I am Learning All the Time Book

Recently we went to a homeschool event in our community.  In addition to beingDSCN0549[1] something fun for the kiddos, I love big homeschool events because I love seeing the diversity of the homeschool community.  It’s definitely not the stereotype that people picture (well, that I know I pictured).  It also reminded me of one of our favorites books, I am Learning All The Time by Rain Perry Fordyce. Finally a story book for homeschoolers.

My girls love this book because it is all about a little boy describing his homeschool day.  They like seeing someone do similar activities to their own.  I like this book because in addition to being a great depiction of homeschooling, it is also does not put down traditional forms of education.


I first came across I am Learning All the Time when my girls started asking questions about traditional school and if they would be attending one.  They were having a hard time understanding that our school at home would be taking the place of the brick and mortar schools their friends would attend.  I realized that we had many books on our shelf that involved school and that was leading to some of the confusion.  So I cleaned out our bookshelf and went looking for a children’s book that captured the homeschool experience.  I am Learning All the Time didn’t let us down.

I know that I get overwhelmed with all the DSCN0548[1]picture books about school (especially this time of year) so for us it’s been great having a story book about homeschooling.  If you have young ones, I highly recommend checking out this book.

 

 

 

 

Our Favorite Pig Books

Since we’ve been doing a lot with the letter P recently–including pizza graphs and the poem “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater”–it made sense in my head to share one of our favorite books about the letter P, Princess Pigtoria and the Pea.  And that made me want to include another one of our favorite pig books, Pigsty.

Princess Pigtoria and the Pea by Pamela Duncan EdwardsPrincess Pigtoria

This is really a retelling of The Princess and the Pea using pigs.  But what makes Edwards’ version special is the humor and the focus on the letter P.  Throughout the book she uses wonderful alliteration and fills the story with animals, foods, and objects that start with the letter P.  It’s not only in the wording too.  The pictures are filled with “p” objects which makes it a wonderful scavenger hunt.  And as I mentioned, the humor is delightful.  Pigtoria ends up ditching the pompous prince for the pizza delivery-pig who doesn’t put a pea under her pillows.  They go on to open up their own pizza chain.  You can’t beat a princess like that.

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Pigsty by Mark TeaguePigsty

Wendell Fultz has such a messy room that a pig moves in with him.  At first he thinks it’s great and doesn’t mind as more pigs join them.  They have fun playing games and making a mess.  But eventually Wendell stops having fun.  He sees that his stuff is getting broken and there is no room in his room.  So Wendell and the pigs clean up his room.  The pigs feel the room is too clean for them and they leave him, leaving Wendell no longer living in a pigsty.  The girls think the pictures are especially funny.  Mark Teague illustrated the How do Dinosaur books (How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?  How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? etc.) and you will definitely recognize his style.  I enjoy the clever way he shows why we keep our rooms clean and why no one wants to live in a pigsty.

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We love David Wiesner!

I wanted to share some of our latest favorite books–Mr. Wuffles!Flotsam, and The Three PigsP1060041All are by David Wiesner, who our family absolutely loves.  (When my husband saw me writing this he said, “We do love David Wiesner.”)  Wiesner also wrote the classic Tuesday about the flying frogs.  His picture books have very little text (if any) but tell thorough and clever stories.

Mr. Wuffles!Mr. Wuffles!

In Mr. Wuffles!, an alien spaceship lands on earth to make first contact.  Unfortunately it is very tiny and gets mistaken for a cat toy.  The cat, Mr. Wuffles, begins playing with the spaceship knocking around the poor aliens and breaking their ship.  The aliens get away and befriend some ants and ladybugs.  They then need to work together on the repairs and to get the aliens back to their ship so that they can escape from Mr. Wuffles.  This is without a doubt one of the most creative stories we’ve come across.

