Living Books for History: Early America

We have been “officially” doing unofficial kindergarten at home for a little over a month now. I’ve been teaching Raisin at home for much longer, of course, but I had to call it official at some point.1 I decided we would learn about American History this year, and I feel it’s definitely time to report on some of the wonderful books I’ve discovered in this year’s journey.Continue Reading

  1. I am not legally required to track his schooling in my state until he is 7 years old.

(Cybils 2012) Duckling, Baby Bear, Cave Boys, Stuck, A Bus, and Wumbers

As I mentioned the other day, nominations for the Cybils are open! I am a first-round panelist, so that means I get to read all the books (so far, 80 and counting; last year it was more than 200) that get nominated in my category, fiction picture books. If you have a book to nominate, published between October 16, 2011 and October 15, 2012, make sure you submit it before October 15!

Last year, when I reviewed Cybils books, I tried to do it in a topical manner. That is just not going to work for me this year. Nevertheless, my son and I are going to have a blast reading through the books. He and I have been watching the nominations come in and we’re always excited when we see a book we’ve already enjoyed show up on the list! He also has noted a few that, either because the title is so interesting or the cover illustrations is intriguing, he really wants me to get soon so he can read them!

I will plan on posting on whatever books we found in the previous week, and I’m really going to try to post on Cybils at least once a week from now until December! This week has a number of books that we found earlier in the year but didn’t have a chance to post about them at the time we first read them. The quality of the books we’ve read this week bodes well for the rest of this year’s Cybils panel.

Continue Reading

White House Kids by Joe Rhatigan

White House Kids: The Perks, Pleasures, and Pratfalls of the Presidents’ Children by Joe Rhatigan (Imagine Publishing, 2012) provides a fun and colorful picture of the history of children in the White House. From George Washington’s step-daughter to the Obama girls, White House Kids gives an interesting portrait of how life changed for the children of the nation’s most well known public official. It’s not easy being a kid, and being thrust in the limelight while still a child obviously brings an entirely new set of difficulties.

I’m not usually interested in pop culture celebrity biographies, but White House Kids provided an interesting contrast to other celebrity biographies out there. Because of the historical nature of the White House and the presidents, reading this book gave historical insight into the presidents. A number of things surprised me about White House Kids, mostly because of the breadth it covered through history and the interest it provides for youth today who may be interested in history, the presidents, as well as current “celebrity kids” like Malia and Sasha Obama. Continue Reading

(Kids Corner) Three Great Rocking-Chair Picture Books

One great thing about having a little baby is the cuddling. Not to say that Raisin doesn’t cuddle with me every now and then, but Strawberry is just the right size for a sweet cuddle in my arms as we rock in the chair.

Many times when I try to read to Strawberry, she tries to grab the book and eat it. This is pretty normal, since seven months old is just the age of chewing on everything in site. But occasionally, as I mentioned before, Strawberry really loves to listen to my voice, cuddle into my arms, and listen to what I’m saying. A few of the books are favorites of mine for such moments because they are especially wonderfully for rocking back and forth in a rocking chair.Continue Reading