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BOOK REVIEW: “Hibernation Hotel” by John Kelly

This is the humorous story of a bear who wants to hibernate in peace. Each year he cuddles up with his buddies for his long winter's nap, and each year his friends snore, crowd, and stink up his cave. This year the bear decides to reserve a hotel room so that he can slumber in peace and comfort--but he just can't fall asleep! He's too hot, then too cold, then too hungry. Will his hibernation never begin? Just as he begins to despair, his friends show up and they all fall asleep. Although the hotel room is now noisy, stinky, and crowded. This is a funny little story with great illustrations, and makes a perfect winter-time tale. The message of the story is that sometimes what one wants isn't really what one needs. Bear wants solitude but finds that he is happier and more relaxed when he is surrounded by his friends. The bright pictures accentuate the story and hold the reader's attention from page to funny page. The humorous premise of the story is also delightful. A bear taking up residence in a fancy hotel is amusingly pictured on each layout to go along with the story line. This isn't a deep book, but is a very entertaining tale.

 

Find this and other book reviews at: http://byucbmr.com

 

From Rachel Wadham, Host, WORLDS AWAITING


DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

 


 

MONOLOGUE: The Batchelder Award

Those familiar with the field of children’s literature will have heard of our two most prestigious book awards given yearly by the American Library Association. The Newbery Award is given to the most distinguished contribution to literature for children and the Caldecott Award is given to the most distinguished picture book. However, these are not the only children’s book awards given by the American Library Association.  And while I love to encourage people to read and enjoy the Newbery and Caldecott books, I also encourage them to check out other awards to expand their reading horizons. 


One of my personal favorites is the Batchelder Award. Books that win this award were first written and published in a different language and then they were translated into English to be sold here in the United States. I love this award first and foremost because it encourages publishers to translate works into English. The award criteria require the translation to be true in substance and flavor to the original work so readers can be assured that the quality of these translations is very high. I also love this award because it gives readers access to works that may not have been accessible to them before. The range and scope of books that win this award is very wonderful to see. In my mind, this award encourages readers to delve into a trove of stories that express the richness of the global society we live in. 


For example, a now beloved author, Cornelia Funke, who wrote the book Inkheart that was made into a movie starring Brendan Fraser, was one author who won this award. For older teens, one recent Batchelder winner that I enjoyed was My Family For the War by Anne Voorhoeve. This is a  story about a girl who escapes Nazi Germany on the kinder transport. The book covers the whole of World War II and offers a heartfelt and interesting look at the impact of the war on one child’s life. Another favorite for younger children that tackles a very poignant topic is Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved and illustrated by Charlotte Pardi, which addresses the realities of life and death when four children try to prevent death from taking their grandmother away. But even if these two don’t catch your fancy, then we here at “Worlds Awaiting” suggest you check out the other Batchelder Award winners for a long list of amazing books from which you may just find a new favorite.

   

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Scholastic, 2003.

My Family For the War by Anne Voorhoeve. Dial Books, 2012.

Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved, illustrated by Charolote Pardi, translated by Robert Moulthrop.  Enchanted Lion Books, 2016.

 

From Rachel Wadham, Host, WORLDS AWAITING


DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.

 

MOVIE REVIEW: Life of the Party

Life of the Party, 4/11/18, 1hr 45min. PG-13

Life of the Party is the latest film from Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone. He directs his wife in this funny film about a woman whose husband abruptly asks for a divorce and she realizes she has been missing out on life. To make up for it she decides to finish her degree that she never finished at the same college her daughter is attending.  This is the same premise as the Rodney Dangerfield film Back to School, but that was 1986.

Fortunately this film is more up to date and is original. This is the first time Falcone and McCarthy have written a PG-13 film and they did a pretty good job.  Life of the Party starts a little slow when it comes to comedy but there is one scene in the middle that had the audience howling with laughter. 

Melissa McCarthy is a funny woman.  She can do comedy very well including physical comedy. Plus she can carry a movie all on her own.  She does a great job, as does the supporting cast of college girls including Hellen played by Gillian Jacobs.  I don’t know if she improvised her lines but they were funny.

Just because this film is rated PG-13 does not mean the humor is meant for kids.  The film is funny but it is meant for an older audience.  A lot of the humor is sexually based and deals with alcohol and drugs. There is quite a bit of drinking of the film mostly at frat parties plus some drug references.  There is some bad language and references to genitalia. 

