Wash After Reading: A Book Review for Do not lick this book

Wash After Reading: A Book Review for Do not lick this book

Recently we had a bedtime read first. After reading our book, my daughter said, “Everyone who touched this book needs to go wash their hands!”…and we did. The book we had just finished was Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak and illustrated by Julian Frost.

When I received this book, I was expecting it to be a cute, Elephant & Piggie type book. Don’t get me wrong, it was still cute, but this is actually an Informational book. The book follows Min, who is a microbe from one item to the next, with some cool, super up-close pictures of those items. The interesting thing is that the reader is the one who “carries” Min from object to object, picking Min up with your finger.

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So, as the reader, I started Min on her journey. The whole idea freaked my daughter out (in a good way, she was giggling the whole time) so she moved away, while my son stayed put. He even participated in carrying Min later on, which of course meant that he ended up chasing his sister, trying to place Min on her. I found this amusing, her, not so much.  Even though he never did touch her with Min, my daughter was still the one who proclaimed that we all needed to wash our hands. And so, for the first time ever, off to the bathrooms to clean our hands we went.

From the title to the “about the author” at the end, this book grabbed and held our attention, and we learned some things in process. Although you may feel a little gross after reading, I would recommend this book for young budding scientists.

*I was able to read an ARC of this book thanks to the publisher and #bookexcursion, the release date for the US is June 2018.

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A Little Competition Never Hurt…

A Little Competition Never Hurt…

I realize that there is truth and evidence to the idea that incentive-based reading programs don’t do much to create lifelong readers, which is always my goal.

And while the summer reading program in my children’s school district isn’t really incentive based, they can log on and see how long (& what) other kids in their school are reading. After logging on and seeing what their classmates were doing, this is what happened in my house:

You’ll have to excuse the messy hallway, but hey I’m not interrupting reading for something I can clean later. I’m actually going to grab my own book, get in my own comfy spot and join them.

#RaisingReaders

Summer Reading Suggestion

Summer Reading Suggestion

So for many of us parents, the time has arrived for us to take control of the reins for keeping our kids’ minds sharp, AKA summertime.  Last year I crafted a series of summer reading posts that gave tips and/or suggestions to keep #RaisingReaders during the summer, which still hold true. Most families don’t/can’t spend all summer travelling, so summer can seem like a really long time if some routines aren’t created. This year however, I only have one suggestion, and its a simple, yet important one–don’t make reading a punishment.

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If done right, reading is not only an enjoyable activity, but one that offers many benefits for your child, now and in the future. However, if it is something that is always seen as a punishment or an unfun activity for your child, the likelihood of them becoming a voracious reader decreases.

What do I mean by punishment? Well, there’s a difference between saying, “Go to your room and read a book!” versus “How about you go to your room and finish a book?” Just the way you present the idea of reading can have an impact. Even if your child has a summer reading log/club/assignment from this teacher, it should still be presented as a relaxing, enjoyable task. So to that end, make reading part of your summer routines. Even if your child isn’t reading every day, maybe you go to your local library’s weekly story time and check out books that day as well. Or you establish something like “Find a spot to read Friday” or “Teach me something new Tuesday” so that your reader knows that reading is part of what you do during the summer. Also, keep reading to them at bedtime part of your evening schedule. Plus, there’s also this:

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Raising readers is important, and for 9 months of the school year you have a partner in this quest with their teacher. For these next few months however, the baton has been passed to you–run with it!

Davy’s Pirate Ship Adventure–A Book Review

Davy’s Pirate Ship Adventure–A Book Review

Here’s what’s cool: this is my first time doing a book review for a book whose author lives in the same town as I do!

Here’s what’s cooler: Davy’s Pirate Ship Adventure by Danual Berkley. This book brings you into a young boy’s imagination of his family’s journey on a pirate ship. As with most pirate adventures, there are some hiccups that you run into, but luckily Davy has some creative ways of dealing with those issues.

