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Book Review Parenting

Book Review: BY THE LIGHT OF THE FIREFLIES, by Jenni L. Walsh — MG Book Village

I also write book reviews for MG BookVillage, and this is my recent review that I think could be helpful for those #raisingreaders who are budding history buffs.

As a literacy educator who has a particular affection for 3rd-5th grades, one thing I’m always looking for is good historical fiction. Finding the time in an elementary school day to teach both Social Studies and Literacy adequately can be difficult at times, so any opportunity to integrate the two is something I’m looking out […]

Book Review: BY THE LIGHT OF THE FIREFLIES, by Jenni L. Walsh — MG Book Village
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Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers

One of my favorite quotes…

I’ve mentioned this before, but besides the idea of going on adventures to far off worlds, fostering their imagination, and a number of other reasons, this is why I feel strongly about #RaisingReaders.

Categories
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

Categories
Book Review Parenting

#Bedtimeread–Your Name is a Song

In this colorfully illustrated picture book, Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, our main character is upset after her first day at school because no one can pronounce her name correctly. On their walk home, her mother explains to her that her name is a song, and by using lots of other names as examples during their conversation, she turns the her daughter’s mood around.

By the next day at school, the young girl has gained the confidence to sing her name as a song, as well as a few others. My kids and I both enjoyed the suspense in wondering what the girl’s name was, as well as the beautiful illustrations done by Luisa Uribe.

As a person with a name that has been mispronounced most of my life, I could definitely understand what the main character was going through, and it made the book that much more powerful to me. I think that Thompkins-Bigelow does a wonderful job of explaining how important names are at a level that children will be able to understand. My favorite part of this bedtime read of a few nights ago is when Momma explains to her daughter, “…Their real names were stolen long ago so they dream up new ones. They make a way out of no way, make names out of no names–pull them from the sky!” What a way to explain how and why parents come up with unique names!

This is a beautiful book to share with young children at the beginning of a school year. It is a great way to boost the confidence in children who may be nervous about sharing their names and shows others how important it is to say their classmates/friends names correctly. Plus, I can only imagine the cheesy smiles and joy some kids would get hearing their name in a book, and there are definitely some original names in there. (And if that freaks you out at all, the awesome part is that Thompkins-Bigelow has the pronunciations next to them. Plus, how awesome is it for your kids to see an adult put in the work to say words correctly?)

Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Luisa Uribe, has a release date of July 2020. We loved it, and I’m sure your kids will too!

Categories
Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

Bedtime Reading during Quarantine

So, for many of us still under Stay-At-Home orders, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy, in fact, sometimes I feel like we’re just creating a “new normal”.  One piece of our lives that I am trying to keep normal is our #BedtimeReads each evening. However, right now we cannot go to the library, I don’t have access to my office stash of books, and buying books regularly is not an option. On the positive side though, we do have access to our library online, so that’s something the kids and I have been diving into, both individually and collectively.

I decided that we needed a chapter book for our bedtime read, something that would take more than one day, with cliff hangers that had us kinda looking forward to bedtime (yeah, so there’s an ulterior motive here).  Luckily, and surprisingly, neither my 11 year or my 8 year old had read the book Holes by Louis Sachar, so that’s what I decided to go with.  For those of you who haven’t read this book, its about a teenager named Stanley who is unjustly sent to a camp for a crime he didn’t commit.  At Camp Green Lake, all the boys have to dig 5 feet holes every day, and Sachar takes readers on a historical journey to help us try to figure out why.  And for an added bonus, there’s a movie to go along with the book!

Holes was the perfect book for us to read together. It took us about 10 days to finish, both kids enjoyed it and were able to follow along with the jumps back and forth in time. Each night there were pleas to “keep going”, and we were so into it that I read it during the day a couple of times! I didn’t tell them that there was a movie version of the book until after we finished, so they were super excited about seeing Stanley and the other characters come to life.

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So, if you’re looking to create some consistent routines, especially to end your day, I would suggest finding a good chapter book like Holes that you and your kiddos can get into, and one with a movie they can watch later just might give you a couple of extra hours of peace.