Reading together

December 16, 2011

We started a new tradition in our family last year. We'll do it again this year, and I hope you'll consider adding this tradition to your family holiday too! It's a simple one: put a book on every bed.

Last year, the Family Reading Partnership and...

December 15, 2011

Have you been around a school or even a group of children in the past few days? They seem to be having a tough time sitting still, concentrating. Lots of adults are, too. December is a busy month: presents to buy or make, wrap, give or receive; parties to prepare for; friends and family to see. And more, lots more.

Maybe it's time to slow down and celebrate the season with a good...

December 7, 2011

I enjoy reading, sharing, and sometimes just thinking about picture books. There's been a lot written about them lately; some people are even calling for their demise. But I know better. They help children understand their world.

I was reminded of the power of pictures when I read a recent blog by Joanne Meier, fellow Reading Rockets blogger. She wrote about "...

October 28, 2011

A staff member at a child care center I visited this week looked at me very skeptically when I said that we were going to have a good time together. I was there to introduce the staff to children's books and how media and hands-on activities help lay a firm literacy foundation.

For the next hour, we read, watched a short clip from a children's television program, sang, made noise,...

October 21, 2011

The world is addicted to media and technology. Information whether accurate or not speeds from one corner of the globe to the other in a matter of minutes. Got a question? Google it. Want a book or music? Download it. Want to create a reader? Slow down.

An article about...

September 29, 2011

Some weeks the same topics seem to come up over and over again. Recently for me, it's been talk of an article from The New York Times asking whether failure is really the secret to success. In his piece from the Sunday magazine, What if the Secret to...

September 6, 2011

The 10th anniversary of the 21st century's "day that will live in infamy" — September 11, 2001 — is being noted in schools and across the country this week.

Those of us who were around then will never forget where we were or what we were doing on that day. But there's a generation of children who weren't born or were too young to understand the horrific events that took place....

July 19, 2011

This might be the most gorgeous description of a reader, just on the cusp of reading on her own:

At her age, "reading to yourself" means "reading out loud." Silent reading is perhaps a year away. I get caught up in listening. Can't help it! Such a delight, those confident trotting sentences and then the stumble, the try and re-try and a tap on my arm, "Mommy, what's this word?"...

July 13, 2011

I recently came across a very long (600+!) list of free children's books online, compiled by Gizmo's Freeware. I'm frequently asked about resources like this, so I decided to take a closer look at a few of the offerings.

Aaron Shephard's World of Stories caught my attention first; I've used his Reader's Theater (RT) resources...

July 5, 2011

We're experiencing a strange phenomenon in our house this summer. Molly, who turns 11 in August, has two books she's required to read before she starts 5th grade this fall. The two books are Little Women and...

June 29, 2011

Sometimes books come with separate pieces that can be manipulated, adding a special dimension. Books are turned into games, mysteries, or some other kind of activity. Some are successful, others not so, but each of these books tries to engage, entertain, educate, and stimulate readers' interest.

A unique book by...

June 10, 2011

Far too many children within the U.S. and abroad live in homes with little or no access to books. Among other things, no access means no reading materials for the summer months. Grass roots efforts like summer reading bags and neighborhood book swaps, public libraries, and organizations such as First Book and...

May 31, 2011

We've gone from a lovely spring to brutal heat yet it's not even summer officially. The heat, however, reminds me that the dog days of summer are indeed close; that is, if they're not here already.

It's a great time to lay back with a good book to beat the heat and read about what else? Dogs.

Animal constellations may be a good place to start the story of summer's dog days....

May 23, 2011

I don't remember learning to read, really, but I do remember the warmth and pleasure when my mother read aloud to us as children. I was reminded of the power of books shared early and often when I saw a Mother's Day video done by First Book.

...

May 17, 2011

I don't read scary books, because they stay with me for far too long. But today by accident I read something really scary in The New York Times, called Fast-Tracking to Kindergarten.

It's an article about the rapid expansion of...

May 16, 2011

Three of my very favorite illustrators have been nominated for a very prestigious award, the Hans Christian Andersen.

Every other year, the names of an author and an illustrator are put forward for consideration for this international honor, selected by the National Sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (better known as...

May 2, 2011

There are celebrations for virtually everything these days but few have the staying power of Children's Book Week. It was established in 1919 and is still going strong!

Children's Book Week is under the auspices of the Children's Book Council (CBC), the national nonprofit trade association of children's publishers. One of the more significant actions taken by...

March 4, 2011

This 1984 Pulitzer Prize winner authored more than 40 books. Three of these books were Caldecott Honors. His work has been made into award-winning movies and videos, inspired memorable music, and has become synonymous with childhood.

And because of his lasting contribution — creating books that engage and delight readers of all ages (and especially for what he did for emerging and...

January 19, 2011

What can an adult book discussion do for young children? More than I'd imagined.

A friend of mine copied me on an email she'd sent out for her first grade son with, of course, a note to the recipients' parents. This 7-year old wanted to share books with his friends much as his mother did with hers.

Rafe wrote that he wanted to "start a book club with you…It will be all kids'...

November 3, 2010

As in all families, ours occasionally has a disagreement. Though we may not be able to touch on hot-button topics, we can still talk about books and other things we are reading.

When I recently saw some young children I know, whose family is going through a tough time, we talked about Halloween — and books. In a school where I'm working with teenaged parents of young children, we...

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"I used to walk to school with my nose buried in a book." — Coolio