My daughter is 12 years old, and my son is 9. They regularly read chapter books, and rarely pick picture books off the shelf. But I still do.
There are a variety of different reasons why I’ve read to my kids from an early age, including lots of academic benefits. However, one benefit is the bonding we do during that time, even if it’s over silliness. Recently we’ve read a couple of books where my kids were older than the intended audience, but we still had a ball enjoying them together.
The other night we read Vinny Gets a Job by Terry Brodner. This cute story is about a dog who decides he needs to help his owner and also get a job. The adorable thing about this book is that each time Vinny applies for a job, the employers don’t seem to realize that he’s a dog…until after they’ve hired him and he does something only a dog would do. We giggled and made sarcastic comments throughout the story, wondering how these people didn’t realize he was a dog. Even though for us it was unbelievable, we bonded while reading the book.
Soon after we read Vinny Gets a Job, we read I am Not a Chair! by Ross Burach. Again, I don’t believe my 10 and 12 year old children were the author’s intended audience. However, we still giggled at how crazy it was that this poor giraffe could not catch a break, because everyone kept sitting on him like he was a chair. As a bonus, we got a lesson about getting the courage to speak up for yourself.
These two books are only a couple of the more recent examples of picture books that my kids and I still enjoy together as bedtime reads. Its an easy way for us to spend some relaxing quality time together, something that we need more often than not. If you’re looking for the same thing, I would suggest picture books, regardless of your kids’ age.
Kayla: A Modern-Day Princess by Deedee Cummings is a very cute story that is perfect for an uplifting mother-daughter #bedtimeread.
Kayla is a little girl who is anxiously waiting for her mama to come home after work. Kayla behaves much like I did myself when I was young, pretending to be in bed when in all actuality I was just up listening for a parent to come home. When her mom comes into her room, she’s got good news for their family, and even some gifts for Kayla–great advice and a tiara!
You know when you wish you had that perfect thing to say at the perfect time to your own children, but it just doesn’t come out right or you think of the words after the conversation is over? Well, I have found that books often have the words that can help us out, and this story by Deedee Cummings is one of those books. Kayla’s mom gives her some great advice that I think will stick with Kayla for quite some time. If you have a girl that you would like to give some inspiration to–this book is one to grab.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th 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.
Eight 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. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
MCBD 2021 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!
This story goes along on a neighborhood walk with Jamie and his Great Grandmother, whom he affectionately calls Bubbie. While walking, the two of them interact with different people, and often times Bubbie mistakenly refers to people by the wrong gender. A couple of times Bubbie does it in a way that many of us probably have–seeing someone only from the back and assuming their gender based on their hairstyle. Once she uses the wrong pronoun for someone who has told her what their pronoun they prefer. However, I love the way that Jamie gently corrects Bubbie each time, and by the time their walk ends back at Jamie’s, Jamie’s mother is there to help explain how Bubbie can avoid making that mistake in the future.
I found this book to be a quick read (its intended audience is children aged 4-8), and very clear in what the author is trying to get the reader to understand. I fell in love with Jamie right away, and reading this book made me want to read Afsaneh Moradian’s first book about Jamie, titled Jamie is Jamie.
Something that Moradian did for the adults reading this story was put an awesome “Tips for Teachers, Parents, and Caregivers” at the end of the book, which I found to be very helpful, and even includes other resources you can go to if you have more questions or want to discuss pronoun usage further with young readers.
I’m a sucker for a book with few words, or even no words. My kids and I love pouring over the illustrations of picture books, noticing every little thing we can. Our recent #bedtimeread, Lift written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat, is no exception.
In this book, Iris tells us that she’s got a job in her family, and that is to push the buttons on the elevator. But wait…someone (younger and related to her) tries to take her job.
In the midst of her “fit”, she discovers a new button that takes her way beyond anywhere those elevator buttons were taking her. After enjoying this newfound world, the tale ends with an understanding that as much as our siblings may annoy us, there’s still a bond there that’s unmatched.
Like I said, there aren’t many words in this story, so you would think it would take only moments to read…but no. The amount of time we spend staring at the illustrations, and then going backwards to look at them again once other things start making sense is immeasurable.
Reading books like these make for some of my most memorable #bedtimereads with my kiddos, so I’d definitely recommend trying out this beauty with your own.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a case of the “what-ifs”, and while this pandemic has done nothing to ease those feelings, this book we read for our #bedtimeread actually has.
The Whatifs, written by Emily Kilgore and illustrated by Zoe Persico, tells the story of Cora, who because of her nervousness, was often visited by the “whatifs”, mini monster looking things, who added to her feelings that something bad is going to happen. They visited her all the time, no matter where she was or the time of day, causing her to doubt even the thing she practiced and was good at–playing the piano.
Thankfully, at her piano recital, Cora encounters Stella, who explains to Cora that there are also good whatifs, and helps Cora change her thinking.
There are a couple of things that I loved about this book and reading it to my kids. One, I love that it gives young readers a visual of what nervousness and/or anxiety might look and feel like. Sometimes when you’re young you aren’t able to name abstract things, but calling them “whatifs” and giving kids a visual can help them do that. Additionally, even I as an adult hadn’t really thought about the positive whatifs and I really liked that change of thinking. Even though this seems relatively straightforward, the story is told in a way that is engaging to readers, and there’s a great Author’s Note in the back that explains why she wrote this book.
So, regardless of whether your kids have nervous personalities or not, this is a great book to share with them. They can learn how to deal with their whatifs like Cora, or learn to help a friend like Stella.