Fun Bedtime Read: Q is for Duck…No Really

Fun Bedtime Read: Q is for Duck…No Really

Here was my pitch for our #bedtimeread this evening: “We’re going to read an ABC book, but it’s going to be tricky, because you guys already know your ABCs.” I got some puzzled looks, but I was prepared with a book I knew they would enjoy: Q is For Duck. This book by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom is not your normal alphabet book. For this book, the reader gets to guess why the item has been labeled with a letter that is not the one it normally starts with, like in the title.

At first, my kiddos were confused, and their guesses were off.  However, they soon caught on and were super excited to guess why certain letters were chosen for certain animals. Here’s some examples from the book:

One way I can always tell when my kids really like a book is when they ask to keep the book to reread it before they fall asleep, and this was one of those evenings. I let my son have it, but I didn’t find out until the next morning that at some point my daughter had the book too. (Yeah I know, I should’ve known this was going down, oops.)

They loved the book so much that my daughter decided to plagiarize the entire book so she could quiz her friends at school the next day!

Now, the only exception is that I wouldn’t recommend reading this to a child doesn’t solidly know their ABCs, we don’t want to create any confusion. Other than that, this is a perfect book for some #RaisingReaders fun.

Bedtime Read—Sharing History through a Picture Book

Bedtime Read—Sharing History through a Picture Book

My favorite event in history is the Montgomery Bus Boycott, so as my children have gotten older, I feel like it is time to share my admiration for the event with them. From school, they know the basics of the event, and key players Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is a plus.  We recently read a book that facilitated a little more of our conversation.

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Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney was a great picture book to deepen our conversation about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Civil Rights Movement.

In this book, the storyteller is a “dog-tired” dog who is playing the Blues and Jim Crow is a large black cloud that is surrounding Montgomery during the event. These symbolic aspects are conversation pieces themselves, but we didn’t delve too much into that. We focused more on the logistics of the event itself, including talking about how Dr. King was involved and the unification of the Black community during the Boycott.  Even after we were finished with the book, we had conversations about related people and events, including Ruby Bridges.

This book is poetically written, and reading it aloud in the right cadence added to the beauty of the book. As with all books illustrated by Pinkney, the pictures do a great job of showcasing the mood of this historical event.

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So, I’m sharing our bedtime read experience not only because Boycott Blues is a great book, but also because if there’s a historical event that you want your children to know more about, finding a picture book to help you start that conversation is a wonderful starting point.

Keep #RaisingReaders!

Sweet Dreams, Sarah by Vivian Kirkfield–Book Review MCBD 2019

Sweet Dreams, Sarah by Vivian Kirkfield–Book Review MCBD 2019

Do you know who Sarah Goode was? Has your child heard of her? If not, then this book is the perfect introduction to learning about this phenomenal woman.

Sarah Goode was a carpenter in the late 1800s who, based on her customers’ needs, created a cabinet which can also be turned into a bed. And in Sweet Dreams, Sarah, written by Vivian Kirkfield and illustrated by Chris Ewald, we learn all about Sarah’s life. In this picture book biography, readers learn about her being born into slavery to becoming a successful furniture store owner to her efforts to get a patent for the cabinet bed that she created.

Before reading Sweet Dreams, Sarah, I did not know who Sarah Goode was. However, through this book, Kirkfield has made me want to know more about her. Goode seems like a very bright and determined young woman and Kirkfield made it easy for the reader to learn about her. Additionally, the illustrations in this book are gorgeous! Particularly for a book that takes place during slavery and Reconstruction, I think that the illustrations bring some brightness to the story that I don’t usually see. An added bonus is that at the end of the book the author not only gives us a timeline of Goode’s life, but also a timeline of Black Women Patent Holders, just in case your interests have been sparked.

I think that this would be a great book to fit in during both Black History Month and Women’s History Month, but it is truly a good book to share any time. Thanks to the author Vivian Kirkfield for allowing me to read and review her book for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019. Sweet Dreams, Sarah will be released on May 1, 2019.

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**Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party ( a prize every 5 minutes!). GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 

Raising Readers with Hamilton

Raising Readers with Hamilton

Because of my obsession with books, as well as my superior expressive reading ;), I do most of the bedtime reading with the kids. However, I do recognize when it makes more sense for their father to have that role, and we recently had one of those moments.

My kids are obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack. Yes, they’re a tad bit late to the party, but they’ve arrived. And it’s arrived with a whole unexpected conversation about why they can’t use curse words, but I digress…

To coincide with their desire to play the soundtrack every day, I found a book that I thought they would enjoy–

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This book, written and illustrated by Don Brown, is all about the rivalry and eventual dual between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Now, I was all set and ready to read this to the kids, excited even, but then a light bulb went off–why not have their Dad read it to them? My husband is a high school Social Studies teacher, and a general history buff. It would make more sense for him to read it to them, especially if they have extra questions once the story begins, because there’s a big chance I won’t be able to answer them.  And guess what? I was right!

The kids were super excited about the book, my husband enjoyed reading something to him that he already had background knowledge about, and although I love reading to the kids, I had the night off!

So, in your #RaisingReaders quest, if you’re looking to involve another reader, think about what books the reader and the kids could enjoy. Also, if you have kids that enjoy Hamilton, this is a great book for them too!

Let Your Children Lead in 2019!

Let Your Children Lead in 2019!

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I just wanted to quickly wish everyone a Happy New Year, and to remember to keep raising readers, no matter where that may take you and your reader(s)!

