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Friday, November 22nd, 2013
** Guest-edited by Emily Jenkins, 2013 Chair of the National Book Awards Committee on Young People’s Literature and author of Toys Go Out and more
First come my board-book standards. Your baby should have them. All babies should have them. All of them are properly interesting to someone who still wants to chew on books.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illus Clement Hurd
Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illus Felicia Bond
books by Sandra Boynton (my favorite is Snuggle Puppy)
books by Eric Carle (my favorite is From Head to Toe)
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin, illus Eric Carle
books by Dr. Seuss, shortened into board books (my favorite is Hop on Pop)
books by Karen Katz (my favorite is Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?)
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
The Max and Ruby books by Rosemary Wells (my favorite is Max’s Breakfast)
The Duck and Goose board books by Tad Hills (my favorite is Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin)
Freight Train by Donald Crews
Pat the Bunny by Dorothy Kunhardt
All the fun baby-centered books by Leslie Patricelli
Where’s Spot? By Eric Hill
If you’re a book lover, or on your second baby, chances are you already know the books above. You want to buy your baby (or your friend’s baby) something that’s beautiful and worth reading over and over and that might be a little under the radar. Below are my go-to board book gifts for literary folk who have all the others.
I Kissed the Baby! By Mary Murphy
Jamberry by Bruce Degen
More More More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams
Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illus Helen Oxenbury
Have You Seen My Duckling? by Nancy Tufari
Baby Penguins Everywhere by Melissa Guion
Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers, illus. Marla Frazee
Ten Little Babies by Gyo Fujikowa
Peek-a-Boo by Alan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
Also check out nine new board books from the American Baby Editors.
Remember that your local bookstore can order any of these books, and you can also find many board books in our Parents.com/shop
Activity Tips: Mia Reads Book
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Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
When my daughter started kindergarden, she hated reading. There I said it.
Her teacher always sent her home with books from which she was to read for at least 20 minutes every night. But whenever she sat down with a book, I’d watch her body slump and her mind wander to far away thoughts of magical moving pictures from the glorious TV in her room.
She was no stranger to reading before she started school. She had an entire library in her room that I filled with all of the classics. I’d been reading to her since she was in the womb, and she’s always loved reading hour, which we have every Saturday and Sunday after lunch. But this was different. Being in kindergarden meant that she had to decipher the strange letters on the page on her own, and that was no fun.
She once started to say “I hate rea-” to which I gasped and forbid her from ever having such thoughts. As an English major and a lover of books, this was like a punch in the stomach for me. I felt a sense of loss for all of the amazing stories she might miss out on; all of the lives she wouldn’t live if this feeling continued. Dramatic, I know, but it’s really how I felt.
So of course I did what every wise, all-knowing mother does when she encounters an obstacle: I called my mom.
“Being a mom means being a teacher,” my mom said. “Put your teaching pants on.”
Apparently moms have all kinds of pants in an invisible mom-wardrobe that we just have to whip out and pull on when called for. So I did. I pulled on my teaching pants, and they weren’t comfortable, but they fit.
After watching her read each day, I took to the chalkboard in her room and made lists of word families that I noticed gave her trouble.
Practicing “ou” brought mountains and clouds to life on the page for her. I bought books that were fun, like We Are In a Book, by Mo Willems. She cracked up reading that one and asked for more of his books. One Saturday I encouraged her to write a letter to her favorite author, and a week later she received her first piece of mail – a response from Mo Willems himself. He thanked her and promised to keep writing “Funny jokes to make her laugh.”
It took some time, but soon enough, she was reading books at home that were well beyond the reading level that her teacher was assigning.
Now as a 1st grader, new books have become rewards for completing her chores and finishing other books.
Some of her favorites are Amelia Bedelia, and The Show Must Go On. She recently finished The Adventures of Captain Underpants (in 2 days) and I challenged her to read Wayside School is Falling Down in 1 week. On the line – the entire Captain Underpants box set.
I’d be lying if I said that my daughter loves every book that she picks up. She’ll still swap a book for the TV if the story isn’t funny enough, but she’s come a long way from the days of (almost) hating to read. And I get to put the teaching pants back on the hanger during reading hour.
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Books, challenges, education, kindergarden, learning, learning trouble, love of learning, reading, school | Categories:
GoodyBlog, school, Your Child
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
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).
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american library association, Book, Books, caldecott award, caldecott medal, children's books, kids books, Lego, lego duplo, reading, summer reading | Categories:
Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Your Child
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013
March may be National Reading Month, but it’s important to focus on reading every month of the year. In addition to setting aside time to read regularly during the day (or night) or visiting your local library and bookstore, consider subscribing to the Book of the Month service offered by GiftLit.com.
Founded by two moms, GiftLit allows parents to choose age-appropriate books (all curated by librarians, editors, and other book experts) to be mailed on a monthly basis. Each book arrives with a personalized card and bookplates, and GiftLit also donates 10% of their profits to schools, libraries, and literary organizations.
For more ideas on what books to read, look to the lists of Newbery and Caldecott winners. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate won the 2013 Newbury Medal and This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen won the 2013 Caldecott Medal. Also, make reading fun by downloading alphabet coloring pages and reading animals printables provided by Reading Is Fundamental. Or download this cute poster, “Reading: It’s Our Only Hope,” part of the promotion for the kid-friendly Star Wars book, Vader’s Little Princess by Jeffrey Brown, and sequel to Darth Vader and Son.
Image: Group of children enjoying reading together via Shutterstock.
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Book, Books, caldecott award, caldecott medal, national reading month, newbery award, newbery medal, printables, reading, reading is fundamental | Categories:
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
The power of friendship, adventure and reading could soon be coming to a city near you!
The popular Emmy-nominated preschool TV series Super WHY! recently announced dates for an upcoming live tour “Super WHY Live: You’ve Got the Power!” Written by the show’s creator Angela Santomero (also the creator of Blue’s Clues), the show features music produced by guitarist Jack Antonoff, of the Grammy Award-winning band fun. Kids (and parents too!) will love dancing and singing along with the cast of superhero characters plucked from the pages of classic storybook favorites, as they heroically take on challenges in the name of literature.
The tour kicks off April 2nd in Seattle, and will travel to 27 cities around the country in April and May.
Watch a clip of the live show below, and see a full list of tour dates.
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Angela Santomero, Blue's Clues, children's literature, fun, Jack Antonoff, literacy, pbs, preschool, reading, Super Why, TV | Categories:
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
Ohio Third Grade Reading Guarantee Law One Semester In: PBS Reports On Progress
Ohio schools are one semester into its first year of the new “Third Grade Reading Guarantee” law, but some 30 percent of students — about 40,000 statewide — are still not reading at grade level. (via Huffington Post)
Healthy School Lunch: America’s Obsession With School Meals
With the passage of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 and new school lunch requirements from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2011, America’s school menus are healthier than ever – even if kids aren’t always happy about it. (via Huffington Post)
Modern Parenting May Hinder Brain Development, Research Suggests
Social practices and cultural beliefs of modern life are preventing healthy brain and emotional development in children, according to an interdisciplinary body of research presented recently at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame. (via Science Daily)
U.S. Launches Study into Youth Sports Concussions
The U.S. government launched on Monday a sweeping study of rising sports-related concussions among the youth, amid concerns that the injuries may have contributed to the suicides of professional football players. (via Reuters)
Review Questions Blood Pressure Tests for Kids
Despite long-standing recommendations that doctors check children’s blood pressure at every office visit, a new review of research says there is not enough evidence to support that guideline. (via Reuters)
Fussy Infants Exposed to More TV
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Although doctors say babies should not watch television, some mothers may use the tube as a way to calm fussy infants, a new study suggests. (via My Health News Daily)
Monday, December 31st, 2012
Pediatricians Say Recess Is As Important as Math or Reading
Recess can be a critical time for development and social interaction, and in a new policy statement published in the journal Pediatrics, pediatricians from the AAP support the importance of having a scheduled break in the school day. (via TIME)
Moms Push to Have First Babies of the New Year
The odds of having a baby in the first minute of the year aren’t far from the odds of getting struck by lightning, said Dr. Jennifer Austin, an OB/GYN at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. Yet every year, several mothers strive to do so. (via ABC News)
Every School Needs a Doctor, Pediatricians Say
Despite no federal or uniform state requirements to do so, all school districts should have a doctor to oversee school health services, according to a policy statement from a group of American pediatricians. (via Reuters)
FDA Approves First Tuberculosis Drug in 40 Years
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The Food and Drug Administration says it has approved a Johnson & Johnson tuberculosis drug that is the first new medicine to fight the deadly infection in more than four decades. (via Associated Press)
Babies, FDA, Happy New Year 2013, math, new year, Noelia de la Cruz, Parents Daily News Roundup, reading, recess, schools, tuberculosis | Categories:
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
The benefits of reading aloud to children are numerous, but for bilingual families, cuddling up with a bedtime story isn’t always a simple task.
Infinity Car Insurance seeks to help bilingual families read together through its Read Comingo program. Read Comingo is a literacy program that promotes bilingualism by providing parents with free bilingual children’s books bimonthly.
Children and parents can learn from each other with these books that are written in both English and Spanish.
“Read Conmigo is important for Hispanic families because many parents who don’t read English fluently hesitate to read to their children at home in Spanish. Studies show, however, that bilingual reading is equally effective at maintaining and improving reading skills and educational levels,” said Greg Fasking, Infinity Auto Insurance’s vice president of consumer marketing. “This is why our books are in both English and Spanish, so that parents and children can read aloud together at home.”
Since Read Comingo’s launch in March of 2011, it has provided schools and families with over 350,000 free books.
Read Comingo gave us some tips for making the most of your story time:
- Point to the words in the book, as you read aloud together with your child
- Create a regular schedule every week to read together as a family at home
- Asking your children to recall parts of the story in the books, and use the illustrations to help identify words
To receive a free bilingual picture book every other month, sign up at www.readconmigo.org.
Photo courtesy of Infinity Auto Insurance
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