Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brooklyn Book Festival

Don't miss it! It is today! Wonderful for the kids. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


‎"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

Nelson Mandela

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reading is Inspiring

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young. - Maya Angelou

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome Back to School Teachers

Happy first day back to all the teachers in NYC. Welcome back to all kids and teachers and families to school who have started even earlier!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Host a Literary Sleep Over

Why not? Get out some sleeping bags, dig around for some flashlights, create a campground at home! Gather up stacks of books. Let kids read and talk all night!

Why not?

:) Enjoy.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Welcome to Our World

Readership around the globe, welcome!

Where are you from? What are you and the children in lives reading! Thanks for reading the blog and sticking around! Feel free to email us at for book suggestions or activities that you and the special little ones in your life share around books! We would love to hear form you! Spread the word about the blog!

photo by Daniel Galan








Costa Rica

















New Zealand






Saudia Arabia

South Korea

South Africa






The Netherlands


UAE: Dubai

UAE: Abu Dhabi

United States

Viet Nam

Friday, September 3, 2010

Smile, Eat Ice Cream, and Read!

Enjoy the weekend!
Happy reading to you and your literary family! Take your books out into the world together!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Puzzles are Fun to Read

On my 'west coast tour' I stopped and visited the Rocky Mountain Mama and her two boys in Colorado. We spent the weekend designing aircraft. RMM's eldest boy, Super Sweet S, is a master at putting together intricate Lego machines and buildings- especially, Lego Star Wars! We brought home a large airplane for the boys to assemble. SSS took out the instructions and started on the amazing puzzle solo! It was a beautiful reading experience. He had the directions/instructions next to him and all the pieceslaid out on the table ready to use. The concentration and stamina that he had was impressive. I think he worked on that plane, certainly close to 2 hours!

I also headed north west to see Little Moon and Mama J and Papi D. We decided to rent a cabin in the woods. Mama J wanted to bring her own puzzles, but resisted the urge---- seeing as that the car was already packed to the hilt. But I brought, from NY, a book of puzzles for Little Moon! The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY publishes 16- piece puzzle books of beautiful artwork. I got Little Moon, Puzzling Beasts with 8 beautiful pieces of art to reassemble. There is a little 'blurb' with each puzzle to read about the art and/or the artist. The books are designed to assist young novice puzzlers so you place the puzzle pieces upon the art.

Puzzles are wonderful games to play that really push your mind mathematically- but they also can push the literary side of your brain as well!

Enjoy the puzzles and the reads!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Spectacular Southwest

This summer I've ended up having a couple of big trips for work that took me towards the west coast. I had to get to New Mexico by the middle of August, so I took a detour to Colorado first to visit the Rocky Mountain Mama and her family! I brought the boys some gifts. Super Sweet S is going into first grade and is apparently literally reading everything! "Titi," he says, "Do you want me to read the catalog about Halloween Costumes?"

His younger brother, Younger Brother E, is also obsessed with reading books as well. I brought a whole load of books with me as my, "Thank you for having me in your house this weekend gift." Among other books, I brought the boys a new series of comic chapter books, The Dodge Ball Chronicles! Apparently they loved them!

After visiting the southwest, Colorado and New Mexico, I decided I needed to search for my souvenirs for my nephew and Little Moon (who I would be visiting for the second part of my west coast tour after New Mexico). I found some great wildlife books. I found a board book about animals in the southwest, and a beautiful photography book of baby animals from this area. I also discovered a new series of non fiction books from Farcountry- So I had to get, The Rocky Mountain Babies.

I would be remiss if I didn't also pick up a story about the Day of the Dead after being in the Southwest. Luckily I found one by Tony Johnston and Jeanette Winters.

As I made my way from Colorado to New Mexico and then on to Seattle, I both dropped books off and picked new ones up to bring with me as souvenirs of my travels!

Hope your summer has been filled with travels and books! What books have you picked up as souvenirs to help you and the ones you love remember your adventures!

The nephew- Sending Back to Canada

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reading in a Series in French

I have been building up my nephew's library at home. He now has officially taken over the complete last two shelves (three if you count the stacking of books under the shelves) of my sister's floor to ceiling bookshelf that takes up the entire living room wall. While I feel quite proud, about a third of his library is now in French. My nephew is bilingual. To support his linguistic development in his second language, I have been diligent to find books in French that hold his interest, introduce him to new and challenging vocabulary, and that span both story, poetry, and non fiction texts. I buy him books that his mother (who is fluent in French) and his babysitters can read to him with no problem. I also have bought him books that I can read to him (ones that are a bit simpler for the novice French speaker).

