Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Review: A Day with Dad

This is a very sweet story about a boy and his dad. Tim has moved to a new town with his mom and his dad lives in another town. The story begins with Tim waiting at the station with his mom for the train to arrive that will bring Tim's dad to spend the day with him.

Everywhere Tim and his dad go that day, he proudly states, "this is my dad." They go for hot dogs, a movie, pizza and the library before dad must return to the train station to return to his home. Before he does, he takes Tim onto the train and after getting everyone's attention the train, he loudly states, "This is Tim. He is my son. He is the best son anyone could have." Back on the platform, Dad hugs Tim tightly and promises another visit in the near future.

Many children in similar situations will find comfort in this story that suggests that even with distance, the parent-child relationship can still thrive. Author Bo R. Holmberg and illustrator Eva Eriksson demonstrate their experience with wonderfully matched text and pen and colored pencil drawings.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Finding Time to Read

Research tells us that reading aloud to children every day is the single best way to help them become strong readers. Often in our desire to read to kids, we neglect our own reading. In lives crammed full, it's often the most dispensable activity.

But when we don't read for pleasure ourselves, we deny ourselves intellectual sustenance and relaxation. How do we find time in a crowded life to read to our children and for ourselves?

Ann Kingman and Michael Kindness of Books on the Bookstand blog share 10 Ways to Find More Time for Reading. Here is the one that sparked this post:

Read aloud to your children, an elderly neighbor or family member, or someone else who would enjoy it. Sometimes we don't really count that as "reading time," but really, it's time spent in an even more fulfilling way. At a recent event, Barack Obama was quoted as saying, "Over the course of four years I made time to read all of the Harry Potter books out loud to my daughters. If I can do that and run for president, then you can find time to read to your kids. That's some of the most special time you have with your children."

Click here to read the other 9 Ways to Find More Time for Reading.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Review: Mrs. Muddle's Holidays

What a fun book to start up this blog with again. "Mrs. Muddle's Holidays by Laura F. Nielsen and illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerkski is the story of a woman who moves into a neighborhood where they are already active celebrants of all the regular holidays. Mrs. Muddle, however, introduces them to lots of holidays they've never heard of before like "Earthworm Appreciation Day", "The First Shower of April Day", and her annual "Garlic Jubilee".

The wonderfully fun illustrations complement the text by bringing to life many of the details of each of the celebrations including all the teamwork and preparation required for a sizeable celebration across the neighborhood.

The neighborhood children are so appreciative of everything they've learned about celebrating life that they determine to create a suprise holiday that Mrs. Muddle has never heard of before. They enlist the help of all the families in the neighborhood to suprise Mrs. Muddle with a brand new holiday, Mrs. Muddle Day!

If I had to choose my favorite illustration, it would probably be the February celebration of "Let's Pretend it's Summer Day" with the entire neighborhood decked out in their heaviest winter wear enjoying picnics, barbecues, baseball and volley ball games, flying kites and sliding around on the ice at a backyard pool.

Great fun and heartwarming.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Gone Fishin'

If only it were true, it would mean that these weeks that I've been absent from Crazy 4 Kids Books would mean that I've been off for some R & R. Not really. The reason I've been absent from this blog is that I've been occupied with launching another blog more closely aligned with how I earn my living. If you're interested in K-12 publishing, check it out at www.TheTeichGroup.net.

At this point, I'm sure I've lost whatever Google Juice I had built up and will need to start over to build an audience. But, that's where I am. I hope my readers will treat my extended absence as a long trip to the library or favorite book store. I promise to be back shortly to talk about some terrific books, wonderful educators and librarians and more.

In the meantime, if YOU get a chance to go fishing literally or figuratively, my wish for you is that you enjoy every single second.