Written and Illustrated by Tracey M. Cox
In a world where people still question what good math is, this brand new counting book brings counting and color recognition right into the real world. All the children in the text has access to a bowl of bubble gum balls. In turn, each child picks out the balls of the color he or she wants. Cox shows the bowl and lets the reader count the balls of that color in the bowl, among the other colors. The child then blows a bubble matching the ball color and growing progressively bigger with each new number. The highly repetitive text is perfect for younger children and makes independent reading a strong possibility, especially for first graders. Reading activities can definitely include more counting in dishes. Coins, colored blocks, or jelly beans.
The simple style of the illustrations enhances the simple concepts presented in the text. These are concepts that provide a solid foundation for future learning. Even the amusing author photo at the end has a great big bubble the author presumably blew. Do we know how many gum balls she chewed?
- Title: Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum in a Dish
- Author/Illustrator: Tracey M. Cox
- Published: Guardian Angel Publishing, 2016
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Paperback, 32 pages
- Grade Level: PreK to 1
- Genre: Nonfiction, Counting, Colors
- ISBN: 9781616337711
Written and Illustrated by Jo Weaver
Mother Bear comes out of her cave in the spring with a sleepy, staggering cub by her side. It is a quiet story of looking around our huge wonderful world to see all the wonderful things the world has to offer. But this book offers very little. It is just about a walk in the woods, being gentle with friends then returning to the cave for another long sleep.
Nothing happens as far as plot. The cub is just a follow along character except for his one try at catching a fish. While it is as comfortable as a quiet walk with a friend, it is a very slow book for young, energetic readers. Save this one for right before nap or bedtime.
There is a tiny reference to the changing seasons, but the book is done entirely in black and white so only the words convey any passage of time. The artist used black charcoal to make interesting images, and stunning backgrounds. They almost look stamped upon the rough textured background. The book does have very heavy paper which probably adds to its high price.
While this is an interesting book to peruse, it is not recommended for school or library purchase due to its high price and low expectancy for being reread. It really would not satisfy any core curriculum standards for teachers or librarians. Parents might be able to use it for a quieting down kind of story.
- Title: Little One
- Author/Illustrator: Jo Weaver
- Publisher: Peachtree, 2016
- Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
- Format: Hardcover, 24 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-56145-924-7
- Genre: Picture Book
- Grade level: PreK to 1
Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
A lot of themes swirl around in this touching tale of a father and son. Raj was attracted to the piano even before he could reach the pedals.
Raj noticed that he could mix the notes the way he mixed his watercolors.
His father loved the sound of his song so much that he got Raj a teacher and encouraged practice. The song changed so much that the piano eventually fell silent. Raj went to live and work in the city but returned when his father fell ill. All the father wanted was the song that Raj had lost as a boy.
Raj’s father closed his eyes and savored the lingering notes.
Beautifully and lovingly illustrated, this book almost plays the song for the reader. It speaks to the love between father and son and of music coming from the heart. First graders will love being shown that they can create unfettered.
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- Title: Playing from the Heart
- Author/Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds
- Published: Candlewick Press, 2016
- Reviewer: Sue Poduska
- Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
- Grade Level: K up
- Genre: Picture book, Family
- ISBN: 978-0-7636-7892-0