Our Bookshelf: Sleepy time books

My children are getting older now, the oldest is now in his last year of middle school, and the youngest in her last elementary grade, however we all still enjoy a good picture book. I, as an illustrator, especially relish them.

Over the years we collected some favoritesthat were a part of our bedtime ritual for many years. A couple of new ones joined the “sleepytime pile” lately. I want to share them today.

Sleepytime books

  1. The Man in the Moon by William Joyce– beautiful story, stunning artwork, this one is one of the longer books we have. Children always adored it and moved on to The Guardians of the Childhood series when they got older.
  2. When the Sky is Like Lace by Elinor Lander Horwitz and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, this book is absolutely magical, calm blues and grays and sandy yellows of whimsical illustrations always left an impression. We still are on the lookout for lacy sky and quote this book when it is.
  3. If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed by Denise Vega, illustrated by Zachariah Ohora- this is the latest addition to our collection. It’s a playful and hilarious recipe for putting a monster to bed. It is not so much of a calming book, but definitely a favorite already.
  4. Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski– this is an absolutely brilliant book, especially for reluctant sleepers, illustrations are magical with delightful textures and details.
  5. Once upon a cloud by Claire Keane– this is not so much of a direct sleepytime book, but sweet color palette and calm dream-like text is a winning combination for a bedtime read
  6. Grandfather Twilight by Barbara Berger is another classic and is a huge favorite we followed the process of winding down and welcoming a good night’s rest along with Grandfather Twilight and his companions.
  7. A Poem for Every Night of the Year edited by Allie Esiri is a delightful collection the older kids would appreciate, we so enjoy completing our day with a poem and maybe even a short discussion.
  8. I Don’t Want to Go to Bed by Astrid Lindgren and illustrated by Ilon Wikland, this book is another longer read as we follow a little boy that doesn’t want to go to bed but has a chance to peek at  forest animals’ getting ready for bed through the neighbor lady’s magical glasses. Illustrations are absolutely adorable.
  9. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Jerry Pinkney– this is one of the most gorgeous books that we own. Little chipmunk has an adventure and finally settles in for the night.

 

 

 

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JANUARY READS

What my children read in January (listing only new books, there were many many re-reads as always)

Sunflowerous Reads

D, 10 y.o.

  • The Princess, the Scoundrel and the Farmboy (Star Wars) by Alexandra Bracken
  • The Adventures of a South Pole Pig : A novel of snow and courage by Chris Kurtz
  • Heart of the Samurai by Margi Preus
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Threader, The Silver Chair, The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
Slide1

D. read in January

In Russian:

Жюль Верн “Дети Капитана Гранта”

 

C., 7 y.o. read a lot of picture books, I will only list those that she herself chose as her favorites

  • The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski
  • Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick
  • Earwig and the Witch by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Right Word : Roget and his Thesaurus by Jennifer Fischer Bryant
Slide1 copy

C. read in January

In Russian:

Виктор Драгунский “Денискины Рассказы”

September Reads

September is over, more than 10% of our school year is done (am I not the optimist :D). Today I just want to write down what children read throughout the month, to keep track mostly.

Sunflowerous Reads

D.:

In English:

  • Rudyard Kipling “The Jungle Book”
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • Skelling by David Almond
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Wildwood Imperium by Colin Meloy
  • How to Break a Dragon’s Heart by Cressida Cowell

In Russian:

  • Галина Демыкина “Мой капитан”
  • Э. Сеттон-Томпсон “Винипегский волк”, “Мустанг-иноходец”
  • Ж. Реми-мл. “Битва за огонь. Пещерный Лев”

Plus re-reads that I couldn’t possibly keep track of

C. read

In English:

  • Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo
  • Captain Cat by Inga Moore
  • Arrietty (from Studio Ghibli Picture Book series)
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
  • Room on Broom by Julia Donaldson
  • Whale Shines: An Artistic Tale by Fiona Robinson
  • Together we are reading (taking turns) Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan

In Russian

  • “Минус и Большой Мир” Свен Нурдквист
  • “Серая Шейка” Д.Н. Мамин-Сибиряк
  • сборник “Волшебное Слово”
  • Басни Крылова
  • Аля, Кляксич и Буква “А” Ирина Токмакова
  • Вместе : “Мы живем в каменном веке” (Пешком в историю)

