BookList001BAnner

THE BOOK LADY’S RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR AGES 0-3

BubbaBeauNightNight181
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Bubba and Beau Go Night-Night
Written by
Kathi Appelt
Illustrated by Arthur Howard
Harcourt

Summary:
Baby Bubba and his dog, Beau love to go “bye-bye,” especially when it’s with Big Bubba in his trusty red pickup truck. On this errand-running adventure, they stop at the Feed and Seed, the post office, the fruit and vegetable stand and, for a treat to cap off the day, it’s ice cream at the Freeze Deluxe. Even though their day has been action-packed, when Bubba and Beau arrive home, they’re still not ready for bed. What will Mama Pearl and Big Bubba do to get these two little rascals to sleep? This delightful bedtime tale told with a southwestern flair will kindle smiles and giggles for everyone.

Potluck of Fun:
Kathi Appelt and Arthur Howard have collaborated on two other books about this endearing baby and his faithful pup: Bubba and Beau, Best Friends and Bubba and Beau Meet the Relatives (Harcourt).

Running errands is an excellent way for children to learn about their environment and a great opportunity for you to stimulate their language acquisition and vocabulary development. When your toddler is in tow on trips to the grocery store, the pharmacy or the library, take the time to talk about and name everything you see: produce items, signs, books and more. You might just be surprised at how much your little one retains the next time you run similar errands.

As you share this book with your child, try going on a “picture walk” together. Ask your child, “What’s happening here?” as you point to the illustrations and listen as she relates her own story. You may compare the errands in the book with those you and your child run. You might also discuss your family’s bedtime routines. Do you read books together? Do you brush your teeth? Do you sleep with a teddy bear or stuffed animal? Review your bedtime rituals and make them memorable.
 

InMyWorld181
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In My World
Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert
Harcourt

Summary:
This radiant and colorful book provides a visual feast for the young child. “Wiggling worms,” “glittering stars” and “singing birds” spring to life through the die-cut design that creates layers of creatures and natural wonders ripe for discovery. On each page, words and phrases describe the image while the following page names what is depicted, which promotes an adventurous guessing game. A closing rebus poem revisits all of the images in the book.

Potluck of Fun:
As you read this book with your toddler, engage him in the built-in prediction game. Discuss the clues and their corresponding images. Provide your own hints to help your child make successful guesses. When his predictions are on target, be sure to congratulate him. When he guesses incorrectly, still provide praise about the connections and conclusions he made.

Check out other Lois Ehlert books for this age group, like the Caldecott Honor Book Color Zoo, Color Farm (HarperCollins) and Eating the Alphabet (Harcourt). All three of these books are available in board book format. As your child grows, you might want to pick up additional titles by this author, such as Feathers for Lunch, Fish Eyes and Waiting for Wings (Harcourt).

Support your toddler as she grows into an emergent reader with rebus poem books like I Love You by Jean Marzollo (Cartwheel). This book offers the joys of rhyming and decoding pictures wrapped together in a message of love. Visit www.readwritethink.org, click on the Search link and search for “I Love You” (make sure to select Exact Phrase from the “Using” drop-down list before clicking on the Search button). From the results, select Writing Poetry with Rebus and Rhyme. This connects you to a lesson plan using Jean Marzollo’s book as a model for you and your children to write poetry. In addition to the plan itself, you will find helpful Resources including a link to a List of Rebus Books.
 

THE BOOK LADY’S RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR AGES 3-6

AnimalstoSpot181
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1001 Animals to Spot (Usborne 1001 Things to Spot series)
Written by Ruth Brocklehurst
Illustrated by Teri Gower
Usborne/EDC Publishing

 

Summary:
This book cleverly sets you and your child on an animal counting and search-and-find mission. Leo, an artist, has created realistic yet vibrant and energetic drawings of animals and environments. Each double-page spread depicts a variety of animals in their natural habitats including the jungle, the forest and the North Pole. Along the margins, each animal to search for is shown and labeled by name and a number indicating how many times that animal appears in the pages. There are also bonus games to enjoy such as enlarged drawings of parts of animals that you and your children try to match with drawings of the appropriate whole animal. This book is designed to grow with your child as she develops skills – moving from enjoying the illustrations, to counting, to reading the animal names, to recognizing the various habitats. This book is sure to provide hours of exploration and fun!

