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Spring Break versus a Giant Squirrel

by On April 8, 2014 in General, Reading

Super Squirrel (aka John Triska, Principal, Brittan Acres Elementary School)

Super Squirrel (aka John Triska, Principal, Brittan Acres School, San Carlos School District. (Credit: Diana Dull Akers)

It’s that time of year when many parents are watching their kids hitting a wall with the school-year routine. So it isn’t surprising with various weeks off from school in the mix (President’s week, ski week/spring break) that kids are issuing declarations: “there is no way am I doing ANY school work on break.”

Parents and educators often strive for a message encouraging balance over school breaks, something like “have fun on your break, and don’t forget that can include reading cool books!”  And if you’re a really clever school principal like the one at my daughter’s elementary school, you issue the kids a really clever read-a-thon challenge they can’t resist:

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Yay – Spring is Here!

by On March 28, 2014 in General

It’s spring — well at least in the Northern Hemisphere — and we’ve got a fresh crop of books to welcome the season. Spring is associated with the first heat waves, the sun, blossoms, Easter — and our new books cover these topics and more. So if your kids are on school break or you’re looking to freshen up the bedtime routine, get them reading with these great books!

Lost and (waiting to be) Found Kids’ Clothes

by On March 20, 2014 in General

School lost-and-found areas aren't always this contained. Credit: www.fcusd.org

School lost-and-found areas aren’t always this contained.
Credit: www.fcusd.org

At school drop-off the other morning, I saw other parents walking by me, staring. I know what they were thinking.

“Why is she hanging up all the kids’ clothes in the lost-and-found box?”

I had eyed that Matterhorn-sized pile of abandoned kids’ wear before, thinking it odd that the provided hooks and hangers are never used.  Surely it would help kids and parents find lost items if they were hung up neatly, right? Still, I never thought to tidy the mess myself until my desperate need to find lost items arose.

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Bringing Books to Life: Watercolor Painting with Monet

by On March 11, 2014 in Childrens Books, Reading

claudecrop

from Monet Paints a Day by Julie Danneberg & Caitlin Heimerl

There’s a beautiful book in the Bookboard collection called Monet Paints a Day. When the new books come in, I often read them over with my little boy, Jude, before processing them and getting them ready to be launched for everyone else to read too. When we saw this book, Jude and I were inspired to do some of our own painting.

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Who Doesn’t Love Animals?

by On February 28, 2014 in Childrens Books, Reading

This week’s fresh crop of books features stories about animals. In no particular order, we’ve got horses, sea otters, roosters, penguins, bunnies, dogs and dragons (ok, maybe dragons aren’t real, but neither are talking bunnies). We think the illustrations in this week’s set are particularly great; we hope you enjoy them too!

Lastly, don’t forget, March is National Reading Month — so cuddle up with your little ones and read!

4 Reasons Why Mystery Readers Rock

by On February 19, 2014 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

Can kids guess the mystery reader?  Credit: wintersixfour@morguefile.com

Can kids guess the mystery reader?
Credit: [email protected]

Last week, I stood with my daughter outside her first-grade classroom, waiting with other kids and parents for the door to open.  But since it was Mystery Reader Friday, the kids were also busy staring at parents, giggling and speculating. Which parent was going to secretly wait outside while the kids settled in, then reappear at the door as The Mystery Reader?

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Parent Spotlight: Jay and Scott

by On February 12, 2014 in General, Reading

Jay and Scott, parents of two Bookboard fans

Jay and Scott, parents of two Bookboard fans

Meet San Francisco Bay Area parents Jay and Scott! They kindly agreed to share some of their family reading experiences with daughter Gracie, age 5 and son Austin, age 3.

 

Q: Help us picture the reading scene in your home. 

Jay:  Scott does the nightly reading with both kids. Gracie likes to do daily reading as well. When she was little, she always loved to read. With Austin, not so much yet, but we have a routine; at nighttime, he lets us read to him.

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Cheetah Love: More Than Critter Couture

by On February 4, 2014 in Childrens Books, General, Holidays, Reading

She loves cheetah prints for a reason! Credit: Diana Dull Akers

She loves cheetah prints for a reason!
Credit: Diana Dull Akers

If you’re the parent of a young girl, you’ve probably noticed that cheetah, leopard and zebra print designs are everywhere on kids’ clothing, backpack and shoes. I’ve never been a fan of the animal print look, but my 6-year old Hope assures me it is “definitely cool” to be sporting spots and stripes at school. And for her, the cheetah print reigns supreme.

What makes me smile is that my kid’s love for cheetah couture is not fueled by a goal of being cool or fashion forward. Nope, Hope’s inspiration comes from her love of actual cheetahs, a passion inspired by books and educational programming.

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Celebrate Chinese New Year

by On January 29, 2014 in Childrens Books, Holidays, Reading, Recipes

Chinese New Year is celebrated on January 31 this year, and marks the beginning of the Chinese year 4712. The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar calendar, with the new year beginning on the darkest day of the month. New years celebrations often go as long as two weeks, until the next full moon. And a celebratory holiday it is, with red decorations, good-luck gifts of oranges and money, parades with dragon dances and firecrackers, and special foods.

Chinese New Year

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This year is the Year of the Horse. See a Chinese zodiac calendar.  Try one of these fun Chinese New Year crafts or activities:

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Bookboard is Celebrating Take Your Child to the Library Day!

by On January 24, 2014 in General

In celebration of the third annual Take Your Child to the Library Day, we are partnering with over 400 libraries throughout the United States and Canada to encourage families to visit their local libraries. All participating libraries are hosting special events that include story times, musical performances, scavenger hunts, art activities and giveaways to celebrate reading and create more awareness about literacy and what local libraries have to offer children and families. This year’s festivities will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014.

TYCTTLD2014

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