I found many series that he has absolutely fallen in love with that I can read too. Our two favorites are: Crocolou and the Petit Garcon series. Crocolou's books are simple stories all about a little crocodile named, Crocolou. Each book centers around another thing that he loves: Crocolou aime sa mama, Crocolou aime l'ecole etc. With a few re-readings of these books my nephew has been able to "learn" them and fill in the blanks, quickly and easily when i make dramatic pauses for him to chime in. Even as simple as these books are, they still introduce new vocabulary to us!

The Petit Garcon series are fun. Each one is about another little boy enjoying some sort of transportation: Le Train de Bastien, La Moto de Marco, L'Avion de Gaston etc. They also rhyme. This makes it fun for my nephew to listen to but also easier for me to read with the rhythm!

If your kids are bilingual, make sure you have the books in both languages in your house! Read them together! Bilingualism is a gift to be treasured! Spend time in the "not so dominate" language together.

If you are not bilingual, but enjoy languages and want the kids in your lives to enjoy languages too, buy books in foreign languages. Read them with your child. Study the pictures hard! Reading is a great way to learn a language and to develop appreciation for different languages. Be brave! Dive right in! Pick up a children's book in a language you studied in high school or college- practice reading it and then share it with a child! Have fun.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Make Your Own Interactive Memory Book

This year, after visiting my nephew for three weeks, I left with him a 'memory book'. This book I have left blank spaces under each of our amazing things that we have done, for him to fill in the pictures. His drawing has improved so much over the year. He now makes representational shapes that really match the object he is drawing. He made an incredible Beluga Whale this summer that will now hang in my office. Hopefully over the days, until I see him next, he will make pictures that match the things that we did. Fortunately, I also snapped a few photos that I can bring and paste into the memory book as well. But why not make it interactive!

Hope you are enjoying your summer with the kids in your lives!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Life: Acting Real Life Out

When you ask my nephew what his favorite videos are, he now replies, "Planet Earth, Life, Galapagos (en francais) and T'choupi (en francais aussi). Life, is another version of Planet Earth, narrated by Oprah Winfrey. It is a beautiful display of wildlife across the globe.

My nephew, in true 3 year old form, enjoys acting the different scenes. He gets his animal critters out of the toy box and begins to explore, who hunts who? Hunting and Hunted is his favorite episode. Unfortunately we don't have an ostrich for the cheetah to eat nor do we have a "cheetah deer" for the tiger. Luckily he can improvise. Sometimes he enjoys acting out the videos without props and just take on the animal personalities himself. He ropes in other 'actors', like myself to play different roles.

From Galapagos, one of his favorite scenes is watching the giant predatory birds hunt for iguanas, swimming in the sea.

The videos have been amazing to develop quite a large and specific vocabulary and to introduce the concept of "interdependence". Acting out before, during or after, is a great way to have a 'conversation' with kids about what they are understanding and thinking about while watching videos!

Enjoy the stage with your kids! Enjoy Life!

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Seriously I want to visit here: The Okinawa Churumi Aquarium.
Amazing. Adding it to my international travel I must do with my nephew.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Observation Journals

My nephew, sister and I recently went to the science museum/aquarium in Burlington. There were wonderful fish, frogs and reptiles to observe. There was a wonderful hands on project: dissecting owl pellets. My nephew discovered lots of skulls and bones! In the resource center there were other tanks and animals, along with books and puppets and the like to really get another up close vision of wildlife.

At the tank there was a snake inside. Interesting enough, there was a journal right next to it. It was filled with comments and observations and questions from many different visitors of different ages. We looked and observed not only in the tank but we reread all the comments made across time about this snake. It was fascinating!

What a wonderful idea. You could have a notebook/sketch book set up in your home, next to a plant, a terrarium or aquarium in your home. You and your child could observe and note take. When you have guests come to your house you can urge them to "leave a note" in your observation journal. What a fun thing to keep- just like a real scientist. What a neat thing to look back over and read!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baby Layal Welcome

I just got to visit with Baby Layal- (The nights).
New Mommy R looks amazing and the baby is just precious!

