One of our favorite winter activities has been curling up on the couch with a blanket and a stack of books to read. Sammi has definitely moved into longer picture books. I’ve been surprised at how long Elli also sits still on my lap and listens as I read these long books.
We received a few more books from Scholastic in the fall to review. Sammi’s instant favorite was from the series Adventures with Riley and is called the Polar Bear Puzzle. The first time we looked at it I thought it was going to be a flop. It’s a fictional story with nonfiction facts dotting the pages and running through the storyline. I didn’t think Sammi would like the length of the story. Boy was I wrong on all counts!
She loved learning about polar bears. She loved the storyline and the mixed media illustrations. After we read the book, she poured over each page remembering what information went with each picture. If she couldn’t exactly remember, she’d have me read it again, but then she went back to exploring the book on her own. She has carried that book around the house, to the store and even to bed on occasion for the last few months. I really am surprised that she picked such a sophisticated book to love.
That’s a credit to the book, I think. It took a difficult concept—global warming and its effects on the polar bear population—and made it come to life for Sammi. It’s been great to reinforce the winter season by talking about animals that depend on the cold weather as part of their life cycle.
Another book we received from Scholastic that has been a lot of fun for the girls is Marsupials by Nic Bishop. The photographs in this book are such a treat. There’s a lot of information on each marsupial. Honestly we haven’t read every word of every page, but one main sentence is larger and contrasted from the rest of the page. It serves to give us the main feel for the animal and then we also read the caption for the picture. I love that Sammi and Elli, too, both love looking at this nonfiction book. It’s a great introduction to using books to find facts because it makes the information accessible in a brief sentence without losing the depth of what older readers would want to find as well.
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