• How to Get Involved with Multicultural Children’s Book Day

    Now more than ever… Now more than ever, children need to see themselves reflected in the pages of the books they read. Readers of all ages need to be able to “read their world” to both see themselves, and those are who different, whether by culture, religion, sexual orientation, special needs or ethnicity. Multicultural Children’s […]

  • Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

    These are art kits that my daughter and I put together when I realized that our lists might be overwhelming: 45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter, and 10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids. p.s. More art gift posts: Art Activity Books Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading Art Kit To […]

  • FREE Diversity Book for Multicultural Children’s Book Day

    Welcome to our upcoming Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th, 2017! We are so excited for our fourth year that we are changing things up so that we can provide more diversity children’s books to parents, caregivers, guardians, librarians, and teachers. In years past, we asked for BLOGGERS to sign up to receive a […]

  • STEM Toy Gift Guide

    With my son as a guinea pig, we’ve been busy testing STEM toys to discover his favorites. STEM Toy Gift Guide DIY Electro Dough Kit This is, hands down, our favorite kit. Note that the kit has everything that you need EXCEPT for the playdoh. Purchase that seperately — you don’t need much — or make […]

  • 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 […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Alouds for 4th Grade

    Fourth grade at my elementary school marks a really interesting immigration unit that introduced my kids to their first group project experience. They learned, the hard way, about freeloaders but the end result was a “Wax Museum” where each child played a wax statue that, when prompted by dropping in a fake coin in a […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 2nd Grade

    I chose a collection of some of my favorite chapter books and picture books for second grade read alouds. Truth be told, I don’t really remember exactly what books my kids were read to in the classroom during 2nd grade. For some reason, it’s drawing a blank at our house. Second grade at our elementary […]

  • 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 […]

Hands On Geography Fun for Kids

Hands On Geography Fun for Kids

There is absolutely nothing that I hate more than to help my kids memorize factoids for a test. I figured out from my two older kids that their 4th grade social studies curriculum includes learning to spell and locate the 50 States, with state capitals as extra credit.

Trying to learn one section of the country every few weeks can be stressful, so I got the jump on it long before my son reached fourth grade. We played the Scrambled States Game, a board game, and did many, many rounds of geography trivial pursuit at dinner using map placemats. Beautifully illustrated atlas map books also make learning a pleasure. My kids would also credit this song about the capitals in South America and online learning games.

From my webpage: 70+ Free Education Games. This is the Geography section:

How about you? What are fun ways you and your kids are learning geography? Thanks for sharing!

Hands On Geography Fun for Kids

Barefoot Books World Atlas by Nick Crane, illustrated by David Dean

This is my go to atlas book. With large beautiful illustrations of maps and interesting details on the sidebars, some of which fold out, this is a book to savor and enjoy. There’s also a fold out atlas in the back perfect for mounting on a wall. You can use the wall atlas to point to a location and then look it up in the book, or just browse through the book continent by continent. There is also an accompanying app! [nonfiction atlas book, ages 4 and up]

Atlas of Animals Adventures: A collection of nature’s most unmissable events, epic migrations, and extraordinary behavior by Rachel Williams and Emily Hawkins, illustrated by Lucy Letherland

For animal lovers, here’s another way to look at an atlas. This book celebrates how animals survive in the wild through both migration but also through animal behavior. Animals are grouped by continent and country. This oversized book is also gorgeously illustrated and begs to be browsed. You can also make this book into a game with the Can You Find? “Where’s Waldo” section in the back. [nonfiction animal atlas book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Sponsorships for Multicultural Children's Book Day ends Jan 1st!!!

Sponsorships for Multicultural Children’s Book Day ends Jan 1st!!!

Wondering how fundraising is going for Multicultural Children’s Book Day? Are you an author or publisher thinking of getting involved? Our deadline to become a sponsor is CLOSING soon on January 1st, 2017!! Please go HERE to view extended details and benefits of all of our Sponsorship Levels including Author Sponsors.

ScholasticFor  our upcoming Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th (our 4th year!), we have some amazing Sponsors in place. We are thrilled to have Scholastic as a Platinum Sponsor. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Charlotte Riggle and Chronicle Books.

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Edible Gifts for the In-Laws

Edible Gifts for the In-Laws

My mom just moved into a one bedroom apartment in Independent Living facility. My sister moved her in and it was a little like moving one’s kid into a college dorm. They got her new stuff: bed, TV, and furniture … and left a lot behind in her old house.