Potluck of Fun:
This book is also available in Spanish under the title 1001 Animales que Buscar (Usborne/EDC Publishing), which can be a terrific tool for reinforcing one’s first language or introducing a second language.

As you explore this book with your child, talk about what you are seeing. You may begin to notice that your child always seems to talk about certain animals and/or habitats. He might be fascinated, for example, by the jungle and the creatures that live there. Follow up on those interests with more related books and activities.

A great family-friendly Web site about animals is the National Wildlife Federation site for Kids & Families (www.nwf.org/kids). Click on the magazine cover image appropriate to your child’s age group. You can select from Wild Animal Baby: 1-4, Your Big Backyard: 3-7 or Ranger Rick: 7 & up. From each main age group page, you can link to age-appropriate Activities, Book Reviews, Recipes and more. There is also the Caregiver’s Corner through which you can sign up for monthly E-mails containing more activity ideas.
 

BowWowMeoMeo181
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Bow Wow Meow Meow: It’s Rhyming Cats and Dogs
Written and illustrated by Douglas Florian
Harcourt

Summary:
If your child loves rhythm and rhyme and cats and dogs, this is the book for you! Here are 21 amusing and clever poems featuring cats and dogs of different breeds, both domesticated and wild. The formats of the poems are as varied as the types of animals, including a few selections of graphic or concrete poetry in which the arrangement of the words themselves conveys characteristics of the animals. The playful, and often “pun-full” language of the poems is perfectly complemented by the childlike, humorous illustrations. This book is a pure delight for all readers, young and old.

Potluck of Fun:
Use the words and pictures in this book as a springboard for discussions and play about cats and dogs. Compare similarities and differences between the various breeds. Engage in dramatic play by acting out phrases like “rolled out of bed” and “scratched my head” from the poem “Dog Log,” or try imitating the barking or howling noises of Chihuahuas, Bloodhounds and wolves.

Extend the enjoyment and excitement of reading Bow Wow Meow Meow by creating drawings and/or writing poems about favorite animals with your children. You can start out by having your children select specific poems and drawing from the book to recreate. How would your child draw or write about a poodle or a Persian cat? You can also let your children choose an animal of any kind and ask them to list words that describe it. Then use this list of adjectives and adverbs as the basis for your children’s drawings and poetry.

If your child has a natural interest in animals and enjoys this book, read more titles by Douglas Florian such as, Lizards, Frogs and Polliwogs; Mammalabilia and Beast Feast (Harcourt).
 

 

THE BOOK LADY’S RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR AGES 6-9
 

Courage181
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Courage
Written and illustrated by Bernard Waber
Walter Lorraine Books/Houghton Mifflin

Summary:
In this lovely and inviting book, we see children, a few adults and even one dog displaying courage in their everyday lives. Sometimes their courage is shown in small acts, like “tasting the vegetable before making a face.” Sometimes it takes digging deep and “being the first to make up after an argument.” This book provides numerous examples of the different kinds of courage to be found all around us and within us. An inspiration for us all!

Potluck of Fun:
Use this book to open a discussion about courage and fear with your children. Talk about what each person in your family thinks courage is and about what scares or worries each of you. Encourage your children to conquer their fears and use examples from the book that depict children who do so, but also reassure them that everyone – even you – gets scared sometimes, and that that’s perfectly all right.

Praise your children at every opportunity, especially when they take calculated, yet courageous risks, like taking those first steps onto a school bus, reaching out in friendship to the new kid at school or trying out for the local little league team. Validating your children’s acts of courage builds their confidence and encourages them to recognize and celebrate each new success.

Raising courageous children involves more than encouragement and praise. To learn more about creating a foundation of courage for your children, visit the National Association for the Education of Young Children Web site (www.naeyc.org). Click on the following links in this order: Publications, Beyond the Journal, Beyond the Journal Archive, January 2005. Under the Contents heading, click on First Steps to Mighty Hearts: The Origins of Courage.

