My Mom Has X-ray Vision—Book Review

My Mom Has X-ray Vision—Book Review

Our latest bedtime read, My Mom Has X-ray Vision, was a big hit with both the kids and myself. This picture book, written by Angela McAllister and illustrated by Alex T. Smith is about a young boy, Matthew, who is trying to figure out why his mom knows what he’s doing, even when she can’t see him.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, you don’t want your children to know your secrets, and you don’t want this book to reveal them. Trust me, I felt the same way, but I still feel like your skills will be safe.

I’ve shared before that my kids love analyzing illustrations, and this book is perfect for that. We loved figuring out why Matthew’s mom knew what he was doing, like in this example below.

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Although Matthew never really figured it out, we delighted in determining if Matthew’s mom really had some super powers (of course she did 😜).

This book is good bedtime read for young children, and is great for taking some time to look at illustrations to see what they notice.

Keep #RaisingReaders!

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Book Series Review– Eloise by Kay Thompson

Book Series Review– Eloise by Kay Thompson

If for some reason you are interested in trying to see if you can run out of breath during a #bedtimeread, then I highly recommend the Eloise books by Kay Thompson. Or, if you or your children like books about mischievous children (or are mischievous children themselves), then they might want to get to know Miss Eloise.

In my son’s class when they’re the Star of the Week, they can have an adult come in and read to the class. Recently, a parent came in and read Eloise, and my son could not stop talking about it and asked if I could get it from the library. I had to put it on hold, so he may not have been the only student from his class that made that request.

Although this book was written in the 1950s, I personally have never read these books. Eloise is a young child who has a nanny and basically runs havoc in the hotel that she lives in, which is the part my child naturally could not get enough of.

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Here’s the thing, since Eloise herself is telling the story, the book reads like you would expect an active 5 year old to talk, and that’s how I ran out of breath. There’s a lot of repeated phrases, and not very many periods. Both of my children loved listening to the book, even though there were some aspects that they thought were a little strange about Eloise, including the lack of parental supervision.

Since they enjoyed that one, I decided to get some of Eloise’s other books, including Eloise at Christmastime and Eloise in Moscow.

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Dad got to read the Christmastime book (yay!), and I got to read the one about Moscow. As much as we enjoyed the original book, I’ll be honest and say the Moscow one was not one we could identify with. The important thing for me to reiterate is that this book was written in 1950s, when America’s relationship with Russia was clearly not a friendly one and it is very clear in this book. Since my children don’t know anything about Russia, they didn’t really relate to any of it. Eloise had a good time of course, and continued to tell her story in her cute rambling manner, but for us, not so much.

Now from my research, it appears there’s many updated versions of Eloise’s stories, including a movie and “easy-to-read” books, none of which our family has read, but I can imagine that she’s still as rambunctious as she was in the 1950s.

Although Eloise in Moscow wasn’t a hit, we still enjoyed reading about Eloise’s adventures, even if I was out of breath when it was over.

Keep #RaisingReaders!

Book Review–Get to Know Your Universe series

Book Review–Get to Know Your Universe series

Occasionally, I get books in the mail (#bookexcursion) or bring books home that one of my kids will grab before I get a chance to read it. In this case, both of my children have grabbed these books and kept them from me for a while.

These Get to Know Your Universe Science Comics are right up both of my kids’ alley, so they may be good for your readers too.

*If you have a reader who likes graphic novels or comics, this series could be for them, OR

*If you have a reader who likes nonfiction, this series could be for them, OR

*If your reader asks a lot of “why?” questions, these books could work for them, OR

*If you have a reader that wants to learn more about any of the variety of topics they cover, including dogs, sharks, or volcanoes, this series could be for them.

As you are #RaisingReaders, you probably have a child that fits in at least one of these categories. My kids each fit in more than one, which explains why they disappeared from me so quickly. This series of books have the right combination of information and fun that kept both of my children reading these books over and over.

 

#RaisingReaders with Fractured Fairy Tales

#RaisingReaders with Fractured Fairy Tales

A trend I’ve enjoyed in children’s literature is an increase in the number of fractured fairy tales, and my kids and I are loving it. Fractured fairy tales take the original story, like Little Red Riding Hood or Cinderella and make a change. Sometimes it’s a big change and sometimes it is something small, like the setting. Either way, once your child knows the original versions, reading more versions of these stories makes them more enjoyable and elicit conversations with you and your child. Below are a couple of recent fractured fairy tales that my kids and I enjoyed.

The Three Little Superpigs by Claire Evans is a cute story that tells what happens after the Big Bad Wolf goes to jail. The pigs, along with everyone else in Fairy Tale land start to live their lives without the Wolf, but little do they know, the Wolf has comeback plans. Even so, these pigs are superpigs, so…

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This book was a hit in our house, and there were many requests for me to bring it back home after I took it to school. Both kids loved the story, but the second time through they spent a lot of time looking at the illustrations, and there’s lots to see there. To be honest, if your kids don’t know the original tale, it won’t be as entertaining, so keep that in mind.

The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier is a different version of The Little Red Hen. In this version, instead of making bread, main character Ruby is building a fort. And instead of other animal friends, Ruby has 3 brothers. This version has a simple predictive structure like the original and a happy ending, but will probably be easier for your child to identify with because of the human characters.

