Friday, December 8, 2017

The Giving Tree

FOR THE WEEKEND share this classic title with your child. 

The Giving Tree is appropriate for children of all ages.
Image result for the giving tree cover

Summary:
The Giving Tree is a classic piece from author illustrator Shel Silverstein.   "Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy." So begins this touching story which has been shared by hundreds of thousands of families in dozens of languages across the globe. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Take a Picture Walk:
The Giving Tree is a wonderful book to practice taking a picture walk. Before you read the story, flip through the pages asking your reader what they see on each page. Can they see the characters, the setting, the actions? Ask what they think might be happening in each picture. Then as you read, make note with your reader as to whether their thoughts about the pages were correct.


Do this with your child:
After you read The Giving Tree talk with your reader about all the ways the tree helped the boy. Ask your reader what are some things that they could do to help others. You and your reader can pick one of those topics and act on it, whether it be donating toys or clothes, visiting a senior center with flowers or desserts, or taking homemade dog treats to your local shelter.  



If you're interested in sharing The Giving Tree with your child you can find it published by Harper Collins Publishing here


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Friday, December 1, 2017

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

FOR THE WEEKEND share this classic title with your child. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is appropriate for children of all ages.

Image result for the very hungry caterpillar cover

Summary:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar eats his way through the pages of this classic book from Eric Carle. Follow along as this hungry caterpillar chomps his way through the days of the week and grows from egg to caterpillar to beautiful butterfly. 

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Sequencing:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an excellent book to practice sequencing. This story is set in a week's time frame. Each day the caterpillar eats something more. As you read, put emphasis on what he's eating on which day so that afterward your reader can take a turn to try to put the days and foods in order. 


Do this with your child:
After you read The Very Hungry Caterpillar talk with your reader about the foods they like to eat. Talk with them about why making healthy choices is important. You can also find troves of activities to go along with this classic title ranging from art to math and science on Pinterest. Also check out the resources available through The World of Eric Carle.



If you're interested in sharing The Very Hungry Caterpillar with your child you can find it published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, here


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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

CELEBRATE THANKSGIVING and share this fun title with your child! 

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message is appropriate for children of all ages.
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Summary:
Greet the morning in Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message written by Chief Jake Swamp and illustrated by Erwin Printup, Jr. Every morning you can find yourself thankful for so many things surrounding you. This story takes you into the Thanksgiving Address, an ancient message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. The simple words combined with the bright and bold illustrations are an excellent reminder that we always have something to be thankful for.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Picture Walk:
Use the pictures on the pages of Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message to ask your child what they think each page holds. Every page offers something new to be thankful for. Before reading the words on the page, ask your child what they see. Then open the discussion further to why we might be thankful for these things. 

Do this with your child:
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message opens the door for a discussion about being grateful. This story shows many of the things that we have to be thankful for. Talk with your child about what you are grateful for and then ask them what they are thankful for. Have them draw a picture of some of those things, be sure to help them write what their picture is of. Use lots of colors just like in the story.

If you're interested in sharing Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message with your child you can find it from Lee and Low Books. Follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook!

To hear Chief Jake Swamp deliver the Thanksgiving Address click here.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ruby's Baby Brother

FOR THE WEEKEND share this family-themed title with your child. 

Ruby's Baby Brother is appropriate for preschool age children.


Summary:
Ruby's Baby Brother is a wonderful and relatable book about the struggles a child can experience when their family is growing. Ruby is not excited when she learns that she will be getting a baby brother, babies are loud and smelly and she isn't too sure that she wants one around the house. But when baby Leon arrives Ruby learns how to be a big sister through imagination and play. And when baby Leon needs her most, Ruby is there. Kathryn White and Miriam Latimer have done an incredible job making this charming story one that any new older sibling can relate to.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Retelling:
Ruby's Baby Brother is an excellent book to practice retelling. As you read through, emphasize major elements of the story - characters, events, places, etc.. Then after you've finished, let your reader take a turn to tell the story to you. You may find that you hear a completely different story, and that is okay! What is most important is that your reader is engaging with the book and the text and having an overall more involved book sharing experience.


Do this with your child:
After you read Ruby's Baby Brother talk with your reader about your own family. Do they have siblings or cousins or pets that they love to help and play with? Then pick an activity to do together as a family whether it be game night, catching a movie, enjoying a walk through the neighborhood, or a trip to the park. Enjoy your family and have fun!



If you're interested in sharing Ruby's Baby Brother with your child you can find it published by Barefoot Books and available through Amazon here


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Friday, November 10, 2017

Heather Has Two Mommies

FOR THE WEEKEND share this family-themed title with your child. 

