Squirm’s Book Reviews: Learning Edition

Each week I review books we’ve read with Squirm. Find other reviews here

Rex by Ursula Dubosarsky

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Rex

(AWW 2013 Squirm Challenge: Book 18)

Rex is the class pet, a rather amazing class pet who goes home with different students. When Rex and the student are at home together, they have amazing adventures, which the students then write about. Rex goes swimming, climbs buildings, scares customers, gets dressed up and goes to movies. What will he do next?

This is a lovely book on the power of imagination. Rex is only a small lizard, but in the minds of the children, he is really the size of a dinosaur – taking on great adventures. The illustrations are childlike – a mixture of painting and drawing, giving us just a little insight into the imagination of the children. It also uses a range of different backgrounds and textures to really make the pictures pop out.

This would be the perfect book to read when introducing a class pet, even if it was a toy which went home with the students. You could talk about the kind of activities which you would ‘do’ with the pet, and how you could use a picture to tell stories if not words. You could also use this with older students to talk about the way a small thing can spark big imaginations.

If you’re still at home with children, you could use this book to talk about lizards and dinosaurs. You could also make up some adventures that a lizard or a dinosaur could have and make your own book of adventures. You could also use a stuffed animal to ‘have adventures’ and draw pictures or take photos to make your own book of stories.


Bog Frog Hop by Kyle Mewburn

Adventures of a Subversive Reader: Bog Frog Hop

Bog Frog Hop is a rhyming, repetitive story of pollywogs turning into frogs and sitting on a log, while the mischievous dog comes by to play. It’s also a great counting book, moving up and down from ten pollywogs to ten frogs. (Only one dog, though)

I really enjoyed reading this one. The rhyme and rhythm in it were perfect, making it very easy to read aloud. The pictures are bright, colourful and engaging, drawn in a distinctive, but simple style. It would be a lot of fun to use this style to make a mural or an artwork in a similar style.

This would be the perfect book when introducing the idea of ten in the classroom. There’s a whole bunch of ‘rainbow’ numbers (the way different numbers can add up to make ten) You could easily use drawings or cut outs to play with this concept in the classroom. There’s also some great alliterative and rhyming language which would be a great thing to play with in an English classroom.

If you’ve got children still at home you could play with bright colours and the illustration style, as well as practice counting up and down to ten and making up your own language to create a story. You could also make a great dance or action activity with this book, or even turn parts of it into a song.


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