The Book Bag, Books for Ages 5 to 8, November/December 2007

Okay, so I’ve already mentioned “toy recall.” Well, what about the OTHER definition of recall …. to remember!

This year, pick the gift that kids will recall most fondly: spending time, sharing a book with you! Trust us, it will be their favorite memory!

Bubba Begonia, You’ll Be Sorry! by Gerry O’Brien. The author takes one of Mom’s perennial warnings — “Your finger will get stuck if you keep putting it up your nose” — and builds it into a story about a boy who wants to make a good first impression at school. “This is a fun, fast read … the character names alone will have you laughing. The short sentences make it a perfect selection for reluctant readers.” (Acorn Press, 2006)

The Little Elephant with the Big Earache by Charlotte Cowan, MD. Eddie’s birthday party is just days away, but he has an earache. Dr. Hippo knew just how to help Eddie feel better! This picture book walks children through a visit to the doctor’s office and offers comfort (and a pamphlet) for dealing with earaches! “This is a story that every parent and child will appreciate. Rare is the child who hasn’t suffered not one earache. The Parent’s Guide in the back is a HUGE bonus!” (The Hippocratic Press, 2007) You can also hear a podcast interview with the author at Just One More Book!

An Orphan’s Promise by Dan J. Davis. It is the winter of 1910, and Ruby has has convinced the headmistress at the orphanage that she can make it to the Kloss house. When she arrives, she immediately volunteers to work as a carpenter’s apprentice. The boys laugh and make fun of her! But Mrs. Kloss has her own ideas! “I couldn’t put the book down…I found the story enchanting and Ruby captivating…I loved the independence that Mrs. Kloss and Ruby have in deciding what is/isn’t ‘boys work’.” (Second Star Creations, 2007)

Now…for My Next Number by Margaret Park. This book and CD introduce multiplication with clever, catchy songs. “This has the potential to be valuable for a long time. Kindergarteners are learning to count by 2s, 5s, and 10s these days. It will help them now and then later when they get to bigger numbers.” (Great River Books, 2007)

Poofin by Richard M. Wainwright. Poofin, a young cloud, is sent to earth to learn about helping people, and he spends several days following Bobby as the boy prepares for Christmas. Poofin desperately wants to help, but every time he tries, things go wrong. “This is a great book. It’s the kind of story you can see as a community play.” (R. M. Wainwright Books, 1989)

Priscilla McDoodlenut DoodleMcMae Asks, Why? by Janet Mary Sinke King Norman and King Wynthor have very specific ideas about what is best for the world … and it starts with them! King Norman wants a kingdom where everyone must have red hair; in King Wynthor’s empire, it must be blue hair. And so the battle begins. Curious, as all children are, a shy Priscilla asks the kings “why.” The kings don’t notice the question, are less amazed at the question, and are instead, struck by her purple hair. Will everyone in the kingdom dismiss her question? This picture book helps kids understand the importance of being themselves. “Priscilla’s name is a tongue twister, but don’t let that deter you. This is a wonderful story with great messages!” (My Grandma and Me Publishers, 2007)

Torina’s World: A Child’s Life in Madagascar by Joni Kabana. This was one of the books on an earlier “reading ahead” list. It lived up to its billing! The photography is captivating (even if you don’t read a word). The format engages young listeners/readers into the story by asking questions that give them the chance to see the things we have in common, not just what makes us different. (Arnica Creative, 2007)