Tag Archives: boys books

Best Books: The One and Only Ivan

In a world where we are being faced with bullying, loneliness, and school shootings it is hard to completely understand the fears, isolation, and loneliness that children and teens are dealing with. As adults, we see the world as it is, but children are still learning how the world functions, and how to deal with the emotions that result from living in that world. Sometimes children need help to understand those emotions.

Katherine Applegate’s book, The one and Only Ivan introduces a lonely and isolated Gorilla that has lived in captivity for 27 years. Ivan meets a baby elephant named Ruby that has been taken from the wild. Throughout the novel the two interact on a human level, they share their fears, their hopes, their dreams. As readers, we get to see the world from Ivan’s perspective. It details the essence of childhood. The limits of understanding, the boxed in protection that becomes a cage, the loss of innocence as the real world takes shape around them, but through it, all is a friendship and humor that helps them to navigate this strange world. The world that Applegate has created allows children to place themselves in Ivan’s place and follow him on his journey of self-actualization and his quest into the real world of adulthood. Throughout this journey, the readers are able to confront their own emotions and reconcile their own experiences with loneliness and isolation.

The one and only Ivan

The book brings humor, joy, and sadness as it tells the story of Ivan and Ruby. Readers will enjoy the friendship and humor as they learn some deeper lessons. It makes for an excellent read, and if parents read it as well it can open up doors and opportunities for discussion about what kids are really going through today.

Best Books: : A Wrinkle in time

The magic of books is that many can stand the test of time. A Wrinkle In Time is one of those books. It may have been written over 50 years ago, but its magic, its beauty, and its tale of fitting in never stops being important.

Meg Murry and her younger brother Charles Wallace are trying to fit in. The whole town is talking about them, and believes that their father is a loser scientist that has left them, their siblings, and their brilliant scientist mother without any word or hope to ever see him again. But Meg Murray and Charles Wallace do not believe it. They have made one new friend, Calvin O’Keefe, and together the three of them are going to have the most amazing adventure ever.

When a strange neighbor, Mrs. Whatsit, comes to them and asks for their help they discover a whole new strange and magical world. They also just might find Meg’s Dad isn’t such loser scientist after all.

A Wrinkle In Time was the 1963 Newbury Medal Winner, and time has only made this story better. There is a movie in production, to be released early 2018, starring Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, and Chris Pine. With the movie coming out soon it is the perfect time to introduce a new generation to the amazing stories by Madeleine L’Engle. Check out the book now and be ready to see it come to life on the big screen next year.

Books for Baby: Board Books

Every month we share a special book with our readers. Books are so important in childhood. They are important throughout our lives, but in childhood especially, books teach us invaluable lessons. They show us a world we could never imagine. Books open up our imagination, they give us language development, show us new friends, new places, and they teach us about ourselves.

A child’s love and appreciation of books begins very early. Even the smallest of babies can appreciate and love a book. My youngest is almost two and he absolutely adores books. He brings them to me constantly begging for me to read them to him. He eagerly turns the pages, he touches the pictures, and he even “reads” them when I am not helping him. The best way to cultivate the love of books and reading is to introduce them to books very early, make sure they are age level appropriate, and developmentally appropriate.

Appropriate sounds like such a strange word. Parents might be thinking content; the book doesn’t have content that would confuse or scare the child, but that isn’t quite what we mean.

Did you know that the first 6 months of life children recognize images in black and white and bold patterns? So during this stage, you want to have books with bold patterns and stick to contrasting colors like black and white.

After 6months+ you can add in books that have unique textures. Things the kids can feel and move, soft, hard, rough, scratchy, etc.

Around one year you can add in ones that have sounds or pop-ups. These things can help with their development of space and depth.

When you are reading with your young child try to read in a soft and soothing voice at first. As children grow change your vocal range with different characters. All of this adds to the experience of reading and teaches kids how to use language and their own voice. It also keeps them calm, or alert, depending on the inflection of your voice.

Board books are always an excellent choice in early books. They are resilient. Therefore, board books can be used and abused by young hands. They also usually have very bright and interesting images and illustrations appropriate for this age group. We recommend looking into lots of different types of board books, but you can never go wrong with Sandra Boynton. Her books have been a favorite of young readers and their parents for decades. Be sure to check out Opposites by Sandra Boynton. It is a fun story that will teach your kids all about opposites.

Books for baby - opposites