5 Classics to read with your kids

classic books to read with your kids

I love taking my kids to the bookstore or library. There are so many shiny new choices out there for kids to get excited about! But just as exciting as Percy Jackson, Harry Potter and Captain Underpants, are the books that made me fall in love with reading. Take the time to share some of your classic favorites with your kids and help them see what made you fall in love with reading. Classic Chapter Books to Read with Your Kids Stuart Little When I first introduced my kids to the adventures … [Read more...]

Celebrating reading: a reflection on our family’s growth

family reading journey 2015

I love re-reading old personal posts and reflecting on how things have changed... or haven't. The original post from 2012 focused on my children, where we were in reading and how we planned to celebrate Read Across America. Today, I'm updating the post in Cat-in-the-Hat red.  I have three very different children. Like me, my oldest loves to read. In school his teacher is constantly reminding him to put the book away and pay attention. He reads on the bus, in the car, in front of the TV. … [Read more...]

Why wordless? The educational value of wordless books

Why are wordless books so important for reading and child development? Never discount the importance of wordless books in childhood. Through wordless books, children learn the art of storytelling and unique thoughts as well as necessary pre-reading skills. Plus 9 must-have picture books for your library

Growing up, my mom and I ventured to the local library at least once a week. It was a tiny, two story building with the children’s books and story hour hidden upstairs. These were the days before people set up workstations at small libraries. Little research was done at this one. It was, simply, a lending library. I recall the moms shushing their children. I’d like to think that I was as difficult to settle into quietness at this tiny library as my kids were, when they were also of the … [Read more...]

Summer Reading List

summer-book-reading-list

I have amazing memories of summers spent on vacations, relaxing by the pool, sneaking in a half hour to read every now and then. In fact, the majority of my summers can be matched with the books I read and where I was as I read each book. This summer will be no different. Here are the books I plan to lose myself in this summer Moloka'i Kindle price $7.99 Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune Kindle price: $9.99 Still … [Read more...]

How to use Disney Frozen books to enhance learning

frozen novel disney

I'm working with Disney Publishing to review and discuss Disney Frozen books as both a parent and an educator. With an obsessed four year old, we happily welcomed more and more of these stories into our home--each book offering a new light on the story that she knows so well. Below are brief video reviews of a variety of books (some purchased, some provided as samples) so that you can see and hear the stories. Also in each video, learn suggestions to use the books in your home and in the … [Read more...]

Journal-Themed books kids love reading

books for elementary kids journal theme

When connecting with books, most kids look for a character they identify with, or aim to be. Images help to tell the stories, and so does the first-person point of view. Reading a story from a child's point of view makes kids feel a closer part of the book, and the fiction genre's subcategory of Journal-themed books helps kids related on an even closer level: the narrator is bringing the reader their inner most thoughts and secrets. Many of the books listed, below, mix reading and … [Read more...]

How to find books your child will love

how to find books for kids

There are many things to be concerned with when selecting a book for your child to read, especially children who haven't become devoted to a specific genre or author. Usually, kids around 2nd to 3rd grades are still "playing the field", trying to determine the books of most interest. Or, they'll get hooked on one topic or one author, and you'll want to see your child reach out and try new things. How to find new books for your child Focus on their interests What are your child's … [Read more...]

Fall Alpha-Bits Book: A preschool learning activity

alphabet abc book

Alpha-Bits cereal snack times have been the inspiration to many great opportunities for letter-based learning and conversation lately. On a recent walk through our  neighborhood, I brought along a baggie of Alpha-Bits for Little (age 4) to enjoy. These tiny whole-grain cereal pieces, all shaped like letters, have enthused her and opened a new way to practice sounds. As I shared last week, she's been motivated by opportunities to sound out words and rhyme, fascinated by letters making words. … [Read more...]

Wonder: a book review of a powerful children’s novel

wonder review

There are books that you enjoy, and there are books that make differences in your life. Wonder, written by RJ Palacio, is a moving book that opens eyes to the feelings of someone who is different. By addressing the perspectives of not just the main character, but many characters who interact with the child with a facial deformity, we learn about bullying, fairness, kindness and strength... making the readers more open-minded and giving them a stronger look at themselves. As a parent and … [Read more...]

LeapFrog LeapReader Review: A grow-with-you learning toy

review of leapreader

I've always enjoyed LeapFrog for the consistency in their learning products. Kids know Tad, Lily and the crew. They recognize similar songs that they start hearing at just a few months old (right? Aren't we all singing "A says a... The A says a... Every letter makes a sound, the A says a!" now that I've brought it up?) As the kids grow, the toys and lessons grow. But they still have that familiar feeling. You know your kids are growing with Tad. It's so different than when we were kids. We … [Read more...]