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Product Type: Books
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Categories: Concept Books

 


2014 Awards
Have You Seen My Dragon?
(by Steve Light, Candlewick $16.99 Score:)

With wonderfully busy black and white drawings, Dragon leads his friend on a merry chase. Uptown, downtown, crosstown, too, the boy searches everywhere for his dragon and finds everything from hotdogs to bikes, but not his dragon, although the reader will see dragon hidden with each page turn. A counting book that goes all the way up to 20 with splashes of color and action-packed images to pour over. Beginning readers will catch on to the repetitive refrain and counting the familiar things. 5-7

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2014. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Award
Animal Opposites, a Pop-up Book
(by Petr Horacek, Candlewick $15.99 Score:)

With flaps to lift and animals that pop-up, this is a visually lively way to introduce or reinforce concepts of opposites, although some examples are less concrete than others and children may have other words to describe opposites. A book of few words that stretches knowing and naming skills with a meerkat, sloth, cheetah, and words that describe their sounds, actions, size, or appearance. The paper engineering is dynamic! 3-6

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2013 Awards
I Spy on the Farm
(by Edward Gibbs, Candlewick $14.99 Score:)

Big bold illustrations of familiar farm animals are featured in the playful book with cutout holes that allow a partial view of the animal hidden on the next page. The text offers a clue to help the little listener guess who will show up when the page is turned. Based on the original game and always popular game of I Spy With My Little Eye, this is a fun way to introduce toddlers to knowing and naming, color concepts and animal sounds. It includes letter names. For young toddlers we suggest skipping the letter names - use the sound the letter make as a hint or skip the letters altogether for young listeners. That's something they can grow into.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Help Me Learn Subtraction
(by Jean Marzollo/ illus. Chad Phillips, Holiday House $15.95 Score:)

Newest in an excellent series that introduces beginners to the concept of subtraction. Using rhymes that give auditory cues and photographs for visual clues, the symbols of math equations become playful and concrete. For young children the concrete objects pictured add an understanding of the number symbols. Eventually children will not need the images, but for young children, these images are already one step beyond real objects. You can further reinforce the concepts of subtracting with crackers or cheerios to represent the same equations on the pages. Frankly, M&Ms and kisses were always my favorite way to teach subtraction. But Jean Marzollo's rhymes add a dash of humor that is always welcome when dealing with numbers! They say 3-7, we say more like 5-7.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Z is for Moose
(by Kelly Bingham/ illus. by Paul Zelinsky, Greenwillow $16.99 Score:)

It starts with the usual A is for Apple, but before getting too far into the typical B is for Ball, C is for Cat, an eager Moose appears on the wrong page and the romp begins! An entertaining alphabet that kids will enjoy looking at more than once! 4 & up.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
An Annoying ABC
(by Barbara Bottner/ illus. by Michael Emberley, Knopf $17.99 Score:)

There are days like this in almost every life. Well, maybe not quite as bad as this one that started when Adelaide annoyed Bailey and Bailey blamed Clyde and Clyde cried--you get the idea. In A, B, C order each student from A-Z does something that begins with the same letter as his or her name. It goes full circle until Adelaide actually apologizes. After sharing this lively alphabet, it might be fun to try to come up with an ABC story with different names and actions. Alternate with your child and involve other members of the family in telling an original story about people from A-Z. As always, Emberley's drawing of children are full or action and feeling, too.

PLAY IT!
What's in a Name Game

How many first names in alphabetical order can you and your kids come up with together? Play this cooperatively. One person comes up with a name and another peron has to come up with an action or noun that starts with the same letter as the name. i.e. If you say Alexandra...another person says.....ate apples. If one person says Billy...another person says bounced a basketball. Put your ideas together to make your own book with the names and actions you have come up with together.