One of the first things that struck me about this book is that the whole family is on this imaginative pirate ship journey.  Usually in stories like this you see the kid by themselves, or maybe the kid and one parent, but in Davy’s adventure, mom, dad, and little brother are there. The fact that they are an African-American family is definitely an added bonus. While reading, my daughter pointed out that the mom’s hair looked like hers (curly)–I’m telling you #representationmatters.

When I read Davy’s Pirate Ship Adventure with my kids as our bedtime read, they enjoyed twists and turns in the book, and we all thought the illustrations were pretty cool too! We especially liked the last two pages of the book, because they give the reader background information on all the characters in the book.

This book has a great rhythm to it when you read it aloud and would be cute for your next bedtime read for any young child, especially those with active imaginations.

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My son loved the fact that even the little brother has skull & crossbones on his diaper!

Here’s what’s coolest: Since Danual Berkley lives in the same town I do, he has agreed to participate in my first #RaisingReaders author interview!! Check back soon to learn more about this author, including any adventures he may have #RaisingReaders!

Duck, Duck…Moose?

Duck, Duck…Moose?

Duck, Duck, Moose by Joy Heyer is a cute picture book that answers the question—what happens to duck when goose flies South for the winter?

In this rhyming book, duck runs across different animal friends who all want to play with him. However, none of them are like his friend goose, so he stays pretty frustrated, constantly saying that he can’t wait until “goose gets back”.  In the end, duck found a nice alternative game for his friends, because really, does anything sound better than duck, duck, goose?

This would be an entertaining book for any child up to about 8 years old, especially those that are familiar with the game duck, duck, goose.

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A Perfect Mother’s Day Ending…Don’t Blink!

A Perfect Mother’s Day Ending…Don’t Blink!

I had a great Mother’s Day this year, punctuated by my accidental selection of the perfect bedtime read. Don’t Blink, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a wonderfully entertaining book that is best read right before bedtime.

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The whole premise of this book is that if the reader can keep from blinking, then they don’t have to turn the page, which means they don’t have to go to bed.  My children thought this was hilarious and were up for the challenge! For the next 20 minutes, they were bouncing around, engaging in staring contests and trying to hold their eyelids open, all in a failing effort to keep me from turning the page–I loved it! But this also means I had to have the energy for it. If it had been one of those evenings where I’m about to pull my hair out and the babies are working my nerves, then this would not have been the book to read.

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I really think what thrilled me the most is that every time I think my kids might be too old for this type of gimmick, they slide right back in. That makes my heart happy.

So, if your child enjoyed The Book With No Pictures or if you enjoyed The Monster At The End of This Book, then this book should be your next bedtime read!

#RaisingReaders

What James Said…and Then What We Said

What James Said…and Then What We Said

When #RaisingReaders, there are times when the conversation after the bedtime read is just as important as reading the book itself.

For example, tonight my son and I read What James Said by Liz Rosenberg. This book is about a young girl who is not happy with her best friend James because she heard, through the grapevine, that he said something about her that she didn’t like. This short picture book goes through what happens with the hazards of bad communication, or a lack thereof, but of course has a happy ending.

My son read this book to me (yay!), and afterwards I asked him, “So what do you think the author was trying to teach us in this book?” Now, you’ll have to forgive me, I’m in assessment mode at school, which is why the question sounded so formal. Any other time, my question may have been something simpler, like “So what was the problem in the book?” or a more book specific question, like, “Now why were they in a fight?”. Either way, because this book had a clear message/goal, I felt like it was important to have the conversation right afterwards. If we were continuing our reading of The 26-Story Treehouse or reading any of the superhero books that he owns, that question would not have popped up.  However, since this book is perfect for having those conversations, I took advantage of this opportunity. I thought it was especially important because he read it to me, so I wanted to make sure he understood what he was reading.

I’m glad I did take the time to have the conversation, because he actually couldn’t answer the question. So that led to a short review of what we read, and eventual understanding. As much as I want to my children to be able to read and decode the words they come across, I really want them to understand that the purpose of reading is to understand what the text is about. I have found that one of the easiest ways to do that is through conversation after we read. Like I mentioned, it doesn’t have to be a real structured conversation, but just something to make sure that they know what’s going on.

Keep on #RaisingReaders