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Raising kids Raising Readers

Raising Readers by Whatever Means Possible…even the WWE

I’m not a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). I watched it a little when I was in college, so I know many wrestlers from the late 90s early 2000s, but its definitely not my thing. However, I did end up marrying a WWE fan, so I guess he’s to blame for why this tale is going to go the way it does.

If you’ve followed my blog, you know that my efforts to get my son reading have been many and taken on many forms (i.e. graphic novels, listening, and patience to name a few). One of the things that I believe is important for helping any kid enjoy reading is to connect reading to things that they already enjoy. Well, these days, much to my side-eye, that thing my son enjoys is the WWE. Somehow, my child has become obsessed, talking constantly about wrestlers, their theme songs, and their finishing moves. Interestingly though, I think what may have sparked this can be partly blamed on a book!

My mother gave this book to my husband one Christmas, and my son recently discovered it. This book, 30 Years of Wrestlemania, full of photos and history, combined with watching some WWE shows has equaled a wrestling filled quarantine in my house. As tired as I am of hearing about the last 30 years of Wrestlemania, moments like this are making my heart swell…

So much so that for his upcoming birthday, he’ll be getting two more WWE related books that I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to get. As much as WWE is not my thing, if this is what it currently takes to get his face away from a screen and into a book…I’m all for it. There are books that are connected to just about everything these days, so in your #raisingreaders quest, finding a book connected to their interest may be the way to go!

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Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers

The Little Things…

It’s almost 11:30 pm as I’m writing this, and my daughter just left my room with a cheesy smile on her face.

She had recently started reading The Lightning Thief, and about an hour ago I had gone into her room to turn out her lamp so she could go to sleep. However, she was not at the end of a chapter, so she told me she would turn off the lamp when she got to a good stopping place. Apparently it took 60 minutes to get there. 🤷🏾‍♀️

She came in to my room smiling because she felt like she had to tell someone that it was so good she could not stop reading, so she read an extra two chapters before she put in down. And naturally that she’ll finish it first thing in the morning. She looks so happy and wired I’m not convinced she’ll be able to fall asleep, but we’ll see.

I say all this just to say that her smile and joy about the book was contagious and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fall asleep myself (I was reading when she walked in.). Just another reminder as to why I am intent on #RaisingReaders and sharing with others reasons why you should too.

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Book Review Parenting

#Bedtimeread–Your Name is a Song

In this colorfully illustrated picture book, Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, our main character is upset after her first day at school because no one can pronounce her name correctly. On their walk home, her mother explains to her that her name is a song, and by using lots of other names as examples during their conversation, she turns the her daughter’s mood around.

By the next day at school, the young girl has gained the confidence to sing her name as a song, as well as a few others. My kids and I both enjoyed the suspense in wondering what the girl’s name was, as well as the beautiful illustrations done by Luisa Uribe.

As a person with a name that has been mispronounced most of my life, I could definitely understand what the main character was going through, and it made the book that much more powerful to me. I think that Thompkins-Bigelow does a wonderful job of explaining how important names are at a level that children will be able to understand. My favorite part of this bedtime read of a few nights ago is when Momma explains to her daughter, “…Their real names were stolen long ago so they dream up new ones. They make a way out of no way, make names out of no names–pull them from the sky!” What a way to explain how and why parents come up with unique names!

This is a beautiful book to share with young children at the beginning of a school year. It is a great way to boost the confidence in children who may be nervous about sharing their names and shows others how important it is to say their classmates/friends names correctly. Plus, I can only imagine the cheesy smiles and joy some kids would get hearing their name in a book, and there are definitely some original names in there. (And if that freaks you out at all, the awesome part is that Thompkins-Bigelow has the pronunciations next to them. Plus, how awesome is it for your kids to see an adult put in the work to say words correctly?)

Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Luisa Uribe, has a release date of July 2020. We loved it, and I’m sure your kids will too!

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Book Review: GIRLS GARAGE: HOW TO USE ANY TOOL, TACKLE ANY PROJECT, AND BUILD THE WORLD YOU WANT TO SEE, by Emily Pilloton

If you have a girl (11+) in your life that is even just remotely interested in building or design or working on being fiercely independent, then they may need this book…

MG Book Village

I could spend this whole review listing all the people to whom I would recommend Girls Garage: How to Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build the World You Want to See written by Emily Pilloton and illustrated by Kate Bingaman-Burt, because there are so many who would love this book. Pilloton is the founder of Girls Garage, which is a brick-and-mortar building in California where she helps girls “come together to do audacious, brave things as young builders.” Since we cannot all be in California, Pilloton has gifted us with this book that is not only inspirational, but is also gives concrete steps for any girl who aspires to design and/or build. This informational book is arranged in a specific order to help the reader learn a few different things.

First there’s the “Safety and Gear” section, which is naturally where any girl will want to start reading…

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Book Review–Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America

This picture book could be helpful when #raisingreaders to give some historical context to what is currently happening.

Raising Readers...

I picked up this book due to the cover, because this silent protest at the Olympics is one of my favorite events in history, and the idea of reading a picture book about it was intriguing. When I read it, I discovered that it did not share the information in a way that I expected it to, but it was still informative nonetheless.

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This book, written by Emily Easton and beautifully illustrated by Ziyue Chen, goes through protests made in America, going back as far as the Boston Tea Party and as current as Colin Kapernick. I appreciate the wide range of protests included in the book, it helps the reader see that protesting can look a lot of different ways. However, the language in the book is very simplistic, like one sentence for each protest simplistic. So while that makes for an easy read, it also (hopefully) invites lots…

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