10 great kids’ books to read in April 2016

April is a month with many interesting anniversaries. Buddha, William Shakespeare and Wilbur Wright, all had birthdays in April. April also includes Yuri’s Night, April Fool’ Day, World Penguin Day, and much more. Fortunately, there is a good book for every occasion. Read on for suggestions based on the April calendar of events, both serious and silly.

April 1. April Fools’ Day

Book’s Title and Author: The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean
Age Range:
10 and up
Grade Level: Grade 4 and up
Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition

There is no need to wait for high school or college to introduce your children to Chaucer. " The Canterbury Tales" (Puffin Classics) adapted by Geraldine McCaughrean tells Chaucer’s tales about merchants, fools, travelers, and all manner of interesting characters in modern English for younger readers.

Chaucer was born around 1342 in London. As he worked in service to the royal government much of his life, he no doubt observed many kinds of people, both wise and foolish. He had opportunities to travel in France and Italy as well, so Chaucer was a man who saw much in a time when most people never got far from the village of their birth. Use these stories to discuss with your children the flaws and virtues of the characters in Chaucer’s stories. Use the opportunity to teach about wise and foolish decisions—and to enjoy some classic stories from a giant in English literature.

From Amazon Review

The biggest hurdle in reading Chaucer is the language. Trying to read his work in Middle English is impossible without really good footnotes, and some of the "translations" are even worse--they're written in a high-blown, pompous style that takes all the fun out of the stories. All this being so, I was delighted to find the Puffin Classics version retold by Geraldine McCaughrean! The tales are told in an easy-to-read, flowing style that captures the bawdy humor of the originals, without being over-crass (this is a children's book, after all.) I found myself often laughing out loud, and wishing I'd found this version much sooner, because it makes Chaucer fun to read! I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to try Chaucer but feels intimidated by the scholarly-looking versions available in the "Literature and Classics" sections. You won't become expert in reading Middle English, but you WILL see why The Canterbury Tales has such a wonderful reputation!

April 2, International Children’s Book Day

Book’s Title and Author: An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales: The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, the Princess and the Pea and Many More Classic Stories
Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Floris Books

Since 1967, on or around Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, 2 April, International Children's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books.

Fairy tales are found in many cultures and are some of the first stories read to many children. "An Illustrated Treasury of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales" includes some of this Danish writer’s best-known stories such as The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, and The Emperor's New Clothes. This version of Anderson’s tales includes beautiful watercolor illustrations to add to your enjoyment.

Many fairy tales also tell moral stories, so talk with your child about the issues raised in these tales. For example, should we speak up when the emperor is naked, or pretend to see his clothes like everyone else? Why would people pretend to see something they could not see?

From Amazon Review

The illustrations are great and would capture young and old alike. As a child, Hans Christian Anderson was one of my favorite authors were I could really feel as though I was part of the story. This book can be passed down to the next generation. Can hardly wait for my granddaughter to open it on Christmas! One more thing, I received it in a timely manner.

April 7.  World Health Day

Book’s Title and Author: My First Human Body Book (Dover Children's Science Books)
Age Range:
5 and up
Grade Level: Kindergarten, Grade 1 and up
Publisher: Dover Publications

While good health is important every day, World Health Day is good opportunity to discuss healthy habits with children. Talk about their need for sleep, nutritious food, water, and exercise. "My First Human Body Book" (Dover Children's Science Books) by Patricia J. Wynne and Donald M. Silver offers children 28 detailed pictures of human body systems, which they may color. Wynne is an award-winning scientific illustrator while Silver has authored over 40 books for children. A picture is worth a thousand words, so there is a wealth of information about the human body in this small book.

From Amazon Review

This is a great coloring book about the human body! We are using it in our home school and it includes the following systems: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, nervous, and integumentary. I am using it with my 6 year old son and it is just right for his age group. He is having a great time with it! For my 10 year old son I am using another book from the Dover Coloring Series. It is called Human Anatomy by Margaret Matt. This second book is much more detailed and is just right for him. LQ.

April 8. Buddha's Birthday

Book’s Title and Author: Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire
Age Range: 4 and up
Grade Level: Preschool - Grade 4
Publisher: Duncan Baird

"Buddha at Bedtime: Tales of Love and Wisdom for You to Read with Your Child to Enchant, Enlighten and Inspire" by Dharmachari Nagaraja is a collection of 20 traditional Buddhist tales in modern language for modern children. Each story covers a moral dilemma and is followed by the Buddhist principles involved. Parents of all religions may find these stories instructive as an introduction to the Buddhist faith, so talk with your children about neighbors in your community who follow various faiths.

