Nov 172023
Books Chosen by Darwin for #kbcbookbingojr (4-7 years)
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Choosing books for book bingo leads to a big argument and several fights in our house. Each year we eagerly wait for for the book bingo announcement in KBC. When it was announced this year we were so happy to see the interesting prompts and we right away started to select the books. Each year Darwin’s interest in reading is different and right now he is interested in space and wants to be an astronaut. Thanks to KBC recommendations, he is now an independent reader so he read the books and we discussed the story before finalizing the titles. Hope our choice piques your interest.

1) A book with pirates: Never Mess with a Pirate Princess by Holly Ryan and Sian Roberts

Princess Prudence loves her frog, bunny, Spotted Dog and Royal Teddy Bear. One day a pirate runs away with the Royal Teddy bear. The Princess sets off on her goat to find and rescue her Teddy bear. It’s a simple and funny story, also a book that breaks gender stereotypes where the Princess rescues the Knight and her Teddy.

2) A book with siblings: She Rex by Michelle Robinson Illustrated by Deborah Allwright

Ed and Maisy, the siblings are arguing about Dinos being toys for boys or girls. Ed says it’s for boys and if it were for girls then they would be partying in their flowery frilly dresses and high heels. But Maisy refuses and says they can do what the boys do as well. And that’s how Ed meets the multicolored fierce She Rex.

3) A book with grandparents: Ammachi’s Glasses by Priya Kuriyan

Among all the books with grandparents, this is Darwin’s most favourite book. It’s so funny that we keep laughing. Ammachi’s glasses are missing and the series of events that happens after that are really hilarious.

4) A book by your favourite Indian author: Don’t Intrude on my Mood by Rea Malhotra Mukhtyar Illustrated by Urvashi Dubey

A little cat throws a tantrum – Yelling, screaming, stomping it’s feet. The little cat cries and finally tells his mom the reason. We love books on dealing with emotions and hence this became an instant hit at home. It helps kids to understand how one reacts when in a bad mood and how to deal with tantrums.

5) A book by Mark Sperring: Hot Dog by Mark Sperring and Sophie Corrigan

Hot dog, made of sausage and bread bun wishes to run around the beach like other real dogs – fetching a stick, catching a ball and doing all things that dogs do. Mustard fairy comes down the shelf to grant his wish. With a squirt or two, hot dog’s wish comes true. He is happy playing fetch and catch. But the other dogs smell delicious food and start to chase the hot dog. Does the hot dog escape from the dogs?

6) Any Indian language book: Pongalo Pongal! by Monisha Manikandarajan Illustrated by Tejaswini Na (Tamil)

This book walks us through the tradition and rituals of Pongal Festival which lasts for 4 days. What we do each day is explained beautifully. Darwin has not enjoyed the the native festivity of Pongal and I was looking for a book to teach him about the same. Thanks to Arulsaranya for this gift that we were able to tell him tales of our past experience, how we watched our uncles paint the horns and our aunties busy cooking and drawing beautiful kolams (Rangoli) in the morning and about his great-grandfather who would distribute rice to the whole village.

7) A book set outdoors or in nature: Honey… Honey… Lion! by Jan Brett

In Africa, Honey badger and Honeyguide (a tiny bird) are partners when it comes to honey. The little bird guides the honey badger once it finds the sweetest honey and the honey badger with thick skin to withstand the bees sting and sharp claws to remove the honey gets the honey and shares it with the little bird. What will happen when they have a fall out? Will the honeyguide still guide the badger to the best honey? As they both travel through the African forest, the author guides us through the African animals that live in the African Forest.

8) A book about bugs: On Beyond Bugs! All about Insects by Tish Rabe Illustrated by Aristides Ruiz

This non-fiction book for young readers is part of The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library. It gives the basic knowledge about insects like parts of insects’ body, their food, their lifecycle etc. The concepts are explained in a simple and fun language.

9) A book set in winter: Owl Moon by Jane Yolen Illustrated by John Schoenherr

Owl Moon is a beautiful story of father and child going owling one night. Did they get to meet any owl? The story is written in poetry form. The minute details of a silent winter night is beautifully written and illustrated. It’s a wonderful award winning book which tells us to have hope.

10) A biography: Suni Goes to Space by Arthy Muthanna Singh and Mamta Nainy Illustrated by Aniruddha Mukherjee

As mentioned, Darwin’s recent interest is space and he wants to become an astronaut. Hence we read Suni goes to Space to encourage him. This series is perfect to introduce biographies to kids, how to tend to kids curiosity and how it can help them to achieve their dreams.

11) A book set in another country: Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts Illustrated by Noah Z Jones

The difference between want and need is really difficult to explain to kids. But this book helps to deal with such situations. Jeremy dreams of black shoes with white strips. He wants them, but his grandma reminds him that there is no such thing as want – only need in their house. What you need is new winter boots and not those black shoes, she says. When his old shoes are worn out he takes his grandma to buy new shoes and looks for those shoes and finally finds one in thrift shop but they are not his size. Did he buy them? This book tells us to value what we have (kindness from others, love of family members and friends) than to love material things.

