Author Lily Williams has struck again with the next book in her series about what would happen if an animal became extinct, this one titled, If Polar Bears Disappeared. In this book, we learn what would happen if polar bears became extinct animals. Not only do we learn what will happen to the polar bears if sea ice continues to melt, but how their disappearance will affect so many other aspects of the artic environment. With beautifully clear illustrations to accompany the text, this is definitely one to add to your library as you are #RaisingReaders.
There are many things I do enjoy about this book, both as a educator and as a mother. Here are a few of my faves:
–I love how Lily Williams explains it all. She doesn’t just start with the disappearance, she explains what would cause their disappearance. Also, she doesn’t just tell you they’ll be gone, she also suggests how you (even as a child) may prevent that from happening.
–She explains complex ideas, like global warming, in a way that a young child who picked up her book will understand.
–Like I mentioned in my review of If Sharks Disappeared, I love that the main character is a young girl of color, and now she has a female companion with her in this one. As the mother of a curly haired brown girl, I love the Girl Power!
My kids loved the first book in the series, so they were super excited for me to read this one. They definitely enjoyed this one, and are even more knowledgeable about the how the environment works as a result. This book would be great for a child who is an animal and/or environment lover and/or in a classroom where you are learning about global warming, Earth Day, endangered or extinct animals or animals in general. I could continue with other times this would be a great book to read, but really it doesn’t have to fit into a certain time, its just a great book to share with children.
*I was provided with an ARC of this book as a member of #bookexcursion.
One of my earliest blog posts (almost 2 years ago!) was about my wonderful epiphany about having books that stay in the car for the kids, so they always have something to “do” while we’re riding. You can read that post here. Even then, my idea slightly backfired with a child who wanted to constantly read out facts to me. Unfortunately, I just discovered that another casualty of having books stay in the car is the destruction of the actual books! 😦
After only a short ride to lunch and Target (’cause its Saturday, so a Target visit is a must), this is what I found in the backseat when I got home:
Yep, that’s two pages of a book that are no longer part of the actual book. Now in the beginning of this car ride, they were arguing over the book. My 7-year old wouldn’t share the book with my 9-year old and she was getting frustrated because he was flipping past pages she “needed” to look at right then. The whining, yelling, and fussing got so bad that I threatened to throw the book out the window. Actually, I said that their behavior makes me want to throw the book out the window, because as my daughter immediately responded, “We treat books like they’re precious.” Exactly.
So one would think that this is when the pages got ripped out, right? Nope. The pages got ripped out on the way home from Target when they were actually getting along and behaving more civilized (doesn’t a visit to Target to that to everyone?). Without any suggestions from me, they decided to put the book in the divider between the two of them, and look at the pages together! Duh! The conversations and giggling sounds were just what I had in mind when I initially suggested they keep a book in the car, just without the ripping sounds that accompanied them. But even the ripped pages was followed by giggles, so as mad as I wanted to be, I could not disrupt the happiness, mostly for fear that it would disappear, never to return.
Do I still think that having books that stay in the car is a good thing? Most definitely. Just don’t let them be books that you (or they) are super attached to, ’cause even during a pleasant read, bad things could happen.
Our bedtime read a couple of evenings ago was an informational picture book and it was a hit! The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!), written by Barry Wittgenstein and illustrated by Chris Hsu is all about the invention of the Band-Aid. I know, I know, you’ve never thought about who invented band-aids, and neither had I. However, Wittgenstein does a wonderful job telling the story, and it kept both kids and I thoroughly entertained.
First, this book has some humor to it. Even on the first page, the author leads you to believe its going to be a short story.
Secondly, like I mentioned earlier, band-aids are one of those things that you just think have always been around. So to learn that the little individually packaged bandages did not start out that way was quite eye-opening, for both me and my kids. I did think that I was going to have to divide the book over two nights because it seemed a little long, but we breezed right through. Also, they were so into it I don’t even know where I could’ve stopped and not gotten death stares from my kids.
Sometimes there’s a risk when you choose to read an informational book as a bedtime read, not knowing whether or not your child will be into it. However, who hasn’t had a boo-boo?
If your child is at all curious about things, this may be a hit for you to help you continue #RaisingReaders!
*I received an ARC of this book thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media who let it go on a #BookExcursion.
Ugh. We were having one of those evenings where I had to repeat myself fifty-eleven times, each time more exasperating (and louder) than the last. School has only recently started back, so we’re still adjusting to earlier bedtimes and things of that nature.
