I’ve been reading through several books to look for new material for my preschoolers. I was surprised to find all the books for children that are available. I know there are plenty of books because I’ve got four different library cards. (I have always really, really, REALLY liked the library!) However, recently, I’ve started reading some ebooks since they’re really popular. I figured I can find some quick ones to purchase and add to my collection. During this search, I discovered a lot of things I never expected to see in books, but I’m not sure I should discuss that. (I’m thinking about it.)
Anyway, of the dozen or so new books that I’ve read over the past week, I’ve found two (yes, only 2) books that I actually like!
Counting with Farmer Bob and Gathering Food with Farmer Bob by Liam Lusk and Scott Worden
I like them for several reasons:
- I like deep colors in pictures. I prefer pictures that look like that person isn’t afraid to use a crayon, marker, or paint. The books have vibrant colors that grab attention.
- They’re great for beginning readers. Children that are struggling to read need something that will give them confidence to keep trying. Rhyming stories have their place, but non-rhyming books keep the child from guessing words based on what he thinks the next sound/rhyme will be. The words are not overly complicated, but the sentences are short enough to sound out. With the sentences spread out over the pages, it gives children the feeling that they can read books that are more than five pages long. Many times, children look at the length of the book and become terrified that they can’t read it. These books help alleviate that fear.
- The books also introduce vocabulary words without being obvious about it. The numbers written as words are in a different color and match the number being shown. This makes the word stand out without saying, “These are your vocabulary/spelling words.” However, if you’d like vocabulary/spelling words, it makes it simple to find them.
- They have one focus. Many times, counting books have the reader count dinosaurs, paperclips, and random items. Here, children expect to count a new animal and can follow the story better. It makes it easier to introduce comprehension.
- You could ask “What happens in the book?” Children can say, “We counted animals” or “We counted vegetables.” When there is no central theme, children can only say “We counted.” Counted what? Different stuff.
- You can easily incorporate the books into lesson plans.
- If you are talking about health, food, vegetables, colors, animals, farms, specific numbers, or anything similar, you can pull out these books to supplement the lessons.
- The fruits & vegetables show foods they may recognize and food they may not recognize. Maybe children have never seen a green apple. The book sparks curiosity and opens an opportunity to discuss what they’re seeing.
- They’re just fun!
- Kids get to make animal noises! They know the book is about animals, so they can do their best to try to imitate the sounds they’ve heard or decide how they think the animal sounds.
In case you haven’t figured it out, I really like these books! I tested them with my kids, and we had a ball! This is something that I’ll be adding to my future lessons, particularly during the weeks of our field trips. Maybe they can be of use to you, too.
See ya next time!