Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 5: Over In the Jungle - A Rainforest Rhyme

Okay, I'm sure I'll say this many times over the course of this blog, but I love, love, love this book!   LOVE!  This is another random library shelf find, and another book I have long had memorized.  I was shocked and disappointed to find that my local Barnes and Noble doesn't carry it, (a book this good?  Seriously?) but fortunately you can find it in both hardcover and paperback on amazon.  Phew.  Marianne Berkes has written a fabulous story about the creatures of the rainforest set to the tune of "Over in the Meadow," and has conveniently even included the music to the tune in the back of the book.  (One play through on the piano to figure out the melody and reading this story became even more fun!)  Count your way from one to ten, meeting different jungle animals and their young along the way.  There are so many things I love about this book, I hardly know where to begin.  For starters, I adore books that teach me something new.  There are so many fun and unique animals in this story, and even a little write-up about each one in the back of the book that provides even more information about their lifestyles and habits.  Did you know that honey bears and kinkajous are the same animal?  Or that marmosets are only 7-12 inches tall?  Or that leaf-cutter ants fertilize the leaves they bring back to their colony with saliva and then eat the fungus that grows on it for food?  Yeah, neither did I... until I read this book.  Now my son knows all about poison dart frogs and morpho butterflies ("They are a beautiful blue!"), ocelots and sloths.  He often asks me to sing him this song as he's falling asleep at night or when we're just driving around in the car.  What better endorsement could you ask for?  Believe it or not, though, my favorite part of this book actually might not even be any of the things I've already mentioned, but rather the illustrations.  They are AMAZING!  I'm talking seriously fabulous in every way.  Artist Jeanette Canyon created all of the imagery for this story out of relief sculptures of textured polymer clay.  There is a little write-up about her process in the back of the book -- another cool bonus!  The colors are vibrant and her attention to detail is incredible, making this one of the most creatively illustrated books I've ever seen.  Berkes has her own little featured page at the back of the book, as well, which offers ideas for other activities that you can do with your child while reading this story.  This is another book I love to give as a gift.  Check out your library to see if they have it, or better yet, get a copy of your own.   You won't be disappointed!


Rainy Day Mum said...

Ohhh this looks brilliant - we love books with a tune to them as J seems to pick up words easier when they are sung

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