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”

Books as Party Favors!

Books as Party Favors!

How do you feel about birthday party favors for kids? This may be an unpopular opinion, but I was very anti party favors for a bit… Until I realized how truly excited children get about them. That said, I still had a hard time justifying buying something small and affordable (i.e. cheap) for every child who might come to a birthday party that we had, knowing that in our own house, those favors often go almost directly into the Goodwill bag. And then I had one of the more brilliant ideas I’ve had lately, if I do say so myself… Continue reading “Books as Party Favors!”

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”

Four Terrific Halloween Activity Books

Four Terrific Halloween Activity Books

One of the best things about the month of October is all of the arts and crafts! Fall and Halloween are just ripe with opportunities for creative, messy, sensory, STEAM, etc play! But, some days (or lets be honest, some weeks or even months) I just don’t have it together to find materials that the girls might use for a creative seasonal or holiday exploration. Fortunately for me and all of you, companies have made some really great Halloween activity books, chock full of growth, learning, and creative opportunities. Keep reading to see four of our favorite Halloween activity books! Continue reading “Four Terrific Halloween Activity Books”

Two New “Good News!” Books by Glenys Nellist, and an Instagram Giveaway!

Two New “Good News!” Books by Glenys Nellist, and an Instagram Giveaway!

If you’ve been following along for a while, then you may recognize Glenys Nellist’s name, as we tend to really enjoy her books. Her ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas, Good News! It’s Easter!, and Snuggle Time Fall Blessings have made our lists of holiday and seasonal picks, and I think The Wonder That is You is a terrific addition to your baby shower gift rotation. So, I immediately said “yes” when Glenys asked me if I’d be willing to help promote her two newest books, Good News! God Made Me! and Good News! It’s Christmas! Keep reading for my thoughts on both of these books, as well as information about a giveaway for a copy of Good News! God Made Me! Continue reading “Two New “Good News!” Books by Glenys Nellist, and an Instagram Giveaway!”

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”