Children's books

March 26, 2020

I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a feeling I’m not alone. My cabin fever is getting worse the longer I’m staying home. The only thing keeping me sane is a pile of books that stimulate lots of ideas and inspire various activities.

I’ve just gone through some recent books for kids and thought I’d share a few thoughts about how books can encourage creativity and help build a...

February 26, 2020

We hear a lot about diversity and inclusion these days, often as it relates to books for young readers. Just as publishing for children and teens has evolved over the years, so has adults’ perception of youth and what is appropriate for them.

Thanks to the work of Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, it...

January 30, 2020

Since the very first celebration in 1998, NEA’s Read Across America has generated enthusiasm for reading nationwide, raised public awareness for children’s literacy, and supported educators, parents, and others in their ongoing efforts to motivate kids to read. Read Across America is the nation’s largest reading event, due largely...

October 18, 2019

Kevin McCloskey delivers fascinating information in digestible, user-friendly formats, which appeal to not only young readers but experienced ones as well.

Sporting a white tie with black ants, I had the chance to speak with him again recently about his newest book, Ants Don’...

October 1, 2019

Illustrator, writer, and filmmaker Mordicai Gerstein died earlier this month. He leaves behind an amazing body of work which is sure to be read and appreciated; several have already been anointed as modern classics.

It seems that Gerstein was born to be an artist just as it seems he was born to be a reader. He mentions a photograph of himself as a...

September 25, 2019

A recent article from Edutopia suggested that we’re rushing young children through childhood.

I see it frequently when adults want their young children to read books that are too sophisticated (beyond the child’s age) — both in terms of style and content. I am not suggesting that...

September 3, 2019

Ready for a transition? Shorter days are here, signifying the end of summer and ushering the transition to back-to-school.

But there’s another transition on my mind — finding strong book choices for readers who fall between easy-to-read books and traditional chapter books and need practice building fluency and stamina.

Happily, award-winning author...

August 13, 2019

I like to read in all kinds of weather, but it’s been a wild summer to try to pick up a book outdoors! Friend Cindy Chiu and her son know all about this.

But whether or not the weather cooperates, this teacher-reader-writer-mom and son are filling their summer with all kinds of stories.

“We can wait...

August 5, 2019

Humor is very subjective and I know that I’m a tough critic. Recently, however, I shared a book with my 5-year old niece and I could barely contain my own giggles.  But it was her “ooohs” and laughter that made me giggle even more. But no one enjoyed the book more than my sister who now wants her own copy.

I decided I had to find out more about who created...

July 31, 2019

The last time award-winning author Erica S. Perl visited Book Life, we had some jaw-dropping reading fun learning about sharks and her new book Truth or Lie? Sharks!

We’re so glad she’s...

July 23, 2019

Fifty years ago, I was clueless about the fact that Neil Armstrong was taking the first steps on the Moon. I was a busy toddler taking my own very first steps! Even though I missed the big event, I have forever been fascinated by the Moon. Like many young children, I was sure it was following me every time I went out at night and wondered why the Moon and I had such a special connection....

July 15, 2019

This month, in celebration of the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, we’re launching some out-of-this world reading fun that starts at Start with a Book with a new Space Rangers resource to help your young learners blast...

July 3, 2019

While books can transport you through space and time, sometimes you just have to get behind the wheel and go! Always a great bonding experience, the summer family road trip can also be a learning adventure full of meaningful and authentic opportunities for kids to read, write, listen, and talk.

June 26, 2019

Leah Henderson shares with Book Life how a simple moment can lead to hours of exploration and real and imagined adventures. Complement her recommendations for summer exploration with the Start with a Book Geography, Travel...

June 12, 2019

Reading Rockets resources at Start with a Book provide an abundance of book recommendations and great ideas for pairing fiction and nonfiction to engage kids and help them make connections between what they read and their own lives.

June 4, 2019

This will be my 47th summer as a reader.

My first summer as a reader was one of those unbearable hot, muggy Florida summers where you park yourself in front of the air conditioner and look longingly out the window, wishing for a trip to the beach or pool. Or pick up Norah Smaridge’s The Big Tidy-Up and Miss Suzy by Miriam Young and hide under your bed in the dark and...

May 6, 2019

David Bowles is an award-winning writer and poet, reviewer and translator, elected to the Texas Institute of Letters in 2017. He teaches children’s and young adult literature at the University of Texas Rio Grande. Living in Texas on the border of the United States and Mexico with his family, he not only embraces his Mexican-American heritage, he explores it in his writing.

I first...

April 29, 2019

Teacher question: I've been thinking a lot about a response to teachers who only want to teach whole-class novels. When I say whole-class novels, what I see most often is the traditional approach most high school teachers take. Reading at home, lectures, comparative reading (but with very little instructional support). Also, what do you offer as a suggestion for teachers...

April 26, 2019

Yesterday, I helped a parent find books for her five-year old whose dog had just died. I suggested Judith Viorst’s The Tenth Good Thing About Barney (Atheneum) in which a child remembers the best things about his much missed and greatly loved cat. I also suggested ...

January 22, 2019

Walter Dean Myers was so much more than an award-winning author.  He was a mentor, spokesperson, and friend to many and a trendsetter in children’s and young adult literature.

In his role as the country’s third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Walter traveled around the country with an ambassadorial theme: “Reading is not optional.” Not in a democracy, not in the...

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"I feel the need of reading. It is a loss to a man not to have grown up among books." —

Abraham Lincoln