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Product DetailsBook Review:  The Very Fairy Princess
by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton (her daughter)
published by Little, Brown and Company 2010

Here’s another charming princess book. Geraldine knows she is a fairy princess. How? She wears a crown first thing in the morning, eats fairy pancakes, and flies in her sneakers. She says, “You can be whatever you want to be. You just have to let your sparkle out!” Her princess mode follows her to school, where she really likes to shine–art class and music class especially. After school, ballet is her favorite because she can twirl in her fluffy tutu. At home she’s busy catching frogs, hoping one is a prince and rides her unicorn (a horse stick). Even in the bath tub, she must wear a crown, one made of bubbles that is! At night, her parents tuck her in, because she’s their fairy princess.

This is a lovely book, with lots of humor in the illustrations. Her brother Stewart stands by and watches her with disgust, as all brothers do. Along the story line which Geraldine tells in first person, she also has cute opinions which the author shows in parentheses. This book will make all the princesses out there giggle.

Product DetailsBook Review:  The Eraserheads, by Kate Banks
Published by Frances Foster Books (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) 2010

Here’s a fun back-to-school type book, very quirky and imaginative. Welcome to the land of pencils, where three eraserheads, pig, crocodile, and owl, erase mistakes. Crocodile helps with number mistakes, owl helps with letters and words, and pig will erase/eat anything. The boy draws a beach picture with a winding road. The eraserheads decide to follow it; however, the boy runs out of space! Things get worse when crocodile goes crazy and erases the entire road. Now they are nowhere. A big wave sweeps them to an island which the boy has drawn. He also draws wild animals and an unfinished bridge. The boy gives up, crumples up his paper, and leaves the eraserheads with the wild animals. Read the book to discover how the eraserheads get out of this predicament.

The storyline is excellent, and I’ve never seen a book about erasers! The subtle message is super. That great things can come from our mistakes. Boys and girls alike will love reading this book.

It’s Back-to-school time! By now you’ve probably bought your school supplies, and maybe you’re still shopping around for school clothes. You can get your children pumped up for school by having them make some back-to-school crafts. I wrote these activities for education.com

Back-to-School Calendar
http://www.education.com/activity/article/school-calendar/

School Notes Magnet Clip
http://www.education.com/activity/article/school-notes-clip-magnet/

Alphabet Memory Game (for young kids)
http://www.education.com/activity/article/alphabet-memory-game/

Product DetailsBook Review:  Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Published by Chronicle Books 2005

Little Pea leads an ordinary happy life with his mom and dad, but he hates one thing. Candy! Every night for dinner he has to eat his candy, and there are all different kinds of candies. Yuck! “If you don’t finish your candy then you can’t have dessert,” his mom tells him. A bargain is made, and Little Pea eats some of his candy. He becomes happy again after he gets to eat a plate full of ….  Read the book to find out.

This was Amy Rosenthal’s first children’s book. Since then she’s written over 10 other picture books, and two more in this Little Books Series, Little Oink and Little Hoot. You can view activities at http://www.chroniclebooks.com/littlebooks/#fun

This is a cute twist on what we moms constantly say to our kids. Perhaps your child will eat his peas after reading this book.

Elmer (Elmer Books)Book Review & Activity:  Elmer by David McKee
Published by Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books 1968.

Whoa! Is that publishing date correct? 1968? That was before I was born. My son & I stumbled upon this classic book at our library, and I discovered on Amazon that David McKee has written many, many books in the Elmer series. You’ve probably read them. What makes this story a classic that is still being published?

The story line is great and has humor just right for preschoolers/kindergartners. The problem is stated right up front. There is a herd of elephants who are all the same color, except Elmer. He is patchwork color. All the colors in his patchwork are listed. I had my son point to each color on Elmer’s body as I read the page. Elmer brings fun and laughter to the herd.

The problem? Elmer wants to look like the rest of the elephants, and so he rubs berries on his skin. None of the others recognize him until it rains. The elephants think this is a big practical joke and decide to celebrate this day each year. All the elephants paint themselves wild colors and patterns, except Elmer who paints himself into a regular elephant.

Teaching Idea and Activity:  Explain to your child that we are all unique and special. The herd of elephants loved that Elmer was different. You can have your child make Elmer. Either draw an elephant or find a clip art of an elephant. Your child can waterpaint Elmer with the different colors, or cut out colorful squares from construction paper and glue them on. Next time you reread this book, have your child point to the colors. Or if you want to teach color words, hold up a flashcard of a color word and have your child point to the correct color on Elmer.

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Activities and Book Reviews