Monday, August 13, 2012

Babysitter Wanted...

Anyone looking for an affordable babysitter that entertains your children of different ages, while teaching them math skills and building awareness of geography and history?  Maybe you just need an hour of peace-and-quiet so that you can finish an email to your boss, the last chapter of your book, or want to publish a blog post.  Or perhaps you need a nanny-type to keep everyone in their seats at the restaurant while you chat with your spouse like two mature humans?   How about someone who magically appears just when you need them, and instinctively disappears when it's time to sit down to dinner.  Well, yes, you could send a letter up the chimney.

Or you could try  The Usborne Big Book of Things to Spot, my new favorite babysitter... in the car, rainy days on camping trips, at the airport, in restaurants, at home when I'm trying to make dinner or email my publisher.

My five and two year old love this book.  They scour the pages, make up stories, scribble notes in the margins, and make up counting games.

I bought it on a whim for a birthday present b/c my five-year old likes the hidden pictures in the Highlights magazine.  But this lovely book turned out to be a lot more.  Children have to find multiples of different objects in each illustration, so children are practicing counting and I can throw in impromptu lessons in addition or subtraction if I'm so inclined (We need to find 7 monkeys and we have found 2.  How many more do we need to find?...)  The colorful illustrations take a child from the chicken coop to the desert, to ancient Egypt, to the Court of Louis XIV, to modern day Scandanavia, prompting questions and conversations about people and places far and wide.  If you still have a summer getaway to survive with your children, please take this book with you!  If not, the holidays are just a hop-skip-and-a-jump me you will want this, book...on hand.

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