Owl Books

owl books

Anything a kid is interested in is a great topic for reading.  I have an owl-obsessed daughter.  I did a quick subject search at my local library and came up with these great books.  Some are silly and funny.  Some are filled with facts (and really above her comprehension level).  Yet, all of them were interesting to her because they were about her favorite subject.  Don’t be afraid of non-fiction books for preschoolers!

Owls by Gail Gibbons- Everything you ever wanted to know about owls told in simple language with labeled illustrations.  The best non-fiction book on owls for kids!

The Littlest Owl by Caroline Pitcher- The smallest owl is teased by his three older siblings, but he doesn’t give up until he flies.

I’m Not Cute! by Jonathan Allen- A young owl is very annoyed that other animals call him cute when he thinks he is a “huge and scary hunting machine with great big wings.”  Very funny story!

Owlet’s First Flight by Mitra Modarressi– Cute rhyming book about a little owl’s first flight around the farm.

Little Hoot by Amy Krouse Rosenthal- A little owl wants to go to sleep, but his parents want him to stay up late.  They try to stall him with extra playtime, bedtime stories, and a glass of water.  Funny story with cute illustrations.

Owls by Emily Rose Townsend- Easy reader book with one sentence per page.  Great way to introduce non-fiction reading!

All About Owls by Jim Arnosky- Another good non-fiction book for kids.  Contains lots of information about owls.

Whoo Goes There? by Jennifer A. Ericsson- Owl is listening for a mouse to eat, but he hears other animals instead.  Lots of fun sound words and kids can guess the animals.

White Owl, Barn Owl by Nicola Davies- A girl and her grandpa set up a box for a barn owl to nest in.  Fiction story with lots of owl facts, too!

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell- Three owlets are scared when their mother goes out hunting.

Top Ten First Day of Kindergarten Books

first day of kindergarten books

My oldest daughter be going to kindergarten this week (sniff, sniff) and we have been reading lots kindergarten books to prepare.  Here are our favorites (in no particular order)…

Planet Kindergarten by Sue Ganz-Schmitt– This is the perfect book for a kid (or parent) who loves space.  Everything about the first day of kindergarten is related to a space mission.  The teacher is the commander, the classroom is a capsule, and classmates are crewmates.  Hilarious story with very cute illustrations!

Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis– Dexter’s big sister tells him all about kindergarten and helps him find his lost stuffed animal on the first day.

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum– In this story the mom is nervous about kindergarten and her son had to reassure her that everything will be fine.  The illustrations show mom small and blue when she is anxious and big and colorful when she feels fine.

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate– This rhyming book shows the teacher and her twenty-six students (from Adam the alligator to Zach the zebra) getting ready for kindergarten.

Look Out, Kindergarten, Here I Come! by Nancy Carlson– It is a simple story about a little mouse who is excited and then a little nervous about kindergarten.  It is written in both English and Spanish.

The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus– Just as the title says, Mom comes to kindergarten… and embarrasses her daughter because she doesn’t know the rules.

Tom Goes to Kindergarten by Margaret Wild– Tom the Panda is nervous about kindergarten so his parents stay with him the first day.  Then they want to come back because it is so much fun!

The Night Before Kindergarten by Natasha Wing– Cute book that is written in the style of “The Night Before Christmas.”  My daughter thought it was funny that the teacher had to ask the crying parents to leave.

The Berenstain Bears Go To School by Stan & Jan Berenstain– Sister Bear is nervous about going to kindergarten in the Bear Country School so she meets her teacher and checks out her classroom.  On the first day of school she has lots of fun building blocks, painting pictures, and looking at books.

Kindergarten Countdown by Anna Jane Hays– This rhyming book counts down the week before kindergarten with numbers and days of the week.

Preschool Author Study

Eric Carle author study

So you’ve got a kid who likes a book.  Awesome!  Now go to the library and check out three (or five or ten) more books by the same author.  BAM!  You are doing an author study.  That was easy.

