The Bookbag, Books for Ages 4 to 8, September/October 2006

Happy Autumn. This edition of the Bookbag has some fun stories for any time of the year … even the seemingly Halloween titles. As always, the books are listed in alphabetical order.

Christmas at the Candle Factory by Barbara L. Johns. Midnight, the cat, has always loved Christmas. She is Grady’s right-hand-paw when it comes time to creating special treasures for the holiday. But Elvis, the new cat, was ruining everything: candles, the fun of the holiday, and now, even her mood. Would Christmas ever be the same again? This is a seasonal picture book that doesn’t involve a big man in a red suit, but offers a wonderful story all the same. (Steeple Ridge Publications, 2006)

Dirk Bones and the Mystery of the Haunted House (I Can Read! Level 1)
by Doug Cushman. When the ghosts on Ghoul Street start complaining about living in a haunted house, Dirk Bones is given the task of writing an article for the newspaper. “Everyone in our house loves this book. It’s developed from a reading activity to a mini-play, where everyone reads a specific part. Lots of fun.” (HarperCollins Publishers, 2006)

Do You Know the Way to Find an A? by Dale Wildman. You just never know what the animals will do as you listen to their story and move from letter to letter. This is a poetic alphabet book that draws attention to a letter’s use IN a word, just not at the beginning. (Journey Stone Creations, 2006)

Here is the African Jungle by Phyl Manning. This is a nice turn on your normal animal story. The animals aren’t necessrily unfamiliar, but the house-that-jack-built cadence adds a lyrical quality that complements the incredible illustrations. (Wizard Graphics, Inc. Publications, 2006)

I Rode the Red Horse, Secretariat’s Belmont Race by Barbara M. Libby. The story offers a re-cap of history in such a way that children can draw a story from it. “Even if you don’t know anything about horse-racing, you will enjoy the tale of a great race.” (Eclipse Press, 2003)

Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten by Stacy Kannenberg. Open the book and you’ll learn the skills your child needs to develop during Kindergarten. Turn the pages and you’ll find opportunities to engage your child in learning. This is a workbook for preschoolers and kindergarteners. “Our preschooler loves the idea of being able to write in a book [and] instantly claimed some favorite pages, which are the things s/he is most comfortable with.” (Cedar Valley Publishing, 2005)

One Incredible Dog: Kizzy by Chris Williams. When Kizzy travels around town for her job with R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs), TV reporter Summer Brown and her cameraman follow along. Kizzy shows Summer all of the ways she helps children and adults learn to read. This is an early reader series that celebrates amazing dogs. (Keene Publishing, 2006)