The Boy and the Giant by David Litchfield

The Boy and the Giant by David Litchfield

Last week, I recommended Super Manny Stands Up, as it had been a favorite when I stuffed our front-facing bookshelf with books about kindness and inclusivity. Today, I bring you another child and parent favorite from that huge collection of books: The Boy and the Giant, written and illustrated by David Litchfield.  Continue reading “The Boy and the Giant by David Litchfield”

Four Terrific Halloween Activity Books

Four Terrific Halloween Activity Books

One of the best things about the month of October is all of the arts and crafts! Fall and Halloween are just ripe with opportunities for creative, messy, sensory, STEAM, etc play! But, some days (or lets be honest, some weeks or even months) I just don’t have it together to find materials that the girls might use for a creative seasonal or holiday exploration. Fortunately for me and all of you, companies have made some really great Halloween activity books, chock full of growth, learning, and creative opportunities. Keep reading to see four of our favorite Halloween activity books! Continue reading “Four Terrific Halloween Activity Books”

Super Manny Stands Up! by Kelly DiPucchio

Super Manny Stands Up! by Kelly DiPucchio

Before school started, we filled our front-facing bookshelf with all sorts of school stories and first-day-of-school books, but our bookshelf only holds so many books… So after the first week of school, I switched it up to focus on kindness and inclusivity (a topic about which we have SO MANY books that we’re still rotating through some that I want to be sure to get on that shelf). A stand-out from the last month of kindness and inclusivity books has been Super Manny Stands Up! by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Stephanie Graegin. Have you read this one yet? Read on to see why my girls love it, and why I think it’s an important addition to home and classroom libraries! Continue reading “Super Manny Stands Up! by Kelly DiPucchio”

How I Met My Monster by Amanda Noll

How I Met My Monster by Amanda Noll

If you were following along last spring when I wrote this post, or even a few weeks ago and looked closely through my list of our favorite Halloween-y books, then you know our girls absolutely love the “Monster” series written by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam! A beloved babysitter gave the girls the first book in the series, I Need My Monsterfor Christmas three years ago, and my grandmother gave our younger daughter the second book, Hey, That’s My Monster! for Christmas last year. Whenever these two books are in our book rotation, they are read every single day. Every single day. So, when Flashlight Press told me a third book is set to release November 1, 2019, I knew we needed that one too! After all, How I Met My Monster is the story of the beginning of Gabe and Ethan’s friendship — we needed to know how it all started!
Continue reading “How I Met My Monster by Amanda Noll”

Two New “Good News!” Books by Glenys Nellist, and an Instagram Giveaway!

Two New “Good News!” Books by Glenys Nellist, and an Instagram Giveaway!

If you’ve been following along for a while, then you may recognize Glenys Nellist’s name, as we tend to really enjoy her books. Her ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas, Good News! It’s Easter!, and Snuggle Time Fall Blessings have made our lists of holiday and seasonal picks, and I think The Wonder That is You is a terrific addition to your baby shower gift rotation. So, I immediately said “yes” when Glenys asked me if I’d be willing to help promote her two newest books, Good News! God Made Me! and Good News! It’s Christmas! Keep reading for my thoughts on both of these books, as well as information about a giveaway for a copy of Good News! God Made Me! Continue reading “Two New “Good News!” Books by Glenys Nellist, and an Instagram Giveaway!”

National Diversity Day and Three New Mirrors in Children’s Books

National Diversity Day and Three New Mirrors in Children’s Books

Today, October 4, 2019, is National Diversity Day, a day established in 2005 “to celebrate and embrace who we are, despite our differences… A day to reflect on and learn about different cultures and ideologies. A day to vow acceptance and tolerance…” (from the National Diversity Day website). Fifteen years before that, almost 30 years ago today, Rudine Sims Bishop wisely challenged diversity and representation in children’s literature, giving us the ideas of books as windows, sliding glass doors, and mirrors. She wrote: 

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.” (Rudine Sims Bishop, 1990, quoted from the National Council of Teachers of English)

To honor both National Diversity Day and the emergence of more mirrors for more Americans, I bring you three important recent publications for children: The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad and S. K. Ali, Under My Hijab by Hena Khan, and Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow. Continue reading “National Diversity Day and Three New Mirrors in Children’s Books”

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez

Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez

“Where are you from?” is a question we’ve all likely asked and been asked. Even knowing that it can be a tricky question to answer (I mean, I tend to answer with where I was born and spent my childhood, but I’ve now lived away from there longer than I lived there…), I still ask people anyway. And the question often has a good intent behind it– we yearn to learn more about the people around us, to learn their histories and how it has made them who they are today. But sometimes, the question is asked for more surface-level reasons, because the recipient looks or sounds different, as if he or she “doesn’t belong.” Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez, illustrated by Jaime Kim, provides children with a wonderful context with which to answer this question. Continue reading “Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez”