Hurry, its time to vote!

Hurry, its time to vote!

This week is the last week for your child to vote in the Children’s Choice Book Awards! According to their website, “The Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards are the only national book awards voted on only by kids and teens. Launched in 2008 by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, the awards provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them.”

Now I’ll be honest, I think about this about this award in regards to students at school, but I’ve never thought about voting for this award in regards to my own child.  However, one morning this week, my daughter and I were listening to the “Absolutely Mindy” show on Kids Place Live and they did a short book talk about one of the award’s nominees, Noodlehead Nightmares. When I mentioned to my daughter that I was ordering this book for students at school because of the nomination, she got real excited and a lightbulb went off in my head. Why wasn’t I setting my own kids up for this fun? Why haven’t we looked for these books at the bookstore or the library? Shoot, why am I not talking about this with other people who are #RaisingReaders on my blog? Why am I slacking on this? So, I told her I would show her what all the nominations were and we would go from there.

We haven’t read most of the books, and voting ends this week. However, our plan is to look at the books we have read and decide which one we want to vote for. I would suggest that you go to this website with your child to see which of the books you and your children have read (they have categories up to 6th grade), and then depending on how many you guys have read, decide which one you want to win and go vote! Voting is really easy, and as a plus, they will feel really excited about having their voice heard.

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Reading Aloud–a reblog

Reading Aloud–a reblog

This is a wonderful blog post about the power of reading aloud in school. My hope is that you either 1) are able to translate these feelings into what you are doing at home in your #RaisingReaders quest or 2) you remember those pleasant feelings you had in school when your teacher read aloud to you, and that motivates you to try to replicate those feelings when reading with your children.

I remember fist-pumping and high-fiving my friends in two different arenas during elementary school: on the playground–during kickball or football–and when my teachers gathered us on the carpet to return to a favorite book. Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Hang Tough Paul Mather. These were books that […]

via Storytime: What Matters Most Cannot be Measured by David Rockower — Nerdy Book Club

Bedtime Book Recommendation– A Month of Bedtime Stories

Bedtime Book Recommendation– A Month of Bedtime Stories

Through the glorious website Bookbub, I get daily emails about deals on ebooks. And these are not just regular deals, but $5.99 or less deals. You can choose the categories/genres of books you would like to read, as well as your ebook provider, Amazon, Kindle, etc. One recent find of mine is our current bedtime read, A Month of Bedtime Stories, authored by Neil Roy McFarlane.

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This is an adorable book that, as the title suggests, is made for reading to your child at night. The interesting thing about this book is the point-of-view, because the author is talking directly to you (your children). We’ve read 3 stories so far, and each time I as the reader explain what adventures my children had during the day, which usually include a trip into the forest and some wacky talking animals.

For example, there’s one story that involves your child looking for potatoes, but ending up in a flying saucer with an alien. There’s usually some sort of potion or something that makes your child “forget” everything that just happened, which explains why you’re retelling them about their adventure that evening.

Here’s some reasons why I’m recommending this book:

1. The different point of view is a welcome change and changes the dynamic of our time together, they get to be the main character of the story, not someone else.

2. The stories are short. I’m reading them on my Nook, but they don’t appear to be more than 7-8 pages each, which is perfect timing to wind down at night.

3.  Also, the book has no illustrations, so the fact that the stories are short works out well for my 5 year old, who is a visual reader and learner. I feel like if they were any longer, I would lose him.

4. The stories are funny. So far we’ve encountered a cow sleeping in a tree, a bee in a submarine and an alien who looks a lot like a dog, and I’m only 3 stories in! Both kids find the stories giggle-worthy.

5. The stories seem to have a pattern. There’s always a part about going into the forest in the beginning, and each story ends with three cheers for your child and “hip hip…”. This is a great clue for my son to know that the story has come to an end.

The only caveat I’ve had with the book so far is that the author is from the UK, so in one story he talked about pounds instead of dollars, so I had to explain to my children what pounds were. Otherwise, we’ve had a great time with our bedtime reads, and I can’t wait to read the next 27 stories!

Always read it yourself first–Earth Day edition

Always read it yourself first–Earth Day edition

So, not long ago one of our bedtime reads was The House That Jane Built, and I felt really good about starting a conversation with my children about how they could possibly help the less fortunate, so I thought I’d try to continue that with a similar book a few days later.

To help celebrate Earth Day, classes in the school I work at will be reading this book:

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The Water Princess is based on a true story about a young African girl who has to walk miles with her mother each day, just to get the water her family will use to do the most basic things, i.e. clean clothes, cook food. I wanted to give my babies some perspective about things that are expectations to us are luxuries to others.

And as usual, I brought it home first to read it to my kids beforehand. Standard protocol, I read through it at some point, just to make sure everything’s kosher and my reading of the book will be of thespian quality. (ha!)

