Book Club – Book of the Month – July

The Book Thief - Paperback

“She could smell the pages. She could almost taste the words as they stacked up around her.” — Markus Zusak, The Book Thief.

In case you’re still wondering, our tweens-teens’ book selection for July is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Here’s what one of our teens wrote about the book:

I love this book! It is about a girl named Liesel, who is sent to the home of her foster parents after her brother’s death. She is faced with all the Nazi’s horrors and struggles. During this time, her foster family, who is German, hides a Jewish man named Max in order to protect him from the danger of getting killed by the Nazi soldiers. Meanwhile, this action of hiding a Jewish person puts them at an even greater risk of getting killed themselves. This goes on for a while.

Over time, Liesel’s foster father, Hans Hubermann, begins secretly teaching her to read as books are being burned and destroyed by Nazi soldiers. Liesel then secretly shares all that she’s learning with Max, considering he’s unable to read. Liesel also begins stealing books from a library to get ideas and inspirations to create her own stories. As the war becomes more dangerous, Max decides to leave the family, as he feels that his staying would continue to keep them in great danger.

Only a few nights after Max leaves, Liesel’s city is bombed, leaving very few survivors. Liesel is the lone survivor in her family. Fast-forward to two years later Liesel and Max are reunited inside a shop owned by one of her friend’s father. They immediately greet each other with a hug, a somewhat happy ending following a series of tragic beginnings.

The book inspires me because it depicts the true value and meaning of friendship and kindness towards others. Leisel’s family is willing to risk their lives to protect Max (by keeping him in their home), and Max is willing to risk his life to protect theirs (by leaving their home). No one is thinking of the well-being of oneself but rather of the well-being of the other. I find that rather admirable and honorable.

Also, as Liesel is taught to read, she pays it forward by teaching Max to read. As a teen, I feel these are lessons that are much needed among teens today  — lessons of kindness, compassion, generosity, unselfishness, friendship, etc. I love the book and would highly recommend it to all tweens and teens.   —Gabe, 14 years old.

As always, we love to hear your thoughts on books. You may leave a comment or two on this book or other books you and your young readers are reading.

By Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

 

13 Children’s Books Honoring and Celebrating Dads

Books can be used for both educational and entertaining purposes during holidays. Some books may teach kids about the history and purpose of a holiday, while others may simply entertain and bring out the holiday spirit in kids. Some books do both. Here are 13 Father’s Day children’s books that will bring out the holiday spirit in kids, while honoring and celebrating dads.

My Dad Can Do Anything

1. My Dad Can Do Anything by Stephen Krensky (Author), Mike Wohnoutka (Illustrator) -Ages 3 – 7 years

Overview: What can your dad do? Can he climb the highest mountain? Or swim to the bottom of the sea? In this heartwarming story about how dads are strong, brave, and all-around great, dads can do anything. Includes a sheet of fun stickers!

The Night Before Father's Day

 

2. The Night Before Father’s Day by Natasha Wing (Author), Amy Wummer (illustrator) -Ages 3 – 5 years

Overview: It’s the night before Father’s Day, and Mom and the kids have a plan to surprise Dad with a special gift. When Dad goes for a bike ride, everyone gets to work. Dad wakes up the next day to find his garage newly organized and his car sparkly clean. So, of course, he celebrates by taking everyone for a spin! This book goes along with The Night Before Mother’s Day.

Hero-Dad

3. Hero Dad by Melinda Hardin (Author), Bryan Langdo (Illustrator) -Ages 3 – 5 years

Overview: A boy compares his father, a U.S. soldier, to a superhero. This book goes along with Hero Mom.

Father's Day Book

4. Father’s Day by Anne Rockwell (Author), Lizzy Rockwell (Illustrator) -Ages 4 – 8 years

Overview: In Mrs. Madoff’s class, it’s a book made just for him. First the kids think about their special moments with their fathers. Sam’s dad is so strong, he can carry Sam on his shoulders. Eveline’s dad sings to her when Maman has to work at night. Jessica writes about her father in Texas … and her stepfather at home. And when it’s time to celebrate at school, both of her fathers give Jessica the best surprise of all. This book goes along with Mother’s Day.

