Grades K-2

Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup and Yawn

Book cover: 'Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup and Yawn'
Author(s): 
Melvin Berger

A simple book with cartoon-like illustrations that explains reflexes and the related workings of the nerovus system - focusing, of course, on those four topics mentioned in the title. The story also invites children to try out a few simple experiments to observe reflexes for themselves. A "Find Out More" section provides "Things to Think About", additional "Test Your Reflexes" ideas and "Fun Facts".

The Heart

Book cover: 'The Heart'

This is a fascinating and colorful look at the heart and the amazing job it performs. Computer-enhanced photos are used to illustrate the heart and the blood vessels while magnified images give us a close-up look at the blood. Also included are simpler illustrations showing the chambers of the heart, it's valves and arteries and the general make-up of arteries and veins and their valves. The text is simple enough to be understood by fairly young children (particularly as a read-aloud) but is written in such a way as to capture the awe and mystery of how our body works.

What the Moon is Like

Book cover: 'What the Moon is Like'
Author(s): 
Franklyn M. Branley

This book covers the appearance of the moon from the earth (in regards to its surface rather than its changes over the month), the explanations people have given for the appearance of the moon (man in the moon, etc.) and why it really looks that way. It covers many interesting details about the surface of the moon (including a simple map of the moon's surface marked with the locations of moon landings), its atmosphere, the length of day and night on the moon (and the extreme temperature difference between the two), the difference in gravity on the moon, etc.

The Moon Seems to Change

Book cover: 'The Moon Seems to Change'
Author(s): 
Franklyn M. Branley

This book, through simple illustrations and very readable text, gives young children (approximately Kindergarten thru third grade) an excellent explanation of the moon and the changes we can easily observe in it during a month. What often seem like complex concepts - the phases of the moon and its movement relative to the earth - are made very understandable through the text and a very simple experiment involving an orange stuck onto a pencil (a styrofoam ball stuck onto a chopstick worked quite well for us with less mess) and a flashlight.

Life of Jesus

Book cover: 'Life of Jesus'

We put this poster up in our upstairs hallway thinking that the colorful pictures would be attractive to the little ones and help them develop a better understanding of the Life of Jesus. The full color drawings are attractive but dignified. It's been a big hit so far. I find my six year old reading words here and there, my four year old asking about what happens in different pictures and my two year old pointing to her favorite scenes. The pictures include simple descriptions and dialogue along with Biblical references.

The Mass Book for Children

Book cover: 'The Mass Book for Children'
Author(s): 
Rosemarie Gortler
Donna Piscitelli
Illustrator(s): 
Mimi Sternhagen

This little booklet is a colorfully illustrated and simply written explanation of what happens during the Mass and why. It is broken up into seven main sections: "The Mass Begins!", "The Introductory Rite", "The Penitential Rite", "The Liturgy of the Word", "The Profession of Faith", "The Liturgy of the Eucharist", and "The Concluding Rite". Rather than a missal for children, this is intended to be used outside of Church in preparation to understand the Mass better. (It would be particularly effective when used with the Miniature Mass Kit.

Teach Me Spanish

Book cover: 'Teach Me Spanish'

This audio tape and coloring book set (also available in CD) is designed as a very early introduction to Spanish for young children through popular and traditional songs in Spanish and English. Material covered includes counting to ten, learning the days of the week and the words of songs such as Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and Are You Sleeping?

My children have enjoyed this tape quite a bit over the past several years and the songs are performed nicely enough to not be too tiring for Moms either.

Grandpa Karm's First Catholic Australian Reader

Book cover: 'Grandpa Karm's First Catholic Australian Reader'
Author(s): 
Karmenu Attard

"Grandpa Karm" has written a 20-page first level reader, illustrated with black and white clip art and holy card reproductions. The typeface is large and clear and easy for a new reader to follow. Self-published and bound with staples and binding tape, the book may not hold up well to repeated readings by boisterous young readers.

A Book of Sanctity

Book cover: 'A Book of Sanctity'

A Book of Sanctity is a newly printed collection of stories gathered from numerous out-of-print Catholic reading books. These 27 selections center around the theme of sanctity and include Bible stories, stories of the saints, and stories of families. Most pages include a simple black-and-white illustration that enhances the interest of the story without distracting a young reader's attention.

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