Senin, 05 November 2012

Best Children's Books: Ten Top Selections for Pre-Schoolers

Children have cherished books for centuries now. They love books for different reasons. Sometimes their reasons even stump us adults. The following are ten carefully chosen books books for pre-schoolers, though some a little older still like them. We adults may struggle selecting books for children because we are looking for a plot or story line-we are maybe looking for excitement. But pre-schoolers want something they can understand, something fun, something with which they can identify, maybe something cuddly and comforting.

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, tight in its language yet exuberant in its pictures. When Max is trundled off to bed without his dinner, he imagines an adventure in the land of the Wild Things, where he meets a raucous collection of fanciful beasts. After some monster fun, he becomes homesick, awakens in his bedroom to find a piping hot supper waiting for him.

2. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff. Oh, that starving little mouse. Once you give him the cookie, you kick off a crazy trail of action! By the end of the story, the mouse, the boy that gives him the cookie, and maybe even the reader, are exhausted! Wonderful illustrations and a kooky lead character.

3. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is the only wordless tale in this list. A great book to begin getting a child interested in reading. A memorable story of a boy who makes and then befriends a snowman who enters his world and takes him out on a nighttime journey. The non-conclusive ending can also furnish a great beginning.

4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. The author apparently accepted a wager that he couldn't write a story using only fifty words. "Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them Sam-I_am." This book's repetitive phrases, simple drawings and goofy charm make it one of the favorites and also a book to help kids learn how to read..

5. Curious George by H.A. and Margaret Rey. The has got to be the world's most beloved monkey! Curious George has had many thrilling adventures in his day, but it all starts with the first one, which has become a classic. Of course, we've got to introduce a new generation of readers to this crazy troublemaking chimp.

6. Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Watch out for citified ducks... A great read aloud, this tale of two mallards who decide to raise their family in the Boston's Public Garden is an all-time favorite. Beautiful drawings and a great story have made this story one sought out by thousands.

7. No, David! by David Shannon. As little David somersaults from one outlawed activity to the next, with his mom shouting the title, David's naughtiness is quite impressive. Believe it or not, this kid's book has a "real" soundtrack: the text is drawn from a book the author produced when he was 5!

8. Blueberries for Sal by Robert McClosky. As Sal and her mom head toward a patch to pick blueberries, so do a mother bear and her cub. Eventually the young set swap moms for a cockeyed adventure tale and a comedy of errors. Kids like it.

9. The Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. This colorful classic depicts a very hungry insect eating his way through an apple, two pears, three plums, and a collection of other treats. Part of the trip includes readers learning about colors and counting-plus the added benefit of an intro to the life cycle of a caterpillar.

10. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. The story of a boy and his mom. While the mother continues to rock her boy to sleep-even if she must sneak into his bedroom to do it-life continues through stages as he grows up and his mom grows older. Eventually, he rocks his own aged mother to sleep. A touching cycle-of-life tale that may bring a tear to the eye.

So, parents, grandparents, teachers, and other assorted readers, here are ten sure winners for pre-schoolers. I hope it helps you in the unending quest for the love and satisfaction of the young-uns.

Want to find some of the very best books for pre-schoolers or tots? Check out this website that contains hundreds of the most popular arranged by age group and story description.

A Review of the Dinosaur Detectives Handbook - A Dinosaur Book for Children

The Dinosaur Detectives Handbook Reviewed

From a teacher's perspective dinosaur books can prove very helpful as they can encourage de-motivated children to take up reading in earnest. Some children from about the age of six, particularly boys can become less interested in reading, other activities such as video games can become a distraction for them. If they have an interest in dinosaurs and prehistoric animals then the "Dinosaur Detectives Handbook" can be a help in getting them to read more. This is a well-written, informative text that is packed full of dinosaur themed statistics.

Child Friendly Book About Prehistoric Animals

Child friendliness and educational qualities and perhaps most importantly of all, a thumbs up from children in the age range that the book is aimed at are all useful things to consider when choosing a book about dinosaurs for your child.

The new Dinosaur Detectives Handbook has just gone through an extensive peer review process and came out the other side with a big thumbs up from young readers.

Field Guide to the Dinosauria

This spiral bound, book, designed to look like the sort of field guide you would take on a nature walk is jam-packed with facts and information on dinosaurs. Fifty different dinosaurs are featured. The book reminded the children of the sort of invaluable note book that they see palaeontologists use when they are mapping a palaeontological dig site.

Maps, Stickers and Fact Files About Dinosaurs

The book includes maps, stickers, fact files, scale drawings and lots of illustrations and for each dinosaur, readers can make their own notes, add a picture and tick-off where they might have seen it - on television, in films, books or on line.

Thanks to the dinosaur experts and researchers who have helped compile this book, most of the prehistoric animals featured in the book are covered very accurately and there is an abundance of up to date dinosaur facts and figures. As a hardback book, the book will stand up well to wear and tear, yet it is easily small enough to fit inside a child's rucksack.

