Ah, the holiday season. It’s definitely my favorite time of year! I love the lights and the music, the family time and special events, the Christmas movies by the fire, the birth of Jesus, the baked goods… I could go on and on. But, even though we’re pretty strict on the “No Christmas until after Thanksgiving” rule in our house, our girls have been talking for months about what they hope to get for Christmas this year. They’ve even each already written a few version of letters to Santa! While I love the giving and receiving of gifts that happens this time of year, we do try hard to help our girls focus *almost* as much on what gifts they want to and can give to others as they do on what gifts they want to receive. To that end, when we made our list of Family Focus Traits for 2020 last December (it’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since we mapped out this project!), we knew we wanted generosity to be the focus during the holidays.
Up today, I’ve got a fantastic list of picture books with a focus on generosity. None of these are holiday-specific, so they’re perfect to read year-round if your bookshelves are already stuffed with holiday books. And, if your bookshelves are already stuffed with holiday books, be sure to check out my Christmas picture booklists (you can find them here, here, and here), as many of those are wonderful holiday-specific titles that also have a focus on giving).
Continue reading “Picture Books that Focus on Generosity and Giving” →
Do you all know about the children’s book subscription box Literati? I was thrilled when they asked if we’d like to receive a few boxes in exchange for honest reviews of their services, even though we have plenty of books. Why was I so interested in checking out what Literati Kids had to offer?
Continue reading “An Honest Review of Literati Kids Book Clubs — Round 1” →
For the longest time, the whole Frog and Toad series was on repeat in our house… We read the physical books over and over again and listened to the audiobooks on repeat. At one point, our then 3-year-old had Frog and Toad Are Friends memorized. Every single word, every single chapter. While I truly love the Frog and Toad books, I have to admit that I was a bit relieved when we moved on. And fortunately, I’m here to tell you that we moved on to other similar length and difficulty early chapter book series: the Yasmin series and the King & Kayla series! Read on for a little insight into each, as well as some tidbits from my girls about why they like these stories so much.
Continue reading “Two Delightful Early Chapter Book Series” →
Are your kids homeschooling or distance learning this fall? If you’d allow me to recommend just one thing to buy to support learning, take my word and buy these two books! Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World and Wildlives: 50 Extraordinary Animals That Made History have been favorites in our house for the last 6 months!
Continue reading “The Herstory and Wildlives Collections — Two Must-Buys for Supporting COVID Learning” →
Today, I’ve got two favorite books to help children explore and understand various skin colors, as well as a really neat “beyond the book” art exploration inspired by one of these books. If you’ve followed along for a while, you might have seen me mention All the Colors We Are: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color by Katie Kissinger, illustrated by Chris Bohnhoff (I touched on this book in my review of All the Colors of the Earth last September and have recommended it multiple times on Instagram). We also recently added The Colors of Us by Karen Katz to our home library — and did you know that using just red, yellow, black, and white paints, you can mix up any shade of brown you like? Read on for a little more information about these books, as well as the art project that The Colors of Us inspired my girls to complete!
Continue reading “Two Books about Skin Color, Plus a Beyond the Book Art Exploration” →
Okay, all, it’s almost June, which means it’s time to gather up (if you can… because your libraries are likely still closed…) books to inspire creativity! When my husband and I sat down to talk about traits we wanted to foster in our children in 2020, creativity was high on our list, and we knew a summer month would be a perfect month for creativity! So, up today, I’ve got a huge list of picture books to inspire creativity… Books that will inspire imagining, writing, crafting, creating, building, music, dancing, daydreaming, and more. Check out the list below, gather what you can from your bookshelves, hit up your library when it reopens, and get excited about a summer of creativity!
Continue reading “Picture Books to Inspire Wild Creativity” →
Two of the most frequent questions that I get are “How do I make sure that my child is ready for kindergarten?” and “What should I do at home to teach my child to read?” The first part of my answer always relates to the fact that most preschool children are typically not ready to read, and the best things to do with them at home to prepare them for school are to make sure they have plenty of free time to play and learn about the world, and to make sure you’re reading a LOT to them. From there, I often talk to parents about easy, play-based ways to build alphabet knowledge with preschool-aged children, so that when their brains are ready for reading, they’ve got the background knowledge they need to jump right in. So, what are some really easy ways to build letter recognition and alphabet knowledge?
Continue reading “Easy (and Fun) Ways to Build Letter Recognition Skills” →
Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner, written and illustrated by Jessie Hartland, was released just last month (May 21, 2019, to be exact). I had read advance reviews of it throughout the spring and requested it from the library months ago, so that I could be first in line to read it when our library got it… Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to my hands before I published my 4th of July booklist, but I have it now, and it’s wonderful! Continue reading “Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner by Jessie Hartland” →
Do you have any airport travel coming up this summer? I’ve got the perfect airplane book for you all… So perfect that we first read it about 3 years ago, before an airplane trip to get our girls ready and excited, and we continue to read it today, loving it and noticing still new details every time (and yes, this is another book that long ago lost its dust jacket…). For your children’s summer travel reading pleasure, I bring you The Airport Book by Lisa Brown.
Continue reading “The Airport Book by Lisa Brown” →
All of the research on reading engagement AND performance points to the fact that one of the most important factors in raising readers is that they have parents who model loving to read.
Yet… I’m not sure I could call myself a reading role model. Continue reading “Am I a Visible or Invisible Role Model?” →