Updated on April 6, 2017
Summer Reading with DK Books
I received these books at no cost in order to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
The Heir has two favourite things at the moment: Lego and books. Yes, even though it’s the height of summer, he still loves to curl up on the couch with me and read a book or two throughout the day. Bedtime reading is somewhat of a ritual around here too. Not a night goes by that King Dad doesn’t read The Heir at least three stories, and sometimes The Heir can talk his dad into five stories. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean the learning ends! There are lots of things The Heir can learn through play, but a good book still has its place in summer learning! We were lucky to get a handful of books to read this summer from DK Books, and they’ve all contributed to The Heir’s continued learning throughout this season!
There was one thing I was hoping to work on with The Heir over this summer, and that was his French. He goes to a French preschool, and though we could speak French at home, it’s just easier to default to English most of the time. One of the ways that I’ve found success in incorporating more French into The Heir’s day is by talking about what he’s been doing en français! In order to do this, it’s really important to help The Heir with his French vocabulary. I can tell him the French words for things until I’m blue in the face, but if I can show him the item and name it in French for him, he makes a much more immediate connection. This is where the first of our DK books have been so useful this summer! We have two of the “My First French Book” series books, the “Words” volume and the “At Home” volume. These books are filled with pictures of every day items (and some not so every day things) with the French and English words for them written right below. When we talk about our time at the local park, we can flip right to the “Au parc” page of the “Words” volume and I can easily point out the things we saw and identify them in French for him. If we’re talking about all the work King Dad and Grandpa did on our new deck in the backyard, the “My First French Book: At Home” comes in really handy! As good as my French is, my own vocabulary for things like electric drills, wrenches, and screws is just a wee bit lacking! The “Au garage” page of the “At Home” volume to the rescue!
Another thing I love about the “My First French Book” series is that they are sturdy board books. Now The Heir has learned to be gentle with his books, but Petit Prince isn’t quite there yet! If he’s not napping when The Heir wants to do some reading, those books are going to take a beating. I don’t have to worry that the “My First French Book” volumes are going to get torn or bent out of shape when Petit Prince inevitably grabs them and starts turning the pages. No matter what type of vocabulary you’re looking for, these books make it easy to find what you want quickly. The edge of each page has a picture tab that gives you an indication of what type of French words you’ll find on that page. This is great for The Heir as he can find what he wants quickly and easily!
The Heir has also been enjoying his very first dictionary! The DK “First French Picture Dictionary” has been a great addition to his bookshelf! This French/English dictionary is sorted primarily by theme. This is perfect for The Heir as it allows him to focus on the vocabulary for one subject at a time. After spending two weeks at the beach on the West Coast, it was really fun to flip to the “À la plage” section and we can find the vocabulary for all the fun things we saw at the beach. From starfish (l’étoile de mer) to the sand (le sable), and everything in between, The Heir was able to quickly pick up the French words for all his favourite things about the beach.
What I find really handy about the “First French Picture Dictionary” is that there are English to French A-Z and French to English A-Z dictionaries at the back of this book. This is great for those times when The Heir asks me (or King Dad) for the French word for something that just isn’t at the front of my mind! You can also find some useful French phrases, and numbers at the back if you’re really wanting to kick your child’s French up a notch!
Don’t worry! The Heir’s summer wasn’t spent just brushing up on his French vocabulary! We learned some really great things just from reading books from the DK Reader series! DK Readers come in four reading levels. The DK Readers that we have are level 1 and level 2. Level 1 is for those children that are just learning to read. The sentences are short and simple, with a large font, and the photos are bright and clear. Level 2 is for children who are just beginning to read on their own. The level 2 readers are broken down into short chapters, so a child that’s reading on his own can do so in small bursts.
The Heir isn’t reading on his own yet, but I find the DK Readers to be great books to read to The Heir. Our level 1 reader is “Jungle Animals”. The full colour photographs in this book are nothing short of stunning! Like all the DK Reader books, this one starts with a contents page. This allows us to stop at the beginning of the book and talk about the different things we can expect to read about. It’s great for building a little bit of excitement and anticipation into our story time! The Heir has really enjoyed reading a little bit about the animals in this book, and he points out which ones he’s seen at the zoo before. I love that he’s able to make that connection between the book he is reading and the things he’s seen during one of his favourite outings! Best of all, with this book he can get a really good look at some of the animals that are normally hiding away or camouflaged in their zoo enclosures.
The first of our level 2 readers is “Amazing Bees”. This one is really great! The Heir loves honey, and we’ve talked about where honey comes from before. This book really gets into the details of the different stages of a bee’s life, how a bee spends her day, and how honey is made. It’s actually really fun to read and I even learned a few new things about bees myself! Apparently bees have two different dances that they do to alert other bees to excellent sources of nectar! How cool is that? This book has been really great at demystifying the bee for The Heir. He has a tendency to cower away when a buzzing insect gets too close to him outside (he 100% gets that from me), but this book has helped him understand why we shouldn’t be afraid of bees and to remember how important bees really are! One thing I love about the DK Reader level 2 books is that they each include a quiz at the end of the book. This is great for seeing how well your child is comprehending what they’re reading. Whether they’re reading it themselves or being read to, it’s great to have an opportunity to talk about what they just learned.
Our second level 2 reader is one that combines The Heir’s two favourite things: lego and books. Do you know about the Lego NEXO Knights? Well, neither did I, but now I do and it’s a great thing too since The Heir LOVES them. “Lego NEXO Knights: Meet The Knights” is easily The Heir’s favourite of the DK books he’s been reading this summer. This level 2 reader brings the land of Knighton to life with an introduction to all the characters: King and Queen Halbert, Clay, Lance, Macy, Aaron, and Axl. Then it jumps into a fun storyline where Jestro (he’s the bad guy) unleashes the Book of Monsters on Knighton. In their efforts to defeat Jestro and save Knighton, the story introduces the reader to all the Lego tools and magic at the NEXO Knights’ disposal. It’s actually a lot of fun, and for the first time I can say that I actually know a fair bit about some of The Heir’s new favourite heroes! Bonus points for mom!
I love the way the DK Readers books encourage children to start reading and provide a way to evaluate reading comprehension. Whether you choose one of the non-fiction or fiction DK Readers book, it is sure to delight and engage the child in your life! There are so many titles to choose from! Whether your child is into spiders or Star Wars, jungle animals or spaceships, there’s bound to be something they’ll love! Check out the DK Books website for more information on DK Readers and to see a selection of the available titles!
How would you like the chance to WIN some DK Readers? One lucky reader will win their choice of THREE DK Readers! Just scroll down to the giveaway and get your entries in for a chance to win. This giveaway is open to Canadian & US residents, 18+, and closes on August 26th, 2016. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. Don’t forget to follow the Baby and Beyond giveaway “hop” and enter the other awesome giveaways linked up below!
DK is having a fun contest to design a new banner for their Explore DK page! To enter, all you need to do is create an image (hand drawn, collaged, computer created, however you want) that has the words “EXPLORE” and “Go beyond the book” on it. The rest is up to you. Image should be 1168 x 353 pixels (if digital) or 21 cm x 6.5 cm (if drawn). To enter, send a file of your banner to firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the Baby & Beyond Giveaway Hop hosted by Andersons Angels, More is Merrier, and Woven by Words. This is your chance to enter twenty amazing giveaways with great prizes for babies and beyond! It’s the perfect way to end your summer! Enter my giveaway below and then scroll down to the linky to click through to see what else you could win!
Disclosure: Hosts & participating hop bloggers of the Baby & Beyond Event are not responsible for sponsors or self-sponsoring bloggers that do not fulfill prize obligations.