Tuesday, February 13, 2018

We LOVE Valentines Books!

We have been reading Valentine's Day books at bedtime for almost a week now because my son is so excited about the holiday! There are a lot of great Valentine books out there, but we wanted to share a few of our favorites.

The Runaway Valentine

written by Tina Casey, illustrated by Theresa Smythe

This story starts in a card shop on Valentine's Day, and all of the cards are showing off, hoping to be picked to share their love. One card in particular is ready to be picked; he has glitter, lace, and could sing songs when you press a button. He knew he would be the first card picked! But he is too eager and gets swept under the card rack. He manages to escape the store and knows someone out in the world will pick him--and he's right! But he's not used in the way he originally expected to--he is too beautiful to be used as scrap paper! Will it all work out for this Valentine in the end?

We loved this story because it was fun to see how the Valentine would be used next!

Valentine Surprise

by Corinne Demas, illustrations by R.W. Alley

Lily wants to make her mom a Valentine, but can't seem to get the hearts just right. She tries every day of the week, but none of them look good. Now it's Valentine's Day, and Lily is all out of paper--she can't even try to make her mom a nice card! But she looks at all her imperfect hearts and gets an idea...

We loved this story because it helps learn days of the week, and also shows children that what they think is "wrong" or "bad" is still meaningful since it comes from the heart.

Rhyme Time Valentine

by Nancy Poydar

Ruby is so excited for Valentine's Day and her class party. She made custom Valentines for everyone, including a rhyme--Ruby loves rhymes! She keeps bragging about her wonderful cards, but on the way to school, a gust of wind blows them away. Ruby is sad she won't have anything to share with her friends, especially since all the red paper in the classroom has been used up. What will Ruby do to show her friends how much she cares about them?

We loved this story because both of my boys are in school, and are preparing for class parties. There are also some "unfinished" Valentine rhymes at the end of the book, and it was so much fun to see if they could finish them on their own. (They are pretty easy rhymes - the 3 year old knew most of them.) There are also instructions on the last page to make a Valentine that looks just like Ruby's!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home

These are two of my favorite picture books, and were so popular with the elementary kids at my school. I think everyone loves the idea of crayons having their own personalities that go along with (or clash with!) their color.

I've shared booklove for these before: I read both books at a storytime for adults with disabilities, and The Day the Crayons Came Home was one of my favorite picture books of 2015.

When I saw these cute finger puppets from MerryMakers, I knew it was time to revisit these books! I love how innovative the storytelling is - the crayons speak out about being misused, neglected, and overused in The Day the Crayons Quit, and in The Day the Crayons Came Home, misplaced and forgotten crayons send funny "Wish You Were Here"-type postcards to their owner, inspiring him to find them under the rug, in the couch, and more.

In addition to the two classic (it's not too soon for them to be classics, right?) picture books, there are board books starring these famous crayons sounding off on colors and numbers. We love the number book because my son is starting to identify written numbers, and this book allows us to explore them in different ways. The number is written at the bottom of each page, next to crayons your kid can count. As each crayon is found, the number is spelled out. I love that it is written both ways, so your child can keep track of the crayons as you turn pages, and/or count the crayons at the bottom of each page.

I even found an instructional book that is a wonderful resource for expanding these books into a lesson. There are vocabulary lists and reading response pages for older children, and pages that help children identify emotions (theirs and the crayons!) and animal colors for younger kids. That's not even scratching the surface of what this book offers - I highly recommend it if you're interested in exploring this book with your kids, students, or plan to adapt some activities for a storytime audience.

Have you read these engaging books? Do you have a favorite book? Do you have a favorite crayon?! Share your thoughts and activity ideas in the comments!