For the Love of Reading and Pickle-Chiffon Pie

When my son was born, we took great care to outfit our house with everything a baby might need. Soft blankets, colorful blocks, nutritious snacks. But there was one staple I went a little overboard with.

Books.

I wanted my child to be surrounded by books. I couldn’t enter a bookstore without browsing the children’s section. Garage sales and thrift shops would see me snapping up every baby book I could find for 10 cents or a quarter.

I’ve always loved books, and I wanted my kids to love them too. Continue reading

When Good Things Go Bad

It’s a Throwback Thursday blog post, going all the way back to 2005 when my son was 7 years old and everything was different.

narniaI totally blew my son’s mind tonight.

We’ve been reading the seven Chronicles of Narnia books and thoroughly enjoyed each story. Until the final book, The Last Battle, in which Aslan wipes out Narnia and brings all the good creatures to “the real Narnia” (aka heaven). The last few pages of the book are mostly description, as C.S. Lewis paints a picture of an afterlife where everything is as perfect as you can imagine.

My son was bitterly disappointed that Narnia was destroyed, and he didn’t quite understand why the characters were running through the new land. I could see the wheels churning away in his mind as he tried to figure it out. When I finished reading it, he looked confused and said, “What happened?”

His brain hadn’t caught up yet. Continue reading

Reading With Readeez

Back in 2008, I reviewed a new DVD for kids just learning to read called Readeez.

To borrow from that review, “Readeez are short cartoons and live-action videos that combine the written word with the spoken word. Not subtitles, or sing-along lyrics, but words placed front and center, alongside funny characters telling stories and riddles, and singing songs.”

They are a powerful tool in helping convince toddlers and preschoolers that reading is a whole lot of fun.

Michael Rachap, the musical genius behind Readeez, has just released a second volume of cartoons and video. PLUS, he’s put all of his clever songs onto a CD so you and your kids can turn off the TV but still get the same great effect of the Readeez message.

Oh, and did I mention that he would like to give one of my readers a Readeez DVD/CD combo pack? There, I just did.

If you have young readers in the house, especially if they might be struggling with the idea of reading as something fun to do, the Readeez program will surely have a positive impact on them.

Leave a comment on this post and I’ll pick a winner of the DVD/CD combo pack at the end of the week.

Read To Your Kids

Research shows that parental involvement is the number-one determinant of how children do in school.

Reading to your kids is one of the best ways to teach them about reading, expand and enrich their vocabularies, and broaden their experiences.

This new book, The Between the Lions Book for Parents: Everything You Need to Know to Help Your Child Learn to Read, is a great resource for parents who want to encourage a love of reading in their children.