Sunday, January 31, 2010

Picture Books That Kids Are Loving at School and Home

Mama J, Little Moon, and I were in Seattle at The Secret Garden Bookstore. We were in the section that had lots of picture books and board books for kids to pick up and browse on their own. There was even a little table for kids to sit around as they were reading. A little boy, about 4 years old, was there with his mom. He ran up to her, book in hand, and shouted, "We have this book at home! We have this book! I love this book." His mom looked at him holding a paperback copy of "Caps For Sale".

"No, we don't have that book. Maybe you do in school." She moved on to a new section of the store and continued browsing for 'other' books. My heart dropped a little and I thought about the power of connecting books read at school and at home. Building kids' love of books between the two spaces and locations, help kids to understand how we all can be connected through books.

Here are a few picture books your kids might be reading in school that you would like to have at home or books that you would like to give as a gift to your school. Teachers love gifts of books!

Wednesday Kirwan has a new picture book series about an adorable little Boston Terrier named Minerva. She is quite mischievous and fiercely independent. It is a nice companion text with Julius Baby of the World, Peter's Chair, and Noisy Nora.

My friend Cheryl, a principal in the Bronx, said that her kids and teachers are loving the book, "Let's Get A Pup!" said Kate. This book not only shows the love and responsibility for taking care of a pet but also addresses the issue of rescuing animals. Compassion is at the heart of this book. It is also carefully crafted and is a nice exemplar of how to write a story.
Another beautifully
crafted story, told in the first person, is Mama's Saris. It is a story about a young girl and her desire to not only wear a sari for the first time, but to have her mother recognize how much she has grown.

Two more wonderful picture books wildly popular in school: Fly Guy and Too Many Toys.

Fly Guy is a hilarious series about a boy and his pet fly! In each book the two of them get into trouble. Fly Guy (a superhero-ish character) saves the day. Your kids will be laughing out loud.

Too Many Toys is a wonderful book about a little boy's house over run by toys! David Shannon has yet again captured the true essence of childhood!

Connect the reading life of kids at home with their reading lives at school! Share your favorite books with the teachers in your life. They will be be forever grateful.

Happy reading to you all.

Post here your favorite books that you have given to your teachers or that you have bought because of the reading work they do at school!

Help us expand our libraries! Do share.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A New Series For the Little People!

Congratulations Mo Willems! So excited for a new series! Series are great for all readers!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Can I Read? Organize Your Child's Library at Home

Brand New Readers are wonderful books for kids who are beginning to learn how to read. They give parents and caregivers tips for how to introduce the book and help the child throughout the book. Many are funny. There are several books about the same character (usually 8). They are the easiest of series books that exist!

Mentor Mommy S has a little boy in Kindergarten. We have been watching closely since birth his reading development. By the age of 4, Little Boy J was starting to read books like the Brand New Readers Series. His favorite characters were Worm and Piggy. He would read these books over and over and laugh out loud as he read them. We went crazy! MMS went out got every Brand New Reader pack she could find! Little Boy J was in heaven!
Two weeks ago MMS recruited me to help re-organize Little Boy J's library. She wanted his books to be more easily accessible, to resemble his classroom library at school, and to motivate him to read more at home!

We pulled all of the books off of his shelf. MMS got beautiful new baskets and took out index cards and clips to name the new baskets. MMS, LBJ and I began to sort the books that he had. We asked him, what kind of baskets should we make. Little Boy J came up with, "Books I Can Read", "Star Wars Books", "Creatures", "Books I Want Mom and Dad to Read Me" to name a few. We kept sorting and making piles with him.

What a great idea- to really look for all the books that Little Boy J can read. Now MMS told me that he tries to read other books in other baskets and shelves, because he really wants to re-categorize it and put more books in his, "Books I Can Read" basket.

You might find that you have shelves and shelves of books! In many cases, kids don't even know what they have! Organizing your libraries at home so that kids can find books and sort books in different categories, helps them to read with more variety and purpose. It also helps them begin to see connections between the way their books are organized and how schools, libraries and bookstores organize their books.

