Monday, January 26, 2015

Review of Dawn Publications' Spring 2015 Children's Book Releases

            Hey folks! I love me a good book, but I almost enjoy finding quality and entertaining children's books even more! It's that time of year again and I'll be sharing a little about each of Dawn Publications' Spring 2015 releases: Noisy Bird Sing-Along, Over on a Mountain, and Pitter and Patter. If you're unfamiliar with Dawn Publications, they are all about teaching children nature appreciation through lovely books, and even include extra activities on their website as well as resources for teachers and much more!

            Noisy Bird Sing-Along by John Himmelman is all about, you guessed it, bird calls. Ranging from the smallest of hummingbirds to barred owls, children are sure to recognize a few of the feathered friends and be introduced to some new ones. As you can imagine, children will learn all sorts of fun and interesting bird calls along the way which can be made even more fun to learn by "singing" along!
            Geared towards 3-8 year olds, I thought this was a pretty cute book and age appropriate since that age range will be able to join in on the singing. This would definitely be a fun read-aloud book for a preschool or lower elementary classroom. (Or story time at a library!) I liked that there are fun little facts about the birds included in the story as well. As always, there is even more info on each bird featured in the story at the end to extend the learning as well as resources for bird projects!

            If this is the first time you're hearing about Marianne Berkes' Over on a... book series, do yourself (and the child in your life) a favor and check all of them out on Dawn Pubs website. (After you finish reading this, of course. ;) ) I previously had the opportunity to review two other books in the series and they are two of my favorite that I have reviewed from Dawn Pub thus far. Even though she is not in the age range the books are targeted for (3-8 year olds), Myka still enjoys getting these out and looking at them at 2 years old.
            Over on a Mountain is all about critters that live in different mountain regions around the world. Not only will children learn a little more about animals they're already familiar with and be introduced to new ones as well, but they will learn that not all mountains are the same! As always, there are more suggestions at the end for ways to expand upon learning from the story, with activities that can range from preschool/lower elementary levels to higher elementary grades.
            In case you couldn't guess, I was really excited when I saw there was a new Over on a... book. The first thing that caught my attention, as with the first two I reviewed as well, were the illustrations. While the illustrator for this book is different from the previous two that I reviewed, the pictures in this book are not what you would normally see in a children's book, but they are extremely unique and beautiful the more you look at them. Jill Dubin uses pieces of paper (I'm guessing a lot of scrapbook type paper with lots of different "textures" was used) with colored pencils and pastels to bring the story to life. You can get a good idea of it just from the cover image above. How cool!
            I also love these stories because they incorporate counting, so they are perfect books to incorporate into a numbers lesson for younger children just starting out with learning numbers. Animals and books make just about anything fun, right? Also, since this book can be read/sung to the traditional Over in a Meadow nursery rhyme, it could be a fun way to introduce poetry and/or what rhymes are to children. Plus, as I've stated what feels like 500 times, I truly believe that rhyming helps young children learn and retain information better.

            I have to admit the cover of Pitter and Patter tricked me. I was hoping it was going to be a story about squirrels, but I was wondering why the raindrops were so big. ha ha Following the journey of two raindrops, Pitter and Patter, this is a fun little story to introduce 4-10 year olds to the water cycle.
            Once Pitter and Patter land in separate areas, we follow them along their individual journeys back to becoming part of a cloud, meeting lots of animals, insects, and more along the way. As Pitter and Patter travel down streams, through underground caves, and more, they eventually meet up again in the ocean where they turn into water vapor and head back up to the sky.
            I've always thought learning about the water cycle was kind of fascinating and this book makes for a fun and simple way to teach children about it. It's very straightforward and provides plenty of opportunities for expanding learning, both by talking about the story itself afterwards and with the activity suggestions provided at the end. And, if you are reading this with younger children, the illustrations are absolutely fantastic! Now that I have my own child, I'm finding that I don't care for the illustrations in many children's books, but I've previously reviewed another book Cathy Morrison has illustrated and her drawings are just so colorful and full of life!

            All three books will be available starting in February, so be sure to keep a look out on Dawn Pub's website!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your recommendations in the Kid Lit Blog Hop Alicia. They look so sweet! :-)