Serving Monroe, Owen, and Greene Counties

Real Men Read Parent Toolkit

Parents, caregivers, and friends,

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Book Selections:

  
  
  
  

WELCOME to the Real Men Read Parent Resource page! Every month your kindergartener will bring home a book from their class MENtor. Check out this page to find information and ideas to help your child get the most out of the story while having a ton of fun.

 

Buddy and the Bunnies in Don't Play With Your Food!
by Bob Shea
 
Buddy's a hungry, hungry, monster who just can't wait to eat a group of innocent bunnies! The bunnies fight back in the most clever, bunny-like way, making Buddy realize that friendship is more delicious than any meal.
 
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
Friendships begin at unexpected times and sometimes in the most unlikely circumstances. Even enemies can become friends, which shows us compassion and selflessness. Whether our differences are inside or outside, unexpected friendships demonstrate the universal need for love and acceptance. Talk with your child about how the bunnies in the story continue to trick the monster by showing kindness in order to make a new friend. Encourage them to make new friends and to show acceptance.  
 
LIFELINES

EPS:
Honesty - Were the bunnies being honest with Buddy? Why do you think they tricked him?  
 
Stinesville:
Flexibility/Self Control - How did the monster show self control? Do you think it was difficult to go swimming or go to the carnival versus eating the bunnies? Have you ever had to wait for something you really wanted and used self control?
 
READ AHEAD 
If your child really loves books about unlikely friendships check out these books:
 
 
  • Nugget & Fang: Friends Forever - or Snack Time? by Tammi Sauer
  • Sniffer & Tinni: A True Tale of Amazing Animal Friendship by Berit Helberg 
  • Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella HatKoff and Craig HatKoff 
Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!
LOOKING FURTHER

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Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend
by Cynthia Rylant

It's a gray, rainy weekend and Henry and Mudge are stuck inside. Being inside is boring, until Henry and his parents decide to create a great adventure in their basement!

WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?

Pretend play and building play (like with blocks or boxes) is more than just fun - it helps develop several critical life skills: imagination and creativity, problem-solving, getting along with others, and physical health, to name a few. Free play is a real form of learning! Teamwork is also a big part of this story: every family member has a task to help complete the castle. They all have different ideas of what the castle would look like when it is done and work together to achieve their goal (p 26-27). Talk about working together in daily life at your job, on a sports team, or around the house. What could happen if everyone has a different idea about how to do things?

LIFELINES
EPS:

Cooperation - Who showed cooperation in the story and what did they accomplish? Did cooperating make it easier or harder to finish the castle? Have you ever worked with others to make something?  Is it easier to work alone or with others? Why?

Stinesville:

Perseverance - Building the castle took a lot of work and a long time. What happened after all the effort? How did Henry's family feel about the result of their hard work? What projects in kindergarten have taken a long time to complete? How did you feel when you finished?

READ AHEAD
If your child really loves stories featuring animal friends, check out:

  • Other books in the Henry and Mudge series
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa - series by Erica Silverman
  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!

LOOKING FURTHER

Read more about play at:

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Corduroy
Story and Illustrations by Don Freeman

A little bear named Corduroy is sitting on a shelf waiting for someone to take him home. After learning that he may not be wanted because he is missing a button, Corduroy embarks on an adventure to find that button and does many exciting things he thinks he’s always wanted to do. After a busy night, he wakes up to find that he finally found the one thing he wanted most of all—a friend!

WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?

Your children’s toys are probably often the main characters in solitary playtime, playing roles in stories and scenarios that sometimes make no sense at all but are always engaging. Ask your child if any of their favorite toys have adventures at night, like Corduroy does, or what they did before they were befriended by your child and brought home. Storytelling about imaginary or stuffed friends engages the imagination and helps children learn to communicate their ideas clearly.

LIFELINES

EPS:
Responsibility - Lisa showed responsibility by saving money in her piggy bank. How do you show responsibility? Have you ever saved money for an item you really wanted?

Stinesville:
Patience - Lisa practiced patience by waiting until the next day to buy Corduroy. How do you think she felt while she waited? Can you name a time you practiced patience like Lisa?      

GET INTO ANOTHER PERSON’S SHOES

In this book, Lisa was excited to find that she had enough money saved to buy Corduroy without needing her mom’s help. This is a great opportunity to talk with your child about saving money for something special. 

READ AHEAD

If your child would like to hear more stories about Corduroy or other stuffed animal adventures, check out:

  • A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  • Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!

LOOKING FURTHER

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Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
Story and Illustrations by Leo Lionni

Willie the wind-up mouse is loved by everyone, while Alexander the real mouse is chased away every time he tries to find a few crumbs. Alexander thinks he would be happier in Willy’s shoes but quickly learns that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side!


WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
Fables are short stories that teach a moral or lesson. They often feature animals or natural forces acting in human ways as the main characters. Aesop was an ancient Greek storyteller who is credited with many stories that we are familiar with. But many writers, like Leo Lionni, are still writing new fables today!

LIFELINES
EPS:
Responsibility,Integrity - Did Alexander show integrity with his decision about how to use the purple pebble? Why? How would you use the purple pebble if you were Alexander?

Stinesville:
Resourcefulness - How was Alexander resourceful in solving his problem? How have you shown resourcefulness in solving a problem?

GET INTO ANOTHER PERSON’S SHOES
Characters in books make decisions and have emotions similar to those we encounter in real life. Fables are a great way to start con
versations about right, wrong, and how to make choices that are smart and have integrity. Children can learn about themselves and how to interact with others from reading what favorite characters do when faced with familiar situations. When reading Alexander and the Wind-up Mouse and other books, you can talk about:

  • Why does [the character] feel that way? How do you think [the other characters] will react?
  • Who do you think can help [character] with his problem? Why can they help?
  • [Character] might be frustrated (or another emotion). Feeling frustrated can be a lot like feeling angry. Let’s talk about the difference.


READ AHEAD
If your child would like to hear more fables, check out:

  • Zen Shorts by John J. Muth
  • Fables by Arnold Lobel
  • The Pandas and Their Chopsticks by Demi

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!
    
LOOKING FURTHER

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The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
by Trinka Hakes Noble, Illustrations by Steven Kellogg

A boring class trip to the farm turns into a hilarious series of misadventures when Jimmy's pet boa gets loose. There's no way to predict what will happen next in this wild chain of events!


WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT?
This story is full of wacky cause-and-effect sequences that will keep you and your child laughing.

Although what happens on the farm in this story is on the unrealistic side, exploring cause-and-effect with your child is a great way to get them thinking about why things happen the way they do. When your child starts to see the relationships between objects or that actions have reactions, they develop important analytical thinking skills that will help them be curious, investigative, and make sense of the world.

Cause and effect can be found everywhere we look. For example: "it was hot, so the ice melted" or "the car was out of gas so it stopped running."


LIFELINES
EPS:
Respect – Who was or was not showing respect in this story? Did the children show respect for the farmer? How do you think the children's behavior made the farmer feel? How would you show respect for the farmer?


Stinesville:
Problem Solving and Common Sense – Find some examples of where the children were not practicing common sense (there are several!). How could they have made better decisions? Why is it important to make good decisions?

READ AHEAD
Other popular books featuring cause and effect themes are:

  • The If You Give a... series by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • Because I Stubbed My Toe by Shawn Byous
  • The Rain Came Down by David Shannon

Ask your local librarian or teacher for more suggestions!

LOOKING FURTHER

 
   
 
   
  

 

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