Monday, October 5, 2009

Testing the Ice, A True Story About Jackie Robinson

By Sharon Robinson
Published by Scholastic Press
Pages: 40
Ages: 9-12

When Jackie Robinson retires from baseball and moves his family to Connecticut, the beautiful lake on their property is the center of everyone's fun. The neighborhood children join the Robinson kids for swimming and boating. But oddly, Jackie never goes near the water.
In a dramatic episode that first winter, the children beg to go ice skating on the lake. Jackie says they can go--but only after he tests the ice to make sure it's safe. The children prod and push to get Jackie outside, until hesitantly, he finally goes.

Like a blind man with a stick, Jackie taps on the ice's surface, when suddenly howling and roaring sounds come out of the lake! It is only then that Sharon realizes why she's never seen her father in the water -- Jackie doesn't know how to swim! But her horror changes to relief as Jackie bravely taps his way to the middle of the lake -- and declare it safe!

My children are younger than the ages recommended for this book and they still loved it. My son loved it as he's a huge baseball fan and loved learning about one of America's greatest baseball players. Sharon does such a great job at pulling the reader into this story. It starts out talking about her father's accomplishments and what he endured as an African American baseball player. Then she talks about this beautiful home and property they moved into in CT that had a lovely pond that they would all swim in, except her father as he doesn't know how to swim. When it freezes over, the children all ask their father if they can ice skate. Mr. Robinson proceeds to test the ice for the children to make sure it's safe before they ice skate.

The story is one that left me wishing I was there to experience it. If the story doesn't capture you, the artwork will. It's a beautifully written story with such beautiful art work that will capture your attention.

Highly recommend for any baseball fan and any fan of Jackie Robinson.

Clifford The Champion

By Norman Bridwell
Published by Cartwheel Books (Scholastic)
Pages: 40
Ages: 4-8

Clifford has entered a contest to become America's Super Dog! But he is competing against Champ. Champ does everything perfectly. He runs fast, jumps high, and is good at catching Frisbees. Champ may be a winner, but Clifford will prove he has good sportsmanship and a winning spirit!

This is a great book to add to your collection of Children's book and for any Clifford fan. Children will learn that they, like Clifford don't need to win a trophy to be a real winner. Clifford is competing against Champ to win the America's Super Dog trophy. Champ is fast and smaller than Clifford and keeps beating Clifford at the various obstacle races, but Clifford doesn't give up. He's happy and smiling the whole way through as he knows he's doing the best he can.

Both of my children loved this story. I felt this was a great story to remind children that even if they don't get their trophy, they are a winner and it's important to keep trying their best.

I highly recommend this story.

How Does A Dinosaur Say I Love You

By Jane Yolen
Published by The Blue Sky Press (Scholastic)
Pages: 40
Released: October 6, 2009
Ages: 4-8

I think this is one of my favorite Dinosaurs books, outside of the How Does A Dinosaur Go To Bed. It's a book my kids and I both loved reading and when I pulled it out of the box last week my kids wanted me to read it right away.
The story is a good way to remind our children that even when they're naughty, we still love them.
These little dinosaurs act naughty, and even when they do that, they're parents still remind them that they love them. I found myself laughing out loud to some of the things Jane wrote about. She captured the typical actions children do that parents get frustrated. Throwing a fit about getting ready for school, not liking what is offered at dinner, not being nice on the play ground and so forth, but at the end of each action the dinosaur does something and the parent says how much they love them.

I highly recommend this book.
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~