Non Fiction Books For Preschoolers

Part of learning to read is learning all about why we read. For pleasure, for directions, and for information. Most young children use the words story and book synonymously by introducing them to non fiction books you are opening their minds up to another use for books and print. So next time you are at the library checking out books if you don’t already know where the non fiction books are find out and grab a few . These are some of our favorites.

A Picture Book of Helen Keller (Picture Book Biography) by David  A. Adler tells the story of this great heroine in a simple way without loosing the magnificence of her life.  From her illness as a young toddler, to meeting her “miracle worker” Anne Sullivan and earning the first degree ever awarded to any deaf and blind person all of the amazing things that Helen Keller accomplished are covered. The author doesn’t sanctify Helen though , they talk openly about her tantrums as a child and her naughty behavior.  My son sat for this whole book, it opened up a bedtime talk about blindness to which we turned off the light and experienced a little ourselves. I am hoing reading this book will open more doors of empathy for my son, to recognize that we are all different with different abilities but are all capable of great things.

Imagine You’re a Knight! by Meg Clibbon is a fantastic book for children interested in what being a knight is all about. There are so many great details and answers given that I am eager to read more in tis series. My son loves this book and not just because it answers his many questions about knights but also because it’s the type of book that you can open and close as time permits , reading a little or a lot and still enjoying it. I like the humor and illustrations by Lucy Clibbon. It’s a great choice for 4 and older. 3 year olds might find it to be too much.

Delivering Your Mail by Ann Owen is a simple book about being a mail carrier. The text is to the point and perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers learning about mail carriers for the first time. It focuses on not just what the mail carriers do but how it impacts the reader, which is paramount for young children who see the world through their perspective only. Cute beginner book!

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Little Shark by Anne Rockwell is another accessible non fiction book from one of our favorite authors. We follow a shark from birth until it’s full grown in this book filled with fascinating shark facts. I like that it reads like a story because it sucks the reader in instead of just spouting off cold facts about these cool and scary ( to me) animals. I loved that my son was rather shocked that sharks don’t stay with their moms or their many siblings, and are instead solitary. I loved how it explained a little bit about the food chain in the ocean and how we get oxygen from air but fish get it from the water. Add this one to your shelf!

Baby on the Way by William Sears MD, Martha Sears RN and Christie Watts Kelly  has been the very best baby book we’ve found. It explains much of pregnancy from nausea, to aching feet and even nesting. It also describes labor in a really kid friendly non intimidating way. I love that it explains that in mommy’s belly is a baby holder called a uterus. My son has been asking me how my uterus is since reading this daily for the past week. Explaining contractions, that others will likely be taking care of them for a little while and what mommy is doing when she is not with you is all really useful. It also goes on to explain what babies will do , like nursing, crying and what that funny crinkled thing is on it’s belly!  The book also offers many many resources for expectant parents.

Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of  recyclable garbage from this book!

Board Book Reviews – New Releases


by Carrie Anne

A love of books is important even before your kids can read. I hope to bring to you each month some new releases for the smallest ones in your family to enjoy.

The Hug(above)

written Lesley Simpson, illustrated by Yayo
Annick Press
Age 2-4 (board book)

First published in 1985, this new board book edition of THE HUG revisits the story of one lonely hug. Feeling unneeded, the hug sets out to become something different. It uses its large round shape to turn itself into different things but maybe all the hug really needs is a little practice to remember how good it feels to give—and receive—hugs! I found this to be a wonderful book about hugs, something you and your kids like to give and receive. Why not end the story by hugging some of your favourite people and things.


Baby: Beep! Beep!

DK Books
Age 0-5 (board book)
This chunky board book combines kids’ love of vehicles with lift the flap books. Each page contains a question pertaining to the picture ‘Who’s behind the brick wall?’, inviting kids to lift the flap and see. The images are all based on kids toys. Each page has a nubby tab that sticks out for little fingers to flip open. The pages are thick and sturdy for little hands. A great book for little ones to explore on their own or enjoy together sitting on mom or dad’s lap.

