• Top 10 Life Skills Kids Need Before College

    My book list of Top 10 Books to Teach Kids to Be More Responsible made me start to think about life skills that kids need before going off to college. That and the fact that my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, will be starting high school next fall so we have only 4 years to tackle this […]

  • Today I am on the Front Page of The Boston Globe

    Today I am on the front page of The Boston Globe for the past week of posts that I wrote on my microblog, I Love Newton, about the anti-Asian racism in the local high school musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. School play’s stereotypes bring outcry and apology. “Millie” touches nerve in Newton by Ellen Ishkanian, Globe […]

  • Get Kids Reading Strategies: 12 Surefire Ways

    I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports! I started my blog after my oldest […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

    I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. (It’s wonderful. I put it on my  Newbery 2014 Contenders list! And it just won a Middle Grade Fiction Nerdie). Colby Sharp, one of […]

  • Best Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade

    Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

  • How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

    Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.

  • Top 10: Best Dragon Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

    The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog has a great post on dragons that preempted this post but I actually had been working on this for several weeks. There is something magical about dragons and I’m glad that some kids can keep the magic alive. I’ve gathered my favorite dragon books that range in age from picture books to young adult. What is your favorite dragon book? Please share!

  • Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

    I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.

  • Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness!

    Thank you to Hubpages for this information. There are additional book suggestions by grade if click here to see their post. I have added an asterisk to the books that I’ve read and loved (and two astericks for must reads!).

  • Best Picture Books That Teach Math Concepts

    Picture books can be a visual and fun way to introduce math concepts. I think it makes math less intimidating when it’s part of a story. For those kids who love math, it’s another way to eat it up!

Top 10 Truck Books for toddlers and preschool

10 Great Truck Picture Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

PickyKidPix‘s assistant soccer coach has a two-year-old son and he asked me for truck books because he is a little tired of reading Thomas the Train and Mater from Cars books. We both live in Newton, Massachusetts. One of our very favorite authors, Virginia Lee Burton, also lived here so I’ve added two of her books to this list.

Our car had to be towed in a flat bed tow truck. My son thought it was so cool!

What are your favorite truck books? Please share!

Read more…

14 Asian American Picture Books About Food

14 Asian American Picture Books About Food

Being Asian means that you are all about food. Did you know that the greeting in Chinese, 你吃了吗? {Ni (third tone) Chi (first tone) Le (first tone) Ma(third tone), means have you eaten yet?! The family style serving platters set the tone; meals are meant to be eaten together!

dim sum

It’s no surprise that there are quite a few Asian American children’s books centered around food. But you’ll notice that there are two themes to these books; proud to eat Asian food and embarrassed by it.

Chinese bakery

I hope this list will help kids realize that their native foods should be celebrated! What are your favorite Asian American picture books centered around food? Read more…

Social Media Mixer Sunday

Welcome to the very 1st week of the Social Media Mixer, a brand new social media link-up started when the Weekday Mixer and Social Media Sunday joined forces…
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Social Media Mixer-2

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free i spy game from KFC

Family Game Night and a Free I Spy Game from KFC

We usually have a family dinner almost every night. Our pediatrician has told us over and over again about the importance of a daily family meal as one key way to keep your kids off drugs. It’s funny, isn’t it? It’s the little things that really matter.

free i spy game from KFC

What do you spy?

We have not, however, ever attempted a family game night. Out of my three kids, my youngest loves board games the most. He’s usually the one that makes me play games with him like Connect 4, Scrambled States (my personal favorite), checkers, Sleeping Queens, and Blockus. Read more…

Teach Inappropriate Touch to kids at age 3

Teaching Inappropriate Touch to Kids Starting at Age 3

Please welcome my guest author, Selena Smith, who is covering the importance of body safety education for kids starting at age 3.

 

Parents everywhere desperately want to keep their children safe. Children are told over and over not to play in the street, always wear seatbelts, do not talk to strangers, say no to drugs, and the list goes on. However, there is one area that is often left out of these talks, and that is childhood sexual abuse.

Years ago, this was a taboo topic attached to guilt and shame; consequently, victims remained silent. This may be the reason so many adults are now coming forward. These survivors were at a loss of how to deal with this abuse as children, and now they tell their stories in hopes of helping others. I am one of these survivors, and I will be silent no more, for I am now on a public mission to help stop child sexual abuse. Read more…

summer reading lists and resources

Summer Reading Lists and Programs for Kids

Summer is starting soon and I need to get a summer reading plan for my kids! Usually, my kids are assigned an extensive summer reading project by the teachers in the next grade. One year it was five books AND a book review project!

When my girls started middle school, the summer reading assignments ceased and it was hard to get my girls to read, especially as they were away part of the summer for sleepaway camp. This year, I am going to start strong: a trip to the book store and a summer reading incentive plan. I’ve give my kids their choice since different reading programs have different prizes. (I’ve listed some at the bottom).

I might even try to sneak in a summer book club meeting for my son and middle daughter. It can be tricky to schedule with everyone away at different times, but the kids get excited to see their friends by the end the summer so one right before school starts usually works

What will you do to get your kids reading this summer? Please share! Read more…

credit card personal finance for teens and tweens

Credit Card Lessons for Kids Before They Use Them!

Please welcome my guest blogger, Barbara Stapleton, who teaches middle school students about personal finance. Today, she is going to be sharing her lessons on how to teach tweens about credit cards versus debit cards because this is not the kind of personal finance lesson you want your kids to learn the hard way!

p.s. I have another related post: Top 10 Life Skills Kids Need Before College.

Read more…

Japanese picture books for kids giveaway

Japanese Heroes Picture Book of the Day and GIVEAWAY

Do all little boys go through a Ninja phase? I was waiting at PickyKidPix‘s soccer practice and I noticed another little boy, perhaps 3rd or 4th grade, amuse himself by hurling himself at his mom using a series of martial arts moves to play ninja. Unfortunately, his mom was attempting to work from her computer so he had to find another playmate.

To celebrate the ninja spirit with us all, I’ve found a collection of picture books including Japanese traditional folk tales with young heroes. To promote learning about Japan and a Japanese culture, I’m also doing a giveaway of two more books. I would have given away a single book but the number four is unlucky in Japan so I added a Japanese poetry book to bring the total book count up to five. Five is a good number, phew! Read more…

Meeting Eoin Colfer

Meet Eoin Colfer with Me (he’s hysterically funny!)

My son and I attended the Mega Awesome Book Event which starred Rick Riordan, but Eoin Colfer emerged as the star of the day. (Ridley Pearson was a rockstar too!)

Eoin Colfer and Rick Riordan

Boy is that guy funny and charming! If I could invite just one author to dinner, I would pick him. He’d have you in stitches all night! Read more…