Up on Daddy's Shoulders 1

5. Up on Daddy’s Shoulders by Matt Berry (Author), Lucy Corvino (Illustrator) -Ages 3 – 5 years

Overview: Feeling taller than his big brother, his house, and the giraffes at the zoo, a little boy spends the day on his daddy’s shoulders as they go for a walk around their neighborhood.

A Father's Song

6. A Father’s Song by Janet Lawler (Author), Lucy Corvino (Illustrator) -Ages 3 – 6 years

Overview: How many ways can dad show his love? He can lift his son high in the air, gather him close for a ride down the slide, make funny faces to ward away tears, and fly him around “like an airplane that swoops.” Together, they’ll roll in the leaves, go on the swings, and roar like lions. Best of all, the verse offers fathers plenty of opportunities to play as they read–to tussle and hug, and to make silly sounds and expressions. And that means kids will want their dads to share this with them over and over again. What a delightful celebration of the bond between father and child–and a tale to make Father’s Day extra special. This book goes along with A Mother’s Song.

I Love My Daddy Because

7. I Love My Daddy Because… by Laurel Porter Gaylor (Author), Ashley Wolff (Illustrator) -Ages 1 – 3 years

Overview: The youngest nursery tots will appreciate how phrases and actions from their own experiences also apply to animal babies.  The book begins with an affectionate scene between a human parent and child, but moves on to caregiving in animal families.  “He sings me songs” shows a gray wolf and his cub.  In concept, text, and art, this is among the most warm and reassuring lap books ever. This book goes along with I Love My Mommy Because…

Daddy's Little Scout

8. Daddy’s Little Scout by Janet Bingham (Author), Rosalind Beardshaw (Illustrator) -Ages 4 – 8 years

Overview: It’s springtime, and Little Fox and Daddy Fox are visiting the animals of the forest to see their new homes. Mrs. Finch is building a new nest. The rabbit family is making new rabbit holes. And Mr. Mole is digging new tunnels. Little Fox is outgrowing their old den, and the Foxes will need a new home, too. Little Fox is glad that their new home will not be high in a tree, in a prickly bush, or in a cold wet stream. Little Fox realizes that the best home is snug and warm in a den . . . with Daddy Fox! This book goes along with Mommy’s Little Star.

Saturday Is Dadurday

9. Saturday Is Dadurday by Robin Pulver (Author), R. W. Alley (Illustrator) -Ages 4 – 8 years

Overview: For Mimi, the best day of the week is always Saturday, because she gets to spend it with just her Dad. Every “Dadurday” begins the same way–Mimi and Dad make silly-shaped pancakes, read the comics section of the newspaper and make lists of fun things to do together. But when Dad gets a new work schedule, “Dadurday” is ruined. Can Mimi find a way to still make it a special day for her and dad?

Daddy Calls Me Man

10. Daddy Calls Me Man by Angela Johnson (Author), Rhonda Mitchell (Illustrator)- Ages 3 and up

Overview: Inspired by his family experiences and his parents’ paintings, a young boy creates four poems. In four vibrant verses and spectacular oil paintings, a young boy revels in the everyday pleasures of growing up in a family of fine artists. A still life of shoes inspires Noah to measure his own little ones against the big ones of his father. The whirl of an abstract painting encourages him to spin with his older sister. The moon outside his window is the same one that glows on his mother’s canvas. But the subject that brings out the best in Noah — and inspires his daddy to call him a man — has her crib right there in his parents’ studio. With its bold colors and arresting perspectives, this book is a celebration of art and an exaltation of family.

SPECIAL BOOKS:

Father’s Day is a joyous holiday to celebrate and honor fathers. Unfortunately, not all children welcome it with open arms. In fact, many kids spend Father’s Day without their fathers, due to incarceration, divorce, and death. While it is never a pleasant experience to watch one’s parent(s) go to jail, go through divorce, or die, sadly, many kids are having to experience just that. As Father’s Day approaches, these books will serve to help these kids understand and cope with these difficult life challenges.

The Night Dad Went to Jail

11. The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail (Life’s Challenges) by Melissa Higgins (Author), Wednesday Kirwan (Illustrator) -Ages 5 – 8 years

Overview: When someone you love goes to jail, you might feel lost, scared, and even mad. What do you do? No matter who your loved one is, this story can help you through the tough times.

