Posts Tagged ‘night sky’

Exploring Michael Foreman’s Eco-Friendly Picturebook: One World

Posted on July 27th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts looks at an eco-friendly picture book; One World by Michael Foreman.  Great for Earth Day.One World written and illustrated by Michael Foreman
Eco friendly picture book published by Andersen Press

You will also be interested in our page highlighting picture books about caring for our environment, recycling, reducing our environmental footprint and more. Terrific resources for Earth Day and Arbor Day.

“She thought of all the creatures who lived under the sky, the animals who shared the warmth of the sun and bathed in the soft, silver light of the moon.”

After taking time to consider the diversity of animals on earth, a young girl visits a beach along with her brother. Together, they explore a wondrous tidal pool, filled with seaweed, small fish, sea anenomes, starfish. Unfortunately, it is not long before the children discover that the pool has been marred by a rusty tin can and a blob of oil. As the day at the seashore progresses, the youngsters fill a bucket with water, they add sand, pebbles, seaweed and shells before deciding to catch some tiny, live creatures. With their small sandpail marine habitat complete, the children revisit the rock pool and discover that it is no longer beautiful; the discarded, rusty can and the oil are all that remain. Startled at what they see, the children set about returning the sand, pebbles, seaweed, shells and fish to a more eoc-friendly pool. They remove the tin can and draw the oil out of the water using a seabird feather. Satisfied with the progress they’ve made, they decide to enlist the help of other children when checking the tidal pools the following day.

Beautiful illustrations and “not-too-much text” make this a lovely eco-friendly read aloud for children aged four and up. This is a picture book that begs readers to discuss not only the story but also the illustrations as Foreman gently depicts deforestation, air pollution and the threat of global warming.

Originally published in 1990, a new paperback edition is being published this summer.

One World at

One World at

Doha College curriculum tie-in for One World

Wendy North’s curriculum suggestions for One World

Summertime Means Lots of Opportunity for Kids to Read and Do

Posted on July 11th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


cover art for The Kids Campfire Book

The lazy days of summer are perfect for reinforcing your child’s emerging reading skills. When you are out and exploring, take a child-friendly reference book with you and keep it nearby as you do some star gazing, bird watching, beach or nature walks.

When sitting around a campfire, encourage story-telling or pull out a book of spooky stories and a flashlight. Snuggling up around a fire is the perfect place to listen to spine-chilling tales.

At home, provide easy access to supplies of crayons, pencils, lined and unlined paper. Keeping a summertime scrapbook or diary will encourage your child to do some writing and/or illustrating.

cover art for The Kids Night Sky

Look for books on CD or download audio books. Long drives are so much more pleasant when everyone is listening to an engaging story. I can still remember where we were driving when we heard the amazing recording of Cressida Cowell’s hugely entertaining  How to Train Your Dragon (Heroic Misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III). The miles simply flew by as our entire family created a fabulous memory.

Finally, don’t forget the all-important trip to the library. For young children, look for a mix of rhyming books, alphabet books and other not-to-be-missed picture books. For older children why not find some books of science experiments or art projects to go along with some chapter books?

The Kids Campfire Book, Official Book of Campfire Fun at

The Kids Campfire Book, Official Book of Campfire Fun at

The Kids Book of the Night Sky at

The Kids Book of the Night Sky at



Long Night Moon – A Graceful Picture Book Look at the Full Moon

Posted on February 20th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts looks at Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant and Mark Siegel
Long Night Moon written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Mark Siegel
Picture book about the moon published by Simon and Schuster

Simply told and beautifully illustrated, Long Night Moon encourages us to carefully consider the beauty of the moon when it is full and how the world around it changes during a calendar year. Did you know, ‘In June the Strawberry Moon shimmers on succulent buds, on crisp new shoots, on quiet, grateful rabbits’? Both evocative and magical, once read, the full moon will never seem quite the same.

