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September Book Salute: Elephant & Piggie Series by Mo Willems

4 Sep

I had fully intended to salute adult nonfiction this month, but the time I typically dedicate to grown-up reading before shutting off the lights has been taken over by House Hunters International. I’m making a halfhearted commitment to change this routine, but I sincerely vow to read a worthwhile piece of adult literature to share with you all by next month.

The good news is I have an amazing new children’s book series to salute. Well, it’s not exactly new, but it is new to me. And while I may be somewhat late to the party, I’m sure glad I’m here! Continue reading

August Book Salute: Wemberly Worried

9 Aug

My little one is starting kindergarten this week. Kindergarten!  So what better book to tuck her in with than Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes? I always loved sharing this story the first week of school when I taught first grade, and it was the perfect choice last night as so much anticipation and mixed emotion swirled about – for both of us! Continue reading

July Book Salute: My Secret Bully

3 Jul

When I taught elementary school, I was constantly on the lookout for children’s books with appealing narratives that contained important messages.  Had Trudy Ludwig been publishing her acclaimed picture books during my teaching days, every single title would have been found in my classroom library. Not that I’m dwelling on missed opportunities here – I couldn’t be more grateful as a parent to have such wonderfully written books to draw from at home in dealing with difficult friendship issues and nontraditional bullying.

image credit: trudyludwig.com

Ludwig is a master at weaving important problem solving skills and coping strategies into realistic and relevant stories for kids. Continue reading

June Book Salute: Brave Rooney

5 Jun

We are an iPad/iPhone lovin’ family. Of course I prefer my kids to play outside, create projects or read, but I have to say that at the end of the day (especially a day that involves a waiting room, a restaurant or a long car ride) these gadgets bring more peace than problems to my family.

image credit: Gerry Renert/Author

I love my iPad as an e-reader for myself, but until recently, I hadn’t found anything worth sharing with my kids in the way of children’s literature.  They weren’t very interested in hearing a story on the iPad when they could be frosting a cake or solving a puzzle. Well, that all changed with “Brave Rooney,” Continue reading

May Book Salute: Cinderella Ate My Daughter

1 May

In case you missed it, April 22nd marked the beginning of the first annual National Princess Week. Inviting children across the country to “celebrate the sparkle and wonder of every princess,” the long and the short of it is that Disney and Target partnered up (with Julie Andrews as a spokesperson) to get folks to buy a bunch of stuff for girls. Regardless of how you feel about the princess craze (and I pass no judgment here), I think we can all pretty much agree that these beloved characters are hardly lacking the attention and admiration that would warrant a week dedicated to their appreciation. But alas, as the Oncler once said to the Lorax, “business is business and business must grow!”

Photo Credit: PeggyOrenstein.com

So in the wake of Princess Week, it seems fitting to devote this month’s book salute to Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Continue reading

April Book Salute: ‘A Lamb And A Llama’

3 Apr

I think I speak for the entire Sanford Harmony Program when I say that we are super proud of our friend, colleague and authority on all creative matters, Ashley Bustamante, who officially became a published children’s author on Monday. Her book a Lamb and a Llama is now available in bookstores and online, and it is absolutely adorable! Based on a true story of Picasso, a llama from the Pinnacle Peak Llama Ranch, Ashley turned a childhood memory into a fabulous children’s tale and made it even more charming with her own lovable illustrations.  Continue reading

March Book Salute: Pink Brain, Blue Brain

6 Mar

While we’ve all been warned time and again to avoid judging a book by its cover, sometimes a book’s title can be equally misleading. When I first heard of Pink Brain, Blue Brain by Lise Eliot, I immediately thought it was a book discussing the idea that boys and girls are “hard-wired” from the start to be different. I was mistaken. Pink Brain, Blue Brain – How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps-and What We Can Do About It takes that theory to task. Supported by the authors own research in the field of neuroplasticity along with the critiques of many others’ work, Dr. Eliot demonstrates how a few, small biological differences at birth become exacerbated over time through socialization. Continue reading

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