Weekends with Dad

12. Weekends with Dad: What to Expect when Your Parents Divorce (Life’s Challenges) by Melissa Higgins (Author), Wednesday Kirwan (Illustrator) -Ages 5 – 8 years

Overview: When your parents divorce, it can feel like the world turns upside down. What do you do? Whether you live mostly at your moms or dads, this story can help you through the tough times.

Where Are You - Book

13. Where Are You? A Child’s Book About Loss by Laura Olivieri (Author), Kristin Elder (Illustrator) -Ages 4 – 8 years

Overview: Where Are You: A Child’s Book About Loss is a kind and supportive text with beautiful illustrations designed to help children of all ages cope with the loss of a loved one. It is created with love and care so that even the youngest readers will find comfort during this stressful and difficult time.

As always, we love to hear your thoughts on books. What books are you reading together to celebrate Father’s Day? You may leave a comment or two.

By Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

 

Book Club – Book of the Month – June

Narnia - Image1

“Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world, which has been enchanting readers of all ages for over sixty years.” What world? Narnia.

Narnia1

In the wake of the end-of-school-year burnout, following a series of heavy book club reads and school required readings, we’ve decided that it’s time for some fun and adventure. Thus, we’ve selected C. S. Lewis’ timeless classic series, The Chronicles of Narnia as our June tweens-teens’ book club selection.  Many of our young readers have read the entire series, others have read some. This is an opportunity for everyone to get through all the books together and have much fun in the process. In order to make this month’s reading a bit more interesting, exciting, adventurous, and educational, we’ve added a few extras.

1. Activity Guide (Courtesy of Ingram Content group). We recommend incorporating this activity guide into the reading discussions. This activity guide is an excellent resource, consisting of four major components: Setting the Scene, Questions for Group Discussions, Discuss Quotes, and Journal Writings. It also includes several independent projects for individuals. While this is designed for classroom use, it can be used in any group or individual setting. Teachers, parents, you’d want to bookmark this. Here’s the link

2. Narnia Movies. We recommend integrating the Narnia movies into the reading process for both entertainment and educational purposes. Our “Using Movies as a Motivational Tool to Get Kids Reading” offers greater insights on this topic. Here’s the link.

3. Narnia Board Games. You can almost never go wrong with board games. Kids and adults love them, they can be entertaining and educational, and they work well as great family or group activities. These are great supplements to the reading process. These can be found at toy stores, bookstores, and online.

4. Theatrical Productions. Depending on dates, times, locations, availability, and price, one may or may not be able to attend a Narnia theatrical production. Nonetheless, the idea is definitely worth considering. Kids and adults love theatrical productions, and watching one such as this could be nothing less than magical.

5. Theme Parks’ Narnia Attractions. This goes hand-in-hand with theatrical productions. Again depending on the aforementioned, this may or may not be practical at the moment. However, it is once again an idea worth exploring. Check your local or national listings of theme parks and attractions.

This is just scratching the surface. There are many ways to make book club readings exciting and adventurous while still maintaining their educational aspect. These are just a few hand-picked suggestions to apply to this particular series. We welcome you to read along as we explore the world of Narnia. And as always, we love hearing your thoughts on books. You may leave a comment or two on this series or other books you are currently reading. Happy reading!

By Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Club – Book of the Month – May

NEST - ESTHER EHRLICH

Our tweens-teens’ book selection for May is Nest by Esther Ehrlich. I must say, this was one of the toughest book club decisions thus far, and I’ll explain why in a minute.

When I started our tweens-teens’ book club, our approach to selecting books was simple ― we read it, we like it, we share it. That seemed simple enough … until we actually started diving deeper and deeper into the books. Now, we read it, we like it, we then wonder whether to share it. Liking a book is one thing, recommending it is another.

While we love to recommend every book we read and like, we sometimes wrestle with whether the theme is too dark or heavy for teens, let alone tweens. Nest is one of those books we wrestled with. The book tackles many deep and dark topics such as terminal illness, depression, and ultimately death. While trying not give too much away, I feeI the need to give parents the heads up.

Ultimately, our decision was influenced by the fact that the book raises awareness of these issues, real life situations.  Life doesn’t always have fairytale beginnings, middles, or endings. In fact, life rarely does, and children ought to be aware of that. This reminds me of a quote I came across recently: “One thing we shouldn’t do is shield kids from everyday frustrations. They need to experience everyday failures and challenges. It’s the kids who never feel frustrated who are vulnerable later.” And I feel this book coveys this message quite well.