12) A book about someone making the best out of a sticky situation: Fortunately, Unfortunately by Michael Foreman

Milo’s mother asks him to deliver an umbrella to his Granny. Milo encounters many unfortunate events on the way, fortunately he escapes each situation and reaches his granny’s home, while making some interesting friends on the way.

13) A book with a bird on the cover: The Dog and the Chicken Thief – Story by Chantal de Marolles Illustrated by Axel Scheffler Translated by Alison Green

A farmer has a faithful dog who follows him like a shadow. And wishes to have a kennel of his own. The farmer also has a cat who wishes to have a cat flap so that he could do what cats do. A fox steals chicken from the farm every night and the farmer asks the cat and the dog to catch the fox. Both the animals seek the help of other farm animals. Any guesses on who caught the chicken thief?

14) A non-fiction book: Continental Drift – The Evolution of our world from the origins of life to the far future by Martin Ince

We visited Dinosaur Ridge during a trip and Darwin was amazed to know that the place where we were standing was a mile above sea level and was once a beach. He was happy to see the Dino fossils, foot prints and proof of rocks which was once a beach. So we bought this book to know about continental drift. This book covers almost all topics from formation of earth to modern earth, Darwinism and evolution. The illustrations are wonderful and we read one topic as per Darwin’s interest.

15) An inspiring book: A Day’s Work by Eve Bunting Illustrated by Ronald Himler

This beautiful story is about being honest. It also illustrates the life of immigrants in California. How the role of grandson and grandfather is reversed while getting a day’s work. Francisco and his grandfather are waiting in a parking lot along with other immigrants to get a job. Francisco lies about his grandfather being a gardener and gets the job. Will they be able to complete the job or will they choose to tell the truth that they know nothing about gardening?

16) A book that helped address an issue: The not-so-friendly friend How to Set Boundaries for Healthy Friendships by Christina Furnival Illustrated by Katie Dwyer

Once kids start making friends, there will always be someone who is not so friendly and kind. This book helps to address that issue. Even though we always ask our kid to be kind and friendly with others, sometimes they don’t know how to deal with the not-so-friendly friends. How to set boundaries with such people and how to have healthy relationships are what this books teaches our kids. As the book says,

With boundaries in place healthy friendships can grow.

17) A book published by Parragon Publishing: 5 minute Tales Pet Stories

This book contains 7 stories with different pet animals. One story for each day (But usually we end up reading the whole book). Stories are short and fun to read. We started reading this for bedtime but now Darwin reads it on his own and his favourite is Hide-and-seek which is a story of kitten, puppy, parrot and hamster playing hide and seek on a rainy day.

18) A book with a human-animal duo: The Treasure Hunt (A Percy the Park Keeper Story) by Nick Butterworth

Percy the Park Keeper likes to have fun with the animals in the park. One day he plans to conduct a treasure hunt for the animals. He pins up a poster mentioning the same, but the animals can’t read so Percy explains the rules and says he will draw the clues so that the animals can find them. The next morning Percy leaves the clues for the animals to find, but on the way he gets hungry and eats the coin chocolates which were supposed to be the treasure. He thinks hard and finally decides on a new treasure before leaving the last clue. Illustrations are pretty wonderful and there is a foldout page when the animals find the treasure.

19) A book with a vegetable’s name in the title: Creepy Carrots! Words by Aaron Reynolds Pictures by Peter Brown

Jasper Rabbit has a passion for carrots, especially the ones that were grown in Crackenhopper Field. He loves eating one on the way to school, after winning a match or just for a snack. The carrots of Crackenhopper Field have had enough, they didn’t want Jasper to eat them. With that starts Jasper’s Spooky days! Carrots follow him everywhere until Jasper comes up with a plan to stop them from following him. A perfect spooky read for Halloween or camping nights.

20) A book with the letter Z in the title: The Great Zoo Hullabaloo! by Mark Carthew and Anil Tortops

Jess and Jack open the zoo only to realize it’s been deserted and all the animals are missing. They start to follow the tracks and clues left by the zoo animals only to find them at the edge of the wood having a hullabaloo. The great zoo hullabaloo has a great story line with good rhyming.

21) A second hand book: The Day of Ahmed’s secret by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland Illustrated by Ted Lewin

The day of Ahmed’s secret portrays a day in young Ahmed’s life as he travels through the busy streets of Cairo as he delivers butane gas to his customers on his donkey cart. The description of the busy streets and the water color illustrations has brought the description to life. Ahmed has a secret and he can’t wait to tell his family. What can his secret be? That’s something the reader will be eagerly waiting to know till the end. This book also tells the story of child in a different country and that not everyone’s life is similar to others.

