Friday, September 25, 2009

New Read-Alouds

We've started some read-alouds with Sonlight's Exploring God's World so I thought I'd review them. I am still very happy with Sonlight's book choices. This continues to be a great fit for D-Man.
Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm

I cannot say enough about this book and its sequel below. This book actually comes from Sonlight's P3/4 core, but I decided to read it along with The Year at Maple Hill Farm. The same characters appear in both books which thrilled the boys. This book makes me want to pack up and move to Maple Hill Farm. The Provenson's have painted a sweet picture through their animals. Because we visit upstate NY each summer, the boys were able to identify even more with the surroundings. The artwork beautifully shows the character of each animal.

The Year at Maple Hill Farm

This is the companion to the book above. It illustrates each season and month of the year through the goings-on at the farm. Although upstate NY's seasons look very different than ours here in Texas, it fun to see how our familiar animal friends weather the elements. We used both this and the first part of The Berenstain Bear's Big Book of Science and Nature to create our year poster. Because of it's illustrations, my boys will keep pulling these books out again and again. Okay, can you tell that I absolutely love these books? It's sad that the Provensons only wrote two of them.

What's Under the Sea?
It's a given that D-Man will love every science book we read. So, yes, he loves this book. This one is a nice introduction to the ocean at the preschool/Kindergarten level. It doesn't go into a lot of detail, but does include some fun facts. This book is a good "bunny trail" creator. It includes just enough information on each subject to stimulate further research. I have no doubt that D-Man will request some whale books during our next library visit. C-Monster isn't as interested in this book. He really likes to be read to instead of following a bunch of facts on a page. He's an auditory learner, so maybe that's the reason. The eye candy of this book doesn't appeal to him as much.

The Classic Tales of Brer Rabbit

We just started this book, but so far it's a hit. The illustrations are breathtaking and help the boys follow the story. Although they are becoming seasoned listeners thanks to Uncle Wiggily, they enjoy being able to follow the story in the pictures. I'm sure that I was read these stories as a child, but I don't remember them. I'm enjoying reading these as much as the boys enjoy listening to them.

American Tall Tales CD

This CD has been a surprising favorite. At first, I couldn't figure out when we'd listen to it. D-Man will listen to audiobooks during rest time, but C-Monster naps during that time. They're so used to congregating around me (or Shawn) when we read-aloud that I didn't know what they'd do with a CD. The car was my next thought, but we'd never get through a story with the little amount of driving we do...until, we started to pick up a boy from a local public school three days/week. Finally, an upside to sitting in the pick-up line. D-Man sits in his carseat working in his math book and they both listen to this CD. We've been through it several times now, but they still want to listen to it everyday. It only has 4 stories on it, but Jim Weiss (the narrator) keeps us interested.

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