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FlotsamFlotsam

An old-fashioned underwater camera washes ashore while a boy is playing.  Once developed, the film reveals fantastical images from the ocean–islands that are really sea stars, cities made of shells upon the backs of turtles, a puffer fish used as a hot air balloon, and even the aliens from Mr. Wuffles.  The final picture is a girl holding a picture of a boy holding a picture and so on.  Using a magnifying glass and then a microscope, the boy is able to see how far back the pictures go–that each child found the camera and took a picture of themselves holding the final picture.  After taking a picture of himself holding the picture, he releases the camera back into the ocean for another child to find.   While the story might not be as complicated, the images are absolutely beautiful and encourage the imagination.  Wiesner also does a great job playing with size, magnification, and perspective.

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The Three PigsThe Three Pigs

We all know the story of the three little pigs, right?  But Wiesner’s take on the story is such a fun and creative twist.  When the big bad wolf huffs and puffs, he does more than just blow down the first pig’s house; he blows the pig right of the story.  The big then goes and gets his brothers out of the story and they start exploring the white space.  They enter other stories, including Hey Diddle, Diddle, and meet some friends along the way.  While they decide there is no place like home, they also make up their own ending to the story.

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Halloween Books

I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite Halloween-themed books.  Considering how we decorate our house (which you can see here), of course we have favorite Halloween books.  Thanks to their dad, my girls do have a pretty high tolerance when it comes to scary things.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Room on the BroomWe LOVE Julia Donaldson!  We’ve enjoyed every book we’ve read by her (The Gruffalo books and A Gold Star for Zog are two of our all-time favorites).  If you enjoy Donaldson’s creativity, repetitive text, and lyrical rhyming, Room on the Broom won’t let you down.  In it a witch loses her hat, bow, and wand and then meets a dog, parrot, and frog who help her find her items.  In exchange she gives them a ride on her broom and together they learn about friendship and teamwork.  And a dragon even makes an appearance!  What more do you want?Room on the Broom picture

Zombelina by Kristyn Crow

Zombelina

Zombelina
I wasn’t thrilled when my husband came home with this book but it quickly won me over.  Zombelina is the cutest zombie I’ve ever seen!  Her family is very similar to The Munsters or Addam’s Family.  She loves her ballet class that her mom signs her up for but at her recital she runs into a little trouble when she scares away the audience.  This is really cute and you don’t need to be familiar with scary zombies to enjoy it.

Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex

Goodnight GoonThis is a parody of Goodnight Moon and a welcome break if you are tired of reading the original (like I am).  It is a bit scarier than some of the other books on our list.  But if your kids are older or not too sensitive, the pictures and the text are hilarious.  It follows the exact same format and rhythm as the original just this time a goon, witch, monsters, and a werewolf are involved.Goodnight Goon

Where’s My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi

Where's My Mummy?
Where's My Mummy

The girls picked this one out.  I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite but my daughters LOVE it!  I think it’s the repetitive text (what little one doesn’t like repetition?).  They also think it’s funny that Little Baby Mummy who is playing hide & seek with Big Mama Mummy is not scared of the monsters but is scared of a little mouse (oops, spoiler alert).  The monsters are shown in very friendly ways so the book is just the right level of scary and funny for toddlers and preschoolers without being too much.

 

Over in the Garden

Since we’ve been spending so much time outside lately, it made me think of P1030166one of our favorite books…  Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward.  This book has everything!  The girls actually picked it out when we were exploring our local Goodwill store and at first it looked like just a cute counting book.  But it is so much more and quickly became one of our favorites.counting book

 

 

The writing is so fun and lyrical and the illustrations are vibrant and beautiful .  Taking place in the garden, the story describes the mom and baby insects living there while counting through numbers 1 to 10.  My girls loved seeing the babies with their moms.

P1030169Not only is there counting in each verse, the number is also hidden somewhere on the page.  And while the insects are described in the story, there is also a Fun Facts section at the back of the book with more in depth information.  The book even introduces the reading strategy of prediction since each illustration also has off in the corner the bug for the next page (I’m embarrassed to admit that it was my daughters who pointed this out to me).  And remember how I said the writing was lyrical?  Well, it really is since the sheet music is included at the back of the book so that you can sing the entire thing if you want.

P1030170Basically it is a beautiful book that has math, science, music, and reading all rolled into one.  And it’s fun.  Making it the best $1 I ever spent!

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