Top 10 Children’s Books of the Summer

I love reading and so do my young children. Every summer, since they were born, I challenge myself to read 100 books to them. For the previous two summers I was able to read those 100 books in thirty days! That left me exhausted for the month of August so I went back to my original plan of 100 books during the summer. My children get a kick out of going to the library and (now) using their library card to check out books they want me to read to them. I was also able to see which books they really enjoyed, and that led me to compile a list of their favorite books this summer.

10. Where’s Waldo 30th Anniversary Edition

Wheres Waldo coverThe kids enjoyed searching the pages to see who can find Waldo faster than mommy. They looked at Waldo as a giant hide-and-go-seek game inside of a book. Especially when they had to search for the other people. This book made this list because this was a special request after my children played the Where’s Waldo game on YouTube. Once they went through the entire book they were ready to move on to the next story. To help children learn to look at the details and find what’s hidden in plain sight, I would definitely recommend this book!

 

9.Just Saving My Money

Just Saving My Money coverLittle Critter wants to buy a new toy. His parents introduce him to earning money so he can save up for his toy. Will Little Critter save up enough to buy the toy? I introduced the children to the Little Critters with this book. My children know that saving money is a good thing when there are things you want to buy even when they weren’t happy doing it. Reading about the little Critter saving his money to save up for his favorite toy gave them another view on their piggy banks. Now my daughter is thinking of interesting ways to earn and save her money to buy Barbies!

 

 

8. No, David!

No David coverThis is a classic story about a little boy being told NO! quite often because of the antics he gets into as a lovable preschooler. My three year old son enjoyed this book more than my five year old daughter, but David made the list because at story time this book was requested several times.

 

 

 

 

 

7. The Berenstain Bears Are Super Bears!

Berenstain Bears Super Bears coverThe three bear cubs love super heroes, so one day they decide to become super heroes themselves! See what plans they foil and what bad guys they thwart in this funny adventure. My children absolutely adore these little bears. I can’t blame them. I have been a fan of the Berenstain Bears since my childhood and I am happy to see that I was able to share them with my children. I have read quite a few of the Berenstain Bears to my children this summer but this book had them captivated from the cover art! I would have added more but this list is only for the top 10 of this summer. Next summer I may have to add a whole lot more books from this series!

 

 

6. Bee-bim Bop

Bee Bim Bop coverThis is a very lovely book about a girl helping her mom cook her favorite Korean dish for dinner. My children love the rhyming and the pictures. This book even has the recipe for how to make Bee-bim Bop so you can try it yourself! We have this book at home and then my daughter received a copy of it as a prize while participating in the summer reading program at our local library. My son and my daughter love requesting this book at bedtime!

 

 

5. I Broke My Trunk!

I Broke my Trunk coverThis book is another one that is requested quite often by my little ones. The different adventures that Piggie and Elephant get into are hilarious. The story of their friendship is adorable and the story of how Gerald broke his trunk is funny. Surprisingly enough, last summer, neither of my children were to enthusiastic about Piggie and Elephant. Last summer was all about the Pigeon, The Knuffle Bunny and the Cat the Cat series, all by the same author. For the most part, anything by this author (now) is a win for the children!

 

 

4. Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Should I Share My Ice Cream coverGerald has a dilemma. The ice cream truck has come and gone and Piggie was not around. Gerald wonders whether or not he should share his ice cream with Piggie or eat the sweet treat by himself? This book tickled all of us. It also opens the door for discussion about sharing. Another book requested regularly. The Piggie and Elephant series came highly recommended by our librarian last summer. I am glad the children finally started enjoying them.

 

 

 

3. I Love My New Toy!

I Love My New Toy coverPiggie and Elephant are at it again. This time, Piggie has a new toy that she wants to share with Gerald. This story of friendship helps children see different ways to handle situations. The delight on my children’s faces when they run into the children section to select more Piggie and Elephant books is a joy to see. That makes it that much better for reading time when they select the books themselves.

