PJ’s Backyard Adventures: Children’s Book Review

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At the end of last year I was contacted to review this children’s book.  Anything introducing nature to kids excites me, so I easily agreed.  My little gardeners and I enjoyed looking at this interactive paperback.

PJ’s Backyard Adventures: Who is PJ?

November 12, 2014 by Rebecca P. Cohen (Author), Marni Penning Coleman (Illustrator)

Rebecca P. Cohen, the author of “15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids,” says she has created a fun, adventure book for children ages 2-8 years of age.  My little gardeners are now 5 and 8. It was too young for my 8 year old, but my 5 year old loved it. I think it would be perfect for preschool age children.

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Cohen introduces her new character PJ in what we would call a children’s workbook. It offers coloring and writing pages, hidden sight words, and you can cut out your own PJ from the back cover!

My little gardeners loved bringing PJ out to our garden.  You can follow PJ online and see where other people are taking him as well!

The girls enjoyed reading and coloring the pages.  The words were the right level for comfortable Kindergarten reading.  There is a very nice pdf preview of the book available on Amazon.

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While I thought the cost of the book a little high, I understand the cost of printing and then of course Amazon has to get their cut.  I like that this book helps children put down a screen and pick up some crayons, and I love that this book gets them to take a paper boy off into the world to explore nature!

Happy Growing!

~Bee

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Children’s Book Review: Green by L. V. Seeger

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I am passionate about children’s books. We visit our local library at least once a week, and if you looked at my Amazon account you would see most of my purchases are for childrens books! 😉

One of my 2014 blogging goals was to sit down and share some of our favorite books. All book reviews will focus on environmental themes in children’s literature.

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Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

A satisfying homage to green, the color of all creation.

Subtle cutouts on each beautifully illustrated page of Green gave surprise and delight to my little readers. This book promotes curiosity and attention to detail.  The die cut pages hidden among the richly painted images keeps the audience lingering on each page.

Most children think of primary colors and this book gives a beautiful insight to shades and hues of colors.  Our favorite hue of green mentioned in the book was the ‘khaki green’ lizard.

Green does an excellent job promoting care for our environment while teaching colors.

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Another one of our favorite Laura Vaccaro Seeger books for children is First the Egg–a Caldecott Honor Book and a Geisel Honor Book.

Happy Reading!

Children’s Gardening Book Review

The Children’s Kitchen Garden by Georgeanne & Ethel Brenna

“A well-tended kitchen garden allows children to experience daily the relationship between the earth & the food they eat. As they bring freshly dug carrots into the kitchen, the dirt still clinging to the spindle-shaped roots, children are spellbound by the notion that these beautiful vegetables were once tiny seeds, sown by their own hands weeks and weeks ago…” (xii)

This is a great backyard gardening book for beginner gardeners. It includes the basic information needed to begin gardening with kids.  Organized into six chapters, the importance of the relationship we have with the land is emphasized on every page! Chapter 1 gives the background of the East Bay French-American School garden project. Chapter 2 discusses educational opportunities in home and school gardens. Chapter 3 provides the practical how-to, hands-on information needed to teach children about gardening. This chapter allows parents and teachers to be informed guides, not just providing information on how to grow, but also what to look for as the crops reach maturity, are ready to harvest, etc. This chapter is especially important for the beginner gardener. Chapter 4 profiles herbs; chapter 5 introduces the seasonal garden; and chapter 6 discusses cooking tips for children with recipes using the fresh garden produce.

The Children’s Kitchen Garden covers very basic information on 18 types of vegetables, 13 herbs, and has dozens of fresh recipes.  I was happy they included a composting section and found that we added a few of the recipes to our family collection.  My favorite parts are the gardening, science, and food activities dispersed throughout the book. I found the activities very informative and have many planned for the coming months. In fact, I will probably blog about a few of them soon!

Happy Gardening!