Bernard Waber has written and illustrated nearly 25 picture books since the 1960s. Check out some of his classics like The House on East 88th Street and the subsequent beloved Lyle Crocodile books (Walter Lorraine Books). Go to www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com and enter the words “Bernard Waber author” in the Search Our Site box and click on the first resulting link to read more about this celebrated author/illustrator. Click on links for The Books, About the Author and Articles and Interviews, which includes an interview featuring questions and answers about Courage. You’ll also find a Fun with Lyle page that encourages you and your children to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The House on East 88th Street with the downloadable Lyle Party Kit that includes invitations, nametags, games and activities.
 

HowToTalkToDog181
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How to Talk to Your Dog
Written by Jean Craighead George
Illustrated by Sue Truesdell
HarperCollins

Summary:
Does your child understand that your beloved family pooch actually has his own language? It’s a fact! Whether it’s through sounds, visual or chemical cues or physical contact, your dog is trying to tell you something. This book explains the different aspects of “dog talk” and how you and your children can learn to speak to your dog in his own language. Talk about building communication skills! This lighthearted but informative guide becomes more and more appealing as you take in the illustrations that combine photographs of the author interacting in loving ways with irresistible cartoon pups.

Potluck of Fun:
For families with felines, check out the companion book How to Talk to Your Cat (HarperCollins). Jean Craighead George has written more than 80 books for children, including picture books, chapter books and young adult novels. In 1960, her book My Side of the Mountain (Dutton) was named a Newbery Honor Book and in 1973, she won the Newbery Medal for Julie of the Wolves (HarperCollins). Each of these books is the first in a trilogy. She always writes along the themes of nature, animals and ecology. To find out why, visit www.jeancraigheadgeorge.com. At this Web site you and your children can read all about this author and her books and even get some valuable tips in the Writing section: Learn to Write Your Own Stories.

As you and your children learn more about this author and read more of her books, you will undoubtedly feel her passion for the wonders of nature, and this might spark a new interest for your children. Talk with them about animals, the environment and ecology. Pick up nonfiction books for this age group that support these interests like Jean Craighead George’s own Incredible Animal Adventures (HarperTrophy), Recycle! A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons (Little, Brown), and titles in the DK Publishing Eye Wonder series, such as Ocean, Rain Forest and Mammals.

You and your children can also explore wonderful nature and ecology Web sites built just for kids. Check out a wide variety of topics, activities, games and more in the Kids section of the National Geographic site (www.nationalgeographic.com) and at EcoKids (www.ecokids.ca/pub).

Jean Craighead George was raised in family of what she calls “students of nature,” and they filled her childhood with outdoor experiences that brought nature up close. She carried on this family tradition with her own children, which led her two sons into careers as environmental scientists. As parents, get your kids involved by going on hikes and walks in the woods or simply by exploring your own backyard or state parks and reservations.
 

TailLikeThis
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What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?
Written by Steve Jenkins
Illustrated by Robin Page
Houghton Mifflin

Summary:
There’s a lot more to this book than just tails. How about ears, eyes, mouths, noses and feet? Using their particular features or adaptations, animals can do astounding things. On the two-page spreads, you will see specific parts of different animals with the question, “What would you do with a _________like this?” The following spreads reveal the animals in full and explain what each creature does with its tail, eyes, mouth, etc. Expressed in simple language accompanied by bold cut-paper collage images, this book offers readers a dynamic, adventurous and exciting learning experience. When you use the book to spur an interactive guessing game, it will make an already enjoyable book even more enthralling. And for the more advanced and extra curious readers, you’ll find a picture glossary with additional animal information at the close of the book.

Potluck of Fun:
Sometimes you don’t have to read a book from the beginning. This is one of those times. You can dip into this book anywhere, because its arrangement isn’t sequential or linear. You can linger on the pictures and the factual material provided on each page or simply let your child point the way – choosing to focus on her favorite animals or animal parts. The most important thing is that you both have fun with it!