 

 

 

2. The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

Pigeon Hotdog coverThis Pigeon is a hilarious ball of energy! My children can’t seem to get enough of this bird! He is very expressive and has been in rotation on our reading list for three summers in a row. The pigeon series is also a recommendation from our librarian. The Pigeon finds a hot dog and just when he’s about to eat it, here comes the Duckling! Will the Pigeon share his delicious find or will he gobble it up with the Duckling watching? This books is entertaining for me as well as my children and I enjoy reading about this Pigeon.

 

1. Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus!

Pigeon Bus coverFunny! The pigeon dreams of driving a bus one day so when the bus driver steps away for a little bit, the attempts to get permission to drive the bus. Will he fulfill his dream of being a bus driver? This book is my children’s first introduction to Mo Willems and I couldn’t have expected the amount of laughter I received the first time I read this one. This book has been on our reading list for three summers now also. This was also recommended by our librarian. When ever I check out any of the pigeon books my children get excited and want to read the books immediately. The books delight my children so much that I follow Mo Willems on Twitter and recently asked him if any new pigeon books were coming out any time soon.

Listen, my children loved these books plus many more this summer. Don’t take my word on how great these books are, read them to your children and let them decide how much (or little) they enjoy these books. Reading to children now will create a lifetime love of reading.

 

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5 Reasons Why Reading is Fundamental

I read a blog post last month by Allie D that caught my attention. She listed 50 of the Best Preschool Books that she has read to her boys. I instantly wanted to read her post because I love books and I was curious to see what books she recommended. Also, because I have a preschooler and a kindergarten-er who enjoy books also. After reading her post I discovered that quite a few of her books were favorites of my children. One reason I thought Allie’s post was awesome is the reading. I have been a reader since I learned the magic of reading back in the early 80’s. That is something I pass on to my children because – reading is fundamental. Anything on this planet you want to know about, you must read something.

Why I love reading – because of all the interesting stories and characters I discover. I am a romance fiction fan but I also enjoy adventure, science fiction and the occasional biography. I gravitate towards books with a conversational writing style where I can become the main character and transition through the book. Reading is fundamental for me because:

  1. It is how I honor my ancestors who were unable to learn to read because of the color of their skin. Every book I read is for my grandparents who couldn’t.
  2. It is how I learn new things and comprehend what I learn.
  3. Knowledge is powerful. How you wield that power shows what type of person you are.
  4. I love being able to help others using what I have learned through reading.
  5. I love hearing my children laugh when I read to them.

I enjoy reading also because based on the statistics of the neighborhood I grew up in, I shouldn’t be any good at it – but I love proving people wrong when assumptions are made about me.

According to an article by Lauren Gelman for Reader’s Digest (www.rd.com/health/wellness/benefits-of-reading/), reading is good for you for other reasons:

  1. Reading can protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Reading can melt away stress.
  3. Reading boosts your vocabulary.
  4. Reading improves empathy.
  5. Reading can encourage life goals.

But don’t just take my word for it. Read the article for yourself and then comment with a good book you would recommend for me. I’ll look over the comments and add those books to my list. I’ll start with a couple of recommendations of my own.

Kindle is Life…

I just finished reading Mini Habits For Resilience by Tom Meitner on my way to my day job. He breaks down little ways we can develop a stronger resilience in our daily lives. I came across Tom’s book accidentally while searching for free books I could download for my children. (In case you are new to reading my words I am a word nerd, book nerd, however you’d like to describe it – I love books).

In life we tend to be harder on ourselves than anyone else, especially when we fail to reach a goal we’ve set for ourselves. This book shed light on the truth of how set backs can effect our view of ourselves and our abilities. Tom also offered ways to build resilience so setbacks aren’t as devastating to our sense of ability and accomplishment.