Heather Has Two Mommies is appropriate for children of all ages.


Summary:
Heather Has Two Mommies is a beautiful look into a nontraditional family model that will benefit all families. Heather's favorite number is two, she has two arms, two eyes, two pets and two mommies! Her mommies love her very much. When Heather shares at school that she doesn't have a daddy, her teacher instructs the class to draw pictures of their families. While all of the pictures are different, her teacher describes what they all have in common: they are filled with love. This wonderful book from Leslea Newman and Laura Cornell does a fantastic job reminding readers the most important part of every family is that all the people in it love each other.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Summarize:
Heather Has Two Mommies is a great book to practice summarizing. As you read, have discussions about what you're reading. This will deepen your reader's engagement in the story and their interest in the experience overall. After you've finished reading, ask your child to tell you what the story was about. Can your reader tell you the characters, where the story took place, and what events were happening? 


Do this with your child:
After you read Heather Has Two Mommies we encourage you and your reader to draw a picture of your own family, just like all of the students in Heather's class. Go back to look and discuss how your own family differs from those shared in the story. Then find a special spot to display your new family portrait!



If you're interested in sharing Heather Has Two Mommies with your child you can find it published by Penguin Random House here


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Friday, November 3, 2017

You and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the World

FOR THE WEEKEND share this family-themed title with your child. 

You and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the World is appropriate for children of all ages.

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Summary:
You and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the World is a fantastic glimpse into the diverse world from National Geographic and author Barbara Kerley. Simple rhyming text paired with striking photographs detail parent-child relationships across the globe. While we may look different from other families this book is a wonderful reminder that some things are universal. 

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Making Connections:
You and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the World is a great book for your reader to practice making connections. Each page details a different aspect of family life. As you read through, ask your child if your own family does what these families are doing. Does your family have a pet, do you have nap time, etc.? Use this book to spark conversations about the world beyond your reader's own community, a window into the world around them. You can also use this book as a mirror, where your child can see their own family reflected back at them.


Do this with your child:
November is National Family Literacy Month! Family literacy is described as two generations or more being actively engaged in learning together. Taking the time to share a story can strengthen the bonds between parent and child, siblings, and grandparents. So after you read You and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the World we encourage you to take a trip to your bookshelf or local library and pick out more titles to share together!



If you're interested in sharing You and Me Together: Moms, Dads and Kids Around the World with your child you can find it published by National Geographic available through Amazon here


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Friday, October 27, 2017

Monster Trouble

FOR THE HALLOWEEN WEEKEND share this spooky title with your child. 

Monster Trouble is appropriate for children of all ages.

monster trouble

Summary:
Monster Trouble is a charming story from Lane Fredrickson with spunky pictures by Michael Roberston. Nothing frightens Winifred Schnitzel, but she does need her sleep! The neighborhood monsters sneak into her room every night and create quite a scene, they growl and belch and won't let Winifred be. She tries everything she can think of to get rid of these pesky beasts but her traps just can't contain them. Luckily Winifred learns the ultimate trick and finds out what monsters hate - KISSES! Readers young and old will delight in the endearing verse and colorful images which pair together perfectly to tell this super sweet monster tale. 

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Making Predictions:
Monster Trouble is a great book for your reader to practice making predictions. As you read, ask your reader questions about what they think might happen next? Do they think Winifred will be able to keep the monsters at bay? What do they think she might try to do next? By engaging with the story in a more interactive role, your reader will have an overall more impactful book sharing experience.


Do this with your child:

After you read Monster Trouble check out More Halloween titles via this article from The Washington Post 

Make memories with “Goodnight Goon,” “Six Creepy Sheep” and other scary classics for kids.

If you're interested in sharing Monster Trouble with your child you can find it from Sterling Publishing sold through Amazon here


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Friday, October 20, 2017

Pumpkin Soup

FOR THE WEEKEND share this Fall themed title with your child. 

Pumpkin Soup is appropriate for children of all ages.


Summary:
Pumpkin Soup from Helen Cooper is a warm and vibrant book which touches on some of the trials of friendship. Everyday Cat, Squirrel and Duck work together to make delicious pumpkin soup. Cat slices, Squirrel stirs, and Duck adds the salt. But when Duck decides he'd like to try stirring instead their routine is challenged and the trouble begins. Duck leaves in a huff but it isn't long before Cat and Squirrel start to worry. Cooper's rich illustrations and warm text perfectly capture the fall season.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Retelling:
Pumpkin Soup is a great book for your reader to practice retelling. As you read, ask questions so that your reader will be more engaged in the story. Then after you finish, ask your reader to take a turn and read the book to you. As they retell the story, they should recall the main story elements - character, setting, and main ideas. If their story turns out a bit differently that is alright too!


