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Archive for the ‘reading’ tag

November 7th, 2014 at 9:14 am

Favorite Thanksgiving Books


My boys love to read books about holidays as they are approaching. Thanksgiving is a fun time to learn about tradition and the history of the holiday through sharing books. Here are some of my favorites:

Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks

The Berenstein Bears Thanksgiving Blessings

The Night Before Thanksgiving

10 Fat Turkeys

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving

Pinkalicious: Thanksgiving Helper

The Story of the Pilgrims

Fancy Nancy: Our Thanksgiving Banquet

Biscuit is Thankful

The Best Thanksgiving Ever

‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

The Story of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day Thanks

This is the Turkey

Take some time this month to have some family reading time with Thanksgiving books, and discussions about the meaning of Thanksgiving and why it is a part of our history.

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July 7th, 2014 at 10:15 pm

4 Board Books for Bilingual Kids


Many people think it makes no sense to read to a baby or a toddler, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is a great idea to start reading to your children while they’re in the womb! This is particularly helpful if you’ll be raising them bilingual because they’ll get used to hearing the minority language even before they’re born.

Through the years, I’ve gotten my hands on a fair share of bilingual board books, but here’s a short list of the ones we favor at home:

My Colors, My World/Mis colores, Mi mundo — This is a board book your kiddos must have in their home libraries. Written and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez, It’s colorful and full of life, and they will love to learn the colors in both English and Spanish. I promise!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar/La oruga muy hambrienta — My son will be going to Kindergarten this fall and you may think he’s done with board books, but this is actually one of his very favorite ones. By now, he knows it by heart in both English and Spanish, but he continues to ask me to read it to him almost every night. Perfect to teach your kids how to count and tons of food vocabulary in both languages.

Your Body/Tu cuerpo — I love the simplicity of this board book, one of two in a series about the body. The illustrations are eye-catching and will keep your kids entertained while they learn vocabulary related to the human body and how it moves in both languages.

Colores Everywhere!: Colors in English and Spanish — This is another one about colors, but what makes it totally unique is that the illustrations are from art artifacts that belong to the San Antonio Museum of Art. Talk about colorful! This is one book in a series of three. The other two are about shapes and numbers. Highly recommended!

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June 2nd, 2014 at 11:56 am

Summer Reading Choices


We love to sit under a tree, on the patio, or lay on the grass and read a book in the summertime. The kids love logging their reading time  for summer reading programs too. Check out your local public library to see what kind of a reading programs they offer for both children and adults. You can learn all kinds of neat things just by reading and talking about what you read in books.

The Barnes and Noble Summer Reading program allows you to easily track your reading, and in the end you receive a free book! They also have a great collection of books lists for all ages. I like to check out the Amazon Summer Reading List for some fresh reading suggestions as well. More ideas can be found on Pinterest in this fantastic collection of kids books or this summer reading list for all ages.

When your child is young, reading to them promotes imagination and will help develop their own reading and listening skills. Carry eBooks on your tablet for easy summertime reading without having to bring along a pile of books. Also, find books that have to do with activities that you have going on. Going to the Zoo? Check out animal books. Traveling to another state or country? Check out some books that provide information about the place you are going.

What was a great book you recently read?

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April 14th, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Celebrating Library Week



Did you know that April 13 through 19 is National Library Week? Books are so important to a  child’s development. Besides teaching them how to read, they also foster bonding, creativity, and imagination. Libraries have a lot to offer their communities, and they are a great learning resource for families. Check out your local library this week and see what kind of events and classes they offer for your little ones. In honor of National Library Week, here are some of the most popular kids books of all time that you can check out at your local library or bookstore!

  • Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  • The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
  • Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
  • Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
  • Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs – Judy and Ron Barrett
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Judith Viorst
  • Guess How Much I Love You – Sam McBratney
  • Pat the Bunny – Dorothy Kunhardt
  • Love You Forever – Robert Munsch
  • The Lorax – Dr. Seuss
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? – Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson
  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
  • Corduroy – Don Freeman
  • Stellaluna – Janell Cannon
  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go – Dr. Seuss
  • Strega Nona – Tomie dePaola
  • Curious George – H.A. Rey
  • Jumanji – Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Little Engine That Could – Loren Long and Watty Piper
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
  • If You Give A Mouse A Cookie – Laura Joffe Numeroff and Felicia Bond
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales – Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith
  • The Runaway Bunny – Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
  • The Rainbow Fish – Marcus Pfister and J. Alison James
  • The Snowy Day – Ezra Jack Keats
  • Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans
  • The Napping House – Audrey Wood and Don Wood
  • The Cat and the Hat – Dr. Seuss
  • The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg
  • Hop on Pop - Dr. Seuss

There are so many other great books, both classics and new, that kids around the world enjoy every day. Which is YOUR favorite?

Photo Credit: American Library Association,

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March 3rd, 2014 at 9:28 am

Storing all your Children’s Books

Do you struggle with where to put all your kids books? We have bookshelves filled and then another paper book order comes and we struggle with where to fit them once the order comes in. I want to share some of my favorite ways to store our kids books.


Cereal Box Holder

I love all the inexpensive paperback books that we get from the order forms at school, but they are so hard to store. Make a holder out of a cereal box to keep them contained. Just cut diagonally once you remove the top and decorate however you want. This is an extremely cheap way to tackle the book clutter.


Picture Shelf or Rain Gutter Shelving

We use a ledge type of shelf for frames to display books for my sons top bunk. You could also use several vertically to make a wall of easy to grab bookshelves. This can also be done using rain gutters from your local home improvement store.



Use all kinds of baskets and containers to hold books. I love to pick up inexpensive baskets to use on shelves to organize a little better. I also keep a basket by my sons bed so he can put his favorites there each night.



Storage Bins

Use regular totes and decorate to hold books or even use crates that you have decorated like these.

I believe you can never have enough books, but containing them is the key! How do you organize your books?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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December 12th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Holiday Books for Storytime


For some of you, storytime is an everyday occurrence, but there is something about reading books during the holidays that gives me that “warm and fuzzy” feeling. Here are some great books you can read to or with your kids to get into the spirit…some of them are my personal favorites from my own childhood!


How The Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss


The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg


The Elf on the Shelf by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell


Santa Mouse by Michael Brown

Hersehl and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman


Olive, The Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh


Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa  by Donna L. Washington


The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan & Mike Berenstain


The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore


The Mitten by Jan Brett


What holiday books do YOU read with your children? Share your favorites with us on Facebook!

All Photo Credits:

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May 13th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Fun Children’s Books to Read

For Mother’s Day I got a poem from my oldest and one of the lines read, “I love to hear mom listen to me when I read.” Children love to read to you and listen to you read. Nothing is better than snuggling together and reading a good book.  Sometimes it feels like you are reading the same books over and over and want some fun new books to be a part of reading time. A great way to try new books is to visit your local library or do a book swap with friends!

Here are some fresh book  ideas for you:

Pinkaliscous by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann

Any Dr. Suess Books

Ducks Don’t Wear Socks by John Nedwidek

Pete the Cat by James Dean

Leo the Lightening Bug by Eric Drachman

The Ugly Pumpkin by David Horowitz

Here Comes the Big Mean Dust Bunny by Jan Thomas

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

The Dog House by Jan Thomas

The Pigeon Books by Mo Willems

Llama llama Books by Anna Dewdney

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

These are just some of the favorites I have to share. Another key is to listen to the audio version if it is available. While visiting preschool the other day, my son’s teacher was reading Pete the Cat, Rocking in my School Shoes and had the CD playing along. There was great music that went along with it that the kids danced too.

What are some fun books that you like to read with your child?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.



