"God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."
(1 Jn 4:16)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

May Picture Book Basket

"April showers bring May flowers."

We've been spending a lot of time in the garden. We are looking forward to spending more time watching seeds grow, tending to our flowers, and observing visitors. Therefore, I decided that May would be the perfect time to read the picture books below.

The Bee Tree
The Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco
Mary Ellen gets bored with her reading, so her grandfather takes her bee hunting.  As they bee hunt, others join Mary Ellen and Grandpa.  By the time Mary Ellen returns home, she has learned an important and sweet lesson.

The Children of Fatima by Frank Gaquere* (May 13)
This is an out-of-print book from my childhood. It tells the wonderful story of Our Lady's appearance in Fatima to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco Marto in words that appeal to children.

Dancers in the Garden
Dancers in the Garden by Joanne Ryder
Joanne Ryder does an excellent job depicting a day in the life of a hummingbird. Judith Lopez's watercolor illustrations complement the story nicely. A few hummingbird notes are included at the end of the story. After listening to this story, my children are looking forward to seeing the hummingbirds return to our garden. Some of them may have spied one last week.

The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
During the depression years, a young girl leaves her parents and grandmother to go and live with her uncle. The story is cleverly told through letters written by Lydia to her uncle and then to her parents and grandmother.

The Honey Makers
The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons
Gail Gibbons' non-fiction picture book is full of interesting information about honeybees.  Since reading this book, my nine-year-old has been as busy as a bee telling us about the bee's lifecycle, the parts of a bee, the role of worker bees and the Queen bee, and more.  The Honey Makers provides a wonderfully informative means of teaching children about bees.

Jack's Garden
Jack's Garden by Henry Cole
Jack's Garden is new to us.  Despite this fact, it is one of our favorite gardening books.  Henry Cole adapted the familiar "This is the House that Jack Built" to tell the delightful story of the garden that Jack planted.  The book begins with "This is the garden that Jack planted".  The next page reads, "This is the soil that made up the garden that Jack planted".  The illustrations in this book are equally delightful, appealing to readers young and old. Each one complements the rhyming words, showing the seeds, cloud structures, plants, bugs, and more in Jack's Garden.  I hope Jack's Garden eventually makes it's way into our home library.

Linnea's Windowsill Garden (Linnea books)
Linnea's Windowsill Garden (Linnea books) by Cristina Bjork
Cristina Bjork has filled this book with information on how to grow plants indoors, start them from fruit seeds, fight plant diseases, and more.  Linnea learns some wonderful tips from Mr. Bloom and in the process she gets a "green thumb".  Anyone who reads this book will most likely have a "green thumb" too.  Bjork's ideas can also be applied to outdoor plants.  I know that reading it made us want to bring some potted flowers indoors.  Geraniums and impatiens would add a lot of color.  My children have been enjoying looking at this book for ideas and are very tempted to try growing a tree from a fruit seed.  Enjoy!

The Little Caterpillar That Finds Jesus: A Parable of the Eucharist
The Little Caterpillar That Finds Jesus: A Parable of the Eucharist by Susan A. Brindle, Joan A. Bell, Miriam A. Lademan*
As a caterpillar sleeps in the petals of her favorite flower, the flower is picked and carried into the church to make a First Holy Communion flower bouquet. Once in the church, the caterpillar learns about "Mass, the Real Presence, and Adoration of the Eucharist". This has been a well-liked book in our house for many years. I highly recommend it and the coloring book.

Miss Rumphius
Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney*
I discovered this book when I was teaching pre-Kindegarten one summer. It is one of my children's favorite stories. Alice's grandfather tells her that she must do three things. The third and most difficult is to make the world more beautiful. Miss Rumphius' solution to the last challenge inspired us to plant lupines in our garden.

My Father's Hands
My Father's Hands by Joanne Ryder
This is a beautiful story of a young girl and her father who, as he gardens, shows her the many wonders that live in their yard.  She sees a worm, beetle, snail, and praying mantis in her father's hands.  She knows that "No one will ever bring" her "better treasures than the ones cupped in" her "father's hands."  My second eldest daughter had tears rolling down her cheeks when she finished reading this beautiful book.

Our Lady of Fatima by Fr. Lawrence G. Lovasik* (May 13)

Planting a Rainbow: Lap-Sized Board Book
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
A mother and child plant their annual red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple flowers to make a rainbow in their garden. After hearing this story, more than one of my children have wanted to plant flowers that show all the colors of the rainbow.

A "soft and gray and furry" pussycat searches for a year for the pussy willows after which he named himself.  He finally finds them when spring arrives again.
We have an older version of this book with illustrations by Leonard Weisgard which show a much fluffier cat. I have to say that I prefer the original illustrations.

The Rose in My Garden
The Rose in My Garden by Arnold Lobel
Arnold Lobel tells the story of the beautiful flowers, the bee, the mouse, and the cat in the garden.  In doing so, Lobel borrows from the familiar "This is the House that Jack Built", adding an unexpected ending to the story.  My children really enjoy this book and highly recommend it.

Tia Maria's Garden
Tia Maria's Garden by Ann Nolan Clark, illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
Sometimes it is nice to learn about an unfamiliar garden. Ann Nolans Clark does a wonderful job depicting a desert garden.  A child visits his aunt and explores the wonders of the Sonoran Desert, seeing chollas, prickly pear cacti, jackrabbits, and more.

The Tiny Seed (World of Eric Carle)
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
The wind carries seeds, including the tiny one, through the air. Some of the seeds meet with disaster along the way, but the tiny seed eventually lands and grows into a giant flower that eventually spreads its seeds in the air.

Wiggling Worms at Work has enhanced my children's earthworm fascination. It is full of interesting information about these wiggling creatures. Suggestions for an experiment and a project can be found at the back of the book.

Although not picture books per say, my children have also been spending many hours looking at (and reading) Sharon Lovejoy's Roots, Shoots, Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children and Sunflower Houses : Inspiration from the Garden - A Book for Children and Their Grown-Ups.

An asterisk next to a book indicates that it is one that belongs in our home library.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...