Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

Read Aloud #2-The Book With No Pictures

March is Read Aloud Month, so to support that I am sharing some of the read alouds that my kiddos and I love.

My first read aloud review was a Dr. Seuss classic, so I decided to stay on the funny book train with my next selection– The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak. This book was first introduced to my daughter early last year by her 1st grade teacher, and not long afterwards we saw it in Barnes and Noble and she just had to have it.  At the time, I had seen the book before, but I had never actually took the time to open it.

Once we got the book home, she pretended as if there was some big secret that I was about to be let in on and she actually could not wait until bedtime so we could read it. Me, being the unassuming adult who was convinced this could not be that big a deal, was not concerned at all (but secretly thrilled about my child being so excited about bedtime). I mean, this is the cover of the book– how bad could it be?


Well, my girl was giggling as soon as I opened the book and laughed through the ENTIRE thing. Without giving the whole book away, author B.J. Novak (yes, the same actor that was on The Office) has decided that if there are no pictures, the reader (that would be you), has to read whatever words are on the page.  And trust me, there are some silly words, noises, phrases, everything but pictures, on the pages. Here’s a sneak preview of what will have to come out of your mouth while reading:

Yep, really. Not even a real word.


One of the other reasons I selected this read aloud to highlight, was not only was it funny then, but its still funny now. It has been over a year since we purchased that book and she still cracks up whenever I read it. Every once in a while, when its bedtime and we’re not in the middle of a chapter book, she’ll slip this book behind her back and bust it out with a cheesy smile on her face. Now I’ll be honest, its not my favorite book by any means, but I’ll play up my fear/distaste of reading the book, mostly because it makes her want to hear me read it even more.  I’ll go to any lengths (almost) to make sure my children enjoy reading, even if that means making silly noises. A few weeks ago I even visited and read it to her 2nd grade class, and again, even though a good chunk of them had heard it before, they were nearly in hysterics.  I mean really, I don’t get it, but maybe I would if I was 8?

If you don’t mind looking silly and want a funny book for your child, I recommend this one. Also, side note, getting book recommendations from your child’s teacher or asking your child what the teacher has been reading in class can help if you’re stumped trying to find a new book to read. As for me, next time I’ll read the back before I buy:



Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

My post on The Nerdy Book Club

Since even before I started this blog a few months ago, I have dreamt of having a post on The Nerdy Book Club, and today it happened! I’m so grateful and SO excited! Click below to read the entire post!


I purchased the book Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo because 1) I have an addiction to children’s literature and 2) it is one of the books our school will be reading for our Mock Caldecott award this year. As I often do, I decided to take it home to read and share […]

via Why Twenty Yawns Almost Made Me Cry by Deana Metzke — Nerdy Book Club

Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers

Read Aloud #1- Dr. Seuss, of course!

As I mentioned in this week’s earlier post, since March is Read Aloud month, I want to share some of my favorite read alouds to help anyone who is #RaisingReaders and add to their bedtime book arsenal. Since my school district and hundreds of others had Read Across America events celebrating Dr. Seuss this week, why not start with one of my favorites from that classic author?

Read Aloud #1…


I know, I know, its not Green Eggs and Ham, Cat in the Hat, or even Oh, the Places You Will Go!, but I think it’s still a good one.

In this story, our main character Marvin is not ready to “go”, and throughout the simply worded rhyming book, he’s told to go in many different ways, by whomever needs him to leave.  Although we never are explicitly told where he needs to go, many assume Marvin needs to go to bed.

I picked this particular book because 1) any Dr. Seuss book is almost always a good read aloud. 2) I LOVED this book when I was a child, so it makes my read aloud that much more joyful to share with my children. Now to be honest, I can not for the life of me remember why I enjoyed this book so much, so I even texted my mom to see if she remembered, and her only response was, “rhythm?”, which was not really helpful. However, every time I see the cover of this book I get a smile on my face.

So even if you’re not into this particular book or if you think your child is too old for it, hopefully it still sparked some ideas for you. If you’re ever struggling to come up with titles to read with your child, try reflecting on what books you remember fondly as a child, like I did with Marvin, and choose some of those. I know, you may be concerned about how old the books you loved as a child might be, and if that would keep your child from enjoying it. However, my daughter loved Marvin K. Mooney, and it was published in 1972! Also, chances are many of the books you enjoyed may be considered classics, and those are usually pretty timeless. When all else fails, grab a book by Dr. Seuss!

Do you have a favorite Dr. Seuss book? Feel free to share it in the comments below!



Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

The Barefoot Book of Children–A book review

Books in general are my passion, but I am also obsessed with Children’s literature (hence this blog).  So when I saw the opportunity to be a reviewer for Multicultural Children’s Book Day, share my love of reading, and get a free book out of it, I had to jump on that opportunity.


The book I received is titled The Barefoot Book of Children, written by Tessa Strickland and Kate DePalma, illustrated by David Dean, and published through Barefoot Books.  Now when it comes to multicultural, this informational book literally covers multiple cultures. It has the best of both worlds, with its colorful illustrations and questions that will make your child (and you) think. The Barefoot Book of Children takes the reader through how although we are all very similar, the way we live our lives may be different, depending on our culture or something as simple as where we were raised.

Although I had read it once alone as soon as I received it, as I was reading the book with my daughter I realized that we were going to spend a LOT of time reading this book. The illustrations alone were enough to spend a few minutes on each page.  Each page has a variety of cultures depicted, many of which were new to her, so she wanted some time to stare, which I happily gave her. Additionally, there’s a page in the book that talks about different languages, and my daughter, who happens to take Chinese, was super excited to point out which symbols were part of the Chinese language.

One of the most amazing features about this book is that they realize how important the illustrations are and how they may lead to questions themselves, so there is a section at the end titled, “A Closer Look at the Illustrations”. This section is great because when your child asks a question about something in one of the pictures, instead of stuttering or guessing (which is what I often do) you can go right to the back and find the answer. (It also allowed me to double check my daughter and make sure what she pointed to was actually Chinese. It was.)


If you are interested in exposing your children to cultures different than your own, this would be a great introductory book to do so. If you want to facilitate questions in a classroom or in your house about our differences and how to learn to accept them, again, The Barefoot Book of Children is a great book for that. Also, if you want help or additional resources after you read this book, the publisher even has activities and resources to help you out.  You can find that information here.  I was honored to have the opportunity to participate, and I feel I really lucked out with a wonderful book.



Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.  

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

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 work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site:

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians

and Educators:

classroom-kindness- kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents:

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.

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.

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.