Suz

About Suz

Suz Lipman is Bookboard's Head Mom. She has been an enthusiastic reader since early childhood. Suz is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which grew out of her blog, Slow Family Online . She writes for the New York Times ‎Motherlode blog and the Christian Science Monitor's Modern Parenthood blog and is an outspoken advocate for children's literature and literacy as part of a rich and well-rounded childhood.

Here are my most recent posts:

Celebrate Chinese New Year

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

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<a href="http://www.infoplease.com/spot/chinesenewyear1.html" target="_blank">Chinese New Year</a> 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.

<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Chinese1.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-5825 " alt="Chinese New Year" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Chinese1-300×197.jpg" width="300" height="197" /></a> Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This year is the Year of the Horse. See a <a href="http://www.chinesenewyears.info/chinese-new-year-calendar.php" target="_blank">Chinese zodiac calendar</a>.? Try one of these fun Chinese New Year crafts or activities:<!–more–>
<ul>
<li><a href="http://artchoo.com/chinese-new-year-activities/" target="_blank">Chinese horse character writing and painting</a> from Artchoo</li>
<li><a href="http://www.craftiments.com/2014/01/chinese-new-year-paper-cutting-for-kids.html" target="_blank">Year of the Horse paper cutting</a> from Craftiments</li>
<li><a href="http://www.teachkidsart.net/gung-hey-fat-choy-happy-chinese-new/" target="_blank">Paper dragon</a> from Kids Teach Art</li>
<li><a href="http://craftsandartforchildren.blogspot.com/2012/01/chinese-new-year-party-crafts-for-kids.html" target="_blank">Paper Plate drums</a> from Crafts and Art for Children</li>
<li><a href="http://www.slowfamilyonline.com/2014/01/gung-hay-fat-choy-happy-chinese-new-year" target="_blank">Paper lanterns</a> from Slow Family Online</li>
<li><a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gale-gand/fortune-cookies-recipe/index.html" target="_blank">Homemade fortune cookies</a> from Food Network</li>
<li><a href="http://www.recipebyphoto.com/fruit-roll-up-fortune-cookies/" target="_blank">Fruit roll-up fortune cookies</a> from Recipe by Photo</li>
<li><a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/273591/felt-fortune-cookies" target="_blank">Felt fortune cookies</a> from Martha Stewart</li>
</ul>
Of course, there are plenty of books to help you celebrate and learn about Chinese New Year and other cultural holidays from around the world.

<iframe src="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_9110b26e14610ae40ce61/index.html?embed=true" height="440" width="650"></iframe>

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy New Year!

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12 Days of Bookboard

by On December 24, 2013 in Childrens Books, Holidays, Reading, Releases

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Our 12 Days of Bookboard are drawing to a close. We’ve really enjoyed sharing our special holiday selections with you. Over the 12 Days, we’ve featured books that reveal the wonder of winter (<a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=245" target="_blank">Cub’s First Winter</a>, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=313" target="_blank">Under the Snow</a>, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=316" target="_blank">About Penguins</a>, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=244" target="_blank">Winter Trees</a>) light-hearted books that take Santa and Tractor Mac on new holiday adventures (<a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=473" target="_blank">Santa Retires</a>, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=472" target="_blank">Santa’s New Jet</a>, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=288" target="_blank">Tractor Mac Saves Christmas</a>), books that introduce international folk tales (<a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=460" target="_blank">The Boy and the North Wind</a>, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=243" target="_blank">Little Red Elf</a>), and books about the joy, warmth, traditions and meaning of the season (<a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=431" target="_blank">May All Children</a>, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=246" target="_blank">When I Dream of Christmas</a>, <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?selectedBookID=142" target="_blank">We Share One World</a>).

<iframe src="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_3ed4a80e146107d725acb/index.html?embed=true" height="440" width="650"></iframe><!–more–>

Thank you for joining us on our journey through the 12 Days of Bookboard. We wish you a very happy holiday season and new year, with plenty of reading, family warmth, and traditions of your own.

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What are Your Family Holiday Traditions?

by On December 20, 2013 in Holidays, Reading

winter_snowman

Photo: Susan Sachs Lipman

For many families, the winter holidays are a time of special rituals and traditions. When we celebrate the changing seasons and the holidays that mark them, we elevate the sacred from the everyday, the way people have done for thousands of years. At the same time, we strengthen our own family bonds by adding to our unique family memory banks.

