Exploring words for little readers
Luci Hand September 7, 2012 2:24PM
Updated: October 10, 2012 6:17AM
I have some selections for the little ones, the preschoolers and kindergartners who are exploring words and learning about “things” in our world.
“Nothing Like a Puffin” by Sue Soltis is a gem. Everyone likes puffins, those wonderful, colorful silly-looking birds.
We begin by establishing that puffins are unique creatures. The author goes on to talk about things that puffins are not like, such as a ladder and a house.
Yet, puffins are something like a newspaper in that they are both black and white. Puffins are like jeans, they both have two legs. Puffins are like goldfish, they both swim. Puffins are like shovels as they both dig. (Puffins use their feet to dig.) Snakes and puffins both lay eggs. Puffins are like a helicopter in that both fly.
We then come to a penguin. Wow! The list of “sames” is long. Yet, even here with so many “sames,” there is a difference — penguins can’t fly.
What is for sure? There is “nothing like a puffin.”
“Same Same” by Marthe Jocelyn deals with the same concept.
Each two-page spread has two or three things that have something in common. For example, three round things, three things that make music.
Obviously, plot and characters are not evident here, but big, bright pictures by Tom Slaughter and simple language make this a fun way to build vocabulary and recognize and talk about how things are alike and different.
Anne and Harlow Rockwell bring us “The Toolbox,” a board book that begins with an old-fashioned wooden “trug” tool box.
This one is in the basement and it is full of wonderful things like a saw, hammer and nails. These are hand tools like the brace and bit that can make holes in wood. Clamps, screwdrivers, a hand-plane and a tape measure and pliers all are in our trug.
We follow more interesting tools and accessories until we meet Father and learn the tool box is his.
I have a trug my father made for me that is a treasure, just like the one he had.
‘Flip, Flap, Fly!’
“Flip, Flap, Fly!” by Phyllis Root looks at baby animals as they leave the various nests.
We begin with baby bird being helped by momma bird.
Baby bird, up in the air, sees a baby fish swimming with its mother. We then see a snake, an otter, a duck, a mouse and more until we discover a child with his mother.
We join the little boy as he sees all the babies we have met.
Arlene Alda brings us delightful photographs of opposites in “Hello, Good-Bye.”
Cold and hot, old and new, wet and dry, and lots more until we come to sunrise (hello) and sunset (good-bye!).
I have to say my favorite is the Alpine horn players. I have no idea how they do that.
Again, just a neat look at opposites as a vocabulary builder with a list of where the pictures were taken included in the back.