And again, lots of re-reads I didn’t write down

also we read Haiku Books

What have I noticed this month:

D. absolutely insists we wait for him for read-alouds, no picture book is too simple or too childish. I am really glad he cares still. I have made a resolution to have D. read at least one “classic” and one “award” book per month, but still let him have his way with series that he enjoys. All of these work out. The most re-read book for him was Harry Potter, that is his nightstand series of choice. There doesn’t seem to be a non-fiction in my records, but I am sure he read something…will ask him tomorrow morning.

C. is a confident and independent reader, she likes comic books a lot, much more than D. I do wish we had more time for read-alouds. This will be next month’s goal.

Two weeks roundup: March 30- April 12, 2015

What a whirlwind!

Photo of the week:

Spring has officially came and settled in

Spring has officially came and settled in

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Week’s Roundup: March 2-March 8, 2015

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Another week flew by, the air is thawing and snow is melting. I’m sure there are a few snowstorms to enjoy before summer comes, but for now we are basking in the sun.

Photo of the week:

guests on our lawn. It was so funny, how the crows that live in the surrounding trees were upset that geese came. There was a lot of talking between the birds.

guests on our lawn. It was so funny, how the crows that live in the surrounding trees were upset that geese came. There was a lot of talking between the birds.

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Week’s Roundup: Goodbye February 2015

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February is over and thank goodness it is. It was a good month, but it seemed long and heavy. Russians congratulated each other on the beginning of spring today. And even though here, in the US it doesn’t come for a couple of weeks at least, I think it is here already, lurking in the woods and soon will drive winter out completely.

Photo of the week:

nothing better than spending Sunday afternoon with my baby girl by my side, all nice and cozy

nothing better than spending Sunday afternoon with my baby girl by my side, all nice and cozy

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Lunar New Year

Our week flies buy in another blur of business, but we did have a little event for Lunar New Year yesterday.

First, we talked about why some people celebrate New Year’s arrival on the days other than January 1st  (such as Rosh Hashana, Russian “old style” New Year (January 13th) and Lunar New Year among them). Then we read D is for Dragon Dance by Ying Chang Compestine (affiliate link) to see the major elements of Chinese New Year Celebration.

d is for dragon dance

Then we read about the legend of Chinese Zodiac animals in Russian (Легенда о Восточном Календаре. Мария Ершова, Игорь Олейников. Еще мы  прочли Нианское чудовище, тоже Олейникова иллюстрации)

legenda o vostochnom kalendare

nianskoe chudoviwe

and read our horoscopes for the upcoming Lunar Year, C. was delighted to find that she will have a very lucky year, D. was promised reward for his hard work, mine was more or less ok, my husband’s year is supposed to be luckier than the one that just ended. We’ll see 🙂

We did a couple of simple art projects

1. The idea for this finger print art came from this blog. It’s a simple and fun art project. First children painted their backgrounds using watercolor paints. Second I printed out some articles in Chinese (you can use newspaper too if available in your area) and children cut out buildings. Third, buildings are pasted onto the background. Children added cute panda stickers (affiliate link)  too. Then they put yellow and red blobs on the page (we used acrylic paint and brushes for that, but for tiny artists fingerprints would be more fun). After everything was dry, children connected their lanterns to create a garland, and added fireworks in the sky.

D.'s artwork

D.’s artwork

C.'s scenery

C.’s scenery

2. The second art project was to create a sheep- symbol of the new Lunar Year. Children painted the background -sky and grass, then painted the sheep- paying attention to the head and legs and just outlining the body. The body was filled in with pom-poms and cotton balls. Since it’s the year of Wooden Sheep they used some brown pom-poms in addition to the white ones. Oh, and don’t forget the googly eyes 🙂

D's sheep

D’s sheep

C. draws rainbows a lot nowadays, I love her sheep's ears too :)

C. draws rainbows a lot nowadays, I love her sheep’s ears too 🙂

So, this was our little event for this Lunar New Year celebration. Hope the Year of the Sheep will bring a good fortune to everyone!