Winter holidays are also a time when families tend to spend quality time together during school vacations and longer nights. For my family that often means more time to settle into our favorite books. We love to read by the fire and anywhere else in each other’s company. I asked my compatriots at Bookboard to share some of their beloved family holiday traditions and memories as well.

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10 Fun and Unusual Holiday Gifts for Kids

by On December 16, 2013 in Childrens Books, Holidays

We’re always on the lookout for cool and unusual kids holiday gifts, the kind that convey our fondness and knowledge of the recipient, as well as our desire for them to have fun with something truly unique and worthwhile. Looking for something that won’t already be under the tree? Check out these choices.

spy_kit
Pssst. Know a spy in training? They’d enjoy 4M’s Spy Science Secret Messages kit. Future cryptologists can learn how to send top-secret messages by writing on X-ray paper, using invisible markers, utilizing a cipher wheel, and more.

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Coming Soon: 12 Days of Bookboard

by On November 27, 2013 in Holidays, Reading, Releases

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<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/1382269_572886552764722_312334280_n-1.jpg"><img class="wp-image-4870 " alt="winter_picture_books1" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/1382269_572886552764722_312334280_n-1.jpg" width="576" height="238" /></a> Bookboard Winter Favorites

I relish everything about the winter holidays. The chilly weather, the longer nights, the smells of freshly cut Christmas trees and holiday baking, the chance to snuggle under a blanket and read stories by firelight, and especially the extended opportunities to spend time with family and friends.<!–more–>

Our librarian, Cen, has hand-curated some very special books from our collection to share over the winter holidays. These include books about the beauty of winter and the warmth of Christmas. We know you’ll want to celebrate the season by creating your own rich family traditions, and we welcome the opportunity to be a part of them.

Look for our <strong>12 Days of Bookboard</strong> selections in the coming days. You may want to whet your appetite with our <a href="http://share.bookboard.com/shelves/bb_d9622c8f14610a87e436f/index.html" target="_blank">Hanukkah and Winter Books</a>. We wish you a happy holiday season full of warm memories, many blessings, and the gift of time spent with loved ones.

<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/winter-berry.jpg"><img class="wp-image-4873 " alt="winter-berry" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/winter-berry.jpg" width="349" height="232" /></a> Photo: Public Domain

&nbsp;

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Thanksgivukkah: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Holiday

by On November 21, 2013 in Childrens Books, Holidays, Recipes

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<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/enhanced-buzz-25506-1380661559-16.jpg"><img class="size-medium wp-image-4704 " alt="thanksgiving_hanukkah" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/enhanced-buzz-25506-1380661559-16-300×300.jpg" width="300" height="300" /></a> Photo: John Gara/BuzzFeed

For the first time since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will converge. That’s right, <strong>Thanksgivukkah</strong>! And we won’t get the chance to celebrate it again for 78,000 years. This calendar oddity has resulted in some really fun – and feasty – mash-ups. Buzzfeed offers up <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/thanksgivukkah" target="_blank">potato latkes with cranberry applesauce</a> and pecan pie rugalach. There are <a href="http://www.judaicashop.net/p-2866-menurkey.aspx?gclid=CJGNqJvA6roCFQxgMgodnRwAkA" target="_blank">menurkey menorahs</a>, "challahday" cards and chocolate coins that read "gobble tov". Sounds like a lot of fun, especially if the alternative is eight days of leftover turkey.<!–more–>

So why the alignment between the festival of fowl and the festival of lights? While Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, Hanukkah is a moving target because it’s based on the lunar Hebrew calendar, which has 29-day months. The Hebrew calendar adds a 13th month every few years, to ensure that its seasonal celebrations remain intact. This is why Hanukkah can swing from late November to late December. Thanks? to these quirks, November 28th is the latest possible day for Thanksgiving, and the earliest possible day for Hanukkah, which begins at sundown, November 27.? Though associated with Christmas because of its timing, some theologians are saying that the holiday has more in common with Thanksgiving.