Having said all this, I should mention that this is a book we read, we liked, and we shared. Nonetheless, parental guidance and discretion are advised. I think it’s a great book. I will, however, suggest parents read it either before or with your tweens or teens, as it will open doors to a whole lot of challenging questions and interesting discussions. After all, isn’t that what we want anyway? Thoughts?

By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

Book Synopsis: For fans of Jennifer Holm (Penny from Heaven, Turtle in Paradise), a heartfelt and unforgettable middle-grade novel about an irresistible girl and her family, tragic change, and the healing power of love and friendship. In 1972 home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein, her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp’s mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, and everything changes.

Chirp finds comfort in watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who lives across the street. Together they create their own private world and come up with the perfect plan: Escape. Adventure. Discovery.

Nest is Esther Ehrlich’s stunning debut novel. Her lyrical writing is honest, humorous, and deeply affecting. Chirp and Joey will steal your heart. Long after you finish Nest, the spirit of Chirp and her loving family will stay with you.

11 Memorable Children’s Books About Libraries and Librarians

Librarian -The Original Search Engine

“A library in the middle of a community is a cross between an emergency exit, a life-raft and a festival. They are cathedrals of the mind; hospitals of the soul; theme parks of the imagination. On a cold rainy island, they are the only sheltered public spaces where you are not a consumer, but a citizen instead.” — Caitlin Moran

Librarian -The Original Search Engine

This week is National Library Week. There are several themes throughout the week to help you celebrate, including National Library Workers DayNational Bookmobile Day, and Celebrate Teen Literature Day. These are themes that can easily be celebrated throughout the year, and we encourage you to do so. Nonetheless, we particularly love these kinds of events because they thrust books and the people behind them in the spotlight. 

We hope that you will take full advantage of these opportunities to celebrate books and the people behind them. Moreover, we encourage you to take your kids to the library, and while you’re there, be sure to thank your librarians and tell them how much you appreciate what they do to impact literature and literacy. Without further ado, here are 11 memorable children’s books you can read with your kids to honor and celebrate National Library Week. As always, feel free to share some of your favorites, particularly those we may have missed. Happy National Library Week!

Library book 1

The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians (Ages 5 and up) by Carla Morris (Author), Brad Sneed (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis:  Every day after school Melvin goes to the library. Everything has its place in the library and Melvin likes it that way. And his favorite people–Marge, Betty, and Leola–are always in their places, behind the reference desk.

When something interests Melvin, his librarian friends help him find lots and lots of books on the subject. When he collects creepy bugs in a jar, they help him identify, classify, and catalog the insects. When he is cast as the Enormous Eggplant in the school play, Betty reads aloud from Organic Gardening to help him find his motivation. As the years pass, Melvin can always find the answers to his questions–and a lot of fun–in the library. Then one day he goes off to college to learn new things and read new books. Will he leave the library and his friends behind forever?

Library Book 2

Goldie Socks and the Three Libearians (Ages 4-8 years) by Jackie Mims Hopkins (Author), John Manders (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: Students will love our fractured fairy tale that puts a new twist on the classic story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Use the coordinating posters and bookmarks to reinforce the lessons taught in the book.

Deep in an enchanted forest, a little girl named Goldie Socks finds a storybook cottage. When she looks inside, she finds shelves and shelves filled with books. As she searches for 1 that is just right and a comfy place to read it, Mama, Papa and Baby Libearian discover that someone has been in their house!

Library Book3

Library Mouse (Ages 4-8 years) by Daniel Kirk (Author)

Book Synopsis: Beloved children’s books author and illustrator Daniel Kirk wonderfully brings to life the story of Sam, a library mouse. Sam’s home was in a little hole in the wall in the children’s reference books section, and he thought that life was very good indeed. For Sam loved to read. He read picture books and chapter books, biographies and poetry, and ghost stories and mysteries. Sam read so much that finally one day he decided to write books himself!

Sam shared his books with other library visitors by placing them on a bookshelf at night. Until there came the time that people wanted to meet this talented author. Whatever was Sam to do?