When it comes to contemporary nonfiction picture books, there’s no one quite like author and illustrator Steve Jenkins. Whether he’s working on his own or collaborating with others, his approach is unmistakably unique and exceptionally powerful. His powers of presentation compel children to read and to want to learn more. In 2001, he began collaborating with his wife, Robin Page, and together they have published four books to date for this age group, including What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? (a 2004 Caldecott Honor Book and an ALA Notable Children’s Book), Animals in Flight, Move! and I See a Kookaburra! Discovering Animal Habitats Around the World (a 2005 ALA Notable Children’s Book) [Houghton Mifflin].

Try engaging your child in some artistic fun by creating your own cut-paper collages. You might want to first read a few books by author/illustrators like Steve Jenkins, Judith Moffatt, Ezra Jack Keats and perhaps the best-known children’s author/collage illustrator, Eric Carle. Explore these books together and focus on the pictures. Talk about how each of you thinks different images were created: Are there layers of shapes and colors that form the images or do they seem to spring forth from a singular and specific shape? What effect do the colors have, both the colors in the image itself and the background colors? After some shared exploration and discussion, jump into the artistic experience and create a collage. You can work together on one piece or each do your own. You can work with just paper or expand the textural possibilities with fabrics, buttons, popsicle sticks, feathers – whatever tickles your fancy!
 

 

THE BOOK LADY’S RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR AGES 9-12
 

WinDixie
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Because of Winn-Dixie
Written by Kate DiCamillo
Candlewick Press

Summary:
This book weaves a tale of friendship, family and man’s best friend. When 10-year-old Opal moves to Florida with her preacher father, she leaves behind everything and everyone she loved. One day, Opal goes to the local supermarket and finds much more than a loaf of bread or a container of milk: she comes out with a stray dog. She fittingly names the dog after the supermarket and soon finds that Winn-Dixie isn’t just any old dog. He’s big, a bit on the ugly side and not so well-behaved, but what he lacks in style and manners, he makes up for in humor and affection. Opal finds out more about her absent mother, becomes friends with some unique local characters and learns a lot about forgiveness – all because of Winn-Dixie.

Potluck of Fun:
Because of Winn-Dixie was named a 2001 Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Children’s Book and an International Reading Association Young Adults’ Choice and received more than 40 other honors. This is particularly remarkable considering it is Kate DiCamillo’s debut novel. She has continued to rack up the accolades with subsequent books, like The Tale of Despereaux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. At the Web site of her publisher, Candlewick Press (www.candlewick.com), search for her books by title or through the Authors & Illustrators page. On the individual book pages, you will find links to Reader’s Guides, Teacher’s Guides, Articles and more.

You and your children can find out more about this author at www.katedicamillo.com including her online Journal and a section On Writing that features her own Writing Tips.

Once your family has read the book (hopefully all together!), go ahead and rent the movie. Watch the film together and then talk about it: What scenes did the screenwriter and producers select from the chapters in the book to adapt for the movie? How was the story different on film? Did the music and sound add to the story? How was the pacing of the movie? Were there parts you liked better in the book than in the movie and vice versa? Did the characters look like you imagined them to be? What scenes would you select from the book to make your own movie?

Moving to a new home, especially if it’s a long distance move, can be difficult and even traumatic for children. Separation from a parent, whether due to death, divorce or some other circumstances, can also be devastating. In Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal faces both of these challenges and comes through them a strong and happy girl. Books like this one and others that tackle difficult issues with sensitivity and realism can be powerful tools that help children handle their own problems. Sharing such books with your children and talking about them can be of great help. Look for appropriate titles covering wide-ranging social issues by such authors as Avi, Judy Blume, Walter Dean Myers, Katherine Paterson, Gary Paulsen and Cynthia Rylant.
 

