Picture Book Review: Dawn Publications Has It Covered

Posted by Big Universe on Jan 31, 2013 1:59:12 AM

Big Universe has hundreds of beautiful online picture books for kindergarteners.

My Fifth Grader has been working on a project where she has to read an historical fiction novel then transform it into a picture book that she will read with her third-grade Book Buddy. [Personally, I think this is a brilliant project, but that's a subject for another day!]

One of the grading points for the project is the book's cover, which must be

"engaging ... with colorful illustrations."

For better or worse, a book's cover is often the key determinant in whether or not someone (adults included) pick up a book. When covers and content come together, there is reason to cheer.

For this week's set of book reviews, I've selected three irresistible books from Dawn Publications from our Reading Tub® book bag. As you'll see in the comments, our reviewers enjoyed them from cover to cover! Click the covers and read them on BigUniverse.com

Read on Big Universe

Amy's Light
written and illustrated by Robert Nutt
length: 48 pages

Amy is scared of the dark. When she sees small lights are flickering outside her window, she gets an idea. She retrieves an empty jar and goes outside to catch some fireflies to bring to her room. The light of the fireflies dims because they're confined to the jar. Amy releases them into her room, the darkness has gone away, and she overcomes her fear of the shadows on the walls, falling asleep in peace. This is a story that brings together nature and a child's fear of the dark.

  • Everyone can enjoy this unique story with its dream-like quality and wonderfully researched facts about fireflies. The illustrations are quite effective at telling the story, and are wonderfully created. There is so much info here, both entertaining and educational.
  • This is a bedtime story and can start conversations about being afraid of the dark, but it is also about fireflies. At the end of the book is also a page of factual info about fireflies and their decline in the environment, and how to preserve them.
  • My children (ages 2,4, and 6) enjoyed the book. However, not really having experienced fireflies, I'm not entirely certain this book hit home for them.

Read on Big Universe

In the Trees, Honey Bees
written by Lori Mortensen; illustrated by Cris Arbo
length: 36 pages
AR: | Interest Level: LG

This is a book about how honey is made by honey bees. Follow the day of a honey bee, with exquisitely detailed illustrations that are biologically accurate and just gorgeous to look at! This is a story about honey bees that also includes science information.

  • This is a great book that will catch the eye of most kids.
  • Gorgeous pictures, will grow with the attention span of the child. The story text is written at 2 levels: 1) a 2-year-old level, with just 2-10 words per page (short and sweet for a short attention span), and 2) a 5-year old level, with several sentences explaining the bees’ behavior in more depth.
  • My sons (ages 3 and 5) both loved the book. They both love learning about animals, so this book really spoke to their interests. The pictures gave them lots to look at, and the text was very interesting to them. I picked the book the first time, but they came back and asked for it a lot.

Over in the Ocean by Marianne Berkes Read on Big Universe

Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef
written by Marianne Berkes; illustrated by Jeanne Canyon
length: 36 pages

This wonderfully illustrated counting book portrays a variety of colorful ocean life. On each spread there is an underwater mother fish and her young, from 1 to 10, each with a short rhyme. This picture book is an undersea counting book that also introduces readers to ocean life.

  • Bright illustrations, short text, bonus material about teaching kids how to count, and "behind the scenes" looks at how the book was created make this book stand out.
  • My boys (2 and 4) liked this book. They both wanted to read it again, and my older son made associations between the illustrations here and other books. He also asked "what is that" about the other elements of the page. My 2-year-old is starting to learn to count, and the illustrations made counting fun.
  • The pages were colorful with lots to see, but they weren't overwhelming.
  • There are lots of things to do with this book in addition to counting. You can explore the biology of sea life; and the rhyming lets you make it a musical story. The clay artwork may inspire kids to create their own works of art.


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