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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

Ever Have One of Those Parenting Days?

Ever Have One of Those Parenting Days?

Ugh. We were having one of those evenings where I had to repeat myself fifty-eleven times, each time more exasperating (and louder) than the last. School has only recently started back, so we’re still adjusting to earlier bedtimes and things of that nature.

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The look on my face for the last 3 hours 

After I finally got them to go to bed, I took some time to finish cleaning up and take a breath. When I went back to go turn off their lamps so I could get in my own bed, I peeked in and they were both in the corner of their beds closest to the light, each engrossed in a book. They finally brought a smile to my face, so I quietly backed away to give them more time.

#MomisdoingSOMETHINGright

#RaisingReaders

 

“We Should Do This More Often”

“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 finished 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. 😉
  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 out My No, No, No, Day or 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 the Whatever After series and the 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 is Bruce’s Big Move a great book, but you’ve also got to read Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce both of which came before the big move.

If You Have a Girl or Know a Girl, You Need This Book!

If You Have a Girl or Know a Girl, You Need This Book!

Usually, when I check out books from the library, I’m returning them at the last possible, even a day or two later. (Shhh, don’t tell!) However, occasionally I check out a book from the library and I want to return it immediately because I need other readers to experience the book right away.  Dear Girl, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal, and illustrated by Holly Hatam is one of those books.

This book is the perfect gift for those of us who may not be able to adequately articulate what we want our daughters, granddaughters, or nieces to know. It’s nice and concise, yet, still an inspirational letter to a young girl explaining how to deal with life. Here’s a few of the phrases/pages that got me excited:

 

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I’ll be honest, I’m kinda mad my daughter went through my library stash and read this book before me and without me. Nonetheless, I’ll be buying my own copy to give to her. Even though its a picture book, I have a feeling that we may need this book to refresh ourselves during puberty/teenage years.

If you know a girl that you want to embrace their individuality, learn to be empathetic, or just a girl that may need a little extra inspiration navigating this crazy thing called life, this book should be added to their library.

#RaisingReaders

The Harry Potter Phenomenon Continues…

The Harry Potter Phenomenon Continues…

 

I’ll admit, I don’t understand the pull of Harry Potter. I read the first one with my daughter, but was able to stop after finishing, whereas she was not. Since then, she has been talking about the characters with her friends who are also reading it and recommending the series to anyone who hasn’t. Also, she got her brother into it and he knows what’s going on through the movies and audiobooks. They even “play” Harry Potter, casting spells on each other. She does her best to keep me up to speed with all that’s going on, although I don’t understand much of it any more.

One of my daughter’s goals this summer was to finish the Harry Potter series, and book #5 has been quite the feat. Three check-outs and renewals from the library later…

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The book is hiding her huge smile from her accomplishment!

I’ll be honest, I never experienced anything like it during my childhood reading, so I continue to be impressed by it all. Although this series is not for everyone, there’s some sort of magnetic force that pulls the reader in, so if you need something to hook you child in, Harry Potter may be worth a try.

#RaisingReaders

*Side note: If you haven’t already, enter my giveaway that ends at midnight on 7/6/18! Enter here!

 

Be Patient and Respect the Process

Be Patient and Respect the Process

I recently read a post a friend of mine shared on Facebook (not hers, but someone else’s) that basically talked about living in the moment with your children, not trying to hurry them, and as a result, hurrying life away. As usual, these things make a lot of sense, and I try to adjust my life accordingly, sometimes more successfully than others. However, this go around, within a day, I encountered a situation involving reading with my son that actually helped me put it into practice!

A short time ago we visited our local public library, and one of the books I checked out was This Book is Out of Control! by Richard Byrne. Yes, I checked out a children’s book to read myself (first), and this book was laying on my bed when my son came to chat. Since we’ve read the other books with these characters, he saw the book, opened it, and started turning the pages. Exciting, right? Initially, not so much, because he was turning the pages very quickly, like too quickly to actually be reading the words. Of course, my first reaction is to tell him, “Dude, you can read the words. How about you slow down and actually read the words so you know what the story is about?” But hey, I’m trying to resist the constant need to redirect, trying to let him have his moment, so I say nothing…

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A few moments later, after he’s turned all the pages, he goes back to the beginning of the book. Now this time, I’m still not sure if he’s reading the words, but he’s definitely going slower than he was the last time. And then, at the end he’s like, “Mom, look…” and proceeds to explain to me part of the plot!

Now, naturally I don’t honestly know what would have happened if I had interrupted his first read through, but there’s a chance I could have turned him off to the book completely. It could’ve been frustrating to the both of us, but instead, I was the only one who was frustrated, and that was only in my head, and only for a moment.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to my son, and here’s just another example that sometimes when #RaisingReaders, you just have to let them do their own thing.

Side note: If you or your children haven’t read We’re In a Book! or This Book Just Ate My Dog!, also by Richard Byrne, I suggest you do so.