In the chaos of April 2020, we missed our monthly blog of our favourite new picture books releases but we are back and excited to share our 3 new releases in May 2020.Continue reading “3 new releases in May 2020”
Kids love cooking. Well let me re-phrase, kids love food! So without further adieu, here are our top 5 cooking-themed books where the recipe for language learning is… just right!Continue reading “Delicious and Nutritious: Our Top 5 Cooking-themed Picture Books”
Life may never be the same again. As adults, we will remember 2020 for the rest of our lives. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic will become a page in history for future generations.
But how will our children remember it?Continue reading “Picture Books for a Pandemic: Our Top 3”
It is a strange time as I’m writing this, as the world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis. But as parents and educators, we continue to shield children from the information that is not necessary for them to know and love them through the things they DO know – attention, connection and communication.
Books continue to provide all three of these so enjoy your top picks for new releases in March 2020.Continue reading “March 2020 – Books you’ll love”
Have you ever shared an experience with someone where instead of feeling heard, you were on the receiving end of sympathy, comparison or worse, a lack of interest?
Empathy has the power to make or break personal and professional relationships. It is a cognitive skill that develops over time. We are all born with the potential to develop empathy but it is a taught skill, arguably the most important skill a parent can teach their child.
Spring is here and many new books are being released as I’ve started noting down titles I am adding to the Christmas shopping list (am I allowed to talk about Christmas yet?) . If you have been following along with this series, you know that as speech pathologists, Tania and I are on the hunt for books which tell a good story (with strong story structure), sophisticated vocabulary and provide opportunities for back-and-forth conversation with your child as you read. You can catch our previous posts for June, July and August. Let’s get into this month’s picks!
1. Who’s Afraid of the Quite Nice Wolf? by Kitty Black and Laura Wood
“Who’s Afraid of the Quite Nice Wolf” is a funny, heart-warming story about friendship and finding the courage to be yourself. The story also introduces children to the idea of stereotypes and how to break away from them. There are many great Tier 2 vocabulary words to introduce to your kids in this book, including fearsome, bold, pleaded, commenced and retreat. Tier 2 words appear more commonly in written text than in conversation, so they are important for reading comprehension and they are usually able to be used in multiple contexts. Providing a kid-friendly definition of these words will help your child to understand them, rather than having to ‘guess’ the meaning from the rest of the sentence or context. For example, “If you say something has commenced, it has just started.” Another great element of this book is the print concepts you can highlight.
TOP READING TIP: Make Print Pop – “This poster says “WANTED” – it’s written in big letters to get people’s attention. The poster shows photos of wolves and the numbers written under it tell us how much money you would get if you can tell the police where they are.”
2. The Immortal Jellyfish by Sang Miao
Death is a difficult concept at any age group and psychologists recommend books to be a non-threatening platform to explore these topics with young children. In this book, a young boy’s grandfather dies suddenly and he feels overwhelmed and confused. To his delight, they meet again in a dream, where his grandfather takes him to Transfer City, where our departed loved ones live on through our memories. In this modern, Eastern telling of the afterlife, death is not an ending, but a new start to life, just like the Immortal Jellyfish which is constantly maturing and then regressing, staying as present as our deceased loved ones do in our memories. The illustrations of this book are magnificent and the imaginative narrative makes for a beautiful, accessible approach to the idea of death for young readers.
TOP READING TIP: Talk about your own experiences, helping your child transfer information from boooks to real-world contexts. e.g. “When my dog died, I printed photos of him doing all the things he loves. When I looked at the photos, it reminded me of the wonderful life we had together.”
3. Two For Me, One For You by Jörg Mühle
Two friends share three mushrooms… who will get the extra one? This book is a great introduction to the genre of persuasive text with the two characters, Bear and Weasel each coming up with one argument after another for why they should have more. A twist at the end of the story sees the two friends outwitted by another creature in the woods! This is a fun story to read, again filled with many opportunities to explore vocabulary with words such as stunned, delighted, agree and grumbling.
TOP READING TIP: Highlight comparative language – “Weasel wanted another, but Bear wanted even more.” “Bear argued that his stomach was bigger than Weasel’s. Do you think your stomach is bigger than your brother’s?”
Let us know if you have read any of these or have recommendations for any other awesome new releases this month!
As always, your favourite books for enriching oral language and early literacy development are featured in our wide range of themed book boxes. Browse our selection here and visit our social media feeds (Instagram and Facebook) to see and hear more about the books and activities.