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 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 […]
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 […]
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 books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.
Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.
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!
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.
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!).
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!
I am proud to be writing about VTech toys today as part of a sponsored campaign with Social Moms. I was always a wooden toy kind of mom but when my kids were young, I would buy a few times a year, very carefully, a “bells and whistles” electronic toy for them. It might be for Christmas or a birthday. It had to have an educational angle to it or be a toy that had longevity. And it was ALWAYS a VTech toy.
There was the Alphabet Apple. I think that was the first VTech toy I bought. The new one comes with numbers; ours didn’t. My kids liked lugging it around by the handle though they didn’t play with this as much I would have liked.
The VTech Driving Toy was gold for me. This looked fun so I bought it and it entertained my kids for a very long time. My kids loved shifting gears while steering the driver’s wheel and I liked that there was an educational element hidden as they happily drove.
PickyKidPix is obsessed with hair styling which she is learning via YouTube videos, mostly through Cute Hair Styles. She’s watched all 200+ of them. I can actually recognize the videos from the audio alone!!
She gotten quite good at complex braids and have moved on to hot styling products including curling irons and flat irons. When I told her I had an offer to try out Hair Chalk, she was all over it! “YES!”, she said. And her disdain for my blogging has moved incrementally but slightly in a more favorable position.
Because the wonderful picture books by Patricia Polacco have an autobiographical quality, I wondered if Gifts from the Heart was also a true story?
Realism that seems magical isn’t new for Polacco. A real meteor landed in her yard which resulted in the picture book Meteor! and a meteor festival which she hosts as a result.
In My Ol’ Man, a unique black boulder changed their lives much like the black obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Patricia Polacco Christmas Picture Book of the Day
Gifts From the Heart by Patricia Polacco
Grandpa is selling the family farm in the spring; the memories of Gramma are too strong for him since she passed away. Because Tricia and Ritchie’s mom gets home late from her teach job in Battle Creek, they need a housekeeper to help out.
“The name’s Kay Lamity. I’m your new housekeeper!” she said, and she spun on her heels and trundled through the side door into the kitchen.
Ritchie doesn’t want “any ol’ lady we don’t know in Gramma’s house.”
“Ca-lamity means ‘disaster’!” Richie said defiantly. “Disaster.”
But Kay Lamity has a way of connecting with everyone and when it comes to Christmas and presents, she has advice for them during this very difficult holiday season without their beloved Gramma.
“A gift of the heart ain’t opened by pullin’ on a fancy bow or rippn’ pretty paper off a box. It’s about openin’ your heart … and givin’ what’s inside. That’s the greatest gift of all.”
Keeping the Christmas spirit alive by opening the heart is the central message of this very special picture book perfect for the holidays! [advanced picture book, ages 5 and up]
To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay for postage and handling for my giveaways.
I am excited to be co-hosting a Twitter party of behalf of Wonder by R. J. Palacio! This is one of my favorite books of all time. I met author R. J. Palacio at an Understanding Our Differences event last year and truly think this is wonderful book to give any child, ages 9 and up. You can win a signed copy tonight too!
There is a special guest attending tonight … and mum’s the word who it is. I hope it is author R. J. Palacio! She is such a nice person that I’d love for you to meet her too!
To win signed copies of Wonder and twenty $20 gift card prizes, please go here to Social Moms to RSVP for the Twitter party. You must RSVP to win!
We are giving away signed copies of Wonder as the grand prizes and twenty additional $20 gift card prizes!
- Five $20 gift cards will be randomly awarded to participants tweeting an invitation to their followers before the party using the #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag.
Tweet this: RSVP to #thewonderofwonder party, 12/12, 4-5pm PST! bit.ly/1be9GfB! Don’t miss this profile of the author: http://on.wsj.com/1eTUqWc
- Fifteen $20 gift cards will be randomly awarded to participants tweeting with the #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag during the party.
- Two grand prize winners will receive a signed copy of Wonder. They will be randomly awarded to a party participant tweeting with the #TheWonderOfWonder hashtag during the party.
Random drawing winners will be notified within 24 hours of the event on the @socialmoms Twitter page and via DM or @ reply on Twitter. Please make sure you are following @socialmoms so SocialMoms can contact you!
We hope you can join us as we talk about the importance of being kind to others! You’ll be entered for a chance to win prizes just by participating during the party. Also, we will have a special guest attending, so you don’t want to miss out on the fun!
Please make sure you follow @socialmoms, @pragmaticmom and @randomhousekids on Twitter before the party!
My giveaway is picture book The Night Before Christmas by Holly Hobby, poem by Clement C. Moore. I love the watercolor illustrations of this wonderful holiday classic.
If you are in the thick of holiday shopping and need ideas, I’m pulling up my gift guides from my archives in hopes they will be helpful to you.
Capability:Mom and I did two years of The 12 Days of Shopping which covered all our gift categories from kids making gifts to tutor gifts.
The 12 Days of Shopping
A trip to the zoo is such a joyous occasion, isn’t it? Our urban zoo in Boston is a little sad, so we typically go to the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island, about an hour away. It reminds me, on a smaller scale, of the great San Diego Zoo which is about 2 1/2 hours from where I grew up and is the zoo by which I measure all zoos against.
This zoo children’s book list — zoo picture book and chapter books — is inspired by the Newbery award winner, The One and Only Ivan. Is there a favorite zoo children’s book you’d like to add to the list? Please help me out and I’ll add it to the list. Thank you!
10. A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
In a perfect world, zoo animals and zoo keepers would be best friends, just like zoo keeper Amos McGee. When he gets sick and misses a day at work, the animals come by to his house to check on him and help him get better. The artwork by Erin Stead, the author’s wife, is stunning. She uses carefully rendered pencil drawings with what I think is monotype prints. The results are visually arresting. [Caldecott picture book, ages 2 and up]