Archive for the ‘The Reading Nook’ Category
Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
Ever done anything that you KNEW wasn’t right and were bothered by that little voice in your head? Who hasn’t?
That’s the premise of the delightful picture book The Brief Thief by Micheal Escoffier and illustrated by Kris di Giacamo.
Escoffier, a popular French author (this translated import being his first foray into the English language market), has married elegant bathroom humor with an ethical conundrum. (more…)
Monday, November 4th, 2013
In Flotsam, a Caldecott Award winning picture book by David Wiesner, a curious boy finds an old underwater camera washed up on the beach. He gets the film developed and finds all sorts of amazing photos of life beneath the sea. He also finds another surprise that I’ll leave for you to discover.
But how to tell this story to your 5-9 year olds when there are only illustrations and no words? Don’t let that get in the way of enjoying Flotsam. Think of it as an opportunity to experience a book in a new way. (more…)
Monday, October 14th, 2013
A few days ago someone asked me where I’ve lived and when I listed the places (Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Cape Town, and Toronto), they said, “you’ve moved a lot!” It doesn’t FEEL like that but I suppose that I HAVE moved often.
With so many moves, I had my “move process” down pat. I am a master at packing up, at finding a new place, at sussing out a neighborhood. I know how to find my people in the new city, my fave activities, restaurants and coffee places.
But I had never moved as a parent. Til my last move.
Two years ago my mother-in-law was living on her own and starting to struggle a bit. My father-in-law had passed away and we decided to move back to Vancouver from Toronto to provide more support.
Our daughter was 5 ½ and had just finished kindergarten. It was a good age to move – she had friends but her life still was focused primarily on family. As long as we were around she was up for anything.
My “move process” became our “family move process” and here’s what I learned: (more…)
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
I love sharing with you the children’s books that I love, both new and old. I also share tips that I find that make learning to read as easy as possible for our kids. But I know that some of you have hit the wall and are maybe getting more than a little frustrated.
What if you’ve done everything “right” and your kids still aren’t that interested in reading? You love to read. You’re in a book club. You have kids books and magazines and comics around the house. Your kids see you and your partner reading. You take regular family trips to the library. You read to them daily.
But your kids still would rather do anything else than read. Maybe even outright refuse to read. They are frustrated. You are frustrated. What if you are even starting to lose a little sleep over it? What then? (more…)
Monday, September 16th, 2013
It’s rare to find a chapter book that grabs the attention of BOTH boys and girls in elementary school. Once you take a peak at Wayside School is Falling Down, you will understand why.
This book is perfectly pitched at their sense of humor. It’s wacky and a little bit crazy with all sorts of wonderfully unexpected characters and situations. More than a bit familiar to our kids and their lives.
Wayside School isn’t just ANY school. First of all, the school building is 30 classrooms tall with no 19th floor. And while the first book in the short series has no 19th chapter, the second one has 3 of them: chapter 19, chapter 19 and yes, chapter 19.
You’re starting to get the idea, right?
The world of Wayside School is a strange place where anything and everything can happen. And does. (more…)
Wednesday, September 4th, 2013
You know how you hear a song from your past and you are immediately transported back to that time? Books do that for me too and Peter Reynolds’ books especially.
I had a long road to becoming a mom – I won’t go into the details here but it involves infertility and adoptions gone awry and miscarriages and finally a pregnancy carried to term. Whew! The girl was hard won.
I came across a new book illustrated by Peter Reynolds the other day and I’ll tell you all about it in a moment. But seeing his lovely illustrations reminded me of a couple of other books of his that we have in our reading nook – Ish and The Dot.
I got a little teary eyed looking through Ish again. It was a gift from my friend Jackie at my baby shower 8 years ago. I can’t tell you how I never REALLY believed that I’d ever have a baby shower.
Fond memories because of the gift and a love for Reynolds’ books and illustrations because of his personal vision. Here’s how he describes it: (more…)
Monday, August 5th, 2013
Not THAT slide – THAT slide we want. But let’s keep any sliding IN the playground this summer. Reading sliding? That’s the one we’re stopping.
Especially in the early, foundational elementary school years, the summer slide is a huge risk. Kids can lose up to one month of their previous year’s learning over the summer.
They are JUST hitting their stride in reading and writing so why not at least maintain what they’ve learned during the year?
But we’re not talking about summer school. We’re not talking about tutors. And we’re not talking about loooonnnng days at a desk stacked with worksheets while their pals are playing outside.
You know me – I’m a lover play. That they need too.
Here are my best strategies to minimize the summer slide. (more…)
Monday, July 22nd, 2013
Here’s a summer project for you and your kids that combines reading and writing and storytelling and puppets.
You KNOW we love books over here. And no one is ever going to do this but if someone asked me for ONE thing that I want my girl to grow up with, it’s a love for books.
That’d be her inheritance – a love of books and a passion for reading.
With that in mind I’m always thinking of ways to extend the reading experience beyond sitting down and reading a particular book. What else can we do?
Let’s get started. You’ll need (more…)