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Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: Kidsbooks

As I have mentioned a few times, I started my teaching career teaching first grade and taught it for four years before moving into technology. As a result, I have a love for children's books. As a kid, I loved book fair week and I loved when my teacher's sent home the monthly book order! I also spent hours in book stores and the library! My mother taught me the habit of reading before bed when I was very little and I have done it ever since. It's a habit I plan to pass on to W as well. As a result of my love for reading and books, I was so excited when Kidsbooks contacted me to be a sponsor of the I Love My Mommy Mother's Day event. I love sharing books with people and I was even more blessed to be asked to review four books from Kidsbooks!

Kidsbooks publishes fiction and non-fiction children's books and all titles are educationally sound and incorporate "fun" as a learning tool. I really appreciate this philosophy as it is similar to the one I had when I was teaching first grade. Now that I teach technology, the fun seems to be built in for most students, but in the general education classroom it can be a challenge to make certain necessary activities fun for some students. This is why I love the mission of Kidsbooks, where they believe that learning can be fun!

Kidsbooks is provided a wonderful book pack that included 4 titles for my I Love My Mommy Mother's Day Event. The books included in the package were Puppies Count, Rise & Shine, Search & Find: Winter, Spring, Summer, & Fall, and Search & Find: People, Places, & Things! We were lucky enough to have have the opportunity to review all 4 titles as well.

Puppies Count teaches kids to count as they read about puppies playing and getting into trouble! The rhyming text and wonderful illustrations will keep your child engaged in the story!

Rise & Shine follows the animals of the farm as they wake up for the day. This book also has wonderful rhyming text and beautiful illustrations. It features a variety of baby animals and if your child is anything like W, he already loves animals!

Search & Find: Winter, Spring, Summer, & Fall is one of the wonderful Search & Find titles offered by Kidsbooks. I love the vocabulary building possibilities of these titles. Search & Find: Winter, Spring, Summer, & Fall explores the four seasons and introduces children to the vocabulary associated with each season and other objects in the scene. The brightly colored illustrations are spectacular. These books will be good for younger children who are just learning new words up through the older preschoolers who can then search for the objects in each illustration!

Search & Find: People, Places, & Things is another wonderful Search & Find title. It explores familiar settings such as rooms within a house and introduces vocabulary for each setting. It also features animal characters which are a hit with most children!

My first impressions of our Kidsbooks books were that they are generously sized! I prefer children's books to be larger in size because then the illustrations are generally larger as well. I have run into some books that are large and end up having a lot of text and smaller illustrations, but this was not the case with our books from Kidsbooks! The books are large in size and the illustrations are large, filling the entire page on each page. In the Search & Find books there illustrations are brightly colored and labeled with bold print. In Puppies Count and Rise & Shine, the illustrations fill the pages and are very realistic which I appreciate since the stories are about animals. These books made a wonderful first impression on me.

The Search & Find books will be amazing when W is older as they will definitely help develop vocabulary and will also grow with him. For now he has enjoyed chewing on the cover and pages as it is like a giant board book. I’ve enjoyed going through the book and pointing out a few parts of each illustration and naming them for him. In the future, he will be able to do the searching himself and I think it is something he will enjoy. Students in my first grade classes always enjoyed my I Spy books and these have a similar feel although the reader is searching for more than just the matching picture. The read is also looking for the label. I like the idea that it will help W identify matching text. These books will definitely be on his shelf for a few years! They feel durable enough to last that long and perhaps they will even last through multiple children! That will be the true test of a good book!

W enjoyed looking through both of the Search & Find books and was actually interested for a very good stretch of time. He is in the stage where anything around him easily steals his attention but the books were large enough and colorful enough to allow us to sit together for almost ten minutes looking at them both. I hope these become some of his favorite books but only time will tell.

We’ve also read Puppies Count and Rise & Shine a few times now. These books do not feature the board book type pages but they do feature very simple text with illustrations that are more realistic than cartoonish. Although I don’t mind books where the characters are drawn in more of an animated style, it is nice to have some where the animals resemble what they really look like. This will help W identify them in real life in the future.

W enjoyed Puppies Count because he seems to be interested in any of our books that feature dogs. He will also stare at our dogs when they walk by or come near him. When we’re holding him, he will do anything to turn to see the dogs if one of them is anywhere nearby. Who cares about Mommy when Toby and Murray are around! I try not to take it personally because our dogs are pretty cute. But back to the point... W has sat through Puppies Count more than a few times now and we have made it through the entire story each time. He does try to eat the book so I have to be careful to protect the pages but that’s not a surprise!

Both Puppies Count and Rise & Shine have simple text that will be wonderful when W is older and reaches the beginning reader stage. The text is mostly made up of sight words (words used most often in the English language) that are on my school district’s Kindergarten and 1st Grade sight word lists. This means these books will be books that W will be able to read early on and find success. If there is one thing I’ve learned in teaching children to read it’s that a feeling of success can make a child’s confidence soar. Once they have the confidence and believe in themselves as readers, they are ready to go! I feel that these two titles from Kidsbooks will definitely benefit W in this way and I’m excited to have them as part of his library!

I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to review these titles from Kidsbooks and I would recommend them to anyone who is looking for some quality, affordable children’s books. They are durable and engaging, which are two extremely important factors when buying books for children. Trust me, you don’t want to be breaking out the packing tape for book repair too often. I can tell you that from experience! I don’t think we’ll be needing much repair work on these books even if W is still reading them when he is 5 or 6!

1 comment:

  1. Great choices! I am a children's picture book author as well and am following you for the Super Stalker hop. Thanks for hosting. Follow back when you get the chance:



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