Super congrats to all!

A song in her honor: You are my sunshine

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kitty Landers

Check it out- a show for kids!
Interesting themes and original characters.
Online has so much to offer!


YouTube Site:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One Family Teaching Literacy

Families can make a difference. Read about the Kugler Family working in South Africa for their summer vacation. Inspiring!

Kugler Blog:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Singing in the Car

Needless to say, on our journey north, we had many hours to 'kill' in the car! No worries, because Auntie brought lots of music to pass the time away. Of course we brought our favorite, They Might Be Giants (1,2,3 and Here Comes Science).

We also brought a new favorite- Pete Seeger's CD- Stories and Songs For Little Children. My nephew "studied" PS in his school. He is one of their 'heroes'. He made a little Banjo and loves to 'strum i' and sing Skip to My Lou. So we definitely took that with us.

We also took a new cd in french, Un Tresor Dans Mon Jardin. A series of beautiful songs and poems all in French. Big Girl Jas and my nephew enjoyed this cd immensely. Even though BGJ doesn't speak French, she appreciates the sounds and languages from everywhere. She too is bilingual, English and Spanish. Since the two kids are both bilingual they had a lot of discussion about languages and translating. BGJ picked out her favorite song on the album- Comptine pour endormir un enfants.

We can't leave home with Father Goose and Dan Zane. So we brought - Catch the Train and It's a Bam Bam Diddly. There is Haitian Creole, Zulu and Spanish! BGJ enjoyed singing and translating that one - Mariposa Ole!- for everyone.

Don't forget your music in the car!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Birthday Wishes: Put on a Play

Mommy R came on vacation and I learned all these great literary events you can have at home with your child. Big Girl Jas is turning 8 this year. She is trying to decide how she would like to celebrate her birthday. Last year, when she turned 7, she decided she wanted to put on a play for her birthday.

I know. When I heard the idea at first it seemed complicated and difficult. But when you get to know BGJ, you see that theater and dance are her passions. Mommy R also shares these passions with her daughter.

So, they decided to give it a try. They first picked a story that they could share with their friends, give everyone lines, and have costumes for everyone. They chose an "Anansi" story to tell. I cannot remember which folktale about the famous spider they chose.

They sent out a quick invitation- asking for an immediate RSVP to see who could make it and wanted to perform with BGJ in the play. They asked kids, Do you want a speaking role or a non speaking role? Then they sent all the kids their lines so that they could practice and 'rehearse' at home.

When the kids arrived to the party, Mommy R and BGJ and all the kids began to do a 'run through' of the play at home. They then practiced with costumes (supplied as best as possible from BGJ's collection of dress up clothes). Kids were in charge, so there were no 'wrong' costumes. Kids could be as creative as possible. Then they did a run through with the costumes on!

Next they ate cake and ice cream! Finally they went to the local ample theater in their local park. (Seriously- they have one. How perfect, right?) They did one more run through on the stage. Then they got to put on their make up!

The parents came to pick up their kids from the birthday. Right before they all left- the kids put on the play for all the parents and care-givers and kids! Quite a celebration, no? For everyone.
What an experience! I love it! Who knows, maybe this year, BGJ will write her own play to perform next!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Telling and Swapping Stories that Matter

In between lake and pool, tennis and shuffle board, we had some time on our hands to share stories. Mommy R loves to tell stories too! But she doesn't just tell any story. Many of her stories she tells, ends of teaching us all something. They all sound vaguely familiar, but are not 'real stories' but certainly ones we can relate to.

Mommy R asks everyone who is going to listen to the story if they want to be in the story or not. My nephew decided yes. Big Girl Jas decided no. All that meant was that Mommy R would tell a story with your name in it. But it was sure to be 'fictional'. One of the stories that Mommy R told was a story about my nephew, and his friend, "Hakim" (aka my nephew's doll's name). It was a story about how "Hakim" didn't like to play tennis. He found it very frustrating. He got very angry. "My nephew's character" had to think of a way to included him and to help him not be frustrated.

