Changes to Bedtime Reads during Quarantine

Changes to Bedtime Reads during Quarantine

So, like many of us, your new normal has probably become spending a LOT of quality time with each other thanks to COVID-19, which has its advantages and disadvantages.

One disruption to our routine is our library trips. Our local public library is where I would grab the new picture book releases and get many of our bedtime reads, but right now it is closed.

Now as much as I love books and reading, our bank account does not allow me to purchase every book that I would like to purchase, not to mention I don’t have enough shelf space for every book I would buy.

So, if your family is anything like mine, two things might be true: 1) You have spent a TON of extra time with your kiddos and may be interested in a break in “parenting-duties” and 2) You may be running out of books to read to your kids at bedtime that aren’t “free”.  If either of these are the case, I have a recommendation for you–virtual storytime!

A positive that has come out of this pandemic is that a lot of children’s book authors are doing their part to help kids, parents, and teachers with not being able to be at school right now. They are making videos of themselves reading their books available to the public, which is not something you can often find.  So, why not have Ame Dyckman (author of Dandy) or Mac Barnett (author of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole) read their books to your kids before bed? Now, I don’t recommend making a regular habit of this, but different times call for different measures, right? Below are a couple of websites with lists of authors reading their books online, hopefully you’ll find something your kiddos will enjoy!

A List of Authors Doing Virtual Storytime or Art Lessons

The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read-Alouds & Activities

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCowhHSUaWp3KJDcuI0nR0vw

Even through Coronavirus–keep #RaisingReaders!

 

Books vs. Electronics

Books vs. Electronics

A friend sent me this cartoon recently, and I thought it was perfect for this blog. Although it may look extreme and give you a giggle, this is yet another reason why I am convinced that raising readers is an important mission.

 

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Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against electronic devices, and my kids do have them, but they also have bookshelves full of books, library cards, and listen to books as they fall asleep. Balance is important. How do you make sure your readers have balance?

Keep #RaisingReaders

Our #BedtimeRead Favorites of 2019

Our #BedtimeRead Favorites of 2019

My kids and I have read a lot of books during 2019, so I thought I would highlight some of our favorites. Most of them are picture books, because we still love a good story. However, we read a couple of chapter books we enjoyed this year too. These are in no particular order, and they are not all books that were released in 2019, they are just books we enjoyed this year.

screenshot_20190619-231722_google6782167213844116503.jpgThe Last-Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles was one of the chapter books that we read this year. Now this one was a title that was released this year, and is an energetic science fiction story about two boys who go on an adventure right before they have to go back to school.  Although it is a chapter book, there are a few pictures throughout the book, which really add to the craziness of the eccentric characters that are in this storyline. This was one that I blogged about earlier this year, so you can read our feelings about it in more detail here. This was definitely one that when we finished it, all 3 of us were wondering/hoping if there’s going to be a sequel!

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We are pretty big animal fans in our house, so if we’re reading non-fiction at bedtime, animals are usually the topic of that book. We love books by Jess Keating as well, so this was definitely a top one for us. We learn new things about animals, some animals which we never knew existed! Even though this is a picture book, there’s a lot of information in it, so we stretch a book like this out for a few days, maybe even a week.

I was at a meeting with other educators when I learned about a series of books featuring 20190918_2003267157701794092831027.jpgdifferent utensils by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.  There’s one titled Spoon and in February 2020 there will be one released titled Straw, but the one we’re putting on the list this year is called Chopsticks. This cute story is about a pair of chopsticks that are basically attached at the hip, but an unfortunate event causes them to be separated. This is great book for kids who need help finding their individual strengths as opposed to their group/pair identity. I wrote about this book earlier in 2019 here.

 

download-2In our house we tend to lean ourselves toward series, or books by the same author. If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen falls into that category, thanks to his other books we’ve enjoyed, If I Built a Car and If I Built a House. As an educator, this one spoke to my heart too, because the main character was creating such an awesome place for learning!

 

Hair Love by Matthew Cherry was definitely one of my top picks of the year, probably20190529_2101385361337492258340228.jpg even the decade, but I love that my kids really enjoyed it too. This picture book’s beautiful illustrations, done by Vashti Harrison, add to the adorable story of a dad trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair. This book also has been made into a short film, and although the story line differs, the message is still the same! I also wrote about my obsession with this book here.

 

 

download-3Chapter Two is Missing! by Josh Lieb was one of the funniest books we read in 2019, and we read some funny books. Don’t be fooled by the missing chapter, this is still a picture book that can be read in one sitting, especially since there’s a whole missing chapter. 😉 As the readers we were able to figure out where that chapter may have gone, but it was entertaining watching the characters in the book try to figure it out.

 

We read quite a few more books this year, and these are by no means the only ones that are our favorites, but I don’t have enough time to list all of those, nor do you have that much time to read all of them. But if you are looking for some #bedtimereads for 2020, this may be a place to start!

Keep #RaisingReaders!

A Cautionary Tale…

A Cautionary Tale…

My 10 year old daughter is an avid reader, and as she’s getting older, she’s reading more realistic fiction books with characters who are her age or a little older, which means they are often dealing with some potentially heavy issues. Now normally, being an avid reader of kidlit myself, or with the assistance of the Internet, I can usually be aware of the content of what she’s reading. This helps me to be prepared to have conversations with her or answer her questions about what she’s reading if necessary. However, recently, I got blindsided by a topic that I wasn’t even expecting…Santa.

Now, I knew the inevitable day would arrive when she no longer believed in Santa, and I thought I was prepared to deal with that. However, I was not prepared to have the conversation as a result of a book she was reading. So this is how it went down:

My child comes up to me and says, “Mom, you gotta listen to this, its so funny”

Me: “Ok, sure go ahead…” (half-listening)

Child: “…..and Mom slipped the truth about Santa on Christmas Eve. I cried myself to sleep and refused to open my presents in the morning…” Isn’t that funny?

(Child walks back to her room)

Me (delayed response): Wait? What?

So now of course it’s too late to mention it, so I had to come up with a different way to ask her how she felt about Santa, if for no other reason than to make sure she knows that her brother still believes.

I share this story not to encourage policing what your child is reading, but more to make sure you’re actually listening when they’re reading out loud to you. They could be giving you clues…

Keep #RaisingReaders

 

 

 

Dandy by Ame Dyckman

Dandy by Ame Dyckman

I realize that it’s winter and there is probably snow on the ground where you are, but my kids and I recently read a book about Spring that you’ll want to share with your kids for sure, even if you wait til the sun comes out.

Dandy, written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Charles Santoso is an adorable picture book that made me and my kids laugh out loud. In this book, the neighborhood is full of impeccable lawns, which means the emergence of a weed, even if it is a dandelion, is a problem. When one dad goes to snip that weed, his daughter Sweetie shows up–ready to protect her new dandelion friend, Charlotte.

No matter when or how he tries, Dad cannot get rid of Dandy, even with the pressure from the other dads in the neighborhood.

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This book doesn’t have a ton of text, but the text it does have, combined with the awesome illustrations made for a giggling #bedtimeread for me and my crew, even though there are definitely no dandelions out our window right now.

Keep #RaisingReaders!