I am excited to present two children’s books titled Raybot by Adam F. Watkins and I Won a What? by Audrey Vernick about finding and taking care of the perfect pet and best friend. Being an animal lover myself, I can image having most domestic animals as pets! Both books are excellent for children from preschool age up to 2nd grade.
Raybot is lonely and wants a best friend. He lives all alone in the junkyard and doesn’t have any friends. One day he finds a clue about finding a best friend. He needs to find an animal that goes “bark”. It is at that moment that his quest begins! Raybot visits a farm but no animals there know where to find a puppy. He travels to the forest where he meets a bear, moose, beaver and many other nice animals. He travels all around the world and meets marine life and many wild animals but none of them goes “bark”. Does he give up hope? Nope! He keeps searching to find his best friend. What does he hear in the jungle? Bark! He looks up and it’s a parrot. Since Raybot does not know what a puppy looks like, he thinks the parrot is a puppy and decides to bring him home. Lucky enough Parrot has a friend of it’s own, a puppy. The three best friends return home together at the end of the story.
Carryover Activities: Play Raybot Boardmaker Bingo Board that I created which highlights all of the characters that Raybot meets in the story (including himself). This board was created using Boardmaker, which is a software program that I own. For permissions, see the end of this post. This bingo board is meant to be free and available for educational purposes.
To help your child learn categories, make a bingo board with groups of animals such as “wild”, “farm”, “marine animals”, etc. For a young child, focus on animal sounds such as saying “What animal says moo?”, “What animal says “ssssss”, etc.
I Won a What? is a silly and engaging book about a boy who wins a whale as a pet! The boy and his parents go to a carnival one day and try to win a goldfish. Instead of winning a goldfish, the boy wins a whale named Nuncio. What would you do with a whale as a pet? His parents are practical and don’t like the idea of having a whale as a pet but they are also fair so they try to adapt to this new pet. His parents agree to owning Nuncio on a “trial basis”. Nuncio is a lot of work because he takes up a lot of room, eats tons of fish and and makes a lot of noise. However, he is also a good listener, playful and beautiful when he swims. When the boy’s parents want to give up, the boy decides to give Nuncio practical jobs like helping his dad with gardening and washing his mom’s car in record time. At the end of this sweet story, the family decides to keep Nuncio and love him like part of the family. This book is an excellent way to get your child’s imagination going about owning an impractical pet such as a whale.
As you are reading this book, make sure to help define words such as “practical”, “impractical” and “fair”. This will help your child understand the story better.
Carryover Activity: Listen to what a whale sounds like underwater such as watching and listening to this video….
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