Can you imagine a real episode like this? I truly can. It was interesting to see how the two kids listened to this story and how they re- thought about the time we played tennis. Telling stories help you to hold on to memories and to also work out the problems and issues in our lives- no matter how small or big!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dancing and Singing Your Own Tunes

The nephew, sister and I drove up to Mont Tremblant and we invited our friends, Mommy R and Big Girl Jas with us! Up in our chalet- over looking the mountains and lake we were granted several dancing and singing performances from the kids. An almost 8 year old is heaven to a 3 year old! They had such a blast. BGJ would take the nephew in another room, and "teach him" his steps and the song that they were performing. In about 2 minutes the little nephew had to learn a lot, or just follow her lead. We were serenaded by, "These are a few of my favorite things..." and "I'm am sixteen going seventeen..." and "I close my eyes, pull back the curtain..."

I have to say my favorites were the ones that they made up. BGJ had a few that she sang. One I think was titled, "Swan Lake". My nephew did one in English and one in French, both I believe titled, "Fire Truck"/ "Camion Pompier". Can you imagine what happens in that song/rap? Yes, lots of crashing!

Everyday was a series of songs that we got to watch and appreciate. What a nice time to pass together (and bond!). Writing is a great way to hold on to your memories. You can write your stories down in a memory notebook- or why not your new songs! Who knows, you may have an album in the works!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Coming Home From Vacation

I am back from Costa Rica. A week of bliss truly! I was staying in a beautiful little-itty- bitty town, Santa Teresa. As I was getting ready to go I was thinking, how will I share this with my nephew? What can I bring him? There were no bookstores here to find a book on Costa Rica. I thought that the airport might have a little, 'recuerdo', that I wold be able to bring back. As I walked along the shores with my friend B we were picking up and noticing the wonderful rocks and beautiful shells.
We found many sand dollars! That of course sparked another line of questions, what exactly is a sand dollar!?
They are so beautiful and have such precision and beauty in their design. We found so many of them on the beach, they looked unreal.

So I decided to bring my nephew back a sand dollar. We started to discuss, what is a sand dollar? "A sea urchin", I began. "It is like the left over skeleton of a sea urchin."

"What's a sea urchin?" my nephew replied. And so the conversation has started. We got the computer open to start searching for the different kinds of sea urchins and what they look like and how they move. "How do they move on it's spine? What do they eat? Why do they look like that?"

Gifts come in all shape and sizes. How you talk about them and let the gifts grow into something larger is all up to you! Hope you are enjoying your summer and reading!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


So, the nephew and I and his day care- all went raspberry picking yesterday in the Canadian heat! Mama R doused us in natural lavender bug spray and off we went to pick. Mama R taught us to pick the truly red berries, not the pink ones. My nephew quickly became an expert! He filled his bucket and his tummy at the same time.

Today they are making, confiture. Mama R wanted all the kids to know the process it takes to make jam! So, all the kids picked the berries, and today they will make the jam. They will have been a part of each and every step of the process. The farm also had goats, sheep and lambs, a llama, chickens, ponies and rabbits. My nephew quickly fell in love. He loves feeding the animals.

These kinds of experiences, visiting a farm, going picking berries, and cooking help to build knowledge and love for the world we live. It also sparks a new reading interest. Books can introduce you to places, new people, and great new activities! Experiences, out in the world, help to introduce you to new passions and interests to continue researching in books! Field trips, outings, exploring the natural are all entry points into new content and new books.

Bobbie Kalman has some beautiful books about the natural world that have inviting photo and wonderful text and information to read. She also does a nice job with diagrams, charts, and maps that help kids put together the information.

My nephew recently went to Orlando with his grandparents and visited Sea World. He is sure that he wants to be a diver. He wants to study whales. The interest has sparked a lot of 'play acting' and reading about orcas and dolphins and all things ocean. It has also helped to introduce him to a whole new vocabulary.

Going to the farm, has done the same thing! It has sparked an interest in plants and in farm animals. It has triggered interest, new reading material and a whole set of questions that he now wants to pursue.

Today he is making raspberry jam. He will make it and eat it! Later he will retell the whole process to the family! Then we will look up the raspberry plants and we will open our plant books to think about plants and how they are important to us and the world.

Here is a recipe for jam to make some at your house. If Mama R gives us her recipe, we will pass it on to you!

Enjoy the world! Get out and explore! Maybe it will just be your back yard or a patch of sidewalk, maybe even mountain. Enjoy the read.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Viva Espana

We did. We watched soccer all afternoon. We went over to our friends' giant loft, J and C, to see the match. It was perfect for us. My nephew lasted the whole game, reenacting much of the 'drama' in the game. After seeing player after player 'dive' for the ball, he too then (with me) would act out the scene of how it happened. We are glad we stayed to watched the entire game- to even see Spain finally make the winning gooooooal!

