Papá and Me by Arthur Dorros

Papá and Me by Arthur Dorros

Our four-year-old walked into the room the other day, smiled, and proudly said, “Buenos días. ¿Cómo éstas?” Now, I hardly speak any Spanish at all, and though I knew what she meant, I also knew she hadn’t learned that from me. My husband is fairly fluent in Spanish and teaches the girls bits and pieces here and there, but we hadn’t thought either had picked up on any. Were we wrong! And more importantly, she LOVES to use the Spanish she knows! Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for some bilingual books with Spanish words and phrases, so that I can introduce her to some more when my husband isn’t around. I had checked Papá and Me out from the library for HarperKids #ReadInFullColor initiative, and while it’s perfect for that, it’s also perfect for helping our girls learn more Spanish! Continue reading “Papá and Me by Arthur Dorros”

Our Favorite Halloween-y and Halloween Books

Our Favorite Halloween-y and Halloween Books

It’s October 1, 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! Continue reading “Our Favorite Halloween-y and Halloween Books”

All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka

All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka

Did you know that National Diversity Day is this Friday, October 4, 2019? First established in 2005, National Diversity Day “is a day 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). Today, I bring you a stunning book to read with your children this Friday, this week, or any time this year to help recognize and celebrate these differences. Using beautiful illustrations and easy-to-read verse, Sheila Hamanaka embraces and celebrates diversity in All the Colors of the Earth. Continue reading “All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka”

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

Don’t you just love when you can read a book with small children and they can learn an important lesson, and then you can read the same book with children more than a handful of years older, and they find powerful messages as well. The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson is one of these multi-aged gems. If you haven’t read The Other Side, you need to know about it! It’s beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated, with a timeless message of acceptance and friendship. Continue reading “The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson”

Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco

Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco

Did you know that many of Patricia Polacco’s books are drawn from events from her childhood, a childhood spent in a large extended family full of immigrants? When you read Polacco’s work, you understand how deeply important her family and its history is to her. You can tell that she embraces differences and diversity and appreciates intergenerational relationships. One of her over 115 children’s books, Chicken Sunday is one of my favorites from Polacco, and one that exemplifies her embrace of others, alike or different, young or old. Continue reading “Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco”

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise

When I was a teacher, helping my students understand the beautiful diversity of our country, as well as the long journey and many changes already behind us (and more still to come…) was hugely important to me. In my last classroom, we spent most of the second half of the year digging deep into the lives of Americans who fought for change, for equality, for better lives. We learned about Blacks, Hispanic, Asian-Americans, and immigrants. We learned about women, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and more. We learned about so many people who worked so hard so that future generations could have better lives.

And, now as a parent, I try to continue that work in my own house, finding age-appropriate ways to teach our girls about the diversity around us, where our country has been, and where they might help our country go. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar is a perfect read for this endeavor! Continue reading “Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise”

Our Favorite Fall Books

Our Favorite Fall Books

It’s the first day of fall in the Northern Hemisphere! While we still have weather in the 90s here and our leaves don’t really start to change until about Thanksgiving, I know many of you around the country are starting to pull out sweaters and sweatshirts, enjoying cooler mornings and evenings, and maybe even seeing some color on your trees. So, even though we don’t need to read books about changing seasons just yet in our house, I wanted to share some of our favorite fall books for those of you who may need them before we do. Read more to find our favorite fall picture books, some fall-ish books with fantastic social-emotional lessons, and board books for the littlest readers! Continue reading “Our Favorite Fall Books”