Library Book4

Tomas and the Library Lady (Ages 3-7 years) by Pat Mora (Author), Raul Colon (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: Tomás is a son of migrant workers. Every summer he and his family follow the crops north from Texas to Iowa, spending long, arduous days in the fields. At night they gather around to hear Grandfather’s wonderful stories. But before long, Tomás knows all the stories by heart. “There are more stories in the library,” Papa Grande tells him.  The very next day, Tomás meets the library lady and a whole new world opens up for him.

Based on the true story of the Mexican-American author and educator Tomás Rivera, a child of migrant workers who went on to become the first minority Chancellor in the University of California system, this inspirational story suggests what libraries–and education–can make possible.  Raul Colón’s warm, expressive paintings perfectly interweave the harsh realities of Tomás’ life, the joyful imaginings he finds in books, and his special relationships with a wise grandfather and a caring librarian.

Library Book5

I Know a Librarian Who Chewed on a Word (Ages 5-8 years) by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton (Author), Herb Leonhard (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: A most exciting word has the whole library abuzz. What combination of letters could possibly drive a person to do such absurd things? Fascinated children look on as Miss Divine dines on a table, chomps down a chair, and savors a shelf-all to chase down a single word. Written in the style of “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” this book reveals the only verb that could make a librarian practically purr, and that word is READ.

Library Book6

The Storyteller’s Candle (Ages 6 and up) by Lucia Gonzalez (Author), Lulu Delacre (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: The winter of 1929 feels especially cold to cousins Hildamar and Santiago—they arrived in New York City from sunny Puerto Rico only months before. Their island home feels very far away indeed, especially with Three Kings’ Day rapidly approaching. But then a magical thing happened. A visitor appears in their class, a gifted storyteller and librarian by the name of Pura Belpré. She opens the children’s eyes to the public library and its potential to be the living, breathing heart of the community.

The library, after all, belongs to everyone—whether you speak Spanish, English, or both. The award-winning team of Lucía González and Lulu Delacre have crafted an homage to Pura Belpré, New York City’s first Latina librarian. Through her vision and dedication, the warmth of Puerto Rico came to the island of Manhattan in a most unexpected way.

Library book8

The Lonely Book (Ages 4-8 years) by Kate Bernheimer (Author), Chris Sheban (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: When a wonderful new book arrives at the library, at first it is loved by all, checked out constantly, and rarely spends a night on the library shelf. But over time it grows old and worn, and the children lose interest in its story. The book is sent to the library’s basement where the other faded books live. How it eventually finds an honored place on a little girl’s bookshelf—and in her heart—makes for an unforgettable story sure to enchant anyone who has ever cherished a book. Kate Bernheimer and Chris Sheban have teamed up to create a picture book that promises to be loved every bit as much as the lonely book itself.

Library Book9

Lola at the Library (Ages 2-5 years) by Anna McQuinn (Author), Rosalind Beardshaw (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: Lola has a big smile on her face. Why? Because it’s Tuesday–and on Tuesdays, Lola and her mommy go to the library. Join Lola in this cozy celebration of books and the people who love them

Library Book 17

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile (Ages 4-8 years) by Gloria Houston (Author), Susan Condie Lamb (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: When Dorothy was a young girl, she loved books, and she loved people, so she decided that she would become a librarian. Dorothy’s dearest wish is to be a librarian in a fine brick library just like the one she visited when she was small. But her new home in North Carolina has valleys and streams but no libraries, so Miss Dorothy and her neighbors decide to start a bookmobile. Instead of people coming to a fine brick library, Miss Dorothy can now bring the books to them—at school, on the farm, even once in the middle of a river!

Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile is an inspiring story about the love of books, the power of perseverance, and how a librarian can change people’s lives.

Library Book16

That Book Woman (Ages 4-8 years) by Heather Henson (Author), David Small (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: Cal is not the readin’ type. Living way high up in the Appalachian Mountains, he’d rather help Pap plow or go out after wandering sheep than try some book learning. Nope. Cal does not want to sit stoney-still reading some chicken scratch. But that Book Woman keeps coming just the same. She comes in the rain. She comes in the snow. She comes right up the side of the mountain, and Cal knows that’s not easy riding. And all just to lend his sister some books. Why, that woman must be plain foolish — or is she braver than he ever thought?

