• 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 […]

  • African-American Female Musicians Picture Books

    March is Women’s History Month so I’ve started off with a video of a musician that is new to me, Hazel Dorothy Scott, a jazz prodigy who was prominent during the 1930s and 1940s. I could not find a picture book biography on her (yet) but here’s hoping that someone will write out. In the […]

  • 5 Amazing Multicultural Novels in Verse and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

    It’s been such a great year for those who love both multicultural/diversity/inclusive books for kids AND novels in verse! I picked five amazing favorites that I’ve loved from this past year and hope that the popularity of these books will encourage more diversity books to be published! What are your favorite novels in verse? Please […]

  • 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 […]

  • 23 Great Picture Books for 5th Grade

    A reader asked me for a list of picture books appropriate for 4th and 5th grade. I wasn’t sure myself. Sure, there are advanced picture books but does the list have to hit the Core Curriculum agenda? Don’t 4th and 5th graders want to read solely chapter books, having left picture books behind in 1st […]

Baby Bunny Nest in Our Yard & GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? Giveaway

Baby Bunny Nest & GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? Giveaway

My husband ordered 6 cubic yards of mulch for our yard and we went to town for three days. While he was raking off the dead leaves to prepare for the mulch in our front yard, he happened upon a bunny nest with four baby bunnies inside!

wild bunny nest in our yard

He showed me the bunny nest, and one bunny popped out and ran for it. Luckily the bunny was  slow, so my husband was able to catch it and stuff it back inside the nest.

runaway bunny

The next day, PickyKidPix, caught wind of the bunny nest and asked to be shown it. This time when they peeled off the top which was made of leaves and brush, the bunny took off. It took them twenty-five minutes to catch the baby bunny.

baby cottontail bunny in our yard Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit Global Books

Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is Global Books. Please share your favorite diverse books that take place in countries other than your own. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

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.

DiverseKidLit

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Kid Lit Blog Hop Now MONTHLY!

KidLit Blog Hop

Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children’s literature. We welcome you to the May 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This hop takes place every 3rd Wednesday of the month. It is designed to engage a  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!

Have you seen the Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page? This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid’s Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page. Read more…

Understanding Transgender with LGBTQ Books for Kids

Understanding Transgender with LGBTQ Books for Kids

In searching for LGBTQ books for kids and teens, I realized how many different permutations a child might encounter and tried to find books for all different kids of LGTBQ families. Personally, I found the concept of Gender Fluidity to be the most confusing, so I’ve included Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series that does a terrific job of depicting this.

How about you? What LBGTQ books are your favorites? What LGBTQ books are missing from this list or need to be published? Thanks for sharing!

Understanding Transgender with LGBTQ Books for Kids

Picture Books with LGBTQ Parents

The Family Book by Todd Parr

Todd Parr’s inimitable voice assures readers that whether your family has two dads, two moms, or something else, every family is special in its own unique way. [picture book, ages 2 and up]

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown

This gentle story of Stella’s dilemma for her school Mother’s Day event showcases her loving family with two dads. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Laura Cornell

Heather has a lot of things in that come in pairs: arms, legs, pets … and moms! She has Mama Jane and Mama Kate. When she starts kindergarten, she realizes that she might be the only one without a daddy. But when her class draws a picture of their family, Heather realizes that every family is special and that it doesn’t matter how many mommies or daddies your family has. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Gratitude Flags Public Art at My Dog Park

Gratitude Flags Public Art at My Dog Park

I happened up on this public art display at Weston Reservoir where we take our dog every day. There’s a wooded mile and half path that winds around the reservoir. Metaphorically and literally, the gratitude flags take you from the beaten path up to a little ridge where there is a winding display tied to a few trees.

Gratitude Flags Public Art at My Dog Park

Once you are there, you might notice the plastic bin of cut up sail cloth, Sharpie pens, and clothespins. You are invited to write on a flag about what you are grateful for, and add it to the display. Periodically, I noticed, someone comes to add more lines. Steadily, the flags have grown.

