Kid Lit: Scaring Up Stories for Halloween

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-happy-halloween-image26517292Halloween is just around the spooky corner, are you ready?

Our house is decorated with pumpkins, scarecrows and skeletons.  This past weekend I picked up an industrial size bag of candy from our local warehouse club for all the trick-o-treaters that’ll be stopping by.

My kidlets are ready too, they’ve been planning their costumes since summer!

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Kid Lit: Animal Adventures

It doesn’t matter what type – dog, cat, fish, hermit crab (a recent addition to our home) , giraffe, elephant or dinosaur – my kidlets love to read stories about animals.  This month’s Kit Lit review features two stories about animals that take place in very different settings — one living in the urban jungle of the city and the other out in the country on a farm.

THM-KidLit-LittleElliot-BigCity-BookJacketLittle Elliot, Big City By Mike Curato (Macmillan)

Little Elliot is an adorable little polka-dotted elephant living in the wilds of New York City circa 1940.  Amid the hustle and bustle of life in the big city with big crowds and even bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a happy and quiet, but solitary life.

In spite of the daily challenges he faces for being little, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter, a new friend.

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Kid Lit: Back To School Books #BTS

Whether your children are going to preschool for the first time, entering kindergarten or another elementary school grade, going back to school (BTS) can be both an exciting and daunting experience for children. Reading books about BTS can help ease children’s nerves and reassure them about starting school, going to a brand new school or even entering a new grade.

Here are few of our family favs:

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The Pout Pout Fish Goes To School (Macmillian)

Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he flub-flubs, blub-blubs and counts off his troubles of not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes and how to do math.Continue reading ⇒

Kid Lit: Comic Books For Kids

Recently my kidlets discovered the wonderful world of comic books. I think comic books are a great way for children to get interested and excited about reading as well as helping to develop and stimulate their imaginations. The illustrations, the exaggerated characters and the way panels are arranged in comic books help to pique a child’s interest.

THM-comic-book-kidsHowever, I quickly learned how important it is to be sure that my kidlets are reading age appropriate material. See if you, or your child, base reading choices  solely on the comic book cover art, you can easily be deceived and accidentally expose your children to themes they may not be ready for.

See comic books have a reputation for being “for kids,” but quite the opposite is true. Walk into a comic book store – yes they actually do still exist – and who do you see hanging out in the aisles and checking out the latest releases? It’s not kids, but rather adults.

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Kid Lit: Avoiding “Summer Slide” – Read A Book, Or How About Forty Of Them!

Ah, summertime!  It’s what my kidlets look forward to all year.  Two solid months of fun, excitement and no stress.  Days filled with playing, hanging out with friends, swimming, making crafts and eating lots of ice cream.   Hearing about my kidlet’s daily adventures makes me wish I could be a kid again – having a pretty-much carefree summer instead of going to work everyday.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-boy-girl-reading-books-image19977713However, as many of you moms out there would agree, while I want my kidlets to enjoy their break, I don’t want them to suffer from “summer slide.”  That’s what happens when young minds sit idle for weeks at a time without any learning instruction.  To help avoid this, I enrolled both the kidlets in our local library’s summer reading program.

Each of my kidlets – my son is almost seven, my daughter is 4½ – got their own personalized reading log.  We keep the logs hung up on the bulletin board in our kitchen for easy access.

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Kid Lit: Another “Good Question!”

A few months back I wrote about how my kidlets ask me about a million questions a day and how I used Good Question! books to help me answer some of their more probing ones.   My kidlets devoured those books and by the time they were finished with each of the five books we had, they were all smarty pants about things like the five senses, the American Civil War, the Earth, how plants grow, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and our solar system!   And then another round of questions began….

THM_GoodQuestion_1Thankfully a new series of Good Question! books recently showed up at our home, courtesy of Sterling Children’s Books, so once again, I’ve got answers!

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Kid Lit: Good Question!

On any given day my kidlets ask me hundreds of questions. “Who is picking me up from school today?” “What are we having for dinner?” “Where are my sneakers?” “Why do I have to brush my teeth every day?” “When will you stop telling me what to do?” These questions are pretty simple for me to answer.   I don’t even have to think twice about my reply because there is no doubt that I have the correct answer.http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-multicolor-question-marks-connecting-image13130710It’s when my kidlets ask me questions such as: “Why is the sky blue?” “Where does the wind come from?” “Where do plants come from?” and “What are clouds made of?” that I feel like I’m on the hot seat.  Not only do I want to be able to give them the correct answer, but I also want to answer them in an age-appropriate way for them to understand.

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Kit Lit – Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

When my kidlets were really little there were two books that they begged me and The Hubs to read to them at bedtime each night.  One was Goodnight Moon and the other was Big Red Barn, which both happen to be written by Margaret Wise Brown.  Brown is one of the most popular children’s authors of all time.  Her use of rhymed verse coupled with beautiful illustrations of realistic characters and objects have lulled children, including my own, to sleep for generations.

Though Brown died in 1952, she has a new book of out now called Goodnight Songs from Sterling Children’s Books.  The book isa collection of previously unpublished lullabies that is gorgeously illustrated by 12 award-winning artists.

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Kid Lit: A Real Page Turner – What’s On Our Reading List This Month

Yesterday I got an email about the results of a new study, compiled by PBS Kids and youth and family research firm Smarty Pants, on parents with young children aged 2-6 which found that American families are struggling to prepare their children for kindergarten with five out of 10 parents worrying that their child won’t have the basic skills they need when they start elementary school.

I shared this info on The Harried Mom’s Facebook page and asked readers along with some of my IRL (“In Real Life”) mommy friends to share with me their top tip to get kids onto the path to school readiness.  The most common response I got was reading to/with children on a daily basis and I have to say I wholeheartedly agree! 3D Render of Kids Surrounded by Books

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Kid Lit – Elves Can’t Dunk Newly Enhanced eBook

Every Monday is library day in our house.  After school the kidlets go to our local library and they each get to pick out four to five books for the week.  I never know what kind of books they’ll check out.  To me, there never seems to be any rhyme or reason to their selects.  When I ask them they just tell me that from the cover it “looks” like it would be a good read (note to authors/illustrators – cover art is SUPER important in selling your book to the 10 and under crowd!).

THM_KidsLibraryBooksEven though my six-year-old can read on his own, he likes to check out chapter books that The Hubs and I can read to him before he goes to bed each night.  Captain Underpants, Batman and The Notebook of Doom series are some of his favs, but I’m starting to have trouble mustering up the vigor to re-read, for the millionth time, the adventures of George Beard and Harold Hutchins as they battle the Turbo Toilet 2000!

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