Most People by Michael Leannah

Most People by Michael Leannah

2020 has been a strange, long, hard year in many ways and for many people. Even in the easiest, most normal, most mundane of times, I love sharing books with my girls that remind us of all the goodness in the world. In fact, some of my earliest book recommendations on Instagram (before I even had a website!) were Be Kind, Good People Everywhere, and Because Amelia Smiled, books that highlight good people spreading goodness. Up today, I’ve got another one of our favorite books that reminds us of all the good around us: Most People, by Michael Leannah, illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris.

Continue reading “Most People by Michael Leannah”

Our Favorite School Stories for Social-Emotional Growth

Our Favorite School Stories for Social-Emotional Growth

Yesterday, I posted our favorite first day of school stories, a collection of books that will help children of all ages and experiences get ready for that first day of school. Up today is a list of our favorite school stories that help to set students up for a positive year.

These are stories of kindness and inclusion, stories that help children build empathy and understanding of self and others, stories of self-love and self-confidence. In short, these are stories children need. I love reading these year-around, but they’re perfect for helping children start their school years off on the right feet. They’re perfect to read at home or at school, independently or as a read aloud. And they’re timeless. So get them from your library or take the plunge and purchase them to own!

Continue reading “Our Favorite School Stories for Social-Emotional Growth”

Our Favorite First Day of School Books

Our Favorite First Day of School Books

It’s back-to-school season! Whether you’ve got a preschooler preparing for his first school experience or a rising fifth grader who is seasoned and suave, whether your children are starting the school year in person, with distance learning, or attempting homeschooling, reading picture books about the first day of school can help children of any age transition to the next stage or grade. Below, I’ve got you covered for whatever grade your children are starting! You can find books perfect for first-time preschoolers, kindergarteners, bus riders, elementary students… I’ve even got a few books perfect for the siblings being left behind when their older brothers or sisters start school! Be sure to scroll all the way down for the list(s) that might be best for your family. Continue reading “Our Favorite First Day of School Books”

The “Loves Science” Series

The “Loves Science” Series

Earlier this year, I recommended Asia Citro’s Zoey and Sassafras series, which is a delightful chapter book series that engages children in using the scientific method to solve problems with magical creatures. Today, I bring you Kimberly Derting’s and Shelli R. Johannes’s “Loves Science” series, a very similar picture book series that makes science experiments accessible and engaging to young readers. Read on to see why my girls loves these picture books and early readers!

Continue reading “The “Loves Science” Series”

You Matter by Christian Robinson

You Matter by Christian Robinson

“For anyone who isn’t sure if they matter. You do.”

When a book opens with this dedication, you know it’s going to be something special. You might have seen Christian Robinson’s newest gem floating around the internet and wondered if it’s really worth the hype that it’s getting… And it absolutely is! You Matter is one worth owning, worth the space on your front-facing shelf, and worth reading and re-reading over and over again and returning to as your child grow and come in and out of confidence.

Continue reading “You Matter by Christian Robinson”

A Favorite Read-Aloud Tip

A Favorite Read-Aloud Tip

A few weeks ago, I posted something in an Instagram story about the books I had read aloud to our girls over dinner, and I was flooded with questions about if we read aloud to our girls every dinnertime. And the answer? No, not every dinnertime, as we try to make that a time to focus on family conversation, but I will read aloud at dinner if my husband is working late.

However, I DO read aloud almost every single breakfast, and most lunches that the girls eat at home. We started this when our oldest was about 1.5 years old, and we’ve been going strong in mealtime read alouds for the 5.5 years since. Read on to see what makes this such a successful time for our family to read aloud!

Continue reading “A Favorite Read-Aloud Tip”

When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller

When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller

Okay, all, July is almost over, but I’ve got time to squeeze in one more book recommendation from our courage booklist, and you’re definitely going to want to check this one out. I scrambled to buy this book one day last summer, when our older daughter needed a little bravery boost for a summer camp… And we’ve returned to it multiple evenings in times of need, when the thought of what was coming the next day was a little too much to one of our girls. But, we’ve also pulled it out simply for a fun read, because it’s a fantastically written and beautifully illustrated picture book! Read on to see what makes When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, so delightful.

Continue reading “When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller”

Picture Books to Promote Resilience

Picture Books to Promote Resilience

Resilience, or the ability to overcome hardship… Something most of us want our children to develop. We hope they can grow into people who respond positively to adversity, who overcome negative situations, who not only tolerate but learn to embrace imperfection, and who approach challenges with a growth mindset and a willingness to risk multiple attempts, maybe even failing, in order to persevere, learn, and grow. To that end, resilience is our Family Focus Trait for August! Read on for a little insight into research on resilience and child development, and then check out our resilience booklist.

Continue reading “Picture Books to Promote Resilience”

Courage by Bernard Waber

Courage by Bernard Waber

I’ve been a Bernard Waber fan since I was a child. I have distinct memories of reading Ira Sleeps Over, and Lyle the Crocodile still makes me laugh. Somehow, I missed his Courage until just a few years ago, and I’m here to tell you that it’s a delightful addition to our July Family Focus Traits booklist, “Books Featuring Courageous Role Models.” Read on to see what makes Waber’s Courage one worth reading!

Continue reading “Courage by Bernard Waber”

Recent Favorite Family Read-Alouds — All With a Mouse Theme!

Recent Favorite Family Read-Alouds — All With a Mouse Theme!

We recently finished reading Poppy and Rye by Avi (the second book in his “Dimwood Forest” series) with the girls, and as I closed the book, it dawned on me that in the last few months, we’ve used three different chapter book series about mice for our family read-aloud books! Each of these series is written on a different level and has a unique feel to it, so other than the mice, they don’t really have much in common… But I figured I’d share them anyway, because they all made for wonderful read alouds!

Continue reading “Recent Favorite Family Read-Alouds — All With a Mouse Theme!”