If and when you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or both, the holidays offer a chance to step away from the calendar and enjoy favorite family traditions (and perhaps some new wacky ones), togetherness, and the opportunity to welcome winter and the holiday season with Hanukkah and Winter books. <em>Happy Thanksgivukkah!</em>

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Celebrate Fall Cultural Traditions with Books and Food

by On September 19, 2013 in Childrens Books, Holidays, Recipes

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Around the world, people celebrate their harvests. Nigerians and Ghanaians have yam festivals, to commemorate their main crop. In the Czech Republic, wreaths of rye, wheat, wildflowers and straw are worn by celebrants who dance and feast.<!–more–>

The Chinese celebrate with a Mid-Autumn, or Moon, Festival, which, like many others, is based on the lunar calendar. The festival coincides with the full <a href="http://www.slowfamilyonline.com/2013/09/enjoy-the-fall-harvest-moon-and-equinox/" target="_blank">Harvest Moon</a>, which occurs near the <a href="http://www.slowfamilyonline.com/2013/09/enjoy-the-fall-harvest-moon-and-equinox/" target="_blank">Autumnal Equinox</a> and falls on September 19th this year. The Harvest Moon traditionally shone its all-night beacon to help farmers gather their crops before the advent of electricity.

<a href="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/mooncake.jpg"><img style="margin-left:15px; margin-bottom:5px; margin-top:5px;" class=" wp-image-4060 " style="border: 0.2px solid black;" alt="mooncake" src="http://bookboard.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/mooncake-300×298.jpg" width="270" height="268" /></a><div style="margin-left: 15px;"><p style="font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; line-height: 16px;">Photo: Jump into a Book</p></div>

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The Chinese offer thanks and offerings to the moon and its goddess, <a href="http://www.moonfestival.org/change.html" target="_blank">Chang E</a>, and children learn the legend of how Chang E came to be associated with the moon. Another tradition of the Mid-Autumn Festival are yummy traditional <a href="http://happyhomebaking.blogspot.com/2011/09/traditional-mooncake.html" target="_blank">mooncakes</a>, which are featured in one of our new books for Autumn, <em>Mooncakes</em>. (You might want to try this especially kid-friendly <a href="http://www.dltk-holidays.com/china/easy_chinese_mooncakes.htm" target="_blank">mooncake recipe</a>.)

Two other titles that are brand new to Bookboard for Fall are <em>Little You</em>, which captures the close physical and emotional bonds of a First Nations (Native American) family with a new baby, and <em>Metal Man, </em>about a welder who transforms junk into art. Other books in our multicultural collection include <em>The Matatu</em>, an entertaining tale about transportation from Kenya; <em>The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred</em>, a colorful and rollicking cooking story from Mexico; <em>After Peaches</em>, a tale of Mexican fruit farmers attempting to make a life in Canada; <em>Seed Magic</em> about seeds that grow into something beautiful despite doubt, and <em>Clever Rachel</em>, which tells a traditional Jewish story about a girl who loves riddles.

What better time to celebrate the world’s variety of cultures and traditions with a new crop of books?

Enjoy the full Harvest Moon September 19th, the Autumnal Equinox (in the Northern Hemisphere) September 22, and your own celebrations of cultures, harvests, books and food.

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Meet the Bookboard Ambassadors

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

Bookboard is thrilled to introduce its inaugural group of Bookboard Ambassadors, a selection of parent bloggers who focus on literacy, books, education, and spending quality time with family. We hope you’ll get to know them and their work and consider them to be trusted sources of information about Bookboard, reading and family. We asked each a few questions to help you get to know them. Ambassador biographies appear at the end of the post.

Valarie_Budayr_1 Valarie Budayr, Jump into a Book

What was your favorite book as a child and why?

My favorite book as a child was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I loved this story because it took me to another time period. I wanted to be one of the March sisters so badly.

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Create Your Own D.I.Y. Summer Reading Program

by On July 25, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

Many libraries offer summer reading programs that feature a variety of fun themes and are designed to help foster summer learning and the discovery of new interests and flights of imagination through reading. Why not create your own program, tailored to your child’s reading level and interests? With Bookboard, it’s easy!

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6 Tips for Smoother Road Trips (start by packing Bookboard)

by On July 18, 2013 in Childrens Books, General, Reading

My family loves road trips, especially by car and train, which allow you to slow down enough to enjoy the passing scenery and the act of traveling itself. However you travel – whether by car, train, plane, bus or ship – packing is always an issue. You want to travel as lightly as possible, while still having plenty of items on hand to occupy children during long travel days and tedious stretches of road.

ipadtrainseat

 

Two of the many benefits of Bookboard are its ease and its portability, which make it a natural travel companion. Instead of bringing many books, you only have to bring one tablet device to have hundreds of books at your child’s fingertips.

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