That’s because she has a tendency towards hoarding, so this is a chance to do things differently. And she likes having less stuff around to collect dust; it’s liberating to live more simply.

As a result, when I buy her gifts for Mother’s Day, Christmas, and her birthday, I am now giving her something that can be enjoyed but does not stick around. Edible presents fit the bill perfectly!

Edible Gifts for the In-Laws

Japanese Confections: Wagashi

My mom was born in San Francisco where her parents immigrated from Hiroshima, Japan. She likes Japanese mochi and I found a high end Japanese confectionary bakery, Minamoto Kitchoan, that delivers “wagashi” — Japanese sweets. Not all the items can be shipped but her favorite kind can.

Maccha Mochi

Maccha Mochi. Sweetened red beans covered with sticky green tea mochi.

Tsuya Read more…

Circle of Gratitude custom bookmarks

Gratitude Bookmark GIVEAWAY!

There is something to be grateful for every day…Circle of Gratitude custom bookmarks

I met Charlotte of Circle of Gratitude on Instagram and today she’s giving away 11 beautiful custom bookmarks tied to these books:

Little Elliot, Big Fun

Read more…

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

CapXTalk Boston on Giving Tuesday

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

The #CapXTalk at the Capital One Cafe in Back Bay Boston was a celebration of Giving Tuesday and how Boston’s companies give back to the community in different and innovative ways. I was in the audience and I took a few clips but you can watch the entire 45 minute live stream too!

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Capital One Reimagined Banking Initiative

It was my first time to the Capital One Cafe even though it’s down the street from my office. I was greeted by really friendly and helpful staff who serve as Capital One Ambassadors, including Jacky Chong. We struck up a conversation and I learned about the Capital One Teen debit card.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

My 16-year-old, a high school junior, has off campus privileges during school which she uses to buy food in town and she just got a debit card. It was our way of teaching her personal finance and it’s worked! She adds (her) money to her card when she earns it and has to keep track of how much is left. The Capital One Teen debit card has some built-in safety features that I really like including not allowing her to buy cigarettes or alcohol with it!

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Another really innovative feature at Capital One is an ATM that does not require an ATM card! You simply just tap your mobile device against it to get your money! The thing about Capital One is that it’s innovating in two ways. Their entry into retail banking is based on online banking, focusing on mobile and tech savvy milleniels who merge work and leisure with a view of the world that includes social justice.

Corporate Giving Ideas for Giving Tuesday

Capital One doesn’t want to leave behind those who don’t have access to technology. That’s where their own charity work begins. They focus on programs and charities that give technology to underserved kids. In fact, the panel for #CapXTalk included Capital One’s Foundation, Red Sox Foundation, and Harpoon Brewery. Each company gives back to the community in different ways, with different philosophies, and maybe each of us can use these ideas to champion charity work in our own workplaces.

#CapXTalk Boston on #GivingTuesday

Capital One Foundation

Much like they would evaluate a loan, Capital One Foundation has an overarching theme of giving. Theirs is technology for underserved youths. They find nonprofit partners and then analyze based on effectiveness. They allow for innovation and failure, learning from mistakes, in an effort to help their programs and their non profits succeed. A really cool example is their coding for girls event in Dallas which set a world record for participation!

Another major investment that Capital One Foundation does is Future Edge. This is a five-year, $150 commitment to equipping Americans with the skills they need to succeed in today’s digital economy, and C1 Coders, which helps to close the gender gap in STEM for middle school students.

In Boston specifically, the brand has partnered with charitable organizations like Boston Cares, ABCD and Junior Achievement, and also launched the Give Back campaign, which empowers and funds Capital One associates to support local causes of their choice.

Red Sox Foundation

It was clear that charity work at the Red Sox organization begins with rolling up your sleeves and that management, aka the owners, consider charity work to be their privilege. They fund many different programs but it all starts with an internal champion … like David Ortiz who uses his celebrity to fund open heart surgery in the Dominican Republic. Their Boston Red Sox Scholars program gives college scholarships to kids in need and is funded by working with license plate manufacturers to sell Red Sox vanity plates. You’ll find that the charities that the Red Sox Foundation supports will include one of their own organization’s member on the board of that non-profit, both writing a check and showing up to volunteer.

