Reading aloud

Please Be Charitable for Literacy

As regular readers know, this is the time of the year that I identify charities that try to help improve children's literacy and language and to make books available to kids. Readers of my blog obviously care about whether kids can read and why not make that cause part of your charitable gifting as well.

Each year, I comb through Charity Navigator to identify appropriate literacy-focused charitable agencies. I look for national and internationals groups that are rated as 3- and 4-star charities (that means they are spending at least 80% of the contributions on services). 

Happy Birthday KidLit TV! Find "Read Out Loud" Videos by Book Authors, Much More

Kidlit TV is a resource chock full of treasures to help educators and parents explore children's literature. Be sure to add the "Read Out Loud" selection to your teacher or parent toolkit. Find several books read aloud by their authors.

In the video above, author Mike Curato reads Little Elliot, Big City (4:46 min.), a story of how a little guy in a big city solves problems (with help from a friend). This book has engaging illustrations. 

Bubble Burst: The Truth About Vanity Cakes

Our little journey last summer brought many of the experiences of the Ingalls family to life for us. From sweeping out a dugout to making a corncob doll, we felt like we had walked in Laura’s shoes. But we hadn’t eaten at her table. While Breece and Avery enjoyed a stick of old fashioned candy at nearly every stop, there was very little authentic pioneer flavor to our food experiences along the Laura Ingalls Wilder Highway.

Never Too Young

September is National Library Card Sign-Up month – rightly so. Schools are open, but the library card sign-up campaign should be a reminder for parents and caregivers of babies and toddlers that it’s never to early for children to visit libraries. Their adults can get books, ideas and maybe gain an idea or two to share with babies and toddlers.

11 Ways Parents Can Help Their Children Read

Parents often ask how they can help their children learn to read; and it’s no wonder that they’re interested in this essential skill. Reading plays an important role in later school success. One study even demonstrates that how well 7-year-olds read predicts their income 35 years later!

Here are 11 practical recommendations for helping preschoolers and school-age students learn to read.

Catching Stars

In Carol’s final blog posting for the summer, the family embarks on another Start with a Book summer science exploration: The Night Sky. Unbeknownst to them, their exploration continues on in paradise, and wraps up at home in their own front yard.

Audiobooks Recorded by Screen Actors Guild Volunteers Widen Accessible Book Choices

Teachers who like using Storyline Online, the free literacy website where voice artists/actors from the Screen Actors Guild read children's books, will also enjoy Learning Ally audiobooks that also are read by professionals. Through a volunteer program, the "Acted Community" has about 130 voice artists and professional actors who bring their talents to Learning Ally's accessible book space. 


There are many things to celebrate in August. Lots of parents celebrate schools soon opening. Commuters appreciate less crowded roads. There’s still time for a summer getaway.

And of course, the second week of August has been dubbed National Smile Week!

We're Going on Five Planes!

Carol and her kids explore the topic of flight with a visit to the National Air and Space Museum. Their ongoing exploration of flight continues during their summer travels as they learn about Amelia Earhart, go on five planes, and make their own paper airplanes.

Showing to tell

A graphic novel takes me much longer to read carefully than a text-only book does. Why? I think the pictures slow me down. I need to examine them carefully in order to make meaning from them, what they’re saying, how they interact with the words (if any).

The artist is telling a story. And how that story is told is intriguing.


"Today a reader, tomorrow a leader." — Margaret Fuller