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Cow on the Couch Book Review and Activities

I just received a copy of this brand new book, Cow on the Couch! I really got a kick out of this book and think it has great possibilities. Read on and I'll tell you why.

a cow on the couch book review

Author/Illustrator: Glen A Penrod 

Publishing: 2017, Dymon Publications American Fork 

Suitable for Ages: 3 to 8 

Theme: Fiction, Humour, Beginning Reader 
Opening Lines"Mr. Brown, Mr. Brown! What?" 

Brief Synopsis: Two young children try to tell Mr. Brown about the cow in his house. The skeptical Mr. Brown asks the children a series of questions (think the 5 W's) to figure out what's really going on. And, of course, there IS a cow. But happily the story doesn't end there; instead it finishes with an unexpected and humorous twist! 

Why I Recommend This Book: This delightful book has it all: humour, suspense and surprise. It's both a great read aloud and a beginning reader. The illustrations are big, bright and expressive. The text is simple, yet tells an interesting story. Best of all (from a teacher's perspective) the text is full of repetition, word families, and the five questions (why, where, when, what, who). This is definitely a book a new reader would enjoy! 

Classroom / Home Extensions: ROUND UP THE RHYMES: Read the book through again, only this time start highlighting the rhyming words. The easiest way is to write them down on index cards as you come to them. You'll end up with cow how now  wow house mouse brown down town. Sort the rhymes and challenge your child (children) to come up with more!


DIGRAPHS: Find the words that have the same middle sound with different spellings. There are several different words in the book with ow/ou /ou. 

THE FIVE QUESTIONS: Young children need to learn what a question is. In a K or 1st Grade classroom you realize the lack of understanding when a student is sharing something and you tell the kids to "ask a question" about the sharing. Invariably they end up telling stories instead of asking. This book is perfect for introducing kids to the various kinds of questions. It would be worthwhile to have them sit in pairs and ask each other "why" questions, then "who", "where", etc. 

EXTEND THE STORY: The surprise ending is rather open-ended. It's just right for asking the kids to draw a picture and/or write about what might happen next. 

HOW TO DRAW A COW: In my experience, most young children enjoy directed drawing lessons. It teaches them some basic drawing skills and gives them a feeling of accomplishment. 

LABEL THE DRAWING: Once the cow drawing is complete encourage the children to add some background details and then label the various objects in the picture. E.g., cow, sun, tree, house, etc. I hope you enjoyed this book review. Happy Reading! PS: I have lots more book reviews here.  

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Stop Worrying: Every Little Thing Book Review and Activities

Every Little Thing by Bob Marley is one of my favourite books.

I bought it a couple of years ago and it quickly became my favourite!

Title: Every Little Thing

Author: Based on the Song "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley

Adapted by: Cedella Marley

Illustrated by: Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Publishing: 2012, Chronicle Books

Suitable for Ages: 3 to 8

Theme: Fiction, Love, Children's Song

Opening Lines"Rise up this morning. Smile with the rising sun."

Brief Synopsis: Every Little Thing is based on Bob Marley's song. The vibrant illustrations bring the lyrics to life in this beautiful book! A little boy, with the help of three birds, his friends and family, shares a message of love and harmony as he goes through his day.

Why I LOVE and Recommend This Book
: This is the perfect book to read to those little kids in your life who tend to be worriers. The joyful lyrics and happy illustrations are sure to add some cheer to a worrywart's day.

Classroom / Home Extensions:

1. VIDEO: Be sure to listen to this sweet video by Mary Altom! It's really pretty.

2. Workbook: Here's an ANXIETY WORKBOOK for children from B.C. Children's Hospital. (This is meant to be completed with a parent or counsellor).

3. MORE HELPFUL TIPS: Here's another resource from Anxiety B.C. to help your child cope with Back-to-School worries.

4. ART: This sweet art activity called "Winter Love Birds" by The Educator's Spin On It ties in with the little birds that follow the boy throughout the story. You could remove the snow, add a different coloured background and call them Spring Love Birds :)

Every Little Thing book review and related activities. This beautiful book by Bob Marley's daughter is the perfect read for the little worriers in your house!

Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class: Book Review, Activities, Free Clipart

TitlePeace Week in Miss Fox's Class

Author/Illustrator: Eileen Spinelli, Anne Kennedy

Publishing: 2009, Albert Whitman & Company

Suitable for Ages: 4 to 8

Theme: Fiction, Peace, Getting Along

Opening Lines"The children in Miss Fox's class had been squabbling. And squabbling. Day after Day".

Brief Synopsis (from the book jacket)Miss Fox is tired of hearing her young students quarrel. So she announces Peace Week -- no more squabbling for one whole week! Soon, to their surprise, the little animals are finding that it's easy to help others, take turns, and say nice things, even when someone is grumpy to them.

Why I Recommend This Book
: Peace Week in Miss Fox's Class is one of those books that's perfect to read throughout the school year to gently remind your students about the importance of cooperating. Also, I was really surprised at how enthusiastically my own students responded to the book (see below).

Please, Mr. Panda: Review and Activities

Title: Please Mr. Panda

Author/Illustrator: Steve Antony

Publishing: 2014, Scholastic Press

Suitable for Ages: 3 to 7

Theme: Fiction, Manners

Opening Lines"Would you like a doughnut? Give me the pink one."

Brief SynopsisPlease, Mr. Panda  is a simple and sweet book that highlights the importance of good manners. The baleful looking panda offers a doughnut to all his friends, but no one (until the very end), bothers to respond with a "Yes, please"!

Why I Recommend This Book
: For starters I really love the big, bold and beautiful illustrations. They're mostly black, white and grey with splashes of colour thrown in. Also, Antony's message is very clear without being preachy. I think this is a wonderful book to use at the beginning of a school year (and whenever needed) to remind your students about remembering their "pleases" and "thank you's".