Here are some of my favorite:

Gratitude Flags Public Art at My Dog Park Read more…

Floating Hospital for Children

Floating Hospital for Children & Keeping Kids Healthy

This post was sponsored by Floating Hospital for Children as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

It’s comforting to know that there are great medical facilities in Boston including Floating Hospital for Children which is the full-service children’s hospital of Tufts Medical Center. It provides pediatric services in every medical and surgical specialty including cancer, heart disease and trauma, both inpatient and outpatient.

We used to live in Boston’s South End where Floating Hospital for Children is located. One nice thing about Floating Hospital for Children is its size. It’s smaller size makes for a more intimate environment that makes kids and parents alike feel comfortable. And their atmosphere supports young patients who prove every day that you don’t have to be big to be strong.

Read more…

Modern Immigration Books for Kids

Modern Immigration & The Refugee Experience Books for Kids

Use these books on modern immigration and the refugee experience books for kids to teach empathy and compassion. What are your favorite books on this topic that I’ve left out? Thanks for sharing!

Modern Immigration Books for Kids

I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien

Three children from Guatemala, Korea, and Somalia are starting over in America where they have to learn a new language and make new friends. They feel isolated, confused, and sad. Slowly, they make progress, and they find their place with the help of kind classmates. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Here I Am by Patti Kim, illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

This wordless picture book that tells a Korean American immigration story beginning with a plane ride to New York City. It’s not easy adjusting to a new city and a new language but slowly, the young boy adjusts. He’s brought with him a seed from his old country, and it helps him make a new friend … and a new happy life. [wordless picture book, ages 6 and up]

One Green Apple by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ted Lewin

A young Muslin girl joins her class on a field trip to an apple orchard. Because she doesn’t speak English, she feels isolated and unwelcome. When she chooses a green apple, a boy protests that it’s unripe. Her teacher intervenes and it’s added to the cider press. The resulting cider is delicious; an analogy for the beauty of diversity. By the end of the trip, the young girl makes a new friend, and feels like she is starting to fit in. [picture book, ages 6-11]

Read more…

10 Picture Books About Africa That Teach Empathy

10 Picture Books About Africa That Teach Empathy

I received so many great picture book suggestions for my first list, 10 Great Picture Books to Learn About Africa, that I had to include them on a new list. So here it is. Part Two: 10 More Great Picture Books To Learn About Africa.

This new list highlights seemingly ordinary people who find ways to help people in extraordinary ways. Other books on this list showcase empathy and helping others. It is my hope that this list inspires kids that they can change the world.

10 Picture Books About Africa That Teach Empathy

10. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy, in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez 

Willson Kimeli Naiyomah of Kenya

In Kenya, Kimeli comes home to his Maasai village after studying abroad. He has something important to discuss with his village elders. He remembers 9/11 and the suffering in New York. To the Maasai, the cow is life. Kimeli offers his only cow Enkarûs; others join him in this ultimate sacrifice. Together they gift fourteen precious cows for America “because there is no nation so powerful that it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small that they cannot offer mighty comfort.” This is based on the true story of Kimeli Naiyomah. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

9. Growing Peace: A Story of Farming, Music, and Religious Harmony by Richard Sobol

J. J. Keki

In a village in Uganda, farmers work together at a coffee growers co-op called Peace Kawomera (Delicious Peace). What is unusual is this is an interfaith farming cooperative with Christians, Jews and Muslims all working together.

Not too long ago, Uganda had a series of civil wars and people of all religious faced persecution. When Ugandan musician, J. J. Keki  visited the United States, he witnessed the 9/11 terrorist attack, and it prompted him to start this farming co-op. As of 2016, there were more than 1,000 farmers growing and selling their coffee collectively through Peace Kawomera. [advanced nonfiction picture book, ages 7 and up]

Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit Favorites

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit! Please scroll down to share a favorite  #diversekidlit post or to find amazing diverse resources.

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.

DiverseKidLit

Read more…