LoveThatDog
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Love That Dog
Written by Sharon Creech
HarperCollins
 

Summary:
Jack has no interest in reading poetry, never mind writing it. As he writes in his school journal, “...boys don’t write poetry. Girls do.” But his teacher, Miss Stretchberry, doesn’t give up. She exposes Jack and his classmates to exciting and unique poets and poems (all of which are included at the end of the book). Jack begins to discover that poetry is much more than he’d thought: you can write about any subject in any way and it doesn’t even have to rhyme. He begins to develop his own style, gathering inspiration and influence from poets like William Carlos Williams and Walter Dean Myers. When a verse by Myers inspires Jack to write about his beloved dog Sky, it’s obvious that Jack has truly found his own voice and can’t help but share it.

Potluck of Fun:
Sharon Creech is an award-winning author of 12 juvenile novels, including a Newbery Medal winner – Walk Two Moons – and a Newbery Honor BookThe Wanderer. She has also written four picture books. You and your children can find out all about Sharon Creech and each of her books at www.sharoncreech.com. At this Web site you will find her Biography, Photo Album and an Interview. Also, for each of her books you can read a Summary, notes on her Inspiration and other Tidbits. Some book pages also include options to Read a Chapter, download a Reading Guide and Listen to an Excerpt. The Teach Creech section features a downloadable teaching guide to her novels.

In order to write poetry, it helps to read a lot of poems to observe a variety of styles and identify what moves you. The poems contained in Love That Dog model non-rhyming phrases that express deep feelings. Try exploring these poems and poetry anthologies for children and for adults. Find selections that you believe will excite and inspire your children and share them by reading them aloud together. For some wonderful and powerful poetry for children in this age group, read A Maze Me: Poems for Girls (Greenwillow) by Naomi Shihab Nye and check out some of the anthologies for which she has selected the poems like, Is This Forever, or What? Poems & Paintings from Texas, What Have You Lost? (Greenwillow) and The Flag of Childhood: Poems from the Middle East (Aladdin).

Talking together about feelings and heartfelt experiences can also lay the foundation for poetry writing. Conversations with your children about words that express emotions can provide a starting point for writing. Encourage your children to write their own poems and remind them that poetry is free-form expressive writing, so how they write is up to them. The sky’s the limit!
 

Shiloh
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Shiloh
Written by Phyllis Reyolds Naylor
Aladdin

Summary:
When 11-year-old Marty finds a dog that has clearly been abused, the right thing to do isn’t so easy to figure out. Marty wants to keep the pup, hide it away and take care of it – even steal food for it if he has to. But part of him says the dog should be returned to its owner, even though that means the little beagle will probably suffer more abuse and neglect. Maybe he should tell his parents and see what they think he should do. Readers can’t help but be drawn into this story with its many twists and turns and the ever-present love of one special boy for one special dog.

Potluck of Fun:
In 1992, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor received the Newbery Medal (and more than 20 other awards) for Shiloh and went on to write two more Shiloh books: Shiloh Season and Saving Shiloh (Atheneum). In total, she has written more than 125 books, including picture books, juvenile and young adult novels and books for adults. By writing books of different genres, on different subjects for different age groups, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor keeps her books fresh and her own writing process exciting. Read more about her writing and other books at her page on the Web site of the Children’s Book Guild. Go to www.childrensbookguild.org, roll your cursor over About Our Members, select Our Member Pages and click on the Phyllis Reynolds Naylor link.

Reading aloud together should continue even when your child can read independently. There is an abundance of treasured moments to be found in enjoying the beauty of a story together, cuddling close on the couch and laughing or crying along with the characters. It is interesting to re-read your favorite parts and share them with another family member. Making reading a family affair helps to keep everyone interested, develops positive reading habits and brings everyone closer together.

Use this book as a springboard for family conversations about truth, lies, right and wrong. Pose different scenarios for yourself and your children: “What would you do if ...? How would you handle ...?” Try to focus on circumstances in which the truth is difficult to discern or the “rightness” is ambiguous. Open up the discussion to include other relatives or close friends. Most importantly – be honest. Your honesty will inspire the same in your children and will secure their respect.

Each of the books in the Shiloh trilogy has been made into a film. You can find out more about these movies at www.shilohfilm.com. As suggested for Because of Winn Dixie, once you have read the books, rent the movie to observe, discuss and compare the books and their film adaptations (see above for book-movie discussion questions).
 

