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.

 

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.

The Library Is A Treasure Trove

I stopped by my local library this afternoon to return some children’s books. The cool air invited me to look around a little bit. Especially since it was so hot outside, bleh.

So I figure I would search for books about selling on Etsy. You know, like Etsy for Dummies or something of that nature. No such luck, at first.

Tucked between two acrylic painting books I found a book on how to sell handmade items online. Bingo! I silently eased the book off of the shelf, peering around to see whether anyone was watching, and began flipping through the pages.

It felt like heaven. I had the sensation that all of my questions would be answered. That is until I glanced on the shelf across the aisle. My eyes landed on Starting Your Career As A Professional Blogger, by Jacqueline Bodnar. Wow, I can take a hint. So I grabbed this book much faster and decided to make haste for the circulation desk to check out. Once I finish reading this I’ll let you guys know how it is.

The Harlem Book Fair 2016 On My Bucketlist!

spiral bookcase

I found out about the Harlem Book Fair in 2013, by accident of course. Upset that I hadn’t known about it sooner I became captivated by the amazement of what I read online and vowed to go. All of the authors in an open marketplace setting so you can browse and purchase to your budget’s content. Imagine, a book fair that lasts three whole days and in HARLEM of all places?! It’s a book reader’s/writer’s dream!

book in grassI spent so much of my childhood and early adulthood discovering amazing stories by wonderful authors. When I became a mother I wanted to pass that love of reading down to my children. Expose them to a world of exploration and wonder. So once I found out about a massive, weekend long book fair in Harlem, NY I made it my goal to attend. Imagine the authors I’d meet! I had always dreamed of meeting some of my favorite authors at an event like this. Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, Terry McMillan, Zane, Michael Baisden and such. Even though the possibility of those authors being at the book fair are slim to none (a girl can dream can’t she?).

Since I haven’t quite made it to the Harlem Book Fair for this year (it’s happening now) I have made it my goal to make my preparations now so I can attend next year. I have also found out about a few other book fairs going on across the country. And I do miss traveling. So guess what else is going on my to do list for next year? You guessed it! Travel time – I’m planning to attend at least two other book fairs next year in addition to the Harlem Book Fair. I hear the ones in Baltimore, MD and Atlanta, GA are hot spots also. Time to get my read on so I can get my book fair on! opened books on a blanket

Books, Books, Everywhere!

I logged in this morning with the intent of getting some writing done while the children are sleeping. Of course, they would sleep in after disturbing my quiet writing time last night. As I procrastinated by checking my email and scrolling through the wonderful messages (that I could no doubt read later) I stumbled upon a reminder. The Harlem Book Fair is on July 17th!

Immediately sad because I will not be attending AGAIN this year I vowed to add it to my goal poster for 2016. Not only will I be in attendance but I will be one of the author vendors! There is nothing more addicting than a good book. I recently began reading The Cougarette by Eliza David (free download available on smashwords.com) and I realized that this is the first ‘grown up’ book I have read this year. *Hangs head a little in shame while the theme song to The Backyardigans plays in my mind* Although I interviewed Eliza on Thursday I was very excited to discover her book to be captivating. That’s what I want to experience at the Harlem Book Fair.

This book fair is set in Harlem, and we all know from the roaring 1920’s and 1930’s that Harlem is always a creative place to be. I have yet to visit (again on my MUST do list for 2016) but all of the depictions and descriptions I have seen and heard exude this magnetic energy that pulls you, fills you and encourages you to find your inner artist.

Well, I guess my quiet writing time is up because my daughter just discovered that I’m awake. Harlem Book Fair 2016 – I’m coming! Have you attended or plan to attend the Harlem Book Fair?

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