Beginning at the Beginning

Beginning at the Beginning

My biggest tip for parents of young readers is:


Have books around that everyone likes to read.
 

Everyone is the operative phrase here. If you can't stand the book, you're not going to like reading it to anyone. If your child doesn't like the book, she or he is not going to want to sit and read it. When you're building your family's library, be very selective. It's not you--90% of kids' books are terrible.

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Beach reads!

Beach reads!

My family took me to the beach for the first time as a baby. My parents commented about it later, “You thought the beach was wonderful! You tried to eat everything on it.” At the end of the day, when my parents were packing up the car, I started to cry. My diaper was dry, I refused a bottle, and I wasn’t hurt. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Finally, they put me back down on the sand… and I stopped crying. Today, when our family isn’t at the beach, often we’re reading about the shore. Below are some of our beach favorites. I’d love to hear about yours!

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ROAD TRIP! Review of How to Train Your Dragon

ROAD TRIP! Review of How to Train Your Dragon

For the past six months, our family’s been under the spell of a small, crotchety, and almost entirely talentless dragon. Toothless—that’s right, a dragon with no teeth—belongs to Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, who is destined to become a Viking Hero even though he is “small, and red-haired, and very, very ordinary.” Hiccup and Toothless’ lack of athletic ability and most other Viking/dragon talents* (whoever heard of a Viking who can’t build a seaworthy boat?) lead them into all sorts of adventures involving treasure, monstrous beasts, and Romans.

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Oh no! Library fines!

Oh no! Library fines!

My partner just renewed an overdue DVD yesterday. We owe our library $6. Oh, the shame.* When I evangelize about how much money the library saves us, usually at least one person in the crowd looks regretful and says, “I can’t go to the library. I have fines.” Life happens and so do overdue books! Here’s how not to get traumatized by your fines—and how to avoid getting them in the first place.

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Get Set for Summer Reading!

Get Set for Summer Reading!

Last summer I decided, "We do a lot of reading anyway. Why don't we join some summer reading programs and get the rewards?" I asked Junior at the end of the summer if it had been worth it. Mouth full of free Chipotle burrito, he nodded an enthusiastic yes!

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Exploring the Classics of Dragon Lore

Exploring the Classics of Dragon Lore

What is it about dragons? We read the My Father’s Dragon series last year. Junior now recommends it to his friends with the panache of a true enthusiast. At present, we’re two books into the How To Train Your Dragon series here, and we’re all completely captivated by Toothless, the hero’s small, lazy, crochety, and almost completely talentless dragon. In this week’s blog post, Michele Braun discusses her family's favorite (literary) dragons. Do you have a favorite?

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What’s Up with the Rabbits?

What’s Up with the Rabbits?

Writing a post about Easter books has proven to be simultaneously much more intellectual and much more difficult than I had originally thought it would be. Researching developmentally appropriate Easter reading for younger children (Popsugar, thoughtco, and beinglds feature some good lists of Easter books for children), I found at least four distinct categories of Easter books--and an intriguing running subtheme about finding yourself as an artist.

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When Will It End? Series Books!

When Will It End? Series Books!

Children’s series chapter books are a three-generation thing around here. Right now, our house looks like it’s hosting a Magic Tree House Festival. I, personally, loved the The Three Investigators and Nancy Drew. My mom still rhapsodizes about Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons series. We’re in good company—turns out that Supreme Court justices have a thing about Nancy Drew! Which ones are your favorites?

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