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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'pre-k'.

I'm so glad Kevin Henkes has taken to writing about the seasons, and I hope he does all of them. Winter Is Here is a poetic exploration of the sights and feelings of winter -- from the way the snow covers the outside world to the many different articles of clothing that a child must put on before going out to play. Gentle text works well for young children, and the bright illustrations bring colors and definition even to descriptions of white snow and transparent ice.

Of course, the best part of this book is that it ends with spring!

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Kevin Henkes
Illustrator: Laura Dronzek
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: None

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As Time Went By is a deceptively simple story in three parts about: a ship that breaks down and is eventually abandoned, a prosperous family that loses their wealth and has to go live with the other poor people, and a group of poor people who fix up a ship to use it for their new home.

The story is low on details, and seems sad at first, but I liked the ending. I like how the story forms a loop -- following the ship from its prosperous days, through abandonment, and then to its upcycled use as a dwelling. I suppose this story might be about class. It also asks (in a way subtle enough that children might miss it): what makes a person important?

Maybe it won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I really liked it, and the smoky illustrations were lovely as well.

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Jose Sanabria
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

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Have You Seen Trees? This may seem like an odd title. Of course I've seen trees. Who hasn't? Especially living in a rural, largely forested area, trees are particularly ubiquitous. And perhaps that's what the question is really asking. Have you become so used to encountering trees in the daily landscape that you're not really "seeing" them anymore?

The book doesn't get that philosophical, but by describing trees in their various seasons, colors, varieties, and habitats, especially with the use of many hyphenated descriptor phrases, the rhyming text reminds us of the beauty and versatility of trees. The soft and vibrant illustrations pair wonderfully with the celebratory text, making the book a joy to read (though the hyphenated phrases can take some practice!).

Scrounged From: A local used book sale

Format: Paperback
Author: Joanne Oppenheim
Illustrators: Jean and Mou-Sien Tseng
Pages: 35
Content Advisory: None

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Round is another neat "concept book" from Joyce Sidman, similar to her Swirl by Swirl book about spirals in nature (see my review here).

Here we explore the concept of "round," from planets and the moon to berries, eggs, and other things that grow. The text is poetic and is written from the first-person perspective of an observant child. It's really fun to think about just how many different contexts this shape appears in. In the text and in an informational page at the end, we also get to explore other concepts that contribute to circles and spheres: gravity, growth, weight, etc.

It's amazing how one simple shape can guide us from tiny things to the enormous and distant, as well as from young to old. I really enjoyed the scope of this book, expressed with such simplicity.

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Taeeun Yu
Pages: 32
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day is nostalgic for me, having spent a few years of my childhood in Scotland by the North Sea, where it rained frequently. If I'd saved all of my outdoor play for a sunny day, I would have been inside most of the time, and with four homeschooled children (at the time), I'm sure my mom needed a break once in a while. Consequently, my siblings and I spent many hours in our large backyard in our rain jackets, making "soup" from puddles, bouncing on the moss, watching slugs, climbing trees, and more. 

In this story, a child is reminded of the beauty of the natural world, after losing their video game in a stream. Perhaps the "lesson" is obvious, but the text is sweet and the illustrations are so beautiful with the earth tones contrasted against the child's bright orange raincoat. Also, the text manages to be evocative of ideas such as stillness, silence, solitude, pondering, observation, exploration, and even the way that these things can help us to look at familiar places and family members with new eyes.

I hope children will enjoy this book, and that it won't just be one of those stories that adults want children to like.

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author/Illustrator: Beatrice Alemagna
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

More Reviews at Amazon

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