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Bear Series – BEAR IN A SQUARE (Board Book Review)

 

Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Debbie Harter

 

This is one of the books that is included in the Bear Series that is written by Stella Blackstone (I believe there are six of them, and each of these books are also written in Spanish edition). I have seen four out of the six books in this series and each one of them is phenomenal. The four books that I have seen and read to my daughter are the following: Bear in Sunshine, Bear about Town, Bear’s Busy Family and Bear in a Square.

I remember the very first Bear Series that I read – and I saw it in my doctor’s office waiting room! I honestly got hooked on it for my daughter and wanted too buy the full series for her!  That particular book was “Bear in a Square”, which happened to be my daughter’s most-wanted book this week.

I can see why it is her favorite of the week. First, the words in each page are simple and direct. Each page asks the reader to be interactive with the text as well as the pictures. It asks the reader to find the particular shape that is hidden in the page. For her age, one direct sentence to learn and identify shapes is all that she needs to learn the concept of shapes. There are exactly 10 different shapes that are presented on this book. It goes in the order of: square, heart, circle, rectangle, moon shape, triangle, diamond, zigzag, oval and star.

Secondly, I think she is fascinated with the bold and fantastic colors that are embodied in each of the pages. The BEAR in the book is always present in all the pages as part of the search. Not only that but the scenes where the shapes are hidden are diverse. An example is, “Find the hearts in the queen’s hair” and the scene on this page is a castle with a vivid picture of a queen with two hearts on her hair. Other scenes that are used are the school, the pool, the sea and the cave.

This book can be used in so many different ways. As the book progressed to different shapes, the number of shapes is also increasing. First there is only one square to find, then 2 hearts, then 3 circles…and so on until the last shape which is the star with the last number of 10. A child can easily identify what is also asked on the text, by checking on the right hand side of the book to see what shape is being asked for. A child can also self-correct himself as to the number of shapes that are present in each page by looking and comparing the number of the shapes on the right hand side to the number of shapes the child has identified.

What I like about this book is that my daughter really sits down until the end of the book and gets to enjoy each page of the book. I guess, what goes in her mind is that the pictures are so real, they are almost “touchable” to the eye. 

 

 

BAREFOOT BOOKS SUMMER SALE!

Take advantage of this wonderful annual Barefoot Books Summer Sale that is happening from June 2nd to July 15. Lots of books that are on sale from $2.99 to $16.99 – up to 80% off the retail price! Also, be sure to check out the other products that are on sale including cards, portfolio cards, board books, music cds and hardcover books! This is a chance for every mother to collect the books for their young ones.

Ask me how to get a 10% discount and a FREE book for your purchase.

Email me if you are interested: barefootbooks101@yahoo.com

Check out the barefoot books site: http://www.barefootbooks101.com

My Granny Went to Market – by Stella Blackstone (a book review)

  

My Granny Went to Market (A Round-the-World counting Rhyme)

Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Christopher Corr

Read Alone: Ages 4-7
Read Together: Ages 0-4
Hardcover; Jacketed; Full-color illustrations ; 24pp;
10.25 x 10 inches

 

This book takes you far away to ten different locations in the world. I feel like after reading this book with my daughter, that I have taken her far away from Massachusetts! In fact, 10 different places in one sitting, isn’t that exciting – for just one book? From Istanbul (did you know that Istanbul is the ONLY city in the world that is located in two continents? Europe and Asia?), to Thailand, to Mexico, to China, Switzerland, Africa, Russia (russs-siiaa), Australia, Japan (Which state in the US means ‘good morning in Japanese’? – Answer: Ohio) and Peru, it definitely is a traveling book! My daughter loves listening to me while I read this book to her – most probably because she hears foreign languages from most of the pages. In fact, she was so excited on the page where the Granny went to Thailand, she ripped it! This particular page contains the Thai words ‘Puyin’ and ‘Puchai’ which means little little girl and little boy respectively.

 

As the subtitle of this book suggest around the world counting rhyme, this book presents counting in an international sense. As the Granny in the book travels from her first destination to the next, the pages accumulate the numbers of object a particular country is known for. Dig this part from the book:

 

First destination – from Istanbul – one flying carpet (1)

Second destination – Thailand – two temple cats (2)

Third destination – Mexico – three masks (3)

Fourth destination – China – four lanterns (4)

Fifth destination – Switzerland – five cowbells (5)

Sixth destination – Africa – six drums (6)

Seventh destination – Russia – seven dolls (7)

Eighth destination – Australia – eight boomerang (8)

Ninth destination – Japan – nine kites (9)

Tenth destination – Peru – ten llamas (10)

 

This book also tackled in a subtle way the different continents of the world. On the very first page of the book, there is a world map that tracked all the travel destinations that the Granny went to. On this map, the continents on where the countries that the Granny visited were in bold letters to emphasize that these countries belong to these continents. 

Rhymes are all over the book. Take for example this page, where the words ‘Japanese’ rhymes with the word ‘breeze’:

An activity that will go along with this book aside from counting and rhymes, is the identification of what people are called from these countries. If you are an educator you could start off a book walk by asking which country does the city of Istanbul belong to? Answer: Turkey. Therefore, if the country is Turkey, the people are called, ‘Turkish’. The lesson activity can move on from this first destination to the last part.

– Alpha

The Gigantic Turnip – Book Review

 This is a story based from a Russian folk tale about an old man and an old woman who were living in a cottage with an overgrown garden. they have all sorts of animals that they keep with them including canaries, geese, hens, cats, pigs, cow.  

 

They have been living just fine until one March morning when they both thought it was about time to sow their vegetables. The last one they sowed was the turnip.

Later that night rain fell and the turnip grew and grew until it became very GIGANTIC! When the couple woke up the following day they were very surprised to see how big the turnip had turned out to be…and they needed help from all their farm animals. One by one, they called out for help from their animals. Out came the cow but they couldn’t pull out the turnip. Next, they called out the 2 pigs, but again it didn’t work out. The story went on and went from one cow, to the two pigs, to three cats, four hens, five geese, then the six canaries. When all of their animals were in tow to pull out the GIGANTIC TURNIP, the old woman thought of her friend, the mouse. 

The old woman went to the kitchen and got a piece of cheese and placed it by the mousehole. Pretty soon the mouse came out and help yank the turnip. Within a few pulls, the turnip went POP and everybody fell on top of each other.

The story ends with the old man and the old woman making a huge bowl of turnip stew and guess who ate the most? The mouse!

– Alpha

“If you would like to purchase this book, please visithttp://philippines.mybarefootbooks.com “