Posts Tagged ‘Scholastic Canada’

Write a Review Wednesday: Mad at Mommy

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Ten Big Toes and a Prince’s Nose (age 4-7). After the last few days with my 4-year old I think a perfect book to review would be Scholastic‘s Mad at Mommy (age 3-7), written and illustrated by Komako Sakai. I have to thank Nikole at Scholastic Canada for my review copy.

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A little bunny is so, SO mad at his mommy. She sleeps in and yells for no reason and tells bunny to hurry up and…and…and. Bunny is so mad that he decides he’s going to leave home. And does. But then he forgets something.

I think as parents we sometimes forget what it’s like to be a child, learning new concepts, being small, wanting attention. In Mad at Mommy, Bunny thinks his mom is unfair when he gets in trouble for making a mess in the bathroom but in his mind he’s just playing and doesn’t understand. Bunny thinks his mom is unfair when she rushes him to get ready but then stands and talks with friends when they’re out.

My 4-year old and I have been going through similar battles; she’s struggle to gain more power and independence and I’m working to implement rules and guidelines. We both think we’re right and the other one is being unreasonable but in a way we’re both right.

Mad at Mommy is a great book for both parent and kids. It shows kids that it’s okay to be frustrated; sometimes even kids need to air their feelings (even unhappy ones) and need reassurance that mommy still loves them. For parents it reminds us to be mindful of how we treat our kids and how frustrating it was when we were little. I remember battles with my parents on wanting to stay up late or wear certain clothes. It’s easy to get angry at water spilled out of the tub but instead maybe we need to remember how fun splashing in the tub can be and explain why we’re upset about the water.

Both my 6 and 4 year old enjoyed reading Mad at Mommy and it opened a great dialog on how everyone gets angry but we always love each other. Probably long overdue but Mad at Mommy also got us talking about things each other does that we feel is unfair.

You can add a copy of Mad at Mommy to your own personal library by visiting your local bookstore or Scholastic Books. For other great books for kids, read through the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

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Write a Review Wednesday: The Haunted House that Jack Built

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed World School Day Adventure. This week we’re getting into the Halloween spirit with Scholastic’s The Haunted House that Jack Built (age 3-8), written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by David Parkins. I have to thank Nikole at Scholastic Canada for my review copy.

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Jack invites some friends over: a ghost, a ghoul, a mummy, a beast to name a few. They chased and scared and rattled and prowled throughout Jack’s house one Halloween night. Then a monster popped some corn and a whole new side of the Halloween creatures was revealed.

Based on the familiar children’s nursery rhyme,  Helaine adds a fun Halloween twist in her book The Haunted House that Jack Built. I’ll be honest, I’m a big fan of holiday books; we have a whole shelf devoted just to them. My kids love them too and nothing gets you into the Halloween spirit more than a fun ghost and ghouly book.

Although we’re talking about monsters and things that go bump in the night, the creatures illustrated in The Haunted House that Jack Built are all fun in nature, nothing to scary. Like the original rhyme, kids will quickly catch on to the repetitive nature of the story and enjoy reading along. And the surprise at the end will delight everyone.

If you want to add The Haunted House that Jack Built to your personal library, visit your local bookstore. For other great books for kids, read through some of the previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: Star Wars ABC

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Boo Cow. This week my 3-year old is all excited about reviewing Scholastc‘s Star Wars ABC boardbook (age 0+). I have to thank Nikole at Scholastic Canada for my review copy.

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Now that my 3-year old has started junior kindergarten, she had developed an interest in ABC books. The new Star Wars ABC from Scholastic helps her learn and reinforce her letter recognition with the help Anakin, Boba Fett and Yoda.

My daughter, actually our whole family, is huge Star Wars fan. When I attended the Scholastic Bloggers Breakfast in New York this August (part of BlogHer) they had this book on display and I knew my kids would love it. This is a large format boardbook making it ideal for even the youngest Star Wars fans. The pictures are full colour photographs of both key characters and crafts, like the Millennium Falcon or the TIE Fighter. Each page has the letter printed large in the top corner with the corresponding name right below it. There is also a small amount of copy on each page describing the picture, adding emphasis on the key letter again.

My kids knew most of the characters but it was great to see them discover the spelling or the first letter of each character. My 3-year old isn’t familiar with all her alphabet but knowing the character name was a great way to work on the letter sound and the letter name. The only problem was stopping my enthusiastic son from shouting out the letters before my younger daughter had a chance to read them.

For kids who already know their letters, the simple sentence on each page is a great way to connect reading with those Star Wars fans. My son enjoyed ‘teaching’ his younger sister the letters and trying to read the words on the page. I should point out that since this is an ABC book, the sentences just help reinforce the letter on the page versus telling a story, but that didn’t bother my kids.

You can add a copy of Star Wars ABC to your personal library by visiting your local bookstore. For other great book recommendations for kids, read through some of the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Sterling Publishing‘s EcoMazes. 12 Earth Adventures (age 7+ ) by Roxie Munro. Still in an Earth Day mindset we’re reviewing The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge (age ) written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen. I have to thank Nikole at Scholastic Canada for my review copy.

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The kids at Walkerville Elementary School are studying global warming, but if you’re familiar with Mrs. Frizzle, you know she likes to give her class a unique hands-on perspective to what they’re learning. So starts the latest classroom learning experience in The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge.

The kids travel around the Earth to see the changes global warming is having on the planet: ice melting in the Arctic, sea levels rising, changes in weather conditions. They also observe first hand, by turning into rays from the sun, how heat-trapping gasses are causing the planet to warm itself. And special goggles enable them to see how much CO2 (a heat-trapping gas) is floating around and what’s causing so much of it.

But the book isn’t all about how bad things are. The kids also explore ways they can help cut down on CO2 emissions through alternative energy sources and simple things like waking, turning off lights and more.

My kids love The Magic School Bus series as do I. The premise of kids taking a fantastic field trip to learn and see first hand how things work fascinates even my youngest. The subject matter of Global Warming can be overwhelming to kids, but breaking out key facts in little digestible chucks makes it easier for kids to absorb, especially when they’re written like project notes from the kids in the story.

The pages in The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge cover a lot of material but you can choose what to read; the message isn’t lost if you just read the story content and only add in one or two of the side notes, depending on what is interesting to your kids, but I think you’ll find they’ll want to read it all.

We try to make environmental choices every day at  home, but Earth Day approaching has given us a chance to talk more about the topic. I love that The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge shows kids that they can affect change to: recycling, walking more, writing letters to local government. There are a lot of ways kids can help. I love how the author extends the story and adds realism to the kids by including an email question and answer at the end.

You can discover more about The Magic School Bus series and some online activities by visiting Scholastic Canada‘s website.

You can add The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge to your own library by visiting your local bookstore or Amazon.ca. Looking for other great kids books? Checkout the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

What will you be doing with your family on Earth Day?