Each week I review books we’ve read with Squirm. Find other reviews here
Goodnight, Mice! by Frances Watts
(AWW 2013 Squirm Challenge: Book 21)
Mitzi is weary and Billy is sleepy. Clementine’s teary and Oliver’s weepy.
The four little mice are tired and worn out, and it’s time to start their bed time rituals. We watch them as they kiss Grandpa goodnight, and then as they are suddenly wide awake, scampering up the stairs. We see bath time and teeth time and getting into pajamas time, before the mice hear their bedtime story and drift off to sleep.
This is the second Frances Watts book we have read (we were given Kisses for Daddy as a baptism present for Squirm) and another one which deals with bedtime. The four mice are very cute, but also very like children – wanting to do things on their own, begging for another story and generally causing a little bit of chaos. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in the story and forget that you’re reading about mice, until you get to the end and you’re once again reminded that this is a cute, fairy style house in the woods. It would be (and has been for us) a wonderful bedtime story, just the right amount of magic and realism.
This would be a great book to read if you’re talking with your children about a bed time routine. You could do role play with dolls or stuffed animals, or take photos of the steps you do at bedtime and make your own book. There’s also some gorgeous descriptive language in this book and it would be great to make a list of that language and try to use the words in different ways, particularly some of the alliteration.
Let’s Go Visiting by Sue Williams
(AWW 2013 Squirm Challenge: Book 22)
Let’s go visiting. What do you say?
This is a very simple repeating, counting book, each time starting with a simple command and question – let’s go visiting. What do you say. From there we are introduced to the animals on the farm, as the small child (could easily be a boy or girl) collects different colours around the farm, before falling asleep in the hay.
The words and concept are quite simple in this book – the repeating phrases, the counting and the different colours and animals build through the book. There’s a lovely rhythm to the repeating, it definitely keeps the listener engaged each time it’s repeated. I love Julie Vivas’ illustrations and the way that there’s almost a whole other story being told by them – you see the child engage with the animals and generally tire themselves out – although this story isn’t in the words, without the pictures, the ending wouldn’t make sense – it’s the perfect example of words and illustrations working together!
This book would be great for talking about animals, numbers or colours! If you’re working on simple addition, adding up strings of numbers, you could use this book. You could draw pictures of the animals for colouring in, could count them and order them. You could make patterns with the cut outs. You could learn about farms and the different animals which are on them. It would be particularly fun to learn about different types of farms – fish farms, emu farms, food farms – and to create your own stories.