Thursday, August 30, 2012

Great Picture Books for Having Manners

Manners is a very important topic to emphasize as early as possible.  It is certainly not easy to teach young children how vital manners are, but these books have helped us quite a bit. We are constantly working on manners, but I pick some of these books up regularly from the library and that seems to help with this ongoing message.

Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller
Love, love, love this book!  I can not say enough good things about it.  It is silly - super silly.  But it gets us talking about some very important things.

Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners by Whoopi Goldberg, illustrated by Olo

This is another goofy book and some of the things (such as cell phone use) don't really apply to toddlers or early school-aged children.  But it is great fun and there are some great lessons in there.

How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food 
by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague
All of the dinosaur books (there are more than these two) from Jane Yolen are subtly teaching lessons.  If you talk about them as reading them, there are so many things to learn from these books.

Emily's Out and About Book by 
Cindy Post Senning & Peggy Post, illustrated by Leo Landry
Great book for introducing good manners and, while not as silly as the previous entries, still great for children.

The following books use animals in such a fun way that kids can't help but enjoy and learn some great lessons about manners at the same time:

Tissue, Please!
Excuse Me! by Lisa Kopelke

Please Say Please! : Penguin's Guide To Manners by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand

Time To Say Please! by Mo Willems

The Nice Book by
David Ezra Stein

The Golden Rule is really hand in hand with manners and these books portray it in a way that is very easy for children to comprehend:

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney 
A breathtakingly illustrated story with no words.  My children will "read" this story to me over and over.

The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper, illustrations by Gabi Swiatowska

The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule by 
Mike Berenstain, Stan Berenstain, Jan Berenstain

Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems

We love new books at our house - if you love any other literature on this topic, please share!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Great Picture Books for Going To Bed

Not that bedtime is a topic needed to improve behavior or teach morals, but I feel that naptime and bedtime are by far the most important times to read to our children.  We certainly should read books at other times or we run the risk that kids will dislike reading (because it must mean it is time to go to sleep!).  We have a very regular "quiet-time" and bedtime routine and it almost always works.  Last night we even had one fall asleep in the middle of a book!

Some of these books are classics, others are just our favorite finds that I love to share with people.  I love great art - the whimsical animals of Bedtime Hullaballo, the fantastical images of The Tickle Tree and the creative collages of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  

Many of these books we have read so often that we know them word for word, even 2 year old Camden.  We discovered them through our local library.  When we didn't want to take them back, and then borrowed them subsequent times, we occasionally decide to add some of our favorites to our permanent collection.  

By far, our family favorite at bedtime is...

If Animals Kissed Goodnight 
by Ann Whitford Paul, illustrated by David Walker
The rhythm and rhyme make for a great read.  Kids really enjoy seeing how animals may kiss goodnight - they even like to try some of the methods out!  

Ann Whitford Paul must adore a good bedtime story, because she has written other great bedtime books: Snail's Good Night, Little Monkey Says Good Night, and Owl at Night

Of course, I must mention Bedtime Hullaballoo by David Conway, illustrated by Charles Fuge - from our favorite author/illustrator. Also from Charles Fuge: I Know A Rhino and This Is The Way - these and If Animals Kissed Goodnight all are creative takes on childrens' stuffed animal friends. See more about these books in my first post - Our Absolute Favorite Author/Illustrator.

We love Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Kate Toms
The hand-stitched illustrations from Kate Toms are so creatively crafted, any of her books are worth checking out.  The added verses to this very traditional tune are wonderful as well.

The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
We love alphabet books and this is an excellent one!  Reinforce learning the ABC's while putting them to sleep.  Beautifully illustrated and wonderfully written.

Recent favorite finds: 
The Tickle Tree 

by Chae Strathie, illustrated by Poly Bernatene

Before I go to sleep 
by Ronne Randall and Tony Kerins

Interrupting Chicken 
by David Ezra Stein

by Karma Wilson, illustrated by John Segal

Best Bedtime Classics: 
Guess How Much I Love You 
by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram

Goodnight Moon 
by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd

The Napping House 
by Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood

Some nights when we need extra calming activities we have found wonderful interactive bedtime stories for our iPad: Goodnight SafariGrolly's Animal AdventuresMiss Spider's Bedtime Story, and Nighty Night! HDYou can find more information about these on my page Best Learning Books & App's.  

We love new books at our house - if you love any other literature on this topic, please share!