Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Difficult Lesson

Perfect Pigs : An Introduction to Manners by Marc Brown & Stephen Krensky (Ages 4-8)

I'm not sure about you, but I really feel that during my short tenure as a mom, that teaching manners to children has to be one of the toughest challenges thus far.

The practice of 'please' and 'thank you' is not necessarily easy, however, it is the easiest to teach. Ensuring our children practice this specific behavior correctly is a common lesson that is able to be taught each day and eventually, it sets in with little or no "What do you say?" prompting.

I must confess. This book jumped out at me while at the library. One, it had the word Pig and Manners in the title - two words you don't see together often. You see, my beloved daughter is a very messy eater and sometimes, I think she does it on purpose.

Well, ok, all of the time and I try my best not to tell her what I am thinking... that she is eating like a pig and I don't approve, my frustration does get the better of my sometimes and she does hear it - which only seems to encourage her.

It's a vicious cycle.

Anyway, I saw this book and I thought it was, well, perfect.

This book goes through twelve manners scenarios such as During Meal Time, While on the Phone, With Friends, At School, During Games, etc...

While some of the topics, such as While on the Phone are a bit over my three's heads at this point, I know they are paying attention and like the book because while out and about one day, my son said something along the lines of being a good sport which is covered in the During Games section.

Oh how that makes me smile and my heart flutter.

Although not meant to be your all out resource, nothing can replace your lead by example teaching and loving encouragement, this book really is a great Introduction to Manners as it claims.

Do you have a resource that you'd like to share that you have used to introduce manners or other character building skills to your children? I'd love to hear more and learn.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Honey Makers

The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons (ages 4-8)

Did you know that bees and pollinators are responsible for every third bite of food? Yeah, me either.

Nor did I realize how fascinating and orderly a bee colony could be!

The Honey Makers is an informative book with wonderful illustrations.

Busy bees work hard to produce the honey that we and an occasional Pooh Bear love to eat. And each have their own assigned job assigned for each stage of their life.

When I say informative, I mean INFORMATIVE. This book is chock full of information.

For example:
Are you aware of the Bee Dances?
How about Beemilk or Royal Jelly?
Forager bees can visit up to 10,000 flowers a day, but all of the nectar collected throughout her entire lifetime will only produce one teaspoon of honey!

I look at bees in a whole new light after reading up on them more. They are not something to be feared, but respected and shown gratitude.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Spy a Freight Train

I Spy a Freight Train by Lucy Micklethwait (ages 4-8)

While at the library my son spotted this gem and asked if we could bring home. He loves trains, so of course I said yes.

We have a large freight train station in town, so it is rare that we not see a train. It's fun to see his excitement when he sees a train, but it hard to also watch him panic as the train keeps going and disappears.

I called this a little gem because I didn't realize that the book about more than just freight trains.

We got to spy on airplanes, row boats, horses, sleighs, a baby carriage and many more. Not to mention the other 'made up' things we spied while making a game of it. It was fun. Even more so, my children haven't heard the term baby carriage or sleigh, so that was fun to see what they thought was it.

Here's another excerpt of the book.

Oh, and while I am not much of an art know it all, in the back of the book are the credits for all of the pictures used. You will find the likes of Van Gogh and other works found in museums.

This book truly is a gem. I think I may put it on my wish list for our personal library.

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