All posts in Best Books for Kids

KRISTEN KITTSCHER, Wonderful Diversity Mysteries for Ages 8-18

Wonderful Diversity Mysteries for Ages 8-18

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Kristen Kittcher! We both came up with our favorite diversity mysteries for kids and I’m surprised how there is very little overlap!

I have a feeling that there are more great mysteries written of authors of color or with protagonists of color or with special needs. Can you help us out with your great suggestions? Thanks so much!

—————

There’s little I love more than reading books about smart, curious, and creative kids—especially if those adventures involve solving high-stakes mysteries that elude adults. So, it’s no surprise that I also love writing about them. My seventh grade best friends and wannabe super-sleuths Sophie Young & Grace Yang certainly go on some wild adventures in my own mysteries for young readers, The Wig in the Window and The Tiara on the Terrace.

But what’s even more wonderful than following the adventures of clever sleuths? When those novels’ heroes truly reflect the diverse spectrum of backgrounds and experiences of the real world! Read more…

Great New Early Chapter Books

Great New Early Chapter Books

I was a first round judge for The Cybils Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books this past fall which meant that I read about 50 Easy Readers and 80+ Early Chapter Books that were nominated by the general public. Our group then came up with the short list, and then round two judges picked a winner in each category.

To keep track of each book, I kept notes on each book, rating it on a 5 point scale. I share my notes below of the books I liked the most (4.5 or 5/5). Our group then held online discussions via email on books that we liked, culminating in an online discussion to pick the short list. It’s interesting that  that strong reactions to books could go either way. A good example is The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin Newman … I loved the film noir detective story but not everyone agreed with me.  Charlie Bumpers vs. The Perfect Little Turkey is another book that I loved especially for its boy appeal — our list felt girl audience heavy — but our group tried to be gender neutral.


Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Diverse Children’s Book Linky!

Diverse Children’s Books is a brand new book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

Read more…

Kid Lit Blog Hop Now MONTHLY!

Kid Lit Blog Hop!

Hello! Welcome to the May 2016  Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting,monthly hop, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children’s literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Simply make a post related to Children’s literature and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.
Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

Reading Authors, Hostess

Julie Grasso

Cheryl Carpinello

BeachBoundBooks

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Spark and Pook

Hits and Misses

Read more…

Nobel Peace Prize Winners Picture Books

9 People Who Changed The World: Nobel Peace Prize Picture Books

It surprises me that only a few of the Nobel Peace Prize recipients are represented in picture books for children. I was able to find these nine people who changed the world and, in doing so, received the Nobel Peace Prize.

Some the picture books are biographies, others are their own books reflecting their philosophies but presented to children. Perfect, right? I hope it inspires a new generation of activists who believe they can change the world. Because I know that they can. 

9 People Who Changed The World:

Great Picture Book Biographies of Nobel Peace Prize Winners

Read more…

Memorial Day Books & Art Projects for Kids

Memorial Day Books & Art Projects for Kids

It wasn’t easy to find books in my library for Memorial Day. While there are a few picture books, none were on the shelves. Rather than give you a list of hard to find books, I’ve narrowed the list to just three and have added activities that I rounded up from Pinterest.

First, here’s some background on Memorial and Veterans Day:

Memorial Day was first celebrated in 1868, then called Decoration Day to remember the soldiers who died in the Civil War. It was celebrated by putting flowers and flags on their graves. In 1882, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day to remember Americans who died serving in any war. Memorial Day is the last Monday in May or May 30. This year, it is celebrated on Monday, May 30th.

Veterans Day is sometimes marked by a minute of silence at 11am on November 11 to mark the end of WWI, then called Armistice Day. In 1954, Armistice Day became Veteran’s Day and is a day to honor all U.S. Veterans. It is now celebrated on the second Monday of November.

How are you celebrating Memorial Day this year?

Read more…

Katie Woo and Pedro Early Chapter Book GIVEAWAY!

Katie Woo and Pedro Early Chapter Book HUGE GIVEAWAY!

PickyKidPix loves Katie Woo even though she discovered this series in 5th grade while messing around in her school library. She encouraged me to continue with the Katie Woo book giveaways because she wants to spread the love, and copies come my way that land in her room. I told her that a spinoff series about Pedro was coming out. She approved.

In celebration of the new Katie Woo spinoff series, Pedro, I’m doing a huge giveaway!

EIGHT Winners for Katie Woo or Pedro Early Chapter Book Giveaway

Read more…

Is Coco Chanel a Real Person?

Is Coco Chanel a Real Person?

PickyKidPix who is now in 8th grade surprised me with this question: Is Coco Chanel a real person? First of all, how does she even know about Chanel? I think she watches too many YouTube beauty bloggers. And secondly, how strange that she only knows Chanel as a brand name because in fact, she knew Chanel by the handbags and make up.

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel, 1920. Wikipedia

I just happened upon this picture book at the library and gave it to my daughter who was delighted to read it.

Coco and the Little Black Dress by Annemarie Van Haeringen Read more…

Great New Easy Readers

Great New Easy Readers

It just so happened that most of the diversity picks on the nominated easy readers for The Cybils made the short list. I personally was a champion of Don’t Throw It to Mo! by David Adler which also won the Geisel Award.

My fellow judges were mostly librarians and they needed something fresh to get excited about. I can relate; I think an award like The Cybils is helpful to highlight new authors rather than award a long running and popular series like Elephant and Piggie. In fact, the popularity of Elephant and Piggie spawned many knock offs which starts to become tiresome as well. And, my final gripe is that there is only so much rhyming you can pull off with fox/box, yet there were more books that you’d expect with this rhyming scheme.

The upshot is that new Easy Readers seem to be a pretty closed off group: books are either popular series that seem to spawn endless books, imitators of these popular series, or rhyming sequences involving “fox” and “box.” While most of the selections below fit into those three categories, they are the best of the pile and there are also a few that refreshingly don’t.

How about you? Are there any Easy Readers that you don’t mind reading over and over again? Please share! Thank you! Read more…