Storytime Spotlight: September Reads

One of the most exciting updates to the FunShine Express curriculum this year was the additional books included in the Fireflies and Buttercups programs. The children’s books are consistently ranked highly on our customer survey as a favorite component. This year we made some changes in order to include an additional book to help you expand your classroom library!

Read more about the September books and why we selected these titles.

Buttercups Board Books

To Be a Kid by Maya Ajmera

This book is a multicultural tribute to what it means to be a kid all around the world. We loved this book for the simplicity of the text, but also for the rich photographic images of children from around the world doing what they do best—being kids! Your little ones are sure to delight in the colorful images and may notice that children around the world have different clothes, toys, games, playground equipment, and even school settings. Infants and younger toddlers will be drawn to the vivid photographs on each page and will enjoy your soothing voice as you read familiar words aloud. Older toddlers will enjoy talking about how they are alike and different from the children pictured in the book. They may even be interested to see where different countries are located on a map or globe. Consider putting together a class book that includes a photograph of each child doing something that “makes him a kid” and include the book in your reading area.

Baby Play by Skye Silver

This is a beautiful book incorporating black and white photography that perfectly communicates the verbs in the text. Children will enjoy mimicking the actions they see in the photographs as you read. Another attribute that makes this book especially appealing to infants is the use of black and white patterns behind the text and photos. Each page includes a different pattern with an accent color, a circle or rectangle around the text, and the same frame shape around the photograph.

Infants and younger toddlers will enjoy playing peekaboo, clapping, exploring blocks, and more as you read together. Older toddlers may enjoy naming shapes and colors and performing all of the actions suggested in the text. Be sure to visit with children to see what else they enjoy doing together!


Fireflies Books

Different Abilities by Rebecca Pettiford

This nonfiction title focuses on what children with challenges can do, instead of what they cannot do! Many features of nonfiction text are included, such as the table of contents, real photographs, a picture glossary, an index, and more. The photographs on each page do a great job helping the reader understand the message being conveyed by the text. Children will learn about different abilities some children display, such as reading Braille with their fingers, communicating with their hands, and winning races using wheelchairs. The book offers before, during, and after reading activity ideas, as well as an introduction to sign language, including four simple signs to teach. Additionally, the author has included a website teachers and families can use to help children learn more about the different abilities included in this book. We love this book because it helps children understand that everyone has different abilities!

Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber

Nothing gets us ready for fall like cooler temperatures and trees turning vibrant shades of yellow, red, and orange. This is a beautiful rhyming book that describes the colors of fall and the shapes of leaves from different kinds of trees.

Throughout the book, children will encounter names of trees that lose their leaves in the fall and descriptions of the leaves each tree loses. Children may enjoy collecting leaves from your outdoor area and comparing them to the leaves in the book. Do you have any of the same trees in your area?

At the end of the book you will find more information to share with children about why leaves change colors. Don’t be afraid to use vocabulary such as photosynthesis and chlorophyll with little ones—they love to learn new, big words!

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