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Reading together

Remembering 9/11 and memories shared

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.

On the cusp of reading

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?"

Free online children's books

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.

Being told what to read

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 The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book 1: The Mysterious Howling.

Making meaning

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.

Is access to books enough? Nope.

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 Book Ends in Southern California all operate with a goal to increase access to reading material for kids in need.

The dog days are here

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.

Early and often

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.

Preschools need a marketing campaign

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.

An award for the world of children's books

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 IBBY). The award is given for their lasting contribution to the field of children's literature.

Pages

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943