90 Books for 90 Days of Summer! (2020 Edition)

As you all know, I LOVE a good booklist. I always have! As a teacher, I constantly created random themed book baskets or gathered books about a specific topic to perch on the whiteboard ledge. As a mom, I’ve always loved filling our front-facing shelf with whatever holiday or theme was appropriate for a given chunk of weeks. And as a blogger, creating lists for you all is my favorite thing to do.

Today, not only do I have a list for you, but I have my favorite annual list for you — 90 Books for 90 Days of Summer! This is the list I dreamed of making for a few years before starting my Instagram page, and I was thrilled to finally be able to release my first summer booklist last summer. I’m back with 90 Books for 90 Days of Summer (2020 Edition), a completely different but just as fabulous collection of picture books for you to read with your family this summer.

Continue reading “90 Books for 90 Days of Summer! (2020 Edition)”

Our Favorite Birthday Books

Our Favorite Birthday Books

You all know I love a good themed bookshelf, and there’s no better time to bust out themed books than just before a birthday! So, twice a year, our front-facing bookshelf gets turned into a birthday bookshelf, featuring all of our favorite birthday books. And, while there are some birthday picture books that we absolutely adore (in fact, we love The Seven Silly Eaters so much that when our oldest turned 6, she requested that we make Mrs. Peters’ birthday cake for her celebration with family!), there are a lot of birthday books out there that, well, just don’t do it for me… So, I thought I should share our favorites with you, so that birthday excitement in your house can involve books, too!

Continue reading “Our Favorite Birthday Books”

Our Favorite Picture Books About Honesty

Our Favorite Picture Books About Honesty

As you may have seen last week, our Family Focus trait for May is honesty. And up today, I’ve got a list of our favorite picture books about honesty! You’ve already read how we used The Empty Potand Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie for our Family Focus kick-off night for May. Today, I bring you the rest of our honesty list! You’ll find books on telling the truth versus telling a lie, for sure, but I’ve also included books on cheating and other forms of dishonesty, too. You can read my brief synposes for details about each book’s plot below.

I also partnered with my friend Lauren from Happily Ever Elephants (check out her beautiful website here and her Instagram account here) to bring you double the honesty booklists today. Be sure to pop over to her website and check out her list — you’ll see some overlap, but she’s also got a few new-to-me titles that I can’t wait to check out when the libraries open back up!

With a Family Focus on honesty, it’s worth noting that children lie. They just do. As parents, hearing that first lie can be extremely painful. But, research shows us that we’re not alone, and that a toddler’s lie doesn’t in fact mean she’s likely to be drastically antisocial down the road. In fact, researchers deem the ability to tell a lie an important developmental milestone. Of course, just because lying is something all children do doesn’t mean that as adults, we should condone it. In fact, we can do a lot to help children understand the importance of honesty, such as reading stories that celebrate honesty (and the courage it takes) over lying. The more we help children understand the positive effects of honesty when the stakes are small, then hopefully they’ll make honest choices later in life, when the stakes are big!

Will you join us in reading the books listed below and help children internalize the importance of telling the truth, no matter how hard it is?

Continue reading “Our Favorite Picture Books About Honesty”

Reader Poll!

Reader Poll!

Okay, all, I need your input! I’m working on my favorite booklist of the year —  my 2020 90 Books for 90 Days of Summer booklist! And, I need your help… I’ve got a massive list of finalists (WAY more than 90, because it’s just so hard to narrow it down!), but I want to make sure that this list is extremely easy for you all to use. Continue reading “Reader Poll!”

Terrific Poetry Books for Children

Terrific Poetry Books for Children

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month here in the United States? Admittedly, this is a celebration from which I have shied away in the past, as my childhood love of Shel Silverstein and other fun poetry dwindled once I tried to analyze poetry in middle and high school. I want better for my children, though. I want them to be comfortable, maybe even confident, reading poetry.