A lovely bedtime story, it would be great to connect this picture book with a nighttime walk out of doors.

Recommended for children aged 3 – 6.

Note: for older children, Rylant’s use of personification could be examined.

Scholastic’s lesson plan for this picture book

Home School Share for this picture book

Long Night Moon at

Long Night Moon at

There’s an Alphabet Book for Every Child

Posted on May 28th, 2007 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts Suggests Alphabet Books for Preschool

Having an alphabet book (or two, three or four!), is one way to make your home literacy-friendly. Today I will look at five diverse alphabet books… Just looking at the titles and cover art gives us a hint of the broad range of style and content that alphabet books can encompass.

Storytime Standouts writes about alphabet book, Do Your ABCs Little Brown BearDo Your ABC’s, Little Brown Bear written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Margie Moore
Alphabet Book published by Puffin; Reprint edition

Beginning with Do Your ABC’s, Little Brown Bear we discover a way to help a child learn her alphabet. On a walk with Papa, Little Brown Bear looks for things that begin with each letter of the alphabet. I enjoyed the sweet interaction between Papa and Little Brown Bear. It is hard to imagine any family sharing the book without embarking on their own alphabet exploration. Appropriate for children aged three and up.

Do Your ABC’s, Little Brown Bear at

Do Your ABC’s Little Brown Bear at

Storytime Standouts writes about alphabet book, Northern Lights A to ZNorthern Lights A to Z written and illustrated by Mindy Dwyer
Alphabet Book published by Sasquatch Books

Northern Lights A to Z will appeal mainly to older children (aged five and up) particularly those who have a special interest in the night sky or legends. Beautifully illustrated, the author seamlessly mixes science and myths and shares her knowledge in an engaging, accessible format. I can still remember the emotions I felt when I saw the aurora borealis. This special alphabet book captures the extraordinary experience beautifully.

Northern Lights A to Z at

Northern Lights A to Z at

Storytime Standouts writes about alphabet book, A is for AfricaA Is for Africa written by Ifeoma Onyefulu
Alphabet Book published by Puffin; Reprint edition

A Is for Africa features gorgeous photographs of people and things found in south-eastern Nigeria. Best for children aged five and up, I was struck by the author’s respectful tone and the way her photographs draw us into the atmosphere in the community. Although written in an alphabet book format, one can easily imagine an older child using this book to learn about life in an African village.

A Is for Africa at

A is for Africa at

Storytime Standouts writes about alphabet book, C is for CabooseC is for Caboose written and illustrated by Traci N. Todd
Alphabet Book published by Chronicle Books

When my boys were young, books about trucks and trains were very much “top of the charts” as far as they were concerned. C Is for Caboose features a mix of bright, bold illustrations and archival photographs. This will appeal most to children who are already fascinated by rail travel and enjoy historical photographs.

C Is for Caboose: Riding the Rails from A to Z at

C is for Caboose at

Storytime Standouts writes about alphabet book, Stargazer's AlphabetStargazer’s Alphabet Night-Sky Wonders from A to Z written by John Farrell
Alphabet Book published by Boyds Mills Press

For older children (aged six and up), Stargazer’s Alphabet is “out of this world.” Featuring fabulous photographs of the Milky Way, Jupiter, Mars and more, this book uses a terrific format to its best advantage. Large pages each feature a rhyme: “V is for Venus, a lovely dazzling disk“, a factual paragraph plus photos, maps and diagrams. Great for families where the youngest child can enjoy the rhyming text and older children (and adults) can read detailed explanations. Featuring a glassary and the author’s thoughts on space, the breadth of the material covered will make this a valuable family resource for many years.

Stargazers Alphabet at

Stargazer’s Alphabet at

Some more information about learning the alphabet and alphabet books

Special Alphabet BooksLearning letter activities, games, printables, and alphabet picture booksClothespin Letter Match is an easy-to-make alphabet matching activity from Storytime Standouts

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