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Five Amazing Diversity Read Aloud Books for All Ages

Five Amazing Diversity Read Aloud Books for All Ages & Kid Lit Blog Hop

It was such a challenge to entertain all three of my kids with just one book when they were smaller given their age differences. When my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, was in first grade, age 6 with younger siblings clocking in at 4 and 2, I read them all piles of picture books. That worked really well in terms of content, but we could read 10 picture books in one sitting so I was going to the library three times a week, searching for the “good books.”

Another approach which I wish I had thought of is to read a gentle chapter book to all. I compiled a separate list for girls and boys, but, upon reflection, wanted a list to share of diversity/multicultural/inclusive chapter books that would also work for kids ages 6 and up. The plot must be riveting but the action not too scary or confusing. Read more…

Reluctant Reader Book List & GIVEAWAY

Say It Ain’t So: My Child Is a Reluctant Reader & GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Robin Newman, who confesses that she has a child who, gasp!, is a reluctant reader! Honestly, I feel like most kids are reluctant readers these days. There is simply too much temptation by way of screens coupled with very busy schedules such that kids don’t have time to be bored. Not like when I was a kid!

Read on to learn how Robin tempts her son into reading.

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I am the parent of an eight-year old boy who is a reluctant reader. There, I said it. I never thought this could happen. I’m a writer. A writer of children’s books, no less! I eat, sleep, and dream about books. There are books in every nook and cranny of my home. My husband and I read to and with my son all of the time. Books are an ever-present constant in our lives. Yet, if we weren’t prodding my son to read, would he pick up a book on his own? Probably not. So, how do I get him more interested in reading? This is the question. Read more…

10 Amazing Multicultural Picture Books About Helping Others

10 Amazing Multicultural Picture Books About Helping Others

I think kids are naturally compassionate and it only takes a single story or book to motivate them to help out in someway. But can a child truly make a difference? I’m hoping these books will help demonstrate that, like a ripple effect, a small act of kindness, can make a big difference.

I didn’t set out to find books centered around bicycles but there are a few here that demonstrate how such a simple means of transportation can change lives. In fact, it’s this idea of how small things (and single ideas) can change lives that inspired this list.

What books for kids inspire you and your kids to change the world? Please share!

Read more…

Recipe to Grow Adventurous Kids

Recipe to Grow Adventurous Kids

I wasn’t the most adventurous kid growing up though I read like crazy and admired from the pages of books, kids who went on marvelous and scary adventures. Nancy Drew and friends tackled bad guys without blinking an eye, even if they were rescued from time to time by their boyfriends or her father. Encyclopedia Brown was never stumped by any crime going on his neighborhood. I also admired the smart aleck kids who got away with mischief like The Great Brain. But I never realized that in my own way, I was adventurous … that is through food.

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Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

Being Creative 15 Minutes a Day (no matter what)

I wanted to review this book thinking Grasshopper and Sensei would like it, but instead I found it was perfect for me. I used to take a lot of art classes before I had kids. And while I have tried to paint from time to time, even managing to complete a hand painted set of plates before PickyKidPix was born, it never seemed to be the right time to make art. Either my workspace needed to be cleared off for a meal — I used the dining room table for my art — or I didn’t have a chunk of uninterrupted time, or inspiration, or the right materials …

Art Before Breakfast is a zippy, inspiration with the conviction that we all just need 15 minutes before breakfast to bring out the artist within us all. I am not a morning person, so I’d rather sleep the extra 15 minutes but I applied the principle and found 15 minutes in my day — sometimes less, sometimes more — to be creative. And I’m really glad I did.

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are by Danny Gregory

Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory Read more…

Read Remotely with Relatives: HomeTeam App

Read Remotely with Relatives: HomeTeam App(TM)

My husband’s and my immediate family are all on the other coast in California. While we all do fly back and forth to visit, it is a challenge to stay connected. We tried different things over the years, all with disastrous results:

Christmas fire

Read more…

Recycle Clothes and Help Schools #passthebag

#PasstheBag: Recycle Clothes and Help Schools

April is a time of new beginnings for us. Spring is finally in the air and Earth Day helps us to remember to take care of our environment. It does create more work; I get an itch to clean the house and this is the first year I’ll have a real vegetable garden. But one idea reverberates inside me:
all you need Read more…

Top 10 Earth Day Picture Books

Top 10 Earth Day Picture Books

Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement that began in 1970. Today is a good reminder to celebrate Earth Day every day and pass lessons on environmental stewardship to our children. To this end, I wanted to share resources for teaching kids about the environment.

Scholastic and OPEI (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) have partnered to create lesson plans and activities that empower students in grades K through 5 and their families to champion best practices in taking care of the green space in their communities. The program sets out to inspire an interest in backyard science, environmental activism, and encourage spending time in the outdoors.

Resources include a teachers section, a parents section, and a free e-Book – a digital storybook about superhero TurfMutt and the Outdoor Powers.

I also have a book list of our favorite earth day picture books. What books that you enjoy am I missing? Please share! Read more…

Top 10 Multicultural Picture Books on Bullying

Top 10 Multicultural Picture Books on Bullying

My boxing friend Mark has an idea for a reality tv show that is both of our fantasies-come-true. The show would set up you and your bully in a boxing ring. It would be a real fight with a set date so that you could train, a pre-determined number of rounds and a referee. Of course, your bully opponent might not have been training for a fight for years … and that’s what makes this a fantasy! In reality, it would probably be depressing to fight those middle school bullies thirty plus years later (though putting up a good fight would earn my respect of my bully tormentor).

My kids have each had a few incidences of bullying over their short life. It was nothing too momentous, especially by my childhood standards. It’s no longer politically correct to solve conflict through physical fights (my boxing trainer laments; he’s pretty old school) and anti-bullying training in school with greater awareness by teachers has made bullying less blatant. It still exists though … and the rise of cyberbullying probably is one result of not letting kids solve conflicts through physical fighting. I suspect there is an innate primal drive for humans, much like wolf packs or chickens, to assert pecking order in order to establish an alpha leader and perhaps bullying is one negative outcome of that impulse. Read more…