We came ready. We brought all of my nephew's soccer books, including a couple of new ones. They came in handy, especially at half time. We brought our biography of Pele. We also brought Let's Play Soccer.

His new book, Goal! is a story about young boys playing soccer in South Africa. His other new one is a simple Hello Reader, Soccer Game! about kids playing the game as well.

After the game, we drove the park, where the cars kept streaming by with the flags and a lot of honking! I hope you all enjoyed the world cup as much as we did and learned a lot about the world like we did as well! It happens once every 4 years. Next WC, my nephew will be 7!

Enjoy the read! Enjoy your summer!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two Blogs I Am Loving

My friend, Papa M and his son, B flew to South Africa to watch the World Cup. I gave you the link on facebook and hopefully you have already been following them. They started a blog together to both comment on the games they watch live and on TV as well as their travels around the country! It is a wonderful thing to read together with your kids!

The Literary Family is part of the kidslitophere. On this list serve are many different blogs about children's literature. I found one that I love with book reviews of wonderful books! The blogger at AAkidsBookTalks feature books that are about African Americans! Check out these great books and add them to your libraries at home!

Enjoy the read!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Wonderful Non-Fiction Series!

Incredible Ocean!: Eye-Opening Photos of Life Underwater by PlayBac

Last week I was in Florida visiting my family. My nephew and sister flew in from Italy to spend a couple of weeks seaside with the family. I went down to visit and brought with me, Incredible Ocean! My nephew- in one day- had soaked in the amazing photographs and brief descriptions of these fascinating creatures in the ocean. We live right by the aquarium and my nephew is obsessed with dolphins and whales! So this book was perfect! He absorbed the specific vocabulary and was able to retell to me - after one read- all these interesting little tidbits about these wonderful animals.

Snuggle up on the sofa and spend hours studying the photographs and learning about the deep ocean. This is a wonderful new series that will for sure help all of us understand and learn more about the world!

Enjoy the read, enjoy the learning!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Can the World Cup in Soccer be considered a literary event? I think, yes! Absolutely!
My family, especially my sister and I, have become big World Cup watching fans since the 1994 games. We have evening viewing with different friends, filled with food and fun, shouting and cheering at televisions.

This year will be my nephew's first World Cup games. He and his babysitter, Super A, are big soccer players themselves. In the summer, they 'train' together. My nephew loves to read about soccer as well. Let's Play Soccer, last summer, became a favorite to read just before nap time!

For most of the games we all will be at my parent's house and I am sure soccer will be on most of the time! What a great time to learn, not just about soccer but about different places in the world!

For one, the games are being played in South Africa! There will also be 32 different countries participating. Bring your computers out as you are watching the matches! Surf the Internet for photos and short articles of the different places. Research together the places where they are playing the matches and where the teams are from.

Search the Internet for data and statistics about the teams and the players. get to know them - not only by watch the games but by reading information together about the games and the players and the places!

Who will you cheer for? In my family we are big fans of the Brazilian team, but often we root for the underdogs! My nephew will have just gotten back from a vacation in Italy, so my guess is he will have the reigning champs in his heart!

Soccer too can be a literary bonding event! Enjoy the games! Enjoy the reads!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Host a Literary Party: A Book Swap

It's summertime, a perfect time to begin to make your summer reading lists. A great way to think about what to read, is a really good book recommendation.

My friend, Auntie J and I were talking about starting up a book club for ourselves and good friends. But the truth is, many times, we don't all want to read the same book at the same time in time to discuss it at a formal meeting.

What we ended up forming is what we call, The Accidental Book Club. It is a group of us who love to read books and then we pass on to each other the books we especially love. Then we all, after a couple of months end up reading some of the same books! We decided that we should have 'monthly meetings' with the ABC, to be able to have a 'book swap'. Instead of everyone talking about one book, we will talk about and exchange many books!

Accidental Book Club #2

Why not have a literary party with kids. Have them all bring their favorite books that they have recently read, whether it be a board book or picture book they have read a zillion times or a novel they just finished. They can tell each other why they loved it and then swap it for a new book that one of their friends read. Have some snacks on hand. Maybe even the adults can swap books too! Make it a family event! A party of books!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Letters and Mail

After spending a nice weekend or little vacation with my nephew always sparks a need to remain in communication with him, even long distance. My nephew, as you know, loves to 'skype' his long distance family!

