I am adding a new section! Reviews on children’s books. Not “YA”, but those for Mom, Dad, Grammy, etc., to read to little ones or for little ones just learning to read. I am (obviously) and avid reader. And I have a little guy running around the house these days (or should I say running the house these days) and I read to him every night. I am hoping that he loves to read like I do. And, in my attempt to ensure that he is hearing lots of words, learning about imagination and spending some good quality time with Mommy (since I work all day), I am on the hunt for new good books to read to him. I think, the more books he has access to, the better. So… I am going to go broke not on groceries or diapers but on books. And, I realized that I should add reviews (even though they will likely be super short given the length of these books to begin with) of what I read to him. Because some of these books are great and others… not so much.
What I hope to let my followers know span these categories: (a) quality of the story, (b) it is a rhymer or not (some nights that’s a good thing and others it makes me nauseated), (c) quality of the illustrations, (d) readability when reading out loud, and (e) educational value. To me, these are the things that differentiate great (like Dr. Seuss) from barely tolerable.
To start, I provide the following thoughts on the “Did You Know” series – or at least on the ones I have. There are 7 in the series (as per goodreads anyway). They are:
- Hippos Can’t Swim and Other Fun Facts
- Chickens Don’t Fly and Other Fun Facts
- Dinosaurs Live On and Other Fun Facts
- Rainbows Never End and Other Fun Facts
- Trains Can Float and Other Fun Facts
- Frogs Play Cellos and Other Fun Facts
- Saturn Could Sail and Other Fun Facts
They are credited as written by Laura Lyn Disiena and Hannah Eliot with illustrations by Pete Oswald and Aaron Spurgeon. I have Hippos, Chickens, Rainbows and Saturn. I am actively on the look-out at the books stores for the others. These are less story and more education. But they are pretty awesome. They start with the fact on the cover, and an explanation of it and then add successive facts that are linked to the previous fact. All to loop back, at the end, to the initial fact. There is a lot of good educational material in each. And they are presented in a fun way. They don’t rhyme but that’s ok because even as an adult I found the way the facts are presented fun to read. And the illustrations are wonderful. They are silly and playful, but still get the point of the educational fact across. They are fun to read aloud too because the pages take the form of “Did You Know?” Hence the titles! As far as educational value – well, there were facts that I didn’t know in each of the 4 that I bought to read to my little man. They contain all sorts of facts – educate on science, colors, shapes, animals, etc. They each end with a page that summarizes the great facts presented in the main book. And, the entire book takes about 5 minutes to read so they are perfect for the right-before-bed-time story time. I highly recommend them (at least the four I mentioned, but I assume the other three are just as wonderful).