Our Favorite Halloween-y and Halloween Books

Our Favorite Halloween-y and Halloween Books

It’s October, which means you’re already almost too late to try to grab Halloween books from your local library! Fortunately for you, I’ve got you covered with all sorts of Halloween reading. Below, you’ll find lists of our favorite Halloween-y (but not Halloween-specific) books, Halloween picture books, Halloween books for the youngest readers, and even Halloween chapter books for your older audiences. So take a look below, put some (or all…) of these titles on hold from your local library, and have a great time getting into the spirit of Halloween this month!

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Four Terrific Books for 9/11

Four Terrific Books for 9/11

In less than a week, we will acknowledge the anniversary of the attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Last year was the first year that we intentionally talked with our daughters about the events of 9/11, guided mostly through three of the picture books listed below. Knowing how sensitive and scary this subject can be for kids, I searched long and hard for books that we could read with them to help them begin to understand, in an age-appropriate way, what happened to our country that day. Below, I’ve got four titles (I added one this year, thanks to our amazing school librarian) that I feel are excellent books about 9/11 to read with preschoolers and early elementary students. I’ve also got a few titles that I couldn’t easily get my hands on, so please check those out too, and comment below if you’ve read them and would recommend them (or not!).

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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!

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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”

Fantastic Fourth of July Reads

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!

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Two Powerful Juneteenth Books

Two Powerful Juneteenth Books

Do you know the historical importance of June 19th, or Juneteenth? I’ll be completely up front and honest and admit that until a few years ago, well into adulthood, I had never even heard of Juneteenth. Fortunately for me and my children, my work with children’s books led me to some amazing titles about Juneteenth, which led me to learn more about this nationally celebrated commemoration of the official ending of enslavement in the United States. As Maya Angelou has been wonderfully quoted over the years, and especially in these last few weeks, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you do know better, do better.” Now that I know about Juneteenth, I am doing better, and I wanted to spread the word so that you can, too.

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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!

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember that we read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, about a month ago for a rabbit-themed family chapter book read aloud just before Easter. It had probably been at least 10 years since I had read this book in the classroom, and I was struck every single day we read by just how beautiful this book is. On top of that, my girls absolutely LOVED Edward’s story, asking for more and more chapters each day we read (I think we were able to finish this in about 4 days!). Sharing what makes The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane so magical became obviously necessary, so read on for a little insight into the emotional evolution of this beloved toy. Continue reading “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo”

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”

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”