What could be more appealing to toddlers than a book about a bus driver and his canine and feline passengers? A book in which those cats and dogs are driven to a boat (“They sail away”), a train (“They ride away”), and a plane (“They fly away”). Finally there is only one dog left. “My dog,” says the bus driver. “Bow wow.” Classic Byron Barton, the illustrations feature bright colors, rounded shapes, and flat perspective, as well as priceless expressions on the faces of the cats and dogs. Barton’s winning book offers the opportunity to count on every page spread (anywhere from one to five), not to mention bark and meow with wild abandon. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center
- Talk: About the traffic signs in the book. Ask children to point to signs they recognize.
- Sing: Sing the Wheels on the Bus with your child.
- Write: For letter awareness, point out the traffic signs in the book. Ask children to trace the shapes and letters on the sign.
- Play: Try a round of Red Light, Green Light or Mother May I.
- STEM: Count the dogs on the bus? Count the cats on the bus? Count the total. Caregivers: Notice the use of ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) Discuss, other first, second, and thirds in daily routines.
Mommies and Their Babies (Black And White) by Guido van Genechten. Translated from the Dutch. Clavis, 2012
Daddies and Their Babies (Black And White) by Guido van Genechten. Translated from the Dutch. Clavis, 2012.
Two simple board books show animal parents and their offspring, using the correct name for the young: “snake mommy with her baby snakelet,” “crocodile daddy with his baby hatchling,” and so on. But it’s the warmth of the relationships captured in the striking black-and-white illustrations that really is the point. The illustrations’ bold shapes and shading create great visual interest for very young children, while the round eyes of the creatures in each pair gaze upon one another with affection and delight. © Cooperative Children’s Book Center.
- Talk: The language of books is richer than the language of conversation, more rare words are used. Point out new words to your child as you read these books.
- Write: Draw a picture of your own family and label who is in it.
- STEM: Count the number of people in your family.
Find more early literacy activities from the Youth Services Section of the Wisconsin Library Association’s 2015 Early Literacy Calendar created by Youth Services librarians across Wisconsin.