Book of the Month reviews coming soon!
By Devin Scillian, Illustrated by Tim Bowers
Published by Sleeping Bear Press
Sometimes, when searching for the perfect story to share with your child, it is important to leave literacy acquisition strategies by the wayside and search for one thing, and one thing only: just plain fun. Scillian serves that up with his latest work of genius, Memoirs of a Goldfish.
In this book, our hero, the goldfish, shares a two week account of his life. He starts off happily swimming around his bowl – twice – but is soon joined by a variety of not so welcome roommates. Mr. Bubbles, the tank aerating diver is creepy, Mervin the snail who eats the slime off the side of the bowl is disgusting, Fred the crab, with his menacing pincers, is nothing short of terrifying.
As the poor goldfish has his bowl slowly taken over by new fish, sprawling plants, and ridiculous decorations, he finds himself losing more than just his privacy as his stress level rises, and pretty soon he can no longer even recognize his own reflection. The story comes to a climax when “with a whoosh, and a splash, and a clank, and a plunge” he suddenly finds himself all alone. It is only then when the fish realizes that his unwanted guests were more than just daily irritations; they were his companions.
In this story, the characters are rich, the message sweet, and the humour is laugh out loud goodness. Each child is sure to choose a very different favourite character to love, and is sure to choose this as the story that gets dragged out not only at bedtime, but anytime throughout the day. It is one that you will read over and over, and enjoy doing so. It is just plain fun.
For more information on the work and life of Devin Scillian, visit: www.devinscillian.com.
By Stephen Axel Anderson, Illustrated By Greg Couch
Published by Philomel Books
ISBN #9780399234255, 039923425X
Arguably the most significant impact on early childhood literacy is the ritual of the bedtime story. Curling up with your adored little one, and diving into the furthest corners of a child's imagination not only make up precious moments sure to be fondly remembered, but these experiences also form the basis most important for the acquisition of literacy: a love of reading.
In his book, I Know the Moon, Anderson has captured the very essence of a bedtime story with a soft, rhythmic lullaby, and a positively captivating story. I Know the Moon follows the journey of several forest animals as they seek true knowledge of the moon. As each animal describes their own perception of the moon, stunning metaphors dance off the page, and readers young and old are challenged to consider the possibility of multiple truths in our world.
The illustrations in this book do as much to stimulate the imagination as the story does, and you'll find yourself pausing to simply gaze at the sleepy pictures that calm you, and entice you to join the dreamland.
Children love to learn about animals, and the idea of how each of the different forest animals might experience the moon is a conversation that can easily continue into daytime activities. A walk through the forest will quickly turn into and exploration of the imagination without end.
Learning to read is about more than learning to interpret letters and words. It is about experiencing a story, and falling in love with a book, and with the experience of reading. Reading is a shared experience between children and the adults that care for them, and it starts with the most iconic of childhood pleasures, the bedtime story. I Know the Moon is just that.