|The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater|
Stinky: A Toon Book
by Eleanor Davis
by Andrew Clements
The Talented Clementine
by Sara Pennypacker
Double Trouble in Walla Walla
by Andrew Clements
The Legend of Spud Murphy
by Eoin Colfer
photo by Flickr user Stargonautone
A young girl asked me for books about tornadoes last week. She wanted to know how they work so that she wouldn't be afraid of them anymore. Books can provide a safe space for children to learn about something affecting their lives and explore their fears. How many of you have used books to help children conquer their fears of monsters under the bed? Well, now might be a good time to break out the books about financial crisis, poor economy and recessions.
Over at Slate, there is a great short piece and accompanying slide show called, "Mom, What's a Credit Deafult Swap?" They suggest a few titles of books for your children to read or for you to read together. I've included the titles available at our library as well as a few more below.
Children are very perceptive and can get stressed out about the same things you do. Imagine how scary words like depression, recession and financial crisis mut sound to them. You can help them explore this topic and just like the little girl who is not longer afraid of tornadoes, your child will be able to bravely face the world knowing their family's cupboards will always be filled with love (Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary).
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney; published in 1881, this landmark book details the struggles of the Pepper kids who "are so dirt-poor they have to mend their broken stove using part of an old boot" yet remain positive and optomistic as they try to help their bankrupt single mother.
|Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder; this classic children's book was oroginally published during the Great Depression. People seemed to take solace in the extreme hardships the Ingalls family faced. Like Five Little Peppers, the kids strive to please and help the parents through the difficult times.||Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry by Mildred Taylor; delving beyond mere poverty, 10 year-old Cassie's family faces prejudice and hate in their Great Depression era story. This story won the Newbery Medal in 1977 and remains just as powerful today as it was then.||Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary: In all the Ramona books, there is an underlying theme of tough times. The Quimbys often scrimp and pinch, but in this story, Ramona's father loses his job. His depression results in tremendous anxiety and fear in the children, especially Ramona. Ramona gives voice to fears that many children today may have and shows us the inner workings of a child's desire to help when their parents and family are struggling. We worry about our kids...and they worry about us too.|
|Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse: In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression. Winner of the Newbery Medal in 1998.||How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor: Living in the family car in their small North Carolina town after their father leaves them virtually penniless, Georgina, desperate to improve their situation and unwilling to accept her overworked mother's calls for patience, persuades her younger brother to help her in an elaborate scheme to get money by stealing a dog and then claiming the reward that the owners are bound to offer.||Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor: Addie and her mother live in a small tralier with no steady income. Addie makes her own dinners with next-to-nothing in the cupboards and holds on to hope that things will get better.||Amber was Brave, Essie was Smart by Vera B. Williams: An absolutely heartbreaking story told through poems and pictures about two sisters who hold each other up even when their bellies are empty.|
|Spuds by Karen Hesse: Maybelle, Jack, and Eddie want to help Ma by putting something extra on the table, so they set out in the dark to take potatoes from a nearby field, but when they arrive home and empty their potato sacks, they are surprised by what they see||A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams: A child, her waitress mother, and her grandmother save dimes to buy a comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire|
Make-your-own costumes...what comes to mind? Sewing, elaborate, taking lots of time? It doesn't always have to be that way, right?!
Many costumes can start with a sweatshirt or a box. My favorite costume was in 4th grade; I was a pair of dice with my friend Kerry. She and I painted the boxes, pasted on paper dots, and wore tights and a turtleneck.
A Baltimore Sun article with lots of links
About.com has costumes and family crafts too
HGTV has 3 minute video clips that include no-sew costumes and toddler costumes
Check out these modern read-alikes:
|The Penderwicks series
||by Jeanne Birdsall|
The Elevator Family by Douglas Evans
Judy Blume family series such as...
Saffy's Angel series by Hilary McKay
Check out these modern read-alikes:
|Kiki Strike by Kirsten Miller|
|Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce||The Enola Homes Mysteries by Nancy Springer||Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison|
|Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett||Lulu Dark by Bennett Madison|
|The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd||The 39 Clues by Rick Riordan|
Rhyming books...they're fun to read aloud because they read like songs. In storytime they are some of the most silliest and entertaining reads; my favorites! I can do all kinds of activities that extend right from the book, making the books interactive.
Click on the rhyming tag in the catalog to find some rhyming books for toddlers and preschoolers. Of course, many more books are out there. So if you come across one of your favorite rhyming books, tag it in the catalog, and it will totally be added!
Rhyming books also help with phonological awareness and sensitivity; the ability to hear the breakdown of sounds within words. Being aware of phonemes as a small child, will help them when they are older and begin to read -- when they need to sound out words for themselves. The Every Child Ready to Read site has lots of ways we can interact with kids regarding phonological awareness, as well as other emergent literacy skills for babies, toddlers, and pre-readers. Check it out!
Some fun phological awareness activities:
As summer seems like a distant memory and a new school year begins, I was thinking about the books I read over the past couple of months. Two books stand out so strongly in my mind. They weren't beach reads, but they opened this mother of fours' eyes on the old saying that any child can make a bad choice. The story of Nic's fall into drug addiction - one told from a father's perspective and one from Nic himself - speaks volumes to parents of all teens - those involved in drugs or not. The books are wonderfully written and touched my soul. As one reader said, "a testimonial to the parent/child bond." I, personally, think they are must reads for every parent. Beautiful Boy: a father's journey through his son's meth addiction by David Sheff and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff.
KIDS AGE 5-17 BELIEVE TECHNOLOGY WILL SUPPLEMENT – NOT REPLACE – BOOK READING AND SAY THEY WILL ALWAYS WANT TO READ BOOKS PRINTED ON PAPER
Tweens and Teens who Participate in Online Activities Are More Likely to Read Books for Fun Daily
A new study released today finds that 75% of kids age 5-17 agree with the statement, “No matter what I can do online, I’ll always want to read books printed on paper,” and 62% of kids surveyed say they prefer to read books printed on paper rather than on a computer or a handheld device. The Kids & Family Reading Report ™, a national survey of children age 5-17 and their parents, also found that kids who go online to extend the reading experience – by going to book or author websites or connecting with other readers – are more likely to read books for fun every day.
Download the full report or watch presentations on the report in short sections here. Parents, you might particularly interested in checking out Section IV; Parents' Roles in Kids' Reading (page 38 of the actual report). In it, they found the "High Frequency reading parents are six times more likely than low frequency reading parents to have high frequency reading children (42% vs. 7%)." Those "high frequency reading parents" try more tactics to encourage their children to read for pleasure like;
Read the same books as my child so I can talk with him/her about the books.
Reward my child for reading books.
Have my child participate in book clubs or other reading groups that meet in person.
Use movies or TV shows that are based on books to get my child interested in a book.
Encourage my child to go online and exlore a book's website, an author's website or other types of website that exten the reading experience.
Those are definitely good ideas! There is a great website called KidsReads.com and they have a TON of information about books, book clubs and authors. It is a good place to start exploring books online!