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Entries in language tools (8)


interactive books

We’re sharing a collection of books perfect for snowy days, rainy days or any day you’re looking for an interesting book to interact with.  These books are great for inspiring creativity and thinking about other perspectives.  Some of these titles are perfect for budding writers.  And they provide engaging tasks for kids who are a little more reluctant to practice writing at home.  Each has opportunities for making art (definitely our favorite kind of book).  Doing a page or two from one of these books can also a good short break from homework, or a big task where a long stretch of thinking is involved.  Read descriptions of each book below, then head over to this Instagram post to flip through the books.  Would love to hear about some of your favorite interactive books in the comments below.  Happy weekend!


Playing With Food is for kids (and people of all ages for that matter) who take their food seriously!  It’s a place to discover food from around the world, try your hand at culinary experiments and invent your own versions of dishes and popular foods.  It also contains recipes, games and a ton of prompts for writing and making art.  Each set of pages is unique.  Anyway you slice it, it’s incredibly fun.  Playing With Food: An Activity Book was written and illustrated by Louise Lockhart and published by Cicada Books.


Draw Me a House is a place for kids (or anyone) to learn about “the built environment” and various architectural movements and ideas and elements—form, function, light, shape, pattern, color and line.  They’ll draw tree houses, skyscrapers, mailboxes, what they see through windows.  They’ll design a house that can withstand extreme cold, finish building an aqueduct and—one of our favorite exercises—sketch an aerial view of the room they’re standing in.  Draw Me a House: Architectural Ideas, Inspiration and Colouring In in was created by Thibaud Herem and published by Cicada Books.


In Sticker, Shape, Create, kids use stickers in various shapes to create different scenes of animals, cityscapes, insects, forests, and more.  They can then finish the their pictures using pens, markers and the like.  A creative way to explore part/whole relationships.  Sticker, Shape, Create: A Sticker Art Activity Book was created by Thereza Rowe and published by Princeton Architectural Press. 


With Read All About It, children can design their own newspapers.  Templates and stickers of people, faces, buildings, random things (dinosaurs and explosions being some of them) are included to help finish off your stories of the day so you can call it a day and put your newspaper to bed.  After all, you’ve got to get up early at the crack of dawn and make deliveries.  Read All About It: Write and Design Your Own Newspaper was created by Alice Bowsher and published by Cicada Books.


I Like is a snapshot of a moment in time—kids fill out its pages with facts about themselves including some of their favorite things and what a perfect day would be like for them.  They invent their own holiday, answer intriguing hypothetical questions and—we’re still mulling over this one—craft their own ice cream flavors that the world has never seen.  And there’s a lot more in store. I Like makes a fantastic birthday gift and is a meaningful keepsake for kids and their parents. I Like… A Great Big Book of Awesome Activities, Delightful Drawings, and Fantastical Fun for Kids of All Ages (That’s You!) was written by M. H. Clark, illustrated by Sarah Walsh and published by Compendium.  Also pictured is a set of double-sided What Do We Have Here?! Colored Pencils from Compendium.



Bigger asks all sorts of mathy questions (fun ones, actually!).  The book is made up of one giant ruler that you can fold out, lay on the floor and use to measure.  There are opportunities for comparing and estimating, and fun tidbits about world height and length records.  Both centimeters and inches are used in the book.  Bigger: A Fold-Out Book of Measuring Fun was written and illustrated by Eleonora Marton and published by Cicada Books.



Loving this new-ish look and find.  It’s got a curious color palette with modern sensibilities.  Kids examine groups of items, searching for the “odd one out” and in so doing, work on early inferential and reasoning skills.  Also to be appreciated are the book’s clever subtleties — its grouping of items of very similar shapes and silhouettes (look closely or you might miss the umbrella hiding out with similarly shaped frozen treats) and tongue-in-cheek visual humor (the egg amongst the birds).  Something for everyone—young children and their design-centric parents—in Undercover: One of These Things Is Almost Like the Others by Bastien Contraire.

Published by Phaidon.


frog goes to dinner

Frog Goes To Dinner: probably one of the funniest stories in Mercer Mayer’s A Boy, a Dog and a Frog wordless series.  Award for best glower of all time goes to the waiter, who in all fairness has a right to be deeply annoyed by the frog’s antics.


the importance of retelling stories

This collection of picture books has one thing in common: they are great books to start out with when you are teaching your little ones how to retell a narrative (aka storyline or plot).  As an SLP, one of my favorite tools for teaching how to retell narratives is Story Grammar Marker.  

It's important for kids to be able to retell stories because if they are able to do so, it shows that they are comprehending and remembering them.  In their school years, children take in new information and learn about the world through stories (and later, expository texts like science books).  The ability to retell or summarize is crucial and is something that children will use throughout their lives.  It's a skill that they will continue to build upon as they encounter more complex texts.  Practicing retelling stories also supports writing skills—when children internalize the structure of stories, it helps them organize events in a logical sequence when they take on writing tasks.  Also, while retelling stories, other areas are worked on such as vocabulary acquisition, past tense verbs and so much more.  It’s a worthwhile task to easily blend in with story time.


carry home dollhouse

A dollhouse like no other on my post for Honest to Nod today.