I was told to be on the look out for this book - from several people. It's bedtime and Papa wants to read little red chicken a story. Papa tries three different stories and each time little red chicken cannot help herself - she must jump right in there and participate in the story, i.e. interrupt. For example, while her poor father is in the middle of reading Little Red Riding Hood, little red chicken must interrupt the story with a big ole "Don't talk to strangers!" aimed right at Little Red Riding Hood. This is an excellent story for sharing aloud or reading together at bedtime. It would be a great addition to a storytime on manners, chickens, or even behavior. But can I talk about the one little, itty, bitty, tiny bit of the story that really bothers me?!?! Please???
Through the entire story little red chicken is referred to using female pronouns. Look at her! She's a rooster! Roosters are boys! Which means, she should be a HE!
Ok, I am a librarian - I do not know a heck of a lot about roosters or chickens, so I thought I would do some research. The three things about little red that bother me are: the big crest, the big wattle, and the long green tail feathers. When you have those three things, you have a rooster. (see photo to the right). Yes, yes, I know - female red chickens can have a crest and wattle too, though they are typically much smaller and red hens do not have long, green, tail feathers. (see "The Little Red Hen")
I know, there's artistic license and all that stuff, but really, doesn't little red look like a boy rooster? Am I missing some deeper joke? Help!!! I suppose if she was missing one of the nagging elements, it wouldn't bother me so much... maybe.
I know that kids are really not going to care. They are going to hear this fun loving story about a father and daughter at bedtime and want to hear it again and again... It really is a fantastic story, and so fun to read aloud, but can't we just be somewhat accurate in the illustrations?!? Please? Thanks for listening to my rant - or totally ignoring it :) Everyone is entitled to their own opinion!
A book makes a perfect gift and there has been a plethora of picture books on the market this year to choose from. I have mentioned many throughout the months in my blog and all of those would make great gifts for a young child! If you would like to pick up a book for a special child in your life, but still haven't been able to find that perfect one, take a look at these for further suggestions:
Walter Wick, the award winning author and children's book photographer has a new release for the holiday season. If your child is a fan of I Spy or Can You See What I See? books, be sure to take a look at the latest for a possibly gift idea: Can You See What I See? Treasure Ship.
National Geographic is a name that I trust. The company has come out with a very fun and child-friendly reference book that will be loved by parents as well as children. The animals are organized by climate region and each entry includes large, full-color photographs as well as information bubbles, a fact list and sound introductory information printed in a nice large font.
Another name I trust is Sesame Street. The television show premiered back in 1969 and has been providing quality programming, games, books and television shows & movies ever since. It is hard to look on any book shelf and NOT find a Sesame Street book! One of my newer favorites (besides classics like The Monster at the End of this Book) is called Abby: Mix & Match Nursery Rhumes. It is a cleverly constructed with the use of durable cardboard pages. The pages are cut into thirds horizonitally which allows you to mix up pictures of Abby in various costumes and different nursery rhymes that have been divided into thirds. Very fun book!
Guess what? I have yet another classic, trusted name to turn to for my forth recommendation: Seuss. In this compilation you can find not one, but thirteen different Dr. Seuss favorite stories! All under one cover! A perfect gift for any Seuss fans out there - or to provide a well rounded introduction to a soon-to-be Seuss fan!
Lastly, I would like to offer up a book from a very popular cartoon character - a book that is good for a girl or a boy... Dora and Diego Let's Cook. Yes, a cook book! Alright, this isn't a book that a child of 4 to 8 could use on their own in the kitchen, but it is a book that might get them interested in reading, cooking, eating healthy, all the while spending some quality time with you! If Dora and Diego aren't your thing, there are plenty of other cookbooks out there geared towards the young, for instance, Sesame Street "C" is for Cooking and even the New Junior Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.
Ok, these very last items are not books... they are magnetic dress-up puzzles. I just had to include them in the list because I really see their value for developing minds (my son has the Joey version). You see, these puzzles can act as great story starters for young children! They can dress up the character to look like a fireman, policeman, superhero, etc and then tell stories about the character they created. Creative puzzles like this are great for fostering a developing imagination! Check them out!
We've only had a few of the white flakes around this neck of the woods, but in no time at all, the ground will surely be covered by the fluffy stuff. It's a perfect time to get kids into the wintertime spirit and ready to experience mother nature in all her cold weather glory. Snow was in the air last Friday and when we stepped out of our warm house into the wintery scene my 2 1/2 year old's face totally lit up! Toddlers and preschoolers don't worry about shoveling and cleaning off cars - they just see the magic of the season.
Great books to share:
If you want to share the magic of snow with your little one, try a few of these great books:
The classic The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day
Carl's Snowy Afternoon by Alexandra Day - When Madeleine's parents go to a party, they leave her alone with the dog, Carl, and a babysitter, and Carl and Madeleine bundle up and sneak off to play in the snow, returning home before the sitter or parents learn about their adventure.
Snow by Cynthia Rylant - Celebrates the beauty of a snowfall and its happy effects on children.
First Snow by Emily Arnold McCully - Some little mice spend a snowy day skating and sledding with their grandparents.
It's Snowing by Olivier Dunrea - A mother shares the magic of a snowy night with her baby.
Snow by Manya Stojic - As snow approaches and begins to fall, Moose, Bear, Fox, and other forest creatures prepare for winter.
Snow by Uri Shulevitz - A little boy is exhilarated as he plays and revels with his dog in a fresh snowfall, counting each and every snowflake.
-to the tune of "London Bridges Falling Down"
Snowflakes twirling all around, all around, all around
Snowflakes twirling all around, until they land on the ground
(sing this tune while spinning around the room like snowflakes and end with you all plopping onto the ground)
There are a lot of simple projects you can do to go along with a snowy book. Try painting with shaving cream, or using marshmallows or cotton balls glued to paper for a pretty winter picture. You can even use pipe cleaners (chenille stems - especially the glittery kind) to fashion into snowflakes, or if you are good with scissors, try cutting some out of paper. I am feeling a bit strapped for time this year, so I went to my local Michael's craft store and picked up one of their snowflake foam kits, plus a few clearance self-adhesive sequins to add some sparkle. The foam snowflakes come in white, light blue and dark blue and already have pre-cut holes and silver string for hanging. They will make cute tree ornaments! For a little bit more elaborate craft, try the homemade snowglobe pictured below. The "globe" part is a clear plastic plate hot glued upsidedown to card stock. Before it is glued, be sure to add some glitter and any type of picture or decoration under the plate. Decorate a base before you cut the whole thing out (leaving it as one whole sheet of card stock gives it a bit more strength). This was a hit at storytime last year!
A note to those in warmer climates:
To any of you who are south of the equator, this is a great time to introduce your little ones to snow! You can get creative with handmade snowglobes (see photo), or try your hand at cutting out paper snowflakes. There are stamps available as well, and have plenty of silver, light blue and/or white glitter on hand! White paint "brush blobs" (loading a thick paint brush with white paint and tapping it on paper) on a dark blue or black paper, with a bit of glitter added while the paint is wet can make a beautiful snowy scene!