Sunday, January 30, 2011

Groundhog's Day Picture Book Selections

There's nothing like picture books to help set the mood for holiday celebrations with little ones.  We've enjoyed the books below so much, we had to share....

Groundhog's Weather School, by Joan Holub

Our highest recommendation!  This was a perfect choice for my kids, 5 and 8.  A blend of science, history, cute illustrations, and fun story.  In one part, "real" groundhogs are discussed, and not just Phil. My 3rd grader was thrilled to have already heard about a groundhog that predicts the superbowl champion when they discussed it in class on groundhog's day. Cheers to a great book!

Go to Sleep, Groundhog!  By Judy Cox                                                                                                    In this cute story, groundhog keeps waking up before Feb. 2. A fun review of the holidays that happen between October, when groundhog first tries to hibernate, through Groundhog's day.  The cute illustrations and changing holiday traditions captivated my kindergartener who is just building his sense of a calendar year. 

How Groundhog's Garden Grew, by Lynne Cherry
A real keeper!  This book has less to do with groundhogs than it does about gardening and being a good neighbor. Squirrel teaches groundhog how to grow his own garden rather than stealing from his neighbors.  The detailed illustrations and great discussions on gardening (including seeds!) and where/when our produce comes from were of interest to both of my kids.  Bravo! 

This reminds us of another favorite gardening book (Tops and Bottoms, Janet Stevens) that has a great moral lesson (bear and rabbit neighbors), detailed illustrations, and excellent information for kids on vegetables (sometimes we eat the tops, sometimes the bottoms, and sometimes the middle). It is a Caldecott honor book!

Time for Bed, The Secret of Shadows by Lisa Allen and Vickie Johnson

A book on shadows is a perfect companion to any groundhog's day celebration.  Our favorite is so creative and useful, we think it is a must for any family with kids who are sometimes afraid of the dark and/or who are curious about how shadows work. In a simple story, the children see how spooky shadows are made from ordinary objects in their room.  Even better, YOUR kid is the one making the shadows with a flashlight within this lap-sized shadow theater.  Is this a book or a toy? I love it when learning is fun!  The authors show that they really understand how kids learn... by controlling the shadows themselves rather than just reading about it and looking at pictures or listening to parental lecture, kids have a better chance at retaining the experience and remembering when fear of the dark strikes them next.  Thank you, Lisa and Vickie!


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