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Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author and illustrator Gaia Cornwall with her list of ten picture books that spark courage. She took the jump from illustrator to author with her first picture book, Jabari Jumps, a charming story about a boy who wants to dive for the first time, but finds it a little scary.

We are giving away 3 copies of Jabari Jumps! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. How about you? What picture books that spark courage do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is ready to jump off the diving board for the first time!… Right after he does some stretches. And thinks about what kind of jump to do. Actually, everyone else can go first… With the help of his supportive dad, Jabari figures out how to deal with his fear and tackle a new challenge. [ages 2 and up]

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GIVEAWAY: 16 Interactive Books for Kids

GIVEAWAY: 16 Interactive Books for Kids

UPDATE: all the books are claimed! Thanks so much for your interest. I’ll be giving away a lot more books on my blog and on my Instagram (@PragmaticMom).


It’s summer and I’m sensing that  you need entertainment for your little ones. These books are great for long car rides, waits at restaurants, or just to stay off screens. I’m giving away ALL of 12 these great interactive picture books to 12 winners in hopes that it will get your kids reading this summer. Because I’m giving away so many books, I’m doing the giveaway a little differently.

To win a book:

  1. Email me at
  2. Include your mailing address
  3. List age range of your kids and/or first, second, and third book choice

Winners are of emails received. Each email gets one book until all the books are given away.

How is your summer going? What’s your best tip for keeping kids off screens? Thanks for sharing!


GIVEAWAY: 16 Interactive Books for Kids

Violet Rose and the Summer Campout by Jannie Ho

A charming activity book with more than 175 stickers to be used to decorate the press-outs. Help her set up camp, decorate sand castles at the beach, and go on a scavenger hunt. More free games and activities to print at the website too! [sticker activity book, ages 4 and up]

I’m partial to Jannie Ho books because I took a children’s writing class with her and she’s lovely!

Maisy Goes Swimming by Lucy Cousins

I can personally vouch that this is a beloved classic in our house! I must have pulled the tabs and lifted the flaps thousands of times to my kids. Our copy is in tatters but my kids are too old for Maisy now, so I am going to give it away … though there is this side of me that wants to keep it for old times sake! [interactive picture book, ages 2 and up]

Find The Dots by Andy Mansfield

For fans of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, this is an interactive version that is kind of like that book except this book has flaps to lift, wheels to turn, tabs to pull, and amazing pop ups as well. It’s also a counting book! With puzzles. Yes, it’s a very cool, amazing book. [interactive picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Zap Zap Kindergarten Math app for learning numeracy and number recognition

Kindergarten Math Summer Learning Fun

I’m thrilled to partner with Zap Zap to announce their new Zap Zap Kindergarten Math app!Zap Zap Kindergarten Math app

It’s no secret that kids love playing games on their screens, and they will practice math facts if it’s presented in the form of a puzzle or game.

Zap Zap Kindergarten Math app for learning numeracy and number recognition Read more…

What would you do If You Ran the Dr. Seuss Museum?

If you are the new Dr. Seuss Museum, do you acknowledge Dr. Seuss’ racist past or not? What’s the argument for either side?

Dr. Seuss: Racism Erased?

Don’t Include Dr. Seuss’ racist political cartoons or racist books:

  • The museum is about the author and not the person. Except … that the website specifically addresses Ted Geisel: The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss is a permanent, bilingual museum designed to introduce children and their families to the stories of Ted Geisel, promote joy in reading, and nurture specific literacy skills.
  • The museum only features original art by Dr. Seuss and does not own any of his political cartoons. Except … Dr. Seuss’ racist cartoons are being sold at auction and no one is buying them.
  • The museum doesn’t cover the racism because the museum is geared towards kids. Except … The Smithsonian via the National Museum of African American History and Culture engages children in reflecting on and raising their awareness of racism. They opt not to display the devastating photograph of Emmett Till’s body at his funeral in the room in which his original casket is displayed. They explained it’s because they want to present the history in an age-appropriate way for kids to be able to see and acknowledge what happened. They are engaging with critical issues of racial injustice and intentionally choose not to shield children from confronting the realities of racism in America and American history.

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My son's Korean and Japanese Sword Making

Korean and Japanese Sword Making

My son has always loved making weapons from bows and arrows made from sticks, to wooden swords that he carves and decorates himself.

He made this Samurai armor and sword upcycling sketch book covers and cardboard boxes. Duct tape was also involved. It always is involved in his projects.