In 2018 I gave into Harry Potter (really the fantasy genre as a whole) and developed a true appreciation for graphic novels. As a result, my kiddos continue to grow as readers and as educated citizens in general, even though that’s probably not the path I would have taken to get them there. But that’s the power in giving them choice–as long as I keep an eye on the long term goal (to enjoy books), it has been less of a headache for me and them to let them take the lead as often as I can.

So if you haven’t tried letting them take the lead, take this new year as an opportunity to let them lead the way!

 

Bedtime read Book Review–Charlie Takes His Shot by Nancy Churnin

Bedtime read Book Review–Charlie Takes His Shot by Nancy Churnin

Ever have one of those books that slowly but surely grabs your child’s attention, even during one of their super goofy periods? I did recently, and was pleasantly surprised that it was a non-fiction book that did the job!

We recently read Charlie Takes His Shot, a picture book biography by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by John Joven.  This is a biography of Charlie Sifford, who broke the color barrier in the game of golf. Sadly, I had never heard of him, and neither had my children, but they were engaged with the story right away.

The opening scene of the book (see below) grabbed my busy bodied children right away, and then Churnin jumps right into giving the historical context, which also grabbed their attention.20181228_212557-17620592454310736355.jpg

We learned all about the struggles Mr. Sifford had to deal with when trying to play professionally on PGA tours when there was a literal “Caucasian rule” that said he could not play on PGA courses.

One of the many interesting things I enjoyed about the book was concept that Charlie’s success was not only due to his golfing skills, but also the help of others. Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball, was actually one of those people. Although it often can appear to be one person who makes such a big change, it actually takes the support and efforts of many to achieve such a historical change and that I love that this book makes that so clear.

The bright colorful illustrations are wonderful in this book and all three of us learned something new with this great bedtime read.

This book is great for a child who enjoys, golf, Civil Rights, and/or biographies.

Keep Raising Readers!

 

In Case Reading Out Loud Isn’t Your Thing…

In Case Reading Out Loud Isn’t Your Thing…

On a recent Sunday morning, my 7 year old son came into my bedroom to ask me for a piece of paper. What for, you ask? This child was excited because he had found the solar system in his kid dictionary and wanted to write about it. Specifically, he wanted to write down the age old mnemonic device that many of us learned about the planets, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” (Or whatever food starting with P you may have learned.)

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Here he is, invading my space on a Sunday morning with his dictionary…

He was inspired to write this down because for the last few days he has been listening to Stink: Solar System Superhero and apparently this was part of the story. His plan was to create his own new sentence about the planets, which I thought was admirable, but quite a lofty goal for a relaxing Sunday morning. But his motivation got me to thinking about the power of listening to books. I love the fact that he is getting just as much out of listening to Stink’s adventures on CD as he would if I was reading it to him.

My daughter is also loving the books she’s listening to, which are part of the Wayside School series. When I recently went into her room to turn off her lamp, instead of laying down and falling asleep, she was sitting straight up because she was just that into the story. imgres-7As an added bonus, we almost always get audio books from the library, which cost my favorite amount: FREE.

So, although I’ve written about this before, I just wanted to remind you that audiobooks can be a perfect alternative to reading aloud with your children, especially if you’re not feeling particularly entertaining with your reading style.

Don’t get me wrong, I still advocate for reading aloud to your children, even if you don’t feel like its your wheelhouse. They appreciate the effort, the cuddles, and the time spent together, even if you feel like you’re stumbling over words or not doing cool voices.

Whatever you decide, keep #RaisingReaders!

#RaisingReader Tips for Busy Kids

#RaisingReader Tips for Busy Kids

One of the goals of my blog is to try to do my part in assisting parents and guardians with being able to raise their children to be readers, whether it be through book reviews or sharing my parenting stories. I know that one thing that can be a road block is time, or a lack thereof, especially as children get older and more involved in activities.

One of my go-to websites for book ideas and strategies is readbrightly.com. And even though my blog doesn’t mention teen readers often because my kids aren’t that old yet, I recognize how it is important to keep them motivated to read and so does Brightly. So I thought I’d share a recent article I read from their website with some great ideas for raising readers with busy schedules.

Expert Tips for Keeping Busy Kids Connected to Books

 

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar – 50th Anniversary — A Teacher’s Reflections

This was one of my favorite books as a child, I distinctly remember checking it out of the library multiple times.  I’m amazed and happy that it is still popular today. This blogger, Jennie shares some of the backstory and some interesting stats about this wonderful book.

 

Fifty years. That’s a very long time. For a book to still be alive, vibrant, and read all over the world – fifty years later – is astounding. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, with a golden book jacket. The caterpillar in the story wasn’t always a […]

via The Very Hungry Caterpillar – 50th Anniversary — A Teacher’s Reflections

 

My Mom Has X-ray Vision—Book Review

My Mom Has X-ray Vision—Book Review

Our latest bedtime read, My Mom Has X-ray Vision, was a big hit with both the kids and myself. This picture book, written by Angela McAllister and illustrated by Alex T. Smith is about a young boy, Matthew, who is trying to figure out why his mom knows what he’s doing, even when she can’t see him.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, you don’t want your children to know your secrets, and you don’t want this book to reveal them. Trust me, I felt the same way, but I still feel like your skills will be safe.

I’ve shared before that my kids love analyzing illustrations, and this book is perfect for that. We loved figuring out why Matthew’s mom knew what he was doing, like in this example below.

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Although Matthew never really figured it out, we delighted in determining if Matthew’s mom really had some super powers (of course she did 😜).

This book is good bedtime read for young children, and is great for taking some time to look at illustrations to see what they notice.

Keep #RaisingReaders!

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