Tag Archives: 4-8year

All Wrapped Up

I love to give and receive books. My nine-year-old son has requested books for Christmas, which I think is great! It warms the hearts of his librarian parents. Here are a few of my favorites for gifting this year.

Ages 3 and Under

Bright Baby Books-My Big Animal Book
The clear, bright photographs make these enticing for the little ones.

Max’s Toys
Max and Ruby are a favorite here. I especially like the older titles.

Roses are Red. Are Violets Blue?
This is my favorite book from childhood. I have our original copy. It is a color naming and color mixing book. If you can find a used copy, it is worth it!

Car Wash
An easy, fun picture book that has collage pictures.

Ages 4-8

Make It
Crafts for kids made from recyclables. We originally checked this out from the library, but C. loved it so much, I thought she needed her own copy. It is a great book.

How to Build an A
Build the alphabet with the included shapes.

Giant Play and Learn
From Chronicle Books, fun and quiet entertainment!

A fantastic book to give as a gift. This oversized book has beautiful illustrations of animals. The animals are grouped into categories including “On the Seaboard”, “Underground”, “Spots and Stripes”, and “Black and White”.

3-D Atlas and World Tour
Really for big kids too-who doesn’t love 3-D?

Big Words for Little People
Usually I am not a big fan of celebrity written books, but her books seem to resonate with kids. Her playful language and themes are a hit.

Ages 8-14

Magic Thief
Once kids really start reading, it is hard to keep them in books. They go through them so fast! This wizard adventure book is just what my son has in mind for a relaxing Winter Break read.

Gods of Manhattan
An adventure story, featuring thirteen-year-old Rory as the main character. Rory finds a parallel city to Manhattan, called Mannahatta, which is populated by Gods.

The Beaumont family each is endowded with a special talent-a savvy- on their thirteenth birthday. When middle child, Mississippi, turns thirteen her adventure begins.

Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide: Extreme Junior Edition
I think this will get some laughs from my nine-year-old, and spark his imagination.

Almost Everything
By the same author as Zoo-ology, this giant book has categories including “Trees and Flowers”, “Human Body”, “Costumes of the World”, and “Tools”. The index has a description of each picture.

Math Problems

In school, especially elementary school, math never seemed like much of a big deal. It was just one of those things you had to work through. Worksheets with pictures of money on them, fractions, and lots of counting pictures were the standard. I am not sure things have changed that much. It is hard to get my son, H, excited about math. Recently, C has been complaining that she doesn’t know “hard math” like her older brother, so I started looking around for some of our good math resources to get us started.

One of our favorite books to get in the mood for math is A Million Dots by Andrew Clements. Filled with facts such as, “It would take 464,000 school-lunch cartons of chocolate milk to fill a 20 by 40 foot swimming pool.” Or “The sun has a diameter of 864,948 miles-wide enough to fit 109 earths.” The book also contains one million dots. The dots are tiny and overlay each picture. At the bottom of each page is a tally of the number of dots represented up to that page.

We have two fantastic math games, Magic Cauldron and Potty Professor. I purchased these from the UK company, Orchard Toys. I believe Magic Cauldron is available from domestic sources. Magic Cauldron is an addition and subtraction game, and Potty Professor is its multiplication and division counterpart. Both have these awesome heat sensitive cards that you rub to reveal the answer. Sometimes we do not play the game, but just solve the problems and rub off the answers on the back. There is just something so appealing about rubbing off the answer, then having it “disappear” again. The kids can’t resist this math game.

I found these flip math books by Anna Neilson called I Can Add and I Can Subtract. C prefers some quiet time and self-directed learning, so these are a good choice for her. C likes these because she can study them on her own. Each flip card has a picture representation of the problem and it flips over for the answer in both picture and numeric form.

The Grumbling Splunk

Hey, I didn’t even have to make up an attention grabbing title for this post-who doesn’t want to know what a Grumbling Splunk is?
In Otis and Rae and the Grumbling Splunk , by Laura Espinosa and Leo Espinosa, friends Otis and Rae set out on a camping trip. Rae wants to tell scary stories and track wild beasts. Otis just wants to eat his peanut butter and banana sandwiches (PB & B) and go to sleep. After Otis accidentally encounters and runs from a Grumbling Splunk in the middle of the night, Rae insists they go back out in search of the beast. On their adventure they discover Grumbling Splunks aren’t actually scary, and they find out what they have in common with the strange sounding beasts.

When H. was little he did not like to be scared at all. This is a great book about monsters for those who do not want to be scared. Other non-scary monster books we like include the following:

Jitterbug Jam, by Barbara Jean Hicks – A monster is scared of a boy under is bed.

Scared Stiff, by Katie Davis – Objects that appear scary turn out to be ordinary.

The Monster at the End of this Book, by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin – Grover imagines he is getting closer to the monster at the end of the book with each page you turn.