School is out, and my daughter is feeling a little sad about the end of kindergarten. While she enjoys her time at home, I think she is missing the structure of school. Things are a little more laid back and haphazard here. While I think it is important for kids to have plenty of unstructured play time, I do think that it is also just as important to keep some things predictable and familiar.
One of the changes we're making this summer is in our reading. So far, for the most part, we've neglected the audio book world. In an effort to shake up our routine this summer, we're incorporating audio books into our reading rotation. I'm not really interested in introducing my kids to the fancy, interactive book apps yet, but audio books we can manage. My daughter is already familiar with listening to audio versions -- she listened to plenty of stories at school. Audio books are great tools to use to help beginning readers become proficient readers.
Last night we sat down as a family and listened to our first audio choice: Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel. We checked out the HarperChildren's "An I Can Read Book and CD" set from our library. Honestly, I wasn't sure what kind of reaction to expect, especially from my three-year-old. After all, this beginning reader isn't exactly a short selection and the illustrations are small with muted colors. But, both kids listened to the narration and followed along, sometimes commenting on the pictures and laughing at all the funny parts of the story. To sum it up, the experience was perfectly delightful and one we'll most certainly repeat!
The narrator of this particular recording is Arnold Lobel himself. His expressive narrating skills are marvelously entertaining and the reading is accompanied by a nice, jaunty melody. If you're not already familiar with the book, the two main characters, Frog and Toad, reside near each other and spend their days together, living simply and supporting each other through various trials. Lobel's gentle humor is prevalent throughout the book. Frog and Toad's different personalities really shine through in his writing. The book is divided into 5 different stories about the friends' adventures: "Spring" - "The Story" - "A Lost Button" - "A Swim" - "The Letter." The reading level is just about right for my recently graduated kindergartener -- she can read the book with very minimal assistance.
My daughter loved the button story best of all. Poor Toad gets quite frustrated as he searches for his missing button. In "The Story" there's a picture that shows Toad dumping water on his head, and it baffled my son. He's still convinced the liquid in Toad's cup looks like milk, not water. And my favorite exchange: "One day in summer Frog was not feeling well. Toad said, "Frog, you are looking quite green." "But I always look green," said Frog. "I am a frog."
Yes, this Caldecott Honor Book classic is perfectly delightful! We highly recommend both the book and the audio recording.
Link up your weekend book posts at What My Child is Reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, and/or Kid Konnection at Booking Mama. Little Wonders Days is hosting a weekly Summertime Fun Party link-up. Audio books are one thing on our "bucket list" this summer.
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