After I finally got them to go to bed, I took some time to finish cleaning up and take a breath. When I went back to go turn off their lamps so I could get in my own bed, I peeked in and they were both in the corner of their beds closest to the light, each engrossed in a book. They finally brought a smile to my face, so I quietly backed away to give them more time.
“We should do this more often” were the words uttered by my son the other night after our bedtime read. Now, we read a book almost every night, so that wasn’t what he was requesting more of. His request was based more on the type of book we were reading. In fact, we had just finished Bruce’s Big Move by Ryan T. Higgins, a cute and colorful book that both kids found entertaining. My 7 year old son went on to say that we have been reading a lot of chapter books, so we need to go back to reading other kinds of books, and to be honest, I couldn’t agree more. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading chapter (or really any kind of) books with my kids. It has been a great way to introduce them to series, increase their stamina, and help their imagination flourish. But my son is right, there are also reasons why we should still be reading picture books as well:
I’ll be honest, they’re often shorter, and sometimes at bedtime, that’s what I’m going for. 😉
Illustrations. My son in particular can stare at the pictures for what seems like hours, but my daughter also likes pointing out things she notices in the illustrations.
We get to the “moral” of the story a lot faster. With chapter books there’s often a message, but you have to finish the book to get that message. But with picture books, when my son is having a day, I can bust out My No, No, No, Day or Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day that evening and we can debrief.
We can read them more than once, which is great especially when we all like them.
(This may be more for me than for them.) Reading picture books brings more variety night after night, as opposed to reading about the same characters for many nights in a row.
Simply put, as much as I truly love reading the Whatever After series and the 13-story Treehouse books, every once in a while we’ve got to switch it up, even as they continue to get older, no matter what their age. Just something to keep in mind as you are #RaisingReaders.
*Side note, not only is Bruce’s Big Move a great book, but you’ve also got to read Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce both of which came before the big move.
One of our recent bedtime reads was Doris the Bookasaurus, written by Diana Murray and illustrated by Yuyi Chen. Although I don’t think they made the connection, this book almost perfectly describes my two children’s relationship with each other and with books.
Doris, AKA my daughter, absolutely loves to read. She gets a wagon full of books from the library and gets right to reading when she gets home. She is love with all the different adventures she gets to go on through the stories. This summer, my daughter could not stop reading the Harry Potter series, taking the book with her whenever and wherever she could.
However, Doris has two brothers, AKA my son, who are itching to have their sister come and have real adventures with them.
Doris just cannot put down the book…but she does tell her pouting brothers all about the books she’s reading. Once the Bookasaurus does that enough times, you can imagine how she eventually convinces her brothers that maybe there is something worth finding in those books. Similarly, my son will read, but often times he has to be convinced to do so, much like Doris’ brothers. A couple of times my daughter has been able to use the lure of Hogwarts to convince her brother to crack open a book.
In addition to the great story with a happy ending, the bright illustrations are enticing as well and make for a great bedtime read for #RaisingReaders. So whether your young kids are avid readers or reluctant ones, they will be able to identify with one of these cute dinosaurs!
Every time my daughter points to a character and says, “She looks like me!”, I remember how important it is for my children (and all children) to see themselves in books. She gets excited and instantly feels a bond, whether its the curly hair or the brown skin that she’s connecting to. Luckily, my child has been able to see herself in quite a few book (definitely more than I did as a child), and If Sharks Disappeared is one our recent favorites. I love that not only is the storyteller brown skinned, but I love the fact that the book has nothing to do with the fact that she is of color. She’s an expert on sharks…who just happens to have brown skin and curly hair. What a simple way to open up my daughter’s eyes to a different career option! Here’s our review of this intriguing title:
If Sharks Disappeared by Lily Williams is a great book about what could happen if those pesky, scary, downright terrifying animals were to go away.
Of course, initially during our bedtime read, all 3 of us are down with sharks disappearing. However, with the help of the main character, we were eventually able to see that if sharks did disappear, there would be serious consequences that would even reach us in the Midwest! This informational picture book takes us step by step and tells us why changing that one thing could result in a disaster. The illustrations do their part in teaching and the text is short and sweet. And as with most good informational books, there’s additional sources and information at the end.
This book would be awesome for anyone, but if you have a #sharkweek lover, this would be the perfect time to introduce them to this book.
*Also, I recently learned from the author that there are going to be two more books in this series, If Polar Bears Disappeared and If Elephants Disappeared coming in the next year!