Literacy Lalapalooza 8 – Dads, Grads & More

Literacy lalapalooza logoOur Literacy Lalapalooza is a 14-month celebration of the Reading Tub’s 10th Anniversary. It is our way of thanking you for sharing the gift of literacy. Each issue will have  

  1. Idea for literacy and reading.
  2. Tools and/or Resources suggestions (e.g., websites, games, toys)
  3. Book ideas, one for each reading group: 0-4, 5-9, 10&Up

Sign up for the newsletter edition and DOUBLE the creative literacy ideas. Subscribers already got their email with a completely unique set of recommendations. You must select “Literacy Lalapalooza” in the Sign Me Up For … section

Before we jump in this month, let’s give dads some props for all they do to help kids build their literacy skills. Whether its reading a bedtime story, helping with Internet research, proofing a research paper, or reading the restaurant menu, dads are there to help!

This month we also celebrate all of our graduates … whether it is the preschooler who has mastered his ABCs en route to Kindergarten or the 20-something taking their degree into their career! Being literate means having the confidence and tools to succeed!

1 Literacy Idea: Take a Treasure Walk

cicada pictures
Source: National Geographic

Here in the Eastern United States,  we have been dealing with “Swarmageddon,” the emergence of the 17-year cicada. Rather than focusing on the piles of carcasses, why not go out in search of something truly beautiful.

Walk the neighborhood or head to the park. Before you go, create a list of things you want the kids to look for: a blue bird, a leaf with rounded edges, a tree that has a “Y” in it, three purple rocks … you get the idea.

This idea combines reading and critical thinking. Finding specific elements of an object (purple rock) is a process of being able to categorize or organize things.

2 Literacy Tools / Resource Suggestions Dads will Love

cheez-it scrabbleFoodie Hangman
It used to be that you could find alphabet letters in soup and cereal. Now, snack crackers have letters, too.

Play hangman as you normally would … but the person who gets the word gets to eat the crackers that made it.

duct tape literacy for dadDuct Tape!
Looking for some Father’s Day fun? Then head to Avon, OH the weekend of June 14! It is the Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival! Can’t get to Ohio? That’s okay, maybe you can find some inspiration for Father’s Day gifts in these Duct Tape Books. How-to books are a great way to sneak in some literacy!

3 Books Recommendations

I’m not sure how I top a Duct Tape Festival, so let’s just jump into the book picks!

Infant to Preschool Audience (ages newborn to 4)

Dads picture bookPapa Piccolo
written by Carol Talley and illustrated by Itoko Maeno
Marsh Media, 1992

Piccolo the tomcat enjoyed his life along the canals of Venice, and he certainly didn’t want two young kittens slowing him down! When the kittens went missing, Piccolo began to realize that maybe he was wrong, and he DID have something to share. This is a picture book whose theme is fatherhood.

This story about fatherhood (in this case as a single parent) is a nice change … and an opportunity for dads to take center stage! The venue–the canals of Venice–complemented the story well. The illustrations are great, and offer wonderful segues from the text itself for “exploring” Venice. The themes are layered well; with the author keeping them light and enjoyable. Read the full Reading Tub review.

Emerging & Developing Readers (ages 5 to 9)

Ripley Bureau of Investigation 1: Scaly Tale
written and illustrated by Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Ripley Entertainment, 2010

Zia, Jack, and Max are a multinational team of teen investigators. This trio of Ripley Bureau of Investigation invesgators must find out if there really is a “lizard man” in the Florida Everglades. They have some general information, but they need to get to the truth. It’s not going to be easy, because everywhere they turn it seems there are alligators, snakes, or the agents of the Department of Unbelievable Lies. With all this mystery and distraction will they get to the truth or get lost in the mangroves forever?

This is a mystery adventure series for readers moving toward full-length novels. Our daughter (8) loved this book. Each night we sat down to read she always asked for one more chapter, particularly if what we finished left something “hanging.” Our daughter loved this book. Each night we sat down to read she always asked for one more chapter, particularly if what we finished left something “hanging.” Read the full Reading Tub review.

Middle Grade & Young Adults (Ages 10 and Up)

My Father Is a Clown
by Diane Kolb
PublishAmerica, 2003

This book is about a 12-year-old girl named Maggie and her father, a circus clown. Not long after she suffers the embarrassment of her father’s job, she realizes her father really is a hero and doesn’t have to fight in the war (World War II). Not only does this book teach you an important lesson, but it also makes you enjoy reading it!!

Two teens – one an avid reader, one a dormant reader – had the same reaction: not only does this book teach you an important lesson, but it also makes you enjoy reading it!!

  • I could read it more than once and would never get bored by it!! I would give this book 10 out of 10 for sure!!”
  • “I know how Maggie felt: she was sad all the time. I thought there were a lot of words, but I liked the book and want to read it again. This is a realistic story.”

Read the full Reading Tub review.

Wrapping it Up

To those who have also subscribed to the Literacy Lalapalooza newsletter we hope that the new ideas here complement the recommendations and tips you got in your mailbox.

If you didn’t get the email version, its not too late. We’d love to have you join us for the next ten months of our Literacy Lalapalooza..

Have some favorite children’s or young adult books that seem to fit perfectly with March? Have a recommendation for a gift for a reader? Please share your ideas, recommendations and blog links here! Its not a party without you.

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