Our #BedtimeRead Favorites of 2019

Our #BedtimeRead Favorites of 2019

My kids and I have read a lot of books during 2019, so I thought I would highlight some of our favorites. Most of them are picture books, because we still love a good story. However, we read a couple of chapter books we enjoyed this year too. These are in no particular order, and they are not all books that were released in 2019, they are just books we enjoyed this year.

screenshot_20190619-231722_google6782167213844116503.jpgThe Last-Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles was one of the chapter books that we read this year. Now this one was a title that was released this year, and is an energetic science fiction story about two boys who go on an adventure right before they have to go back to school.  Although it is a chapter book, there are a few pictures throughout the book, which really add to the craziness of the eccentric characters that are in this storyline. This was one that I blogged about earlier this year, so you can read our feelings about it in more detail here. This was definitely one that when we finished it, all 3 of us were wondering/hoping if there’s going to be a sequel!

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We are pretty big animal fans in our house, so if we’re reading non-fiction at bedtime, animals are usually the topic of that book. We love books by Jess Keating as well, so this was definitely a top one for us. We learn new things about animals, some animals which we never knew existed! Even though this is a picture book, there’s a lot of information in it, so we stretch a book like this out for a few days, maybe even a week.

I was at a meeting with other educators when I learned about a series of books featuring 20190918_2003267157701794092831027.jpgdifferent utensils by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  There’s one titled Spoon and in February 2020 there will be one released titled Straw, but the one we’re putting on the list this year is called Chopsticks. This cute story is about a pair of chopsticks that are basically attached at the hip, but an unfortunate event causes them to be separated. This is great book for kids who need help finding their individual strengths as opposed to their group/pair identity. I wrote about this book earlier in 2019 here.

 

download-2In our house we tend to lean ourselves toward series, or books by the same author. If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen falls into that category, thanks to his other books we’ve enjoyed, If I Built a Car and If I Built a House. As an educator, this one spoke to my heart too, because the main character was creating such an awesome place for learning!

 

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry was definitely one of my top picks of the year, probably20190529_2101385361337492258340228.jpg even the decade, but I love that my kids really enjoyed it too. This picture book’s beautiful illustrations, done by Vashti Harrison, add to the adorable story of a dad trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair. This book also has been made into a short film, and although the story line differs, the message is still the same! I also wrote about my obsession with this book here.

 

 

download-3Chapter Two is Missing! by Josh Lieb was one of the funniest books we read in 2019, and we read some funny books. Don’t be fooled by the missing chapter, this is still a picture book that can be read in one sitting, especially since there’s a whole missing chapter. 😉 As the readers we were able to figure out where that chapter may have gone, but it was entertaining watching the characters in the book try to figure it out.

 

We read quite a few more books this year, and these are by no means the only ones that are our favorites, but I don’t have enough time to list all of those, nor do you have that much time to read all of them. But if you are looking for some #bedtimereads for 2020, this may be a place to start!

Keep #RaisingReaders!

Books vs. Electronics

Books vs. Electronics

A friend sent me this cartoon recently, and I thought it was perfect for this blog. Although it may look extreme and give you a giggle, this is yet another reason why I am convinced that raising readers is an important mission.

 

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Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against electronic devices, and my kids do have them, but they also have bookshelves full of books, library cards, and listen to books as they fall asleep. Balance is important. How do you make sure your readers have balance?

Keep #RaisingReaders

When Aidan Became a Brother– A Book Review for #MCBD2020

When Aidan Became a Brother– A Book Review for #MCBD2020

I was lucky enough to be gifted Kyle Lukoff’s picture book When Aidan Became a Brother for this event, a beautifully told story about a family who is about to add a new member to their family.

When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl, which means his room and his clothes looked like he was a girl. However, Aidan was eventually able to articulate to his parents that he was a different kind of boy, and his parents helped him to make that adjustment.

So when his mom gets pregnant again, the whole family takes very careful steps to make sure everything from the nursery to the name are gender neutral, and this is a task that soon-to-be big brother Aidan takes very seriously. He wants to make sure the child feels welcomed to be whoever they want to be, and the story ends with the arrival of the beautiful baby.

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The illustrations of this book, done by Kaylani Juanita, are beautiful and little things like the mom and Aidan going to bed with their hair scarves on will make many readers feel seen.

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My kids and I both really enjoyed reading this book. I loved how the story was explicitly laid out, but was still done in a way that was enjoyable for its intended audience. I also appreciated the beauty of the multicultural environment this family lived in. Again, little things like that can be so important for readers.

Thanks Kyle, Kaylani, and Lee and Low Books for gifting the world with this book!

Bonus info: When Aidan Became a Brother won the Stonewall Award this month, which is awarded to books that exhibit, “exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience”. Congratulations!

 

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20) is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators.  

Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues.