I am giving Life of the Party a B grade.  

BOOK REVIEW: “The Only Lonely Panda” by Johnny Lambert

A lonely panda wants to make a friend and sees another panda. He doesn't know how to make friends, so he looks at the animals around him and tries to be like them, hoping that it will impress the other panda. He tries behaving like a flamingo, like a lemur, like a Blue-Footed Booby, and even a peacock, without finding any success. Stealing peacock feathers proves to be particularly unwise. In frustration he sits to eat alone again, when who comes over? The female panda! She notices that his food looks yummy and he learns that a good way to make and be a friend is to share. This is such a beautiful book. Each page has a silver sheen background and white band across the bottom edge that unifies the book. The pages are simple, refined, and peaceful, as befits a story from the bamboo forest. The panda has slightly wonky proportions that add to the humor in the tale and to his escapades into friendship. The humor comes from the silly things that the bear does in an effort to make a friend  that also make him look silly and a little insane. Everyone has looked a little foolish sometimes in a new situation and with new people and will appreciate the feelings of this happy and awkward panda. The ending is a wonderful reminder that friendship is based on sharing and giving (and overlooking silly antics). This is a wonderful story for everyone!

 

Find this and other book reviews at: http://byucbmr.com

 

From Rachel Wadham, Host, WORLDS AWAITING


DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.


MONOLOGUE: “3D Shapes

When we think about all the basic things that young children begin learning, I’m sure there are some common ones we would all recognize like colors, letters, and even shapes. Learning and understanding these basics provide the basic background knowledge that toddlers need to develop more complex literacy skills later on. But sometimes when we teach these kinds of concepts, we do so in a way that might limit children’s understanding. Let’s take shapes, for example. If we teach children to recognize simple shapes like circles, squares and triangles, we might do so by showing them a book or by drawing shapes on a piece of paper. However, these representations of shapes are 2 dimensional. And while learning about 2D shapes is important, if we only ever engage in a 2D environment we may be missing out on some important spatial learning. To develop spatial understanding, it helps if children work with shapes in 3 dimensions, not just 2. So, using things like blocks and other 3D representations of shapes is critical. This kind of spatial learning is really important as we look towards developing early math skills that we hope will someday develop into strong literacy skills in geometry and other disciplines like geography. Many early childhood educators advocate using these kinds of 3D materials in learning. In fact, one of the founding theorists of early childhood education, Maria Montessori, advocates for the use of concrete, 3D materials like cubes and beads, that can be used to illustrate math concepts. Not only can the use of these kinds of materials support spatial development, but also, physically touching and manipulating things can be a great enhancement to learning. So, when we’re thinking about toddlers learning shapes, we may want to extend beyond the triangle to learn about the pyramid, or beyond the circle to learn about the sphere. It’s easy to bring these 3D shapes into children’s worlds with a great set of wooden blocks. But other typical childhood playthings can make the world of shapes pop into 3D. Clay can easily be shaped into 3D objects. Or, building blocks that lock together with magnets or other means, can easily create a wide world of shapes. And, the cool thing about adding the 3rd dimension to build early math literacies with young children, may be just about the kind of play with toys that we already have. So, here at “Worlds Awaiting,” we suggest that maybe next time, when you sit down to make a tower with blocks or mess around with clay, why not build and talk about all the cool kinds of 3D shapes there are in the world.    

 

Blocks and Beyond: Strengthening Early Math and Science Skills Through Spatial Learning by Mary Jo Pollman.  Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company, 2010.

   

Teaching Numeracy, Language, and Literacy with Blocks by Abigail Newburger and Elizabeth Vaughan.  Readleaf Press, 2006.

 

http://childhood101.com/hands-on-activities-for-learning-about-2d-3d-shapes/

 

http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2017/08/exploring-3d-shapes-in-early-math-programming/

 

From Rachel Wadham, Host, WORLDS AWAITING


DISCLAIMER:

At Worlds Awaiting we discuss a wide range of information aimed at supporting adults who want to build literacy skills in their children.   We understand that there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to children’s development, so the information we provide is intended to reach a wide audience. The books and other resources we recommend will also naturally cover a wide range of interests and subject matter that addresses a range of maturity, reading, and comprehension levels.  Since no one understands a child’s needs better than their caretakers, we encourage families to critically select the books and resources that meet their own individual needs and standards.