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An Extended Bedtime Read- Little Cloud: The Science of a Hurricane

Have you ever had one of those nights where you started the kids’ bedtime process just a little earlier in the hopes that that means they’ll be falling asleep faster? Has that attempt ever backfired on you? Yeah, that happened to me last night, but for once I actually was ok with it.

downloadI was thought I was being slick. It wasn’t super early, but early enough that I was anticipating getting in a decent amount of TV or reading time in, but my book choice derailed my plans. We read an ebook copy of Little Cloud: The Science of a Hurricane written by Johanna Wagstaffe and illustrated by Julie McLaughlin, a cute informational book about how hurricanes form. Now I’m sure you’re wondering how a book about hurricanes could derail bedtime, because before we started the book, I felt the same way. However, in school both of my kids have learned a lot about clouds, the water cycle, and the water crisis, and so they had a lot to add to the facts in this book. My son just had to elaborate on what makes up clouds and the different types of clouds. My daughter saw sandbags in one of the illustrations and took us off on a tangent about their many purposes. The book only has 30-something pages, but with all those extra conversations, it took us almost 30-something minutes to read it.

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See those sandbags in the corner? Yeah, had a whole extra conversation about those.

But, and especially considering how our school year has ended, anytime I experience my kids recalling things they learned I get excited for them because that means it stuck.  So, I decided I wasn’t disappointed that our bedtime read was a little longer than usual, because I ended up with a #proudmama moment.

Whether your own kids are water “experts” or not, I would recommend this cute book, just be warned ahead of time, it may bring out questions and/or comments, so be sure to start bedtime early that night. 🙂

#KeepReading!

#RaisingReaders

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Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

Bedtime Reading during Quarantine

So, for many of us still under Stay-At-Home orders, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a sense of normalcy, in fact, sometimes I feel like we’re just creating a “new normal”.  One piece of our lives that I am trying to keep normal is our #BedtimeReads each evening. However, right now we cannot go to the library, I don’t have access to my office stash of books, and buying books regularly is not an option. On the positive side though, we do have access to our library online, so that’s something the kids and I have been diving into, both individually and collectively.

I decided that we needed a chapter book for our bedtime read, something that would take more than one day, with cliff hangers that had us kinda looking forward to bedtime (yeah, so there’s an ulterior motive here).  Luckily, and surprisingly, neither my 11 year or my 8 year old had read the book Holes by Louis Sachar, so that’s what I decided to go with.  For those of you who haven’t read this book, its about a teenager named Stanley who is unjustly sent to a camp for a crime he didn’t commit.  At Camp Green Lake, all the boys have to dig 5 feet holes every day, and Sachar takes readers on a historical journey to help us try to figure out why.  And for an added bonus, there’s a movie to go along with the book!

Holes was the perfect book for us to read together. It took us about 10 days to finish, both kids enjoyed it and were able to follow along with the jumps back and forth in time. Each night there were pleas to “keep going”, and we were so into it that I read it during the day a couple of times! I didn’t tell them that there was a movie version of the book until after we finished, so they were super excited about seeing Stanley and the other characters come to life.

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So, if you’re looking to create some consistent routines, especially to end your day, I would suggest finding a good chapter book like Holes that you and your kiddos can get into, and one with a movie they can watch later just might give you a couple of extra hours of peace.

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Book Review Parenting Raising kids Uncategorized

Book Review: Travel Guide for Monsters by Lori Degman

wp-15832918577947186728917141906596.jpgSince so many of us are staying home and cancelling trips because of this current pandemic, this new picture book written by Lori Degman and illustrated by Dave Szalay is a great way to get away, without actually getting away.

In this new rhyming travel guide, readers get the chance to travel all the way across the United States, from San Francisco to Niagara Falls, visiting some of the country’s most exciting landmarks and hot spots. However, there’s one caveat…you’re traveling with a monster.

These monsters aren’t the most well-behaved companions, so this guide tells kids what reminders they may have to give those monsters so things don’t go awry, like “Make sure to warn your monster that those geysers are not fountains”.

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My kiddos and I enjoyed the easy flow of the book thanks to the rhyming, loved the colorful illustrations, and we giggled at the different high jinks the monsters got into. Since my kids are a little older, after I finished reading it to them, we looked at the map at the end and talked about what places the characters had been to that we had also visited as a family.  Then from those places that are left, we discussed which places we wanted to go to (which was basically every place that we hadn’t been to). It was a nice discussion to end our bedtime read.

We all need some escaping right now, and Lori Degman’s Travel Guide for Monsters gave us a nice opportunity to imagine traveling to different parts of the country, even if it is with a giant monster.

Thanks to the author and Sleeping Bear Press, I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. It will be available April 2020 and can be purchased wherever books are sold.

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Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

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!

 

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Parenting Raising kids Raising Readers Uncategorized

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