All posts in Best Books for Kids

Top 10: Best Native American Books for Kids

Top 10: Best Native American Books for Kids (newly improved!)

I, along with Jump Into a Book, Franticmommy, am working on a Multicultural Children’s Book Day eBook of diversity, multicultural, and inclusive books lists from bloggers and authors including: All Done Monkey, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, The Educators’ Spin On It, Growing Book by Book, Imagination Soup, InCulture Parent, The Jenny Evolution, Kid World Citizen, The Logonauts, Mama SmilesMarie Pastiche, The Measured Mom, Randomly Reading, What Do We Do All Day?,Youth Literature Reviews, author Elsa Marson, and author Uma Krishnaswami.

I’ll be contributing a few book lists to contribute and I’m updating them to reflect nuances that I’ve learned through my journey of blogging. In the case of Native American books for children, I wanted to emphasize contemporary stories as some kids including my own, think that American Indians are a relic from the past.


10. Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Sherman Alexie’s first picture book reflects on his Spokane Native American tradition of getting a new name to mark the transition to adulthood. There are 500 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States, each with its own diversity of language, ceremonies, and naming. To respect the deeper meaning of the naming, classroom activities where kids pick their own Indian names are not recommended as it is not culturally sensitive. This is a delightful and funny picture book sure to engage kids. The vibrant illustrations by Caldecott illustrator Yuyi Morales perfectly match the story. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Learn About London for Kids

A Fun Way to Learn About London!

This cut paper animation video of the history of London amazed me … and prompted this list. I’ve been to London for a short trip before I had kids, but it’s on my list to visit again! How about you? Have your kids been to London? If so, would they like these books?

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Kid Lit Blog Hop Now MONTHLY!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Welcome to the Kid Lit Blog Hop! I have been busy making very short videos on picture books. Here’s one picture book discovery:

Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach

The Ellis kids are excellent at something: soccer, math, ballet, and baking. Ed the dog tries to figure out his special skill: breaking stuff, losing stuff, forgetting stuff. But the kids are better at that too! Is this why he doesn’t get to eat at the table, ride in the van, or sit on the coach? Or are his skills related to that? [picture book, ages 4 and up]

If you like this video and want to see more, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Thanks! Read more…

5th Grade Book Recommendations from My 5th Grader

5th Grade Book Recommendations from My 5th Grader

My son has picked up the pace reading books this year in 5th grade. His book lists are now in three parts.

5th Grade Books from a 5th Grade Boy has books that he read as a rising 5th grader as well as book he read in the early part of the school year. You’ll notice his reluctance to read by all the graphic novels he read. This was also the turning point for novels in verse for him when he discovered The Crossover which lead to more novels in verse.

Best 5th Grade Books from My 5th Grade Son is part 2 of 3. You’ll notice that he likes FUNNY and ACTION ADVENTURE, preferably combined á la Rick Riordan. His 5th grade teacher has him reading historical fiction for the first time which he’s really enjoying. This set us up for more historical fiction and even historical fiction as a novel in verse!

How about you? What do you think he should add to his reading list? I am planning on having him read at least five books this summer.

5th Grade Chapter Books from a 5th Grade Boy

Brooklyn Bat Boy: the Story of the 1947 Season That Changed Baseball Forever by Geoff Griffin

I really liked learning about Jackie Robinson through the perspective of a Irish American bat boy.

Jackie Robinson’s first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers told from the point of view of the new batboy. My son and I loved this historical fiction early chapter book, complete with authentic slang. Pair it with a biography on Jackie Robinson if you  want to learn about this extraordinary man. [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]

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Top 10 Favorite Nature Picture Books & GIVEAWAY!

Top 10 Favorite Nature Picture Books & GIVEAWAY!

When I lived near a golf course in our old house a few miles away, I would spot red foxes running at dusk on the sidewalks. My friend Susan told me about her encounter with a coyote one winter afternoon. She and her black labrador were on the snow covered golf course for a walk when they were approached by a lone coyote. Unwilling to turn his back on the coyote, her dog put himself between her and the coyote and walked them backwards for two miles back to the street; eyes on the coyote the entire time. Susan thinks there was a litter of pups and the coyote was being protective.

Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari

The thing is, I live nine miles west of Boston in a pretty tightly packed suburban area. It’s not farms and huge backyards where I live. Most houses sit on a quarter of an acre.

In this article, Why Wild Animals Are Moving Into Cities, and What To Do About It, by Popular Science, researcher Stan Gertz estimates that more than 2,000 coyotes now make a comfortable living in the Chicago metropolitan area. He notes that “some urban coyotes have even been spotted crossing streets in busy traffic—at the light, looking both ways, just like human Chicagoans.”


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great new graphic novels for kids

Great New Graphic Novels & 4 Book GIVEAWAY

My son learned to love reading because of graphic novels so they will always have a place in my heart. He’s reading chapter books now, but he still enjoys a funny notebook novel. I’m excited to share some newly published ones, and I’m giving away a few them as well (at the bottom of the page).

How about you? What graphic novels or notebook novels have your kids been enjoying? Please share!


Doodle Adventures: You Draw the Story

This is a fun concept, particularly for summer reading. It’s a doodle book combined with a graphic novel. The reader gets to decide the story by drawing it in and you don’t necessarily have to be an artist.

The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs by Mike Lowery

I wasn’t sure how my son would react to this doodle graphic novel since it looked a little easy for him, but he raced through it and enjoyed doodling along to create his own adventure. Since we had an ARC (advanced release copy), I’ve giving away this brand spanking new hardcover book! [doodle graphic novel, ages 6 and up]

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Shakespeare for Kids

Shakespeare for Kids from Booktomato

Please welcome Ashley who blogs at Booktomato as my guest author. She’s sharing her favorite Shakespeare books for kids.

My 10th grader, Grasshopper and Sensei, is studying Shakespeare in English class. She has a very bad concussion (her 4th, all from volleyball), and she couldn’t read Shakespeare without getting a headache flare up. I used an early chapter book series, Tales from Shakespeare, to help her understand the storyline and it really helped. While some of my fellow Cybils Early Chapter Book judges preferred the original, I like how this series makes Shakespeare more accessible.

Tales from Shakespeare: Hamlet by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Yaniv Shimony

Hamlet as an early chapter book retold in modern day English with illustrations on every page. At just 47 pages, this is a quick read that focuses on conveying the plot. Quotes from the original work are pulled out as well. [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Tales from Shakespeare: MacBeth by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Yaniv Shimony

The format of this early chapter book is the same as above, but about MacBeth. We used this for my daughter’s 10th grade English class instead of Spark Notes to understand the plot.  [early chapter book, ages 8 and up]

How about you? Are your kids reading simpler versions of Shakespeare and how do they like it? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Diverse Children’s Books Linky

Diverse Children’s Books is a 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.


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Art Activity Books for Kids Huge GIVEAWAY

Art Activity Books for Kids Huge GIVEAWAY

Nature is often a theme of Japanese art. Today, I am giving away two Japanese art coloring books and sharing some Japanese art by Hokusai from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. I hope this helps to entertain your kids this summer.

Let’s learn about Ukiyo-e!

The ukiyo-e genre of art flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries The term ukiyo-e translates as ‘pictures of the floating world’.

Some ukiyo-e artists specialized in making paintings, but most works were prints. Artists rarely carved their own woodblocks for printing; rather, production was divided between the artist, who designed the prints; the carver, who cut the woodblocks; the printer, who inked and pressed the woodblocks onto hand-made paper; and the publisher, who financed, promoted, and distributed the works.

Hokusai The Great Wave

Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai
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