That Book Woman is a rare and moving tale that honors a special part of American history — the Pack Horse Librarians, who helped untold numbers of children see the stories amid the chicken scratch, and thus made them into lifetime readers.

library Book15

Goin’ Someplace Special (Ages 4-8 years) by Patricia C. Mckissack (Author), Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)

Book Synopsis: There’s a place in this 1950s southern town where all are welcome, no matter what their skin color…and ‘Tricia Ann knows exactly how to get there. To her, it’s someplace special and she’s bursting to go by herself. When her grandmother sees that she’s ready to take such a big step, ‘Tricia Ann hurries to catch the bus heading downtown. But unlike the white passengers, she must sit in the back behind the Jim Crow sign and wonder why life’s so unfair. Still, for each hurtful sign seen and painful comment heard, there’s a friend around the corner reminding ‘Tricia Ann that she’s not alone. And even her grandmother’s words —  “You are somedbody, a human being — no better, no worse than anybody else in this world” —  echo in her head, lifting her spirits and pushing her forward.

Patricia C. McKissack’s poignant story of growing up in the segregated South and Jerry Pinkney’s rich, detailed watercolors lead readers to the doorway of freedom.

Special Bonus: “For me, the library was a doorway to freedom, to free thought. When you’re being taught, “you can’t, you can’t, you can’t” … the library says, “you can, you can, you can.” And I did.” — Patricia McKissack, on the inspiration behind Goin’ Someplace Special.  Watch video: An Excerpt from Goin’ Someplace Special.

By Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

National Poetry Month

“Oh, for a nook and a storybook. With tales both new and old. For a jolly good book whereon to look. Is better to me than gold.”— Old English Song.

April is National Poetry Month. In honor and celebration of the largest literary celebration in the world, I’ve compiled a list of 26 of our favorite poems about books, of course books. These inspiring poems will take you into the fascinating world of books, only to have you return with a book or two inside you. They are simple, short, and fun for readers of all ages. All you have to do is dive through the pages. If, even still,  you’re unsure of what’s in store; rest assured, they’ll leave you yearning for more. Take a look!

I Opened a Book
By Julia Donaldson

I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.

I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

There is no Frigate like a Book
By Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry.
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll;
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul!

Read to Me
By Jane Yolen

Read to me riddles and read to me rhymes
Read to me stories of magical times
Read to me tales about castles and kings
Read to me stories of fabulous things
Read to me pirates and read to me knights
Read to me dragons and dragon-book fights
Read to me spaceships and cowboys and then
When you are finished- please read them again.

Notes on the Art of Poetry
By Dylan Thomas

I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on
in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light.

Adventure
By Anonymous

Here’s an adventure! What awaits
Beyond these closed, mysterious gates?
Whom shall I meet, where shall I go?
Beyond the lovely land I know?
Above the sky, across the sea?
What shall I learn and feel and be?
Open, strange doors, to good or ill!
I hold my breath a moment still
Before the magic of your look.
What shall you do to me, O book?

Open A Book,
By Jane Baskwill

Open a book
And you will find
People and places of every kind;
Open a book
And you can be
Anything that you want to be;
Open a book
And you can share
Wondrous worlds you find in there;
Open a book
And I will too
You read to me
And I’ll read to you.

I Met a Dragon Face to Face
By Jack Prelutsky

I met a dragon face to face
the year when I was ten,
I took a trip to outer space,
I braved a pirate’s den,
I wrestled with a wicked troll,
and fought a great white shark,
I trailed a rabbit down a hole,
I hunted for a snark.

I stowed aboard a submarine,
I opened magic doors,
I traveled in a time machine,
and searched for dinosaurs,
I climbed atop a giant’s head,
I found a pot of gold,
I did all this in books I read
when I was ten years old.

Books to the Ceiling
By Arnold Lobel

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My piles of books are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them.

Good Books
By Edgar Guest

Good books are friendly things to own.
If you are busy they will wait.
They will not call you on the phone
Or wake you if the hour is late.
They stand together row by row,
Upon the low shelf or the high.
But if you’re lonesome this you know:
You have a friend or two nearby.

The fellowship of books is real.
They’re never noisy when you’re still.
They won’t disturb you at your meal.
They’ll comfort you when you are ill.
The lonesome hours they’ll always share.
When slighted they will not complain.
And though for them you’ve ceased to care
Your constant friends they’ll still remain.

