Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Just 20 Minutes...

Research has shown that just 20 minutes of reading a day can help prevent a child from losing literacy skills. Try this: Take 20 minutes every day as a family to turn off the TV and read – either silently to yourselves, or aloud to one another. You’ll notice a difference! [source - Parade Magazine interview with Lavar Burton]

Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm sure you've heard about Lavar Burton's Kickstarter campaign to bring back the PBS show Reading Rainbow.  It was a roaring success - he raised 5 million dollars!

Yesterday's Parade Magazine featured an interesting interview with Lavar.  Among other things, he was asked about the importance of summer reading.  I loved his answers...

Parade: Kids are out of school.  But studies show that if they don't read during the break, they go back to class behind.  What can parents do?

Lavar: There's a critical window where a child either becomes a reader or not -- for life.  Between the ages of 7 and 9 is when that decision is made.  Parents ask me, "How can I get my kid to read?"  I say, "How much time do you spend reading in front of your kid? How many books do you have in your house?  How often do you have an evening where you don't watch TV and it's family reading night?"  Insist by example so your child gets that reading is an important aspect of life.

My Summer Reading Lists
Summer reading is so important!  I did a recent post on good book choices for summer, here.  "But you don't have to take my word for it!"  I've listed Lavar's picks below.

Lavar's Top 10 Summer Reads:
1.  George and Martha by James Marshall
2.  The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers
3.  How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
4.  Miss Martin is a Martian by Colleen Murray Fisher
5.  Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
6.  Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
7.  Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrew Beaty
8.  There's an Alligator in My Bed by Mercer Mayer
9.  Enemy Pie by Derek Munson
10. The BFG by Roald Dahl


  1. Can I borrow about 20 minutes from this post? Loved it :)
    You can find me at http://sunshineandblueclouds.blogspot.in/
    I'll be really glad to see you there :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kokila. I'd be happy to have you share 20 Minutes - I borrowed it from Parade! You have a great blog - nice book reviews. :)

  2. can you recommend an extra large ABC book for pre-k / K? we're looking for one that has several objects for each letter and is big enough for classroom usage. Thank you!! You are such a blessing!

    Alexandra Gonzalez in Westford, MA

    1. There are a lot of good alphabet books out there - this site has a good list. http://childrensbooksguide.com/alphabet
      You'd have to check out a teacher supply store or Amazon to see if you could find a large format book. I like "Dr. Seuss' ABC" book; "Alphabet City"; and "I Spy: An Alphabet in Art".

    2. Alexandra - My grandson's favorite is "Chipmunk's ABC" by Roberta Miller and Richard Scarry. It is an old Golden Book, but it's also part of a large format book that I found recently. The book is "Richard Scarry's THINGS TO KNOW". You might be able to find it on Amazon. Here's my post about it: http://goodbooksforyoungsouls.blogspot.com/2014/06/happy-birthday-to-richard-scarry-along.html