Help your kids feel the power of their own libraries. Help them to discover what treasures they have. Help them see themselves as readers.

What kinds of baskets and categories did your kids make at home?

The Power of Siblings: Remembering Salinger

Growing up, I never considered myself a big reader. In fact, I read VERY little on my own, let alone in school. There were three books in Middle/High School that I remember reading- because of the sole fact that my sister told me to. I read- The Night by Elie Wiesel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and The Catcher in the Rye. I actually read the whole book and not just the back cover like I usually did for classroom assignments. Probably the strong narrative voice hooked me in and I was finally able to connect and see what the reading experience could be like. I am sure though that without the recommendation from my sister, I might never had picked up these powerful books and finished them. I always looked up to my sister and I wanted to be half of the reader and thinker that she was (and still is today). The right book and the right person giving me the book let me see what reading could be.

JD Salinger passed away today, but his books will live on.
Think about the books for you that helped you to understand what reading is or that got you "hooked" on reading. Then pass those on to the younger people in your life!

Look at your literary family. Get them talking to each other- you never know what will help unleash the wild world of reading to another!

Learn about Science Through Songs

Do you remember listening to, They Might Be Giants, 15 years ago? I do. When M and A called and told me they were taking me to a kids' rock concert I thought to myself- How cute! How funny? How will that go? I asked them who we were going to see. M, with a huge smile taking over her face shouted, "They Might Be Giants!!!" I had to see this. Apparently, TMBG have produced a grammy winning CD, Here Come the 1,2,3s. At the concert they sang the song, Alphabet of Nations (From Here Comes the ABCs. See a pattern?) M and A started singing along, jumping and dancing. This concert featured their new album, Here Comes Science. They sang Why Does The Sun Really Shine? and Solid, Liquid, Gas. As the audience sang with the Giants they were grooving not only to the music, but to the information they were learning. The concert was very hip! Parents dancing with their kids, kids on shoulders, babies dancing close the stage- and confetti dropped on us three times! Highly entertaining. The car ride home was full of enthusiasm, questions and music!

I decided to get my nephew the CD. I thought it would be great for the car and special treat for him. He is not the biggest fan of the car- the city baby that he is. I wanted to take him this past winter vacation to little events outside the city! So I thought, Let me get some educational entertainment and make the car ride fun and interactive! Each time we got in I played the CD. By the 4th car ride, he was requesting the music and the songs to play. We decided on our favorites and would play those first and then we even picked favorite parts of songs that we would play, LOUD (don't tell grandma). His favorite tracks, The Elements, Let's Take A Ride in An Electric Car, and Science is Real. Nothing is cuter than a 2 year saying- "We are mostly made of 4 elements." Really? "Yeh Ogeyen." Cute. Just cute.

Create conversations about the natural world, about space, about science. Get Here Comes Science by TMBG. You will be talking for days to explain, explore and figure it all out. You will probably learn a few new tidbits along the way!

Go to this blog for more ideas of music (night music) to get for your babies!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Teach History: Teach Zinn

Today we lost a wonderful scholar and writer. Howard Zinn not only wrote and spoke to adults but he also wrote for kids- so that they could grow up to be responsible citizens in the world.

He will be greatly missed. He left a wonderful legacy to be proud of and one that we can depend upon to read and teach our kids about history, justice and the world.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Help Kids See Where Books Belong

I have always wanted to do an episode about books for Oprah (I suppose now I have to dream of a new show) where I show and help parents build their child's libraries at home. One of the first things I would do is to seek out the number of places and space where their books could be shelved, housed and displayed for easy reading enjoyment: Books about food and cooking in the kitchen (Kitchen for Kids, Betty Crocker's Kids Cook, Omnivore's Dilemma For Kids), books about peeing and pooping, magazines, (Everybody Poops, Time To Pee, Ranger Rick, Ask, Muse) and other old favorites in the bathroom. Think about your own reading life. Do you have reading materials throughout your household? The beautiful art books near your piano, the stack of books about work near your desk, and the newspaper on your dining room table?