The kids were excited about reading it, so I was all set to impart some more wisdom and continue my quest to mold multi-dimensional people (ha! again). We were about halfway in, when we came to this page:

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This book is beautifully poetic, but because of its setting in Africa, it also has a couple of French words, including “maman”, which means “mom”. But when I got to that page, I stuttered.

“My ma-man?”

“My mama-n?”

As I’m trying to figure how to say the word, my children are cracking up laughing. Granted, it is kinda funny, but hey, I was trying to help these people learn about another culture, and I’ve completely lost them. Ugh.

Eventually I was able to finish the book, and it has a nice little “About this story” type page at the end of the book, so I started to explain to them how it was based on a true story, and Gie Gie, the main character, had to walk 4 miles one way each day just to get water. My giggling son was already out of the room, but I got to have a brief conversation with my daughter about how this is a big deal. Of course her solution, after being excited to not have to go to school, was to have me teach her on the walk to get the water, once she realized that not going to school at all was vastly different than missing a day occasionally to have to get water.

So I did get a little teaching in, but the moral of this story is, at least glance at, if not read through a picture book (chapter books are more difficult to read through) before you share it with your children. It makes for a smoother read on your part, as well as increases your chances of maintaining their interest in the story.

(Also, this book is great for Earth Day, plus I love Peter H. Reynolds’ illustrations!)

#RaisingReaders

Stacks and more stacks…

Stacks and more stacks…

My daughter reads herself to sleep almost every night.  She usually doesn’t read just one book, and she’s rather messy, so as a result, she has a plethora of books in her bed.  Most recently, in an effort to look neater, she stacked the books up instead of spreading them all over the floor and bed. So I said to my daughter, “Man, you’ve got quite the stack of books there, I’m going to take a picture of this”

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Here’s her bed stack…

Her little brother, who happened to be standing in the room when I took the picture, went to his room and said, “I’m going to get my stack of books”, and proceeded to grab a stack of books off his shelf to take to his bed. 🙂

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I Know a Wee Piggy is one of his faves

 

Now I don’t know if he grabbed a stack just because he saw me take a picture of hers, but I do know that as I walked out of the room, he had started trying to read from said stack.

I WILL get something about this parenting thing right.

#momforthewin #RaisingReaders

 

One of the good things about a graphic novel…

One of the good things about a graphic novel…

A couple of weeks ago, we went to my daughter’s school to their Scholastic Spring Book Fair. Because of my own addiction to books, as well as my children’s odd understanding that money grows on trees, I had warned both of them ahead of time that they were to “pick out one book, and if I feel like I like you, you might get two”.  I tell them this because in my head if they select the one book that is $20 (which they are likely to do, because they don’t even look at the prices), then they won’t be getting another, but, if they decide on one of the 50 books that are only $2.99 (which they are least likely to do), then they can get another.

‘Cause I’m a sucker, they both ended up with two books (as did I, and even Dad got one!). One of the books that my daughter got was the second book in The Babysitters Club series, The Truth About Stacey.  It’s a great series, one that I also loved as a child, but now, the books are in graphic novel format, so they look completely different.

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The good thing about this is, as with most graphic novels, they are more visually appealing, but in this case, still telling the same classic stories. The bad thing about this is, there’s a lot less text, so she was done with the book by the time she woke up in the morning! Now, we already know I was concerned about them trying to deplete my bank account, so the fact that she was done with a chapter book within 24 hours of getting it had to have me on the verge of a heart attack, right?

Actually no. Here’s the thing, although my child finished the book rather quickly, I know that’s not the last time she’ll read it. She actually picked it up again the next day. And this is not the first time she’s done this, she rereads books all the time. Weird hunh?  I mean, although graphic novels didn’t exist when I was her age, when it comes to chapter books, I was in graduate school before I read a book a second time through, and it was only because the professor made me. Now once I did it, I absolutely found the value in it and promote it all the time…at work. There are SO many benefits of rereading, too many to share, many of them you can find here. But I can’t take the credit for it at home, or can I?

I mean, do you know how many times I’ve read The LoraxBringing the Rain to Kapati Plain, or whatever that book was about Dora becoming a princess? Maybe reading the same book repeatedly had some effect? Maybe. Sorta. Hopefully.

I think it is more likely due to the fact that in this case, a graphic novel is much like a picture book, so it doesn’t feel as labor intensive when she decides to pick it up again. Either way, my hope is that she still has that habit when she’s in her graduate program and her professor makes her do it.

I’m sure, just like I’ve read the same books OVER and OVER, you’ve done the same in your quest to raise children who enjoy books. So, next time you want to roll your eyes when they pull out that book for you to read for the 100th time, go ahead and roll them, but remember, it just may establish a good reading behavior, help them out AND stretch your dollar in the long run.