Do this with your child:

At the end of Pumpkin Soup you'll find a recipe for pumpkin soup! Pick an extra pumpkin from the pumpkin patch (or for a cheaper option, from your local grocery store.) Test out the recipe with your reader and enjoy the warmth and aroma of the season. 

If you're interested in sharing Pumpkin Soup with your child you can find it from Square Fish, an imprint of US MacMillan, here






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Friday, October 13, 2017

Gathering the Sun

Hispanic Heritage Month 

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate their heritage and culture. At Raising A Reader we embrace Hispanic culture in our diverse book collections with nearly 200 Spanish language titles. 40% of the families participating in the Raising A Reader program are Latino and one-third speak Spanish in the home. As we wrap up National Hispanic Heritage Month, we'd like to share one of our favorite Spanish and English books with you.

FOR THE WEEKEND, share this fun bilingual title with your child! 


Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English is appropriate for children 4-8.

Image result for gathering the sun by alma flor ada

Summary:
Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English is a collection of poems in Spanish and English, one for each letter of the alphabet describing farms and harvest. The beautiful book from author Alma Flor Ada is perfect alongside the traditional style paintings of Simon Silva on each page, drenched in bold, warm colors which help bring the poetry to life.

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Take a Picture Walk/Sequencing:
As you read through Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English, use the beautiful paintings to ask your child what they think that page's poem might be about. For an older child, you can also try sequencing and working on alphabetical order. Help your child remember what letter was on the previous page and try to figure out what letter the poem on the next page will start with.

Do this with your child:
Read through the poems in Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English in the language you are more comfortable with, then try the other language. Practice the titles of each poem in English and Spanish with your child. It's a good possibility that you will both be exposed to something new and different. It's okay if you're unsure of some of the words, that is how we learn!

If you're interested in sharing Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish and English with your child you can find it from Harper Collins Publishers here.




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Friday, October 6, 2017

Amazing Autumn

FOR THE WEEKEND share this Fall themed title with your child. 

Amazing Autumn is appropriate for children of all ages.


Summary:
Amazing Autumn from Jennifer Marino Walters and John Nez is the perfect book to cozy up with as the weather turns colder and the days turn shorter. Explore the season as the leaves change color, the weather cools down and pumpkins abound. You and your reader will enjoy the interactive nature of this fun fall book!

Practice this Comprehension Strategy-Take A Picture Walk:
Amazing Autumn is a perfect book for taking a picture walk. Before you read, flip through the pages with your reader and ask them ehat they see on each page. By engaging with the book before you even begin to share the words your reader will have a more impactful experience overall.


Do this with your child:

After you read Amazing Autumn take a walk outside with your reader and bring the book along with you. See if you can spot any of the signs of fall around you. Do you see leaves changing color? Do you feel the air getting cooler? Are there children in jacksets, or pumpkins on porches? Enjoy your fall spotting walk with a cup of hot cocoa!

If you're interested in sharing Amazing Autumn with your child you can find it from Lerner Publishing Group here






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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Empowering Parents to Engage Through Books


Empowering Parents to Engage Through Books


As we enter into National Book Month, all of us at Raising A Reader were once again heartened by the Washington Post article late this summer, "How To Get Kids To Look Away From Their Screens and Take Pleasure in Books."  While we still find it discouraging that it appeared in the Lifestyle section and not Education and Health, we will take what we can get in our ongoing fight against illiteracy in our nation. This article is a very good read for all parents struggling with the overbearing presence of technology in our children’s world and it makes the case for reading from traditional books.

All the research presented backs up our more than 15 years of work in the early childhood literacy landscape. What the article doesn’t touch on, and completely ignores, is that 16 million children live in poverty in our nation, and more than half do not have access to age appropriate books let alone “screens.” Our organization knows this too well as 65 percent of the children and families that we serve nationally are low-income, at risk populations.

Our core program brings books to families and empowers our low-income, at risk, and non-English speaking caregivers to participate in their child’s reading skill and literacy development even if they themselves are not readers or even English speakers. Family engagement in early childhood literacy is more than simply reading words on a page, but letting the imagination run wild as a book is shared in a nurturing way. As we train parents of all socio-economic means, all have the same revelation in one way or another  – if I share books with my child, their brain, language, and comprehension grows. What parent doesn’t want this for their child?

We applaud those struggling with screen time versus book time – it’s a real struggle. We work to provide those without screens with books and tools for the entire family to succeed long-term. Today, only 4 out of 10 fourth graders are proficient in reading. This is not a sustainable situation for our nation. Let’s keep this in mind as we highlight National Book Month.