Archive for the ‘november’ Category

With autumn right around the corner, I thought I’d post a book to help you and your children prepare and know what to look for.  Count Down to Fall is a lovely book about all the changes we start to see when autumn comes.  Written by Fran Hawk and illustrated by Sherry Neidigh.  Each 2 page spread has a short 4 line countdown from 10 to 1 about another change to observe in nature when fall comes.  The illustrations are the real beauty in this book, each page is framed with colorful leaves, tree bark, rocks, and branches.  The illustrator captures the detail of fallen bright leaves, pine cones and acorns.

This book would be good for a wide range of ages.  Preschoolers will enjoy counting the items on each page, finding hidden animals, butterflies.  Older children can challenge themselves with identifying the types of trees, by the bark or leaves.

The writing is very poetic, simple 4 lines to each page,

“Four craggy oak leaves,

yellow, gold, and brown,

tumble with the acorns

that wear rough, shaggy crowns.”

Check out Count Down to Fall to start preparing for your autumn nature studies.

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We are just 2 weeks from Thanksgiving.  I’ll be posting some more book suggestions for this holiday in the coming days.  I’ll start with one of my favorites, Eve Bunting’s A Turkey for Thanksgiving.

I can’t recall any Eve Bunting story that I didn’t enjoy.  She has many great ones that I hope to review now and then.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving is one of those books, though, that may have to be explained to the kids.  I’m fairly certain the humor and the irony is lost on younger children. But it’s a short, fun read.

In this story, Mr. and Mrs. Moose are planning Thanksgiving dinner for their other animal friends.  Mrs. Moose says she wished they could have a turkey for Thanksgiving.  Mr. Moose sets out to find turkey, and gathers his friends to help him.  Turkey (who is looking more fat than normal to his friends)  is hiding and thinks his fate is sealed.  Mr. Moose is so happy to march turkey back home and fulfill his wife’s wish.  She shows turkey to his spot of honor at the table…a chair… and tells him she hopes he finds the food to his liking.  All the animals are happy to have a turkey for Thanksgiving!

You can certainly find this book in your library, although it may be hard to get it out this time of year.  But you can find very cheap copies on Amazon as well.

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November 3 is the feast day of St. Martin de Porres.  This year was the first year we found any book to highlight this saint.  St. Martin was a Dominican brother who lived in Peru in the 16th century.  Ann Tompert has written a wonderful book called The Pied Piper of Peru to pass on one of the many stories about Martin de Porres.

Martin was known for his many acts of compassion and kindness especially towards the poor in his city.  But this story focuses on his love for even the smallest creatures, the mice.

The Pied Piper of Peru is told from the point of view of a mouse whose family is in danger after the head of the priory becomes aware that the place is overrun with mice.  Martin is given the job of getting rid of the problem.  He wants to be obedient to his superior but doesn’t want the mice to be harmed.

I love the colors in the illustrations.  The mice are drawn with similar colors and features as in Beatrix Potter’s books.  The backdrop is the realistic looking priory rooms, detailed rustic wood and earthen colors.

This is a wonderful book to read at any time but I have it on my list for November for next year to be sure we get it in time for St. Martin’s feast day.  It is likely you can find it in the library, as we did.

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