Author studies are great because if you are choosing books by an author your child already likes, so he will probably discover MORE favorite books.  You are encouraging a deeper connection attachment to reading. By discussing and comparing the books, you build critical thinking skills.  At the very least you are reading and learning an author’s name.  🙂

We chose Eric Carle because we were going to a Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet show.  Eric Carle is a familiar author, but I still found lots of books that I had never read before.  I think it is a good idea to chose an author/illustrator for preschoolers since it is so easy to see how the pictures are all in the same style.  Some other favorite preschool author/illustrators are Lois Ehlert, Donald Crews, David Shannon, and Sandra Boynton.

Obviously an author study for the under 5 set is going to look a little different than with school age kids.  You won’t be discussing the author’s use of imagery in his writing style.  Well, maybe you can.  Here are some preschool-appropriate ideas to try with your author study:

  • Talk about the jobs of author and illustrator.  Point out the author and illustrator’s names on the cover and title page.
  • Go to the author’s website to see a picture or video of the author.
  • Talk, talk, talk about books.  Which one is your favorite and why?  How are the books alike?  Are there any characters that appear in multiple books?
  • Write a letter or draw a picture to send to the author. (Your preschooler can dictate the letter and you do the writing)
  • Act out your favorite book with puppets.
  • Write your own book in the author’s style.  Use the same characters or setting, or continue the story of a favorite book.  (Again, you’ll have to do the actual writing)
  • Draw or paint or picture inspired by the illustrations.
  • Make a chart to compare the books.  We did an easy checklist that asked- Were there people in the story?  Animals?  Was there a problem in the story?  Did you like the book?

More Snow Books

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These are some of our favorite snow books…

The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett- This is a fun Goldilocks story, except set in the far north.  This time the bears are polar bears!  Kids will love the gorgeous pictures.  Jan Brett is known for her beautiful illustrations, with sidebars showing even more of the story.  While you are reading, compare/contrast this story with the traditional Goldilocks.

Snow by Uri Shulevitz-  Caldecott Award-winning illustrations and simple sentences tell the story of a boy’s excitement as snow starts to fall.  This is a good book for beginning readers.

Snowy, Blowy, Winter by Bob Raczka- This is a quick, fun read with lots of rhyming with words that end in ‘y’.  See if you can come up with some more snowy words while you read!

Snow Happy! by Patricia Hubbell- This book has cute watercolor illustrations and fun rhyming words to tell what one family does out in the snow.

Winter is for Snow by Robert Neubecker- In this a boy describes his love of snow (in blue print) and his sister tells why she doesn’t like snow (in red print).  It would be fun to read this together with your child reading one part and you reading another.  Or read it yourself in two different voices.

Snow by Cynthia Rylant-  It is a very sweet story of a girl excited about snow.  She tells about how she feels and what she will do in outside in the snow.

Marco Flamingo by Sheila Jarkins- Marco is the only flamingo that wants to go north to see the snow.  The story is told in both English and Spanish, so it would be great exposure to another language.  It also has a large section with no words, just pictures of Marco’s activities in the snow.  See if your kiddo can use their own words to tell that part of the story!

Non-fiction Snow Books

Sometimes it is difficult to find good non-fiction books for kids.  These are all packed with information about snow AND have engaging pictures that kids will love.  Even adults will learn something new!  Read one of these books, and then go out in the snow and experience it up close!

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Who Likes the Snow? by Etta Kaner– This book asks questions about snow and then a fold-out flap reveals the answer with a scientific explanation.  Curious kiddos who ask lots of questions will love this book!  I think the illustrations and fold-out flaps make it most suitable for younger readers (preschool- grade 2).

The Story of Snow- The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson, Ph.D.- I like this book because it has one sentence in large print on each page and also a small paragraph with further explanation.  You can just read the one sentence for toddlers or preschoolers.   Older elementary kids will appreciate all the extra information.  The beautiful photographs of snow crystals are amazing.  This book can be used with kids of all ages!

It’s Snowing by Gail Gibbons– This book explains how snowflakes are formed, types of precipitation, and snow activities.  I especially like how it references different countries and continents around the world.  It would be great to read with a map or globe nearby.  It also has extra snow facts on the last page.  This is a great reference book for elementary (grades 1-4).