This weekend Mama J took me to meet her friend, Kristin Loffer Theiss- an amazing artist living in Mount Vernon Washington. She took me to her studio to see what things I needed to buy on Etsy and bring home for my nephew. Kristin sews and makes these beautiful pillows,plush dolls, shirts and more in the upstairs of her house in her studio. Throughout her home there are books for her two year old little boy- from the living room all the way up into her studio.

Her home is decorated with books! They are strategically and artfully placed. In her studio she has all of his art books: A Charley Harper ABC, Calder's life story, The Red Balloon to name a few. His books, are right next to her magazines. Studios are places where you work and you read.

The family that reads together, sticks together! Decorate your house with books. Make books accessible for kids and be able to see reading possibilties everywhere. What special rooms in your house do you have books for kids? Post here.

Read this blog to think more about spreading the love of books around your home.

Follow Kids' Passions and Interests and They Will Read More

My god son came home from school with his assignment for the weekend: Read Little House on The Prairie and write a book report.

I won't comment on the assignment or book choice- that is for another posting. Read here if you want more.

What I want to talk about is his reaction- "I don't want to do my homework. I don't want to read." Too many statements like this and I get worried about the future of his reading life. Finding books that capture his attention and keep him engaged is not as easy a task as I thought.

Over the years I had gotten him lots of non fiction books about animals and recently I gave him some chapter books about sports, baseball, football, and basketball. He got very upset with me. "Titi, you just don't understand what kind of books I like anymore. It's like you don't know me." He was quite upset. I didn't understand. He loves to watch sports with his grandpa and he plays basketball and we had read numerous other sport books together.

I was glad that he could articulate what he was feeling. I felt awful. It was true that I hadn't seen him for a long time and engaged him in a conversation about the books that he was presently enjoying. I wasn't tuned in with what he was interested about- in the world.

So we talked about what he was into and thinking a lot about recently. Here is a list of the kinds of books that he told me how is presently interested and invested in reading.

1. Graphic Novels: Bones, Amelia Rules! A Blog.
2. Greek Mythology: The Lightening Thief Series. Any books that tell the stories of Zeus.
3. Books about People who try and save the world (super heroes)

Talking with our kids and finding out what their latest passions and interests are always a good thing to nurture to their reading lives. It is a way in to connect and find ways to motivate them as readers and learners and frankly, just people interested in the world.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Reading Alongside Our Kids

I have been in many book clubs. Book clubs have always been a place for me to discover new authors and content, bond with friends, and push me as a reader. One afternoon as AB and I were browsing in a book shop we came across Wicked. AB said to me, "Oh, I really want to see that Broadway Show!" I told her that I did as well! I suggested to AB that we get two copies of it- one for her and one for me- and that we should read it, talk about it and then go see the show together. She was game! And so began our book club.

When M and A invited me to the beach last spring, I had to bring something. I didn't want to show up empty handed. For the the adults I brought wine. For the kids I brought books for us to read and share together. I brought the picture book- Listen to The Wind for M. Listen to the Wind is the story of how Greg Mortensen was rescued in the mountains of Pakistan and nursed to health. He returned to the village that saved him, to help build a school! M is the kind of person who loves books about saving the world and helping others. For her birthday this year she asked everyone to bring food rather than presents. She was then able to take all the food her friends and family collected to her local food bank. So, I knew that this book choice would grab her attention. I had read Three Cups of Tea first. How wonderful that there is a version for younger kids to read and talk about a topic and issue in the world together!

I did the same with Wangri Maathai. When she won the Peace Prize I decided I wanted to get to know her better as well as her lifelong work in Kenya. I read Through The Greenbelt Movement and Unbowed: A memoir. Planting the Trees of Kenya and Wangari's Trees of Peace are two beautiful books published for kids. What a great dialog that this can create about reading and the world!

For my god son's 8th birthday I gave him: From Akira to Zoltan. I wanted to introduce him to the world of biographies and people who have made a difference in the world! What a great way to continue building the idea of strong male role models! This set off an inquiry about people and history! He continued to look for other biographies- He got inspired to read a couple of biographies about Gandhi and Barack Obama! I followed along! I found for myself The Essential Guide to Gandhi. I also had read Obama's first autobiography Dreams From My Father, but still needed to read, The Audacity of Hope. So the two of us read biographies- side by side!

