Bedtime Read—Sharing History through a Picture Book

Bedtime Read—Sharing History through a Picture Book

My favorite event in history is the Montgomery Bus Boycott, so as my children have gotten older, I feel like it is time to share my admiration for the event with them. From school, they know the basics of the event, and key players Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is a plus.  We recently read a book that facilitated a little more of our conversation.

1

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney was a great picture book to deepen our conversation about the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Civil Rights Movement.

In this book, the storyteller is a “dog-tired” dog who is playing the Blues and Jim Crow is a large black cloud that is surrounding Montgomery during the event. These symbolic aspects are conversation pieces themselves, but we didn’t delve too much into that. We focused more on the logistics of the event itself, including talking about how Dr. King was involved and the unification of the Black community during the Boycott.  Even after we were finished with the book, we had conversations about related people and events, including Ruby Bridges.

This book is poetically written, and reading it aloud in the right cadence added to the beauty of the book. As with all books illustrated by Pinkney, the pictures do a great job of showcasing the mood of this historical event.

2a435baa-37e1-4cd3-ada7-1aada2102827

So, I’m sharing our bedtime read experience not only because Boycott Blues is a great book, but also because if there’s a historical event that you want your children to know more about, finding a picture book to help you start that conversation is a wonderful starting point.

Keep #RaisingReaders!

Sweet Dreams, Sarah by Vivian Kirkfield–Book Review MCBD 2019

Sweet Dreams, Sarah by Vivian Kirkfield–Book Review MCBD 2019

Do you know who Sarah Goode was? Has your child heard of her? If not, then this book is the perfect introduction to learning about this phenomenal woman.

Sarah Goode was a carpenter in the late 1800s who, based on her customers’ needs, created a cabinet which can also be turned into a bed. And in Sweet Dreams, Sarah, written by Vivian Kirkfield and illustrated by Chris Ewald, we learn all about Sarah’s life. In this picture book biography, readers learn about her being born into slavery to becoming a successful furniture store owner to her efforts to get a patent for the cabinet bed that she created.

Before reading Sweet Dreams, Sarah, I did not know who Sarah Goode was. However, through this book, Kirkfield has made me want to know more about her. Goode seems like a very bright and determined young woman and Kirkfield made it easy for the reader to learn about her. Additionally, the illustrations in this book are gorgeous! Particularly for a book that takes place during slavery and Reconstruction, I think that the illustrations bring some brightness to the story that I don’t usually see. An added bonus is that at the end of the book the author not only gives us a timeline of Goode’s life, but also a timeline of Black Women Patent Holders, just in case your interests have been sparked.

I think that this would be a great book to fit in during both Black History Month and Women’s History Month, but it is truly a good book to share any time. Thanks to the author Vivian Kirkfield for allowing me to read and review her book for Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019. Sweet Dreams, Sarah will be released on May 1, 2019.

new logo

**Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!

*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here: https://wp.me/P5tVud-2eN

Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org.

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC

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

Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts

A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup,Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground

TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party ( a prize every 5 minutes!). GO HERE for more details.

FREE RESOURCES From MCBD

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 

Raising Readers with Hamilton

Raising Readers with Hamilton

Because of my obsession with books, as well as my superior expressive reading ;), I do most of the bedtime reading with the kids. However, I do recognize when it makes more sense for their father to have that role, and we recently had one of those moments.

My kids are obsessed with the Hamilton soundtrack. Yes, they’re a tad bit late to the party, but they’ve arrived. And it’s arrived with a whole unexpected conversation about why they can’t use curse words, but I digress…

To coincide with their desire to play the soundtrack every day, I found a book that I thought they would enjoy–

imgres-8

This book, written and illustrated by Don Brown, is all about the rivalry and eventual dual between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Now, I was all set and ready to read this to the kids, excited even, but then a light bulb went off–why not have their Dad read it to them? My husband is a high school Social Studies teacher, and a general history buff. It would make more sense for him to read it to them, especially if they have extra questions once the story begins, because there’s a big chance I won’t be able to answer them.  And guess what? I was right!

The kids were super excited about the book, my husband enjoyed reading something to him that he already had background knowledge about, and although I love reading to the kids, I had the night off!

So, in your #RaisingReaders quest, if you’re looking to involve another reader, think about what books the reader and the kids could enjoy. Also, if you have kids that enjoy Hamilton, this is a great book for them too!

In Case Reading Out Loud Isn’t Your Thing…

In Case Reading Out Loud Isn’t Your Thing…

On a recent Sunday morning, my 7 year old son came into my bedroom to ask me for a piece of paper. What for, you ask? This child was excited because he had found the solar system in his kid dictionary and wanted to write about it. Specifically, he wanted to write down the age old mnemonic device that many of us learned about the planets, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” (Or whatever food starting with P you may have learned.)

20181203_2227097032181074983735010.jpg
Here he is, invading my space on a Sunday morning with his dictionary…

He was inspired to write this down because for the last few days he has been listening to Stink: Solar System Superhero and apparently this was part of the story. His plan was to create his own new sentence about the planets, which I thought was admirable, but quite a lofty goal for a relaxing Sunday morning. But his motivation got me to thinking about the power of listening to books. I love the fact that he is getting just as much out of listening to Stink’s adventures on CD as he would if I was reading it to him.

My daughter is also loving the books she’s listening to, which are part of the Wayside School series. When I recently went into her room to turn off her lamp, instead of laying down and falling asleep, she was sitting straight up because she was just that into the story. imgres-7As an added bonus, we almost always get audio books from the library, which cost my favorite amount: FREE.

So, although I’ve written about this before, I just wanted to remind you that audiobooks can be a perfect alternative to reading aloud with your children, especially if you’re not feeling particularly entertaining with your reading style.

Don’t get me wrong, I still advocate for reading aloud to your children, even if you don’t feel like its your wheelhouse. They appreciate the effort, the cuddles, and the time spent together, even if you feel like you’re stumbling over words or not doing cool voices.

Whatever you decide, keep #RaisingReaders!

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.

20181115_1744026635715099708661638.jpg

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!

20181114_2006438415339034890089436.jpg

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.

imgres-6.jpg

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.

images-1.jpg

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…

imgres-7.jpg

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.

imgres-8.jpg

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:

20180908_1646224159682760196317470.jpg

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.

20180908_1908027271836061716573133.jpg
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.