Invitation to Ballet: A Celebration of Dance and Degas by Carolyn Vaughn
I thought Bibi would love this book and I was absolutely correct! The book is full of interesting facts about ballet, introducing the reader to some of the history and tradition behind ballet, including the basic five positions, clothing, and even some of the stories behind the most famous ballets are included alongside Degas's gorgeous pastel drawings of ballerinas in the studio as well as on the stage. History and art are perfectly blended in this book. Borrow a dvd of a ballet from your local library, listen to some music from different ballets, and you can easily use this book as a launching pad to still more creative exploration and learning. I always love it when a book excites more curiosity and this one does that brilliantly.
Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone
This book was a little too sophisticated in content to hold Bibi's interest beyond listening to the story itself. The illustrations by Marjorie Priceman are vivid and delightful and may have as much to do with why Bibi didn't lose interest altogether. Unlike the previous book, she had no real curiosity afterwards which is why I'm positive that, had I waited to share this book with her until she was a little older, she might have been more excited by it. Of course, by then she'll be old enough to read it to me and that will make the book all the more exciting for us both. For now, it'll stay on the library bookshelf until a future date.
Little Lost Tiger by Jonathan London
Gorgeous illustrations by Ilya Spirin make this picture book a treasure. The story is a bit intense, however. When mother tiger goes to seek food for herself and her cub, the two are separated by a fire. Small children, those who are sensitive, may find it a bit alarming to see the little tiger desperately trying to escape danger and find his mother. This story does have a happy ending and the author has provided some information about Siberian Tigers at the end of the book that will allow the content to grow with the child. However, for a five-year-old this story may be a bit much. It really depends on your child.
Ready, Set, 100th Day by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
This book is perfect to give to a child getting ready to go to school for the first time! Of course, kindergartners are pretty enthusiastic but this book is all about doing something special for the 100th day of school and not about the first day. Bunny Minna wants to do something extra special for the 100th day of school and, as she plans out her project, children will learn mathematical skills like counting by 10s, creating sets, and even multiplication. The paper illustrations using origami and recycled papers, crayon and marker, are inspired yet simple, likely to stir some creativity in a young reader. I just found this book to be adorable from cover to cover and am thrilled to have given a copy to Bibi.