Korean and Japanese Sword Making

In earlier days, he made swords using aluminum foil and duct tape for a Percy Jackson book club with his friends. Now, he needs a run to Home Depot to buy wood without a curve in it, drawing out his designs that his father cuts out for him. Read more…

Easy Ways to Stay Spiritual

Easy Ways to Stay Spiritual

Easy Ways to Stay Spiritual

Life has a way of throwing some intense obstacles your way from time to time. With personal dramas unfolding alongside larger problems that the world is experiencing, it can be important to discover a way to keep yourself afloat. Many people find that turning to a higher power, such as through religion or a spiritual group, can be helpful for discovering peace. Groups like The Way International can be wonderful places to begin this journey of faith. There are also some steps that you can begin to take on your own to live a more meaningful spiritual life.

Living a spiritual life is not always as simple as one might hope. In order for you to feel connected to a higher power, you might need to dedicate a specific amount of time from your schedule to spiritual practices. By falling into certain routines, you will discover that it is much easier for you to connect to the divine. Take a look at these easy ways to stay spiritual and see if you find the peace of mind that you need to get through the madness of life.

Easy Ways to Stay Spiritual Read more…

Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit: Books in a Series

Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is books in a series. Series books are great for hooking readers, because there’s another book after you finish the first one! Share your favorite book series featuring diverse characters. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

I have a few recommendations!

Grace Lin has three series: Ling & Ting (easy reader), Pacy Lin (chapter book), Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (four book chapter books series).

Ling & Ting are charming short stories that tie up in each book. This series has won many awards including a Geisel.

The Pacy Lin series most reflects Grace Lin’s own childhood.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 4 book series

These are companion books but the most recent one is starting to tie back to her previous books. Lin weaves Chinese folk tales and mythology into her award winning series.

Rita Williams-Garcia’s trilogy is a multigenerational family story that includes Civil Rights Movement Black Panther movement as well as living in Oakland, Alabama and Brooklyn.

Joseph Bruchac’s series is a departure but it’s clear that he’s having fun writing dyspotian young adult adventures with a Native American female protagonist.

Claudia Davila’s graphic novel series covers environmental topics for young readers.


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.


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Chapter Book Series Starring Diverse Girl Characters & GIVEAWAY

Chapter Book Series Starring Diverse Girl Characters & GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest author today, Debbi Michiko Florence. I met her at Andrea Wang’s The Nian Monster author event at Newtonville Books last January.

Debbi Michiko Florence with Mia Wenjen PragmaticMom at Newtonville Books

I had already heard of her new Japanese American early chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi, and made a point of telling her how excited I am for it.

There are NO OTHER Japanese American book series for kids! Her series is not only authentic, but has a spunky girl character that reminds me of Ramona and Clementine. Please check it out!

We are giving away the first two books of the Jasmine Toguchi series, Jasmine Toguchi Mochi Queen and Jasmine Toguchi Super Sleuth. Please fill out the Rafflectopter at the bottom to enter. Read more…

Great Nonfiction Books to Explore Our World and 5 Book GIVEAWAY

Great Nonfiction Books to Explore Our World and 5 Book GIVEAWAY

I’m exploring our world today through eight beautifully illustrated nonfiction books. I’m always on the lookout for books that teach my kids geography; they never seem to know where countries are located and often get even the continent wrong. Until they can world travel — my oldest is planning on taking a gap year after high school — we are arm chair traveling via books.

I’m giving five of them away to five winners. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

How about you? What nonfiction picture books have caught your eye lately?

Great Nonfiction Books to Explore Our World

The Earth Book: A World of Exploration and Wonder by Jonathan Litton, illustrated by Thomas Hegbrook

This beautiful nonfiction picture book is broken out into four sections: physical earth, life on earth, earth regions, and human planet. Each section then has one or two page spreads that then give a detailed overview of each “chapter.” For example, earth regions are broken down into oceans, islands, rainforests, poles, deserts, and extreme earth. This book does a good job presenting a lot of information in a readable day. Rainforests uses the illustration to show the different layers of the rainforest; it includes ten animals found in the rainforest, and it includes rainforests in different geographic areas, as well as a summarized paragraph about the current state of rainforests. Browse this book with your child to discover the earth and all its wonders. [nonfiction picture book, ages 7 and up]

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from around the World by Matt Lamothe

Flowering Minds‘s loves this book too: “In this wonderful non-fiction book, we get to peek into the lives of seven kids from around the world and see how different and similar they lives are.” I was both struck by the beautiful illustrations and the information that includes what each child eats using their native words which can be looked up in the glossary in the back. She noticed that “all the families are nuclear – mother, father, kids. In many parts of the world, families will include a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt, uncle all living under a single roof. I feel that the opportunity to show diversity in families was lost.” I think that’s a great point. Darshana has further resources for those who want to compare and contrast or do a book extension such as cooking a recipe from the book.

I would also suggest What The World Eats which I think is fascinating. It shows the groceries that a family eats in the course of a week. Not only do you see the groceries each family uses for the week’s meals but also the members of each family. [nonfiction picture book, ages 5 and up]

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