Tag: reading

How to talk to your kids about politics? Ken Burns has a book for that.

This election cycle has been pretty brutal, leaving a lot of us wondering how to talk to our kids about politics. Well, I just got a copy of Grover Cleveland, Again! by the celebrated documentarian Ken Burns and illustrator Gerald Kelley, and I’m convinced that reading this with my kids is going to help them understand what being presidential is all about. Related: Turning kids into readers – 3 tips from LeVar Burton to help get your kids excited about books Related: 3 inspiring new picture books for kids that should be on every wish list This big, oversized book fills up my kid’s...

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A super simple tip to help your kids with their summer reading right now

It’s probably one of my kids’ least favorite things to talk about these days: Summer reading. Which is odd, because they really do love to read. They just don’t like someone else telling them what they have to read — and when to read it. Recently, though, a friend recommended this very easy tip: Invest in a summer reading journal to make the required reading a bit more exciting. I decided it was worth a try, and so, I picked up this Reading Journal for Kids (available from our affiliate Amazon, in different versions for kids’ ages and reading levels) to help my...

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Girl power! Our 10 new favorite empowering books for girls

My kids and I have encountered some very memorable girls with very memorable experiences in their children’s books over the years — Madeline’s midnight appendectomy, Freckleface Strawberry (a favorite among my brood of redheads) wearing a ski mask on the playground to hide her freckles, and of course, bossy big-sister Olivia the pig — our favorite non-conformist. And lately, I’ve been seeing an increasing number of empowering books for girls, all non-fiction stories written by women in the last 12 months or so, of girls busting stereotypes and fulfilling their dreams. These books teach our kids anything is possible if you work hard enough and...

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7 fantastic children’s books to pick up before they hit theaters this year.

My kids love to read. But they also love to go to the movies. Luckily, that makes our summer reading easy this year, since I’m going to encourage them to pick up some of the great children’s books that are being adapted into movies this summer and fall. From classics like The Little Prince and The BFG to new favorites like The Queen of Katwe, there are a handful of movies based on kids’ books coming out soon that I know they won’t want to miss. So my rule is, you’ve got to read the book first. Smart, right? Here, 7 terrific children’s books turned movies that we...

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5 free summer reading challenges for kids. Prizes included!

Even though I’ve got a couple of avid readers in my house, I’m always looking for ways to continue to encourage them to pick up a book. Thankfully, there are no shortage of summer reading challenges that offer kids a little incentive for their participation. Whether you’re trying to give your reluctant reader a little motivation summer, or just want something to reward your voracious book lover, here are 5 free summer reading challenges for kids that you’ll want to check out, all of which offer participants prizes. Related: 3 simple tips from LeVar Burton to get your kids...

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The clever Bring Your Own Book game is our new favorite for family game night.

Now that my kids are old enough to play “real” games — you know, the ones where I don’t have to let them win — I love finding new clever and fun options for when we all gather around the table to play. So I was really excited to learn about Bring Your Own Book, a truly unique activity for our family game night. Created first by Matthew Moore and Luke Nalker, who launched it successfully via Kickstarter, it has been newly released by Gamewright, one of our favorite game companies, for people ages 12+. Since each game only lasts about 20 minutes, it’s perfect for families who might...

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5 inspiring new picture books for National Readathon Day that make kids want to get out and play

As someone who grew up with her nose in a book, I sure spent a lot of time hearing my parents tell me to put down that book and go outside to play! So in honor of today’s National Readathon Day, I’ve rounded up five wonderful new picture books for kids that not only make great stories but also inspire kids to get outdoors and explore this big, beautiful world. Because if there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that books do a darn good job of expanding our world views way beyond the walls and comfort of our homes. Related: 3 brand...

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Our favorite gifts inspired by our favorite Children’s Book Week posters

I hate to admit it, but every once in a while I find myself fussing at my kids, “Put that book down and come on!” But, I have to say, I truly love when they’re nose-deep in a book. And I’m on a lifetime quest to forever encourage my kids’ love of reading. So, in honor of Children’s Book Week this week, we think everyone should grab a copy of the 2016 Children’s Book Week poster created by illustrator Brian Won. It’s free, while supplies last, from Book Week Online. Whoo! Related: The ultimate list of the best kids’ books of 2015 And if you’re feeling a wee bit nostalgic for...

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A can-do magazine for girls who wanna run the world, featuring some impressive women who already do.

My five brilliant nieces are marching their way toward adolescence (well, one of them is technically crawling her way there at this time), and while I do my best to introduce them to the joys of science, Star Wars, sports, and all the possibilities for women in general, I recognize there are still a lot of forces working against them in those arenas. So I was thrilled when I learned about Erin Bried’s new Kickstarter project for KAZOO magazine, a publication for girls ages 5–10 that is designed, with the help of some very impressive names, to promote creativity, curiosity, exploration, and fun, across topics like science, technology, art, sports,...

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Novels written in verse (yes!), for kids, are must-reads for National Poetry Month

I have a new obsession: novels written in verse. Seriously, I’m flying through a few of these books a week and the best part? My kids are too. The fact that these novels are poetic gives them a lyrical beauty that’s missing in a lot of plot-driven stories for kids, and yet they’re still fascinating page turners — a must when you’re trying to capture a tween’s attention. Even the most pesky readers who feel poetry is boring with a capital B are likely to be hooked after the first couple of pages. I pretty much guarantee it. Related: More of our favorite poetry...

