Hello, everyone! While I was spending time with my girls over their spring breaks, I hit 2000 followers on Instagram! I am thrilled that so many people are excited to get good books into their children’s hands, and I’m happy so many of you are looking for fun, laid-back ways to help your kiddos develop into independent and excited readers and writers. It’s hard enough to be a parent, so I’m glad I can help make one thing a little more fun and easy!
Since it’s been so long since I did an intro, I thought I’d take this first day back to share a bit about myself… You may be wondering who I am, why I do this, and what experience I have in the areas of literacy, so here goes!
My name is Mary, and I am currently raising two wonderful daughters (ages 3.5 and almost 6) with my amazing husband. In fact, my husband has been my biggest cheerleader and support in this Instagram and website adventure, and my girls have made it easy, too, as they’re (almost) always willing to make a trek to the library, try a new activity, or read a new book.
Prior to staying home with my children, I was an elementary school teacher for 10 years (I spent a year each in 2nd and 4th grades, and the rest in 3rd grade). As a teacher, I LOVED finding new, exciting, meaningful books for my students to read independently. Even moreso, I worked hard to find impactful read-alouds, whether picture books or chapter books… The books that would start deep conversations, expand my students’ understandings of the world, and lend to self-reflection around what kind of people they wanted to be… The books that would help them become better people. My husband kept asking me when my classroom library would be done, and I always had to respond, “Well, people just keep writing more amazing books that I need!”
I carried that passion for high-quality children’s literature with me into raising children, and quickly friends and family knew I was always willing to talk books or help them find books for specific uses. After 5 years of these passing conversations, I decided to formalize my thoughts and start an Instagram book review page. This quickly morphed from being just book recommendations to also including literacy tips for parents, as I am frequently asked questions around growing readers and writers as well.
Outside of raising children and talking about books and reading, you might also be interested to know that:
- While I spent most of my teaching time in one grade, I taught in 4 different states (GA, TN, MA, and CA).
- I love to send snail mail to friends and family (I’m a big fan of birthday cards)!
- I used to be both an avid pleasure reader and a runner… I was known to devour stacks of books on vacations, and I ran track in college. Both have unfortunately fallen low on the priority list over the last almost-6 years, but I’m working on that!
To that end— what’s the best book you’ve read for pleasure, for yourself, lately? Comment below so I can get some exciting titles and regrow my own reading habit!