Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review of Antoinette by Kelly Dupucchio

     My youngest daughter is crazy about pups. I can't tell you how many times I have read Gaston. So, you can bet that I pre-ordered the follow up Antoinette as soon as I was aware of it.

In Antoinette by Kelly Dipucchio and Christian Robinson, we join our friends from Gaston on a new adventure, only this time the story centers on Antoinette. When the story begins we learn that all of Antoinette's brothers have discovered their special talents. Rocky is clever. Ricky is fast. Bruno is strong and Antoinette, well, she hasn't figured it out just yet. Then one day while on a one of their many rendez-vous at the park Ohh-la-la wonders off after a butterfly. Antoinette is able to save the day through determination and bravery. She finds her special gift, just as we all eventually do.

The main idea that we all have something unique to offer is a theme that will resonate with kids of all ages.  It is one that builds on the theme of Gaston (appearances aren't what define us) and makes an excellent follow up. The book has the expected rhythm and repetition of the first book, as well as the sprinkles of simple French words.

The illustrations by Christian Robinson are charming in their simplicity and rich color. While the pictures are not overly complicated, consisting primarily of basic shapes, do not be surprised if you notice new details on each page during the 2nd, 3rd or 15th reading.

This book is a perfect read aloud for preschoolers or younger. Early readers may stumble over a few larger words and the unfamiliar french vocabulary but I think this book would be appropriate for 2nd to 3rd graders.

My canine obsessed toddler adores this series! My kindergartener enjoys it as well, particularly because it takes place in Paris. She has been fascinated by the city since her Aunt visited and brought her back an Eiffel Tower music box. I love the positive message and beautiful illustrations. So, all in all this book is a hit! We would love to see this series expand in the future.

I have several activities planned to help us explore Antoinette next week. So, stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Map can be found here.
This past fall when my oldest daughter started school it inspired me to get a little more organized with the crafts and projects that we do. About that same time I came across the wonderful blog Simply Learning on Instagram and was inspired to start using the books we already had to facilitate learning in a more organized way. We started off using the wonderful tot school printables available from Kaitlyn and those have been invaluable.

After Christmas I decided to start using the tot school projects as a jumping off point. I noticed that even though we have a large and varied collection of books we tended to read the same books over and over. While I think it's great that the girls have their favorites I really wanted to expose them to the other neglected books on our shelf. So, I started what I've begun to call our featured books of the week.

At the beginning of each week a book is introduced as the book of the week. I use this book to plan the "activities" (as the girls like to call them) we will do through out the week. I also select several other books with some connection to the book of the week. Last week our book of the week was Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you hear?I also put out The Little Polar Bear, National Geographic Big Book of Animals, and Maps We use these other books to expand our knowledge and understanding of the main book. It's worked really well and through out the week I often find the girls "reading" these books that have been sitting on our shelf unnoticed.

I recently started documenting our activities on my personal Instagram and I've really loved sharing. So, I thought why not do more and kick start my personal blog again. So, in the future I plan to create a weekly round up of the activities we do through out the week with resources for anyone who might be inspired to give it a try. I'm also planning to do some children's book reviews and maybe even some crafting content. So, please stay tuned!