The book is intended to be meditative: a natural meditative absorption that trains young minds continuous attention. Each tale begins with the words, “Relax, be very still, and listen — listen carefully to this tale…” There’s also a section at the end with child-friendly guided meditations.

Dharmachari Nagaraja, a practising Buddhist for nearly 20 years, formerly ran the Covent Garden Meditation Centre in London. He is currently involved with the Glasgow Buddhist Centre, where he works as a psychotherapist.

From Amazon Review

No matter your religious affiliation, or lack of, this book is FANTASTIC and can be read to ALL ages...really. Our girls are 4 and 5 and the 4 year old rarely has the attention span for many of the books our 5 year old does. But, since this book's stories are short, they are perfect for kids (and adults...my Mom liked it so much she bought one for herself!) and adults alike. At the end of the story, I gave each child a chance to think about and come up with a "moral" or something they learned from the story. They LOVED doing that, and though they didn't always actually get the one written in two sentences at the end, they came up with lots of other ideas that were ALSO in there... I LOVE this book, and am on here to find more just like it. :)

April 12. Yuri’s Night

Book’s Title and Author: The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook by Louie Stowell (Author), Roger Simo (Illustrator)
Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: Grade 1 and up
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd

Reproduced from The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook by permission of Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT, UK. www.usborne.com . Copyright © 2015 Usborne Publishing Ltd

Reproduced from The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook by permission of Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT, UK. www.usborne.com . Copyright © 2015 Usborne Publishing Ltd

Yuri’s Night is a global celebration of humanity’s past, present, and future in space. Yuri’s Night parties and events are held around the world every April in commemoration of Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to venture into space on April 12, 1961, and the inaugural launch of the first Space Shuttle on April 12, 1981.

Honor Yuri Gagarin and all the space adventurers who followed him by reading about astronauts and cosmonauts. Pique children’s interest in space exploration with "The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook". Usborne books present lots of factual information in a winsome style children love. The illustrations and labels work with the text to make science read like a wonderful story. Children will learn that being a space explorer is a lot of work, but also rewarding. It's a funny and fascinating how-to guide for budding astronauts, providing a crash course on what it takes to travel into space.

If possible, take children to a planetarium for Yuri’s night. If the night is clear, perhaps you can gaze at the moon and stars outdoors or even camp under the starry sky for the night.

From Amazon Review

This 128-page book is an entertaining guide to the life of a trainee astronaut. The text is broken up with full-colour illustrations on each page, which include cartoons of the candidates going about their business, as well as diagrams of the various pieces of equipment and space vehicles that they will encounter on their journey to and from the International Space Station, as well as what they use during their tour of duty there. This book is intended for schoolchildren, but grownups can also enjoy it.

April 14. International Moment of Laughter Day

Book’s Title and Author: National Geographic Kids Just Joking: 300 Hilarious Jokes, Tricky Tongue Twisters, and Ridiculous Riddles
Age Range: 7 and up
Grade Level: Grade 2 and up
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books

April 14

To encourage more people to laugh, Izzy Gesell, a professional speaker, trainer, author and humor consultant, invites America and the whole world to join in the fun on April 14, the planet's International Moment of Laughter Day. "Laughter comes right after breathing as just about the healthiest thing you can do." says Izzy. "It relieves stress, instills optimism, raises self-confidence, defuses resistance to change, and enhances all your relationships."

"National Geographic Kids Just Joking" by National Geographic Kids is an excellent book for celebrating an unusual and somewhat silly “holiday.” Kids love corny jokes and this collection is age-appropriate as well as fun to read. Use this book to stage a family fun night where everyone takes turns telling jokes or silly stories. Laughter is healthy for the mind and the body, so celebrate with the entire world!

From Goodreads Review

This book has terrific kid-appeal. Since it is a national Geographic Kids book, it is not surprising that it is filled with colorful and interesting photos of a wide variety of animals. I especially liked the Knock-Knock jokes and the riddles which often involved clever word-play. Kids will also like trying the many tongue twisters and are sure to end up giggling. Teachers should keep this book handy because it is an entertaining way to fill a couple of extra minutes or a great way to build vocabulary or introduce a lesson.

April 16. Wilbur Wright’s Birthday

Book’s Title and Author: How to Build a Plane: A soaring adventure of mechanics, teamwork, and friendship (Technical Tales)
Age Range: 6-8
Grade Level: Grade 1 and up
Publisher: Walter Foster Jr

April 16

Wilbur Wright (born in 1867) is best known for developing the first successful airplane with his brother, Orville. Today, the Wright brothers are regarded as the "fathers of modern aviation."