Create a book club with the kids in your life and find ways to connect your reading life to theirs! You will find that not only will you peak their interest in a topic- but they will inspire you to read more deeply as well!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Throw Back to The 70s: An Interview with a Toddler and Her Mother

I am visiting with my friends in Mount Vernon Wa, an hour north of Seattle! In honor of Little Moon's birthday (2 years old) and the new year- I brought her three books- Tomie DePaola's, Te Amo Sol, Te Amo Luna, Opposites by Eye Like, and A Child's Day An Alphabet of Play, By Ida Pearle.

I decided that I would conduct my first interview with Little Moon (2 years old) and her mom- Mama J. I asked them, "What are Little Moon's favorite books here that she likes to read?"

Mama J pulled out a few favorites that tended to be the books that Little Moon would pull and read on her own or ask Mama J or Papi read!

I Can Blink

We Like Kindergarten

People In My Family

Hand Hand Fingers Thumb

The Pokey Little Puppy

I looked at Mama J and I was like, "You still have these? Golden Books?" She told me that her mother saved all of her childhood books (and more) so that when she had a daughter, she could have the same things as she did when she was a child. Yes- it was like going back in time!

Finally Little Moon emerged with her own books in hand- A big and little copy of Backyard Circus! Mama J started laughing! "She really does read that all the time- mostly on her own!"

We were on our way out the door, to go to brunch, when Little Moon rushed to get her books. Little moon then proceeded to get into her car seat with book in hand. When her straps were on, she opened Backyard Circus and read it- numerous times until we arrived at our destination.

What is so beautiful is not that she loves Backyard Circus but that she has interests and that she wants to carry on her interests in the car as we go to brunch. Oh, Little Moon! What a reader you are!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reading Maps- Is Fun and a Skill

Yesterday, Mama J and Little Moon and I went down the street to pick up two of their neighbors! We were headed to Deception Pass. We picked up M, a 7th grader and R, a fifth grader. Mama J works with M at the Middle School in town. She works with kids whose parent are Migrant Workers- mostly Mixteco families from Oaxaca Mexico. During the school year M is a typical 7th grader- but in the summer she will join the family in the fields of WA to pick fruit to help contribute to income of her family.

As we started the drive into the mountains- Mama J said to the girls in the backseat- "I am going to need help on the drive and want you to follow along in the atlas where we are going. That way you know where we are and where we are headed. You will also be able to tell others where you went and if you want to come back you will have a sense of how to get here."

M said, "But I don't know how to read a map."
Mama J, "That's why we will practice! It will be fun!"

What a great idea. Reading maps with kids, as we drive in our cars, take our trains and buses, let's them into a whole new world and terrain of reading. The whole drive to Deception Pass and home, M and R read the map and found all the highways, state parks, lakes, peaks and towns that we passed through! By the end we were giving each other quizzes to remember where we had been and where it was on the atlas!

Since I was in the "interviewing mode" I thought I would find out what was going on in their reading lives! "What do you guys like to read?"

M told me, "I like the Twilight Series. I also read the The Lightening Thief." We started swapping titles to test to see if the other had read it. R told me, "I don't like to read. It's too hard." Well that was the call! We all decided to try and find what kinds of books R would like! We headed to the bookstore to explore different options- authors, genres and topics!
We came away with two books, Grace Lin's new book, Where the Mountains Meet the Moon and Ann Martin's book, A Dog's Life.

When driving in the car ride home, I asked, "M, when did reading become something that you loved?" M responded, "After I read Twilight. I just loved it. And then I just wanted to read more. Before I didn't like reading like R. I didn't like what I had to read and I didn't know it could be so much fun. I am almost done with all the books. My sister is reading them too, in Spanish. I think after I finish my books, I might want to read R's books too!" Twilight, I thought, should win a medal for inspiring kids to read!

