Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zog by Julia Donaldson - #atozchallenge

I need to begin and end any good thing (related to kid's books) with Julia Donaldson. Z LOVES Zog, and it is a part of Z's top 3 Julia Donaldson books. You can read the review of the book here

Z loves Donaldson, dragons and school... hence Z is completely obsessed with the book. She reads the book every single day and within a week she has memorized the book already. She reads the book on her own throughout the day. My (our) favorite line in the book is "Don’t rescue me, I won’t go back to being a princess, And prancing round the palace in a silly frilly dress"

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for Yummy Yucky - #atozchallenge

This was the first book of Leslie Patricelli that Z was introduced to. She still loves it and has read it so many times by now that she doesn't need me besides her to read the book. Yummy Yucky also introduces kids to the concept of eating right and what should not be eaten.

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for our 'X-Mas' book - #atozchallenge

Our favorite X-Mas read is Snowmen at Christmas, it tells a story about a snowmen coming to life on X-mas eve... and how he goes to meet his snowmen friends and has a blast. She loves the illustrations, its another thing she has been requesting us to make a real snowman. How to do that in Bangalore, we need to figure that out. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is for Where the Wild Things Are- #atozchallenge

For me Where the Wild Things are is no less than a masterpiece. written by Maurice Sendack. I read it as a child, and I feel blessed my parents introduced me to such wonderful books.The book shows. just a few words can create magical stories. It tells us a story about a boy call Max, who creates a ruckus after wearing a wolf costume. A jungle suddenly appears in his bedroom... and magic begins. He goes sailing and finds the 'Wild Things' or beasts. He becomes the king of the Wild Things. What Max decides post that?

Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for 'Velveteen Rabbit' - #atozchallenge

A book which I read as a child and still read in the book club for other kids. 

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real. It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

These lines never leave me, since I first read the book. A must read!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is for Ulat Pulat (Topsy Turvy) - Wacky Wednesday - #atozchallenge

I read Topsy Turvy by Pratham Books to Z the other day, it is called 'Ulat-Palat' in Hindi. From the first page I couldn't help but notice, its similarity with one of Z's favorite by Seuss Wacky Wednesday. Z loves Wacky Wednesday, but she didn't like Topsy Turvy a lot (though she loves Pratham Books). Go to the link above and you can read Topsy Turvy... do you also see the similarity?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

T is for Tabby McTat - #atozchallenge

Yes, another book by our favorite Julia Donaldson - Tabby McTat, you can see the detailed review here. Z loves the book, and this one was gifted to her by her aunt.  I did hear a lot about the book from parents of older kids and when I did read about Julia Donaldson's work Tabby McTat was always mentioned. When I went through the book for the first time, I thought Z is going to take a few more months to get hooked on to this one. Guess what? I was totally wrong.

S is for Shel Silverstien #atozchallenge

An amazing writer of some beautiful books. He told the media how difficult it was to get one of his books published. "“Everybody loved it, they were touched by it, they would read it and cry and say it was beautiful. But . . . one publisher said it was too short. . . . Some thought it was too sad. Others felt that the book fell between adult and children's literature and wouldn't be popular. It took me four years before Ursula Nordstrom, the legendary Harper & Row editor, decided to publish it. She even let him keep the sad ending, because life, you know, has pretty sad endings. You don't have to laugh it up even if most of my stuff is humorous.” The book Silverstien was referring to was The Giving Tree. We started our book club this season celebration Shel Silverstien & we had a blast. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

R is for Read-Aloud - #atozchallenge

As a mother some read aloud moments make me so happy... maybe other moms might think I'm berserk as this is nothing great. For me it was an awesome moment. I read to Z every day and when I read aloud I point to pictures and ask Z what she thinks is happening. This happened on our holiday to Kanpur last October. My nephew and Z love books, and this love for books make their bond deeper. All the relatives were sitting outside, and I realized Z hasn't come looking out for me for over an hour. I went looking for her. I heard my nephew reading aloud (he is a beginning reader, so more of it was pretend reading). I peeked inside the room and saw Z sitting with Z (my nephew) as he read aloud Room on the Broom and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I had tears in my eyes. That was the best read-aloud I have ever witnessed. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quiet Loud - #atozchallenge

We love Leslie Patricelli and Z was introduced to her books when she was a few months old and she loves em. Quiet Loud is one of her most favorite written by Patricelli. Z was introduced to the concept of indoor and outdoor voice by this book. You should see her read the book her tone of voice goes from Loud to quiet on every page.

