Friday, July 22, 2011
Well, Almost All…
You won’t find suggestions here for the doozies – like where babies come from or what happened to the hamster – but I do have two good book suggestions for most of the others. Preschoolers and kindergarteners are notorious for their curiosity, and enormous cognitive growth occurs during these years as they explore, discover, and question the world around them.
Busy Minds, Lots to See
One of B’s favorite books for some time now has been Richard Scarry’s What Do People Do All Day? It started out as a library check-out, which we renewed until our limit was up, and then I purchased a copy of our own. It includes a collection of stories that take place in Scarry’s famed Busytown. Stories include fighting a fire, building a house, and baking bread, among others. In typical Scarry fashion, the narrative is accompanied by lots of details and labels within the illustrations. B loves reading and re-reading individual stories – some he relates to experiences he is somewhat to thoroughly familiar with (like construction of a road) and others are adventures into new territory (like a trip on a cruise ship). I discovered when I went online to look for it that there is actually an earlier edition that includes some extra stories that might seem a little “dated” or “non-p.c.” to a modern audience. We didn’t miss them, since the library version we had checked out was the later edition, but I am curious – I don’t see a whole lot of value in “revision” of literature carried out by editors.
Lots of Options, Lots to Learn
This week we got to pick out a new book as a prize at our library as part of the summer reading program. All About Things People Do, by Melanie and Chris Rice, is like a slightly younger cousin of Scarry’s collection. Its copyright is 1989, meaning some advances in technology, diversity, and gender equality, but still outside the age of laptops and cell phones. Each page spread has a different theme, including Doing Repairs, Entertainers, and Bringing the News. Many themes include a sequence of tasks, some simply have snapshot-style descriptions of various professions. Many pages also include insets that highlight activities children can try within the theme, like making a clay pot in the Hands at Work theme or identifying athletic gear in the Sports theme. There is also a useful index of professions that helps when your little one gets curious.
Appropriate for: preschoolers, primary grades.
We’re enjoying a variety of activities and other rewards as part of the summer reading program at our library. My explorer, B, is really enjoying the travel theme. Are you signed up at your library? I’d love to hear what’s going on in other places!