Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summertime, and the reading is easy- Book series recommendations included!

When my son MAP was born, it was a cold winter and just him and I in the house. Previously, I had been working in Manhattan at Ralph Lauren in the corporate office uptown, surrounded by hundreds of people. I took subways and trains and talked to a lot of people in the course of a day.

Then I was home with my baby boy, where I didn't know a lot of people. I didn't know anyone who had a baby. And I was so tired from lack of sleep. The house seemed so quiet without people to talk to. So I talked to my boy. And we read. A lot. Picture books from my childhood. New ones I had been given at his baby shower. No matter how tired I was, I could lie down and snuggle my boy and read. He loved to hear my voice and enjoyed looking at the pictures. MAP had a long attention span and reading filled up our cold weeks until spring came and we got outside more. But we always read. Every day. Outside on a picnic blanket, at the beach, everywhere.

Fast forward 10 years and he is super reader. So is his sister. I am not saying this is just from our reading sessions, but I do think they helped. I think it also helps that they have a fresh batch of books always on the bookshelf in topics they are interested in. To accomplish this, I turn to our amazing library system. With a little help from different websites to research what is new plus searching the libraries vast inventories, by topics or genre, I've found some incredible books for the kids. And if they don't like it, we return it and try again.

The Montessori School they attend has also helped shape our readers beyond what happens in the classroom. They encourage a Family Book, which is exactly what it sounds like, a book the whole family reads together. They said we should try to read above their reading level too- books they wouldn't read on their own yet.

Now, before they were at the school, we always read to the kiddos at night, but usually it was one parent and one child reading a book together. But this was a great idea, so we could all read and discuss the same books. One of those "Ah-ha!" moments.

What amazing stories we've discovered together!  These are a few book series that are our favorites and we highly recommend for a family book!

What an incredible series by Trenton Lee Stewart! A story of four children with different gifts that end up forming an amazing team and saving the world. Well written, fast paced and includes some puzzles to figure out along the way. They actually made a super fun puzzle book as a companion to this series, which we also loved.

This series is well written, full of action and brings Greek Mythology to life! From here, we explore mythology with cool fact books we found, plus a cool game called Zeus on the Loose- a fast paced card game by Gamewright that has us doing math in our heads! pictured below...We are now on to the second series, Heroes of Olympus. 

We all LOVED this series. A very sweet series about four sisters and a boy who they befriend. The sisters have lost their mother to cancer, but the way they care for each other and their father and this new boy, it's just so well written and engaging as a story. We couldn't put them down!

I think the most important thing was to find things that the kids were interested in. Some books just didn't do it for them. We tried Wind in the Willows, but it wasn't holding their attention and we moved on.

My daughters class was learning about Greek Mythology & that's when we brought in the Percy Jackson series. It made my son interested too and we all had fun together. Then we watched the movie together one night after we'd read the book. They both liked the book better. :)

If you have younger kids, there are lots of great stories too! If you have girls that have enjoyed the Fancy Nancy picture books, there is a chapter book series now. My girl loved these!

The Magic tee House series is a classic one and now they have Non-fiction companions to go with many of the books to delve into a the topes deeper, so if your child liked one of the books and wants to learn more about it, this is a great way to go. Mary Pop Osborne is a genius! 

Don't forget the Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort Series by Lauren Child that we've posted about before. These are great books for girls AND boys alike who like mystery and adventure! 

We LOVE Jon J. Muth's picture books. The images are amazing and the stories beautiful. Zen shorts, Zen ties, Hi Koo! They introduce children to a Zen approach to the world, and let the child see a situation from a different point of view, via the stories of Stillwater the panda.

My son also HIGHLY recommends the swerves the Strange Case of the Origami Yoda for Star Wars fans approaching Middle School Age. 

We also discovered the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series, which is a comic style book about real historical events that my son devoured! These can be found in the graphic novel section of the library and I encourage you to check them out. My son learned a lot from these and there have been many amazing books we've found in that section dealing with biographies and real alive events, PERFECT for a non-fiction lover or a hesitant reader or a comic book fan! 

Our library has a new books section. My kids head there now first to see what has just come in! We have found lots of cool books this way.

On a personal note- I am excited for our EmmaMade featuring Loops by Keri Creativity Camps to start NEXT week!!! We made them 2 hours of jam-packed fun, twice a week, so it will easily fit into the busy summer scheduled.

Next week- Frozen camp in the AM and Minecraft CRAFTING in the PM!

FROZEN camp- Thursday July 8th & 10th- from 9:30-11:30am for a creativity camp based on our little ones favorite movie! We'll be singing along to the music as we craft. Just $80 for the two day session includes all supplies and snack! For ages 4+ 

MineCrafting camp- Is your child obsessed with Minecraft? Ours are too! Come have them CRAFT at our table with their hands, not just their thumbs  as we make some awesome Minecraft themed projects. Next Tuesday & Thursday July 8&10, from 12:15pm-2:15. Just $80 for the two day session includes all supplies and snack! Awesome for both boys and girls 4 & up!

More to come for book recommendations & crafty options..but for now, Read on!

1 comment:

  1. I got this book for O for Christmas and M, O, and I loved it. They have a bunch more books in the series if their interested.

    I wish my library had more of the books I want to read. =(

    I can't wait to see you guys soon. I'm looking forward to spending lots of quality time together. Love you all! XOXO

    Amy @