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for P.D. Eastman #atozchallenge

We talked about Big Dog Little Dog yesterday and that brings me to P.D Eastman or Philip Dey "Phil" Eastman. He wrote many books under the Dr. Seuss brand. He had a distinct style and narrative. The first Eastman book we read was Are You My Mother? and we fell in love with the book instantly. We have loved his work we have read - Go, Dog. Go!, Red, Stop! Green, Go!, Big Dog...Little Dog. He also illustrated some books out of which we have read I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for 'Opposites' - Big Dog Little Dog Style #atozchallenge

I don’t buy 'story' books for Z so that she could learn something. The only thing I want to do is quench her thirst for good story books and help her explore more and more books. Big  Dog Little Dog by PD Eastman is different. This amazing book by PD Eastman is great for vocabulary of the child, but more than that it helped Z understand the concept of OPPOSITES in a fun manner.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Night Time Reading #atozchallenge

Drum Rolls Please.... And we cross the half way mark in the #atozchallenge.

Our theme for the month of April is Goodnight Sleep Tight in Tale in a Mail. And here are some books that we sent.

Night Time Reading is the best time Z and Mom spend together in bed. The little girl doesn't stop when we start reading one book after another.  We don't have one favorite bedtime story, we just LOVE reading lots and lots and lots of books at night.

What is your favorite Bedtime Story?

Image Courtesy - Google

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Mother for Choco - #atozchallenge

I can never get enough of Mother for Choco and neither can Z. It is a beautiful heartwarming story, which will make you ask for more when you finish reading the last page. Choco is a small yellow bird who goes on a lookout for his mom. He goes to every possible animal but no one is ready to become 'Mother for Choco'. In the end it is Mrs. Bear who gives him the love he needs along with three more adopted kids. 

Here you can see what the book is all about and how beautiful it is. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Love you Forever - Robert Munsch #atozchallenge

Love you Forever by Robert N. Munsch is another one of the earlier books I introduced to Z. When I read it for the first time. I was all dew eyed and wanted to hug my mom and Z together. I didn’t know if Z will understand it, but she fell in love with the book from the word go. The story of Munsch the person is also AMAZING... he had bipolar disorder and addiction issues. 'In 2008, Munsch suffered a stroke that affected his ability to speak in normal sentences. He has recovered enough that he is able to perform live, but has put his writing career on hold until he is fully recovered.' My God, I never thought there would be such a story behind such a beautiful writer...

Love the journey

From here....

....To here

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Day 11 - Tent Fun #60Days60Activities

Today being weekend our #60Days60Activities is all the more fun as daddy is at home. We decided to make a fun hangout for Z to enjoy at home. All we needed was 3 chairs, a bed-sheet and floor mat and we were sorted. We kept Z's favorite stuff toys in the 'tent' and Z and dad spent more than half an hour in their space. Z made up a story and was narrating it to dad as well. 

K is for Kukku from Junior Kumbhakarna #atozchallenge

Z was introduced to Indian publications pretty late, at 2.5 years, it was just because I didn't read many books published in India as a child, back then there were hardly any good kid's books published in India barring a few.

Book: Junior Kumbhakarna
Author: Arundhati Venkatesh

Why I picked it and what was my Reaction: I usually pick up a lot of Tulika books now, I love them. Having met Arundhati Venkatesh earlier I wanted to pick this up (and thank good I did). I loved the brief at the back of the book (if you talk about sleep and laddus, I won't be able to resist anything). So I had more than just one reason to pick Junior Kumbhakarna.

The Toddler's take: Z's eyes lit when she saw the book, usually Fizz makes Z go to bed and she could relate with the story from the first page. When she realized Kukku wants to hear the same story again, her first reaction was - Mum, like Gruffalo. Z and me laugh through the book when we read it. And now its become a part of Z's 'Read it once again' list.

What it is about: Kukku wants to listen to Kumbhakarna story 'yet again' and his dad narrates just that. A story about Kumbhakarna and his slumber, no one can way him up. Kukku, like Kumbhakarna falls asleep and dreams about Kumbhakarna.

How We Read it: We read through the pages and discuss what has been shown on the pages (she loves the beautiful illustrations by Shreya Sen).

I do not read a lot of mythologies to Z, but this one is an exception.

Thanks Arundhati and Shreya for Junior Kumbhakarna

Friday, April 11, 2014

Day10 - Playdough Letter Press Activity #60Days60Activities

Today Z insisted on doing something she had tried before and we have already blogged about it - Playdough Letter Press Activity.

You would need Play-dough, alphabets (magnetic, wooden, plastic any kind of alphabets cutouts), I also use a tray but this is optional.

