Lego Duplo’s “Read! Build! Play!” initiative strives to develop early literacy and strengthen learning through their Read and Build series of simple story books paired with easy construction activities.
Last year, Lego Duplo and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) partnered to create resources that combined reading and play. “Through play, young children learn about their world. With this knowledge, they can understand books and stories once they begin to read,” says Starr Latronica, Vice President/President-Elect of the Association for Library Service to Children.
This summer, Lego and ALSC have created the first Summer Reading Lists/Activity Guides for toddlers and preschoolers. Two free guides (one for Ages 1-3, one for Ages 3-5) pairs 10 already-published books with Lego projects designed specifically for each one. The books, easily available at local libraries, were chosen by ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services committee. A Parent Activity Guide is also available for free, to explain the importance of play and to offer advice on how to interact with kids.
Parents can preview a list of the chosen books below and click on the jump to see a photo of the suggested activity for Meeow and the Pots and Pans by Sebastian Braun. Visit ReadBuildPlay.com to download the entire activity guides (which includes the full lists of Lego projects with instructions, plus coloring pages).
Created by author Norman Bridwell and published by Scholastic, Clifford was once the runt of his litter but he grew and transformed through the love of his owner, 8-year-old Emily Elizabeth. Since 1963, over 70 Clifford books have sold 126 million copies and been published in 13 languages.
It’s Children’s Book Week, which means this week is another special reason to encourage your kids to read! This celebration of books (sponsored by the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader) officially began in 1919, though the idea was originally formulated in 1913 by Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America. To date, this week is considered the longest-running literacy program in the U.S. (Read more about the history at bookweekonline.com)
Since spring and rain are on my mind (it’s been endless wet weather in New York), here are some new and old spring-related books that are perfect for the season:
Gem by Holly Hobbie – The author/illustrator of the “Toot and Puddle” series showcases her superb watercolors in this (mostly) wordless book about a frog and a young girl’s discovery of the world.
And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano – Spare and poetic as a haiku, this first-time author focuses on a boy waiting for his garden to bloom. Subdued illustrations by Erin E. Stead, who won the 2011 Caldecott Medal for “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” are a perfect accompaniment.
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger – A tribute to nature and the environment, Seeger shares the different shades of green that exist in the world, along with scenes of what a world would be like without green. Strategic cut-outs on each page also give a hint of what will come next.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown – Inspired by the High Line in New York City, this story follows a little boy as he plants a rooftop garden with the hope of transforming a dark and dreary world into something bright and bold. (Brown’s signature drawings are detailed, lush, and vibrant.)
February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, so if your kid is begging for a pet or has shirked his responsibilities of caring for one, these picture books are great reminders about the joy of owning pets and having four-legged friends.
Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly – Prudence imagines having a pet, but her parents object to the expense and noise. Laugh along as she decides to adopt unusual objects as her best friends — until her dream for a real pet finally comes true!
Melvin and the Boy by Lauren Castillo - Living in a city, a boy yearns for pet. One day, he discovers a turtle with a yellow spot in the park, brings him home, and names him Melvin. But slowly the boy discovers some animals need to stay in their natural habitats.
Not Inside This House! by Kevin Lewis – Told in fun rhymes, this story follows a little boy with a big name, Livingstone Columbus Magellan Crouse, who loves to explore like his famous namesakes. Along the way, he brings home some unexpected animals as house pets, to his mother’s exasperation.
Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown – When a female bear finds a little boy in the woods, she immediately becomes his caretaker and discovers kids don’t make very obedient pets. Brown, known for his hilarious and colorful books, gives a unique twist to a popular theme.