Growing up in Michigan, my dad and I always enjoyed checking the mail for great letters sent from far away. my great-aunt Odie and I for years used to send each other letters. Letters these days, through the US Mailing system is called, snail mail. I was thinking about how nice it would be for my nephew to experience receiving mail, and reading a handwritten letter.

So I've decided, post-trip/visitation, I would send a series of letters for him- via snail mail. My mom made him his own, 'mail box' inside to keep the letters by 'his desk'. Now my nephew has his stacks of letters I've sent him so that he can remember our 'times' together and think of me whenever he sees them and reads them.

Send your loved ones letters! They can hold on to your words, thoughts, and memories even when you live long distance!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Creating Poetry in A Hammock

Little Boy J and I were relaxing in the hammock out back near the pool. We snuggled close and LBJ said, "Wrap me up in a towel!" After he got all wrapped up he said, "I am like a burrito wrapped up in a towel."

I told him, "That sounds like poetry! Let's make a poem!" LBJ smiled and said, "Yeh, let's write a poem in the air."

So we started to 'write one in the air'.

I am wrapped up in towels
like a burrito
sitting in the hammock
looking up at the pine-coned tree
waiting for an airplane to fly by.

Curl up under a tree. Dip your feet in a pool. Walk gingerly around a garden. Write your poems together 'in the air' and let the sound of words fill up the beautiful space between you.

Enjoy! Summer is here!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Kids Love Jazz

Kids love Jazz music. This CD, Jazz for Kids, is one of my nephew's favorites (and my sister's as well). There are a whole series of biographies of famous jazz artists for young children.

My nephew has a few! Sean Qualls has illustrated many. One about Ella and one about John Coltrane.
Before John Was A Jazz Giant and Skit Skat Raggedy Cat.

Introduce your kids to the sounds and people of Jazz!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Linking up networked blogs!

Hope it works.
Trying to be more 'linked up'.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kids Can Be Lawyers?

Mentor Mommy S, the kids, and I headed off to Grandma L's house this weekend. We parked ourselves in the back yard, underneath the giant trees, in the hammocks and lounge chairs with water by our sides. We all took out our books. Cousin M came running out of his house to the back where we were with his book in hand. He is reading, Theodroe Boone: Kid Lawyer By John Grisham.

Cousin M, who is a 4th grader and a big fan of Harry Potter, loves it! Says that, "It's the best book he has read in awhile!"

Looking for a great book because the kids you know have read everything? This sounds like a fun one! Don't miss it!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A New Series to Read

My friend Writer A, has come out with a new series for kids to read! It is about a little girl who loves office supplies and is ready for her first career! If you are looking for a new series book for your 7-10 years old, this will be a great one!

Enjoy the read!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Getting Ready for Baby #2

I have a bunch of friends who this spring will have Baby Number 2. I am baby number 2 in my family and I know that families spend a lot of time wondering about us. Will we sleep as much much as baby #1? Will we fuss and cry more? What about eating? I can tell you this for sure- being baby 2 and watching countless friends have more than 1 baby- you can bet that the baby will be different and their own person. Not necessarily for the better or the worse, just different!

Little Mai-Mai will soon have a new baby this spring ( we don’t know if it is a boy or girl). We are all preparing her with, 'Big Sister' helpful tips and thinking about ways that she can help out. Often when I give a baby gift I give a gift to both kids. Little Mai-Mai is 2, on her way to 3!. So to see her new sibling, showered with attention and gifts seems really hard to understand, unless she too is celebrated in this new family event.

As the number 2 baby, I am also quite sensitive that number 2 receives some things that feel special and unique for them. 'Hand me downs', from one family to the next, can be given in such a way that can be beautiful and feel new. It is true that they are babies and they don’t know the difference. But just the thought of special present for the baby, that wasn't once the older siblings, will feel special.

Having some new books- a fresh connection to people – something that will bond you and the baby together is also a nice and important statement to make- and to continue making.

When Little Sister L was born- Little Boy J got a couple of new books from me and I gave to LSL, Won't You Be My Kissaroo and Won't You Be My Hugaroo.

