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Book Review Raising kids Uncategorized

Book Review– The One Thing You’d Save

Want a book that will invite great conversation with your kiddos? I have got the book for you!

The One Thing You’d Save by Linda Sue Park is a short 62 page book that is based around a class’s responses to one scenario–“Imagine that your home is on fire. You’re allowed to save one thing.” Good question, right?

Although this illustrated book looks like a chapter book, it is short enough that you could finish it in one sitting with your readers. I had my kids come up with their answers after I read the beginning to them, and then proceeded to finish reading the book to them.

Part of the beauty of this book is you can hear the distinctive voices of the classmates throughout the pages and we even get to learn what the teacher would take from her home.

It is intriguing to hear the thought processes of the students’ decision making, and it may even cause you and/or your readers to change their minds throughout the book. So if its been a long day, this may not be the bedtime book to go with, because it might spark lots of conversations. However, if you’re ready to chat–this is the one to go with.

I found my copy of The One Thing You’d Save at my local library, so you can find it there or anywhere books are sold.

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Book Review Parenting Raising kids

Book Review: The Adventures of Abe the $5 Bill

In addition to this blog, I also write for the Parent issue of one of our local publications. Most recently, I wrote a book review for a local author, Dr. Eli Goodman, who wrote The Adventures of Abe the $5 Bill. Below is a link to that review:

https://www.illinoistimes.com/springfield/the-adventures-of-abe-the-5-bill/Content?oid=13572046

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Book Review Parenting Raising kids Uncategorized

#Bedtimeread Book Review–How To Solve A Problem

Do you have a reader who struggles to keep going once they encounter a problem? Not while reading in particular, but in life tasks in general? One who gives up the first time they fail? If so, sharing this book with them is a perfect, real-life way to help them see problem-solving differently.

How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion is written by Ashima Shiraishi and illustrated by Yao Xiao. Ashima is a 20 year old professional rock climbing champion, who started climbing at the age of 6. In this book, Ashima takes us through her process of how she attacks the problem of climbing complicated rock structures. The language she uses is much like the process many people use to solve problems outside of the rock climbing world, including dealing with failure. She talks about falling multiple times, trying again after falling, and taking the time to reassess after falling. I really enjoyed the visuals by Xiao of the author attacking the rock combined with the poetic language Shiraishi used to inspire the reader.

We enjoyed reading this book at bedtime, and it is definitely one I would bring out again when the situation called for its inspiration.

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Book Review Parenting Raising kids Uncategorized

Book Review–Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this book since I learned of its existence. Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper is an informational picture book about the events of the same name.

To give just a little background without spoiling it all, in the early 1900s, there was a thriving Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, in 1921 there was a massacre in which the community in Tulsa was demolished and many people were killed or left homeless. I myself didn’t learn about this massacre until I was an adult, so I was eager to see how it would translate into a picture book. Let me just say, Weatherford and Cooper did a beautiful job of telling this piece of history in a way that is honest, clear, and understandable for children.

Just an example of the striking illustrations in this book.

It was a recent #bedtimeread for us. This was new information for my kids, who were rightly irritated with the events, but were slightly comforted by the hopeful ending to the book.

If you yourself haven’t heard of this event, I would recommend this book. If you want a way to introduce this historic event to your children, I would recommend this book. Even if you and your children have heard of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, I would still recommend this book. Anyway, you spin it, everyone wins and everyone learns!

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Book Review Parenting Raising kids Uncategorized

Why I Still Read Picture Books To My Kids

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.

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