Zoe loves playing with her phonics and numbers, she loves play-dough as well so this was a sure-shot hit for her. For Zoe I just use random alphabets, though now she does blend some CVCs like Sat, Bat Sit. I add lots of playdough on the tray, I use a lighter colour (as you can see in the picture) so that the letter traced is easily visible. The moment Zoe prints a letter she goes "Momma, look what Zoe made". She can easily stay busy with Letter Press Activity for a few minutes at a go... which is huge for a preschooler.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

J for Julia Donaldson - #atozchallenge

Yes… we have said it a million times and we will say it again. JULIA DONALDSON IS OUR FAMILY FAVORITE. So not only Z, but even Fizz and me just adore her. The 1st Donaldson we read was The Gruffalo and we keep on buying new Donaldson books again and again and again. We cannot get enough of her. And its good that Z has a favorite author pretty early in life. She comes to know it is a Julia Donaldson book... especially the ones illustrated by Axel Scheffler... they are indeed a match made in heaven :)

Day9 - Stamp Painting #60Days60Activities

We recently bought a stamp painting set from ToyKraft and today Z and mom did that. I love the stuff ToyKraft has, Z's first finger painting set was from them and that was when she was 18 months. We have had a lot of stuff from ToyKraft and we have loved them. This set consists 6 paints (suitable for finger painting as well), sponge shapes, paint brush, pictures and extra bottles for paint.

I for I Can Read series - Penguin - #atozchallenge

I love I can read books by Penguin. They are perfect for beginning readers. With repetitive text and simple words they are the perfect choice. You can choose various levels and sub-levels.

I use some of these books for my reading sessions as well, works well with beginning readers.

H for How do Dinosaurs say Goodnight - #atozchallenge

How do Dinosaurs say Goodnight a beautiful book by Jane Yolen is a super bedtime story. Which asks you what do you think dinosaurs do at night, when it is bed time. It is a fun, endearing, mischievous, adventurous book. The book gives you a fun peek into the life of Dinosaurs.

‘How does a dinosaur say good night
when Papa comes in to turn off the light?
Does a dinosaur slam his tail and pout?
Does he throw his teddy bear all about?’

In the end you are told, nothing like this happens, dinos give mum and dad a big hug and a goodnight kiss. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 8: Phonics /t/ #60Days60Activities

We reached the 3rd sound today /t/, Z can now actually blend CVCs, considering she isn't even 3.5, it is a big achievement... and she has learned this only because she is interested in mastering all her phonics. 

We heard the /t/ story, sang the /t/ song, blended the sounds we have learned to form s-a-t. We also traced, had a tea party, and played with our tambourine. We ended the session with Z walking on her tippy toes.

G for Gruffalo - - #atozchallenge

Ahh… how can I come to 'G' and think of anything but Gruffallo. Z's favorite favorite…most favorite book. I have never come across any child or any parent who does not like Gruffalo. The tale of a small might mouse who not only smartly strongly and intelligently faces all dangers he comes across. Even a big Gruffalo... You should see Z's face glow when we start "The Mouse took a stroll in the Deep Dark Wood..." she knows the story by heart, and pretends narrate it.

You can read BZM review here

Monday, April 7, 2014

Day 7: Get Active Day Again #60Days60Activities

Today, Z and ma did something that the both of us love. We put on some music (read rhymes) and we danced for a good 40 minutes. We were both so engrossed in dancing that I forgot to click any pictures. Over the weekend we got Z her 1st electronic toy, yes we are pretty outdated (if you'd like to say that... but that is how it is). It's a Leapfrog Phonic Factory and she loves playing with it, though she doesn't spend more than10-15 minutes with her new friend.

F is for Fanny - #atozchallenge

Fanny is a beautiful book about a sweet little girl called Fanny. Written by Holly Hobbie, this is a book about a little girl called Fanny, who wants a Connie Doll (like all her friends). Her mom doesn't want to buy a Connie Fanny, as Connie doll isn't appropriate for young girls. Then Fanny makes a doll for herself, and calls her Annabelle. Annabelle is far from the 'Oh-so-perfect' Connie, but it is perfect, as Fanny made Annabelle herself. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Day 6: Get Active Day #60Days60Activities

As I had mentioned, weekdays are for active play. Today was just for that... Z went for her first Kinderdance class, and it will be an understatement if I say she loved her class. I hope the timing of the class match with my schedule. I really want Z to join Kinderdance as she enjoyed walking on her 'tippy toes' and forming butterflies with her legs. 

We had more activity in store for Z, we went to Ulsoor lake and Z had fun running around. 

Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures today.

E is for Extra Yarn - #atozchallenge

I had thought of Eric Carle but then decided to pick a new favorite of Z. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, with beautiful illustrations by Jon Klassan.

It is a beautiful book about a little girl called Annabelle, and a magical box of yarn she has. The brilliant words by Barnett and the amazing illustrations by Jon Klassan are perfect.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Day 5: /a/ Phonic Sound #60Days60Activities

So today was day two of Phonics and the next sound was /a/. We revised our first sound /s/ and then moved on to the new sound.

We began with the /a/ story followed by a song and then Z traced her /a/ in the finger phonics book. We followed that with 'find the /a/ sound' game.

After the game, Z made /a/ in the air and on her board with water and cotton swabs.

We finished it up with playdoh fun where Z made /a/ and ants on her arm (which was a scene in the story and the /a/ phonic song is also about 'ants on my arm')