All in all, the book represents extremely good value. It is aimed at children aged 5 years and above and it really gets them into the subject. There is even a handy glossary at the back to explain some of the more difficult words and we love the fact that a pronunciation guide for those long dinosaur names is provided.

Sabtu, 08 September 2012

Children's Books on Different Kinds of Families

I was recently asked if I knew of any good children's books to help someone who is a single mom explain to her five year old son that his family is normal... That was a good question! There are so many different kinds of families and many adults don't know how to explain this to their children. Many children live in what the world thinks of as a "normal" family with a mom and a dad but more and more this is not the case, that doesn't mean that other families are not normal just that they are different but still normal.

Surprisingly there are few books written about families that are not the mom, dad and child scenario family. Most of the family books that are available have that scenario and don't seem to have room for any other family organizations, that leaves some adults and children wondering where to turn for the same literary comfort that is abundantly out there for the mom, dad and child scenario family. I was really astonished at the lack of books for young children on this subject, we have had several generations now of single parents dealing with all the issues that have to be dealt with. Oh there are lots of books for adults but the children are somehow left out of the mix.

The following books are among the few I found that might be helpful, but the list is short for a reason, there just aren't many books out there on the subject, especially for single parents.

• The Family Book by Todd Parr
• We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr
• Who's in a Family? By Robert Skutch
• All Families Are Special by Norma Simon
• Do I Have a Daddy? A Story About a Single-Parent Child by Jeanne Warren Lindsay

I promised the person who asked me about a book for her friend that I would write a book for young children who were in the single parent situation like her friend's little boy, (I do have a bit of experience on the subject). Even though I usually write fantasy adventure or science fiction for middle grade or young adults I will give this my best efforts soon. It is a difficult subject for us adults to broach and trying to explain it so that children can understand is not easy... then again maybe it's easier for them to understand than it is for us grownups, we seem to complicate things way more than they need to be.

Julie L. Worthington is a writer of fantasy adventure and science-fiction middle-grade and young adult books along with short stories. She is passionate about children's literature both old and new. To find out more or to read some of her work go to

The Top 5 Children's Books on the American Revolution

I love history! It is sad these days when children say they hate history, "It's boring". I believe it's because they get bogged down in trying to memorize dates and lose sight of the people and adventures that happened all throughout history.

History is exciting! If we begin teaching our children when they are young they will learn to appreciate the wonderful stories and the exciting adventures that happened in history. There were so many regular people who became heroes and so many time periods to learn about. In this article I am going to focus on the Revolutionary time period. There are many different ways to get young people interested in this time period, the people were on a quest to explore the new country they had come to and determine how they wanted this new country to be. The people found great courage, and laid a foundation for a great country to be formed.

Even if we have our young readers read fiction based on different times in history it can help them appreciate what it was like in that particular time and how the people might have lived. The following is a short list of books I think children will enjoy reading about the Revolutionary time period. Some are factual and some are fiction with factual basis. All are fun to read and not "boring."

• The American Revolution by Bruce Blivin Jr.
• Felicity by American Girl Series
• Letters For Freedom: The American Revolution by Douglas M. Rife
• George vs. George by Rosalyn Schanzer
• Heroes and Heroines of the American Revolution by Peter F. Copeland

You will be able to find many more books for children to read with a little research, I hope we can instill in the young readers a love of history through literature.

I find that when I write my love of history is always evident. There is always some aspect of history in each book I have written and most of the short stories as well. I try to show the adventure and excitement of history and hopefully pique the interest of my readers to learn more about what was happening in that time period. For instance the book I am writing now has a great amount of time travel in it and I love doing the research for each place in time my characters go! One destination will of course be the Revolutionary time period where they will meet interesting people and have an exciting adventure!

Julie L. Worthington is a writer of fantasy adventure and science-fiction middle-grade and young adult books along with short stories. She is passionate about children's literature both old and new. To find out more or to read some of her work go to

Children's Books As Christmas Presents

I love Christmas! I would have Christmas all year long if I could somehow get away with it. So of course I spend much time thinking about what gifts I might get or make for my friends and family. Whether you are a young reader or not, children's books make great gifts, they are easy to wrap and they always have a wonderful adventure to give to the recipient. When you give a book to a young reader make sure they know just how special the book is to you, which will help them be excited about the new adventure that is ahead for them. In other words tell them the story of how you became acquainted with the book yourself.

