90 Books for 90 Days of Summer!

90 Books for 90 Days of Summer!

I am extremely excited to bring you an amazing list of some of my favorite picture books to read to my girls– 90 of them, to be exact! I counted, and our girls are out of school for 90 days, so, I bring you 90 picture books to read with your children over 90 days of summer!

Click the links below to download and print PDF copies of

90 Books for 90 Days of Summer!

Click to download PDF list by title: Summer Book List 2019 by Title

Click to download PDF list by author: Summer Book List 2019 by Author

Read more for some information about what is on the list, images of most of the books, and tips and tricks to make taking little ones to the library easier!

Continue reading “90 Books for 90 Days of Summer!”

The Benefits of “Page-Turn Wait Time”

The Benefits of “Page-Turn Wait Time”

A few months ago, my husband came out from reading with the girls before bed and announced that storytime had gotten significantly more meaningful because he decided to simply sit and wait at the end of a page. He wouldn’t turn the page himself, he’d just wait until either the girls turned it themselves or asked him to turn it…

As a teacher, I read many many studies about the benefits of increased “wait time” (the time between when a teacher asks a question and a child answers it) to the quality of students’ thinking and responses. Studies show, in fact, that “the length of student responses tends to increase at least threefold” when the wait time is at least 3 seconds. “Student responses tended to be more substantive, including more thorough argumentation and less mimicry of what the instructor had already stated. On top of all that, increased wait time appears to be directly related to increased student motivation!” (from https://ucat.osu.edu/blog/value-awkward-silence-increasing-wait-time-classroom/).

And we’ve seen the same thing in our house when we let the girls lead in terms of how quickly we move through a picture book! The girls notice more about the illustrations (which are often integral to the story in a picture book), they ask insightful questions about the characters or plot, and they make more connections to the stories. We learned from this that, as adults, we tend to move through picture books at our reading speed, which is WAY too fast for children to process the story, and WAY too fast for them to take in all the details given through the illustrations.

Fast-forward to early April, when I finished The Enchanted Hour by Meghan Cox Gurdon (you can read my full review here), and she addresses this exact phenomenon. She writes:

With children’s picture books, it can be tempting for adults to flip through the pages at the pace of the prose… Looking with intensity, or “close looking…” calls for a change of gears, or a downshift. “If we want to be able to make the most of a picture— to be open to it and wonder why we feel as we do in front of it— we need to look not just as what’s being represented but rather at everything that presents itself, and grasp at the how as well as the what… The more you know, the more you’ll be able to discover and the more meanings you’ll be able to make.” (page 165).

How do you pace your picture book read-alouds? Are you willing to have your “page-turn wait time” feel a little awkward for the benefit of your children?

My Heart by Corinna Luyken

My Heart by Corinna Luyken

I waited to get this book from the library for a LONG time… Seriously, a really long time. I requested it before it was published in early January, hoping to get my hands on it before I made my Valentine’s/Love list, and I FINALLY got off the wait list for it last week. But, I’m here to tell you that My Heart, written and illustrated by Corinna Luyken, was worth the wait. It did not disappoint one bit. Continue reading “My Heart by Corinna Luyken”

Restaurant “Go” Bags

Restaurant “Go” Bags

When our oldest was about a year old, I saw a really cute tutorial (on Pinterest, I’m sure…) about turning a toiletry travel kit into a restaurant bag for small children. It would hold wipes, straws, kids-sized utensils, disposable bibs, and maybe some stickers, crayons, and paper… I tried to make that, though mine admittedly wasn’t nearly as cute as the one in the tutorial. The idea stuck, though, and almost 5 years later, and we still have a restaurant “Go” bag! Continue reading “Restaurant “Go” Bags”

The “Monster” series by Amanda Noll

The  “Monster” series by Amanda Noll

More than two years ago, a beloved babysitter gave our girls I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll, illustrated by Howard McWilliam, for Christmas. And oh my goodness, this book became a fast favorite! Fast forward two years, when my grandmother wanted to know what to get our 3-year-old for Christmas and I had just realized there’s a sequel… Now Hey, That’s My Monster! is also on repeat in our house! Yes, these books are older (published in 2009 and 2016), but they were completely new books to me, so hopefully you’ll discover a new favorite here, too. If you don’t know this series, read on to discover the delightful humor and terrifically fun characters, as these books make wonderful read-alouds! Continue reading “The “Monster” series by Amanda Noll”

Literacy Sensory Bins

Literacy Sensory Bins

If you know me well, you know that I don’t teach my own children to read before kindergarten (nor do I spend time teaching my kindergartener to read when she’s home from school). I believe in play, in exploration, and in a literacy-rich environment. So, my girls LOVE to “read” and to listen to books, but our oldest didn’t read independently before kindergarten. Our youngest might not either. And that’s just fine with me, as long as they’re excited about words, reading, and writing.

So, what do we do instead? We read aloud… a lot. We have books around for the girls to “read” on their own… a lot. And we play! We play for fun. We play to build social skills and to learn about the world. And we play with words and letters. Continue reading “Literacy Sensory Bins”

Books for Valentine’s Day 2019

Books for Valentine’s Day 2019

Ok, something you’ll learn about me over time is that while I love a good themed bookshelf, I really love when the books I choose for said bookshelf can serve multiple purposes throughout the year. So, when it comes to holiday books, I get pretty excited when I find books that work for a given holiday, but can also be read anytime over the course of the year (like this list of my favorite Halloween-y, but not Halloween, books, or some great books to read at the beginning of the school year that aren’t specifically about the first day of school). So, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, our shelf has a few Valentine’s Day books (only 2 out of 15 featured here, to be specific), but we read mostly love and kindness stories with wonderful year-round lessons. Continue reading “Books for Valentine’s Day 2019”