Winter Books We’re Loving

Winter Books We’re Loving

Given that we live in a climate so mild that our girls talk about “going to winter” rather than winter being an actual season they experience at home, we tend to wait till after the holiday season to bust out winter books. It’s not like we need to read snow books while we celebrate the first snow or anything like that… But, we had a very cold weekend (cold for us, at least…) and I know many of you around the world have had your first snowfalls already, so I figured I’d share my updated list of winter books we’re loving with you all right now.

Continue reading “Winter Books We’re Loving”

Delightful (and Informative!) Picture Books about Hanukkah

Delightful (and Informative!) Picture Books about Hanukkah

Whether you celebrate Hanukkah in your house or are simply looking to educate your children about a holiday some of their friends or family might celebrate, I think the list I’ve gathered below will give you a great place to start! You might laugh, you might cry, you might be wowed… You also might learn a little something along the way about the Maccabees, the Festival of Lights, and Hanukkah traditions such as making latkes and playing with dreidels. Keep reading to see Hanukkah titles we love, as well as a little info about each.
Continue reading “Delightful (and Informative!) Picture Books about Hanukkah”

25 Christmas Books for 2019

25 Christmas Books for 2019

While I love all things Christmas, I especially love Christmas music and Christmas books. I come by it honestly —  my dad used to play Christmas music throughout the month of December, and my mom had, at one point, what might have been the largest collection of various versions of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. I remember spending hours as a child curled up on the couch, listening to Christmas music and reading Christmas books. So, of course, one of my favorite things once I became a parent myself was to build my Christmas book collection, as well as to find new titles from our local library. Publishing a Christmas booklist was one of the tasks I was most excited to complete when I started my Instagram account a little over a year ago. Last year, I made what I think is an amazing list of 25+ Christmas books to read… This year, I’ve got a completely new list of 25 Christmas books for you to enjoy with your little ones this season! Continue reading “25 Christmas Books for 2019”

Our Book Choices for Native American Heritage Month

Our Book Choices for Native American Heritage Month

Ah, October… The start of the marathon of holidays and celebrations and themes that takes us to the new year. While I posted our favorite titles about gratitude/thankfulness and the Thanksgiving holiday last week, they actually still haven’t made it onto our front-facing shelves yet. Instead, we’re taking the first half of November to focus on reading about Native Americans, in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, which takes place in November.

According to the National Congress of American Indians, Native American Heritage Month is

“A time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month is also an opportune time to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.” (from the NCAI website)

To that end, here are the books we’ve been reading this month! Continue reading “Our Book Choices for Native American Heritage Month”

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Books

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Books

Every year, I hear from many of you that you feel like you’ve got TONS of wonderful Halloween and Christmas books, but your Thanksgiving collections leave much to be desired… So, here goes— my huge list of Thanksgiving recommendations (specific to the Thanksgiving holiday —  be sure to check out yesterday’s post for wonderful books about gratitude and thankfulness that can be read year-round). You’ll find it broken down by general category, and age recommendations are given as well, so hopefully you can find something to read with your children this month! Continue reading “Our Favorite Thanksgiving Books”

Books to Foster Thankfulness and Gratitude Year-Round

Books to Foster Thankfulness and Gratitude Year-Round

It’s Thanksgiving month here in the United States, which means many of us are spending time with our loved ones, reflecting on what we are thankful for and recognizing our gratitude. As you follow me more, you’ll learn quickly that I LOVE a good themed bookshelf, whether for a holiday or something we have going on in our lives (when we get ready for a week at the beach we read beach stories, and when we realized my oldest was terrified of dinosaurs we spent some time with dino books!).

I usually check out books for our themed shelves from the library, because I prefer to spend my money on books that we can enjoy year-round, not just for specific holidays. If you’re like me, and you want Thanksgiving books that can be read year-round, then this is the post for you, as it’s full of wonderful books on gratitude and being thankful that can be read any time of year! Continue reading “Books to Foster Thankfulness and Gratitude Year-Round”

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”