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9 of our favorite children’s books to help you welcome spring.

Finally, spring. And with that extra hour of daylight and warmer temps, I’m looking forward to dinners on the porch, flowers in full bloom, and plenty of family time outside. And when we’re ready to come in, kick off our shoes, settle into the couch, I’ll be ready to encourage some reading by keeping a small stack of spring books on hand. The books I found range from brand-new titles to can’t-miss classics that parents will gladly read aloud over and over and over again. Each book shows the beauty of the changing seasons, the importance of waiting for the good stuff...

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Turning kids into readers: 3 simple tips from LeVar Burton to help your kids get excited about books

As avid readers ourselves, it’s probably no surprise we try to get our kids excited about reading every chance we get. But, some kids are harder than others (funny how that works), and finding creative ways to motivate less eager readers can be tough. And that’s where LeVar Burton comes in. Yes  that LeVar Burton! He happens to be our very special guest on this week’s episode of Spawned with Kristen and Liz. (Is it so wrong if we insert toddler-decibel squealing here?) We’re beyond thrilled that he took time out of his busy schedule to chat with us about how he got...

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A whale reading chair that really rocks

Sometimes it’s the little things. The totally unnecessary but love-it-want-it-now little things. Like this adorable whale reading chair from Sprout. It’s a sweet and modern rocking chair for toddlers to climb in, sit and chill, read a book, or just hang out while you’re cooking dinner (or, uh, checking email). Do I need it? No. Do I want it? Yes.   All of Sprout’s kids furniture has cool, minimalist design. You do have to build it yourself at home (no tools needed!) but the instructions are so simple you’re likely to have it together in no time (they say 5 minutes). The hardest part for me in...

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4 Valentine’s Day books for kids that you’re going to love too

It’s no secret that a good book is one of our favorite ways to celebrate holidays and important milestones of pretty much any kind, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. So, we’ve collected a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day books for kids this year so you can share the love with your kids too. I find them all to be sweet but not-too-sappy books that you’ll want to read again too. Which is a good thing, because our kids have been requesting them non-stop. CMP is an Amazon and rstyle affiliate.   Related: 21 cool Valentine’s Day gift ideas for...

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One of David Bowie’s greatest hits, reissued

There’s no question that David Bowie had a huge impact on the world of music, which is partly why we can’t stop talking about him. So today we are so happy to discover that the iconic 1987 David Bowie READ poster has been reissued by the American Library Association. As part of an entire series of ALA celebrity posters started in the 80’s, David Bowie, an avid reader, was one of the first celebrities to agree to pose for the campaign. He looks pretty spry for 40 in his letterman jacket, doesn’t he? A far cry from his look in Labryinth. At 22″ x 34″,...

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The 2016 Coretta Scott King book award winners: Great reads for MLK Day and beyond

I don’t want to let holidays like Martin Luther King Jr. Day slip by with my kids thinking it’s just an extra day off of school. So if you’re like me and are looking for some ways to honor the spirit of MLK while you’re home today, we highly recommend you check out last week’s winners and honorees of the 2016 Coretta Scott King book awards which we briefly mentioned in our roundup of all the best book lists and award-winners of the past year. This is a list of winners we share each year because it’s important for us to seek out diverse stories from diverse authors, that aren’t always...

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Friendships and middle school collide in Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

The other night my ten-year-old son was looking for something to read at bedtime. I handed him my review copy of Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, not sure what to expect. When I checked on him an hour later, he was just a few pages away from the end of this 250-page graphic novel. And the next night, he snagged it to read a second time. That’s saying something. So, when I saw that the book became a Newbery honor recipient this week — the award for great writing, not illustration — I knew I had to take a look too. Related: The ultimate list of the best kids’ books...

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Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

It’ll be a beautiful day in the neighborhood for someone who gets a set of these awesome Mister Rogers sticky notes I just found. Featuring the iconic images of Mister Rogers and his comfy cardigan, as well as Lady Elaine Fairchild, X the Owl, King Friday XIII, and Daniel Striped Tiger, you or your kids can tab pages in a book you are reading or leave little notes around the house. For best results, tab all the smartest pages with X the Owl and save Lady Elaine for anything that makes you feel kind of cranky. Daniel Striped Tiger would only go on my very...

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The ultimate list of the best kids’ books of 2015: All the annual best-of lists and award winners all in one place.

We’ve loved our annual new year tradition of compiling the best kids’ books of the year, thanks to all the major (and not entirely major) best-of lists and big children’s book awards of 2015 from publications, experts, and organizations we respect. We’re talking everyone from the New York Times and the ALA to NPR, and smaller but beautifully curated lists from the likes of Brainpickings and Brightly. While we recently put together our own list of the best children’s’ books of 2015 that we’re quite proud of, there’s no way we could get through every new book released. So we hope you take a look...

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The best children’s books of 2015 : Editors’ Best of 2015

What a treat it is to put together our list of the best children’s books of 2015. Not that it’s easy; we’ve collectively read hundreds of great kids’ books this year — from cute, sweet board books, to excellent picture books for early readers, to heart wrenching YA chapter books — and it’s always a job to whittle it down to just a few favorites. Ultimately, we went with the picture books that we’re gladly picking up to read out loud to our younger kids for the hundredth time and the chapter books that are sparking great conversations with our tweens and teens....

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