All posts in Reading

Origami Paper Airplane Kit GIVEAWAY

Origami Paper Airplane Kit GIVEAWAY

I thought I’d combine activities and books for some summer activity ideas. Today’s activity is about flying as in: aviation, female pilots, and pioneering aviators!

First some aviation book ideas for both boys and girls …

Fabulous Flying Females: Women Aviator Books for Kids

female aviator pilot flying books for kids

10 Books for Kids Who Dream of Flying

Who Dream of Flying

And now the activity … making really cool paper airplanes. My thanks to Tuttle Publishing for generously donating this giveaway!

Origami Airplane GIVEAWAY

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Yoga for Kids: Rachel's Day in the Garden

Yoga for Kids: Rachel’s Day in the Garden

Giselle Kids Yoga Stories

I’m thrilled to be on Rachel’s Day in the Garden by Giselle Shardlow’s blog tour! I feel fortunate that Giselle moved a few years ago near me so we got to meet in person several times! Giselle is a certified kids’ yoga instructor and her line of books introduces yoga to kids.

I’m a huge proponent of yoga. It helps me from getting injured and it’s a little gift to myself when I practice. It also helped me when I had carpel tunnel from being on the computer too much. I can feel when my life is out whack too, because I will have trouble with balancing poses!

My kids have all tried yoga in various ways. My son likes yoga cards to do poses in bed in a silly way. It’s still yoga though! PickyKidPix says yoga is calming for her. She needs that! Grasshopper and Sensei is prone to injury because she has tight lower body. It’s either physical therapy or yoga, but yoga is for life! She gets the most benefit from yoga, but it’s also the most challenging for her.

yoga pragmaticmom Read more…

Top 10: Best Picture Books for Spring

Top 10: Best Picture Books for Spring

You wouldn’t guess that it’s spring here in Boston given the snow we’ve been getting in April! Still, I am dreaming of spring and getting my little garden going.

These are my favorite picture books for garden inspiration. These books demonstrate that gardens can transform an environment, bring neighbors closer, and even become a political touchpoint. Ideas for Earth Day include starting a compost pile, planting a tree, or even just germinate seeds.


What are your favorite spring picture books? Are you planting a garden this year of any size? Please share! Read more…

Year of the Monkey Bookmark Craft

Year of the Monkey Bookmark Craft

February 8th is Chinese New Year and it’s the Year of the Monkey, my son’s year! This is what Chinese astrology has to say about people born during the year of the monkey:

Monkey years are believed to be an unlucky for people born in a year of the Monkey. A year of one’s birth sign is believed to be the most unlucky in the 12-year cycle. “Monkeys” (who take Chinese astrology seriously) are particularly careful about their health, love lives, career, and investments in Monkey years. from China Highlights

It’s not all bad news for those who are born in the Year of the Monkey:

People born in a year of the Monkey are witty, intelligent, and have a magnetic personality. Personality traits, like mischievousness, curiosity, and cleverness, make them very naughty. Monkeys are masters of practical jokes, because they like playing most of the time. Though they don’t have any bad intentions, their pranks sometimes hurt the feelings of others. Monkeys are fast learners and crafty opportunists. from China Highlights

It sounds like this is a good year to lay low and read books. To help keep your place, make this Year of the Monkey bookmark craft from author Jennifer DeCristoforo of Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts: Over 100 Projects & Ideas Celebrating Chinese Culture. She’s my guest author today.

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Lynda Mullaly Hunt Author Visit: Fish in a Tree

Lynda Mullaly Hunt Author Visit: Fish in a Tree

PickyKidPix skipped her club soccer practice so we could see Lynda Mullaly Hunt’s author visit for Understanding Our Differences. Her sister, Grasshopper and Sensei, had the pleasure of hearing Lynda Mullaly Hunt speak to her middle school two years ago. She hadn’t even read her book but she raved about how Lynda was a  inspiring and down to earth speaker who overcame a tough childhood.

Fish is a Tree is a story of dyslexia through the eyes of a girl named Ally and how a middle school teacher changed her life.

Lynda Mullaly Hunt Author Visit: Fish in a Tree

PickyKidPix, however, read both One for the Murphys and Fish in a Tree so I thought she would enjoy meeting the author. She hates being left out so it was her chance to meet the author her sister had. Both chapter books are realistic fiction for ages 9 and up.

One for the Murphys is a powerful story about a foster child in the loving care of a family for the first time and how that experience changes her life.

I like to give my readers a sense of being there as well, so I taped Lynda’s presentation and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Do you have questions for Lynda? Let me know and we can email her! Read more…

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland's Good Fortune

Thanksgiving Picture Book

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland's Good FortuneI was thrilled to be invited to a lunch hosted by Candlewick Press to meet author and illustrator P. J. Lynch who was here all the way from Ireland for the release of his first advanced picture book. He has illustrated more than 26 picture books over his 30 year career and this is the very first book he’s written!

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland's Good Fortune

Is it me or are all Irish authors charming and funny? Eoin Colfer comes to mind and now P. J. Lynch as well! After thirty years as a children’s book illustrator, P. J. reveals how this story about John Howland hooked him and converted him into an author: Read more…

Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips to Help Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love of Reading

Raising A Rock-Star Reader

I’m so excited about a new book by two of my favorite bloggers: Alison McDonald of No Time for Flashcards and Amy Mascott of Teach Mama! If you follow me via social media, you might have noticed that I tend to tweet, pin and share pretty much everything these ladies create on their blogs. They are experts at making learning fun and they have been testing out their ideas for years and years on their blogs.

Raising A Rock-Star Reader

Now, their book brings the best of the best of their tried and true tips to get your child to love reading. It’s not just books and apps, but easy (and sneaky) ways to make literacy a fun game that slides into a lifelong love of books.

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Caught in the Act ... of READING!

Kids Caught in the Act … of READING!

Ugh, I’ve been so behind that I’m finally now posting on Caught in the Act … of READING for the summer, now that the summer is almost over! Sorry about that! I’m not sure where the time went!

I’ll keep my book offer open for the rest of 2015: send me a photo of your child caught in the act of reading and I’ll send you a book. It’s my way to encourage reading! Read more…

An Author Interviews Her Editor

An Author Interviews Her Editor & #GIVEAWAY

An Author Interviews Her Editor, Karen Chaplin at HarperCollins Children’s Books

Hi there, I’m Jennifer Lynn Alvarez, author of the tween animal fantasy series, The Guardian Herd. Before I signed my publishing contract, I had never worked with an editor. I believed that book editors corrected grammar, but I soon learned that is the specific job of a copy editor.

The Guardian Herd

As Senior Editor Karen Chaplin and I began working together, I became fascinated with her job. She manages every aspect of my book series from content editing of the manuscript, cover design, marketing copy, and the promotional materials.

When she’s not working on my series, she’s acquiring new authors, attending meetings and conferences, and working on other projects. It’s an exciting job, and so I decided to interview her about it and about her work on the Guardian Herd series. Today I’m happy to share this exclusive interview with the book lovers over here at Pragmatic Mom. Read more…