Thursday, April 18, 2013
30 Books of Kindness Days 16, 17, and 18: Bears, Ducks, and a Little Blue Truck
The first 15 books that I included in the 30 Books of Kindness challenge were mostly meant for reading with either a toddler or younger kid. However, I thought it might be helpful to include a couple of board books that are meant for the youngest of readers. The earliest lessons in kindness for babies are to learn about friendship and love. Each of these three stories share the same central theme of being kind to our friends.
Please don't judge the worn cover of Bear Snores On, but it really has been read over and over and over again. We have had this book since Miss M was little, and now little Miss J gets her "teefies" on it and loves it to death. In this book, animal after animal sneaks into the bear's cave to seek warmth in the winter storm. They all make friends and share yummy snacks over a fire...UNTIL a pepper flake makes the bear sneeze and wakes him up. The bear is so sad that the other animals were having fun without him. But, the other animals assure him that they can make more snack,s, and they all snuggle by the fire on the cold dark night.
Bear Snores On is written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. The book is rhythmic, repeating the phrase "but the bear snores on" throughout the book. The repetition is perfect to grab and keep a baby's attention.
The second book I choose came as a recommendation from one of my blog readers! (Yay! I have readers!) She recommended the Gossie books by Olivier Dunrea. I couldn't decide whether I should find them at the library or order them, but the decision was easy when I found this adorable box set of the Gossie board books. (I think this would make the best baby shower gift.) Miss J loves these little books because they are only about 3 inch squares, the perfect size for her little hands.
Our favorite book in this collection is Gossie and Gertie. Gossie is a bossy little duck that likes to tell her friend Gertie to "Follow Me!" At first Gertie does everything Gossie tell her to do. But, when Gertie goes off on her own, Gossie gets mad. She keeps shouting at her friend, and her friend just keeps doing what she wants to do. In the end, Gossie learns that sometimes you have to take turns picking out where to go, and the two little ducks end the story as best friends.
These books have very little writing, which is perfect for very little attention spans. The pictures are dynamic images of bright yellow ducks on a white background. They completely capture the attention of even the youngest of readers.
Finally, the third board book I choose was Little Blue Truck, which is written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry. This book has been an instant favorite in our house for both girls since I discovered it not too long ago. It has beautiful illustrations, whimsical words that read more like a song than a story, and an endearing story about how taking time to foster friendships will pay off in the end.
The little blue truck travels along the road making friends with all the animals he meets along the way. However, a big dump truck that comes along is far to busy and important to take time to make friends with any of the animals. When the dump truck gets stuck, no one comes to help him out. None of the animals know his horn, so why would they come when they hear a honk honk honk? When the little blue truck gets stuck trying to help out the dump truck, all the animals rush to his aid when they hear little blue truck's beep beep beep. The dump truck soon realizes the value of having friends that can help get you out of sticky situations.
I choose these three books because they all have animals in the stories. Babies love looking at pictures of animals. Even if we don't read the words in the book, sometimes we just point out the names of the different animals and then make the animal noises. And this is a good alternative to have if you ever find yourself reading a book for the 10th time in a night, which invariably will happen when a book becomes a fast favorite.