Book Notes

Apr 20

[ARCHIVED] Week of April 23rd, 2021

The original item was published from April 20, 2021 2:23 PM to April 20, 2021 2:24 PM

Hello Outreach Troop! 

I hope everyone is enjoying the gorgeous spring weather. Spring is a time for rejuvenation and renewal. Getting out, moving about, and enjoying the beautiful outside is also a time for learning new things. This time of year makes me think about:

• Mother’s Day (May 9th)
• Memorial Day (May 31st)
• Construction
• Graduation
• Zoo
• Ocean/Beach
• Dinosaurs
Ice Cream


May Themed Books

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Jane Yolen – Shows kids how to properly eat their food without burps, slurps or other rude actions that may happen at the dinner table.

Groovy Joe: Ice Cream & Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin – Groovy Joe loves his ice cream and knows how to deal with dinosaurs.

What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure by Refe & Susan Tuma – A true answer to what your toys do while you’re sleeping at night.

I’m Dirty by Kate McMullan – For all those little construction lovers that also don’t mind a little dirt.

Construction Countdown by K.C. Olson – What’s going on at the construction site…find out while learning to count down.

If I Could Keep You Little by Marianne Richmond – A parent assures her child of unconditional love even when children can surely test our limits.

A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams – A touching Caldecott honor book written in memory of the author’s mom.

Pete the Cats Groovy Guide to Life by James Dean – Everyone’s favorite cat is back, this time with tips, inspiration and feel-good quotes about life. Perfect as a graduation gift for all ages.

When I Grow Up by Julie Chen – The host of the “The Talk” and “Big Brother” writes this tender story of a little boy that tells his mom what he wants to be when he grows up.

I Can Be Anything! Don’t Tell Me I Can’t by Diane Dillon – This empowering book about 5-year-old Zoe who declares she can be anything including an Astronaut or President.

Ocean by Emmy Kastner – Part of the Nerdy babies series, this story will spark curiosity and encourage children to ask questions about the world around them.

You can find more themed books for the month of May here.

May New Books

The Farmer & The Circus by Marla Frazee – Part of a trilogy by Caldecott medalist Marla Frazee, the farmer follows his new friends to the circus in this whimsical touching story.

Fatima's Great Outdoors by Ambree Tariq- Fatima is excited about going camping with her family where she makes endless memories to look back on.

A Flood of Kindness by Ellen Leventhal - This book confronts difficult feelings,  perfect for children who are experiencing loss or grief. It also celebrates kindness and how it heals.

Free by Sam Usher - A boy and his granddad enjoy nature, including when they set out to take a bird back to its natural habitat.

Full Moon by Camilla Pintonato - The rabbits are preparing for a celebration in the forest, where they invite all their friends.

Graduation Groove by Kathryn Heling - A celebration of graduation from kindergarten and moving into first grade.

Hello, Rain by Kyo Maclear- The ultimate picture book for people that love the rain.

Be a Tree by Maria Gianferrari – A colorful book about trees and what people can learn from them.

Hugo and the Impossible Thing by Renee Felice Smith – Brave Hugo can and will conquer the Impossible Thing with his friends help.

What is Comprehension?

Comprehension is understanding the meaning of the text. Sometimes children become so concentrated on understanding the meaning of word, they forget what they’re even reading about.

A lot of parents ask about how to help their child read successfully even before their child knows how to read. There are many simple techniques to help children with comprehension. I incorporate these into my storytime.

-When reading, you can do what is called a story count…let the children count the characters in the story and determine the role of each character.

-I also like to ask the children what they predict will happen and read on to see if their guess was correct.

-New vocabulary words are pointed out and we go over the meaning of each. It is proven that kids comprehend the story easier when they know the meaning of new words. Vocabulary building is so important in young readers.  It’s much easier to sound out and understand words you’ve heard before verses words you have not.

-Reading review is one of my favorite parts of storytime. It does my heart well to know the kids have listened and understood what I was reading and they are able to retell in detail about different parts of the story when prompted with questions.

I know all of you do storytime in your classrooms. This is a great time to practice these simple comprehension skills and be able to show and pass these simple skills on to parents. Please assure them it only takes a few minutes a day for skills their children will be able to use a lifetime. For more information on reading comprehension in the classroom and at home, check out or this great website.

Themed Songs for the Month of May:
Songs for Mother's Day
Construction Songs
Ice Cream!
Graduation Song

May Activities for the Classroom & Home:
May Preschool Activities
May Crafts 

Sensory Kits


Did you know we now offer Sensory Kits? Children can use these kits for various reasons such as stress relief, counting, sorting, daily living skills, fine motor skills, letter and color recognition and more! Please let me know if this is something you would like to check out and use in your classroom.

If you’re interested in checking out any new, themed, or other materials, please complete an Institution Express Books form.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, concerns or ideas. 

Ms. Shannon