I asked R, "So what are you thinking now about reading?" R responded with a smile on her face, "I can't wait to read the one about China first! I think I am going to really like them." "Don't worry," said M, "I'll tell you how she does!" "I'm not worried," I said.

We dropped them back off to their home. Watched them run up the stairs to find their family! Traveling with books, maps and atlases are a great time to have and an important skill to develop as well. Using them on a short or a long trip to help navigate, orient you to your world, and hold onto memories to tell and explain to others, will help widen their reading world! Sharing reading with your neighbors and talking about your reading life and theirs can help widen your own literary family. Open your arms and see how far they can reach!

Happy travels and reading to you!

Giving the Gift of an Author

When my god son was born- 9 years ago- I was on the hunt for board books which featured characters of color. I wanted to make sure that at home, he would have a library books that were beautiful, fun, interesting and that would reflect people who looked similar to him and his family. So for his 1st birthday I gave him the gift of two authors- two authors who write for babies as well as for teenagers- Angela Johnson and Eloise Greenfield. I bought him three books with "Joshua" who is the central character in the book- Joshua's Night Whispers, Joshua By the Sea, and Baby Birds. I also bought him a series of board books, My Daddy and I and I Make Music.

I thought- not only a book is a great gift- but a few books from the same author can teach a couple of beautiful things. One thing that it teaches is that when you love an author you should look and seek out other books by that author. It also is a nice way to introduce an author who the child will be able to read at various ages!

My friends in Los Angeles just adopted 3 year twins! When I went out to visit and meet them for the first time I knew I had to bring some books! So for the twins- and their 18 month old sister, I brought 6 books by Mo Willems! If you have never read anything by Mo, you need to run out the door now and go to your local bookstore and buy something by him right now (or just click
on your favorite bookstore on online)! He is funny. His books have beautiful little tips and messages for kids. They are super engaging- the art as well as the language- and did I mention that they are LOL funny? I gave them: Leo, Piggy and Gerald,Piggy and Gerald 2, Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus, Don't Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late, and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.

For M's birthday this year I got her one of my favorite authors - who I was hoping would become one of hers- Carmen Agra Deedy. A beautiful storyteller. I gave M: 14 Cows, The Library Dragon, The Yellow Star. Now I can't leave her brother A out of the picture. I got him, the Quebecois writer- Melanie Watt. She writes two popular series: Scaredy Squirrel and Chester. A was laughing out loud reading the Scaredy Squirrel books!

Looking for a "Welcome to Your New Home Gift", a "Birthday Gift", or even a "House Warming Gift"? Give the gift of an author! You'll be building a library that teaches and offers more than just the stories!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Two and A Half Year Olds Love Trains, Trucks, and Boats

I don't know why or where my nephew's passion for transportation and construction came from. When he was a baby, there was a construction site literally outside his window for about the entire first year (and a half) of his life. I remember standing at the window just watching and walking down the street with him always gazing at the amazement of the diggers and cranes and dump trucks work! He spent a lot of time at his grandparent's home- which over looks the loading docks of large cargo ships with a passing train off in the distance! My nephew and dad spent hours on the balcony admiring the work and noises below and in the distance.

The Toddlers in my life are obsessed with vehicles: trains, trucks, and boats- oh my! One of the first books that my nephew fell in love with was a book by Kevin Lewis called, Chugga Chugga Choo Choo. A book with heavy rhythm and rhyme. I think my nephew knew the book by heart by the age of one. Guess what the next book was that I got my nephew? That's right, Tugga Tugga Tug Boat! A similar pattern- but with boats at a loading dock.

Because my nephew loves trains so much, I nurtured this love by buying him books that go on the book shelf in the "train section". He has a Smithsonian board book about trains. He of course has the Byron Barton book, Trains (he also has Boats, Planes, and Machines At Work). Donald Crews, one of our family's favorite authors, has a great award winning book, Freight Train. Recently I just bought him a picture book called, The Goodnight Train. For two weeks straight we read and reread his book at least 5 times a night!