Good books your faults will never see
Or tell about them round the town.
If you would have their company
You merely have to take them down.
They’ll help you pass the time away,
They’ll counsel give if that you need.
He has true friends for night and day
Who has a few good books to read.

There is a Land
By Leland B. Jacobs

There is a land –
A marvelous land –
Where trolls and giants dwell;
Where witches
With their bitter brew
Can cast a magic spell;
Where mermaids sing,
Where carpets fly,
Where, in the midst of night,
Brownies dance
To cricket tunes;
And ghosts, all shivery and white,
Prowl and moan.
There is a land
Of magic folks and deeds,
And anyone
Can visit there
Who reads and reads and reads.

Adventures with Books
By Velda Blumhagen

Books are ships that sail the seas
To lands of snow or jungle trees.
And I’m the captain bold and free
Who will decide which place we’ll see.
Come, let us sail the magic ship.

Books are trains in many lands,
Crossing hills or desert sands.
And I’m the engineer who guides
The train on its exciting rides.
Come, let us ride the magic train.

Books are zoos that make a home
For birds and beasts not free to roam.
And I’m the keeper of the zoo,
I choose the things to show to you.
Come, let us visit in a zoo.

Books are gardens, fairies, elves,
Cowboys, and people like ourselves.
And I can find with one good look
Just what I want inside a book.
Come, let us read! For reading’s fun!

The Reading Mother
By Strickland Gillilan

I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
“Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings –
Stories that stir with an upward touch,
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a Mother who read to me.

What is a Book?
By Lora Daunt

A book is pages, pictures and words
A book is animals, people and birds
A book is stories of queens and kings
Poems and songs-so many things!
Curled in a corner where I can hide
With a book I can journey far and wide
Though it’s only paper from end to end
A book is a very special friend.

Books
By Helen H. Moore

If you read a few, then you’ll know it’s true:
Books are good for you!
Chefs read cook books,
Pirates? “Hook” books!
Little kids read lift-and-look books!
We read books of poems and prose –
Some of these and some of those.
Read some too, and you’ll agree,
Books are good for you and me!

Pass The Poems, Please
By Jane Baskwill

Pass the poem please
Pile them on my plate
Put them right in front of me
For I can hardly wait
To take each tangy word
To try each tasty rhyme
And when I’ve tried them once or twice
I’ll try them one more time:
So pass the poems please
They just won’t leave my head
I have to have more poems
Before I go to bed.

Reading in Bed
By Helen H. Moore

Oh, what could be better
Than reading in bed,
Or thinking about
All the books that you’ve read?

With someone who loves you,
A father, a mother,
A doll, or a pet,
Or a sister or brother,

A grandma, a grandpa,
An uncle, an aunt –
(Can you think of anything better?
I can’t!)

While outside the sky
Is all twinkling with light,
From stars that shine down
As we sleep through the night.

Oh, what could be better
Than sleepin in bed,
When the books that you love
Fill the dreams in your head?

Happy Chimney Corner Days
By Robert Louis Stevenson

Summer fading, winter comes –
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.

Water now is turned to stone
Nurse and I can walk upon;
Still we find the flowing brooks
In the picture story-books.

All the pretty things put by,
Wait upon the children’s eye,
Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
In the picture story-books.

We may see how all things are,
Seas and cities, near and far,
And the flying fairies’ looks,
In the picture story-books.

How am I to sing your praise,
Happy chimney-corner days,
Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
Reading picture story-books

Books are for Looks
By Isabelle Spooner

Books are for looks; a look for a tale
Of possible a lion, a tiger, or a whale.

A look for adventure, exciting, intense
With mystery unfolding and growing suspense.

A look for a fact, to inform or relate,
A picture, a poem, or a word to locate.

You never can tell when you start to look
What interesting things may come in a book!

I Like a Book
By M. Lucille Ford

I like a book. It tells me things
Of ancient peoples and their kings
And what they used to do;
Of giants in some far-off land
And things I hardly understand,
Both make-believe and true.

I like books. It’s fun to see
How interesting they can be –
As people are. And so
I try to treat them like a friend
And many pleasant hours spend
In learning what they know.

Books
By Solveig Paulson Russell

Books are friends who take you far
Wherever you would go,
From torrid lands and jungle ways
To northern fields of snow.

Books bring us gifts from long ago
And hints of future days,
And lead the mind refreshingly
On unfamiliar ways.

