Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BOOKS: The other channel

Alice Cooper blares, "SCHOOOOOLS OUT FOR SUMMMMMER........" We know this as sure as the fireflies have returned like clockwork to the twilight skies of June and no more school busses to avoid driving behind as they stop and pick up one child at every single corner on your commute to work. And, so far the whining and boredom hasn't set in - yet.

Start a new trend this summer. Rather than reaching for the remote, or driving to rent a new video game, try the other channel. Read a book. I hate to break it to you mom and dad, Aunt Judy, or Granddad Ted, but precious Joey and Nelly will slip over the summer - that is a definite. Google it. Unless they keep up with academics, they will fall backwards. But, and there is always a but. They will not fall behind if they keep reading during the summer months. As a reading specialist I'm going to give you some suggestions for all ages, including you!

  • Going on a family outing? Have a toddler in tow? Going on a Bear Hunt is a perfect board book for those chubby little fingers that may be rough on thin pages. It's funny, clever and a rhyme that kidz love to hear repeated.

  • Summer is often the time big people take off to fix up things around the house, right? How many times do you hear your little one asking if he/she can help too? This adorable toolbelt kit comes with four board books in the shape of the tool. Each book tells how the tool is used. Hats off to Salina Yoon for her Kid Builder Board Book Set. And did I mention that your child can wear the sturdy apron that comes with it for the tools to fit neatly inside?

  • A great picture book for the summer is Thunder-Boomer by Shutta Crum. The illustrations are lovely and takes the pressure out of thunderstorms for children.

    Young kids all over love the antics of Mo Willems' character - the Pigeon. I highly recommend The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog and The Pigeon Wants a Puppy.

  • For the young elementary age kidz there are several suggestions. For the girls, the big rage right now is Rainbow Magic Fairies by Daisy Meadows. They come in theme packs such as sports fairies, weather fairies, etc.

  • Boys and girls alike, in the early elementary years enjoy reading Ron Roy's A-Z Mystery Series. There are 26 different books each based on a letter of the alphabet that surrounds a particular mystery.

  • Something cool for that younger set visiting the ocean this summer is Joanna Cole's Magic School Bus set of 10 books dealing with ocean animals.

  • For your older elementary readers, some book sets that I urge you to read with your child. What an example for you to set as you read, also. Plus it's an incredible bonding experience as you and child dialog about the book afterwards or while you are reading. A great set dealing with mythology is the Percy Jackson series. The 39 Clues 10 Book Set is an incredible series written by famous children's authors. They must be read in order and they are given clues at the end of each book. They are both historical and instructional; high up on my list!!

  • Now, I will tell you about a book that I lent out to my 7th and 8th graders. I probably lent it out about 10 - 15 times. The book is still in mint condition. WHY? Each student kept the book for one evening; two at the most. The book saw no wear because it was devoured. The book is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. It is now available in a box set with it's two following books, Catching Fire And Mockingjay. These are the best in young adult fiction I have read in a long time.

So there you have it. Some great reads without channel surfing and fighting over the remote. Life doesn't get much better than that. Have a safe summer!