Archive for February, 2008

Counting Book Podcast – Ten Little Mice

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In this podcast, Jamie Malone introduces listeners to the book Ten Little Mice by Joyce Dunbar.

Introduction
In Joyce Dunbar’s counting book, entitled Ten Little Mice, young math students focus on counting back from 10 to 0 by one’s. The book includes creative, interesting illustrations, that match the numerals studied. This book is a useful tool when students are learning basic counting facts and number sense, as well as fundamental subtraction principles.

Related Books
Count and See by Tana Hoban
Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Additional Information
LearnNC has a brief lesson that uses this book.
Listen to a podcast about the book Mouse Count.

Nonfiction Monday – Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art

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My son has been enamored of art, looking at it and creating it since he could pick up a crayon and scribble. He’s particularly interested in how pictures tell stories and how they are created, so reading Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art with him has been particularly enjoyable.

This anthology begins, “Dear Young Artist…” What follows is a letter from one of 23 artists (with the exception of Lionni, whose letter is written by his granddaughter) about how and why they became an artist and their thoughts on their chosen profession. The letter is followed by a self-portrait of the artist on the outside of a gatefold. The fold-out pages include studio photos, sketches, examples of the evolution of a piece of work, and much more. Most artists have also included photographs from their childhood.

The letters are as different as the art created by these talented folks. In reading them, we learn about hope, inspiration, and dreams. We also learn about art itself. Here are some examples.

Mitsumasa Anno – “But in developing one’s own individual artistic style, I believe that the culture that is part of your being from childhood is of great importance. If you look deeply into the culture you were brought up in, you will find there the inspiration and the roots of your own power to create good pictures.”

Nancy Eckholm Burkert - “Artists observe. The trajectory of a ball, the thrust of a twig, the enigma of fog, patterns in the sand, the uniqueness of every cloud, the convolution of an ear, the mood on a friend’s face … everything has meaning to our eyes.”

Mordicai Gerstein – “What I always wanted to do in my pictures was to express my feelings about something — a mood of some kind, or a piece of music, or how I felt about some event or person. That’s what I still try to do. I try to make pictures that aren’t about something, but that make you feel something, — about an event, a person, or maybe just the picture itself.”

Rosemary Wells – “Draw from your life. Draw all the time. Expect to be different from other kids, because if you are an artist, you are different. Sometimes it’s hard to be different. Sometimes it hurts when people don’t understand you or laugh at you for not being cool enough, but stay the course. Believe in yourself. Believe in the paintings and drawings that come out of your mind and your hand.”

Illustrators featured in the book include:

  • Mitsumasa Anno
  • Quentin Blake
  • Ashley Bryan
  • Nancy Ekholm Burkert
  • Eric Carle
  • Tomie dePaola
  • Jane Dyer
  • Mordicai Gerstein
  • Robert Ingpen
  • Steven Kellogg
  • Leo Lionni
  • Petra Mathers
  • Wendell Minor
  • Barry Moser
  • Jerry Pinkney
  • Alice Provensen
  • Robert Sabuda & Matthew Reinhart
  • Maurice Sendak
  • Gennady Spirin
  • Chris Van Allsburg
  • Rosemary Wells
  • Paul O. Zelinsky

These letters are gifts from the heart of the artists, who share bits of their souls with readers. For children interested in how books are made, how art is created, or just crazy about creating art of their own, this book will help them recognize that becoming and artist is not only a process that requires dedication, practice and passion, but also an endeavor that can last a lifetime. I recommend this for readers of all ages who share a passion for the art of storytelling in pictures.

Book: Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art
Publisher: Philomel Books
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 114 pages
Grades: 3-12
ISBN-10: 0399246002
ISBN-13:
978-0399246005
Source of Book: Personal copy purchased from local independent bookstore.

This review was written for Nonfiction Monday. Head on over to Anastasia Suen’s blog and check out all the great posts highlighting nonfiction this week.

Counting Book Podcast – The M&M’s Count to One Hundred Book

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In this podcast, Anthony Hatch introduces listeners to the book The M&M’s Count to One Hundred Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath.

Introduction
In this rhyming text, readers us M&M candy to count to 100 by ones, twos, fives, and tens. This book provides a useful introduction to skip counting.

Related Books
The M&M’s Addition Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
The M & M’s Subtraction Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath

Additional Information
The official site for M&M’s has games and activities for kids.
Here is a booklist for 100th day celebrations.

Counting Book Podcast – The Baker’s Dozen: A Counting Book

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In this podcast, Cory Widdowson introduces listeners to the book The Baker’s Dozen: A Counting Book by Dan Andreasen.

Introduction
The Baker's Dozen: A Counting Book, by Dan Andreason, is an intricately illustrated counting book appropriate for students in kindergarten or first grade. The reader can count on by ones with the baker as he makes tarts and other tasty morsels as he rushes to prepare his shop for the day. The pictures in this book will encourage children to count each of the pastries being named per page, and could also be used for teaching elapsed time. A major plus to this book is the inclusion of the word for the number and the numeral on each page, and a counting chart is located in the back of the book.

Counting Book Podcast – The M&M’s Brand Counting Book

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In this podcast, Kelsey Rdzanek introduces listeners to the book The M&M’s Brand Counting Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath.

Introduction
I selected The M & M’s Brand Counting Book because it is includes a few key elements which kids in grades K-2 are very interested in: candy and colorful pictures! It also does a great job of teaching kids to count forward to 12 and back again and helps with number sense.

The book can be used for a variety of lesson plan topics including shapes, colors, addition, subtraction and creating sets.

