Nerdy Book Club is a great blog to learn a lot about children’s books, authors, and educator’s experiences around books. Here’s a link to something I recently wrote for the Nerdy Book Club about my experience with the book, Julian’s A Mermaid.
My children are 8 and 10, are Harry Potter enthusiasts, have their own library cards, and enjoy reading independently. Now, for those who have read my blog before, it may seem like a random bit of information to share at the beginning of this post, but there’s a reason for it.
The other night my children and I read (and enjoyed) Owls Are Good at Keeping Secrets: An Unusual Alphabet, written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Jacob Grant. Yes, this is an alphabet book and my kids learned their letters a long time ago. But I saw this at the library and thought I would be interesting and grabbed it.
Now this may surprise you, but when we settled in for our bedtime read the other night and I pulled out this book and read the title, there were no complaints. These kids, who when reading independently are reading books with action and/or themes of bullying and friendship drama, had no issues with listening to a book about the alphabet. Why? Because just like as adults we have our guilty pleasure books or TV shows, kids sometimes like to just relax when listening to a story. Whether its silly, funny, or even what some may find babyish, a good story is a good story. Also, its just a relaxing way to end the day, so it doesn’t have to be complicated.
So, don’t feel like you always have to read a book that is heavy in content or equal to or above their own reading level. Sometimes they just want chill and spend some quality time with their adult, even if it is a book about the alphabet.
I picked up this book due to the cover, because this silent protest at the Olympics is one of my favorite events in history, and the idea of reading a picture book about it was intriguing. When I read it, I discovered that it did not share the information in a way that I expected it to, but it was still informative nonetheless.
This book, written by Emily Easton and beautifully illustrated by Ziyue Chen, goes through protests made in America, going back as far as the Boston Tea Party and as current as Colin Kapernick. I appreciate the wide range of protests included in the book, it helps the reader see that protesting can look a lot of different ways. However, the language in the book is very simplistic, like one sentence for each protest simplistic. So while that makes for an easy read, it also (hopefully) invites lots of questions. For example, while I know what “America says, ‘Time’s Up” means, children reading the book may not.
To be fair, Easton does have some pages in the back of the book that gives more detail about each event, but a child reading this book independently may not bother with that information.
So, if you do choose to read this book with your children, just be ready to explain some of these powerful protests in more detail to make sure they get the full benefit of this picture book.
Davy, his brother Baby Kai and the rest of the family are back in author Danual Berkley’s latest book, Baby Kai and the Monster in the Closet. In the first book about this family, they went on a pirate ship adventure, and you can read more about that book here. This time, younger brother Kai is struggling to fall asleep because, like many other kids, there’s a monster behind his closet door. In this story we get to see Baby Kai pleading his case to his parents for help to no avail, so he has to deal with this problem all on his own. Luckily for him, there are a couple of twists that let Kai and the reader know that monsters aren’t always all bad.
The illustrations in this book, created by Amariah Rauscher, are awesome and consistent with the illustrations in Davy’s Pirate Ship Adventure, so if you’ve read it, there’s continuity with the characters. The illustrations also play an important role in figuring out the twists in the story, which is a concept in picture books that I love. During my first read I didn’t notice things that I saw after reading it again, and I think that makes for more lively bedtime reads, especially if, like me, you have kids that like to read a book more than once.
So if you are raising a reader who has some fears about monsters hiding in their closet or under their bed, this book can help with lighten that concern. Additionally, as author Danual Berkley has done in the past, he makes it a point to make sure that all members of this African-American family are present in the story, which helps to expose your young reader to that sort of representation. You can read more about his quest to achieve diversity in my interview with him here.
This book was just released on June 7 of this year, and you can find this book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. You can also learn more about budding author Danual Berkley at his website, danualberkley.com.
In our house we love books by Adam Rubin, particularly the Dragons Love Tacos books. So when we learned that there was a new book coming out, we had to read it.
Hive Five is story all about…you guessed it–high fives! The main character is coaching the reader in preparation to participate in a high five-ing competition, which means they need to practice their skills. As you can see even in the cover, the main character actually wants the reader to high five the pages of the book, and my kids LOVED it.
Rubin asks the reader to be creative in their high fives, even coming up with routines to wow the judges. We had spins, dances, and some hard slapping of the pages of this book, which I was not prepared for when we started reading. I had looked the book over, but for some odd reason, I thought I was going to be able to read through it without them wanting to actually high five the book. What was I thinking?
So as a suggestion, I would read this book with your kiddos when you are having one of those nights where you are not in a rush to get them to sleep. Who knows what kind of high five routine your child will come up with, so you want to be prepared to let them enjoy this interactive book to the fullest!