Toddlers go back to school at home
Fun books aid learning at every age
Children who aren't yet in school are every bit as eager to learn about the world around them as older kids who are in a formal classroom. A young child's primary teacher at this point is you, and that carries the responsibility of providing the child's growing mind with information that is fun, engaging, fascinating and adds to their ever-increasing pool of knowledge.
The books reviewed today focus on this goal for young readers. Remember that there are countless opportunities to further enhance learning from what may seem like a "simple" book. Point out or ask the child to spot certain objects, characters, colors and so on as you read each page, and do so with enthusiasm. You'll get more miles out of that little book than you ever thought possible, but more importantly, the benefits for the child are far greater still.
Books to Borrow
The following book is available at many public libraries.
"Little Blue Truck" by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Jill McElmurry, Harcourt, 32 pages
Read aloud: age 2 — 4
Read yourself: age 7
Little Blue Truck might be small, but he's got a big heart. As he rolls down the road, he toots his horn to all his animal friends. Suddenly, a big yellow dump truck zooms past Little Blue Truck. The yellow dump truck shouts that he is big and important and doesn't have time for small talk.
Moments later, the boastful dump truck doesn't feel so important — he's stuck in the mud. Little Blue Truck arrives on the scene, and with a little help from his animal friends, they push the dump truck out of the mud. The dump truck is grateful for their help, and tells his rescuers, "Now I see a lot depends on a helping hand from a few good friends."
Told in rhyme, young children will enjoy this colorful story of trucks, friendship and helping others.
Library: Gridley Branch, Butte County Library, 299 Spruce St., Gridley
Library Director: Linda Mielke
Branch Librarian: Cynthia Pustejovsky
Children's Services: Christy Cooke-Williford
Choices this week: "Henry and Mudge" series by Cynthia Rylant; "The Three Snow Bears" by Jan Brett; "Biscuit" series by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Books to Buy
The following books are available at your favorite bookstores.
"Noodle Love to Drive" written and illustrated by Nosy Crow Ltd., illustrated by Marion Billet, Nosy Crow/Candlewick, 10 pages, $8.99 board book
Read aloud: age 1 — 3
Read yourself: age 6
Noodle is one little panda on the go, and Noodle loves all kinds of vehicles. Noodle loves trucks that dig, trains, tricycles, cars and, of course, driving.
Join Noodle on a fun adventure of exploring the world of vehicles on the move. With fun, colorful illustrations, touch-and-feel opportunities throughout, counting five shiny race cars, objects to spot and name and more, "Noodle Love to Drive" is perfect for babies and toddlers everywhere.
"1, 2, 3 in the Sea" written and illustrated by Sue DiCicco, Scholastic, 2012, 12 pages, $6.99 hardcover
Read aloud: 1 — 3
Read yourself: age 5 — 6
Go into the sea and learn to count from 1 to 3 in this charming little book. But wait — that's just the beginning of what's in store for young readers. Meet fish, sea horses, sea turtles, whales and a surprise at the end.
Adding to the fun, each double-page spread has big flaps to lift or fold out to reveal even more surprises and learning opportunities.
Bursting with colorful illustrations and interactive fun, learning to count from 1 to 3 while exploring some of the creatures living in the sea makes "1, 2, 3 in the Sea" a marvelous book packed with learning and a very positive introduction to the joy of reading.
Kendal A. Rautzhan writes and lectures about children's literature. She can be reached at her website: greatestbooksforkids.com.