Thursday, February 5, 2015

Minnie in Paris by Shelia Sweeny Higginson

Title: Minnie in Paris
Author: Sheila Sweeny Higginson
Genre: Picture Book
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 6
Multicultural: Features a few references to Parisian/French culture and the French language
Curriculum Subject: Social Studies

In Minnie in Paris, Minnie is invited to provide the bows for the models at a fashion show in Paris. Her suitcase with her bows looks just like another passenger's (a penguin magician) and she doesn't realize she picked up the wrong one until she's at the hotel and bunnies escape when she opens the suitcase. Before she can warn her nieces to keep the room door shut, the bunnies get out leading them on an adventure to round them up while Daisy purchases ribbon to make new bows.

Overall this is a very interesting book, especially since it doesn't take the more expected route of solving the mix up by tracking down the penguin and rather takes a more unique and likely more practical approach. The inclusion of a few French words along with famous sites and popular things to enjoy in Paris can also make this a fun pick for a broader unit on French culture, language, and/or history.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Minnie
  • Those interested in fashion.
  • Those interested in Paris and/or France, especially if planning to visit.
  • The characters dealing with the issues of losing the bows and the escaping bunnies provide good examples of problem solving. (Logical-Mathematical)
  • The colorful and detailed illustrations add to the story, such as with Minnie's invitation, and help draw in visual learners. (Spatial-Visual)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sofia's Cup of Tea by Catherine Hapka

Title: Sofia's Cup of Tea
Author: Catherine Hapka
Genre: Fantasy, Picture Book
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 5

In Sofia's Cup of Tea, Sofia and Amber attend a tea party hosted by Lucinda the witch. Several things go wrong as Lucinda uses magic to try to make the tea party special, but in the end they learn that just spending time with each other is enough to make it an enjoyable experience.

Overall this is a good board book for Sofia the First fans, although there does seem to jump a little in the plot and would do well to have one more page to actually show Lucinda getting upset before Sofia is comforting here. The main highlight is the illustrations that do a great job of showing the variety of excitement and emotions in the story.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Sofia the First
  • Those that enjoy having tea parties.
  • The illustrations that display the action of the story and the characters' emotions can help enhance the experience for visual learners as well as the understanding others. (Spatial-Visual, Interpersonal)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Henry Hugglemonster: Welcome to Roarsville by Sheila Sweeney Higginson

Title: Henry Hugglemonster: Welcome to Roarsville
Author: Sheila Sweeney Higginson
Genre: Fantasy
Reading Level: Ages 3-5

Welcome to Roarsville provides a general overview of Henry Hugglemonster's characters and his town of Roarsville. Those familiar with the show may find it boring as it lacks a real storyline. However, it can be a useful book for those just beginning to learn to read.

The simple plot (or somewhat lack of one) can make it easy for those beginning to read on their own. Additionally, most pages have several objects with words next to them to identify them, which can help beginning readers improve their vocabulary.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Henry Hugglemonster
  • The style of words identifying various objects and characters can be useful for visual learners beginning to read. (Spatial-Visual)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun


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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sheriff Callie's Wild West: Toby the Cowsitter by Andrea Postner-Sanchez

Title: Sheriff Callie's Wild West: Toby the Cowsitter
Author: Andrea Postner-Sanchez
Genre: Picture Book, Fiction, Western
Reading Level: Ages 3 to 5

In Toby the Cowsitter, Toby the Cactus really wants to get a milk shake and agrees to cowsitting to get nickels to buy milk shakes. His impatience leads to him neglecting his job to buy and enjoy milk shakes at the saloon. Unattended the cows end up causing trouble in town and Sheriff Callie rounds them up to stop the destruction. When Toby realizes that he failed to follow through on the cowsitting responsibilities he took on, he cleans up the mess the cows made.

Overall Toby the Cowsitter has a great concept for a plot. Toby's desire for something and impatience is something that many can relate to. It also serves as a good story for teaching about being responsible. However, the actual writing kind of ruins the book, especially the awkward use of punctuation such as unnecessary dashes and the overuse of exclamation points. There is also quite a bit of things like gonna, 'em, and gotta, although to some extent it has a place in that it is only used in the dialogue.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Fans of Sheriff Callie's Wild West
  • How Toby handles wanting and getting milk shakes as well as the consequences of his action illustrate personal intentions and goals. (Intrapersonal)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun



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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Disney Minnie Turn-over Tales: The Flower Mystery/The Disappearing Dessert

Title: Disney Minnie Turn-over Tales: The Flower Mystery/The Disappearing Dessert
Genre: Picture Book
Reading Level: Ages 4 to 6

This book provides two different stories with one starting on each side of the book. In The Flower Mystery Minnie's daffodils are destroyed and in The Disappearing Dessert Minnie's brownies go missing at a party. The stand alone well, but they also go together well because they both feature mysteries.

The stories provide good examples of problem solving. This includes finding and following clues as well as using logic to eliminate suspects. It also does a good job of having the characters remaining open minded and believing the suspects are innocent until there is real proof of who did it.

Types of Readers Book Might Appeal To & Multiple Intelligence Categories
  • Minnie Mouse fans
  • Mystery lovers (Logical-Mathematical)
  • The book provides examples of working together in that Minnie and her friends work together to solve the mysteries. (Interpersonal)
Activities for Further Learning and Fun
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