Thursday, August 14, 2014

Shelf Life [kids]

The Tree House That Jack BuiltThe Tree House that Jack Built, by Bonnie Verburg and Mark Teague, 32 pages.
@SPL:  JP Verbu

“Here is the boy up in the tree / where he built a house overlooking the sea. Yes, this is the tree house that Jack built.”

With swings, ladders, doors, turrets, vines and pulleys everywhere in his magnificent new tree house, Jack is soon joined by a variety of creatures which climb, jump, hide, play and chase each other. Everyone is having fun: the lizard, parrot, dog, cat, squirrels, monkeys, and even the buzzing fly.

Then a bell rings. 

What is it for?  Where are all the animals going?

Could it be story time?  Yes, it is!

Later, the sun sets and stars appear in the sky. The tree house is silent. “The night has grown deep. Now Jack and his kitty are fast asleep. Good night to the tree house that Jack built!”  

With its peaceful ending to a very busy, noisy day and its vibrant, colourful illustrations, this story – a fun retelling of a traditional cumulative tale – would be a perfect bedtime story for preschoolers.

** Recommended for ages 3 to 5 years.

Get Outside GuideThe Get Outside Guide, by Nancy Honovich and Julie Beer, 159 pages.
@SPL:  J 796.083 Hon

Building a tree house isn’t one of the many activities mentioned in the new National Geographic Kids Get Outside Guide but there are many others to choose from, whether kids are in their own backyards, at the lake, on a hike through the forest, or even hiking a mountain trail.

Kids will be inspired to get out of the house and enjoy exploring nature with such projects as planting a butterfly garden, making an underwater scope, creating an ice sun catcher, making a telescope, playing a nature ID game and many more. At the same time, they’ll discover amazing things about the great outdoors.

The crafts, games and experiments in the Outdoor Guide aren’t limited to the summer season: snowy day and rainy day activities are also included. Many of the activities can be enjoyed by all members of the family.

Books which encourage children to venture outside, such as this Outdoor Guide, are needed. It’s so easy these days to become absorbed in the screens in front of our faces and thus miss what’s waiting outside to be discovered and enjoyed. 

And, as the authors note, nature can make people of all ages happier, more creative, smarter and healthier!

** Recommended for ages 7 to 11 years. 
These reviews appear in the Stratford Gazette. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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