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:
Read Aloud is a great organization dedicated to promoting caregivers reading to children, especially ages 0-5. Over the last decade, I’ve done each of these things in Read Aloud’s post with my young readers. In fact, just tonight we read a wordless picture book.
And especially when they were much younger, I can’t even tell you how many times I didn’t read all the words. (Mostly to speed up to bedtime. 😆)
There have been times, for a variety of reasons that we haven’t finished our #bedtimeread in one sitting. Most times its a chapter book, but there have also been picture books that have taken more than one night as well (though usually not more than 2).
And yes, especially with those funny books, I have done my own share of exclaiming when we were getting to the climax of a book. The Monster at the End of This Book is a great example of that.
No matter how you do it, I agree with Read Aloud. Just 15 minutes a day is a great way to start #RaisingReaders.
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.
Now this isn’t your normal “Who would you wanted to be stranded on a desert island with?” question, because the “who” is a little more specific. Instead, the question is, “What fictional book character would you want to be stranded on a desert island with?”
I saw this question once a couple of years ago and thought it was an original one that was a head scratcher for me, so today I decided to ask my kids to see what their responses would be. I was hoping that their responses would give me some inspiration. Here’s what they said:
9 y/o son: A dragon.
Me: Which dragon?
9 y/o: Toothless
9 y/o (shrugging): ‘Cause dragons are awesome and I want to be with a dragon. Plus we can escape.
Me: Good plan
12 y/o daughter (smiling): Percy Jackson
Me (eye roll & smile): Of course. Why?
12 y/o: Because I can escape.
12 y/o: Because he can do stuff with water, so I can escape.
Me: Alrighty then.
So, did they inspire me to come up with an answer? Sorta. I’ve narrowed it down to two (really three). First, Elephant and Piggie. I feel like they’re a team, so its got to be the two of them together. And although they have silly antics, things always seem to work out in the end, so I would enjoy my time until we figured out how to get off the island. My next choice would be Tristan Strong from the series by Kwame Mbalia. He’s got some serious skills, plus some pull with African folktale characters like Ananzi the spider that I think could get us off the island. And in the meantime I think he would be fun to hang out with.
Try asking your reader this question and see who they’ll end up on their island with. Feel free to share their (or your) responses if you get a chance.
My 12 year old daughter loves reading, and can become obsessed with characters in some of the series she reads. I feel like it is an absolute bonus that she has some friends that also love reading.
A while ago she was on a Zoom call with a couple of her friends, one who had recently had a birthday. My daughter was down the hall in her bedroom, so for the most part I couldn’t hear the content of their conversation. But then, the friend shared that she had received a gift card from Barnes and Noble and asked the other girls if they had any suggestions as to what she should get with her gift card, and MAN, did things get shriekishly loud after that question.
The girls emphatically told the birthday girl that she needed to get the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, and why that was super important. And when I say emphatically, I mean it wasn’t just a casual suggestion, they were making it sound like a requirement, with tons of supporting details. My daughter then proceeded to move over to her bookshelf so she could accurately tell her what else she needed to get with her gift card. In the process, my daughter also got some new book suggestions from the other two girls that she proceeded to tell me about after the gabfest was over.
Now after I finish a really good book or a friend asks me for suggestions, I do often do like my child did and go over to my bookshelf or look at my Goodreads account to get titles. But I may be missing the boat here, maybe I also need to emphatically screech at my friends to tell them what they should be reading? Either way, listening (eavesdropping?) in to this conversation was a case of peer pressure this mama could actually deal with.