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March 7th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Getting Your Kids to Read


With parenting comes the desire to provide a solid education for our kids; but many parents do not know how to get their kids started.  The answer lies in books. Your child’s learning potential will increase by leaps and bounds if you make reading an integral part of their lives.  Here are a few ideas to start this process:

  • The easiest way to introduce your child to reading is by reading TO them often. I credit my love for books to my parents, who regularly read to me when I was little.  I still remember them asking me to choose a book from my shelf and then trying to hide a grimace when I picked the same book for the third night in a row!  But it was through this repetition that I was able to follow along with the words as they read them out loud… and eventually read them by myself.
  • Bring your kids to the library and have them pick out their own books for you to read to them or, for a twist, to have them read to YOU!  Maybe find some craft or cookbook and have them read the directions to you at home while you work on a project together.
  • If you have a school-age child, set aside a small block of time each day for reading. During this time, encourage your child to read something that he or she will enjoy.  Even if it’s a comic book or a book of sports statistics, it doesn’t matter as long as they are reading.  This should be a fun time for them, as it will only reinforce an appreciation for reading.
  • Kids love to imitate adults, so if you want your child to read, it’s also very important that they see you reading, too.  Again, it doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a newspaper, or the Garanimals blog, as long as you are reading.  And treat your reading materials with respect so that your child also respects his books.

Your child may not immediately take to reading, but it’s important to keep encouraging them.  Just as Dr. Seuss quips in I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!, “The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

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January 22nd, 2013 at 5:01 am

Help Your Bilingual Children Expand Their Vocabulary

Enriching your bilingual children’s vocabulary is important for a variety of reasons. For starters, it will allow them to read and more complicated books. A wide vocabulary will also help them express themselves orally and verbally using a variety of words that more accurately describe what they’re trying to say.

Here are some fun ways to help enrich your bilingual kids’ vocabulary:

Storytime. If they’re not in preschool yet, storytimes are an excellent place to spend some time with your kids. Many libraries now offer bilingual/Spanish storytimes. These are always fun and I always appreciated the variety of topics that were covered in the books read because they introduced my kids to a lot of new vocabulary words.

Music. The repetitiveness of music is a great way for kids to memorize new words. Not to mention that they have a ton of fun listening and dancing to the music. The best part about this is that it doesn’t have to be only children’s music. There are a lot of great pop options that provide wonderful opportunities for your little ones to learn new words in Spanish.

Introduce new words. Try not to use the same simple words every single time. For example, think of the many words you can say big (gigantic, enormous, large) and start using them in your every day conversation. Make sure once you introduce a new word, you use it constantly.

Dictionaries. There are many options in terms of children’s dictionaries and they’re a lot of fun. Buy a couple and teach your children how to use them from the get go. As they get older, if they come across a word they don’t understand, remind them it’s a great idea to look it up in a dictionary.


Photo by Tim Pierce -

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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January 10th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Snowy Day Reading


Winter is a great time to start a daily reading hour with your kids. Someone once told me the single most important activity you can do with your child is to read. Reading to kids regularly makes the transition to reading independently an easy one.

If by some miracle the kids are getting sick of building snowmen and coming in with wet coats and mittens, have them join you for some quiet reading time. Make some hot chocolate, snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and dive into some books.

Here are some suggestions:

Ages 0-3: Spot’s Snowy Day, Eric Hill

Young kids adore Spot and the story of a puppy playing in the snow is a sure winner!

Ages 3-6: Mama, Will It Snow Tonight?, Nancy Carlstrom

Your beginner readers will enjoy the rhythmic language of this book as each young of a species asks its mother if it will snow tonight.

Ages 6-9: Snow Day!, Lester Laminack

What happens when an entire family wakes up to no snow after a huge storm was predicted?  After your child finishes it, ask him or her what they would do in that situation!

If by some miracle you find yourself with some alone time, this is a grown up book I highly recommend::

The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein

A must-read for dog-lovers, especially those who believe that their pups think like people! This funny and uplifting novel tells the story of a race car driver, Denny, from the perspective of his lab-terrier mix, Enzo. Enzo relates everything he has ever learned about race car driving to life, teaching us along the way about family, love and life’s absurdities.

Warning: You may need tissues at times for this one!

Bonus: This story was adapted into a version for the kids and is titled Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog.

What are your favorite books?

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