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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Imagination Builders -- Back to School

Disclosure: I was sent these products free of charge. All opinions in my review are my own and I did not receive any other compensation. As always I am providing links to the book for your convenience.

Have your children started school yet? Almost everyone I know has or will this week.  I have decided to share products that will help everyone who homeschools or just supplements their kids' schools with learning at home. Today's focus is building imagination. For reasons why building one's imagination is important you can check out this article in the Wall Street Journal and this article at Huffington Post. The first item I am sharing is a new book by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston called A Child of Books
http://candlewick.com/cat.asp?browse=Title&mode=book&isbn=0763690775&pix=y

It is being released today!! This book has a narrator who describes her world--the one that she imagines from the books that she reads. She invites the reader to join her in her world and go on an adventure. Each illustration has book words in it. For example the forest of fairy tales has trees with branches of the titles and stories of fairy tales. The story itself is printed in a handwritten type font which could be difficult for new readers to read since some of it is a bit cursivelike. However I love the idea of the book and absolutely LOVE this book. It reminds me of a conversation my mother had with my grandfather and she recently shared with me. He was commenting on how my sisters and I were better students in school than some of my cousins. My mother asked him how many books he saw at my cousins' house. It was an eye opener to my grandfather. I grew up with books all around me and make it a priority for Hazel to do the same. Books teach so much and also develop our brains. This book shares this knowledge in a fun way!!

Source
(For more books by Oliver Jeffers click here, here, and here.)

https://www.amazon.com/The-Storymaker-Create-A-Story-Cards/dp/B01B3FK42E
The next item is perfect for the young storytellers. It is a pack of cards called The Storymaker Create-A-Story Cards. These cards are two-sided. On one sided there are beautiful pictures. 
The other side of the cards are what is on the picture side. The writing is in cursive (the one downfall I have with the cards).

The pack comes with twenty three cards which are of characters, places, creatures and objects. To be quite honest the pictures alone are enough to get my imagination going. The cards can be used in any way to create stories. For example you could pick one and have your child(ren) write a story about that card. If I picked "Butterfly Masked Garden" it would be up to each child to come up with a story to go with that card. (That was the first card on my pile as I write this.) The cards themselves are multicultural. The princes looks African, the prince Asian, the pirate is a white girl with glasses... They are such a fun way to create a story.
http://bookstore.archwaypublishing.com/Products/SKU-001050855/The-Seekers.aspx
Our next book is for slightly older readers as it is a chapter book with only a few pictures. The book is The Seekers: The Secret of the Turtles by Cece Younger. This extraordinary story tells of how before birth Isabeau is given special power by the strongest mermaid queen in the ocean. As Isabeau grows she is drawn to the sea and begins on many adventures that involve magic and danger. She explores the Caribbean with her best friend and with Xysta, a mermaid and Rafy, a narwhal. This tale is suspenseful and fun. Hazel and I really enjoyed reading it and wondering what would happen next.  We loved the tale and the characters although at times Hazel had a little trouble with understanding what was happening, but I think that was because of her age more than anything else.
http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246776/the-littlest-familys-big-day-by-emily-winfield-martin/#

Our final book is being released in October. It is The Littlest Family's Big Day by Emily Winfield Martin. This story is about a little bear family who move into a house in the woods. After they find places for everything in their small house they go for a wander. They meet neighbors and keep adventuring down the river and farther. Then they realize they are lost but someone comes to their aid and brings them home to their new friends. Their neighbors are other animals, gnomes, fairies and such. In their wander they chase the breeze, find the wind and get stuck in the rain. It is such a simple and fun story with such imagination. The words for this book are script, so it is hard for beginner readers to read themselves although the words are simple enough. The illustrations are colorful and magical. They are simple but inspire so much imagination.

This is a beautiful book that we really love as well. Of course I think the fairies made it for Hazel, but she did love the animals and story as well. Be sure to look for it mid-October or pre-order one now. (For another review of an Emily Winfield Martin book click here.)

All four of these products help the imagination grow and bring such wonderful daydreams and more to life. I hope you will check them out and welcome back to school!!