Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Gaggle of Mother Gooses


I believe that every child ought to be exposed to Mother Goose. These poems and witty rhyming tales have been passed down for hundreds of years, and are an integral part of Western culture. Because they rhyme, they are easy pieces for young children to memorize. Preschoolers really ought to be memorizing as much as possible- their brains are so fresh and capable, and information stored permanently now will assist and benefit them for a life time. Most of the tales present a moral or important truth, excellent education for young minds.

But where to begin? There are many, many options out there. Since the rhymes are practically ancient, texts are all basically identical. Find a copy with illustrations that you and your child love.

Here are a few we like around here.


My Very First Mother Goose, edited by Iona Opie and illustrated by Rosemary Wells. I really like the work of Rosemary Wells {of Max and Ruby fame}, though I understand that not everyone is partial. My daughter loves the bright animal illustrations. We read this one the most frequently at our house.


The Glorious Mother Goose, selected by Cooper Edens. This 1988 edition features artwork from the 1800s and early 1900s, with several different pictures for each rhyme. I love to note the differences in depictions, and old illustrations are just my cup of tea.


The Original Mother Goose, based on the 1916 classic with pictures by Blanche Fisher Wright. I really really like the illustrations in this edition. Ladies in bonnets with quaint and delicate features, pink cheeked cherub babies, old hags with huge noses, and charming victorian printed curtains and bed skirts. My grandmother got it for S one Christmas, and it is a definite keepsake.

For younger readers with shorter attention spans, Mary Engelbreit has put out several smaller board book collections. Funny Mother Goose, Happy Mother Goose, Silly Mother Goose, etc. We've checked several of them out from the library. If you're a fan, definitely grab a copy :)!


Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

Mo Willems


So you know when an author just really gets kids, but also really gets parents? And while your little one is getting into a story and really enjoying it, you are actually having fun {with the story itself, and not just the act of reading together} too?

You have to read Mo Willems.

A prolific children's author, and winner of several Caldecott Honors, Mo Willems just gets it, if you know what I mean. And he's produced, and is still producing. tons of awesome titles to give you and your kiddos plenty of quality reading material.

His Elephant and Piggie books remind me of a modern day Frog and Toad. Pigeon is hee-larious, Knuffle Bunny is so relatable, Cat the Cat strikes a chord with its off-beat humor, and Amanda and Her Alligator is heartwarmingly adorable. So much good stuff.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Go check out some Mo Willems at your local library today. You can thank me later ;).


Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Are You My Mother?, by P.D. Eastman {1960}


I can still remember my mother reading Are You My Mother? to me as a little girl. My own daughter loves to read it with me now, and pretty much every construction/utility vehicle we see, from crane to tow truck, is a "snort". We'll see if my son can identify these vehicles more specifically at age three... but my little girl couldn't care less. "Snort" is a technical enough name for her ;).

Plot. When her egg begins to hatch, Mama Bird decides she better quickly run off and get some food for her new baby. While she is gone, Baby Bird is born, and decides to go looking for his mom. On the hunt he meets many different animals... none of which is his mother. Finally he gets scooped up by a digger, and dropped precisely where he belongs: back in his nest. Just in time for his Mother to return!

Author. Philip Dey Eastman was a protege and colleague of Dr. Seuss himself.

Educational Opportunities. Look at pictures of moms and babies. Have your child identify which baby animal goes with a cow, a dog, a bird, etc. Talk about baby birds- how they come in eggs, hatch,  where they live, and what they eat {science}.

Activities. 


Other Resources. You can watch the Random House video of the book here.

Be sure to also check out... P.D. Eastman wrote and illustrated a number of books, Go Dog, Go probably being the second most popular. Look him up in your local library system!



Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Corduroy, by Don Freeman {1968}


Maybe you read Corduroy as a child {it is a definite classic!}... but have you read it to your own little ones yet? The timeless tale will surely delight them :).

Plot. Corduroy is a teddy bear, just sitting on the shelves of the department store's toy section, waiting to be loved. One day Lisa walks in, and wants him for her own. Lisa's mother says, "Not today," and comments that Corduroy is missing a button. The girl sadly leaves with her mother, and after the store closes, Corduroy begins the hunt for his missing button. Will he find it? And will he ever see Lisa again?

Thematic Elements. Friendship, loneliness, and extrinsic vs. intrinsic value are all touched upon. Does a missing button make Corduroy any less of a quality companion? True friendship sees beyond the externals. Love is not superficial, but seeks to serve and care for the one loved.

Educational Opportunities. Teach your child about different fabrics- let them touch and discuss the properties of corduroy, velvet, cotton, satin, cashmere.... whatever you have lying around your home. Fine motor skills can be employed in buttoning and unbuttoning. For older children, you could give a basic sewing lesson and have them stitch a button onto fabric. Lisa pays for Corduroy with her own money from her piggy bank. Discuss basic money management with your kids, and let them get some real life practice by paying them for extra work around the house {teach spending, saving, giving, etc.}.

Activities. 


Other Resources. This read-aloud video version is set to pleasant music.

Be sure to also check out... A Pocket for Corduroy, Norman the Doorman, and Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library.



Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson {1955}


Years before having children I spotted a copy of The Adventures of Harold and the Purple Crayon marked down to only a few dollars in the Border's {remember that place?} clearance section. Knowing it was a classic, I snatched it right up- and I am so glad I did. S loves hearing about Harold and his clever adventures, especially since the moon {one of her favorite things}is a key feature in the story.

Plot. One evening, little Harold decides to go on an adventure. With his purple crayon leading the way, he encounters an apple tree, a dragon, the ocean and a picnic of pies... and arrives home just in time to draw up the covers and drop off to sleep.

Thematic Elements. Harold is the ultimate problem solver. He draws himself into a pickle, then draws his way right back out of it.

Educational Opportunities. Older kids could learn about fractions with Harold's pies as a teaching tool. Since the moon has a prominent place in the story, you could also do a more in-depth unit study on the moon {science}.

Activities. 
  • Give your child a white piece of paper and a purple crayon to doodle along as you read the book. 
  • Royal Baloo has a ton of great lesson plan ideas to accompany the book- including a printable Harold puzzle, purple sensory bin, feeding pie to homemade paper bag porcupine and moose, etc. 
  • Delightful Learning also has lots of awesome ideas. She hosted a Harold Picnic Party {the pictures are darling}, made purple moon sand, had her kids learn about colors by experimenting with mixing red and blue paint to make purple, and even made edible "purple crayons." 
  • Practice threading with a moon cut out and purple yarn. 
  • Finally, I Can Do That So Can You... shared a bunch of fun activities to accompany the book {Purple/Not Purple sorting game, make purple jello for a snack, purple moon number flash cards and crayons counting game, etc.}.

Be sure to also check out... Harold's Fairy Tale, Harold's Trip to the Sky, and Harold's Circus. Also the author/illustrator of Harold collaborated with his wife, Ruth Krauss, on The Carrot Seed, How to Make an Earthquake, Is this You?, and The Happy Egg.



Looking for more great books to read with your preschooler? Check out the rest of this 31 Days series here!

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!