• 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Best Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade

    Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

  • How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

    Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.

  • Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

    I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.

  • Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness!

    Thank you to Hubpages for this information. There are additional book suggestions by grade if click here to see their post. I have added an asterisk to the books that I’ve read and loved (and two astericks for must reads!).

  • Top 10: Best Beginning Chapter Book Series (ages 6-9)

    Dragons and aliens and dinosaurs, oh my! And for girls, there are interesting slightly mischieveous girls to meet as well as cousins who are really sweet. Short chapter book series can often have repetitive plot lines about nothing or language that is neither rich nor interesting. There is something special about each of these book series for the child AND the adult reading along.

  • Top 50: Best Multicultural Children’s Books

    Every summer I stress out about what books to get for my kids that they will like but are also exposing them — as only books can do — to the wide world all around them both past, present and future. This summer, we are going to take a trip around the world by reading these multi-cultural books. What is great about this list is that it covers all the ages of my kids: from preschool through elementary school. I will be sneaky and check out these books for them and leave them strewn about the house for them to examine when they are bored. I will keep you posted on what books my kids actually liked because that is a whole ‘nother list! See you at the library!

The Hawaiian Ukelele? All About the Ukelele for Kids!

The Hawaiian Ukelele? All About the Ukelele for Kids!

Two of my kids are fascinated by the ukelele. My son, who plays guitar, was inspired by musician Jake Shimabukuro that he showed the video to his guitar teacher, and watched Jake’s videos on technique that he can apply to guitar later on when he gets more advanced.

Grasshopper and Sensei is learning the ukelele on her own after coveting a beautiful handmade ukelele found at a shop on vacation two years ago. I figured that after one year of asking for it, she must be serious, so I bought it for her the following year we returned.

grasshopper and sensei ukelele

My husband played golf for the University of Hawaii so Hawaii has a special place in his heart and he is equally surprised to learn that the ukelele is not actually from Hawaii!  Read more…

Happy Pi Day

Pi Day Humor: Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day! Get it? March 14th is 3.14! It’s especially appropriate this year, 2015, as the first few number of pi are 3.1415!

To celebrate, I dug up Pi Day cartoons! I hope you enjoy Pi Day today!!

The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi“.

Pi Day humor Read more…

Picture Book of the Day Celebrates Women's History Month

Picture Book of the Day Celebrates Women’s History Month

I’m thrilled to be participating in KidLit Celebrates Women’s History Month, run by Margo Tanenbaum, of The Fourth Musketeer, and Lisa Taylor, of Shelf-employed. I met Margo at KidLitCon in 2012. Their great blog celebrates women in history by organizing a month of guest posts about women in history. My post on Anna May Wong was on March 11th.

Anna May Wong

 image from Wiki Commons

I am also chosing Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story for Picture Book of the Day today, and I include a short interview with author Paula Yoo. You might remember her for her wonderful post on Best Biographies for Kids. Read more…

Astounding Videos for Kids with a Science Twist

Astounding Videos for Kids with a Science Twist

Thank you to everyone who left kind comments about enjoying the videos that my son and I are curating from The Kid Should See This videos. They curate videos made for adults but are appropriate for kids. My son and I watch a ton of them and we pick out our favorites.

 

Science Videos to Fascinate Kids (at least my own)!

The Science of Snowflakes

If you are not tired of snow (and clearly not living in Boston), here’s a 20 second clip of a snowflake forming. It’s beautiful and fascinating, but not fun to shovel! Read more…

Writing Tips for Children from NS Blackman

Writing Tips for Children from NS Blackman

What if… your child wants to write a really great story but can’t?

Writing Tips for Children from author NS Blackman of The Secret Dinosaur series

Kids who love reading very often like writing too – there’s no surprise in that.  It’s fantastic if your child gets the writing bug. They’ve spent hours reading a great book and now they want to move on from being absorbed in someone else’s story to creating one of their own. Read more…

Gift Ideas for Mother's Day for Moms & Grandmothers

Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day for Moms & Grandmothers

Do you need gift ideas for Mother’s Day? I always do. The problem is that I think Mother’s Day is all about me and I forget that I also need to get Mother’s Day gifts for the grandmothers. One year this meant overnight expressing cards for Saturday delivery!

Grandmothers might find this bracelet to be too edgey, but I like it! It’s a handmade Mother’s Day bracelet from Cynical Redhead’s Etsy store, $16.

mother's day gifts Read more…

Top 10: Spy and Superhero Chapter Books for Kids

Top 10: Spy and Superhero Chapter Books for Kids

My son has recently become very interested in DC and Marvel comics from the video game Injustice. It’s been great because, though a video game that he played a lot, it’s led to him reading comics, learning about comic book artist icons and drawing his own comics.

my son's comics based on DC and Marvel comic superheroes

We’ve been reading about spy and superheroes in books at home as well over the past two years. In some of these books, the protagonist is in a highly trained school for espionage, but in others, it’s just an ordinary kid called upon to go undercover. Some have special powers, some do not, but they all entertain!

These spy/superhero books are almost as good as a video game! Here are a few of our favorites. I’m finding that if this topic appeals to your child, you can slip in other authors and genres to keep the reading going!

Read more…

Best Multicultural Picture Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural Picture Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

This is a really great multicultural/diversity/inclusion book list for kids: 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society Award. I haven’t read them all so I’ll use book jacket blurbs with age range to make this list more helpful for parents and teachers looking for books for kids.

I am splitting this list into three parts. Today I will cover Notable Books for a Global Society picture books. For the next Kid Lit Blog Hop, I’ll post the middle grade books and finally, young adult on the following one. Read more…

Top 10 Dr. Seuss Books and Activities for Read Across America

Top 10 Dr. Seuss Books and Activities for #ReadAcrossAmerica

Have you heard of Read Across America, a year round literacy campaign that culminates on March 2 (TODAY!) — the birthday of Dr. Seuss?

Read Across America Dr. Seuss

I am thrilled to bring you resources to hold your own Reading Event today including:

The official book for Read Across America is Dr. Seuss’ Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, which coincides with the book’s 25th anniversary!

Oh The Places You'll Go Dr. Seuss Read Across America Read more…