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Archive for the ‘Alphabet Books’ Category

I hope to do more blog entries that are not about our country study, but for now it seems to be when I have the time we are in the midst of geography study and it’s fresh on my mind.  You can read my previous geography entries here for Argentina and here for the spine we are using.

So if you’re looking to get a little introduction to Brazil, here are some books you might want to check out.  Very likely that you’re library has them, so be sure to check there first.  I always have to put a plug for our great libraries.  They get so little funding but provide so much to the community!

One thing about Brazil is that it provides a good jumping off point if you want to learn about rain forests.  We kept it mostly focused on the country for now but I’m sure we’ll make our way back to a rain forest study sometime.

Keeping in mind that there are plenty of educational guides simply about Brazil aimed at older children, I was searching for books that would be for 3rd grade and under, as read-alouds.

Count Your Way Through Brazil written by Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson is a fun book that gives an introduction to 10 significant characteristics of Brazil.  On each page, it introduces the Portuguese number and explains the topic.  Some of the explanations are rather lengthy, so for a few of them I just picked out the main points to highlight with my kids.  They had fun trying to pronounce the numbers in Portuguese (there’s a pronunciation guide for each one).  The book covers the beginnings of Brazil, products that come from Brazil, foods, national pastimes, music, animals, ethnic groups, and more.

The next one is a kind of an alphabet book, and reminded me of Jerry Pallotta’s alphabet booksB is for Brazil by Maria de Fatima Campos.  This book is similar to the one above, but instead of using numbers it uses letters to teach us 26 things about Brazil.  For instance, R is for rubber which is made from the liquid in the rubber tree and is an export of Brazil.  C is for Carnival, the huge celebration before the start of Lent.  The pictures throughout are actual photographs, which I appreciate for a book about a specific country.

Yet another alphabet type book, A to Z Brazil by Justine and Ron Fontes uses the alphabet to give us 26 categories of information.  F is for food, then the page has the description of a popular Brazilian food.  N is for Nation which includes a full page map showing where Brazil is located in South America, and a large picture of the Brazilian flag.  This book is a good intermediate country book when children are too young to glean much from a long country guide.  Again, the pictures are actual photographs, so it’s nice just to page through it with your child, even if you don’t read every page.

The next three books are literature suggestions that go with Brazil.  Not specifically giving facts about the country but good stories nonetheless.

First is a trickster tale from Brazil called The Dancing Turtle, by Pleasant DeSpain.  A turtle is captured by a native Brazilian family and the father puts him in a cage to be cooked in soup the next day.  His children are asked to watch over him.  Turtle tricks the kids into setting him free.  My 5 year old especially enjoyed this story and loved to imagine this turtle dancing his way out of danger.

The Sea Serpent’s Daughter tells a Brazilian legend about how day and night came to be created.  In this creation story the sea serpents daughter arrives on land, to a village and realizes that so much day-light is too much for her.  So the villagers head out to collect some darkness from the depths of the sea, and so it continues until there is finally a balance of daylight and darkness.

The last literature selection is more specficially about the Amazon Rain Forest.  The Great Kapok Tree tells about a man who begins to cut down a tree in the rainforest.  He ends up falling asleep at the base of the Kapok tree and begins to dream.  In his dream, animals and people of the rain forest visit him and tell him the importance of this tree to their lives.  When he awakes, will he continue to cut down the tree or will he be changed?  I’ll let you and your kids find out!

Finally, if you’re looking for a saint to study with Brazil, check out a previous post of mine, in the Holy Friends book you can find the story of St. Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus, Brazil’s first saint.

So there it is, Brazil by books!  Please leave a comment if you have other literature suggestions for Brazil.

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There are very few alphabet type books that are fun to read.  Dr. Suess’ ABC book is quite possibly one of the best.  But I’ve found a series that is great fun learning, not so much for the alphabet aspect, but for the actual topic.

Jerry Pallotta has a slew of alphabet books that are each about a different topic.  For instance there’s The Beetle Alphabet Book…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Airplane Alphabet Book…

H is for Hercules Flying Boat.  This huge, all-wood cargo plane is also called the Spruce Goose.  It only flew once, but it still holds the record for having the longest wingspan of any airplane ever built.

 

 

 

 

 

Often, Mr. Pallotta is not the only author of the book and he teams up with many different illustrators.  But all of the illustrations are vivid, colorful, and realistic.  He also puts a little humor in his books sometimes, as would be necessary to find words to fit all the letters.

The Icky Bug Alphabet Book.

X is for the marking on the back of this bug.  We could not find a bug whose name began with the letter X.  This bug is called a Cotton Stainer.

 

 

 

 

One of the favorites in our household of boys is The Construction Alphabet Book.

 

 

If you have a kid who has a bit of an obsession with big machines, this one is great because it gives the names and uses for all those machines.  Especially good if you don’t know these things yourself and your kid is always asking “Mommy what’s that called?”  Not that I would know anything about that, of course.

 

 

He’s got an alphabet book for every topic!  I’ve put just a sampling of the Alphabet books in My Google Library.  They all have an “alphabet” label.

Jerry Pallotta’s Alphabet Books in my Google Library.

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