DK Books
Age 0-5 (board book)
Kids will enjoy discovering common play items found in the park while flipping through this little chunky board book. Each page consists of one image with the word written below, great for building vocabulary. There are also a few descriptive words for each image: tricycle, pedal, pedal, pedel; kite, high in the sky. This board book also offers kids a sensory experience for the sight and touch, with sparkly details, fuzzy images, and other ways to connect kids with each item. Extend the experience by visiting your local park and seeing which of the items in the book you see in person.

My First Colors: Let’s Learn Them All!

DK Books
Age 0-5 (board book)
Whether your child is just learning about colours or you’re looking for a way to reinforce them, My First Colours will make it fun. Each colour has it’s own tab that is illustrated not only by the colour but also by an item representing that colour: yellow is a rubber duck, green is a leaf. Kids can choose the colour they want to explore by flipping to corresponding tab. Each double page spread will fill a child’s eyes with a variety of things in that select colour. Some items are common, some not. The colour word is is written large in the top left-hand side of each page. Each item on the page has it’s name written below, adding to your child’s vocabulary.
The last page includes an I Spy page with a variety of different coloured images. Some spy questions are included: Can you see a spotted triangle? Or you can make up your own questions. Kids will enjoy searching and finding things on the page and throughout the book.
I want to thank Chris from DK Canada and Joanne from Annick Press for my review copies.
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Carrie Anne is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , Managing editor of EverythingMom.com and an avid reader. You can catch up with her on her blog  Another Day. Another Thought…Or Two

Let’s Play Librarian

Here is our library area at our house. A few cheap shelves, a throw rug, and bean bags in a small unused area of the house makes a great learning nook.

Since we have our own little library, we decided to “play” library. Just grab some books, double sided tape, small envelopes, index cards, a notepad, pen, and stamps.

Put a piece of double sided tape on the front of the envelope and stick it to the inside cover of the book.

To make it easier for my guys, I tore the flap off of the envelope like this.

Place an index card in the envelope.

When you go to check the book out, be sure to have your librarian take out the index card and stamp it. I made my kids take the card completely out and lay it next to the book. I did not want them getting tempted to stamp their books.

Any good librarian knows that you have to keep track of who has which book. So have your librarian stamp their notepad with the same stamp.

Be sure that they write the name of the person that checked out the book. Sometimes we play track down the overdue book, too. :-)

Even non-writers can do this fun activity. My daughter is two years old and loves to be a part of the library. She stamps and stuffs the index cards like a pro.

Now that I have my kids all trained, please do not tell them that all of the books are really scanned and monitored by a computer system in the library. They have too much fun with this!

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

iPad Giveaway from Target

Read to your kids. I have talked about my commitment to reading to kids over and over. I write my book reviews so my readers can walk into a library with some idea of where to start. I am giddy to  work with Target to share their commitment to reading with you today along with a chance to win an iPad and a selection of books to make it easier for one of you to read books online and off.

Target has launched a program called Target Read With Me to help promote reading , specifically reading proficiency in children by 3rd grade. What’s so special about 3rd grade ?  Research * shows that 3rd grade is the turning point when children begin learning by reading not simply learning to read.  The same study has shown that close to 3 out of 4 children with below grade level reading abilities in 4th grade never catch up.

Never catch up. We can’t let that happen.

That is why Target along with many partners have made a commitment to reading and education. By the end of 2015, Target plans to donate more than $500 million to support education, doubling its support to date, for a total of more than $1 billion. They also have collected wonderful easy to navigate resources on their Target Read With Me site to make reading with your kids easier. My favorite is this Build A Home Library from American Library Association.  It doesn’t just list books, there are short synopsis as well. I stayed up way too late last night reading it, as giddy as a kid in a candy shop.

I am also giddy that they are offering one lucky No Time For Flash Cards reader a prize package to make reading to your kids online and off a cinch:

Target Read With Me Prize Package consisting of a 16 GB iPad with Wi-Fi for reading books online, along with a selection of age-appropriate books for your children.

