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Monday, February 16, 2015

Get Your Kids Ready for Spring!

I received books for review. No other compensation was given. All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Yes, it is still snowy and freezing cold here in Minnesota. However, Spring is only a little over a month away, and we are getting very excited for it! One of the things we are doing here in our home is reading books about Spring. Thanks to one of my favorite book publishers, Dawn Publications, I am able to teach my children lots of great concepts through some of their newest Spring books.

Pitter and Patter by Martha Sullivan and illustrated by Cathy Morrison is a fun, adventurous book that will help you teach your children about the water cycle. Tumble from the sky, careen off a leaf, plunge into a stream as you travel through a watershed. Then take a ride with Patter—even through an underground cave. Oh, the places you'll go and the creatures you'll see. A water drop is a wonderfully adventurous thing to be! Following the main story is a large, attractive schematic showing both the parts of the water cycle and how each drop took different paths through the watershed.

The “Explore More” section for teachers and parents offers a very clear presentation of states of matter (“Same but Different”), the water cycle (“Around and Around”), the watershed (“Going Down!”), and water’s role in habitats and humans (“Around and Through”). For each of these concepts, which may be challenging for children to visualize, there is one or more suggested activity to help make the concepts less abstract.

Noisy Bird Sing-Along by John Himmelman showcases how every kind of bird has their very own kind of sound - cheerful sounds, mournful sounds, sweet sounds, weird sounds. You can tell who they are without even opening your eyes. And what fun to sing along! John Himmelman knows those sounds well and loves to share his enthusiasm for birds. He explains how to call birds by “pishing,” gives tips on how to attract birds by feeding them, how to make your list of birds, and more.

My kids got the biggest kick out of this book! They were imitating bird calls all day long! Plus, it is very fun to try to identify birds that we see out at our neighbor’s bird-feeder. We are looking forward to identifying more as they come back from down south.

Over on a Mountain: Somewhere in the World by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin is a fun counting book. Discover twenty cool animals, ten great mountain ranges, and seven continents all in one story! And do it in the age-old style of children the world over — by clapping, counting, singing, and acting like . . . well, animals! What fun! Following the main story, this book is chock full of resources for parents and teachers, including facts about each of the animals featured (including the hidden animals) and about mountains. A simple world map makes it easy for children to locate the continents and the mountain ranges where the animals live. A “Tips from the Author” page has suggested activities and a “Tips from the Illustrator” page offers an interesting perspective from the artist, who created the illustrations using cut paper.

For all three of these books, additional free downloadable activities can be found at

When your kids are getting stir-crazy, having to stay indoor through this long winter, why not use these awesome books to bring some fresh and fun activities into your day? You will all have fun and learn a lot!


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