August 2013

Ponies, Mollusks and a New Series of Chapter Books!

by On August 30, 2013 in Childrens Books, Reading

We’ve got some more books to share, and this set really has some varied content in it. Here are some highlights:

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Reading “Above Level” to My Kid: 4 Lessons Learned

by On August 29, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

Image credit: taliesin,  morguefile.com. http://mrg.bz/Ry4Zoh

 

I’ve been hearing a lot of discussion about the goal of ensuring kids are reading at grade level or above by third grade (one indicator of later academic success, graduation rates, etc.)

Is the goal achieved by challenging kids to read (and/or have read to them) “above level” books??Or do we better serve and motivate young readers by offering more freedom to read books of interest, regardless of level?

The topic of reading levels came up for us recently, when our daughter asked us to read her a childhood favorite: Madeline L’Engles A Wrinkle in Time (AWIT).

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Have You Read to Your Dog Lately?

by On August 26, 2013 in General, Holidays

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<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/benji-listens-sized.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-3813 alignright" alt="benji listens sized" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/benji-listens-sized2.jpg" width="275" height="308" /></a>

Did you know that Monday, August 26, 2013 is <a href="http://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/dog-day/">National Dog Day</a>??Along with their many other wonderful traits — loyalty, affection, occasional paper fetching and good humor — dogs make pretty cool companions when it comes to reading, too.

Haven’t tried it yet? ?You should. We’re not just talking the beloved family dog curled at your feet while you read silently. We’re talking you, reading out loud to your dog. Yup.<!–more–>

In a past blog, we wrote about the <a href="http://bookboard.com/blog/2013/05/a-kid-a-book-and-a-four-legged-friend/">Reading Education Assistance Dogs program</a> (from Intermountain Therapy Animals) where dogs are brought to schools, libraries and community centers to help reluctant young readers feel more confident and inspired to read. ?Yet?as most kids who have read to dogs figure out, Fido can get a lot out of hearing a good book, too.

This weekend my daughter Hope read to our neighbor buddy Benji, who likes to sniff Bookboard on iPads. ?Once Hope found the right story, Benji appeared to have a great time. If only we knew for sure what he was thinking…

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<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/benji-yawns-sized.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-3810" alt="benji yawns sized" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/benji-yawns-sized-150×150.jpg" width="150" height="150" /></a>

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"Great story, but now I need a nap. "

<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/benji-leaves-sized.jpg"><img class="alignright size-thumbnail wp-image-3811" alt="benji leaves sized" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/benji-leaves-sized-150×150.jpg" width="150" height="150" /></a>

&nbsp;
<p style="text-align: right;">"Pause for a sec, I’ve got to take care of some business first…"</p>
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<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/benji-reflects-sized.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-3812" alt="benji reflects sized" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/benji-reflects-sized-150×150.jpg" width="150" height="150" /></a>

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"Ah, now this story I love! The school girls are fighting, but eventually become friends. It reminds me of this feisty cocker spaniel I befriended at the park…"

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OK, it’s just conjecture, but what was clear was that Hope enjoyed reading to Benji and Benji enjoyed listening, hanging out side-by-side. Dogs are kind of awesome that way.

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Too Soon for A Wrinkle in Time?

by On August 22, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

Like countless others, I treasure?Madeline L’Engle’s?1962 novel,?A Wrinkle in Time, a Newbery Medal winner (Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, publishers). ?I can easily recall the first time I heard the strange word “tesseract” as my 4th grade teacher read this book to our class. My peers and I were fascinated to learn of this scary/thrilling way the book’s three child protagonists traveled through a tesseract — a “wrinkle in time” — to a distant planet where love must battle evil.

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Bringing the Ocean Home

by On August 19, 2013 in Childrens Books

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My family spends a lot of time hanging around the ocean during the summer. My almost-4-year-old son loves running up and down the beach, looking for crabs, shells and other flotsam, while my husband and I love breathing in the salty air and remembering to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the coastline. Life feels a lot simpler when you’re standing on the shore looking out across the vastness of the sea, and there’s something very soothing about remembering how small we are in comparison.

<iframe src="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_befdc56714609f2838d9f/index.html?embed=true" width="650" height="440"></iframe><!–more–>

If you take a trip to the seaside with your family this summer, try to extend your visit by reading some books like the ones I put together in our ocean collection. Little ones love talking about the experiences they’ve had, and sometimes a book is a great jumping-off point for reminiscing about the whales they saw, or the jelly fish they poked with a stick (remember not to touch jellyfish, even if they’re dead!)

I’ve included some of my favorite books in here; <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_befdc56714609f2838d9f/index.html?selectedBookID=310">What the Sea Saw</a> is a visually stunning picture book with gallery quality artwork, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_befdc56714609f2838d9f/index.html?selectedBookID=76">Seal Song</a> is a tale about a <a href="http://www.thefreedictionary.com/selkie">Selkie</a>, and the Smithsonian Books are fantastic non-fiction books (though<a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_befdc56714609f2838d9f/index.html?selectedBookID=371"> Great White Shark</a> does have some accurate information about how sharks eat; look through it before sharing it with your little one).

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New Books for Back-to-School Reading

by On August 16, 2013 in Childrens Books, Reading

Change is in the air! The kids are heading back to school, and animals will start preparing for winter. As the weather gets colder and the sun sets earlier, there will be more opportunities to cuddle up under a blanket and read together!

I’ve put together a list of new books to share as we move into fall. This list includes all kinds of different books: more Smithsonian books, good storybooks for bedtime, books about dinosaurs (who doesn’t love dinosaurs?!), books for new readers and stories about growing up.

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It’s a Bad Poetry Day Throwdown!

by On August 15, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

Gather the kids and put on your creative thinking caps. This Sunday, August 18 is Bad Poetry Day! You may have an inner bad poet and not even know it. (See what I did there?)

For inspiration, check out the bad poetry scenes on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As this reviewer of a bad poetry e-book observes:

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Kids, Books and Vegetables, Oh My!

by On August 12, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

I found myself getting cranky reading about a?recent Stanford study which found that young children (ages 4-5) voluntarily ate more vegetables after teachers read them specially created nutrition books. tomato girl garden morguefile copyThe books avoided vegetable lectures and, instead, taught cool facts about healthy eating, digestion, and food groups. Compared to a control group, the test kids had greater willingness to dig into their veggies at snack time.

You’re probably thinking “why get mad at the vegetable-book study?”

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Kids’ Summer Book Club Reviews! (Part 2)

by On August 8, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

As the reading buddies arrived for our summer Kid’s Book Club Event, you could feel the buzz in bookclub sign sizedthe air. They weren’t exactly sure what to expect, but they were ready!

After introductions, I had them sing along with an icebreaker book, A Pilot Flies Her Plane. While it proved a bit young for the age 5-7 set, they liked shouting answers when I asked: “Who can name every vehicle in this book?”

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What I Can and Can’t Teach My Child about Friendship

by On August 5, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

If you missed National Friendship Day?(the first Sunday in August), don’t panic!?At least one?source?said this homage to friendship lasts all week! You’ve still got time to call your best buds!

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