Archive for the ‘The Reading Nook’ Category

The Shape of Things

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

love this shape book for kids - it goes beyond identification and encourages kids to pair shapes together to create new characters
The question isn’t when is a circle not a circle? It’s when is a circle more than a circle? The second question goes beyond identification and requires a healthy imagination. And that is the type of question author and illustrator, Joyce Hesselberth, wants to help our kids answer.

Joyce has a brand new book out called Shape Shift. If Joyce’s name sounds familiar it may be from her previous shape study PrestoBingo Shapes, or her work on They Might Be Giants video, or her illustrations for the New York Times. She’s a woman whose work gets around…because it’s awesome!

Her latest book, Shape Shift, helps kids identify circles, squares, crescents, diamonds, triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, and ovals. But where it goes beyond the traditional shape book, is when (more…)

Posted in Features, Play + Learn, The Reading Nook | 1 Comment »

Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food

Monday, March 9th, 2015

How to eat better and more healthy. It's shocking how many of our foods are processed!

Do you think you and your family eat well, as in healthy? Some weeks for us are awesome and others, especially when I have deadlines, not so awesome.

We’ve talked about eating more veggies and while that’s definitely a step in the right direction, what about ditching processed foods altogether? Author Megan Kimble has a brand new book hitting stores June 23rd chronicling her year spent doing that very thing—reclaiming real food. She’s here to talk about what inspired her to eat real, offer tips for going unprocessed and, drum roll… reveal the cover of her book (pictured above). We’ve never done a cover reveal before. So exciting!

Why did you write this book? 

I stopped eating processed food three years ago for a lot of reasons—economic, environmental, heath. I’d read what many of us have read (more…)

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The Importance of Reading to Kids Beyond the Preschool Years

Monday, January 12th, 2015

the facts about reading to kids

Last week, the New York Times reported findings from Scholastic’s Reading Report. According to the report, just 31% of kids ages 6 to 17 said they read daily for pleasure. It also noted that’s a 6% drop from four years ago.

We all know there are tons of benefits to reading for fun, so what can we do? Two things top the list. First, we can read to kids. Second, we can encourage schools systems to let kids read on their own at school:

“There were some consistent patterns among the heavier readers: For the younger children — ages 6 to 11 — being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading; for the older children — ages 12 to 17 — one of the largest predictors was whether they had time to read on their own during the school day.”

And while experts admit they can’t say conclusively that reading aloud to older kids boosts reading comprehension, they do say it helps them develop background knowledge. And from a completely unscientific measure—personal experience—it’s also great bonding time:

“’It wouldn’t have to be reading’ to accomplish that, said Catherine Snow, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. ‘A two-minute conversation about something on television or something in a magazine or something that you’re reading yourself can also have some of the same positive effects as reading aloud.’”

So share a story with the kids tonight even if you think they’re too old. Chances are, they’re not.

You can read the full article here.

Catch other tips for raising a confident reader in our video below. (more…)

Posted in The Reading Nook, The Tween Years | 1 Comment »

It’s National Book Month – Crafts, Activities and Ideas to Celebrate!

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Crafts, activities and ideas to celebrate national book month
“A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.” –Neil Gaiman

Happy National Book Month! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite tips, crafts and activities to help the kids celebrate their love of the written word. Long live books!

Raising Confident Readers (video)
Five Playful Ways to Introduce Reading

Marbled Bookmarks
Botanical Bookmarks
Teeshirt Book Tote Bag

Children’s Book Swap
Children’s Book Club

Posted in Parenting, Play + Learn, The Reading Nook | Comments Off

The Reading Nook | Smile

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Smile reading nook-1

Is there anything sweeter than seeing your child reading books that you loved when you were her age? Nope. I don’t think so!

The girl’s been ploughing through Judy Blume novels – the five novels in the Fudge series have been read and reread. It’s Not the End of the World is on deck and I can see Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret being devoured in the next year or two.

Although these are fabulous books, this review is about a series that’s been called the illustrated Judy Blume: three graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier. (more…)

Posted in The Reading Nook | 2 Comments »

The Reading Nook | Classic Play Summer Book Club

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

classic play summer book club grades K-7

“School’s out for summer…” You’re singing it with me, right? A little air guitar? How about adding on “I’m here to help you…”- help you fight the summer slide that is. Our kids work hard during the school year – let’s help them stay ahead of the game over the summer break.

Here’s a list of recommended books for your kids. Although I’ve grouped them by grade, keep in mind your kids’ reading level. And don’t forget to read to them too.

Make a weekly trip to the library, take a few along on vacation, have a daily family half hour reading session – there are many opportunities to incorporate reading into your family’s life. We even made the kids a little sheet so they can keep track of what they read. Click here to print it out.

Ready? Let’s read… (more…)

Posted in The Reading Nook | 3 Comments »

Reading Nook | Social Media for Young Readers

Monday, May 19th, 2014


Like any parent, I think about my daughter’s screen time and how best to manage it. It’s enough of a challenge for me as an adult to make sure that I don’t fall down the rabbit hole of aimless surfing or social media. And I certainly don’t want it to be the main default when any of us are bored.

As I often say around here, “everything in moderation”.

That being said, screen time and social media are here to stay. And being curious about how to best work with it rather than it being an “either/or” – either reading OR screen time, I discovered something that might just make all the difference in encouraging your kids to not only read more but think about what they are reading.

It’s the book-focused social media site for kids called (more…)

Posted in The Reading Nook | 2 Comments »

The Reading Nook | Wonder

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Wonder - book review on Classic Play

When I review books for you, I try to find books that you may not have known about otherwise. I figure, you already KNOW about what’s on the best seller lists, right?

Well, today I’m giving a HUGE thumbs up to a book that’s on the best seller lists right now- Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I picked it up on a Friday and by Sunday had finished it – and that’s with a full weekend of family! (more…)

Posted in The Reading Nook | 7 Comments »