You can also write a little message inside the book for them and that will make the gift even more special, it will also give them the feeling that you are sharing something special together. There are so many children's books to choose from, books with Christmas themes, cherished books from your childhood, newish books you have read recently or a book you have never read before that you can both read together for the first time. There are also many different ways to give a book such as an e-book, an audio book, or the traditional paper back or hard cover books, whatever you think the young reader in your life will enjoy the most.
Below are some Christmas themed suggestions to get you started:

• A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
• How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
• 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
• Samantha (American Girl) by multiple authors
• Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book: Revised and Updated by Norman Rockwell
• The Christmas Dinner: A Play for Reading or Acting by Shepherd Knapp
• Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
• A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Shulz
• Christmas Books by Charles Dickens
• The Nutcracker Ballet: A Book, Theater, and Paper Doll Fold Out Play Set by Mara Conlon & Jo Gershman

A few years ago for Christmas my son gave me a leather-bound edition of Huckleberry Finn! I loved it! Children's literature is for everyone who loves a great story written by a great story teller. I would encourage you to share the wonderful world of children's books with those you love whether they are young readers or not. So get to know your young reader or find out what your friends and family members loved to read as children then go shopping and yes a used book is allowed to be given as a gift, some books are out of print and that's the only way you can get them. I believe with enough time, effort and thought you can find a book for everyone one on your Christmas list.

Julie L. Worthington is a writer of fantasy adventure and science-fiction middle-grade and young adult books along with short stories. She is passionate about children's literature both old and new. To find out more or to read some of her work go to

Fairy Tales and Fables Part 2

As I stated in a previous article for generations children have experienced fairy tales which have not only entertained but have taught good manners, respect, life, imagination and much more. Although our young readers of today know about a few that have been made into movies I have found that if you mention The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson they won't know what you are talking about or they may think you are talking about Dorothy's ruby slippers. Or what about The Fisherman and His Wife by the Brothers Grimm which teaches children (or adults) not to be greedy if they know it exist.

Every country or society has fairy tales and fables children (or adults) can enjoy and learn from Hans Christian Anderson who was from Denmark and the Brothers Grimm who were from Germany but we have writers and story tellers from everywhere that have wonderful stories to tell, there is Childe Rowland by Joseph Jacobs of England, Aurore and Aimee by Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumount of France, Uncle Remus' Tar Baby by Joel Chandler Harris from America. I would highly recommend all three of these stories for your young readers!

The following is a short list of some more of the stories that I hope don't get forgotten along with their wonderful creators that I hope don't get forgotten either:

The Brothers Grimm
• The Blue Light
• The Clever Little Tailor
• The Donkey

Hans Christian Anderson
• The Little Match Girl
• The Nightingale
• The Steadfast Tin Soldier

• The Honest Woodcutter
• The North Wind and the Sun
• The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs
• The Oak and the Reed
• The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Joseph Jacobs
• Catskin
• The Buried Moon
• The Brown Bear of Green Glen
• Jack and the Bean Stalk
• Molly Whuppie
• The Three Little Pigs

In this selection there are some that I hope will be recognized and some new ones that even I hadn't read before! That was really fun to find the new/old stories that held the wonder and excitement of the fairy tale or fable. I hope you have fun reconnecting or learning about them for the first time and sharing them with your young readers. I enjoy researching old stories and love learning about what might have been forgotten and then sharing it with others. I have even found myself incorporating this research into my writing I guess that's what story tellers do...

Julie L. Worthington is a writer of fantasy adventure and science-fiction middle-grade and young adult books along with short stories. She is passionate about children's literature both old and new. To find out more or to read some of her work go to

Children's Literature: Fairy Tales and Fables

For generations children have experienced fairy tales. These fairy tales have been stories that have been used to teach lessons on good manners, respect, life, imagination and much more. Our young readers of today can probably recognize some of the wonderful fairy tales of the past but I'm afraid a lot of them are being left out of today's reading experiences. They will recognize The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie and Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi because Walt Disney loved fairy tales and wanted to share them with the children of his generation and the children of generations to come. There are so many more fairy tales that he didn't get around to and may be lost to our young readers if we don't remind them that these wonderful stories, who seem like old friends to me, are out there. J. K. Rowling even made up fairy tales for her famous Harry Potter series which are very reminiscent of the cherished old stories that we need to revisit.

The following is a short list of some of the stories that I hope don't get forgotten along with their wonderful creators that I hope don't get forgotten either:

The Brothers Grimm

• The Elves and the Shoemaker

• The Town Musicians of Bremen

• The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Hans Christian Anderson

• The Most Incredible Thing

• Thumbelina

• The Ugly Duckling

• The Princess and the Pea


• The Boy Who Cried Wolf

• The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

• The Tortoise and the Hare

• The Ant and the Grasshopper

• The Lion and the Mouse

These wonderful writers told stories that helped nurture honesty, courage, hard work, self esteem and imagination. There are some writers or story tellers who have been forgotten such as the writer or story teller who created the story of The Little Red Hen which is one of my very favorites, all we know now about this story is that it began in Russia. I hope we can share and remember the great fairy tales we have with our young readers and help them to learn to love and appreciate the wonderful literature that is available to them. I have little tip for those who have a kindle or some other kind of e-reader, most of the fairy tales, fables, and folk tales can downloaded for free. I hope you have fun reconnecting with these old friends and sharing them with your young readers.

Julie L. Worthington is a writer of fantasy adventure and science-fiction middle-grade and young adult books along with short stories. She is passionate about children's literature both old and new. To find out more or to read some of her work go to