My middle son is turning out to be quite the bibliophile and I couldn’t be happier! When he discovers a new author whose books he enjoys he wants to read everything they have written. Phoebe Gilman’s and Melanie Watt’s books have been re-read so many times that I have lost count. Jan Thomas is the new favourite. Her books have been making their way home in the library bag and after reading a few, I can see why he likes them so much. They’re fun! If you are looking for an extension activity, Rhyming Dust Bunnies is a great choice for this activity that I did with my son or check out her website that is chock-full of things to do!
Zeke Meeks series by D.L. Green
My oldest son is what I what I would call a reluctant reader. He can read, and is more capable than he believes but not many early chapter books interest him. The typical ones have fallen flat with Captain Underpants making the biggest ker-plop (I can’t say that I am overly disappointed). His school librarian introduced him to the Zeke Meeks series and we have a winner. While the humor is lost on me (but I am not a seven year old boy) it makes him laugh out loud and encourages him to keep with it. The double-spaced text and the sprinkling of illustrations help to combat the intimidation of ten lengthy chapters. At the end of the book D.L. Green offers discussion questions and a glossary of the bigger words found throughout the book; words like: auditorium, cashmere, repulsive. Only kids of today can read a book, be directed to a website link and explore the characters of the book in an entirely different realm and while it’s not traditional, many of the literary extension activities on-line prove to be quite good.
Wow! There is no other word that I can think of to describe the vivid photography used to illustrate this playful resource book for children. Fitzsimmons’s book is fun and factual and would be a welcome addition to any child’s library. Curious Critters Volume 1 and 2 audiobooks, in addition to a children’s song, are available for purchase and download here. Click over, trust me, it’s fun!
So I haven’t exactly discovered this set of beloved books that has been enjoyed for generations, but I’m reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and joining the throngs of fans. It’s just one slice of life at that time (noting the relationships to “Indians”, for example), but that slice is carefully and lovingly unveiled, and the prose both restrained and evocative. Farmer Boy is the third book in the series, featuring a nine-year old Almanzo, but otherwise the books focus on the female protagonist Laura, and it’s wonderful how a good story well written is what holds a rapt audience and not the gender of the protagonist. It’s been lovely to share with my boys, and I’m glad we still have several novels to go.