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Book Recommendation Time! 4th of July Reads

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The 4th of July is almost here! And you know what that means…BBQs, relaxation, fireworks, and a whole lot of red, white, and blue. Last year I wrote a post with my top 4th of July-themed children’s book recommendations (which you can find here), and this year I want to add to the list!

So without further ado, here are my top 2017 recommendations to prepare your kids for the 4th!

Red, White, and BOOM!, by Lee Wardlaw.

This picture book takes readers through the many ways different cultures across America celebrate this classic American holiday. Filled with fireworks and poetic writing, this is a must-read!

Happy Birthday America, by Mary Pope Osborne.

This tale weaves the story of one family’s 4th of July celebration with the history behind the holiday. It will get your kids excited for a fun day of activities, while also teaching them something new!

Fourth of July Mice!, by Bethany Roberts.

This is a delightful book in Roberts’ Mice series. It follows the Holiday Mice as they celebrate the 4th of July in the most traditional of ways—a baseball game, a parade, a picnic, and best of all, fireworks! It’s delightful and sweet, a book you won’t want to miss.

Apple Pie 4th of July, by Janet S. Wong.

Sometimes we forget that what it means to be American looks different for so many of us…that’s where this book comes in. Wong shows the very different cultural experiences of Americans, and shows readers exactly why that in itself is the American way. A great and eye-opening read for all!

Does your family have a 4th of July tradition? Let me know what it is in the comments!

 

 

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Turn Your Child Into a Reader This Summer!

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There’s nothing better than the feeling you get as a parent when you walk into your child’s bedroom and see their nose buried in a book, completely lost in a world between pages. Today most children spend more time on their iPads or watching television than they do reading books, but I know that just one great book can turn a child into a lifetime reader. Here are some of our suggestions to help you make that happen before back-to-school!

WendyReading

1.) Pick out a book for them that is tailored to their interests. If you know your child loves horses, pick out a book that revolves around horses. If they like television programs about witches and wizards, pick out a book that is about witches and wizards. Make sure you pick a book at their reading level so that they don’t get frustrated reading it (once they start reading more, you can steadily find books that will be more difficult for them to read). In the beginning, it is just important to find a book your child will enjoy, so that they begin to associate reading with fun.

2.) Set aside a specific time, preferably right before bedtime, for them to read. This makes reading turn into a habit, and makes it more likely for them to choose to read at that time on their own later on. Plus, studies have shown that watching television before bed might interfere with sleep quality, so reading is a good, calming alternative!

3.) Don’t take away their other forms of entertainment. This will make reading feel more like a punishment than a reward, and you only want them to have positive associations with reading if you want them to fall in love with it. If your child is used to and enjoys watching a certain amount of television or playing video games for a certain amount of time in the day, allow them to continue. The goal is to incorporate reading into their routine, not to completely change their routine.

4.) Take them to your local library and let them explore. Libraries can be an exciting place for kids, especially during the summers when most libraries offer reading contests and rewards. Plus, allowing your child to pick out his or her own books gives them a level of independence, and it lets them try new things and develop their own reading tastes. Taking them to your local library once every couple of weeks can be an exciting excursion for you two to share!

5.) Read with them. Some of my favorite memories associated with reading are the times when my mom and I would trade off reading chapters of my favorite books as a little kid. Not only does your child get to learn a better vocabulary as you help them through the difficult sections, they get to bond with you at the same time as they are falling in love with books. When you read with your child, it’s always a win-win situation!

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My 4 Top Summer Children’s Book Recommendations!

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It’s mid-June, and that summer feeling is already upon us. Whether your kids are out of school or just days away from vacation time, chances are you’re looking for books to keep them busy during these long summer months! These are my top recommendations for a fun, easy, and memorable summer read.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, by Mark Teague.

I love a book about a kid with a wild imagination, and this book more than fits the bill. The story is about a schoolboy who tells his classmates all about his summer vacation—including the time he joined a group of cowboys and stopped a cattle stampede. No boring summer at grandma’s house for him! It’s a cute book with great illustrations, and will get your kids excited for a summer of adventures.

Swimming Lessons, by Betsy Jay.

