May 2013

Stop the Summer Slide – 20 New Unlockable Books!

by On May 31, 2013 in General

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<p>To help keep your kids reading and learning during the summer months, we’ve added 20 new unlockable books to the collection for them to discover.</p>

<p>New to our growing library are <a href="http://www.si.edu">Smithsonian’s</a> Read & Discover books.</p>

<div style="width:650px;margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;">
<a href="https://app.bookboard.com/book_landing/335/0?global=true"><img style="margin-right:20px;" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Snack_Time_Tyrannosaurus_Rex.jpg" alt="Snack_Time_Tyrannosaurus_Rex" width="300" height="450" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-2338" /></a>

<a href="https://app.bookboard.com/book_landing/336/0?global=true"><img src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Panda_Cub.jpg" alt="Panda_Cub" width="300" height="450" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-2339" /></a>
</div><!–more–>

<p>In addition, we’ve added more Berenstain Bears and Boxcar Children classics, and <a href="http://bookboard.com/?p=1659">audio-enabled books</a> for kids who are just learning to read.</p>

<p>If you haven’t yet, <a href="http://bookboard.com/sign-up">sign up for a free trial</a> today!</p>

<h2>Avoiding the Summer Slide</h2>

<p>While your kids are on summer break, <a href="http://bookboard.com/?p=910">our librarian, Cen</a>, and the rest of the Bookboard team will aim to deliver more books and more features to keep your little ones entertained and learning. Stay tuned!</p>

<br/>

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Try the 5-second rule when reading to kids

by On May 31, 2013 in General, Reading

NatalieMaynor flicker photo

“Reading” by Natalie Maynor, Flicker/Creative Commons. http://flic.kr/p/7HJx1Z

 

Parents, I’d like to talk to you about the five-second rule.

Nope, I’m not talking about the rule that says the dropped cookie that’s been on the floor less than five seconds is still safe to eat.? (By the way, “Myth Busters” debunked that one, as did researchers at Clemson University.)

I am talking about the idea that parents should offer “five seconds of silence” at strategic times when reading with their kids.

Consider this scenario. You’re reading a book to little Johnny and point to a picture of a cow, asking, “What is this?? Is this a cow? And what does the cow say? Can you say mooooo?”

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A Commitment to Literacy – A chat with Randall Weaver of Project Read

by On May 28, 2013 in General, Reading

RW for DD As a parent to a kindergartener facing reading challenges, it is lovely having Randall Weaver, Project Read Manager of the San Francisco Public Library, as a friend and fellow parent.? It’s perfect, actually, because Randy:

  • Has clocked over 25 years in the literacy field
  • Married an awesome woman who is a school reading specialist
  • Is a papa to twin five-year old girls; our families love giving children’s books as gifts!

Randy kindly agreed to share with Bookboard families some thoughts about literacy program efforts and the role digital reading plays in his work today.

D: Please tell us about your literacy program.

Randy:? Project Read is the adult literacy program of the San Francisco Public Library. Our mission is to provide free instruction in basic reading and writing for English speaking adults. The program is learner-centered, meaning professionally trained tutors support the learner’s goals, rather than a set curriculum. There are also activities for enrolled adult learners with young children.

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Retro Meets High Tech and the Importance of Family

by On May 24, 2013 in Childrens Books

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Recently I had the pleasure of walking down memory lane when we added some new books to the Bookboard collection. I remember reading both the <a href="https://app.bookboard.com/book_landing/321/0?global=true">Berenstain Bear</a> books and the <a href="https://app.bookboard.com/book_landing/325/0?global=true">Boxcar Children</a> books as a child, but I always just accepted them as they appeared to be; stories about bears and children, respectively. Now, as a librarian, I look back on them and see more.

<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/berenstain1.jpg"><img class="wp-image-2135" alt="berenstain" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/berenstain1-1024×768.jpg" width="640" /></a><!–more–>

The <a href="https://app.bookboard.com/book_landing/321/0?global=true">Berenstain Bear</a> books are vividly colored, anthropomorphized renderings of the realities of family life. Now that I’m a parent, it is plainly obvious to me that the author and illustrator, Jan and Stan Berenstain, were ?parents themselves, and wrote honesty and comically about the joys and struggles that inevitably arise at the intersection?of parenthood and childhood. The characters have?idiosyncrasies?and faults; if they didn’t, we wouldn’t sympathise with them. They struggle with finding balance in all aspects of life, making sure their families are safe, and accepting and loving each other for who they are. These books are still in print, 50 years beyond their first incarnation because they speak to both parents and children, and often serve as a spring board for important conversations with children about values like social responsibility, kindness, patience and respect. Take a look at some of the Berenstain Bear books we have!

