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Home > GreenSense Directory > Books > Kid's Books > Learning Fun

GreenSense Directory

Learning Fun

As a homeschooling parent, I'm always on the lookout for books that are both fun and educational. The following books all develop a child's logic and thinking skills, while tickling their funny bones at the same time. These four are among my all time favorites, I guess because I find them so engaging myself. These are books to return to again and again. You will find something new each time.

New

10 Minutes till Bedtime - - by Peggy Rathmann G.P. Putnam's sons, 1998. A richly illustrated count-down book, with lots of jokes and action on every page. This very clever going to bed book will keep even the weariest parent awake at the end of a long day. The text, which is deceptively simple, is about a young boy going through his bedtime rituals while his father counts down the minutes. The illustrations, which is where all the action is, show busloads and carloads of hampsters coming to take the 10 Minute Bedtime Tour as advertised on the internet by the boy's very own pet hamster. This entreprenuerial rodent, dressed in a tiny tour guide's hat and coat and equipped with a megaphone, leads the way through snack, potty, bath and story while dozens of fun loving little hamsters make the most of their adventure. At the heart of the action is a hamster family with ten children, each with a distinctive personality and identified by a number from one to ten. On the very last page, when the boy and all the little hamsters are peacefully snoozing , the mother hamster sits quietly in the hamster cage, talking to the father hamster and knitting a jumpsuit labeled number 11. The more time you spend with this book the more you will see and the more little story lines you will find to follow. Kids love finding their favorite little hamsters hidden in the crowd on each page. This is a book to go back to again and again.

Bears on Wheels - - by Stan and Jan Berenstain Random House, 1969. A funny early counting book that emphasizes sets rather than sequences. This is the counting book for your intellectual baby. Designed to appeal to the very young, it is unique among hundreds of number books marketed for this age group because it shows kids how to look at numbers in sets rather than in sequence. The clever and amusing interactions between sets of bears and sets of wheels will captivate older preschoolers as well and can stimulate some discussion about basic math concepts. Of course the bears are completely funny and entertaining in their own right as they go through various mishaps. This book has super kid appeal.

Caps For Sale - - by Esphyr Slobodkina HarperCollins Publishers, 1940 1968. A sleepy peddler has his caps stolen by a band of mischeivous monkeys. I remember this much loved classic from my own childhood as one of the books my sister learned to read on ( She was definitely a child who required a whole language approach and in a era when phonics reigned supreme she was lucky enough to have an experienced teacher who recognized her needs.) I bought it for my own son when he was pre-verbal and he responded enthusiastically to the simple, high contrast illustrations, the repetitive nature of the text , and of course, at the heart of the appeal of this book, those silly monkeys. This book celebrates a young child's natural learning style which is, as every parent knowes, imitation. As the peddler gets madder and madder his behavior gets more extreme and the monkeys just follow along, imitating everything he does. And your little one will be shaking her finger and stamping her feet right along with them. Even if she can't talk yet.

Where's Wallace - - by Hilary Knight Harper & Row, Publishers, 1964. A charmingly illustrated puzzle book where you must find Wallace, an orangatan, concealed in busy and entertaining panoramas. Wallace is a fun loving orangatan who is very happy with his home in the zoo. Except sometimes. Sometimes, Wallace gets an urge to get out and see the world. Luckily his keeper feels the same way, and has a habit not only of putting ideas in Wallace's head of fun destinations, but also of leaving his cage unlocked. Of course, each time Wallace escapes, his keeper must chase after him and bring him back, but not without tasting the pleasures of the outside world alittle first.Each destination ( the circus, the seaside, the baseball game, etc.) is shown as a double page panorama, with Wallace hidden somewhere among the throngs of people who are doing all sorts of silly and entertaining things. There is an additional cast of characters to search for who appear on every page. The text is very sweet and emphasizes Wallace's loving relationship with his keeper. The illustrations are just loaded with fun and joy. This is quite a lengthy book to read from cover to cover, good for older picture book listeners, but the panoramas can be enjoyed by even the youngest child.

***

10 Minutes till Bedtime - - by Peggy Rathmann G.P. Putnam's sons, 1998. A richly illustrated count-down book, with lots of jokes and action on every page. This very clever going to bed book will keep even the weariest parent awake at the end of a long day. The text, which is deceptively simple, is about a young boy going through his bedtime rituals while his father counts down the minutes. The illustrations, which is where all the action is, show busloads and carloads of hampsters coming to take the 10 Minute Bedtime Tour as advertised on the internet by the boy's very own pet hamster. This entreprenuerial rodent, dressed in a tiny tour guide's hat and coat and equipped with a megaphone, leads the way through snack, potty, bath and story while dozens of fun loving little hamsters make the most of their adventure. At the heart of the action is a hamster family with ten children, each with a distinctive personality and identified by a number from one to ten. On the very last page, when the boy and all the little hamsters are peacefully snoozing , the mother hamster sits quietly in the hamster cage, talking to the father hamster and knitting a jumpsuit labeled number 11. The more time you spend with this book the more you will see and the more little story lines you will find to follow. Kids love finding their favorite little hamsters hidden in the crowd on each page. This is a book to go back to again and again.

Bears on Wheels - - by Stan and Jan Berenstain Random House, 1969. A funny early counting book that emphasizes sets rather than sequences. This is the counting book for your intellectual baby. Designed to appeal to the very young, it is unique among hundreds of number books marketed for this age group because it shows kids how to look at numbers in sets rather than in sequence. The clever and amusing interactions between sets of bears and sets of wheels will captivate older preschoolers as well and can stimulate some discussion about basic math concepts. Of course the bears are completely funny and entertaining in their own right as they go through various mishaps. This book has super kid appeal.

Caps For Sale - - by Esphyr Slobodkina HarperCollins Publishers, 1940 1968. A sleepy peddler has his caps stolen by a band of mischeivous monkeys. I remember this much loved classic from my own childhood as one of the books my sister learned to read on ( She was definitely a child who required a whole language approach and in a era when phonics reigned supreme she was lucky enough to have an experienced teacher who recognized her needs.) I bought it for my own son when he was pre-verbal and he responded enthusiastically to the simple, high contrast illustrations, the repetitive nature of the text , and of course, at the heart of the appeal of this book, those silly monkeys. This book celebrates a young child's natural learning style which is, as every parent knowes, imitation. As the peddler gets madder and madder his behavior gets more extreme and the monkeys just follow along, imitating everything he does. And your little one will be shaking her finger and stamping her feet right along with them. Even if she can't talk yet.

Where's Wallace - - by Hilary Knight Harper & Row, Publishers, 1964. A charmingly illustrated puzzle book where you must find Wallace, an orangatan, concealed in busy and entertaining panoramas. Wallace is a fun loving orangatan who is very happy with his home in the zoo. Except sometimes. Sometimes, Wallace gets an urge to get out and see the world. Luckily his keeper feels the same way, and has a habit not only of putting ideas in Wallace's head of fun destinations, but also of leaving his cage unlocked. Of course, each time Wallace escapes, his keeper must chase after him and bring him back, but not without tasting the pleasures of the outside world alittle first.Each destination ( the circus, the seaside, the baseball game, etc.) is shown as a double page panorama, with Wallace hidden somewhere among the throngs of people who are doing all sorts of silly and entertaining things. There is an additional cast of characters to search for who appear on every page. The text is very sweet and emphasizes Wallace's loving relationship with his keeper. The illustrations are just loaded with fun and joy. This is quite a lengthy book to read from cover to cover, good for older picture book listeners, but the panoramas can be enjoyed by even the youngest child.

 

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