Saturday, April 3, 2010

What we read this week: Easter and California and a little bit more


So, we’ve read a little bit of everything this week, and so you’ll get to hear all about our craziness.
We’re starting to learn about California, for our travel around the states.  I’m going with the states Jeff and I grew up in first after moving out of Texas, so we did Wisconsin first where he grew up.  And now, we’re heading to California.
Humphrey the Lost Whale- the link up there is to a Reading Rainbow episode about the book, because we also watched the episode.  Which I highly recommend if you can find it.  It has some great additional resources about whale watching and other things.  And, this has special meaning to me because it actually happened while I was growing up, and that’s why I got the book.  I still remember it happening cough cough years later.

A Harbor Seal Grows Up-  This is a book about a harbor seal pup raised by scientists because his mom has disappeared.  It’s really interesting, and I had to read it several times, partially because the names of the first scientist was one of the boys names (and then after that I changed the other  names to match my other kids, no need to start a fight).  And as a random fact, the harbor seals are one of the main things I remember from when I was a kid going to Santa Cruz boardwalk.

Our California- This does a really good job of highlighting a lot of different areas of California that are famous.  It doesn’t quite cover everything I remember, but it hit most of the things I was going to cover with the kids.  They liked it somewhat, but unlike most of the others we read this week they didn’t request it over and over and over.

The Elephant Quilt- It’s about a family’s journey from Missouri to California.  Honestly I think it’s a little over my kids heads.  I’d put it more at a 2nd/3rd grade level.  But, I found it really interesting to read.  Especially the actual quilt blocks they threw in there.  But, my kids weren’t super interested.

Mouse Creeps- I thought this was really cute and simple.  The text is very simple, but it is made more complex when paired with the illustrations.  I don’t know quite how to explain it better.  If you see it check it out.

Deadly Poison Dart Frogs- my kids loved this one and were fascinated that an animal could be dangerous to touch.    I had to sneak it out of their room, because they’d snuck it in there.

Rachenka’s Eggs- Oh man, the awesome art projects you could do based off of this, and the history and geography you can pull from this one.  We read this one about half a dozen times.  An old lady finds a goose and is painting eggs, and the Easter miracle that happens.  Wonderful cheerful story, with no conflict in it.  Nothing to be scared of, and everyone ends up happy.  Oh, and it happens in old Russia.  I’m thinking next year to use this to actually paint blown eggs or wooden eggs, like a project I saw.  Incorporate it into a study of Russia, like this one.

The First Easter- I love how this incorporates the whole Easter story.  It doesn’t just start at Palm Sunday, but actually goes back further and talks about the need for Easter.  I totally recommend it for little guys.

We also read this awesome butterfly book, but it disappeared into the black hole that is my kids’ rooms, and in the five minutes I have to write this post, I didn’t want to track it down.
Head on over to Natalie at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns for more great books kids read this week.
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