<iframe src="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_284d00bf40421ccc139/index.html?embed=true" height="440" width="650"></iframe>

The charming protagonists of the Boxcar Children series are much less sympathetic characters (in the literary sense) in that they are consistently polite, studious and hard-working. One does not see oneself reflected in such idealized depictions of childhood and young adulthood, but the feeling that these books leave the reader with are of safety, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of children. The boxcar children are dealt a nasty hand of cards (they’re orphans, after all!) but they remain chipper and adaptable, and things always turn out well in the end.
<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/boxcar1.jpg"><img class="alignleft wp-image-2136" style="margin-bottom: 30px;" title="From &quot;The Blue Bay Mystery&quot;" alt="boxcar" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/boxcar1-1024×768.jpg" width="640" height="480" /></a>
<p style="text-align: left;">Underlying both of these series of books is a single theme; the importance of family. Many modern families (like mine!) are separated from their relations, and we seek increasingly creative ways to connect with grandparents, parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. My 3 .5 year old son regularly videoconferences with his grandparents, and while visits to the homeland aren’t as frequent as I’d like, I do know that the phone, computer and snail mail are there to keep our family ties strong. Reading books together in person when we can (and virtually when we can’t) is one way to solidify those bonds, and reading books that underscore the importance of love, respect and care for each other deepens the bonds we can have with our real-life families, regardless of how far away they might be.</p>
<iframe src="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_ff2d21f8404c248f53e/index.html?embed=true" height="440" width="650"></iframe>

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A Kid, a Book, and a Four-Legged Friend

by On May 20, 2013 in General, Reading

I just came across the website for a non-profit literacy program called Reading Education Assistance Dogs? or R.E.A.D. ?, a program of Intermountain Therapy Animals of Salt Lake City, Utah.? Launched in 1999, the R.E.A.D. program is the first comprehensive literacy program “built around the appealing idea of reading to dogs,” providing children with “emotionally safe environments to develop their reading skills.”

R.E.A.D. image 2

They are called “man’s best friend” but today, I
learned that dogs could be a young reader’s best
friend as well.

The program uses registered therapy dogs of all sizes that have been trained and tested for health, safety, skills and temperament. The dogs “volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.”

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Creating Reading Places

by On May 17, 2013 in General, Reading

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Books Aren’t Broken: Reflections on e-books and interactivity

by On May 14, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

9yr old reading

Sometimes you hear a short turn-of-phrase that makes you nod and smile because it says so much in just a few words.

I had that response when I heard the phrase: “books aren’t broken.”

It turns out the phrase is “somewhat of a rallying cry” for Fang Chang, Michael Fitzpatrick and Nigel Pegg, co-founders of Bookboard, Inc., which as most of our readers know, provides a service offering a subscription-based children’s e-book app for the iPad.

“Books are already intrinsically good,” Nigel explained. “That aspect doesn’t need to be made better. We don’t think the existing art form needs to disappear. We want to make it easier to read more, with greater variety and more quality.”

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Mother’s Day Release: Library Management, Motivational Badges!

by On May 10, 2013 in General

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Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’ve got another new set of features for you this weekend.
<a name="mommy"><h2>Manage Your Kids’ Libraries</h2></a>
Code-named "Mommy mode", this will allow parents (yes, Dads too!) to :
<ul>
<li><strong>Unlock</strong> new books as a reward for your kids.</li>
<li><strong>Put away</strong> books that you or your kids don’t want to read.</li>
<li><strong>Give</strong> your favorite books to friends and family.</li>
</ul>
<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/mommy_mode.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-2098" alt="mommy_mode" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/mommy_mode.jpg" width="500" height="369" /></a><!–more–>

Access this new feature from your parent profile (right between progress reports and child profiles).
<a name="badge">&nbsp;</a>
<h2>Motivational Badges and UI Changes</h2>
We’ve heard that many kids LOVE reading enough books to reach the height of a t-rex or space shuttle, but wish that it was right in front of them more often. So we’ve added that bit of progress reporting right to the front page for kids to track.

We’ve also redesigned the "book-o-meter", so that it’s easier to read, and added it to more spots within the app to cheer your kids on to more reading and unlocking.

<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/bookometer2.jpg"><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-2104" alt="bookometer2" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/bookometer2.jpg" width="500" height="382" /></a><br/>
<h2>Book Streaming Performance Boost</h2>
We’ve spent time making our streaming of books even more seamless – especially on slower connections.
<br/>&nbsp;
A <strong>happy Mother’s Day</strong> to all our Bookboard families!
<br/>&nbsp;

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School librarians rock!

by On May 10, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

4798387179 school library

“School librarians help children develop a love of reading and teach them to become critical thinkers. In other words, they are essential to building a child’s greatest asset – their mind.”

— Kareem Abdul Jabar, 2013 Official Spokesperson for School Library Month

In 1985, the American Association of School Librarians?designated School Library Month as a time to honor the critical work of school libraries in building stronger communities, supporting students’ educational journeys and empowering tomorrow’s community leaders.

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When Pigs Fly, Kids and Parents Smile

by On May 7, 2013 in Childrens Books, General

Mechanimals

 

 

Bookboard kids get to “star” their favorite reads and return to enjoy them, again and again. For my daughter Hope, author/illustrator Chris Tougas’ Mechanimals?(Orca Book Publishers) earned a star rating early on.

“It’s the funny one with the farm animal robots!” she reminds me.

“Ah, yes, that one!” I smile and nod, happy to read it again. ?Both kids and parents should be entertained by the clever text and illustrations of this barnyard-meets-industrial-age flight-of-fancy tale.

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