Dig Dig Digging and Road Work are two books that my nephew loves to have me reread many times. He too, likes to pick them up and read them on "his own". He also takes his own trucks and acts out the scenes and mimics the language from the book while he plays. If he shows an interest in a topic- I go out and find the books that go with his interests. His vocabulary alone about trucks is more advanced than most adults. Do you know the difference between a loader and a bulldozer?

Peter Sis has a little series of books, Trucks, Trucks, Trucks and Fire Truck that my nephew loves to read. These books are about a little boy named Matt- also obsessed with ...
trucks. The book shows you how he turns his home into a construction zone and into a fire fighting rescue mission. These books are a favorite of ours as well.

If the Toddler in your life loves trains, boats, and trucks- these are just a few books that you can get to feed their passion.

Kids have passions at all ages- even as early as one! Find their passion and follow them with books!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome to the World Baby Sade!

Sade, so glad you are finally here!
Congratulations Mama  and Papa!

One of your heros and mine- a song to celebrate!

Lullaby Version

One love, one heart
Let's get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One love)
So shall it be in the end (One heart)
Alright, "Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
"Let's get together and feel all right."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Celebrating the Life of Martin Luther King Jr

Today is a day that we remember the life and dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. We remember his legacy and his lessons to try and become better citizens in this world. Some people read his speeches with their kids (or excerpts).

Some families listen all together to his speeches read on an audio version. Discussing his life and his actions as a family help kids not only make sense of the past but also that of the present.

Audio Version of Drum Major Instinct

A beautiful biography picture, Martin's Big Words, is a lovely book to read with your kids at home that helps to tell the story of his life. A Sweet Smell of Roses is another beautiful story of kids taking a stand. You may even decide to read other biographies of people who made and are making a difference in the world. Akira to Zoltan or Amelia to Zora. Two winners.

Reading/listening to his speeches or finding a biography to read- gives your family a connection with this important holiday.

I hope you spend the day peaceful, helping others- together.

Bring Back a Book as a Souvenir

When I was a little girl, my grandfather's brother, Uncle Teddy, traveled the globe! Every time he came from a new country, Korea or Thailand, he always brought me back a doll from that place. Not only did I end up with this beautiful collection of dolls, but I also ended up with a beautiful memory of my Uncle. Why not do the same with books!

In the spring I went to visit my sister and nephew in Dubai and Beirut. I was trying to think of something I could bring back to my friends that captured the essence of my travels. Suddenly I found myself in a bookshop- and I realized, books about the country would be a perfect souvenir to bring back for my friends. You're Too Little is a sweet little book about a boy who wants to help his family build a dhow- a boat. After his family tells him he is too little, he decides to build his own boat. I bought it for my nephew (2 years old) as a souvenir to remember his trip on the Dhow he took in Oman. I brought it back for Baby C to share with him the place I had visited. He immediately adopted it as favorite read!

I work a lot in California. This summer I flew back to Montreal to see my nephew after I spent a week in San Diego. I can't come and visit him without a book. One of his favorite books at home is 1,2,3 New York. He loves saying, "Titi lives in New York!" He is also obsessed with counting the hot dogs and water towers. As I browsed a local bookshop in San Diego I found- 1,2,3 California. It made a perfect souvenir! Surf boards became his favorite thing to count!

When I came back from the Philippines, I wanted to bring back some books that I would give to my nephew. I wanted to show him about the new and latest place I had just visited. I brought back some fairy tales and My First Words in Tagalog!

What a nice way to remember a trip you have taken or to share with someone about a place that you traveled too. Build your collections documenting the trips and travels you take with books. It is a gift that keeps giving!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Books Make Great Party Favors

Last year for A's 4th birthday, he decided (his little 4 year old self) that he would have each of his friends bring a new book (unwrapped), one of their favorites, to his party. A and his sister, M, each brought a book themselves. Mom and Dad had two extras just in case someone forgot. As the guests arrived, M and A displayed the books at the front table, near the entrance. It was quite a beautiful display. At the end of the party A announced, "Now everyone can go to the book table and pick the book you want to take home!" How sweet, right? A book swap as a party favor. You can bet some kids took home the book they brought! There was a duplicate of a book- which came in handy for the two who wanted the same book. There was an "unexpected sibling" who joined the party, who also got the pleasure of taking home a book. Not candy, not a plastic toy that you will soon throw away. Both A and M walked away from the party satisfied- giving a book to friends and receiving a new one to treasure and to remember the great birthday book swap.

