I am eager to get back to doing book reviews again and have soooo many wonderful books to do!  But alas, I know I won't get around to doing too many very soon so picking one to start with was hard but not too hard because this book (the first we read in the series) was so utterly fantastic and my son and I both absolutely adored it-  so here we go!

Title of Book: Poppy  (Tales of Dimwood Forest)


Author:  Avi

Illustrator:  Brian Floca

Genre:  Fiction; adventure

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages:  176

Suggested Age Range:  8-12  but can certainly be a read a loud for a much younger age.  My son is 6 and has been enthralled by this series!

Why I Chose This Book:  This book came as a highly recommended read-aloud by Sarah Mackenzie.  I'm a big fan of Sarah's Read Aloud Revival and just about anything she's put out.  You can see some posts on her book Teaching From Rest here and here.

A Bit From The Back Cover:  At the very edge of Dimwood Forest stands an old charred oak.  A great horned owl, Mr. Ocax, waits there. With his piercing gaze, he surveys the lands he calls his own, watching for the creatures he considers his subjects. None dare disobey him, until the night a courageous deer mouse named Poppy, boldly defies him, only to find herself in terrible danger. To lead her family to a better life, will Poppy battle Mr. Ocax to the end?

My Review:  My son and I were quickly taken in by this fanciful tale about woodland creatures!  Poppy is a sweet, timid dormouse who suffers a great loss at the beginning of the story but, being protective of her family, gathers her courage to embark on a dangerous quest.  The story was simply irresistible.  The book is full of action and chances for discussion of how to handle various dilemmas.  Our favorite character was actually NOT Poppy, the heroine or the antagonist, Mr. Ocax, but the ever so funny Ereth, the porcupine!  He was a hoot!  My son just laughed and laughed at all of Ereth's antics and sayings.  It was so much fun to read a loud to him. The book not only held my son's attention captive and begging for more, but added to his desire to learn more about animals and add creativity to his drawings of such creatures!  If you love whimsical animal adventures, you will love this series.  I want to read it again!

Other Books by this Author:  Ragweed, Poppy and Ereth, Ereth's Birthday, Poppy and Rye, Poppy's Return (all from the Dimwood Forest series).  Crispin- The Cross of Lead (Newberry Award Winner), The Good Dog, Old Wolf, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, and many others.

 

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2015-03-27 21.11.36March is Read Aloud Month.  I can't believe I almost missed this opportunity to blog about what I consider to be THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do for your child's educational success!

2014-11-03 18.47.47

I'm a HUGE advocate of reading.  Anyone that has seen the stacks of books I bring home from the library or that are on my own bookshelves knows this.  One of my favorite times of the day is the time I sit down with my sons to read.  Yes, I read to the older one as well as the youngest.  I will read to my oldest son for as long as he will allow me and I enjoy the coziness of cuddling up with my youngest on the couch under a soft blanket and all the giggling that ensues. So when I hear or read about other parents who say they just don't have time to read much to their kids, it boggles my mind.

The importance of reading aloud is often overlooked as parents sometimes miss the role that reading to their children plays in the child's development.  Only 48% of kids are read to daily in the United States. Yet research has shown time and time again that reading aloud to your child is actually the single most important thing you can do to prepare him or her for reading and other learning.  Not only does this social time offer a chance of emotional connection with your child, but it promotes vocabulary, literacy skills and improves the child's overall language development and reading ability.

Furthermore, it's important to KEEP READING to your children, even AFTER they have learned to read on their own. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends reading to children beginning at birth.  This is wonderful, but lets not forget to keep reading even after the child develops the skills to read for themselves.  Studies have actually shown that those children that are read aloud to will read for their own pleasure more than the kids who are not read to.

Sharon Younger of Chicagonow.com wrote an article describing 7 reasons why reading aloud to older kids is important including enjoyment, life lessons, building of vocabulary and the fact that children LISTEN on a different level than what they READ on. When you read to them at a level above their own reading level (in other words, at their LISTENING level), they will get excited about the plot which is more complicated than he or she can read for themselves and this will further their hook for reading.

Reading aloud to your child is a true predictor of their success in this world.  Success in reading which leads to success in life.  Take time to read aloud and expose your child to not only the story knowledge of a quality book, but rare words and ideas that you truly do not always cover in your day-to-day conversations. Take time to read aloud and give your child this quality time to practice listening - a skill that is of utmost importance not only for academic learning but to prevent YOU from having to repeat things over and over .  There is SO much skill provided in just sitting down and reading to your child each day.

So turn the TV off or yeah, even the LeapPad in my own home, and read to your child.

One of his favorites!
One of his favorites!

Readaloud.org states that just 15 minutes a day can have a HUGE impact.  Check out their information on this@http://www.readaloud.org/15minutes.html

I challenge you!!  Read to your child today for 15 minutes.  Then do it again tomorrow.  Then do it again the next day, and the next and the next......

 

What Book(s) Did You Read To Your Child Today?

 

 

Resources:

Readaloud.org

Trelease-on-reading.com

Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own

7 Reasons Why Reading Aloud to Older Kids is Still Very Important

Reach Out and Read

Read To Your Children