Related Books
The M&M’s Addition Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath
The M & M’s Subtraction Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath

Additional Information
Here is a kindergarten lesson plan on counting by ones that uses this book.
You can view some samples of student work with M&M activities.
Download a chart for graphing M&M’s.
The official site for M&M’s has games and activities for kids.

Counting Book Podcast – 10 Minutes to Bedtime

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In this podcast, Kristin Coffee introduces listeners to the book 10 Minutes Till Bedtime by Peggy Rathmann.

Introduction
The counting book 10 Minutes Till Bedtime, written by Peggy Rathmann, counts backwards from 10 to 1, and then to “bedtime”, and might be usefulto introduce a lesson on counting back. Although the book doesn’t include much written text, the colorful and engaging illustrations provide readers with opportunities to practice their counting skills on every page. 10 Minutes Till Bedtime could be especially helpful in encouraging students to understand how math lessons are incorporated into everyday life, as they read about the little boy and his pets getting ready for bed.

Related Books
The Crayon Counting Book, written by Pam Munoz Ryan and Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Frank Mazzolla, Jr.
The Icky Bug Counting Book , written by Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by Ralph Masiello

Additional Information
Learn more about the book and take the Hamsters 10-Minute Bedtime Tour.
Learn more about the author at her web site.

Counting Book Podcast – Mouse Count

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In this podcast, Megan Ney introduces listeners to the book Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh.

Introduction
Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh is a great counting book for kindergarten through 2nd grade. It incorporates different counting methods, such as counting on and counting back, and uses well drawn illustrations for students to see exactly what they are counting. Most of all the book is actually a story and the children will remain intrigued with the plot until the very end while still learning about math during the whole book.

Related Books
How Many Feet in the Bed by Diane Johnston Hamm
Splash by Ann Jonas
Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra

Additional Information
You can read a book review and download activity ideas at A Mouse for All Readers.
The Kansas State Library site idea for has an idea for constructing mice for use with the book.
LearnNC has a brief lesson based on this book.

Counting Book Podcast – Just A Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book

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In this podcast, Laura Bradlee introduces listeners to the book Just A Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book by Yuyi Morales.

Introduction
Yuyi Morales' book, Just A Minute is a clever tale that would be especially useful for students in Kindergarten and 1st grade that are either just beginning or are in the process of developing the concepts of number sense and counting. The cross-cultural nature of the book makes it a great choice to read in the classroom and can be used to encourage students to think about, accept and appreciate cultural differences. The book also provides opportunity to practice writing numerals and counting from one to ten in both English and Spanish. The bright, colorful illustrations bring this story to life and the ending is sure to please audiences of all ages.

Related Book
We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey Through Tanzania by Laurie Krebs

More Information
You can read a review of Morales’ book at PaperTigers.org.
You can learn more about the author at her web site.
Listen here to learn how to pronounce the author’s name.

Counting Book Podcast – So Many Circles, So Many Squares

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In this podcast, Farah Salman introduces listeners to the book So Many Circles, So Many Squares by Tana Hoban.

Introduction
I like this book because it is very unique with all sorts of creative pictures. I think it can be used in many ways in class.

  1. Just for counting the teapots, plates, bikes, and pipes.
  2. To see the different shapes of things, like circles in wheels and fruits or squares in a net or fabric design.
  3. To find out greater and more, like are there more squares on a waffle or on a table cover.

Related Book
Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews

Additional Information
You can read some reviews of Hoban’s book at Kid’s Catalog Web.

Nonfiction Monday – It’s Moving Day!

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When I was a kid I was fond of exploring the woods in my backyard. I often wished I could see inside the burrows that were so cleverly hidden near gnarled tree roots and clumps of rocks. In her new book, It’s Moving Day!, Pamela Hickman has granted this wish. The book begins:

The burrow lies hidden beneath
a big tree on the edge of the field.

After a long winter’s sleep, the
woodchuck climbs out of his
underground home and stretches.

Time to dig his summer home down
in the farmer’s pasture where
there is more food to eat.

It’s moving day!

As the woodchuck looks around and prepares to leave the safety of the burrow, a rabbit can be seen in the nearby field. The cottontail hops into the burrow and soon makes it a comfortable home in which to raise her young. Her young grow and leave the burrow, and upon winter’s approach, she too leaves to find a winter home. Rabbit’s moving day makes way for a yellow-spotted salamander, looking for a place to hibernate.

The text is accompanied by the illustrations of Geraldo Valério. The acrylics depicting the animals and their comings and goings in the burrow are warm and full of life. The scenes move easily from season to season, connecting readers to the rhythm of life in the burrow.

After the salamander, the burrow is home to a raccoons, milk snakes, chipmunks, skunks, and finally, to bring the story full circle, a woodchuck. The book ends with a page that briefly introduces each of the animals that live in the burrow. I would match this book with Barbara Brenner’s One Small Place in a Tree and Brenda Guiberson’s Cactus Hotel for an expanded look at how many animals can inhabit one home over time.

This is a beautiful book that provides an engaging introduction to woodland animals and a type of home many share. I highly recommend it. In fact, I’m so smitten with this book that I am predicting a Cybils 2008 nomination in its future for nonfiction picture book.

Book: It’s Moving Day!
Author: Pamela Hickman
Illustrator: Geraldo Valério
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Pages: 32 pages
Grades: K-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-55453-074-8
ISBN-10: 1-55453-074-1
Source of Book: Copy received from Raab Associates, Inc.

This review was written for Nonfiction Monday. Head on over to Anastasia Suen’s blog and check out all the great posts highlighting nonfiction this week.