Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy by Craig Gerber and Catherine Hapka

Title: Sofia the First: The Curse of Princess Ivy
Author: Craig Gerber and Catherine Hapka
Genre: Picture Book, Fantasy
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 5
Multicultural: Sofia and Amber are step-sisters

In The Curse of Princess Ivy, Sofia's sister Princess Amber is jealous of Sofia's amulet. Amber steals it and ends up summoning an evil princess who takes over the kingdom and threatens to destroy the amulet. Amber and Sofia work together to save their family and the kingdom along with some brief help from Rapunzel. The breaking of the curse at the end is very reminiscent of Disney's Frozen.

Overall this is an interesting Sofia the First story, especially for siblings. As usual it has the stylized calligraphy like font that on one hand adds to the visual appeal while also having the potential of making it harder to read for some.

This book does come with a code for an eBook version, which features standard font. This can provide an easier reading experience for some, although the text is messed up and overlapping at some points. The eBook version also adds further appeal for beginning readers to have it read to them/read along.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Sofia the First
  • Siblings that can relate to the feelings of jealousy and then love Amber has for Sofia. (Intrapersonal)
  • Visual learners may find the stylized font along with the illustrations appealing. (Spatial-Visual)
  • Sofia, Amber, and Cedric provide examples of working together to save the kingdom. (Interpersonal)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sofia the First: Princesses to the Rescue! by Catherine Hapka

Title: Sofia the First: Princesses to the Rescue!
Author:Catherine Hapka
Genre: Picture Book, Fantasy
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 5
Multicultural: This book takes places in the Kingdom of Wei-Ling, which is Asian inspired.

 Sofia the First: Princesses to the Rescue! features Sofia, Princess Amber, and Princess Jun going on a mission to rescue their brothers and fathers from the jade jaguar, who is protecting a treasure the boys went in search of. The face several challenges along the way and even consider giving up at the first on; but Mulan appears and encourages them to not quit by telling them they are stronger than they know.

Overall this is a good simple story that provides an example of girls being the heroes while also being realistic in that they do consider quitting. Since they don't quit, it also provides examples of persevering and them building confidence as they overcome challenges. Additionally, overcoming the obstacles in different ways, such as using the flute to get the lizards to help them across the lagoon and leading the jaguar to get stuck, provide examples of problem solving.

Note that this Sofia the First picture book uses stylized calligraphy text. On the one hand this can make the book more appealing, especially for visual learners. However, it can also be harder to follow and read for others.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Sofia the First and/or Mulan
  • Visual learners may find the calligraphy style text appealing along with how many pages have several illustrations to show the progress of the plot. (Spatial-Visual)
  • The free song download that comes with the book can help engage music lovers. They might also enjoy the drinking straw flute craft below. (Musical)
  • The book provides several examples of problem solving as the princesses are on their rescue mission. (Logical-Mathematical)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Disney Minnie: My Colorful Closet

Title: Disney Minnie: My Colorful Closet
Genre: Picture Book
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 6
Curriculum Subject: Art

My Colorful Closet is a fun interactive book about Daisy and Minnie trying out new clothes for summer as a rainy day activity. The plot itself is short and simple, but it has the added enjoyment of letting the reader decide what patterns to use for the different outfits by putting one of the ten different patterns in the slot on each page.

One potential negative of the book is that the patterns are somewhat limited with them being mostly pinks, purples, and yellows. However, you can easily make your own patterns to put in the slots using scrapbook paper or by designing your own on cardstock, which makes this book great for incorporating with art curriculum.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Minnie Mouse, especially those that like Minnie's Bow-Toons
  • Those interested in fashion.
  • The colorful scenes and patterns along with the animated character expressions can help draw in visual learners. (Spatial-Visual)
  • The added interactiveness of physically changing the patterns for the outfits can help motivate those that like to learn through doing to read. (Bodily-Kinesthetic)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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