And more than just wanting them to be (at a minimum) comfortable reading poetry (but hopefully enjoy reading it, too!), poetry positively affects literacy development in growing readers. So not only do I want my children to be comfortable and confident when it comes to poetry, but I want them to reap these benefits too! Reading poetry with children:

  • Helps pre-readers begin to connect the sounds they hear with the symbols they see on the page.
  • Strengthens pre-readers knowledge of familiar sounds.
  • Impacts phonological awareness by allowing independent readers to familiarize themselves with common phonemic patterns in rhyming words.
  • Helps children recognize high-frequency written words.
  • Increases reading and speaking fluency, especially when children are encouraged to read aloud through choral or repeated readings.
  • Builds problem-solving skills as children begin to predict the rhyming words (especially when children are given the opportunity to finish the lines and predict “What’s next?”).
  • Fosters memory recall, especially when poetry is experienced through repeated readings, or accompanied by songs, fingerplays, or other dramatic acts.
  • Builds positive relationships between adult and children when reading poetry is a fun shared experience.

Additionally, young children truly enjoy the rhythm and predictability of rhymes such as poetry. After all, there’s a good reason that so many favorite board and picture books, the ones your children reach for over and over, are rhyming books!

So, where to begin? How do you start reading poetry with children, so that they not only develop positive associations with poetry but also reap the amazing literacy benefits? Below, you’ll find our favorite poetry books, books from which I enjoy reading and to which my girls delight in listening. You’ll find the silly, laugh-inducing poetry of Shel Silverstein, but you’ll also find more serious, thought-provoking poems, so this list runs the gamut. Hopefully you can find something inspiring for your family, too! Continue reading “Terrific Poetry Books for Children”

Terrific Books to Inspire Design and Engineering PLUS Activities for Each

Terrific Books to Inspire Design and Engineering PLUS Activities for Each

Last week was technically our spring break, so while our spring break didn’t involve the travel and extended family visits that we had planned, it also didn’t involve keeping up with various Zoom meetings and struggling with the technical difficulties of distance learning. Instead, we focused on life skills (the girls took turns cooking dinner each night and learning how to use knives, the stove, and the microwave safely, as well as learned both of our phone numbers, and our older daughter finally mastered tying her shoes!) and played around with some book-inspired creative design and engineering. Read on to see what books we read and how they inspired our play! Continue reading “Terrific Books to Inspire Design and Engineering PLUS Activities for Each”

Earth Day Books to Read Year-Round

Earth Day Books to Read Year-Round

If you’ve been following along for a while, then you know that when it comes to holiday/seasonal reads, I love finding good books that can be used to celebrate a specific holiday or season, but that are also impactful for year-round reading. I also believe one of the best ways to help our Earth is to help children learn about plants, animals, and the actual makeup of the earth around them– the more they understand about the environment around them, the more they will be inspired to take care of it. So, if you’re like us and spring seemed to come late to your area, or if you’re looking for wonderful books to teach children about our planet and how to care for it that you can read year-round, look no further than the list below! Continue reading “Earth Day Books to Read Year-Round”

Books for Helping Children Cope with Fears and Worries

Books for Helping Children Cope with Fears and Worries

Even before I had my Instagram page and this website, my friends frequently asked me to recommend books that would help their children work through fears and worries. Since starting to recommend books publically, I get asked for this even more frequently. Maybe it’s the age of my children and their friends, but it seems like I get asked for titles of books for fear and worry every other week… So, it’s about time that I just compiled a list of good books to help children cope with fear and worry! Continue reading “Books for Helping Children Cope with Fears and Worries”

Our Favorite Books about Bunnies and Eggs

Our Favorite Books about Bunnies and Eggs

For those of you who love to read books about bunnies, eggs, chicks, etc. during springtime and the Easter season, this list is for you! Below are some of our very favorite books that generally relate to Easter festivities, but can easily be incorporated into your year-round library.

(If you’re looking for Easter-specific books, both secular or religious in nature, be sure to check out yesterday’s post!). Continue reading “Our Favorite Books about Bunnies and Eggs”

Our Favorite Holiday-Specific Easter Books

Our Favorite Holiday-Specific Easter Books

So, it turns out that you all were almost perfectly 50/50 on whether you wanted holiday-specific Easter books or more general books about bunnies and eggs, so… I’ve got two lists for you! Below, you’ll find Easter-specific titles for a variety of ages and holiday interests— little readers, bigger kids, Christian, secular… Hopefully there’s something in here for you!

If you were really hoping for my favorite non-Easter books about bunnies and eggs for your year-round reading pleasure, have no fear… I’ve got those for you, too! Just click here to see our list of our list of favorite books about bunnies and eggs! Continue reading “Our Favorite Holiday-Specific Easter Books”