Do your kids like to make stop motion movies? My son uses Flipagram as an easy way to do Lego stop motion animation.
Archive for June, 2017
We all want our kids to be grow up to be happy. It turns out that gratitude is the surest path to happiness. These 14 picture books all have a different take on gratitude and thankfulness. What are you favorite books on this topic?
14 Picture Books to Teach Gratitude
Penguin Problems by Jory John, illustrated by Lane Smith
Mortimer, the little penguin is the opposite of grateful as he starts his morning.
“It’s way too early. My beak is cold. It’s too bright out here. I’m hungry. It snowed some more last night, and I don’t even like snow.”
As he hunts for food, he is also being hunted. He has so many problems (and complaints). Finally, a walrus sets him straight with some zen thoughts, challenging him to appreciate what he has both in his community and the natural beauty that surrounds him.
Do walruses understand penguins? They do seem to understand gratitude! Kids will enjoy this hilarious picture book about looking at things from a different perspective. [picture book, ages 3 and up]
The Quiltmaker’s Gift by
A greedy king is unhappy despite his piles of treasures and he thinks a quilt from the magical quiltmaker will fulfil him. She only gives her quilts to the poor and needy and agrees to make him a quilt on one condition:
“Make presents of everything you own, she said, “and then I’ll make a quilt for you. With each gift that you give, I’ll sew in another piece. When at last all your things are gone, your quilt will be finished.”
“I can’t do that!” cried the king. I love all my wonderful, beautiful things.”
“But if they don’t make you happy,” the woman replied, “what good are they?”
The king can not part with his treasures so he punishes her instead. With each attempt, she foils him with sewing projects that help an animal, who helps her in turn. Finally, the king decides to give away his things. Slowly he learns that giving away his treasures actually fills him with happiness.
This is a wonderful classic about how true happiness comes from giving to others in need. It belongs on every bookshelf! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. Mark Twain
Before I talk about this new nonfiction book coming out at the end of June, I have a “small world” story. I run the social media for two restaurants that the father of my son’s best friend owns, Common Ground. To promote Common Ground in Arlington, Massachusett’s new function room, I decided to hold a pop up Holiday Market. A local children’s book author signed up … and that person turned out to be Ammi-Joan Paquette, who lives nearby. Read more…
Have you ever tried a “book tasting?” It’s a fun way to get kids reading. You simply get a pile of books and have kids flip through the books, just to sample each one. Chances are that no one will leave empty handed.
Like baby clothes, Early Chapter Books tend to have a girl or boy appeal. Some like Magic Tree House, A to Z Mysteries, and Bailey School Kids appeal to both just like there are yellow, white and green infant clothes. I mean, they exist, but there’s just not a ton of them. But I try to judge the audience of the book, as open minded kids might not care if the character reflects themselves. I put the order of the books in this list by reading level, with the lower level first.
I did a book tasting with a pile of new early chapter books, and these are my favorites. How about you? What early chapter books are you or your kids enjoying?
I’m giving away 9 early chapter books to 9 winners. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
New Early Chapter Books to Get Kids Reading
Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes
This reminds me of the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel but instead of amphibians, it’s about two brothers. It has that same kind style of conversation and the same kind of gentle adventures but set during modern times. This feels like an instant classic. I’m a huge fan of Frog and Toad and I love this book! Everything about it appeals to me. [early chapter book, ages 4 and up]
Pigsticks and Harold and the Tuptown Thief by Alex Milway
I read and loved a Pigsticks and Harold book when I judged the Cybils but I asked for the book to be recategorized from Easy Reader to Early Chapter Book. Here’s the thing: it falls in between. That’s not really an issue for the reader. Pigsticks and Harold books are funny mystery adventures that appeal to kids. Try it with kids ready to leave Easy Readers and make the leap to chapter books. This is the perfect transition series. [early chapter book series, ages 5 and up]
Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is books featuring multiethnic families and/or biracial main characters. Sometimes a focus on diversity can feel like forcing people into boxes. Let’s celebrate the diversity that can be found within a single person or household! (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)
I wanted to share This Is Just A Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
What’s like to grow up Chinese-Jewish-American during the Cold War 80’s? Nuclear war is a real possibility as is forgetting to wear pants to school. David Da-Wei Rosenberg has a lot on his plate i this coming of age chapter book of a boy caught in the middle of cultures and friendships. Coming out June 27, 2017! [chapter book, ages 8 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.
I’m sharing this giveaway in partnership with Scholastic!
I credit Dav Pilkey and his Captain Underpants series with getting my son reading so I’m thrilled to giveaway two Captain Underpants books in honor of the new movie! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. As I always tell my kids, the book is always better than the movie! Both books are in stores May 1 ,2017.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Official Handbook by Kate Howard
Meet George and Harold, two fun-loving best friends with a special talent for trouble. The only thing they love more than pulling pranks is creating comic book heroes like the Amazing Captain Underpants. When the boys accidentally bring Captain Underpants to life, Jerome Horwitz Elementary — and the world — will never be the same! The Movie Handbook is your official guide to George and Harold, the Amazing Captain Underpants, mean old Mr. Krupp, Professor P. Poopypants, and much, much more.