Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This Week We Are Reading

Here are some more books we've been reading this week.

Jack the Builder by Stuart J Murphy. The story is really simple - a boy builds something with blocks. First, with two, then with three, five, etc. The structures look simple, but the boy's imagination transforms them into something amazing. M already builds a lot of very imaginative structures with the blocks, so this story was very easy to relate to. The math was too simple, so we came up with our own challenges. The one M loved the most was to divide all the blocks we had evenly between us, then race to build structures using all available blocks.

When it was my turn to invent a game, I came up with an idea of rolling dice to determine how many blocks to take from a pile. Then build something with just those blocks and little odds and ends (pipe cleaners, straws, nuts and bolts, shells) that we have lots and lots of.

Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French. We both loved this cute story! It's absolutely wonderful in its simplicity. Wombats don't lead very excited or varied lives. Whenever they don't sleep or scratch, they eat grass and roots. The little wombat in the book is no exception... until he gets new neighbors.

As simple as the story is, it's a great book to develop critical thinking skills. After reading this story a few times, I asked M to imagine what would this story sound like if told by wombat's new neighbors, the humans. Back in January we had this post on the Moebius Noodles Facebook page:
"Point of view reversals through stories are important for developing the algebraic look at math and life, say to use the fact that addition and subtraction are inverses to calculate smarter."
Another great benefit of reading this book was that M's consumption of carrots increased dramatically over the next couple of days.

We also read, or rather played with Press Here by Herve Tullet. I wrote a review and some ideas for math play based on this book over at the Moebius Noodles blog.

We've been re-reading this Russian book for the upteenth time now. M still laughs and enjoys it as much as he did the first time we read it, if not more. Now he even quotes lines from it. I am getting pretty good at making myself sound like all the different characters in the story. Maybe there's bright future for me in audio books recording?


  1. Thanks for joining WMCIR with your list. Dyadya Fedor brings back pleasant memories :) We both LOVED Diary of a Wombat - it's so hilarious. I thought that daughter is too old for Press Here, but she read it in the bookstore last week and was very fascinated by it. Go figure.

    1. I found that once we read a Russian book, M is more likely to watch a cartoon it's based on. Otherwise, I think he finds old Soviet-era cartoons boring compared to all the Transformers and such. The only exceptions are Smeshariki and Fixiki. He's happy to watch these two cartoons any time, over and over.