LBJ read many of the books alongside Mentor Mommy S and LSL. Bonding over a LSL’s new books. Not so bad having a new girl or boy in the family.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Musical Theater

I think I have posted before about my family's long car trips from Michigan to the Atlantic Ocean. year after year, we would pile into the jeep and head east for some ocean beach and fun. For the two day road trip my mom packed up little goodie bags, treats, books, and gigantic tape cassette box that held hundreds (might be a slight exaggeration) of our favorite tapes. Of course we had my mom's favorites, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, and John Denver. We also had my dad's, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte. There was always plenty of classical tapes and there were musicals. Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Annie, A Chorus Line and the list goes on. I think the show tunes were always our favorites. At least I think we sang them the loudest.

Well, last summer, Baby C watched his first musical on DVD with his cousins, the Sound of Music. It was an immediate favorite and has become a cornerstone in many conversations in their household. This past December, my nephew watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, starring Donnie Osmond, with his friend 8 year old J from North Carolina. They watched it over and over again. Singing and dancing together. They would even perform little shows for the moms to watch. Go, Go, Go Joseph! Was the talk and 'shout' of the town. Everything was about Joseph. My nephew ate it up!

Musical theater! Toddlers love it! Great visual literacy at work! Enjoy the watch! Enjoy the read!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Last Day of Poetry Month!

It may be the last day of of our month long celebration of poetry, but I want to encourage you to read and listen to poetry all year long.

Listening poems read aloud is a musical experience! Here is another beautiful collection of poetry for kids that also is recorded on cd.

Enjoy the poems on the page, in the car, or on your ipods.

Enjoy the read! Happy Poetry Month to You!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Last Song- Movie Watching with the Girls

As you know, Auntie CC and I took all the girls to see, The Last Song, starring Miley Cyrus. We all loved it. Most of us cried. After the movie we had to discuss the events of the movie.

After I read, watch a movie, or even go on a vacation, I like to retell it and remember and linger upon the best parts. It's an important skill to be able to identify significant parts and be able to analyze why they are significant- both to the text and to our own lives.

I don't want to give away our favorite parts and significance that we found in the movie- trust me, our car load of girls came up with many. So I will just describe the conversation and how it went. It took some of us awhile to really decide which parts meant more to us than others and why. It is easy to say, "I like the part when.... happened." It is harder to then explore, "Why?" It is in this next step that leads us to a more interpretative understanding of books, characters, movies or even life.

As we turned the corner to the nieces' house, Little A said, "Wait! I have a fourth favorite part!" Before we emptied ourselves onto the sidewalk, we all pondered this next part of the film. Remembering our predictions and lingering on what actually happened in the movie. We all talked about this last part. Then we ran into the house and ate Easter supper!

After watching a film or reading a book, find out from the people in your Literary Family, what are their favorite parts and why?

Enjoy the reading!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The First Birthday: Some Suggestions

As I made the list of books for 2 years olds- I realized I have a bunch of friends this spring who have babies are turning one! Let me just suggest a few winners that my dear little man, my nephew loved on his first birthday.

Busy Doggies. It is actually a whole series of books, A Busy Book Series, that talks about busy animals. Busy Chickens, Busy Horsies, Busy Barnyard Animals.

Off We Go by Jane Yolen, is a beautiful, sing-song book of animals going to grandma's house. Very sweet, very fun.

Choo Choo Cickety Clack By Margaret Mayo, is a fun rhythmic text about trains. Big winner with the train obsessed nephew!

Have fun with the new reads!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Read Poetry By Children

Georgia Heard, a poet I have mentioned in the blog before, features children as poets in her book, For the Good of the Earth and Sun: Teaching Poetry. Georgia is both a poet who writes to teach teachers, to teach adults (Writing Towards Home) and to teach children. Her new book, A Place for Wonder: Reading and Writing Nonfiction in the Primary Grades byGeorgia Heard and Jen McDonough, is sure to be a wonderful one, not just for teachers but for families too.

A wonderful way to celebrate poetry month is to read poems by other children. Some of our favorite poets have published books that feature children as the poets! Salting the Ocean: 100 Poems by Young Poets, edited and compiled by Naomi Shihab Nye, is a beautiful poetry book with magnificent illustrations.


As you look for poetry books to celebrate this month- consider a book that celebrates children first! Children are natural poets! Happy Poetry Month to You!