Science Starters

There are so many first concept books for babies and toddlers: colors, numbers, first words.  But what about science?  If you think that beginning science concepts at an early age is impossible then I hope you will be as pleasantly surprised by these books as I was.

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Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering and Baby Loves Quarks written by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Irene Chan teach scientific theories and principles with simple sentences and bright, friendly illustrations.  By using everyday objects already familiar to children such as blocks, animals and airplanes these books offer a peek into how the world works.   I especially love how a bird is used to illustrate aerodynamics in Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering and how the concept transitions from bird to airplane to rocket ship.  And the kids love seeing bird blasting off into the far reaches of space in her adorable rocket ship and helmet.  Way to follow your dreams bird!

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In Baby Loves Quarks we see a child building a block tower, the book explains that baby builds towers with blocks but that “nature builds with quarks” (the most adorable quarks ever!) Further the book explains how quarks make protons or neutrons and then atoms and molecules.  It also talks about how scientists can break apart a nucleus and then shows an illustration of the child knocking down the block tower.  After reading the book my daughter went and knocked over her blocks.  She may not yet understanding quarks, but she does understanding breaking stuff!

I love these bright, fun, and smart books, and hope more follow this amazing set!

 

An Epic Good Time

As an avid reader of high fantasy, especially Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narina, and The Earthsea Cycle, I get excited when I find children’s books that let me share my literary loves with my kids.  Nobody Likes a Goblin and Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, written and illustrated by Ben Hatke are wonderful books for introducing children into the magical world of elves and trolls.

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Nobody Likes a Goblin is the story of an unlikely hero: Goblin.  After wizard and company raid his home he must set out on a quest to rescue his friend Skeleton.  One of the most endearing qualities of this book – besides the fantastic illustrations – is our hero.  As with most fantasy tales, Goblin faces several obstacles before reaching his goal, but what I really appreciate with this story is the flipped script.  Oftentimes goblins are portrayed as villains but here we have one that is the hero.  I think it’s important to teach children about perspective and that sometimes the person who might seem like the bad guy is actually good.    Most of the characters in the book have the same reaction to Goblin: EEK!  But we know that he is doing something brave and noble. If nothing else this could prompt a discussion about judging a person not by his appearance but by his actions.

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In Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, we met Julia moving into a new town on her house wielding giant tortoise (I want one!) and as she settles in she realizes she’s lonely.  Soon she is hard at work making a sign to welcome lost creatures into her home.  At first she only has one houseguest but soon more appear.  More houseguests equal more mess.  After some frustration Julia creates a chore chart for everyone to lend a hand.  Now that the mermaid is doing the dishes and the dragon is making tea, the house is running much smoother – mostly.  I love the parade of magical creatures, especially the mermaid with her sea drenched mane and rubber ducky.  I also appreciate Julia’s ingenuity and heart as she opens her home to those in need.

Both Goblin and Julia are, in their own way, adventurous spirits and I find myself wanting to share jokes with Goblin and have a nice cup of tea with Julia.  If I could find a way to jump into the pages of these books, I would.  And I would take the kids with me.

Dear Husband,
Gone on an adventure. Be back by dinner. XOXO.

P.S. Don’t close the book.

Pajama Time

I fall in love so easily.  Especially with a good book.  For me there is no greater discovery than a book that delights both my children and myself.  Mother Goose’s Pajama Party written by Danna Smith and illustrated by Virginia Allyn has quickly become one of our favorite bedtime (and anytime) stories.

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Ms. Smith weaves together Mother Goose’s nursery rhythms with a natural magic, crafting a charming story perfect to tuck your kids into bed with.  The book has an easy-to-read cadence resulting in a breezy story just the right length for tired parents anxious for bedtime.  Adding to this charming book are Ms. Allyn’s dreamy illustrations.  I can’t decide which character I love the best.  The Cow that Jumped Over the Moon with her tiny fairy wings, Jack Be Nimble as a jack rabbit or Little Bo Peep’s sheep.  Each character is crafted with warmth and love and I simply can’t stop smiling at them.

In case you need a Mother Goose refresher, all the nursery rhythms used in the book are printed at the back.

Happy Reading!