10 great kids’ books to read in February 2016. Part 1

The "Book Calendar" is our new series, in which we’ll talk about interesting dates and books related to these dates. This month we will tell you not only about books that can be read on Valentine's Day, but books that are good to read for the Chinese New Year, Polar Bear Day, Love Your Robot Day and etc.

February

Date: Black History Month in the US
Book’s Title and Author: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Publisher: Picture Puffin
Age Range: 2 and up
Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
Be sure to take a look: Amazing animated read-aloud version from Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

Title_the Snowy day

The Snowy Day was written in the 60s of the last century. This book astonished the world. According to Horn Book magazine, The Snowy Day was "the very first full-color picture book to feature a small black hero.” In a very vivid way and with ingeniously simple graphics, this touching story showed a nice black boy, delighted with the white world under snow.

From Amazon Review

The Snowy Day, a 1963 Caldecott Medal winner, is the simple tale of a boy waking up to discover that snow has fallen during the night. Keats's illustrations, using cut-outs, watercolors, and collage, are strikingly beautiful in their understated color and composition. The tranquil story mirrors the calm presence of the paintings, and both exude the silence of a freshly snow-covered landscape. The little boy celebrates the snow-draped city with a day of humble adventures--experimenting with footprints, knocking snow from a tree, creating snow angels, and trying to save a snowball for the next day. Awakening to a winter wonderland is an ageless, ever-magical experience, and one made nearly visceral by Keats's gentle tribute.

February 7th

Date: Love Your Robot Day
Book’s Title and Author: The Robot and the Bluebird by David Lukas
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Age Range: 4 and up
Grade Level: Preschool - 4th grade

It is difficult to find a boy who is not fond of robots at least for a while. In our family, everyone loves robots. While older children are saving their pocket money for Lego robots, younger ones are reading books, collecting stickers and making crafts with robots. We want to introduce to you an amazing book that will be interesting for children of all ages. The Robot and the Bluebird is the beautiful, whimsical story of an old, broken-hearted robot who is put on the scrap heap but finds new purpose and friendship when he shelters a weak, migrating bluebird in the cavity where his heart used to be. In 2008 David Lukas, the author and illustrator of the book, was chosen as one of Book Trust's Best New Illustrators, as part of their Big Picture initiative. Lucas uses a limited colour palette to great effect using only washes of blue, black and red against the white of the paper. So illustrations enhance the emotional effect that produces the narrative.

From Amazon Review

This is one of the best children's books I have ever read. The plot is sublimely simple: a robot with a broken heart gets tossed in the junk pile. A fragile, migrating bird lands on his shoulder. She needs a warm place to rest for the night, so the robot builds her a nest in the spot where his heart once was. Then he begins a long journey, carrying his new friend toward southern warmth. And when the old robot's strength gives out, he leaves a monument to selfless devotion... and shelter for all the birds of the air. There are deep and wonderful themes in Lucas's gently-told story--loneliness, friendship, mutual need, love, sacrifice, and even death. I think this book could open doors to great conversations with children. And fortunately, The Robot and The Bluebird is also lovely to read for its own sake, with its charming, understated illustrations and spare prose.

 

February 8th

Date: Chinese New Year
Book’s Title and Author: Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin
Publisher: Random House Childrens Books
Age Range: 2 and up
Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten

Having lived in Asia for a long time, we've seen how the Chinese community are prepare and celebrate the Lunar New Year. Children have always loved this time of red lanterns, great dragons, fireworks and lion dancers. For our kids it’s one extra reason to celebrate the New Year and have fun. The Lunar New Year helps children to see the essence of the holiday which lies under the pretty picture, to make the first steps towards understanding Chinese customs.

Review from Good Reads

The Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, is a real family celebration and nothing exemplifies that more that Grace Lin's Bringing in the New Year. This sweet introduction to this holiday, aimed at preschoolers, is as colorful and cheerful as the celebrations themselves. There are lots of traditions surrounding the New Year, and Lin gives a wonderful overview of these. There is sweeping out the old year (similar to spring cleaning), hanging up the happiness poems and bringing in the lions to scare away the bad luck from the old year, all depicted in bright, happy colors, but with red predominating - red is the color of luck or good fortune. I liked Bringing in the New Year a lot, except I wish Lin had included somewhere the meanings of the words she used for family members - Jie Jie means big sister, Mei Mei is little sister, Ba Ba means daddy. Whenever I read this book to kids, they think they are Chinese names, not family designations, even though they are commonly used. Other than that, this is a perfect beginner book for kids to start learning about and appreciating the Lunar New Year (review written by Alex Baugh).

February 13th

Date: Christopher Robin's teddy bear, Edward, made his character début in A. A. Milne's poem
Book’s Title and Author:  Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A.Milne
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Age Range: 2 and up
Grade Level: Preschool - 4th grade

Timeless classics. In our opinion, some of the best children’s books on the earth are written and drawn by parents for their own children. Winne the Pooh is proof. It’s the favorite book of many children, as well as adults who kept their inner child alive. Every child should read at least one A.A.Milne book. And we’re sure that they won’t be able to stop after the first one! Our younger kids enjoy listening to the stories because they are about Pooh. But our eldest kids, who are in second and fifth grade, like them because they are able to pick up on their humor. On February 13th you can read just a chapter. For example, ‘Christopher Robin Leads An Expotition To The North Pole’.

From Amazon.com

In 1926, the world was introduced to a portly little bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. Along with his young friend, Christopher Robin, Pooh delighted readers from the very beginning. His often befuddled perceptions and adorable insights won the hearts of everyone around him, including his close group of friends. From the energetic Tigger to the dismal Eeyore, A. A. Milne created a charming bunch, both entertaining and inspirational. These simple creatures often reflected a small piece of all of us: humble, silly, wise, cautious, creative, and full of life. Remember when Piglet did a very grand thing, or Eeyore's almost-forgotten birthday? Gorgeous watercolor illustrations from Ernest H. Shepard appear in all their glory. With beautiful colors and simple lines, these images hold their own as classics. The tales, filled with superb story lines and lessons, will continue to capture the hearts of new generations.

February 14th

Date: Valentine’s Day Book’s
Title and Author: Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
Publisher: Candlewick
Age Range: 2 and up
Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten 

Love is a basic feeling that nurtures the child. It is through the love of his family that the child discovers the world. ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ is one of the best books for preschoolers about the love between parent and child. This story is translated in many languages and loved by kids and their parents all around the world. I saw it on the bookshelfs of our American, Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Thai, Indonesian friends. In my opinion, it is one of the best bedtime stories for toddlers and preschoolers. Also, it is the right length. If your kids are very sleepy but still asking you to read smth, it’s the best choice. Full of love and positive emotions. Frankly, I'm not very sentimental, but I still have tears in my eyes, when I’m reading "I love you right up to the moon - and back." Let me note that I read this book for my kids for almost eight years:=)

10 great kids’ books to read in February 2016. Part 2

Maria Stavinski, 'Moona' co-founder

Тэги: Book Calendar
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