I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Giselle today. Giselle blogs at Kids Yoga Stories and recently moved to my neck of the woods from Northern California so we are actually able to meet in person! Such a rare and unusual treat for bloggers! You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that she is a yoga instructor, a teacher and a mom! She was inspired to bring yoga to kids through picture books and hence the Kids Yoga Stories was born!
All posts in 1) Infant & Toddler
Please welcome my guest poster, Kristin Briley, a teacher and wife of children’s book author Randy Briley. She is posting today on how to read aloud to two kids of different ages with different interests and keep them happy!
Did you ever have that reading challenge? What books worked for you? Please share!
Bridging the Gap: Reading to Two Kids on My Lap
As a bibliophile myself, an English teacher of many years who knows the importance of reading, and a mom who loves quiet moments I can share with my children, books rank high on my “very good things” list. I love reading with my kids, but the challenge lies in finding books that appeal to and hold the attention of both of my sweeties at once. I have a two and a half year old daughter who loves animals and a five year old son who loves all things construction.
It was easy to read books with my son when he was a toddler. As he’s grown older, it’s become harder to draw him in and he has outgrown many of the books that my daughter still loves. He does enjoy reading IF I can drag his attention away from Legos, Netflix, vehicles, and building things out of jump ropes, boxes, carbingers, and duct tape.
My daughter loves to read but some of the longer stories my son is ready for don’t hold her attention quite yet. As I try to bridge the age and interest gaps, I find myself turning to a small assortment of books that I can rely on to interest BOTH of my kids…books that they both love hearing and looking at over and over again.
Here are the top ten books that I know will engage both my daughter and son and evoke their laughter as we build their love of reading.
1. A Day at a Zoo by Sarah Harrison OR A Year at a Construction Site by Nicholas Harris
There are several in this series by Millbrook Press, but these two are my kids’ favorites. The scene in the books stays the same, but each page shows the scene at a different time of day, different month of the year, etc. My daughter loves finding the different animals and my son helps to find the suggested images. They both laugh at the little mishaps that close inspection reveals (cement being poured on a worker) and we can spend a long time poring over all the details in the illustrations.
I started haunting our local bookstore to read picture books but I always feel guilty using it like a library so I make sure to buy a small stack. When it comes to picture books, I am the pickiest purchaser ever because I am buying for myself! The Dark made my purchase pile. I had heard wonderful reviews about it and I have long admired Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen.
Other Monsters In the Closet Picture Books also delight us:
There’s Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Myer
We love this sweet monster picture book in which a little boy bravely confronts his “nightmare in his closet.” It turns out that his nightmare is a good snuggler! I love the reading by Billy Crystal too! In fact, I always picture him reading it to my kids, even as I read it.
Are you reading ebooks with your kids this summer? I find that my son likes to read both paper and ebooks. Sometimes when I’m trying to get something done, an eBook that reads to him is a big convenience. But we are picky readers. A free eBook is only good for us if it’s a great book. I’m sure you are the same! It takes time and data storage to download an ebook. These are the best free eBooks for kids that passed our test.
These are especially good!
The lack of diversity in children’s literature is a problem that affects all children, especially children from low-income families, who rarely see themselves, their families or their communities in the stories they read. First Book
The lack of diversity in children’s books is alarming and I am pledging to promote more multicultural books for kids. So today for Picture Book of the Day, I am giving away three diversity picture books for children to three winners! Read more…
Hindu Picture Book and Chapter Book for Kids
The great Hindu god Vishnu, greatest of all gods, promises to help bring peace to earth when evil demon kings try to kill all the good rulers of earth. He will be reborn on earth as a child named Krisha. Does this story sound vaguely familiar?! We notice a rebirth theme in World Religions!
The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna by Demi tells the story of Krishna, rescued from certain death to be raised by two cowherds. The evil demon king Kasma not deterred, sending demon after demon to destroy Krishna, to no avail. Krishna prevails in the end, destroying Kasma and wandering the earth teaching people how to live together in peace and joy. Demi, as usual, makes this story easy to read with her gorgeous colorful illustrations.
We are trying to learn more about World Religions through picture books at my house since we don’t attend church and I personally know very little about the Hindu religion. My only reference point to Krishna were the Hare Krishnas I’d seen at airports (pre-9/11 security) which always made me feel uneasy.
It was with great delight that action adventure Zoe and Zac and the Ghost Leopard by Lars Guignard landed in my lap. Think Percy Jackson or Kane Chronicles Goes to India and you get the gist!
Like a Rick Riordan action adventure series, this chapter book for ages 9 and up has the requisite elements to draw kids in:
- special powers our heroes must discover within themselves
- a supernatural bad guy
- the fate of the world resting upon their success
- help from deities (that is where Krishna and other Hindu gods come into play)
- something that must be saved
- travel that traverses an entire country, in this case India
I definitely want more Zoe and Zac and wait expectantly for the next installment. Riordan takes us from Greek to Roman to Egyptian ancient gods. It’s just a small leap to travel to India next! Author Lars Guignard went to high school in the Indian Himalayas and he really gives a sense of place as Zoe and Zac traverse through India both in crowded chaos of cities and more tranquil wooded rural areas.
The lines blur between religion and mythology as they should — isn’t mythology just ancient religious beliefs? — and what remains is the probably the most exciting world religion/mythology home study unit ever! I’d use the Demi picture book after reading Zoe and Zac, just as a quick aside to explain the story of Kirshna who makes an appearance in the chapter book.
To view the books at Amazon, please click on image of book or click here to see at Barnes and Noble.
Best Bedtime Picture Books for Kids
Thank you to Susan Marx for emailing me this lovely poem full of some of my favorite children’s books for young children. Reading aloud is a passion for her and Barbara and they have penned a book about it.
Her lovely poem took me down memory lane at bedtime with my kids. We didn’t read all these great picture books and board books, but we enjoyed many of them over and over through the years!!
Thanks for this trip! What bedtime books or read aloud books are your favorites? Did you spot any in the poem?
Stocking Stuffers for Kids, Dads and Moms
Is the stocking the first thing your kids tear into? It is for us! We have a rule that everyone gets to open one present the night before Christmas. Then, on Christmas day, we open presents together which means waiting for the last person to wake up, usually me because I am not a morning person. Read more…
Wooden Instruments and Other Music Toys
There are such a great array of musical toys for kids of all ages starting with infants who can get exposed to classical music through Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes. Toddlers enjoy hands on (and I mean Hands On) playing and manipulating instruments. Preschool kids can make their own band either with clever toys or with friends. There are even authentic wooden instruments for young elementary school kids to try out before they start lesons. Read more…