22) A book with stars on the cover: The Star Tree written by Gisela Cölle, Translated by Rosemary Lanning

An old man lives in a small house in a city, the city which he has seen growing into skyscrapers and miles of asphalt swallowed greeneries. He watched as the people in skyscrapers hurried to work and school and back home. They didn’t know of the old man’s existence. They didn’t have time to look up at the sky. When it was Christmas time, the buildings were filled with electric lights and carols and jingles were replaced by blaring loudspeakers. The old man missed his old days when family and friends gathered to celebrate Christmas. He finds some old gold paper and starts to make stars and decides to hang them on the tree on hill top. Suddenly there is a black out in the city and the people in skyscrapers are not used to the darkness and silence. They watch as the old man walks through the street towards the hill. Did the old man get to hang the stars on the tree? Did he get the feel of being with friends and family? What did the people in skyscraper do?

23) A book about books

We had a lot of discussion before deciding for this prompt. We had few choices and three of them were about saving a library. But I like Nour’s secret library the most and Darwin wanted the simple one It’s a book so we thought we will share these two books.

It’s a Book by Lane Smith

Nothing can beat a book, even though we can’t scroll or set a password or set a screensaver. A donkey uses a laptop and monkey is reading a book, when the donkey asks all types of questions to the monkey. The monkey replies, “It’s a book” and this piques the donkey’s interest and it starts to read the book. Darwin chose this because he said you and dad are like the donkey always with your e-gadget and I love books just like the monkey.

Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa’ Tarnowska, Illustrated by Vali Mintzi

This book is based on a true story about what happened in Daraya, Damascus, Syria and is also based on the author’s personal experience during Lebanese Civil war. Nour lived in the beautiful city, Damascus with her cousin Amir. Nour and Amir loved reading detective novels and planned to open their own secret club, but the day they decided to start their club, war came to their city and they were forced to stay in the basement with other families. During the day when the soldiers rested and there was a lull in fighting, Amir would go to get daily supplies. He started to collect abandoned books along with supplies. Slowly they started collecting books in all languages and books about everything. Nour and Amir decide to open their secret library in another basement. For many years, these books were the companions of the people who were torn by the war.

24) A book with a villain: Who’s afraid of the quite nice Wolf? by Kitty Black and Laura Wood.

Wilfred the wolf is the odd one in the wolf pack because he’s the nice one who likes to help others. But the other wolves don’t think like that. The bad wolves plan to attack a group of sheep. Wilfred the quite nice wolf plans to help his friends. How they fought the bad wolves is the story.

25) A book that has a royal character: Not all Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen & Heidi E.Y.Stemple Illustrated by Anne-Sophie Languetin

Who said Princesses should wear pink and stay in a palace? Meet these princesses who play outside in cleats, break their nails while farming and doing odd jobs like fixing, repairing etc. This is a book which tells you pink is not for girls and everyone can do anything as long as they wish to…

26) A book that focuses on cooking or baking: Enemy Pie by Derek Munson Illustrated by Tara Calahan King

What to do when you feel that the neighbour who moved next door steals your best friend and laughs at your failure? The best way is to make enemy pie with a secret recipe. But how will the enemy pie work? When a kid thinks Jeremy Ross is his enemy, he talks to his dad about enemies and how to deal with them, his dad suggests that they invite Jeremy for eating enemy pie as it will help him get rid of his enemy. But the only condition is he needs to spend a day with Jeremy so that the enemy pie will work. Did the enemy pie do the magic and did it mend the relationship between the boys?

27) The most engaging Activity Book: Usborne Little Children’s Pencil & Paper Games

This book kept us occupied during the vacation and weekends. It has a lot of simple games for kids like Os and Xs, target practice, Picture Perfect etc. You just need pencils and color pencils and the fun is on.

28) A book you gift often: Milo Imagines the World by Matt de La Peña and Christian Robinson

We Love Matt de La Peña and Christian Robinson’s books as they touch our heart very much. Milo Imagines the World is another gem from the duo. Milo and his sister take the train on a Sunday and Milo starts to imagine and guess the life of passengers in the train. What would the businessman do after he gets off the train or the bride in bridal dress? He draws his imagination in his sketchbook. A boy in suit boards the train and Milo imagines him to be a pampered prince. But is he? Will the reality change Milo’s view when they both get off at the same station? Where are they headed to? This is a perfect book to tell kids not to judge a book by its cover and that appearances can be deceiving.

29) An early chapter book you enjoyed: A Crocodile Came to our House by Lois Krok Illustrated by Anne Sulzer

Sasha loves singing in the bath. Her favourite song is a crocodile song. One day after she finishes her bath, Mick, her brother, hears strange noises from the bath. They have an unexpected visitor – a crocodile. The crocodile does all sorts of things in the bath and they need to invite the crocodile out of their house before it plans to eat them.

30) A book you got from kbc recommendations: How are you Feeling Today by Molly Potter Illustrated by Sarah Jennings

Half of our home library is filled with books based on recommendations from KBC. So it’s really hard to choose only one book based on KBC recommendation. How are you feeling today is a great book to walk through various feelings one could feel. Just as the book says

Everything we do and every thought we have comes with a feeling. Sometimes those feelings feel good and sometimes they feel nasty.

We mostly read this book when Darwin returns from school to ask him how was his day and how he felt. He chooses how he feels and we read that feeling for the day. Many days he would take the book to read for me and to ask about my feelings. And if he senses I’m angry he would take the page and tells me what to do!

Happy Reading !!!

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