I love sharing some of our favorite books with you each month in these Reading Roundup posts. I find lots of our favorite books from reading similar posts from other bloggers, so I love giving you a peek of our shelves as well. This month, we've read some classic children's books but also some that may be new to you.This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Big Sister and Little Sister: A Coloring Book For Two by Sarah Janisse Brown
I first saw this coloring book at a homeschool convention, where the author had a booth with her products. I wanted them ALL! Sarah Janisse Brown is a homeschooling mom of 8 who produces a line of unique homeschool planners, activity books, and journals. I finally decided on this coloring book for the girls. It has 2 of each picture (adorable, whimsical, detailed illustrations), printed on facing pages, so the girls can color the same thing while they sit next to each other and chat.
They absolutely LOVE it! It has been so sweet to watch them color together over the last few weeks. You'll also want to take a look at all of the other products from Thinking Tree Publishing.
Where The Mountain Meets The Moon by Grace Lin
Our current read-aloud is Where The Mountain Meets The Moon. It is the story of a young girl, Minli, who set out on an epic journey to change her family's fourtune. She has many adventures along the way, meets some wonderful friends, and learns a great deal about herself and her family. One of my favorite elements of this book is that it incorporates many classic stores from Chinese folklore. Lena even recognized a few from another one of her storybooks. The writing is beautiful, and an absolute pleasure to read. There are also some full color illustrations, which is a nice addition to a traditional chapter book.
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
This book has been on our shelves for a long time, but has recently been pulled out and enjoyed over and over again. It's a short and simple board book about giraffe named Gerald who (surprise!) can't dance. All the animals in the forest make fun of him. Eventually, Gerald learns that he simply has to dance to a different beat and it turns out the he is a wonderful dancer. All the other animals admire him. My husband started doing a very silly beat-boxey version of the text, and the girls get up and boogie as he reads. It's been a nightly occurance, and oh-so-cute.
Not All Princesses Dress In Pink by Jane Yolen
4-year-old Maggie is a bit of a princess freak. While I fully support her developmentally appropriate obsession, sometimes I need her to wear something other than a pink frilly dress so that we can play outside or go to the playground or something! I got this book for her hoping to encourage less frills and sparkle. It shows princesses dressed in all kinds of clothing, doing lots of different activities. I'm not sure that it has helped with our "princess situation" but it's a really cute book regardless.
A Bad Case Of Stripes by David Shannon
I first read A Bad Case Of Stripes years ago when I was fresh out of college and working as a nanny. I've since learned that it's very popular and many children and teachers LOVE it! It encourages children to embrace the things about themselves that make them different, regardless of what other people may think. The artwork in this book is intriguing, and both of my girls have poured over the illustrations this month. I did have to reassure my girls that they can't actually get "a case of stripes" like the little girl in the story!
Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty
What an awesome book! Little Rosie likes to tinker and build, but is discouraged from her pursuits when an uncle laughs at one of her contraptions. She gives up her dreams of becoming an engineer until an aunt (Rosie the Riveter) comes to visit. Rosie once again starts to build. What I love most about this book is that she doesn't succeed! Instead, her attempts are praised, she moves on and tries again, and learns in the process. It is unrealistic to expect a child to successfully build a flying machine! Instead, the message of the book is that trying and failing is perfectly okay and valuable in its own right. This book is part of a series including Iggy Peck, Architect, and not-yet-released Ada Twist, Scientist.
100 Fun & Easy Learning Games For Kids by Amanda Boyarshinov and Kim Vij
If you've ever read any of the blog The Educators' Spin On It then you're familiar with the work of Amanda Boyarshinov and Kim Vij. They create amazing activities for kids, and have compiled some awesome learning games in their new book 100 Fun & Easy Learning Games For Kids. They use materials that you likely have on hand, cover a range of learning disciplines and ages, and will get your kids excited to do some learning this summer. I especially love the bright full color photographs that clearly show how the activities are supposed to work. Lena picked out over a dozen games that she wants to try immediately!
Disclaimer: I did receive an advanced review copy of the book from the publisher. However, all opinions are authentic and my own.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
As for me, I read and enjoyed The Night Circus, the debut novel from Erin Morgenstern. It's quite good, and has just the right amount of whimsy and mystery. The story is about Celia and Marco, two magicians (using REAL magic) who are competing in a mysterious duel with one another. They are both involved in an elaborate circus production where they showcase their talents. If you like magic-y stuff, this is a fun book.
The Martian by Andy Weir
I hadn't seen The Martian movie when I started reading this book, but saw it after I finished reading. As always, the book is better than the movie! Initially I thought that this book was a great story with terrible writing, but I've since changed my tune. It's an exciting, suspenseful, funny, and touching novel. Nice and easy for bedtime reading!