adventure books for preschoolers

March 1, 2010

We checked out three amazing books from the library this week. And while we usually get a good selection, I felt that Juliet was particularly interested in these three books. They are the kind of books that when I'm reading, she gets really, really quite. No more jumping and bouncing or asking questions. Just focused silence.

I think the thing that these books have in common in their element of adventure. They are STORIES. You know, the kind that make you want to curl up, snuggle-down, and get lost in. We're kind of progressing into longer text and more complicated plot and character development. It's exciting for a book-nerd like me.

I thought I would share a little about each of these books with you today. (As I just paid a hefty library fee fine, I need to get these books back on time this week and by combining them into one post, I can accomplish that!)

Wilfred to the Rescue (Brambly Hedge)
Wilfred to the Rescue by Alan MacDonald, Illustrated by Lizzie Sanders

This book is based on a series by Jill Barklem. I checked out a bunch of her books, but they are really text-intensive (lots of words on each page!), so Juliet was just not interested. (They look wonderful, though, if your child is at the stage of sitting still for long pages being read to her.) 

This book is much better suited to Juliet's taste at this stage in her life. Less words, bigger pictures. The story is delicious--the river floods and all the animals must stay together at a neighbors. While the adults are working, the kids play hide-and-seek. The littlest girl starts floating away and is lost for awhile until big brother finds her. There is just the right amount of suspense and a fun dash of fear in it for a three-year-old. Everything turns out well and ends with my favorite line, "The thing about rescuing is it makes you very hungry." Perfect opportunity to follow story time up with a snack! Maybe try these honey and nut biscuits from the Brambly Hedge Recipe Collection? 

Elena's Serenade (Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature. Commended (Awards))
Elena's Serenade by Campbell Geeslin, Illustrated by Ana Juan

The illustrations in this book are gorgeous. Set in Mexico, this story follows the dreams of a young girl who wishes to become a glass blower like her father. She is told she is "too little" and "Besides, who ever hear of a girl glassblower?" when she asks if she can learn the trade. 

Not to be stopped, she dresses up like a boy (how Shakespearean!) and heads to the city where she amazes everyone with her skills. Eventually, she makes it back to her father who is amazed at her talent and they blow glass together happily every after. 

Here's a link to a video about glass sculpting on PBS that we watched together. 

Whiteblack the Penguin Sees the World
Whiteblack the Penguin Sees the World by Margaret and H.A. Rey

Juliet fell in love with this book. We read it over and over again. It's by the writers of Curious George, so maybe that's why. She's a big fan of those books, too. 

Whiteblack has run out of stories for his radio show, so he heads off on an adventure. He finds plenty, including witnessing the hatching of two ostrich eggs (this is Juliet's favorite part--she's very into eggs hatching for some reason.) 

Eventually, Whiteblack makes it home with a ton of stories and a huge net full of fish for all his friends. He's a hero and they make an ice sculpture of him. Juliet thinks that part is pretty cool, too. 

I know that we should have done a penguin activity with this book, but instead we went with the ostrich thing. I found this cute idea at Shirley's Preschool Activities. We used this free printable ostrich poster and made this:

Isn't she beautiful? Anytime we can use Juliet's favorite painting method (handprints), we go for it!

Do you have any favorite adventure books to share? 


Zoe @ Playing by the book said...

All these sound great and I love the ostrich! I agree with you about the Brambly Hedge books. M can now enjoy the text as well as the pictures (at age 5) but I don't think they would have worked so well for her at 3.

Chels said...

Looks like some good reads!
Maybe we should compare library fines....! I just paid another one last week. They're infrequent but sometimes they hurt! ☺

Sun-Kissed Scholars said...

Such cute books, and I hadn't heard of any of them. Thanks!

Raising a Happy Child said...

I haven't heard about the first two books - thanks for this excellent review. I have to admit that Anna likes Diego adventure books - they always generate ideas for free play for her. I am going to put the second book on our list of books to read for Mexico theme.

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