This month’s theme is The Magic of Friendship! Whether it’s finding your place in the world with some help from friends, or simply learning how to be a good friend, this month’s theme is all about celebrating how magic a friendship can be. 

Starting with the Bitty Box, we had THREE sturdy board books – The Way Back Home, Blue Chameleon, and The Snail and the Whale.

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • To help develop reading comprehension in toddlers, ask lots of questions – e.g., where do you think the little boy is flying to? What do you think the boy will do now that he has run out of petrol? Do you think the alien will be friendly?
  • Use the recipe here to make “moon sand”. This flour-based “sand” is super soft and easy to clean – perfect for indoor play and sensory bins!

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • To help develop pattern recognition in toddlers, ask questions about the colours and patterns they see in the book- e.g., Can you find the stripy sock? What colour is the banana? Is the ball spotty or stripy?
  • Blue Chameleon is lonely – do you ever feel lonely? How do friends help us feel less lonely?
  • Make your own colourful chameleon friends! Download the template here: Chameleon colouring in

Language Concepts & Book Interaction:

  • The Snail and the Whale is full of rhyming verse – encourage younger readers to think about words that rhyme – e.g., cat rhymes with hat, what else rhymes with cat? 
  • To help develop reading comprehension in toddlers, ask lots of questions – e.g., Where do you think the whale and snail will go on their journey? How would you help the whale? 
  • Little ones love imitating animals – and there’s lots of different animals in this book! Choose an animal from the story (e.g., whale, snail, bear, seagull, penguin, dolphin, shark, octopus…) and make the sound/ act out each animal. Encourage your child to copy! Can they pretend to be the animal too? Try walking like a penguin or growling like a bear.

Next up is our Biggie Box. In this month’s box we had two gorgeous hardcover books: Grandad’s Secret Giant and My Lazy Cat.

Language Concepts:

With so much dialogue, Grandad’s Secret Giant is the perfect book to test out your character voices! Read a line and then encourage your child to repeat it, using the voice they think the character would have – what do you think a giant’s voice would sound like? This book also has some great describing words (adjectives) e.g., humungous, terrifying, as well as comparison statements (also known as similes) e.g., “legs as long as drainpipes, feet as big as rowing boats.” 

Discussion Topics:

  • Before you start reading, ask your child what they think the book might be about. Encourage them to use the title and cover pages as clues. 
  • People are scared of things that are different’. What does this mean? Do you have any friends that are very different to you? Why is it important to be friends with lots of different kinds of people? 
  • Grandad says ‘We all make mistakes sometimes’. Can you think of times when you have made mistakes? How did you deal with them?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Write your own story about another adventure Billy, Grandad and the Giant might have. What happens in the story? Draw some pictures to go with your story. 
  • The Giant in the story has legs as long as drainpipes and feet as big as rowing boats. What do you think it would be like to be that big? Imagine if you were a giant what you would do and where you would go.
  • In the story, the town paints a mural and the Giant finishes it. Are there any murals or paintings in your town? If you could paint a mural, what would it look like and where would it go? 

Language Concepts:

My Lazy Cat is a great introduction to picture books with more developed story lines, while still being short enough to appeal to a young children. For younger readers, read a line and ask them to say it back to you – following the words on the page with their finger. This will help reinforce the behaviour of reading from top to bottom, left to right, which is particularly helpful in this story when the words sprawl across the pages to match the illustrations. 

Discussion Topics:

  • Before you start reading, ask your child what they think the book might be about. Encourage them to use the title and cover pages as clues. 
  • For young readers, ask them to describe what they see in the pictures – what activities are the little girl and Boomer doing?
  • At the end of the book, the little girl says “we’re so happy together, doing nothing at all” – why do you think she was so happy just doing nothing for one day?

Hands-On Activities:

  • Lay on the grass outside and watch the clouds float by, just like the little girl and Boomer. What shapes can you see? 
  • Go on a nature walk and notice all the little things you might normally miss – can you notice what the insects are doing, or is there a type of flower you haven’t seen before? Try drawing a picture of something you wouldn’t normally notice. 

Our Family Box included 1 book from our Bitty Box and 1 from our Biggie Box. This month’s books were The Way Back Home and My Lazy Cat.

That’s it for December, and for 2018! It’s been a fantastic year, and we just want to thank you yet again for supporting Bookieboo. It’s amazing subscribers like you that make this all possible. Orders are now open for our January boxes – we’ll be announcing the theme on Instagram very soon!

xx Karly

Owner, Bookieboo

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