As a blogger, I’m often asked to review products, websites, articles and books. I am particular about what I say yes to and only post things I can honestly recommend.
Here are some great books for kids that I want to share with you, just in time for holiday giving, even with an early Hanukah this year. Full disclosure: I received complimentary review copies of these books.
Fife’s Lessons: The Tao of Cool
By Rob Degnan
Illustrated by Jason Robert LeClair
Third grader, Fife is cool, her parents are cool, but what happens when a new kid moves to town and is left out and made to feel, well, uncool.
Fife struggles with issues of fitting in, acceptance and ultimately learns the greatest lesson in kindness. The story guides readers to learn these lessons along with Fife, and some unspoken ones, too. More subtle lessons presented are how we never know what’s really going on in another person’s heart and head and how we all have strengths and weaknesses.
Fife learns that working together with someone who excels in different ways than she does can bring success and that a friendship can grow when one opens their mind and heart to another person.
Fife’s Lessons are just as important for adults as they are for kiddos! Welcome Fife and her friends into your home.
Bosley Builds a Treehouse – Dual Language Books
By Tim Johnson
Illustrated by Ozzy Esha
I’m a big believer in children learning another language, even if just being exposed to different words from other regions at a young age. I speak French and it’s an amazing feeling to be able to really converse in, dream in and make friends in a language that is not your primary dialect.
I love the Bosley Bear series of dual-language children’s book for the simplicity of it, (I even think it would be a great way for an adult to learn or brush up on a language). It has highlighted words, contextual vocabulary and labeled drawings for ease of understanding and gives line-by-line translations.
“Bosley Builds a Treehouse” and is the fourth in the “Bosley Bear”” series which have received excellent reviews from all over the world. The book is intended to teach young children new words and phrases and is available with dual-language translations in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.
Playing With Plays – Shakespeare for Kids
By Brendan Kelso
My kids have always been into putting on shows and plays and just acting dramatically, too. Ali played Mulan in the school performance of, well, Mulan, when she was in sixth grade (that’s how we discovered she could sing – really sing beautifully. That’s a blog post for another day). Anna is the one who’s constantly acting and who is my real thesbian. She enthusiastically joined every play from preschool on. She’s knocked it out of the park in her roles as an Oopa-Loompa, a Chinese villager, a royal family member and an aviator goose, but her superstar moment came when she was cast as Mowgli in Jungle Book in third grade.
Our kids love putting on shows for us to the point where we instituted some wise guidelines: Short and well-rehearsed. (Stay tuned, I’m writing a post on that), so when these books arrived for me to review, Anna scooped them up and disappeared with them. She’s settled on Macbeth and is directing a few neighborhood kids in their first Shakespeare performance.
I love that these books present Shakespeare in a way that is fun, meaningful and accessible to kids. What a perfect early exposure to the Bard. They also give three melodramatic modifications for each play for different group sizes including 9-10 actors, 11-14 or 15-20+ groups. Ideal for a teacher or someone who works with young children in an after school enrichment or drama program. I’m passing these along to our beloved local director.
Enjoy these great books for kids!