Elfabet: An ABC of Elves by Jane Yolen
This book features adorable multicultural elves on each page. Each letter has its own page with a busy elf engaged in an activity which corresponds with that letter of the alphabet. As an added bonus, each elf is surrounded by objects which begin with the same letter. For example, the E page says "E is for Egg Elf endlessly eating". The elf is sitting in an elder tree surrounded by an elephant, an eagle, elderberries, and evening primroses.Lauren Mills' illustrations are fun and full of detail. As a two year old, however, Jonathan wasn't impressed. I think the book is too detailed for him at this age. As he gets older, however, I think he'll have more fun finding the items in the pictures. We'll probably save this one for when he's in preschool or kindergarten. It's definitely worth checking out if you have children a little older than mine.
This is a retelling of the classic fairy tale story by the Brothers Grimm. A poor shoemaker has only enough leather left to make one pair of shoes. He sets out the leather at night and finds a beautifully made pair of shoes the next morning. The shoes continue to be made each night as the shoemaker and his wife sleep. Eventually, the shoemaker and his wife watch to see who was helping them and find two tiny elves. The shoemaker and his wife come up with a gift for the elves to show their gratitude. This is a beautifully illustrated retelling and Watt's colorful drawings breathe new life into a well known story. The text is short enough that toddlers ought to be able to sit through the story. Jonathan, however, didn't show much interest in this one either.
We colored a picture of an elf with the shoemaker as well as an "e is for elf" page that I found at Making Learning Fun. I pulled out his markers and in addition to coloring, he had fun practicing pulling the caps off and putting them on again.
To tie in to the Elves and the Shoemaker story, I had Jonathan count and match Grace's shoes. I printed out a clip art of an elf and taped it to a paper bag. Then I put 5 pairs of Grace's shoes inside the bag. He really got interested in this activity. He really did a great job matching the shoes and was so proud when he found a match.
Then he lined up all the shoes and counted them. Jonathan can count 1-10 but sometimes he'll count an object twice. This was a great activity because he could manipulate each shoe to know whether he counted it or not.
So that was what we did for elves. Next, we turned our focus to engines... more about that to come.
E is for Elf @ First School