I think everyone should read at least one self-help book a year to improve in an area of life you may feel needs sprucing up… 

On Why Yet’s Watch with Sharai Robbin

Anyone who knows me (and I mean REALLY knows me), knows that I LOVE a good book. I am a book nerd wrapped in a gorgeous face, lol! On my show, On Why Yet’s Watch, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing an author from my hometown of Philadelphia, Sharai Robbin. Sharai is the author of the novel, Candace Reign, which was picked up by Simon & Schuster in 2015.

Candace Reign Sharai promo

Sharai is an inspirational woman all by herself even before you get to her writing. Sitting and talking with her about her passion for crafting her words into book form was divine! I am at a loss for words to describe the interview. All I can say is you would have to listen for yourself and come to your own conclusion. We need more individuals who are looking to improve and inspire the current generations’ preparing to come of age so that they in turn can improve and inspire those that come behind them. That will create a better world for us ALL!

First Interview of 2016!

On Why Yets Watch bannerGood evening! Happy New Year! On Why Yet’s Watch was on fire tonight! And what a beautiful way to kick in the new year than with an awesome author, Chase Monet, debuting her first novel, Secrets of a Cheating Heart (available on amazon.com) and preparing for the release of her second novel, One Taste Just Ain’t Enough (January 20, 2016 release date).

Chase Headshots

Chase is so relaxed that it’s no wonder her fans are curious to find out what’s next on her to do list of wonders. Being a freelance writer, Chase is no stranger to the rigors of writing regularly. She has submitted countless how-to articles and web content for companies such as Textbroker, Break Studios and Scripted. She’s written grants, business contracts and proposals for small business owners as well as sales and marketing scripts for lead generation companies.

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With all of that going on, Chase’s passion is for writing fiction with twisting plots and steamy, provocative love scenes. Her debut novel, Secrets of a Cheating Heart, features all of that and more. Her newest novel, One Taste Just Ain’t Enough will be released on January 20th, 2016. You can follow Chase Monet on facebook: Chase Monet; on instagram: @chasememonet; and on twitter: @ChaseNMonet. To listen to her interview you can go to On Why Yet’s Watch with Chase Monet.

OneTaste by ChaseMonet

Now don’t feel bad if you missed this interview. I broadcast live every Thursday evening from 9-10 pm EST on blogtalkradio.com. To keep up to date on who’s coming to the show follow my author page on Facebook: Why Yet, Author. Next week, hip hop artist Matthias All Bars will be returning to the show to share some more of his music and wisdom with our listeners, so don’t miss out!

On Why Yet’s Watch with Darryl Carr

Victim of Love II just finished a wonderful interview with author Darryl Carr. He is the author of Victim of Love (which is FREE on amazon for a limited time). Being inspired by Stephen King, the writers of Dynasty, Falcon Crest and Dallas, Darryl strives to create believable characters that we can connect with. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY Darryl began writing when he was 16 years old. A lover of words, Darryl already has Victim of Love 2: Master in My Bed ready for release on October 23, 2015. Darryl Carr can be followed on http://www.facebook.com/darryl.carr3, and http://www.twitter.com/dcarr217 . Grab your free copy of Victim of Love, check out the interview On Why Yet’s Watch with Darryl Carr and follow Darryl Carr to keep up on new books being released!

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I Signed Up For NaNoWriMo 2015!

nanowrimoOkay, I accomplished the re-release of my collection of poetry, Entangled Hearts (available on amazon Kindle for $2.99), and signed up for the NaNoWriMo 2015 challenge. To put it mildly, I’m terrified! 50,000 words in thirty days, how do you guys do it?! Is it insanity or is it normal to feel this fearful of writing? I have ideas floating around in my mind but not sure which one will be THE one to write.

How do you guys decide what to write for NaNo? Do you create outlines on your computer/tablet/phone or write them down in a notebook? How do you decide on how many characters go into your story? Character names? Personalities? Quirks? Are you tempted to start writing before hand or do you wait until November 1? Will the story be finished in time? Will there be time to edit or do you wait until NaNo is over to edit? And will it be good? Do you block everything out for thirty days? I will keep you posted on my progress when the challenge starts. Until then…

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