Harpoon Brewery Gives Back

Out of 600 asks, Harpoon Brewery fulfils 400! That’s 2/3 of all requests, whether it’s a basket of Harpoon logo gifts for a charity auction, or something beer for an event. Harpoon Brewery’s charity work focuses around events and their 5 miler Race is a good example of rallying around a cause — in this case cancer — to raise money, have a good time, and build community. Because that’s exactly how they do it.


Capital One wants to empower people to feel more confident with their relationships with money so that their money can ultimately fit their life, and they’re redesigning the banking experience to help them do just that.

The company is implementing new programs and ways for people to think about their finances and is continuing to develop and pilot innovative digital financial technology. This means innovative products, digital tools and Cafés that help customers feel confident in their relationship with their money and confident about their ability to achieve their goals.

Within the Cafés, Capital One is also piloting an exciting first-to-industry series of supper club-style money workshops and offering 1:1 money coaching sessions, which are designed to help people reshape their perspectives about their relationship with money. It’s free for everyone and super easy to schedule a session in their Harvard Square Café, so please check that out, my readers in the Boston area!

The #CapXTalk panel discussion is part of Capital One’s continued growth in Boston and ongoing efforts to reimagine banking. Their Café concept came to Boston more than two years ago and has since expanded to five Café locations across the city. They just announced they will be expanding to Hingham, Lynnfield and the Seaport in the coming months. I’m hoping they will open in Newton soon!

Banking reimagined. I like that!



 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One.
90 Second Newbery Film Festival Competition

Enter 90-Second Newbery Film Festival

The deadline for 90-Second Newbery Film Festival entries is January 7, 2017 (special deadlines for San Antonio, TX (12/2/2016) and Asheville, NC (2/8/2017)).

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival—an annual celebration of kids’ creativity in which young filmmakers create short movies telling the entire stories of Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor books in roughly 90 seconds—is now open for submissions for its sixth year. Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Favorite Holiday Books #DiverseKidLit Linky

 Our theme for this month’s Favorite Holiday Books. (Please feel free to share any holiday resources, not just winter holidays.) The theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.

Chinese New Year is January 28th, 2017 but the Japanese and Koreans celebrate New Year on January 1st. It’s a little confusing for my kids given that they are half Korean, and one quarter Chinese and Japanese American.

I wanted to share a new Chinese New Book that I just added to my Chinese New Year book list. It’s an update to my Top 10: Chinese New Year Books. This list will also be in a new eBook for Multicultural Children’s Book Day that we are publishing as a fundraiser.

The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Alina Chau

The ancient legend of the Nian monster gives background to why Chinese New Year is celebrated with the color red, loud noises and fire. XingLing knows about the Nian Monster but is shocked to see it appear in Shanghai, ready to devour her and her city. She uses her wits to outsmart the Nian monster. The special foods used to celebrate Chinese New Year also have a role to play in defeating the Nian monster. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

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.

Win Fantastic Beasts Books for Kids: 4 WINNERS!

Win Fantastic Beasts Books for Kids: 4 WINNERS!

My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, is a huge Harry Potter fan. She waited in line to see Fantastic Beasts opening day and raved about it. Because of her, we own many Harry Potter wands. Our Harry Potter books are dog eared; some books even needed to be replaced.

And so, it’s for her, that I jumped at the chance to give away these wonderful Harry Potter gift books, timed so that the winners can gift them for the holidays if they chose unselfishly not to keep them for themselves.

Please fill out the Rafflecopter below to win! Read more…

10 Amazing Graphic Novels for Kids & Signed Big Nate GIVEAWAY

10 Amazing Graphic Novels for Kids & Signed Big Nate GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest blogger today, none other than the author/illustrator of the insanely popular Big Nate series, Lincoln Peirce. My son, now 12 year olds, is a huge fan and we credit Lincoln Peirce with getting my son to love reading. We are wowed by Epic Big Nate, an expansive, slipcased collector’s edition that includes:

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney’s exclusive interview with creator Lincoln Peirce
  • an insider’s view into the world of cartooning
  • Peirce’s favorite strips of all time along with his exclusive commentary
  • a ton of cartoons presented chronologically

With more than 14 million books sold, Big Nate is a BIG deal. Kids 8 – 12, as well older kids with nostalgia for the beloved strip, will go nuts for this book, making it an EPIC gift idea. My son would wholeheartedly agree!

I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of Epic Big Nate to one lucky winner. Please fill out Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

Read more…