Tag Archive: read-aloud



Children's book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestraChildren’s book: The Unruly Orchestra: Learn about musical instruments and the symphonic orchestra by Daphna Lustiger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I voluntarily read to review this book.

Almost. That is the best thing I can say. I was excited, as a former music major, to see a picture book about the orchestra. But on the first page, I got disappointed. Two of the instruments named were not shown.

The text wasn’t rhythmic or as fun as it could be. And I think it still needs a good editor.

The pictures were fun and I wanted the story to be as fun.

Still, I would have read it to my children. I think I could have made it more fun with sounds of the instruments lined up to actually introduce each part. It could be a fun story, if cleaned up a bit, to a field trip to a concert or an educational segment about Peter and the Wolf, and possibly pulling out triangles and fun band percussion instruments. and a good old march around the classroom.

My deepest disappointment was the piano not named as it was being called a pipe organ (not usually in an orchestra, and no pipes).

Still, the book could have hope with a bit more clean up.

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The Night WorldThe Night World by Mordicai Gerstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This won’t go down as a favorite for me. But I think it would have been a good one for my young children. We aren’t good sleepers in my family. We like to stay awake forever. Darkness does not mean the end of the day. It just means you need other sources of light.

Pages and pages of dark pictures are annoying to me, like a lack of color. Still, if you live in the country like we did back then, and how I live now, knowing what lives in the darkness, as far as the animal life you don’t see in the daytime, that might be outside is a great way to teach about nocturnal animals.

If a child is having problems with fear of the dark, this might be a fun book to bring about that discussion.

As for me, I read it late at night it stayed with me through my insomnia. When I just can’t handle that darkness staring at me, I find I need the colorful pages at the end of the book. So I will pull up a nature show on Netflix. A soothing narrator keeps me away from the millions of thoughts, the colors and life help me relax and soon I am ready to sleep. Too bad we didn’t have such things when my kids were young. Meanwhile, a book with the promise of sunrise could help all of us. And for that, it is worth buying for some families.

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Am I small? Bin ich klein?Am I small? Bin ich klein? by Philipp Winterberg

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

According to my GoodReads goal, I am 5 books behind. Since the books I am reading lately have been longer I decided now is the time to read some of my children’s books.

This one is delightful! The pictures are fun. It is bilingual. German first then English under. I was proud that I actually could read the German. There were a couple Questionables. Like, so far I’ve not seen a German contraction. But it was there.

Though this starred a little girl, I think this would be a fun read for either gender. And just becuase it’s a picture book doesn’t make this simple. Adults can have fun, like I did, practicing either English or German while enjoying the story and fun creatures presented for comparison of large or small and extremes.

***

Quick edit:  I also read the French and Esperanto versions of this same book. I didn’t do so well with the French as it isn’t one of the languages I play with as much. At least there were English subtitles. But the Esperanto had no English to help. Luckily by this point I pretty much knew what it said. Still the pictures are fun.

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1,2,3, Red, Blue, Green Bilingual (English - Japanese) 1,2,3, あか、あお、みどり バイリンガル(英語 - 日本語)1,2,3, Red, Blue, Green Bilingual (English – Japanese) 1,2,3, あか、あお、みどり バイリンガル(英語 – 日本語) by Yael Manor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As many of you know I have been learning languages from Duolingo. Japanese is one of them. I find it to be the hardest of the four I’m working with. German, Spanish, Esperanto are the others but I feel more confident with those three. (Not conversant but able to read it a little.)

I like to get children’s picture books to help me. I figure if it helps a kid to learn, it may help me. Not sure there is hope in this case. Yes, Duo has covered primary colors and primary numbers. But when I try to follow the written language I am totally lost. I do find a couple words here and there that I recognize but most of it is still squiggles to my eyes. The worst part, for me, is trying to get word order. That is true of all these languages.

That isn’t a slam on this book. Even if you weren’t trying to learn Japanese, this would be a fun book. The little story is fun and would make a fun read aloud. It might also be fun to string balls with the children in the book.

I think if you had a child who only spoke Japanese, this would be a fun one to learn the English from. So it is fun from every angle. I just wish there were a small section in the back helping with word order. Very educational and re-readable for everyone.

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Today Is MondayToday Is Monday by Eric Carle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say? It’s Eric Carle!

I picked this up at the library because I wanted art inspiration. I have always thought Mr. Carle’s work visually exciting. From the Hungry Caterpillar and Angry Ladybug, I was in awe of the way Eric could make his own prints and cut them into amazing pictures. The other side of that is his books are so much fun to read aloud to kids.

Having had a few accidents where crepe paper got wet and left an interesting stain behind. (Cleaning said stain wasn’t fun but I loved how the stain looked–though it didn’t belong there.) I realized when I read the first Eric Carle books to my kids that this was crepe paper stains cut and reformed into fantastic illustrations. I have learned since that he uses tissue paper to make his own prints. Makes me want to play with this method.

This book had pictures that looked less like crepe or tissue paper but the visuals didn’t disappoint. The story was rhythmically satisfying. And at the end of the book, the words are placed into a song. I think it would be a fun way to teach a little songwriting or other musical lessons. So with this book, we get so many things to learn.

I didn’t miss how inclusive the author was to minorities and the handicapped. All done in a sneaky way that most children or adults might not notice. But on each reading of this book, the onion can be peeled back to show children new lessons.

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The Land of Lost Things / El Pais de Las Cosas PerdidasThe Land of Lost Things / El Pais de Las Cosas Perdidas by Dina Bursztyn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun little book for anyone, young or old, trying to educate themselves in Spanish or English. Timely in my case since I am working with colored pencils. And I seem to lose things. And obviously, I need more work with past tense in Spanish. And–And I see how much more work I need on word order. As if I am good in my own language!

The pictures were wonderful! Imagine a forest of blue pencils! Or an umbrella garden! Very creative! And what if you could look into a hole and see all your lost things? If only most of my lost things didn’t happen during my multiple moves or in that storage unit we gave up on. Still, there are things I think made it here. My old glue gun, my polymer clay? I know I’ve seen them since I moved here. My hands put them away without informing the brain!

Anyway, this is a fun book and it helped me on quite a few levels! And I’m not a kid!

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