• 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!

New Captain Underpants GIVEAWAY!

New Captain Underpants GIVEAWAY!

My son learned to read independently because of Captain Underpants and other graphic novels. He would actually ask me to take him to the library, which he often confuses for a book store, and head straight to the graphic novel section way in the back of the children’s section. He had very specific tastes in graphic novels and would scour the shelves for Captain Underpants, The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, Ninjago, and that’s about it.

reading graphic novels

At the school book fair loaded with $25 in cash, he returned with The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, 100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet and a lot of leftover money. Usually, we read together as shared reading partners. Not with these graphic novels. He would read them all himself, happily in his car seat on the way home.

New Captain Underpants GIVEAWAY! Read more…

Caught in the Act ... of READING!

Kids Caught in the Act … of READING!

Ugh, I’ve been so behind that I’m finally now posting on Caught in the Act … of READING for the summer, now that the summer is almost over! Sorry about that! I’m not sure where the time went!

I’ll keep my book offer open for the rest of 2015: send me a photo of your child caught in the act of reading and I’ll send you a book. It’s my way to encourage reading! Read more…

Top 10 Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

Top 10 Bilingual Spanish Picture Books & #GIVEAWAY

Today my guest author is Derek Taylor Kent. You might know him as Derek the Ghost, author of the award-winning MG series Scary School.

His first picture book is just came out August 18 called El Perro Con Sombrero: A Bilingual Doggy Tale and illustrated by the talented artist Jed Henry.

Top 10 Bilingual Spanish Picture Books Read more…

Wet Ones and Goldfish Crackers

Wet Ones and Goldfish Crackers for School Lunches

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones® + Pepperidge Farm® . The opinions and text are all mine.

I pack Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish Crackers in my son’s lunch box every single day and he never seems to tire of it. I’m not sure if he eats it for snack or for lunch, but it’s always gone when I clean out his lunch box at night, and usually his lunch box is a mess with crumbs and liquids co-mingling into a sticky goo.

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#BackToSchool with a Game of Strategy

#BackToSchool with a Game of Strategy

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

School is rapidly approaching and my kids are not ready to go back. We have slid into bad habits that include too much screen time and very late bedtimes. My son has taken to calling himself Nocturnal Man and is going to bed at one or two in the morning and getting up at noon just like a teenager. Except he’s 10!

Horizon Organics snacks for kidsRead more…

choosing a preschool and what to consider

Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Learning Care Group. The opinions and text are all mine.

I remember how stressful it was to figure out preschool for my kids. It wasn’t just finding the right preschool, it was also getting into it. The costs varied widely too so that was another consideration. And finally, the hours. Preschools had widely divergent operating hours that didn’t necessarily reflect in their pricing. In fact, some of the school that were the most expensive, had the shortest hours.

choosing a preschool and what to consider

Because we lived in Boston with my oldest and moved to the suburbs when my second was a toddler, we were in quite a few preschools. Read more…

Our Trip to the Women's World Cup and Soccer Book GIVEAWAY

Our Trip to the Women’s World Cup and Soccer Book GIVEAWAY

My husband had it all figured out. The Women’s World Cup was going to be held in Canada and if we got really lucky, we would be able to watch USA Women’s National Team if they made the quarter finals. We watched all their games with excitement! The scores were tight but we were going to see them in Ottawa!

Women's World Cup and Soccer Book GIVEAWAY

We had never been to Ottawa but had visited Montreal five times and Toronto once. Ottawa is Canada’s capital and famous for a fried dough treat called a Beavertail. It comes topped with an assortment of sweets including Nutella and candy. My kids were delighted to sample it!

driving to Burlington VT

The drive up took 10 hours due to an accident involving a semi truck transporting gas that shut down the highway such that everyone shut off their cars for nearly an hour.

Burlington Vermont

We also stopped midway in Burlington, Vermont which is a lovely stop for foodies! Farm to table was invented here I think!

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Back to School with Tyson A+ Fun Nuggets

Back to School with Tyson A+ Fun Nuggets

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson Project A+. The opinions and text are all mine.

It’s August and already time to start thinking about back to school?! When I think about school, I remember the scramble right after school to feed the kids a hearty snack before they leave for their sports practices. They really need a mini-meal but it needs to be quick and sometimes, even portable!

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Percy Jackson GREEK HEROES Giveaway! #ReadRiordan

Percy Jackson GREEK HEROES Giveaway! #ReadRiordan

Percy Jackson pack

Thank goodness that school has not started for us yet. My son loves Percy Jackson and has read every word Rick Riordan has ever written and he would have lugged the latest Percy Jackson Greek Hereos book back and forth to school every single day until he finished it. That would be a feat for the gods, because this book weighs a lot!

Read more…