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
Book Review Parenting Raising kids Uncategorized

Book Review–Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America

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.

20190416_2123314134328248813617184.jpg

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.

 

Categories
Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

“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 finishedĀ 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. šŸ˜‰
  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 outĀ My No, No, No, Day orĀ 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 theĀ Whatever AfterĀ series and theĀ 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 isĀ Bruce’s Big Move a great book, but you’ve also got to readĀ Mother BruceĀ andĀ Hotel Bruce both of which came before the big move.

Categories
Book Review Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

Sam & Dave Dig A Hole–Our book review

How I had never seen this book before, I don’t know. But I grabbed it from our public library a couple of weeks ago, and I’m so glad I did.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen is literally about what the title says, these two boys, digging a whole. There aren’t a lot of words in this book, which makes it a quick read, but my kids LOVED the illustrations, so there’s still a lot to talk about. Here’s an example:

imgres-1

Sam and Dave are SO close to discovering treasure, but guess what?…it doesn’t quite happen for them. Each time they get so close my kids started cracking up and yelling and Sam and Dave for not getting there. The dog seems to be the only one who is on the right path. There were also some questions about where Sam and Dave ended up, so we spend some time analyzing the illustrations at the beginning and at the end of the book. It does leave the reader with some unanswered questions.

Like I mentioned, we got this book from the library, so when we went to put it into the book return slot, my son says, “No mom, can we keep this one, its so funny, I want to read it again.” And so, back into the bag it went so we could renew it.

So if you (or your child) are looking for a quick and funny read aloud with excellent illustrations, Sam & Dave Dig a Hole is the book for you.

#RaisingReaders