If you saw my post about combatting the summer slide, you may have noticed that we’re encouraging the girls to send letters and postcards to friends and family, and that we’ve started a Conversation Journal (a notebook of letters back and forth) with our oldest. As a way to inspire writing these letters, we’ve also been reading lots of picture books told mostly (or completely, in many cases) through epistolary form. Friendly letters, persuasive writing, thank you notes, even a few business letters– these books have it all! At the bottom of this post, I’ve also included a few wonderful novels written in letter format, for those of you with older readers who may be looking for more!Continue reading “Picture Books to Inspire Letter Writing”
Category: Book Lists
Books Featuring Courageous Role Models
About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post rounding up our favorite books to read to help children overcome fear and anxiety. Then, when my husband and I drafted out our year of Family Focus Traits, we knew that we wanted to include courage (by the way, courage is our July Family Focus Trait!), and in my head I thought, “Ooh, I’ve already got a great list written for that trait!” But, the more I thought about it, I knew this list needed to be slightly different. While my list of books to help overcome fear and anxiety focused on specific fears with explicit strategies to help overcome that fear (which often took courage, for sure!), our list of books featuring fiercely courageous role models shows characters demonstrating courage in other situations, too. Yes, there is some overlap between the two lists, but the books you’ll find on the list below tend to focus more strongly on the courage rather than on the fear or worry itself. So, read on to see which books we love for featuring fabulously courageous role models!Continue reading “Books Featuring Courageous Role Models”
50+ Books to Help Build Compassion and Empathy
Drum roll please… Our family character trait(s) for February are… compassion and empathy! (You can read more about our 12 character traits for 2020 here and here.) With Valentine’s Day in February, we wanted to focus our month on love and kindness, but in terms of having family conversations about our behaviors, those are both very broad, general terms. The more we thought about how we wanted to help our girls grow, we realized we wanted to help them SEE others more. To see other people and notice how they might be feeling. To put themselves in others’ shoes and act on what they observe. So, while we also obviously hope our children are kind in every way and show love to important people in their lives, we really want them to start to notice. To pay attention to others. To stop and help if it seems that they can, or to make amends for their own choices if they need to do so…
In other words, to approach the world around them with compassion and empathy!
As Jamie C. Martin wrote in Give Your Child the World: Raising Globally Minded Kids One Book at at Time, “Books help your family grasp on a new level that what we have in common with our worldwide neighbors far outweighs what separates us… It naturally develops compassion… because we all have similar needs, hopes, and desires. Great stories build an empathic foundation that leads to a life of service and concern for others” (p. 26). To that end, we love to use children’s literature to help our children develop fully as people. So, of course, we’ll be reading a lot of books showcasing compassion and empathy in February! Below, I’ve got 50+ amazing books for you to read with your children. Check it out, read along with us, and let me know if I’ve missed any amazing stories that our girls need to know and love!Continue reading “50+ Books to Help Build Compassion and Empathy”
The William Hoy Story (and Our Other Favorite Baseball Books)
One of my favorite things about reading so many books with my girls is that I often learn about people I would otherwise never know. Today’s picture book biography taught me about one such person, and I am so excited to share him with you!
When researching new picture books about baseball, I came across The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by Jez Tuya. I had never heard of William Hoy but was definitely intrigued by the title of this book, and fortunately, I requested it from our library just before it closed in March. This story is so good! Read on to learn a little bit about William Hoy and how he changed baseball.Continue reading “The William Hoy Story (and Our Other Favorite Baseball Books)”
Fantastic Fourth of July Reads
I love the 4th of July. I love spending the day with my family and friends, often spending the whole day outside. I love swimming, be it in a pool, lake, river, or ocean. I love baseball games and Cracker Jack boxes. I love grilling (or barbequing, depending what part of the country you’re in…), hot dogs, and apple pies. I love fireworks. And I love celebrating our country and our independence, because despite our historical and current mistakes, America is a pretty great place to live.
Now that I’m a parent, it’s important to me that my children understand the historical context for Independence Day as well as enjoy the celebrations and traditions that take place on the 4th of July. So, as usual, I turn to books! Below, you’ll find a mix of books to help your family or classrooms prepare to celebrate Independence Day. Some of these books are very July 4th-specific, other provide some historical context to Independence Day, and others are beautiful celebrations of America. Whatever you’re looking for, I hope you find some good seasonal and patriotic reading!
And, be sure to check out these terrific books for celebrating Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, with your children!Continue reading “Fantastic Fourth of July Reads”
Our Favorite Beach Books
One of my favorite things about the arrival of summer is pulling out my big box of beach books and activities. Some of my absolute favorite books center around the ocean (I’m looking at you, Flotsam and Hello, Lighthouse!), and ocean-themed sensory bins and sandpaper artwork are just the best. So, before we get too deep into summer, I wanted to share our favorite beach books. Take a look below, reserve them from the library (or use my Affiliate links to purchase if you love them, too!), and let me know which books you love!Continue reading “Our Favorite Beach Books”
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
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
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”
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!”