some parents, teachers, and children might like this book, but I didn’t really like it and my children didn’t really follow the story well.
Thanksgiving Recipe Book: Ask each child to bring in his favorite Thanksgiving recipe. Then, give each child a Thanksgiving color page with the coloring outlines at the top and lines for writing at the bottom. Instruct each child to color the page and write his favorite recipe on the lines. Bind the pages together for a class Thanksgiving Recipe Book. Make enough copies for each child to take one home.
Hand Print Turkeys: Hand Print Turkeys are classic favorites. Trace each child’s hand on a sheet of paper. The thumb becomes the turkey head and the fingers become feathers. Instruct the children to color accordingly.
Pumpkin Seed Art: Gather a lot of pumpkin seeds. You will need a whole lot so you should probably purchase a bag. Divide them up and spray paint them. Paint some orange, some blue, some red, etc. After the paint dries, allow the children to create mosaic designs onto card-stock.
|Alabaster’s Song by Max Lucado|
You can Google “angel crafts” to find an abundance of angel activities to use either before or after reading Alabaster’s Song.
|Photo Credit: Mom Is Forever|
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein has been a favorite book in our house for nearly nineteen years. It is a unique story about a life long friendship involving dedication and sacrifice.
The story is about a tree who loves a little boy. The little boy comes every day and plays around the tree. He climbs the tree and plays with the tree’s leaves. He swings on the tree’s branches and eats the tree’s apples. The little boy plays games and rests under the tree. The tree loves the little boy and the little boy loves the tree. They share a very happy friendship.
The boy grows and spends less time with the tree.
One day the boy returns to the tree. He is too old to play with the tree, but he asks the tree for money. The tree has no money so the tree gives the boy her apples. She instructs the boy to take the apples and sell them so he will have money and be happy. If the boy is happy, the tree is happy.
Years later, the boy returns again. This time, he wants a house. He asks the tree for a house. The tree does not have a house, but he tells the boy to cut off her branches so he can build himself a house and be happy.
The tree is lonely, but if the boy is happy, the tree is happy.
Many years later, when the boy is an old man, he returns again. He wants a boat so that he can go far away. The tree doesn’t have a boat so she instructs the boy (old man) to cut down her trunk so he can build a boat and be happy.
Many years later, when the boy is very, very old, he returns to the tree again. This time, the tree has nothing left to give the boy. This time, the boy needs nothing but a place to rest. Now, the tree is only a stump, but she can offer the tired old boy a stump so he can rest. The two old friends rest together and the tree is happy.
But there is another theme to this story. In my opinion, the relationship between the boy and the tree represents a rather one-sided relationship. The tree offers everything to the boy, all the tree can give while the boy takes from the tree but gives nothing back. It isn’t until the very end of the story that the boy, now a very old man, appreciates the sacrifices the tree made for him during his lifetime. Some human relationships are like this. It gives readers something to think about.
|Photo Credit: Mom Is Forever|
|Photo Credit: Mom Is Forever|
I have three children. All three of them are almost grown now so we have read a lot of books. Many of those books were pop up books. Secrets of the Sea is by far the best pop up book we have ever owned. The pages are vividly colorful. The make you feel as if you can reach right into the ocean if you touch the page with your fingers. As you turn the pages, sea life comes right at you. Whales seem to swim right out of the book and into your lap while the bright orange, red, yellow, and blue colors catch your attention. Sea turtles seem almost 4 dimensional. Even the night time scenes make you feel as if you are in the water after dark. The pages turn easily as the sea animals slip in and out of their places without getting caught on the page which reduces tearing and frustration as you read.
Between the pages of Secrets of the Sea, children read about Orca Whales, coral sea caves, and sea turtles. They read words such as “splishing”, “splashing”, and “rollicking”. They enjoy watching a family of dolphins blowing bubbles. As the young reader turns the last page, all the sea animals pop out in all their splendor. This book has been a favorite in our house for many years.
Secrets of the Sea was first published in 2001 by The Book Company Publishing PTY Limited. The incredibly vivid illustrations are credited to Christian Riese Lassen. You can view more of his work at www.lassenart.com.
|Photo Credit: Mom Is Forever|
The Story of Christmas was written b Vivian French and illustrated by Jane Chapman. It is a Scholastic book first published in 1999.
The story opens with an illustration of the angel, Gabriel. God tells Gabriel to go to a place called Nazareth to deliver a special message to a woman named Mary. The angel tells Mary that God has chosen her to be the mother of His baby, Jesus.
Mary is supposed to marry a man named Joseph. Joseph doesn’t know what to do because Mary is already going to have a baby. God tells Joseph not to worry.
When it is almost time for the baby to be born, an emperor tells everyone to go to the place where their families live and pay him money. Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem. When they arrive, Bethlehem is very crowded. Mary and Joseph can not find a place to stay. Finally, they find a stable. The baby is born that night in the stable.
Shepherds are not far away. An angel tells them about the baby. The shepherds go to see the baby. They find Baby Jesus just like the angel had told them.
Wise men follow a star to the stable to see Jesus. They give Jesus gifts fit for a king. Angels in Heaven rejoice.
The Story of Christmas by Vivian French is well written. It closely follows the story found in the Bible. It includes important elements such as:
the angel Gabriel’s message to mary.
the message that the baby is God’s Son and that God chose His name to be Jesus.
Joseph’s thoughts without details that children would not understand.
the angel’s message to Joseph that he should not worry about Mary.
the reason for the trip to Bethlehem and the crowded city.
Jesus’ birth in the stable.
the angel’s message to the shepherds.
the visit from the shepherds and the wise men.
the gifts the wise men brought to Jesus.
the angels in Heaven rejoiced that the Son of God is born.
Even with so many important key elements in this story, Vivian French is able to condense the story to a length suitable for children. She also manages to make the story easy for children to understand.
The illustrations are simple, yet bright and colorful.
This book is highly recommended!