Joyful big words about FOOD! With vibrant photos of edibles familiar and novel, April Pulley Sayre celebrates the fun and fascination of things we eat. The words beg to be memorized, then get stuck in your head and return in the grocery store as you shop. These books are a pleasure for eyes, ears and mouth. Enjoy!
Author Laya Steinberg
Illustrator Debbie Harter
I stumbled upon Thesaurus Rex by chance, while searching for books to teach comparison concepts. It was a lucky find. Thesaurus Rex is a great example of the expansion parents can practice with any book. The author uses numerous synonyms or closely related words for many adventures we observe through the story. Author Laya Steinberg gives us four new words for mud:
“Thesaurus Rex lands in mud: slime, slush, mire and muck. Oh no! Now he’s stuck.”
By imitating this strategy in daily read-alouds, parents can increase the number and variety of words their kids hear in a fun and playful way. Changing ‘mud’ to ‘mire’ or ‘muck’ or replacing ‘big’ with ‘huge’ or ‘gigantic’ adds interest and fun for everyone. Thesaurus Rex is a terrific book for learning and practicing this BigWords strategy. Enjoy!
Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrator Jane Dyer
Vocabulary, manners, and smiles are wrapped into this treasure recommended by fellow bibliophile, Antje. Each page of Cookies introduces a new word and defines it in terms of cookies. For example, a sheep in a purple sweater tells readers: “HONEST means, I have to tell you something. The butterfly didn’t really take the cookie–I took the cookie.” As a cookie fanatic, the definition that resonates most with me is: “REGRET means, I really wish I didn’t eat so many cookies.” Other important words we want our children to understand like envy, loyal, open-minded, content, wise, pessimistic and optimistic are all defined in terms of cookies. Jane Dyer’s watercolors add meaning and depth to Rosenthal’s brilliant words as a diverse cast of children and animals demonstrate meanings by cooperating, sharing, lamenting, and consuming cookies. There are also several instances of contrasting words: Greedy/Generous, Pessimistic/Optimistic, Fair/Unfair: defining opposites side by side helps kids to develop deeper understanding of words by seeing what they are not.
Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal has written two other Cookies books. Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love and Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons are on my list to check out soon.
Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons is short, sweet, and ends on a thoughtful note; just right for a bedtime story.
That’s how many words kindergartners should understand.
To achieve that incredible number, children must learn 13 words a day before age five!
To learn a new word, a child needs to hear it as many as 12 times, but adult conversations only use about 3,000 words. Reading aloud is the best way to expose children to new words!
Our whiny, evil voices chorus this verse from Florian’s ‘The Weevils’ every time a weevil is spotted or mentioned. It sticks with us as only poetry can.
As read-alouders, we can maximize poem power by playing with voices, emphasizing rhythm and rhyme, rise and fall, and inviting our listeners to echo or chant along. Rhyming is a vital skill for pre-readers. Immersing kids in frequent songs and books filled with poetry prepares a foundation for pattern recognition.
insectlopedia (published as lower-case ‘i’), is our family’s favorite Florian. I wonder if the author shares our love of insects, as his poems and watercolors on paper bags seem especially creative here. In addition to using vocabulary to keep parents on tiptoes, Florian feeds us insect facts and word-play: words-within-words, homonyms, and shape poetry to appeal to visual memory for new words.
by Fred Marcellino
Harper Collins Publishers
Big and Bigger Words: