Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Cozy Corner - Max Edition

I knew this would happen. I knew that we would finish school before I had time to review all the books we read in our Kindergarten curriculum this year. So instead of giving up, I'm going to do a one sentence summary and one sentence review of the rest of the books (13 - yikes!), linking to Amazon in case you are interested in purchasing them.

Are you ready? Here goes nothin'!!

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes - a young girl gets caught up in making fun of a classmate who is obviously very poor yet claims to own 100 dresses and learns a valuable lesson about leadership and compassion.
Kids loved it, even though the protagonist was a girl, and afforded some great opportunities for discussion about how to treat others.

The Family Under the Bridge by Natale Savage Carlson - an old hobo befriends homeless children and selflessly helps them during the Christmas season.
Kids hated this one because the language was over their heads - better for older kids.

Dolphin Adventure by Wayne Grover - a true story about a diver who helps a wounded dolphin underwater. An exciting adventure!
My son ate this one up! He loves dolphins and this is written in pretty simple text, even though it is a chapter book and he hung on every word.

Mary on Horseback by Rosemary Wells - three true stories about a nurse who gave up a typical job to help the mountain people of Appalachia and thus founded the Frontier Nursing Service.
This was a tough one, also. Written in Appalachian dialect, most of the stories went way over the kids heads.

The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting - come on, you all know this summary. He talks to animals and they go on a grand adventure to Africa.
What kid wouldn't like this story? My kids laughed and loved this book. It is a bit long, 156 pages, with only a few small pictures, so you might have to hold off with your little ones, but my 5 year old didn't struggle.

In Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson - my husband read this one to the kids and I eagerly listened while he recounted tales of a mischievous little girl and how she learned valuable lessons from all her mistakes. The stories are told from a grandmother to her granddaughter while she spends time at their house.
Lovely book. Sweet and funny and presented great opportunities to talk with the kids about disobedience, since most of the stories center around the grandmother's stubborn will.

The Light at Tern Rock by Julia L. Sauer - mixed reviews on this one. The story of a young boy who spends his Christmas stuck on a lonely island manning a lighthouse with his aunt.
My kids seemed to not care for this book, but the story was good, in my opinion and the lessons about attitude are priceless. Also, it is short (60 p.) with a decent number of pictures, so it ends up being a quick read. I'll probably keep this to read to them again this year.

The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese - ultra cute little story about a duck who disobeys and the consequences.
Kids loved this book, very easy level, even the 3 year old didn't get bored!

Five True Dog Stories by Margaret Davidson - the title explains it best . . . focus' on dog's amazing sense of smell, devotion, loyalty, etc . . .
So cute, kids were amazed by the dogs and we had a lot of fun with this book.

Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop - a fictional account of a common story during WWII, it is about 20 French students who do their best to hide ten Jewish children from the Nazi's at their remote boarding school.
Great story, but might be a bit dark for small children. It speaks of death and starvation and torture (in an age-appropriate manner) but my son loved it. It sparked many conversations about the war. My 3 year old ignored us while we read this one, though!

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne - lovely chapter-length stories about Pooh bear and his friends and adventures.
Hate to say it, but my kids had too much trouble following this book and all the different characters, and their mother had too much trouble trying to read it in the different voices (speech major that I was)! So we shelved this book about 1/3 of the way in for when they are a little older and can understand the adult humor.

Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book by . . . do I really have to tell you? If you haven't read one of Scarry's many books to your kids, go to the library now and get one! So cute and fun, this book tells how to behave politely using his famous characters.
This book was great and I think you could use it for much younger children, and as a reminder to older kids of what polite behavior should look like!

Are you still with me? One more to go!

A Grain of Rice by Helena Clare Pittman - the story of a poor Chinese boy who, when denied the hand of the princess in marriage, instead asks for a grain of rice, to be doubled every day for 100 days. You can guess what happens!
The math in this book was over my kid's heads, but they enjoyed the story, and it is a short book (65 p.) and the print is large, so it was a quick read.

Well, there you have it. A lot of books to read, but a great place to start if you are thinking about using Sonlight's curriculum or just looking for a fun book list for your kindergartner. Whew! I'm off to read something for myself!


Crazy Mom said...

thanks for the book reviews! we still have all those books here from the Donahue's. I just might read them the ones you said were good! :)

Elizabeth said...

Oh my goodness - way to make the memories come back! Grandma's Attic, Richard Scarry, Pooh, The Hundred Dresses, many good books that I loved reading! Did you know that there is a whole series of Grandma's Attic books? I loved them growing up. They are so funny. I need to track them down and read them again...

sara's art house said...

In Grandma's Attic is our favorite!!! Right now we are reading More Stories from Grandma's Attic- my kids love it!!!

Great list- thanks for the info- I am going to look some of those up.