Categories
Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

A Mix of Old School and New School

 

A few days ago we took a quick trip to our local library and checked out our usual hoard of books. Now for my daughter, finding books are usually pretty easy. She has a few authors and series that she’s really into, and for the most part after we’ve found them once, she can usually find her way back to that section on our next trip. My son however, does not yet have certain authors or series that he’s looking for, so he’s more dependent on me to help him. Luckily for us, the Children’s section at our library usually has some seasonal or holiday books set up on shelves, so that’s where we started.

“Hey, I’ve read this book, this is The Mitten!”

“It sure is, let’s check it out!” Even though his teacher had read it at school, I figured its a classic book from Jan Brett, and he was clearly excited about it, so we could get some extra mileage out of it.

My next move was to take him over to the Mo Willems section, because although there are times I don’t think its possible, we have yet to read every Elephant and Piggie book there is.

images
These books are both hilarious AND easy to read!

Luckily for me, while looking on that shelf, I noticed a new book, The Cookie Fiasco, which is part of the new Elephant and Piggie Like Reading series. (Author Mo Willems has ended the Elephant and Piggie series, but he knew it would be too much to leave us cold turkey.) That was an easy sell, so we grabbed it and went on to check out.

So as they settled in for our bedtime reading, I overhear the two of them arguing over which of the books he picked we were going to read. Of course by bedtime I have little to no patience for children arguing, so I told (possibly yelled to) them we would just read both to shut it down, and I’m glad I did.

Even though they had both read The Mitten before, they were still really into the story as well as the illustrations that both bring the book to life and do some foreshadowing.

imgres-1
The mitten silhouettes on the edges also contribute to the story.

Next, we read The Cookie Fiasco, and when compared to The Mitten, this book is louder, much more colorful, and funnier. They enjoyed watching these new characters try to figure out how to share their cookies, and loved when Elephant and Piggie made their guest appearances. My son even let my daughter “borrow” the book for the night, even though they were arguing mere moments earlier.

In hindsight, I probably should’ve read the louder book first and then ended the evening with calming Jan Brett, but hey, hindsight is 20/20.  This evening’s reads also reminded me to mix in more classics with our newer bedtime books. When I go to the Children’s section of the library, the first section you’ll find me looking is in the new books, I’m always looking for the latest books to share with my children. But in reality, I need to broaden our scope, take the time to look through those shelves, and find more of those “old school” books to mix in with the “new school”. Much like I eventually learned to appreciate the “old school” music my parents made me listen to, I’m sure my children will appreciate the exposure to the “old school” books….just hopefully sooner than I did.

Categories
Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

Book/Journal Must-have

Thanks to an email I got from Brightly, which is a great website for anyone who is #raisingreaders, I looked into and then ordered two copies of a diary/journal for my two loves. Now journaling is personally not something I’m really into, but this one is rather unique and something we can do together.

20170106_170917

I started it with each of them last night and they were both super excited about it. In fact, instead of reading a book until she fell asleep, my daughter looked through the pages of the journal until she fell asleep and then took it to school today to look at it some more. Here’s some examples of the pages they completed and some that we haven’t done yet.

20170106_170334
Some pages have concrete ideas like these my son did…
20170106_170405
And other pages require some creative thinking.

So, if you’re one of those parents like me that wants to keep all the memories possible from your child’s childhood, but isn’t quite as organized to do it the way you want, or if you just want to give your child a space to do some creative thinking, this would be a great resource to do either. It is definitely a keepsake that appears like it will hold up for years to come (it has a hardcover) and will be great to look at when they’re older.

Categories
Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers

Did I create a monster?

About a month ago I was working at my school’s Scholastic Book Fair and had some time to peruse the cases (honestly, for like the 100th time, I have an addiction). Somehow, for only the first time I ran across this book–

thmb_20161028_132600_1477679190718
And a $5 price tag?–Win/win!

So, here’s my thought–sure, some of it may be over her head (I’m sure she doesn’t know 1/2 the people on the cover) or some stuff she may not be interested in, but for 5 bucks? There’s got to be something in this book that my 7-year-old will like. So, I sent a picture of the book to my husband, he seconded my idea, so I bought the book.

When I gave it to her that afternoon, I told her it could be a “car book” (Yeah, I had just made it up). It was a book that would stay in the car so she would have something to look at on short and/or long trips. From my perspective, it would also give her something to focus on in the car so I could listen to my music instead of Kids Place Live.  She was excited and went straight to reading it, and I went straight to listening to some 90s R&B. When we got home and pulled into the garage she said, “So mom, I can’t bring this book in the house?…Then can I stay in the car?” Put one in the win column for mama! Don’t worry, I didn’t leave her in the car.

So, here’s where the monster part comes in. Since she’s getting all this new information, the focus has become sharing all this information with me or her father, completely backfiring my plan for me to reconnect music like in the car while she enjoys her book in silence.

“Mom look, did you know this book has sign language?”

“Dad, did you know the state bird for Illinois is the Cardinal?”

Our latest conversation has been about Presidents. Since my husband is a Social Studies teacher, my child has decided she needs to quiz him on his knowledge of American Presidents.

“Dad, did you know Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President?” “Dad, who was the 21st President?”  I could go on and on, because she goes on and on…Now for the most part, he’s been a good sport about it all and will play along with her.

Even this morning, over a month after she first got her “car book”, she’s still getting new information from it. Although I focus my attempts at #raisingreaders at nighttime, I’ve discovered that reading in the car actually works too!  You have to get it in wherever you can. So, did my “car book” purchase give me the time to enjoy the music I enjoy? Not as much as I wanted. But was it worth the $5 spent? Definitely.

20161129_072200
Did you know Hellen Keller was born on June 27th? Thanks to her, I do!

 

 

Categories
Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers

Quote and guest blogging

I saw this quote on Twitter the other day and it resonated with me and particularly my journey with my son, who is just learning to read. You can read more about my journey raising readers at my guest blog post here with Book Review Mama.

CwCBW92WIAE5tyK.jpg