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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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An Extended Bedtime Read- Little Cloud: The Science of a Hurricane

Have you ever had one of those nights where you started the kids’ bedtime process just a little earlier in the hopes that that means they’ll be falling asleep faster? Has that attempt ever backfired on you? Yeah, that happened to me last night, but for once I actually was ok with it.

downloadI was thought I was being slick. It wasn’t super early, but early enough that I was anticipating getting in a decent amount of TV or reading time in, but my book choice derailed my plans. We read an ebook copy of Little Cloud: The Science of a Hurricane written by Johanna Wagstaffe and illustrated by Julie McLaughlin, a cute informational book about how hurricanes form. Now I’m sure you’re wondering how a book about hurricanes could derail bedtime, because before we started the book, I felt the same way. However, in school both of my kids have learned a lot about clouds, the water cycle, and the water crisis, and so they had a lot to add to the facts in this book. My son just had to elaborate on what makes up clouds and the different types of clouds. My daughter saw sandbags in one of the illustrations and took us off on a tangent about their many purposes. The book only has 30-something pages, but with all those extra conversations, it took us almost 30-something minutes to read it.

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See those sandbags in the corner? Yeah, had a whole extra conversation about those.

But, and especially considering how our school year has ended, anytime I experience my kids recalling things they learned I get excited for them because that means it stuck.  So, I decided I wasn’t disappointed that our bedtime read was a little longer than usual, because I ended up with a #proudmama moment.

Whether your own kids are water “experts” or not, I would recommend this cute book, just be warned ahead of time, it may bring out questions and/or comments, so be sure to start bedtime early that night. 🙂

#KeepReading!

#RaisingReaders

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Book Review Parenting Raising kids Uncategorized

Book Review: Travel Guide for Monsters by Lori Degman

wp-15832918577947186728917141906596.jpgSince so many of us are staying home and cancelling trips because of this current pandemic, this new picture book written by Lori Degman and illustrated by Dave Szalay is a great way to get away, without actually getting away.

In this new rhyming travel guide, readers get the chance to travel all the way across the United States, from San Francisco to Niagara Falls, visiting some of the country’s most exciting landmarks and hot spots. However, there’s one caveat…you’re traveling with a monster.

These monsters aren’t the most well-behaved companions, so this guide tells kids what reminders they may have to give those monsters so things don’t go awry, like “Make sure to warn your monster that those geysers are not fountains”.

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My kiddos and I enjoyed the easy flow of the book thanks to the rhyming, loved the colorful illustrations, and we giggled at the different high jinks the monsters got into. Since my kids are a little older, after I finished reading it to them, we looked at the map at the end and talked about what places the characters had been to that we had also visited as a family.  Then from those places that are left, we discussed which places we wanted to go to (which was basically every place that we hadn’t been to). It was a nice discussion to end our bedtime read.

We all need some escaping right now, and Lori Degman’s Travel Guide for Monsters gave us a nice opportunity to imagine traveling to different parts of the country, even if it is with a giant monster.

Thanks to the author and Sleeping Bear Press, I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. It will be available April 2020 and can be purchased wherever books are sold.

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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.

 

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Book Review Raising kids Uncategorized

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!