This story follows a girl named Jane who is afraid to learn how to swim. Her mother tries to get her in the pool any way she can…but Jane doesn’t budge until she hears a taunt from a classmate. A cute story about a girl finding her bravery and facing her fears make this a summer must-read!

A Pocketful of Cricket, by Rebecca Caudill.

As summer comes to a close, a six-year-old boy finds a cricket, sticks him in his pocket, and becomes his friend. On the first day of school, he won’t set the cricket free—but is it really the summer he’s holding on to? This children’s book is beautifully written, and sure to become a classic in your family.

Heat Wave, by Eileen Spinelli.

This books throws it back to the days before air conditioning, making it a fun, reminiscent read for those of us from an older generation! It follows a cast of quirky characters trying to find solace in a heat wave, until everybody comes together by the river and dreams of cooler times. Charming and delightful, this is a perfect comfort to turn to when the temperatures go up!

What are you looking forward to this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

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4 Reasons You Need to Start Using Goodreads

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If you haven’t yet heard of Goodreads…where have you been?! All kidding aside, Goodreads is a social media platform for readers. Users have the opportunity to rate, review, and find great book recommendations—and that’s only the very basics of what Goodreads has to offer.

I’ve been a user of Goodreads for a few years now (if you haven’t seen my author profile, check it out here). I can honestly say it is one of the greatest inventions for authors and readers alike to connect the books we love to the people who love them too! Here are some reasons I love using Goodreads, and why I think you’ll love it too. (more…)

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Stop Comparison in Its Tracks: Parenting in the Digital Age

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I’ve written a few times about the ways in which social media has an effect—both positive and negative—on children today, and how we as parents can best help them navigate through it. But the one thing I think we can’t separate from social media is the rise of the problem of comparison in our youth.

Every time they open Instagram, they have the opportunity to see someone who is living a life “cooler” than their own. Your child can come home thrilled about an A on his math test, and then feel crushed moments later when he sees on Facebook that someone else got an A+. With their self-worth tied up in how many likes their newest post gets instead of being the best version of themselves, it can be hard to figure out what to say and how to get children to see that comparing their lives to someone else is a sure path to misery and low self-esteem. (more…)

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What Parents Have to Learn from Children’s Books

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It’s the common belief that children’s books are meant for…well…children. And while they often are filled with valuable lessons for children to learn, such as accepting one another’s differences and using your manners, there are some books filled with lessons for parents as well. (more…)

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Why You Should Attend the Single Parenting Summit

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It’s no secret that I raised my son John as a single parent. What you might not know, however, was how difficult that journey was. Raising children is a huge responsibility that can keep you up at night, wondering if you’re doing everything right—and when you are in the position of raising children without a partner, those anxieties only become harder to manage.

Enter the Single Parenting Summit, put on this year by EverGreen Ministries in Hudsonville, MI. It is the first event aimed at helping single mothers and fathers navigate the challenge of raising children on their own, as well as offers programs for community leaders (like pastors) learn how to support the single parents in their circle. (more…)

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5 Things Only Book Enthusiasts Will Love

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I’m not a book nerd—I’m a book enthusiast. Or at least that’s what I tell my friends. The people in my life can always count on that enthusiasm when they’re looking to buy me a gift, and it never fails! If you’re a fellow book enthusiast, or you’re close to one, here are some fun and clever things you’ll obsess over! (more…)

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Why We Should Encourage The “BookTube” Generation

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If you’re up on the latest trends like I pretend to be, you’ll know that YouTube is a social platform that has quickly turned your average kids into celebrities. Thousands of people make videos on anything from their day-to-day lives (called vlogs), advice videos, cooking how-to’s, and more. What caught my attention, however, is a growing number of individuals who call themselves “booktubers,” meaning they make videos on YouTube about books. (more…)

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What’s On My Bookshelf?

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Over the last year, I’ve recommended dozens of children’s books for you and your children to enjoy. But I realized I haven’t shared too many of the books I read on my own! If you want to stay updated regularly, be sure to check out my Goodreads page. But for today’s post, I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. (more…)

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Children's Museum of Alamance County
217 South Main Street
Graham, NC 27253
Phone: 336-228-7997
Reading begins at 3 pm


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