"How to Build a Plane" by Martin Sodomka and Saskia Lacey is a perfect book for commemorating the life of two brothers. In this book, a mouse, a frog, and a sparrow decide to build a plane together. Children will love following the characters as they learn how a plane is built, how it stays in the air, and how the pilot controls the plane’s direction, altitude, and speed. Wonderful illustrations show what an airplane engine looks like as well as many other aircraft parts.

Children are endlessly curious about how everything in their world works. This book answers many of their questions—a real treat for parents, most of whom are not aeronautical engineers or pilots! You may want to look into the rest of the Technical Tales series of books as well.

April 25. World Penguin Day

Book’s Title and Author: Penguins (Usborne Beginners) by Emily Bone (Author)
Age Range: 4 and up
Grade Level: Preschool and up
Publisher: Usborne Pub Ltd.

Penguins are easy to love. These flightless birds walk funny, swim, and live in extreme weather conditions. Children love to read about animals and birds, so World Penguin Day is time for a great book about these unusual birds with their built-in tuxedos.

"Penguins (Usborne Beginners)" by Emily Bone is illustrated with outstanding nature photography. The text is simple enough for beginning readers, yet interesting and engaging for children as well. The book also includes selected internet links so parents can direct children to websites with even more information about penguins to satisfy their natural curiosity about the creatures in their world.

April 26. Shakespeare’s Birthday

Book’s Title and Author: Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare
Age Range:
7 and up
Grade Level: Grade 2 and up
Publisher: Usborne Children's Books

Reproduced from Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare by permission of Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT, UK. www.usborne.com . Copyright © 2010 Usborne Publishing Ltd

Reproduced from Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare by permission of Usborne Publishing, 83-85 Saffron Hill, London EC1N 8RT, UK. www.usborne.com . Copyright © 2010 Usborne Publishing Ltd

William Shakespeare, English poet and playwright born in 1564, is considered one of the greatest English writers of all time. Introduce children to this outstanding storyteller through a book of stories from his famous plays. "Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare" includes six plays: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night, all adapted for younger readers. Usborne’s outstanding illustrations add to the stories. Some background historical information about Shakespeare and his time period is included, too.

This collection includes both tragedy and comedy, perfect for introducing your young reader to this versatile author. Shakespeare wrote about the problems and passions common to all people, making his stories excellent launching points for heart-to-heart discussions with your own children about important things.

From Amazon Review

When we first purchased this book we knew it was too advanced for our 3 and 4 year olds. Boy were we wrong. We showed them the books (shakespeare and greek myths) and they can't get their noses out of them. I have read this shakespeare book to my daughter for the past three days. today She made me read it to her for over an hour! I still don't understand how a 4 year old could understand much of this but she LOVES it!

April 29. International Dance Day

Book’s Title and Author: Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
Age Range:
3 and up
Publisher: Orchard Books

"Giraffes Can’t Dance" by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees, is a delightful picture book for young children. Gerald the giraffe wants to dance and he keeps trying until he finds a song that is right for him. Teach your child that we can all enjoy music and dancing, even if we are not the best at everything—or anything! Gerald teaches us there is joy in dancing for anyone, even a giraffe who is “too tall” to dance.

Enjoy some fun time dancing with your child to any music you like—or make your own music with instruments you own or make out of household items. You might also choose to attend a live dance performance or watch a recorded one. Talk about the different kinds of dance: folk and tribal dancing, ballet, jazz. People all over the world love to dance and use dance to express themselves according to their unique cultures.

From Amazon review

This is the most precious story about how being different is okay and how you can still be good at something even though you have to go about it a little "differently." I bought this for my 4 yr old son with cerebral palsy who can't walk and he absolutely adores it! "We can all dance if we find the right music." Gerald, who initially was ridiculed by the other animals for being a terrible dancer, gets a little help from a friend in finding the "right music." His dancing is admired by the other animals in the end. My husband demonstrates the different dances with my son as he reads the book to him which my son thoroughly enjoys! We have a very extensive book collection for my son, but this would have to be one of his (and my) all-time favorites. I have also bought several copies of this book for my son's school. The illustrations are the best that I've ever seen in a children's book. Can't recommend this highly enough!

Enjoy some or all of these April books with your own child, a class of children, or any children you know. Good books are appropriate for every day of the month!

Тэги: Book Calendar
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