The Twins (set #1) celebrated their first birthday with a beautiful poetry book, Here's a Little Poem, by Jane Yolen, as their party favor. How appropriate since their birthday falls in April- National Poetry Month. Each family that came to the party, walked away with the beautiful book wrapped in a graceful gold ribbon. What a nice way to remember and enjoy your friendship and birthday! Now when my nephew and I read the book at home, we have some favorite poems we always like to read together, but we also always talk about the Twins.

Baby Kate's mom and dad got married 2 years ago. After their wedding they were planning to move to the Philippines for a year. The two of them decided to get married and have a small dinner party with close friends and family at a little Filipino owned restaurant in Soho, Cendrillon. Many people give little mementos to their friends and families so that they will always remember their special day and new partnership. At the end of the evening, they gave each couple/person a copy of the chef's newest cookbook, Memories of Philippine Kitchens. Creative, thoughtful, and delicious!

Books make great party favors! They definitely leave your friends with a strong reminder of your event and the special relationship that you share! Why not share this with the kids and loved ones in your family.

Please post your thoughts and comments. If you think of using books as a party favor for one of your events- let us all know! Post it here! That way we can really - spread the word!

Happy gift giving!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shout Out to Baby Kate!

Welcome to the world Baby Kate 1-12-10! All the way in China. Glad you are with us! I know that you are not in need of a book. (Grandmama took care of that! You have tubs filled with books!)

I hope you listen to Elizabeth Mitchell! She is wonderful for the whole family to listen to together!

Three Little Birds is my favorite! Wish I was there with you!

Baby Showers: Give a Book as a Gift

Books make a great baby shower present. You are helping to create the child's first library of books. Usually parents are overloaded with one-zies and bottles- but what are they going to do with the baby? READ! It is never too early to read with children, to introduce them to the sound of your voice, the sound of books, the sounds of this world!

Typically when people give books, they give- Goodnight Moon and Brown Bear Brown Bear! Be on the look out for new and exciting titles. Otherwise people end up with 5 copies of the same book (which can come in handy- but that is a different post!).

My new favorite baby shower gift is Nikki Grimes' newest board book, Welcome Precious! A perfect addition to new baby's book collection!

I love gifting books that are actually all time favorites of children I know. Good Night Baby - by DK Publishers was my god daughter's all time favorite!

Getting ready for bed books are always welcomed! It helps with establishing routines in the home. Time For Bed- is a beautiful classic by Mem Fox that very few people have in their libraries at home, but a real winner with babies!

Baby C loved This Little Chick By John Lawerence. He loved the sing-song pattern and rhythm in the book. It reads much like a song! Another book with this same quality is I Kissed the Baby- By Mary Murphy. It is fun to read with babies snuggled up close! These books are easy for babies to attend to because of the heavy repetition and sense of music in these texts.

Be different- for the next shower you are invited to- and give the gift of a book! Help lay the corner stones for that child's love for reading! When the baby arrives- you will have a gift that you will be able to share with that child for years to come. Who knows, maybe it will become their oall time favorite book! Remember babies grow out of one-zies!

Wishing you reading smiles.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who Are We?

Dear Member of your own Literary Family,

We are friends and relatives of children at every age! We probably have a love of both the spoken and written word. As we shower the children in our lives with love, who can help but drop pieces of literature, songs, and passion about the world into the hearts and minds of those around us.

Think about who makes up your Literary Family- your own children, nephews/nieces, grandchildren, students, babies and kids of your closet friends? You have the power to help this young person develop into a wise, wordy, intellectual from such a young age. Teach them through different literary genres how to love the world, love themselves and build loving relationships with others!

Weekly, I will try to give you different ways to connect to these kids to help build your own literary family! A family that loves to learn, loves to read, and loves to be with eachother!

Sending you literary joy!