Wednesday, January 28, 2015

29th January Curmudgeon's Day

It is Curmudgeon Day? Why do we need a day for curmudgeons? You may well ask what is a curmudgeon anyway? Well a curmudgeon is someone who is bad-tempered, difficult or cantankerous.

To celebrate this day you don't need to be grumpy or make others grumpy, just read this clever story, C.R. Mudgeon and have a good discussion about what can be done to help any curmudgeonly people the children know, and hope that the word 'curmudgeon' is added to their rich vocabulary.

Here is a synopsis of the story:
"A set-in-his-ways hedgehog gets a new worldview--and a new friend along the way. C.R. Mudgeon, a sensible hedgehog, likes knowing just what to expect. Always. No surprises, no excitement. So when a noisy new neighbour, Paprika the squirrel, arrives, C.R. Mudgeon is even less cheerful than normal. The sights! The sounds! The peppery, fiery smells! Everything about Paprika is just too much to handle, and C.R. is aching, sneezing, and seeing spots. But everyone needs quiet "sometimes," and when that time comes, C.R. Mudgeon will have just the thing for a new friend in need. And as for himself, he may even discover that a little spice is just what the doctor ordered! Nuanced, joyful humour permeates the pages of this heartwarming picture book that will make even the littlest, grumpiest curmudgeons want to jump up and dance!"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

27th January Chocolate Cake Day

There are a large number of picture books that feature cake and I have written about it before, but today I want to talk about a book that is very popular with my preschoolers. It is the first book in a wonderful series about Betty Bunny written by Michael Kaplan. It is called Betty Bunny Loves Chocolate Cake. Betty Bunny is the youngest in her family and she is beginning to assert herself and make proclamations. She is hard to resist and preschoolers certainly align themselves to her. The story also has depth and touches on healthy eating and the importance of restraint and patience.

"But Betty Bunny doesn't want patience, she wants chocolate cake! In this funny tribute to chocolate lovers (and picky eaters), Betty Bunny's charming perspective on patience will be recognisable to anyone with a preschooler in their life."

Another book for preschoolers about chocolate cake is Tiberius and the Chocolate Cake by Keith Harvey and while this is not great literature when compared to something like Helen Oxenbury's cake making in It's My Birthday, it depicts a situation all to common to cake making with lots of helpers and the children laugh when they finally work out why the cake is so small.

I'm off to a birthday party today. Wonder if there'll be chocolate cake!

Friday, January 16, 2015

16th January Appreciate a Dragon Day

There are hundreds of great picture books and junior novels for the dragon-loving reader, so it is very hard to favour just a few when celebrating Appreciate a Dragon Day

If you want a general dragon picture book with magnificent illustrations though you can't go past Tell Me a Dragon by Jackie Morris. And although there are many more recent titles I still love The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Grahame and the edition with Inga Moore's illustrations makes it very accessible to young children.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

15th January Hat Day

It is National Hat Day in the US. It is not Hat Day in Australia until October, but whenever it is you will not believe just how many picture books feature hats. See my pinterest page and have fun deciding which is your favourite hat book. These are two very recent titles that you may not know: