Book Reviews :: Practical Life, Part 2

In an effort to utilize my librarian background, I am embarking on a series of book reviews, to be published every Friday. These reviews will cover computer programming books aimed at children, as well as reality-based children’s books.

IMG_0277As the title of this post indicates, this is the second part of a series where I focus on children’s stories that cover practical life skills. All of the books I recommend are ones that my children have enjoyed and I would use in my own classroom. These books are based in reality, thus children are learning key vocabulary without having to discover if something is fantasy or not. Check out my post on reading for a more in-depth explanation.

I focused on the younger child in the first part of this series, so I have chosen two books that are more appropriate for a slightly older child.  These books will have your children giggling at the silly antics of the characters, while still imparting a valuable lesson.

Ages 4 and up
Redmond, E.S. Felicity Floo Visits the Zoo. Candlewick Press: Somerville, Massachusetts, 2009.
This rhyming story will have children (and parents) feeling sorry for the poor zoo animals as a sniffling Felicty Floo visits the zoo. She brings her runny nose and subsequent illness to all of the zoo animals. Throughout the short text, we see Felicity’s handprints (and thus, her germs) spread throughout the various zoo enclosures. Although the animals do not speak in this story, there may need to be some discussion about how children are not typically allowed into the zoo enclosures with the animals. A sophisticated preschooler should be able to reference their own zoo visits with Felicity’s up-close encounters and recognize the author’s literary license. At the end of the book, there is a catchy little rhyme about how one needs to cough into their elbow and use a tissue to prevent spreading the “floo!”

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Ages 4 and up
Pearson, Tracey Campbell. The Purple Hat. Farrar, Strauss, Giroux: New York, 1997.
Our story follows Annie, a young elementary girl who loves the color purple. One day, a catalog comes into the mail and Annie finds a beautiful purple hat. She leaves hints for her family that she would like the hat and after a bit, a package comes to her door and it’s the purple hat. She is so excited that she decides to wear it the next day to school. During a walk in the woods, she loses the hat and is distraught for weeks until the townspeople decide to bring her various purple hats. At the end of the book, her hat is found, but some local birds have been using it as a nest. Annie is thrilled. This is a great book for talking about taking care of items and the importance of community.