Archive for the ‘Early Elementary’ Category

The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke

August 3, 2012 - 12:08 am No Comments

King Wilfred has three sons and he is raising them to be good at all things knightly: jousting, fighting with swords and giving orders. Then the queen has a daughter and since the queen dies shortly after the daughter is born, the king decides to raise his daughter the same way he is raising his sons.

Her brothers make fun of her because the armor and swords are too heavy, but she is determined. She practices in her own way and with a lot of determination and work, ends up being better at all things knightly than even her own brothers.

As the princess’ 16th birthday approaches, the king decides to have a jousting contest and whoever wins will win her hand in marriage. I bet you can guess who wins the jousting contest…

Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole

July 28, 2012 - 12:06 pm No Comments

Princess Smartypants does NOT want to get married so she comes up with all kinds of impossible tasks for her suitors to complete. Of course, none of them succeed, but then comes Prince Swashbuckle who seems to be good at everything. He wins Princess Smartypants’ heart, but there’s a twist at the end.

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen & Heidi E. Stemple

July 25, 2012 - 10:37 pm No Comments

I love that this book talks about all kinds of “princesses” and that it rhymes…I haven’t read a good rhyming book in a good long while.
I also love that there is a phrase that repeats throughout the book that your little book lover will soon realize they can “read” along with you when you get to that part each time which is super huge for children who are learning about books and how they work.

Some princesses, when they choose,
never pick out fancy shoes,
but soccer cleats for outdoor sports
with shin guards and some baggy shorts,
and a sparkly crown.

Princess Pigsty by Cornelia Funke

July 23, 2012 - 2:22 pm No Comments

Little Princess Isabella is tired of being a princess. Princesses don’t get to do anything fun like climb trees and they always have to wear dresses and have their hair curled. The king decides to send Isabella to work in the kitchen for three days which she absolutely loves so he sends her to the pigsty to feed and clean up after the pigs and she loves that even more. The king finally realizes that he misses his daughter, so as long as she comes back to stay in the castle he doesn’t care if she wears her fancy dress or wears her crown or makes sure her hair is curled. The most important thing is that she is happy, not that she acts like a princess.

The Apple-Pip Princess by Jane Ray

July 21, 2012 - 8:17 pm No Comments

This is the first in a series of non-princess princess books I will be reviewing. This one starts out like many princess stories you may be familiar with. There are three sisters and the queen is dead. (There are no princes showing up to save the day in this one though.) The kingdom is not as great as it was when the queen was alive and the king wants each of his daughters to prove to him that they are the princess that should be chosen as the next leader. So the two older sisters come up with their own plans that don’t turn our so well, but the ever wise younger sister, comes up with a plan using some of the queen’s favorite things to make the kingdom look as beautiful as it once was.

Firefly Mountain by Patricia Thomas

July 19, 2012 - 8:11 pm No Comments

There are children’s books that are cute, children’s books that rhyme, children’s books that are beautiful and (let’s be frank here) children’s books that should be put somewhere way up on a shelf so they don’t have to be read ever again. There are also children’s books that are smart and this is one of them. The language used in this book is absolutely beautiful to the ear. If your children have never ever caught fireflies they might almost believe they have by the time you are done reading this book to them…it’s so descriptive and the illustrations are almost magical.

Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen

July 18, 2012 - 5:42 pm No Comments

We recently got back from a vacation where we kayaked down a very quiet and peaceful river early in the morning. We saw a skunk on the shore and we also saw several duck families along the way. This book reminded me of that peaceful morning…the cool water, the vegetation in the water with fish slipping in and out of the weeds. This book is almost like a lullaby…calm and peaceful.

Hour of the Olympics and Ancient Greece and the Olympics by Mary Pope Osbourne and Natalie Pope Boyce

July 13, 2012 - 8:48 am No Comments

Both of my kids LOVED the Magic Tree House series which we call “the Jack and Annie books” in our house. If you have not discovered this awesome series it involves Jack and Annie who are brother and sister and they have a magic tree house near their house that takes them on adventures to different time periods. What I love about these books is that Jack and Annie’s adventures always begin with a book they have in their tree house and that with each adventure the reader learns a little piece of history. Our kids love the stories and the suspense and are learning all at the same time. LOVE it!

The Magic Tree House series has two books that focus on the Olympics. One is Hour of the Olympics which is about Jack and Annie’s adventures in Ancient Greece during the first Olympics. The second is Ancient Greece and the Olympics which is a non-fiction companion book to Hour of the Olympics.

These books are so fantastically well written and so much fun. I will warn you though, once your kiddo gets started on the Jack and Annie series it’s going to be a while before they read much of anything else. 🙂 There are a lot of these books and they are all fantastic and kids just eat them up.

Now It Is Summer by Eileen Spinelli

July 9, 2012 - 11:03 am No Comments

A little mouse is looking forward to all the fun things that come with fall…Halloween costumes, jumping in the leaves and pumpkin patches. His mom reminds him of all of the things that he needs to enjoy about summer first…walking barefoot in the grass, lemonade, fireflies and and trips to the beach.

Summertime in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

July 8, 2012 - 4:39 pm No Comments

This is a great book if your children have read the Little House series or if you’d like to introduce them to the Little House series, but they just aren’t ready for the big books quite yet. There are several books in this illustrated version of the series that are adapted from Laura’s longer chapter books. They are illustrated in full color and the font is larger than in the chapter books. My youngest and I read all of the chapter books together and he loves this book as well. It’s also kind of a fun and easy way to revisit the chapter books we read.