All you have to do is leave a comment telling me :

What’s your favorite time and place to  read with your children ?

Fine print from Target:

This sweepstakes is only open to U.S. residents 18 years or older. A winning commenter will be drawn at random, using Random.org, after the sweepstakes closes on Thursday, Jan. 20 at 12:00am EST. The winner will receive a 16GB Wi-Fi enabled iPad and a selection of children’s books, a prize package valued up to $599. After the winner is notified, he or she has 48 hours to respond with their mailing address, phone number and ages of their children, so that Target can ship the prize and select books appropriate for their children. If the winner does not reply in that time frame, he or she forfeits the prize and another winner will be drawn at random. Please note that we cannot ship product to a P.O. Box.
 
 
 
Disclosure
I am working with Target, receiving compensation from Target for running this sweepstakes and Target is providing a prize consisting of 16 GB iPad with Wi-Fi and a selection of books for one reader.
 

*EARLY WARNING! WHY READING BY THE END OF THE THIRD GRADE MATTERS Voices for Virginia’s Children and the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Books By Canadian Authors

Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving and I thought I would post a book list of books written by authors from my home.  I am thankful for books, for the teaching tools they are, the parenting tools they are and their entertainment value too!  For all my Canadian readers , Happy Thanksgiving enjoy your long weekend!

Stanley at Sea by Linda Bailey made me giggle . The story is about 4 dogs that go out to sea unintentionally when they are searching for food. While out there they start wondering when outside will end because the sea is so wide and they are so far from land. One dog suggest that outside will end when then hit a fence. Sure enough they hit what they think is a fence, what readers know is a tanker and are rescued and fed steak and sausages they can eat before being returned to their owners.  Doggie nirvana for sure.  I love that the book is presented through the dog’s perspective, it gives young kids a chance to laugh and correct the dogs ideas about the things they encounter.

Stella, Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay is my kind of book. If I were to quote all my favorite bits of this book I would write out most of it. I just love the writing, it’s simple but doesn’t talk down to the reader. The characters are sweet but not saccharine and I love how inquisitive Sam is . Stella is a know it all but not bratty about it at all! Sam has never seen snow before and Stella tells him all about it as they explore the first snow fall of the year.

A Sea-Wishing Day by Robert Heidbreder is a wonderful tale of adventure, pirates, mermaids and treasure! The best part the little boy and his canine companion never really leave his backyard in the city , instead the adventure is all in their imagination. Anyone with a preschooler will appreciate this book, playing pretend is a huge part of most 3-5 year old’s playtime, and it should be. This book encourages, as well as celebrates that as this little boy discovers adventures on the high sea.

Stephanie’s Ponytail is my favorite Munsch book. I feel a little like I am cheating on The Paper Bag Princess but I love Stephanie’s confidence. The story is about Stephanie whose friends, and even teachers start copying how she wears her ponytail. She moves if to the side, to the top of her head even right in front of her face and they keep copying her. So she outsmarts them all with shocking results. I like this book and while reading it to a class I would re-arrange my own hair to match Stephanie’s and have the class in hysterics when my ponytail ended up block my view of the book. The message though is about being your own person, a powerful one for kids today.

Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki has been on my shelf for years. I really really like this book, the message is fantastic! Suki loves her Kimono, she doesn’t care that her sisters think it’s not cool to wear it to school, her grandma gave it to her and she likes it. I love that she is depicted as confident but not 100% sure of herself, it allows readers to really connect, recognizing those times when we are putting up a brave face even if inside we aren’t so sure. It’s a lovely book!

Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt is hilarious! I laughed out loud from start to finish, my son who is 18 months old didn’t get the humor at all but laughed at me laughing! Older preschoolers will get most of the humor though and like my son, will love the pictures ! Here is my favorite line : in very small print on the inside cover it reads ” * Caution: this story not suitable for walruses. ” Oh how I laughed ! The dry humor aside, the book follows an anxious squirrel looking for a friend , but one that is safe and won’t bite! Of course the message is about taking risks and kids will get it! I love this book!