Diversity Mystery Books for Kids

Diversity Mystery Books for Kids

It was a lot harder than you’d think to find mystery books for kids with characters of color. I want to thank my Instagram followers for their help in putting this list together:

West Meadows Detectives: The Case of the Snack Snatcher series by Liam O’Donnell

Myron is on the autism spectrum which makes him a great detective because his observations are based on fact and logic rather than emotion. When snacks go missing from his school cafeteria, it would seem that Sarah “Smasher” McGintley might be the culprit, but Myron and his classmates (which include children of color) from Resource Room 15 search for evidence in unlikely places until they find out what really is going on.

Liam O’Donnell communicates a subtle message to readers that kids with special needs also have special talents in this series for newly independent readers. [early chapter book, ages 6 and up]
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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…

Giving Your Child Another Language (even if you don't)

Giving Your Child Another Language Without Knowing It

Judy Martialay, author of ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish, is my guest author today. She’s giving ideas of how to introduce another language to your kids at home even if you don’t speak a second one (like me)!

Hola! Let's Learn Spanish

Giving Your Child Another Language, Even if You’re Monolingual 

Do you want your child/children to be ready for the global world of the 21st century? Here is a gift that you can give to the child/children in your life that will last a lifetime: an early start in learning a language.

Giving Your Child Another Language (even if you don't)

Consider the benefits of knowing another language: direct communication with millions around the world; understanding, appreciation and respect for other cultures as well as our own; increased tolerance for diversity abroad and at home.  There’s more: better and more opportunities for employment; broader perspectives; better understanding of international affairs; delay of onset of dementia for up to five years. Read more…

Fun & Easy Ways to Expose Kids to Poetry

Fun & Easy Ways to Expose Kids to Poetry

National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry introduced in 1996 and organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.

Fun & Easy Ways to Expose Kids to Poetry

I’m not great about exposing my kids to poetry so this is my easy way for April’s National Poetry Month. I’m just going to have my kids watch this wonderful 2.5 minute video. Read more…

No Trash Town in Japan

Earth Day: No Trash Town in Japan

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd, and I was inspired by this video I saw on The Kid Should See This about a small town in rural Japan well on its way to becoming a zero waste community. This means that they will produce no trash. To this end, they sort their trash into 34 recycling categories. I know that my family and I have trouble with just one recycling category!

No Trash Town in Japan: Zero Waste in Kamikatsu Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

Please Join Me for Diverse Children’s Books 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.

DiverseKidLit

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Hamsters & Guinea Pigs in Early Chapter Books

Hamsters & Guinea Pigs in Early Chapter Books

I’m not sure what children’s publishing rule of thumb seems to dictate that hamsters sell Early Chapter Books but when I judged the first round Cybils, there were a surprising amount of hamster themed books in this category. This, of course, let me to search out more Early/Easy Chapter Books with hamsters as characters as well as picture books.

Why do you think Early Chapter Books and hamsters go so well together? Is this publishing gold or a knee-jerk “copy what’s working” strategy to find an escaped hamster? Are hamsters really the Houdinis of rodents or are we short-changing rats, moles, mice and other furry creatures?

My search for hamster books was prompted by this video below. It turns out that hamsters have flexible hips that allow them to take sharp turns easily, even doing a complete U-turn in a tight space. And let’s not discount their ability to stuff food into their cheek pouches. The pouches, which secrete no saliva, extend down to their hips! Read more…

More Really Cool Science and Art Videos for Kids

More Really Cool Science and Art Videos for Kids

My son selected four cool videos from a slew for your viewing pleasure. I added some book suggestions. Like his video picks? Here’s more:

The Kid Should Really See These Videos!

Amazing Videos to Share With Your Kids

My Son’s Favorite Fun and Educational Videos

The Kid Should Really See This Videos

Flu Season Science for Kids

Galileo’s Leaning Tower of Pisa Experiment (then and now)

Best Fun and Educational Videos for Kids (with matching book)

More Fun and Educational Videos for Kids

Coolest Star Wars Art Ever!

My son and I watched this and had the kind of reaction you get when watching an amazing fireworks display. Please watch the entire video as architect and artist Red Hong Yi has seven amazing Star Wars shadow art displays. She shines a beam of light from a specific position onto different shapes arranged on wires to get these effects!

Pair this with Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series.

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House Monkey App for Chores

House Monkey App for Chores

The House Monkey App is an interesting idea. It’s an app that you set up for your family to track chores and tasks around the house. It has features to reward participation, and lets you create training videos to show someone how to do a task.

House Monkey App for Chores Read more…