Category Archives: reading

Reading list trends

Some things in education change, but an assigned reading list is a consistent way to help students of all ages avoid the dreaded loss of skills during summer months.

Bowing to children’s desire for choice, most schools allow kids to choose individual titles among general categories.  But if your student has free choice, three big trends this summer include:

Diversity, again this summer.  Kids want to read about characters that look like them and live in the real world.

Fantastic beasts.  Although dragons and unicorns are still popular, real-life animals like peacocks and llamas are gaining traction.

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) has downaged into the very early childhood space.  Think babies and toddlers – long before kiddos have assigned reading!

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New Seuss

Seuss-lovers will delight in an upcoming release from Random House.

Another previously unpublished manuscript was discovered after the death of Dr.Seuss in 1991. (The initial “found book” was What Pet Should I Get? published in 2015.)

This new book, which was found with unfinished sketches, sounds like fun: a horse leads children on a tour through an art museum.

Favorite Seuss characters including the Grinch, Horton and the Cat in the Hat will make “cameo appearances” on the pages.

Happy Children’s Book Week

Today marks 100 years and counting for Children’s Book Week.

In the past decade, diversity has been one of the strongest themes in the children’s publishing category. And that’s essential, because the multicultural future arrived long ago.

It’s taken time to reach both inside and outside the children’s book category, but we now have artists, illustrators, authors, designers, editors and production staff who humanize children’s publishing from the ground up.

Today, I’m grateful that books don’t merely reach my five grandsons, but connect with them in relevant ways. The best way to celebrate the next 100 years is by sharing a book with a child today!

Hurray for the board book

I’ve just finished an annual volunteer job I love but also find difficult: judging children’s books for a national award.

This year, I was thrilled to see a few board books were nominated. Finally!

Although sales of board books (those heavy cardboard books for very young children) are strong, some people might assume, “Anyone can write a book with just a few words.”

Well, after being a “book judge” for more than twenty years, I can tell you that not everyone can communicate effectively using a limited number of words.

So hurrah for the board book! The place where every child begins on the road to reading.

Happy 100!

I was always the noisiest, most physically active and probably the edgiest student in my college library science classes. At the mid-term of student teaching in an elementary school library, I was graded down to a B for being “too creative.”

But I’m so proud of librarians today.

They’ve changed the spaces to be inviting to children and their families. Programs have become accessible, with storytimes being held in stores, laundromats and wherever space is available. Librarians are trained to help with digital resources.

On April 29th, we begin the 100th anniversary celebration of National Book Week. I love the theme: Read Now. Read Forever. But don’t wait until then to visit a library. The doors are open today!

50 and counting

A sure sign of aging:  Sesame Street will celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.  I remember when I joined other early childhood educators to ask, “Can TV teach and entertain?”

Are you among the twenty million (literally) who read The Monster at the End of This Book to your kids?  If so, you helped make that the best selling Sesame Street book of all time.

Deep reading

Are your kids reading more, now that they are digi-kids?

Most kids are reading more words: simply add up the amount of time they spend on non-gaming screens.

However, all the screen time is creating a new challenge just being recognized by educators: screen readers are skimmers. They tend to flip rapidly through a text. To counter-balance this, “deep reading,” or reading for sophisticated understanding of content, is now the focus of classroom reading time.