MCBD 2020  is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board

 

Super Platinum

Make A Way Media/ Deirdre “DeeDee” Cummings, 

Platinum

Language Lizard, Pack-N-Go Girls

Gold

Audrey Press, Lerner Publishing Group, KidLit TV, ABDO BOOKS : A Family of Educational Publishers, PragmaticMom & Sumo Jo, Candlewick Press,

Silver

 Author Charlotte Riggle, Capstone Publishing, Guba Publishing, Melissa Munro Boyd & B is for Breathe,

Bronze

Author Carole P. Roman, Snowflake Stories/Jill Barletti, Vivian Kirkfield & Making Their Voices Heard. Barnes Brothers BooksTimTimTom, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee & Low Books,  Charlesbridge Publishing, Barefoot Books Talegari Tales

 

Author Sponsor Link Cloud

Jerry Craft, A.R. Bey and Adventures in Boogieland, Eugina Chu & Brandon goes to Beijing, Kenneth Braswell & Fathers Incorporated, Maritza M. Mejia & Luz del mes_Mejia, Kathleen Burkinshaw & The Last Cherry Blossom, SISSY GOES TINY by Rebecca Flansburg and B.A. Norrgard, Josh Funk and HOW TO CODE A ROLLERCOASTER, Maya/Neel Adventures with Culture GrooveLauren Ranalli, The Little Green Monster: Cancer Magic! By Dr. Sharon Chappell, Phe Lang and Me On The Page, Afsaneh Moradian and Jamie is Jamie, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, TUMBLE CREEK PRESS, Nancy Tupper Ling, Author Gwen Jackson, Angeliki Pedersen & The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 by Mia Wenjen, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher (Founders of Inner Flower Child Books), Ann Morris & Do It Again!/¡Otra Vez!, Janet Balletta and Mermaids on a Mission to Save the Ocean, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo & Bruna Bailando por el Mundo\ Dancing Around the World, Shoumi Sen & From The Toddler Diaries, Sarah Jamila Stevenson, Tonya Duncan and the Sophie Washington Book Series, Teresa Robeson  & The Queen of Physics, Nadishka Aloysius and Roo The Little Red TukTuk, Girlfriends Book Club Baltimore & Stories by the Girlfriends Book Club, Finding My Way Books, Diana Huang & Intrepids, Five Enchanted Mermaids, Elizabeth Godley and Ribbon’s Traveling Castle, Anna Olswanger and Greenhorn, Danielle Wallace & My Big Brother Troy, Jocelyn Francisco and Little Yellow Jeepney, Mariana Llanos & Kutu, the Tiny Inca Princess/La Ñusta Diminuta, Sara Arnold & The Big Buna Bash, Roddie Simmons & Race 2 Rio, DuEwa Frazier & Alice’s Musical Debut, Veronica Appleton & the Journey to Appleville book series  Green Kids Club, Inc.

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, Afsaneh Moradian, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Bethany Edward & Biracial Bookworms, Michelle Goetzl & Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Educators Spin on it, Shauna Hibbitts-creator of eNannylink, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joel Leonidas & Descendant of Poseidon Reads {Philippines}, Imagination Soup, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Serge Smagarinsky {Australia}, Shoumi Sen, Jennifer Brunk & Spanish Playground, Katie Meadows and Youth Lit Reviews

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day

TWITTER PARTY! Register here!

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

 

A Cautionary Tale…

A Cautionary Tale…

My 10 year old daughter is an avid reader, and as she’s getting older, she’s reading more realistic fiction books with characters who are her age or a little older, which means they are often dealing with some potentially heavy issues. Now normally, being an avid reader of kidlit myself, or with the assistance of the Internet, I can usually be aware of the content of what she’s reading. This helps me to be prepared to have conversations with her or answer her questions about what she’s reading if necessary. However, recently, I got blindsided by a topic that I wasn’t even expecting…Santa.

Now, I knew the inevitable day would arrive when she no longer believed in Santa, and I thought I was prepared to deal with that. However, I was not prepared to have the conversation as a result of a book she was reading. So this is how it went down:

My child comes up to me and says, “Mom, you gotta listen to this, its so funny”

Me: “Ok, sure go ahead…” (half-listening)

Child: “…..and Mom slipped the truth about Santa on Christmas Eve. I cried myself to sleep and refused to open my presents in the morning…” Isn’t that funny?

(Child walks back to her room)

Me (delayed response): Wait? What?

So now of course it’s too late to mention it, so I had to come up with a different way to ask her how she felt about Santa, if for no other reason than to make sure she knows that her brother still believes.

I share this story not to encourage policing what your child is reading, but more to make sure you’re actually listening when they’re reading out loud to you. They could be giving you clues…

Keep #RaisingReaders

 

 

 

Dandy by Ame Dyckman

Dandy by Ame Dyckman

I realize that it’s winter and there is probably snow on the ground where you are, but my kids and I recently read a book about Spring that you’ll want to share with your kids for sure, even if you wait til the sun comes out.

Dandy, written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Charles Santoso is an adorable picture book that made me and my kids laugh out loud. In this book, the neighborhood is full of impeccable lawns, which means the emergence of a weed, even if it is a dandelion, is a problem. When one dad goes to snip that weed, his daughter Sweetie shows up–ready to protect her new dandelion friend, Charlotte.

No matter when or how he tries, Dad cannot get rid of Dandy, even with the pressure from the other dads in the neighborhood.

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This book doesn’t have a ton of text, but the text it does have, combined with the awesome illustrations made for a giggling #bedtimeread for me and my crew, even though there are definitely no dandelions out our window right now.

Keep #RaisingReaders!