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We loved this book and how impressive Miss Ruby was with her fort building skills. Plus both of my kids were irritated with the brothers and how lazy they were, which made me happy.  However, my kids didn’t catch on as to which fairy tale this was connected to, which is fine because this story stands alone well. However, when I did remind them of the Little Red Hen’s story, they were able to make the connection right away.

These are just two examples that we loved, but there are tons of fractured fairy tales out there. If you are looking for a way to elicit more conversations with your kids about books or just a new way to tell a old story to your kids as you are #RaisingReaders, then fractured fairy tales is a way to go!

 

 

A Reminder About Leaving Books in the Car…

A Reminder About Leaving Books in the Car…

One of my earliest blog posts (almost 2 years ago!) was about my wonderful epiphany about having books that stay in the car for the kids, so they always have something to “do” while we’re riding. You can read that post here. Even then, my idea slightly backfired with a child who wanted to constantly read out facts to me. Unfortunately, I just discovered that another casualty of having books stay in the car is the destruction of the actual books! 😦

After only a short ride to lunch and Target (’cause its Saturday, so a Target visit is a must), this is what I found in the backseat when I got home:

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Yep, that’s two pages of a book that are no longer part of the actual book. Now in the beginning of this car ride, they were arguing over the book. My 7-year old wouldn’t share the book with my 9-year old and she was getting frustrated because he was flipping past pages she “needed” to look at right then. The whining, yelling, and fussing got so bad that I threatened to throw the book out the window. Actually, I said that their behavior makes me want to throw the book out the window, because as my daughter immediately responded, “We treat books like they’re precious.” Exactly.

So one would think that this is when the pages got ripped out, right? Nope. The pages got ripped out on the way home from Target when they were actually getting along and behaving more civilized (doesn’t a visit to Target to that to everyone?). Without any suggestions from me, they decided to put the book in the divider between the two of them, and look at the pages together! Duh! The conversations and giggling sounds were just what I had in mind when I initially suggested they keep a book in the car, just without the ripping sounds that accompanied them. But even the ripped pages was followed by giggles, so as mad as I wanted to be, I could not disrupt the happiness, mostly for fear that it would disappear, never to return.

Do I still think that having books that stay in the car is a good thing? Most definitely. Just don’t let them be books that you (or they) are super attached to, ’cause even during a pleasant read, bad things could happen.

Keep #RaisingReaders!

 

Boo-Boos for the Win!

Boo-Boos for the Win!

Our bedtime read a couple of evenings ago was an informational picture book and it was a hit! The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!), written by Barry Wittgenstein and illustrated by Chris Hsu is all about the invention of the Band-Aid. I know, I know, you’ve never thought about who invented band-aids, and neither had I. However, Wittgenstein does a wonderful job telling the story, and it kept both kids and I thoroughly entertained.

First, this book has some humor to it. Even on the first page, the author leads you to believe its going to be a short story.

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This is the first page…jokes on us.

 

Secondly, like I mentioned earlier, band-aids are one of those things that you just think have always been around. So to learn that the little individually packaged bandages did not start out that way was quite eye-opening, for both me and my kids. I did think that I was going to have to divide the book over two nights because it seemed a little long, but we breezed right through. Also, they were so into it I don’t even know where I could’ve stopped and not gotten death stares from my kids.

Sometimes there’s a risk when you choose to read an informational book as a bedtime read, not knowing whether or not your child will be into it. However, who hasn’t had a boo-boo?

If your child is at all curious about things, this may be a hit for you to help you continue #RaisingReaders!

*I received an ARC of this book thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media who let it go on a #BookExcursion.

 

 

 

 

“We Should Do This More Often”

“We Should Do This More Often”

“We should do this more often” were the words uttered by my son the other night after our bedtime read. Now, we read a book almost every night, so that wasn’t what he was requesting more of. His request was based more on the type of book we were reading. In fact, we had just finished 20180820_1957587893538618289921105.jpgBruce’s Big Move by Ryan T. Higgins, a cute and colorful book that both kids found entertaining. My 7 year old son went on to say that we have been reading a lot of chapter books, so we need to go back to reading other kinds of books, and to be honest, I couldn’t agree more. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading chapter (or really any kind of) books with my kids. It has been a great way to introduce them to series, increase their stamina, and help their imagination flourish. But my son is right, there are also reasons why we should still be reading picture books as well:

  1. I’ll be honest, they’re often shorter, and sometimes at bedtime, that’s what I’m going for. 😉
  2. Illustrations. My son in particular can stare at the pictures for what seems like hours, but my daughter also likes pointing out things she notices in the illustrations.
  3. We get to the “moral” of the story a lot faster. With chapter books there’s often a message, but you have to finish the book to get that message. But with picture books, when my son is having a day, I can bust out My No, No, No, Day or Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day that evening and we can debrief.

     

  4. We can read them more than once, which is great especially when we all like them.
  5. (This may be more for me than for them.) Reading picture books brings more variety night after night, as opposed to reading about the same characters for many nights in a row.

Simply put, as much as I truly love reading the Whatever After series and the 13-story Treehouse books, every once in a while we’ve got to switch it up, even as they continue to get older, no matter what their age. Just something to keep in mind as you are #RaisingReaders.

*Side note, not only is Bruce’s Big Move a great book, but you’ve also got to read Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce both of which came before the big move.