Friday, March 6, 2015

What We Are Reading - Children's Books

We read a lot in our house. The boys love to read just about any time and are open to most genres. They love reading home improvement magazines with my husband, old travel magazines, fiction books, chapter books, you name it. Their appetite is endless. Whenever we are starting on a new project I spend a lot of time trying to find good books we can read with them to get them excited and involved. Since we are getting bees, here are top three bee children's books along with a few others we are loving.

First let me say that there are so many places to find book recommendations but sometimes they can be hard to wade through. So here's my tip: use your library. We use ours all the time. L1 even has his own library card. The librarians are often a wealth of knowledge and can help you pick out a few books on whatever topic you are trying to explore.

Also, if you are having a hard time navigating the library with your little ones, many libraries have late hours so you can pop in after the kids are in bed. This will give you some time to read through the books and see if they are something you really want your kids reading, allowing you to parse out twaddle. Need more inspiration on how to use the library? Check out this fun podcast about using the library without losing your mind.


One of the first bee books we got from the library was The Bee Tree. L1 loved it. We read it over and over again. It is a fictional book about a little girl who decides that she wanted to go play and not read. Her grandfather decides to take her on a hunt for a bee tree. Along the way they meet a number of different locals who join in on the fun. We got this last year and ended up reading it so many times that I bought the book.


After our beekeeping class in January, I stumbled upon The Beeman. What an amazing gem! It is a rhyming book that covers every part of beekeeping on a very low level. Does it tell you how to keep bees? No. This book is for young kids. It explain the equipment, the different parts of the hive and talk about the bees themselves:
"Here is the queen bee, who does her job well, and lays tiny eggs in a six-sided cell." 
The boys just ate it up. The pictures are so simple and beautifully done. After the story there are small blurbs with more information on every aspect, not so much that it is overwhelming. When we first got the book out of the library L2 would sit for the story but wasn't too interested in the extra details in the back. After a couple of times, he wanted to read more about the bees.


The Life and Times of the Honeybee was a recommendation from Amazon. It looked cute but I wasn't really sure if it was for me or the kids. I ordered it through the library and was pleasantly surprised.

L1 says it is full of short bee stories. It is more that each page spread is a separate section. They all flow together but each set of pages is a full "story" or article on its own. The book is completely nonfiction without being boring. The drawn pictures it the book a whimsical flare. As with The Beeman the information is not overwhelming and is written in such a manner as to draw the reader in. L2 will sit and read this book. It has been a lot of fun and I have learned a lot. I haven't yet bought this book but I do think it would be worth adding to our library.

There you have it, our top three bee books for kids. If you have any other great recommendations, please share them with us.

And since we are a family who is always working on our house, the boys have always been interested in construction. Lately, I have been looking for some great engineering books to go with all their digger and dump books. I found a bunch of great STEM recommended books and checked them out of the library.

I was surprised to find that a lot of them were not geared towards 2-4 year olds as the different sites said. We did find two though that have captured our attention.


Rosie Revere, Engineer has been, hands down, the absolute best find. This book is hysterical. I laugh out loud almost every time I read it. L1 loved this book and we signed it out for about a month before I returned it. Almost immediately, he was asking for it again. I requested it again but when it came in I was too sick to go get it. For the last week L1 has been asking multiple times a day, fretting that someone else was going to sign it out. Wednesday I picked it up while my husband was getting them ready for bed. The book has now been in our possession for 36 hours and I have read it no less than 10 times. My husband has read it. Even my father when he stopped over for a few minutes got to read it! If that is not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what it.

The same author has another book Iggy Peck, Architect that we just requested and have high hopes for.


The last book, On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein was something I ordered through the library with mixed feelings. The different sites all had different age and grade recommendations. One site said 4-8, another 6-9, one even said 8-12. I decided to take a gamble and request it. When it came it, I didn't take my normal time in reading through it as we were in a hurry to get to my parents' house. L1 asked my dad to read it to him and I was busy so I didn't hear the story. When I asked my dad later, he said it was a bit in-depth for L1 but that he had sat and listened and seemed to enjoy it. Did he enjoy it? Yes. As soon as I asked him about it, he asked if I could please get it on CD for him so I requested that from the library as well. L1 has listened to that book on CD while reading the book no less than 25 times since we checked it out. He gets up in the morning and chooses that one first. L2 has even sat through the CD multiple times. It seems to be more than they understand. Then again, who am I to say what they do and don't fully understand? Atoms are a bit much for them but the idea that the universe is made up of something is perhaps an idea that has got them really thinking about the world around them. Or maybe he just likes hearing the story of a guy who didn't like to wear socks (something my kids can relate to). Either way, he is enjoying it and that is what matters.

There you have it, the books we are currently reading over and over again. Obviously there are others such as any of the Amazing Machines books, The Three Snow Bears, The First Dog, The Umbrella, The Three Pigs and A Bear Called Paddington (usually before nap). We can easily sit down and read five to ten books before the boys want to bounce onto something else.

What books can your kids not get enough of?

This article was shared on The Chicken Chick

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