an autumn lunch

Today I'm on The Land of Nod's blog sharing about Avery's favorite autumn lunch.  Head over to Honest To Nod to check it out!


nate's four-year-old favorite books, part two

Sharing more of Nate's current favorite storybooks.

Chloe, Instead is a sweet story about sibling relationships and lessons learned about friendship and unconditional love.  And of course, we’re huge fans of Micah Player’s bold, vintage style.

In Pete’s a Pizza, Pete's father thinks of the perfect silly solution to rainy day blues.  Nate thinks this story is hilarious!

Robert McCloskey’s Blueberries for Sal is a tale about little Sal and her mother going foraging for blueberries, and the little adventures they have during their search.  I love McCloskey’s use of onomatopoeia.


nate's four-year-old favorite books

This week I'm sharing some of Nate's favorite books and Maisy Bakes a Cake is most definitely one of them!  Besides the exceptionally fun and interactive pop-up aspect of it, he enjoys Maisy and her cronies' amusing antics.  I've always been drawn to Lucy Cousins' vivid colors and bold black lines.  It goes without saying that her playful style is hugely appealing to young children.  

What I love about the Maisy series is that it features simple storylines ideal for working on preschool and early childhood language skills: grammar, early story retelling, sequencing of events and comprehension questions.  Maisy books also offer a wide variety of experiences--going to preschool, visiting the museum, camping, going to the library—each with its own lexicon and opportunities to learn situation-specific social language.  

Stay tuned for more of Nate's favorites tomorrow!


wee society spooky story

If your kids or students are learning about story elements/structure, this create-your-own spooky story from Wee Society would be perfect for this Halloween week!  Here’s a spread from Avery’s story.


nate the great and the monster mess (and why our children need to read)

Avery’s love for the “World’s Greatest Detective” is still going strong and this is one is a regular in her Nate the Great rotation.  In Nate the Great and the Monster Mess, Nate’s mother loses her beloved recipe for monster cookies and Nate must wade through a myriad of clues to retrieve it.

There’s something so magical about finding a book or book series that you click with as a child.  It makes reading enjoyable, which is so integral to contributing to a lifelong love of reading and learning.  When they can’t wait to find out what happens next in a book, children are motivated to learn how to decode or pronounce words that are new them (even if they’re difficult), and understand their meanings.  As adults, we can bring to light the nuanced meanings of those new words, help interpret story structure/plot and really teach children to think beyond the story, and relate it with their own life experiences.  This is a huge part of the learning process: connecting new experiences with old.  This is what happens when we’re there reading aloud books to our kids or are even just present while they’re reading aloud on their own.

According to so many books (The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease comes to mind) and education articles, as our kids get older, they lose interest in reading.  Compared to other countries, our kids read less and less on their own as they become teenagers.   And time devoted to reading decreases with each new generation.  Yet, lifelong reading is so essential to a well-rounded education, understanding the world, making learning connections and ultimately, helping our children discover who they’re going to be in life and what their mission will be.  So, this is why it is so, so important from a very young age and all throughout childhood to build a library of books that children will enjoy and treasure.  Kudos to all parents, teachers and librarians who work tirelessly to do so!

I know all too well how tired we all are at the end of the day and sometimes how hard it is to decide to read a book instead of watch TV and relax or whatever, but reading every day is one of the best things we can do with our kids, to invest in them and their future.