A My Name Is Alice
Slightly older kids who are learning the names of the states and cities will like this classic jump rope or ball bouncing game.
A my name is Alice and my husbandís name is Al. We come from Alabama and we sell apples. B my name is Betty and my husbandís name is Ben. We come from Boston and we sell buttons. Etc. players keep jumping or bouncing for as long as the player can keep the names and places and products going in alphabetical order.
Next player comes in when the 1st player is stopped and continues with that letter.

Tell Me Five Game
This is a good game for the car. Tell me five things that you can eat that start with A. Tell me five things that you can find in the kitchen that start with B. etc

Shape Up ABC
Write capital letters on slips of paper that are folded and put in a bag. Player 1 pulls a slip and has to try to shape his body into that letter that others try to guess. This is a fun game that helps kids internalize in a sensory way the shape of the letters they are learning to write and read.

         A few years ago we published several books with suggested books and follow-up games that extend the book experience. One collection Read It! Play It! is for playing with babies and toddlers. The other is for preschool and early school years children. We also did a collection in Spanish, featuring books that were in Spanish or were bilingual. Click here to find the Read It! Play It! books.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Everything I Need To Know Before I'm Five
(by Valerie Fisher , Random House $17.99 Score:)

We like everything about this except the title and the pressure it conveys. A good many of the concepts in these pages should be introduced in playful ways during the preschool years, but they are by no means concepts that most children master before they are five. That said, the colorful photographs of small toys make learning the letter sounds and counting fun. There are pages dedicated to colors, opposites, counting and the alphabet. The book is marked 1-5; we'd say more like 4-6.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Help Me Learn Numbers 0-20
(by Jean Marzollo / photos by Chad Phillips, Holiday House $15.95 Score:)

Learning to count is just more fun when you do it with rhymes and colorful photographs. Share this with toddlers, counting together and talking about the toys and things to eat on the colorful pages. For them it will be a knowing and naming game. Slightly older kids will love the challenge of pointing to the pictures and counting the objects in each set. Designed to relate to the Common Core Standards for Early Childhood, the toys and rhymes combine to make this a playful way to lead kids to basic concepts needed for beginning math. 2-7

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Award
Shout! Shout it Out!
(Denise Fleming, Henry Holt $16.99 Score:)

Kids do love to shout and in this "knowing and naming" book, Fleming invites them to do exactly that. She starts with colorful numerals that kids are invited to shout the nnames of as you point. She moves on from there to the letters of the alphabet, colors, and finally animals. Kids that know these things will find it fun, no doubt to shout them out. Those who are still unsure will gain from the repetition and no doubt enjoy shouting what they do know. Though adults may want earplugs, kids love any excuse to shout and this one is just right for storytime sharing in class, library or home.

Play It!
Now Hear This!

Tell the players that you are going to clap out a number. They must wait till you put your hands down before they can shout it out. The first person to guess your number gets to clap next. With older players you can do simple math facts by clapping out 2 pause 2..players must shout out 2 + 2 is 4.

Things That Go Together
Play a fast round of things that go together. A leader begins the game by thinking of two things that go together, such as salt and pepper. The leader says "Salt" the first person to say "Pepper" becomes the leader. You can play a variation of this with opposites. The leader says one word and someone must shout out the opposite, as in yes/no or high/low.

           A few years ago we published several books with suggested books and follow-up games that extend the book experience. One collection Read It Play It is for playing with babies and toddlers. The other is for preschool and early school years children. We also did a collection in Spanish, featuring books that were in Spanish or were bilingual.

Click here to buy Read It! Play It!

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
100 Ways to Celebrate 100 Days!
(by Bruce Goldstone, Holt $16.99 Score:)

Schools often celebrate the 100th day of school with some sort of counting games. Here is a book full of photographs with 100 different ways to celebrate the big day. This is probably of most interest to early grade teachers, but for the math minded, it's an entertaining book. It's also an interesting book to look at in terms of how many ways one can show 100 objects and see how easy it is to count them by tens or fives or twos. As a concept book it may need some adult adding strategies.

Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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