Books are the chests of pirate gold
Where wealth in stories lies
As varied as the clouds that blow
Across November skies.

Reading Books
By Vivian G. Gouled

I like to read all kinds of books
To entertain myself,
And so I’m glad when I can take
A book down from the shelf.

I like the picture books of planes,
Of flowers, birds, and ships
From which I can imagine that
I’m taking wonder trips.

I like the books with stories in
And also books of rhymes;
I often try to learn a few
And say them lots of times.

I like to read all kinds of books
I find upon the shelf –
Particularly now that I
Can read all by myself!

The Land of Story-books
By Robert Louis Stevenson

At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.

Now, with my little gun, I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.

There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter’s camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.

These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.

I see the others far away
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowled about.

So, when my nurse comes in for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of Story-books.

Magic Keys
By Leah Gibbs Knobbe

Would you like to travel far
From the place where now you are?
Read a book!

Would you nature’s secrets know,
How her children live and grow?
Read a book!

Is it adventure that you crave,
On land or on ocean wave?
Read a book!

Would you like to talk with kings?
Or to fly with Lindbergh’s wings?
Read a book!

Would you look on days gone by?
Know scientific reasons why?
Read a book!

The world before you will unfold,
For a magic key you hold
In a book!

Storyboat
By Bobbi Katz

It’s time to read a story,
so climb aboard with me,
and we can sail a storyboat
across a magic sea.
We can visit jungles
or rub noses with a bear.
We can visit anyplace
and sail to anywhere.
We can learn a lot of stuff
from sailin storyboats –
like how to ride on elephants
or how skinks got striped coats.
We can meet a bunch of kids
that we’ll be glad to know,
and when the summer gets too hot,
we’ll sail in seas of snow!

When Mother Reads Aloud
By Anonymous

When Mother reads aloud, the past
Seems real as every day;
I hear the tramp of armies vast,
I see the spears and lances cast,
I join the thrilling fray;
Brave knights and ladies fair and proud
I meet when Mother reads aloud.

When Mother reads aloud, far lands
Seem very near and true;
I cross the desert’s gleaming sands,
Or hunt the jungle’s prowling bands,
Or sail the ocean blue.
Far heights, whose peaks the cold mists shroud,
I scale, when Mother reads aloud.

When Mother reads aloud, I long
For noble deeds to do –
To help the right, redress the wrong;
It seems so easy to be strong,
So simple to be true.
Oh, thick and fast the visions crowd
My eyes, when Mother reads aloud.

When You Can Read
By Bobbi Katz

When you can read, then you can go
from Kalamazoo to Idaho –
Or read directions that explain
just how to build a model plane –
Or bake a cake or cook a stew –
The words will tell you what to do!
When you can read, then you can play
a brand new game the proper way –
Or get a letter from a friend
and read it . . . to the very end!

By Dawn Hoff, Book Kids

You might also want to check out: 8 Inspirational Poems About Books and Reading

 

 

Book Club – Book of the Month – April

A Long Walk To Water

One of our teens suggested A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park as our tweens-teens’ book club selection for April. Having read this book several times, I was a little hesitant about this choice; not because it isn’t a great book, but rather because I was uncertain about how our tweens and teens would handle some of what I would consider heart-rending, gut-wrenching, tear-jerking scenes and an overall melancholic theme. 

Almost immediately, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by A. B. Curtiss, author of The Little Chapel That Stood (which, by the way, is an awesome read for 4-8 year-olds).

Quote: “A children’s book about 9-11 presents a difficult task. We want to shield children from violence and fear, but we don’t want to shield them from courage and heroism. We want to protect them, but we also want them to grow up brave and strong.”

Well, let’s just say we’ve chosen A Long Walk to Water as our April book selection. I believe our young readers will handle the story quite well once they connect the life struggles with the life lessons, the gloom with the glory, the trials and tribulations with the triumphs. I think the hardship has a purpose and place in this book just as much as the victory does. The problems are there to teach the lessons and the lessons are there to explain the problems. They both are essential to the overall telling of the story.

That leads to this question: Do you find yourself second-guessing book choices for your kids due to unsettling themes or do you consider such themes essential to the overall telling of the story? As always, we love to hear your thoughts on books. Please leave a comment or two about this book or other books you are reading.

Book Synopsis: The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day.

The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids