• What Do Muslims Really Want Anyway?! 17 Books on Muslim World for Kids

    Please welcome my guest poster today, author Elsa Marston who is my resident Middle Eastern Children’s literature go to! She has a list of recommended books for kids and teens at the bottom of the post. ———— Lately we’ve been reading about terrorist actions by Muslims in Europe and other places, events that have again […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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.

  • 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!).

  • Top 10: Best Beginning Chapter Book Series (ages 6-9)

    Dragons and aliens and dinosaurs, oh my! And for girls, there are interesting slightly mischieveous girls to meet as well as cousins who are really sweet. Short chapter book series can often have repetitive plot lines about nothing or language that is neither rich nor interesting. There is something special about each of these book series for the child AND the adult reading along.

  • Top 50: Best Multicultural Children’s Books

    Every summer I stress out about what books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future. This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multi-cultural books. What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school. I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library!

multicultural book winners from ALA 2014

Multicultural Winners from ALA and Kid Lit Blog Hop

I was so happy to see multicultural children’s book win ALA awards (that were not specific diversity awards such as the Pura Belpré, the Coretta Scott King or the Schneider Family Book Award. Many are on my to-be-found-and-read-pile so I thought I’d share a few of them today.

2014 Printz Award Honor Books: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor, 15, is the new girl at school and bullied because she’s overweight and dresses in a flamboyant manner. Park is a half-Korean boy who has lived in Omaha, Nebraska, all his life but still feels like an outsider. This is a story of first love, which very slowly builds from the first day Eleanor sits next to Park on the school bus. from School Library Journal

Read more…

archery birthday party with 3rd grade boys

My Son’s Archery Birthday Party

My three kids had learned archery at summer camp and each of them mentioned separately how much they liked it so I posted a few months back about finding an archery class near us to try out. My son decided to do an archery party for his 9th  birthday and that was the perfect opportunity to check it out.

The archery place has 13 shooting stations, very tightly spaced together, with the targets set much further  back than the targets at camp.

archery party, archery birthday party

Putting 13 boys with bows and arrows practically shoulder to shoulder did make me a little nervous!

DSC_0095Read more…

26 books for kids about arab world middle east

27 Books for Kids About the Arab World (ages 4-18)

Please welcome my guest blogger, author Elsa Marston who has a wonderful book list for children about the Arab World including picture books, advanced picture books, chapter books, a graphic novel and young adult books.

 

How can we Americans hope ever to understand the Middle East?  Not very easily, I’m afraid,  it’s complicated.  But we can gain appreciation of the PEOPLE of the Middle East from the books that have been published in just the last twenty years.  I mean books written for young people, which don’t have an axe to grind (almost literally), an enemy to attack, a case to make or deflate, or an ideology to push—as do so many books published for adult readers.  Good books for youth tell a story that engages not only the intellect but the heart.  They introduce us to “real people” whom we can care about, even if they come from life situations very different from ours.  If the story is well written, we can identify with those fictional people and want to know more about them: why they believe as they do, what they love and what they fear, how their lives as children shape the lives they may lead as adults. Read more…

peanut butter and jellyfish by jarrett krosoczka trailer exclusive

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish Trailer Exclusive!

Do your kids love book trailers as much as my kids do? It’s a great way, I’ve found, to get kids interested in a book and these days children’s book trailers can be as exciting as movie trailers!

It’s also new medium for creative types like illustrators and authors to play in. And if they have a background in art like Jarrett Krososczka who graduated from Rhode Island School of Design, then WATCH OUT because you are in for a treat!

I’m so excited to debut his trailer for his newest picture book, Peanut Butter and Jellyfish!!!

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett Krosoczka

Peanut Butter and Jellyfish are the best of friends. They swim up. They swim down. They swim all around. Except near Crabby, who never has anything nice to say to them. “You two swim like humans” is the least of his insults.

Then one day Crabby is caught in a lobster trap and needs their help! Should they help him? It’s Peanut Butter and Jellyfish to the rescue! Crabby might be afraid of heights . . . but will he be brave enough to apologize?

If you want to preorder Peanut Butter and Jellyfish, please click on image to purchase from Amazon. I’m an affiliate.

Zoe and Zak blog tour

Riordan-Like Hindu Mythology Adventure Series!

Tiger Temple - Blog Tour Button

About the Book

Title: Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple (Zoe & Zak Series, Book #3)

Author: Lars Guignard

Publisher: Fantastic Press

Publication Date: January 1, 2014

Number of Pages: 267

Recommended Age: 8+ Read more…

Andy Smithson : Venom of the Serpents Cunning , L. R. W. Lee, fantasy mythology chapter book for ages 9 and up

Harry Potter-Like Fantasy Adventure Series GIVEAWAY

Please welcome author L. R. W. Lee, author of the Andy Smithson fantasy adventure chapter book series. Her second book, Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning launches today! To celebrate, I’m interviewing the author with a 5 question Q and A interview and giving away some books!

Andy Smithson : Venom of the Serpents Cunning , L. R. W. Lee, fantasy mythology chapter book for ages 9 and upRead more…

FREE Resources on Bullying, IEPs, Dyslexia and More

FREE Resources on Bullying, IEPs, Dyslexia and More

Today I wanted to share some great resources via the National Center for Learning Disabilities. The best part? These toolkits and e-books are FREE!!

Free E-Book: IEP Basics for Parents of Students with LDRead more…

Creek Indian genesis folk tale story

Native American Picture Book of the Day Exploration

I chose a Creek folk tale today for Picture book of the Day and wanted to explore both the story, its influences, and make connections to learn more about the Muscogee (Creek) people. I hope you enjoy this exploration!

The Muscogee (Creek) people are descendents of a remarkable culture that, before 1500 AD, spanned all the region known today as the Southeastern United States. Early ancestors of the Muscogee constructed magnificent earthen pyramids along the rivers of this region as part of their elaborate ceremonial complexes. The historic Muscogee later built expansive towns within these same broad river valleys in the present states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.

from Muscogee Nation

 

The Otter, The Spotted Frog and The Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story by Ramon Shiloh

When the spotted frog warns everyone of a great flood that threatens to destroy all life on earth, only Listener the otter takes heed. He builds a raft and ties it to the tallest tree and thus is able to survive. While this picture book is a Creek creation myth, it is interesting to note that the Creek people may also have incorporated Bibilical stories into their own oral tradition. Doesn’t this story remind you a little of Noah’s Arc?

There is another interesting twist after the great flood subsides. Listener the otter turns into a human and you find a reference to Greek Mythology’s Metis story regarding his wife! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Kid Lit Blog Hop & Highlighting Multicultural Children's Books

Highlighting Multicultural Children’s Books & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Last Monday was a busy day. Valarie from Jump Into a Book and I co-hosted Multicultural Children’s Book Day along with more than 80 wonderful bloggers:

2GirlsLostInaBook · 365 Days of Motherhood · A Bilingual Baby · A Library Mama · A Simple Life, Really? · Africa to America · After School for Smarty Pants · All Done Monkey · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag  · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica ·  Between The Covers ·  Bookish Ambition · Books My Kids Read · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs ·Chasing The Donkey · Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac · Children’s Books Heal · Church o Books · CitizenBeta · Crafty Moms Share · Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes· Early Words · Flowering Minds · Franticmommy · Gathering Books · Geek Club Books · GEO Librarian · GIFT Family Services · Gladys Barbieri · Going in Circles · Growing Barefoot Bookworms · Growing Book by Book · iGame Mom · I’m Not The Nanny · InCulture Parent · Itsy Bitsy Mom · Just Children’s Books · Kid Lit Reviews · Kids Yoga Stories · Kid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook · Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles · Mission Read ·Monkey Poop · Mother Daughter Book Reviews · Mrs AOk · MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter · Ms. Yingling Reads · Multicultural Kids Blog · My White Board · One Sweet World · Open Wide The World · P is for Preschooler · Rapenzel Dreams · Randomly Reading · Reading Through Life · School4Boys · Sharon the Librarian · Spanish Playground · Sprout’s Bookshelf · Squishable Baby · Stanley and Katrina · Svetlana’s Reads and Views · Teach Mama · The Art of Home Education · The Brain Lair · The Educators’ Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Good Long Road · The Yellow Door Paperie · This Kid Reviews Books · Trishap’s Books · Unconventional Librarian · Vicki Arnold · We3Three· World for Learning · Wrapped in Foil

Thank you also to our sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Susan Daniel Fayad, Lee and Low Books, and Chronicle Books.

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We had 144 (and counting!) posts linked up and I thought I’d share a few of the books with you today.

From Story Snug: Anna Hibiscus picture book series by Atinuke Read more…