THE BOOK LADY'S RECOMMENDED BOOKS FOR PARENTS

HelpChildLearnRead
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Help Your Child Learn To Read
(Usborne Parents’ Guides series)
Written by Betty Root
Usborne/EDC Publishing

Summary:
How can parents instill a passion for reading early in their children’s lives? Where do you start? And once you’ve started, how do you move forward? This brief, concisely written book walks you step-by-step through processes for helping your children learn to, and ultimately want to, read. Using succinct statements drawn from years of experience as a reading specialist, Betty Root addresses not only using books, but also engaging children in activities that support the development of reading skills. There are chapters discussing the importance of talking, listening, repeating rhymes and rhythms, playing games and reading aloud, just to name a few. Explanations of different methods of reading instruction and guidance for dealing with reading problems are also included. As your child grows from a baby into his early school years, you will return to this book again and again for suggestions that will help him continue to experience the joy of reading"
 

ReallyReading
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Really Reading! 10 Simple and Effective Methods to Develop
Your Child's Love for Reading

Written by Janet Gardner and Lora Myers
Adams Media Corporation

Summary:
Reading shouldn’t be a chore: it should be fun! And how you interact with your children and books can make all the difference. In a practical approach free of jargon and complex analysis, this book will set you and your kids on a path to years of enjoyable and rewarding reading experiences. Reading skills are explained and organized by level of difficulty and developmental progression. Skills like learning new words and predicting outcomes occur first. More complex skills like making connections and inference follow later. Strategies include starting with books that appeal to your child, making reading a habit, going to the library, varying the kinds of books you read and developing a home library. The clues for which strategy to use often come from your child through such factors as attention span, verbal ability and body language (“fidget-and-squirm factor”). By using the tips and advice in this book, you will guarantee positive reading experiences for your children and for you.

 

 

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Diane Ramsay
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Diane Ramsay
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Diane Ramsay used the following books in her group lapsit:

Where Is Baby’s Mommy?
Written and illustrated by Karen Katz
Little Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

and

I Love Animals
Written and illustrated by Flora MacDonnell
Candlewick Press

 

 

 

 

 

Diane Ramsay recommends fingerplay books like:

Too Many Rabbits and Other Fingerplays about Animals, Nature, Weather and the Universe
Written and selected by Kay Cooper
Illustrated by Judith Moffatt
Cartwheel Books

 

 

 

 

 

and

The Baby’s Game Book
Selected by Isabel Wilner
Illustrated by Sam Williams
Greenwillow

Check out Diane Ramsay’s complete picture book list for toddlers.

FeathersForLunch
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Lyman Phillips suggests introducing new books by connecting them to your children’s interests as he did for his daughter with:

 

Feathers for Lunch
Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert
Harcourt

HappyBDayMaisy
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MaisyPanda
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Laurie Joy recommends introducing new books that have the same look and feel of a child’s favorite, or that are written by the same author, like:

Happy Birthday, Maisy

 

 

 

and

Where Is Maisy’s Panda?
Written and illustrated by Lucy Cousins
Candlewick Press

 

PhantomTollBoth
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BridgeTeribitha

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ChickenSoup

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The Chang family’s home library includes award-winning fiction and books that support interests such as:

The Phantom Tollbooth
Written by Norton Juster
Illustrated by Jules Feiffer
Knopf

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge to Terabithia
Written by Katherine Paterson
Illustrated by Donna Diamond
HarperCollins

 

 

 

 

 

and

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
Written and edited by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen,
Marty Becker and Carol Kline
Health Communications, Inc.

 

MakeWayDucks
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FiveLittleDucks
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Heidi Chait and teachers in her childcare program coordinated a field trip that expanded on themes in these books:

Make Way for Ducklings
Written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey
Viking

 

 

 

 

and

Five Little Ducks
Illustrated by Ian Beck
Orchard Books

 

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2006 Words That Cook   All rights reserved  Box 411, Natick, MA  01760  USA

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