Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Old and the New

Tis the season...for yard and garage sales! Some of the best children's books I have came from sales such as these. When I scan through the myriad of books at a sale, I look for books by familiar authors that I don't already have, or are no longer in print in the local book stores.
One classic I would recommend for kids of all ages is "Puzzle Island". This engaging tale has hidden pictures that need to be found by the missing letters in the alphabet border around each page.
I used this book with a small group of "reluctant readers" and the story, puzzle element and pictures kept them turning the pages. "Puzzle Island" by Paul Adshead, Child's Play (International) Limited. This would be great book for grandparents to share with grandkids, because it is suitable for a wide range of ages and reading levels. I purchased my latest copy at the Teacher's Book Depository in Edmonton. This is a wonderful local resource that is open to the public My previous copy was worn out by my own children when they were growing up!
This month I had the opportunity to attend an inservice that Edmonton Public Schools presents annually called "The Best of the Best", a panel of teachers/librarians/library techs read an assortment of many of the new books and spend an afternoon giving reviews of the latest greatest! While the list is too long to repeat here and I prefer to comment on books I have personally read, what I appreciated about the presentation was the number of new non-fiction books that have great kid-appeal. There are books on many topics of interest to a wide range of reading levels. One book that I am looking forward to reading is "Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth. This book is suitable for grades 2 -6 and raises awareness of other cultures. My daughter Marcie read the "adult version" and recommended it. She spent the last seven months travelling in various Asian countries and has seen some of what the author of this book writes about first hand. It includes an interview with his 12 year -old daughter Amira Mortenson. (Puffin Books, 2009)
Another one I would like to include on my summer reading list is "The Trouble Begins at 8: A life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West". Recommended for grades 6 -12, the reviewer found it to be "extremely entertaining " and a great read aloud. (Greenwillow Books, 2008)
Finally, the book I am currently reading is "Autumn Street" by Lois Lowry, a book that as she shared at Kaleidoscope 9 Children's Literature Conference in Calgary last November, is an autobiography. I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend at the lake with my daughter, Julie, who is 26 and I read a couple of chapters aloud to her; I don't think a child is ever too old to be read aloud to! (Yearling 1980)

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