Reading Round-up, 12 May

As my daughter reminded me yesterday, every day  is mother’s day. So Happy Mother’s Day Monday. It looks like we have a lot of celebrating to do …

Did you know that it is Get Caught Reading Month? Me neither … until yesterday when I read the Charlottesville Daily Progress.  This particular week is big for reading with kids, and the Children’s Book Council and Reading is Fundamental (RIF) each have themed events for the week.

  • The CBC promotes May 12 to 18 as Children’s Book Week. Elaine Magliaro has some links to share in her Wild Rose Reader blog. Check out the links for classroom ideas and author activities in her Children’s Book Week 2008 post.

Aloha! May is also Asian Pacific Heritage Month. Elaine Magliaro has compiled a great collection of resources you need to celebrate Asian Pacific  Heritage Month through reading.  You’ll find book lists and reviews for all age groups, as well as activities you can use in school or at home. We read about this at The Wild Rose Reader.

MORE celebrations? We need a “manly” celebration this month. Thanks to First Second Books, we’ve got it. It is Vampire Month, an opportunity to “promote vampire awareness and understanding.”  If you’re looking for some themed books, head over to 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast to read Eisha’s post Happy Vampire Month. She gives us her review of Life Sucks, a graphic novel whose main character is a vampire. We stopped by 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast to sink our teeth into this.

Book Shopping for Baby. Have you hear about My Book Yes, it is an online children’s book registry, but it’s a whole lot cooler than that! Reading is about sharing, and My Book Stork wants to share the love of books with kids. They have partnered with several children’s non-profits, and when you make a purchase from the registry, My Book Stork will donate 5% of the sale to the charity you select from the list. Check out Brian Scott’s post Online Children’s Book Registry or visit the site. We read about it at the Literacy and Reading News blog.

I’m All Ears. We often complain that kids spend too much time with ‘gadgets’ and not enough time reading.  Remember: reading is about exploring and using language, not (just) memorizing letter sequences on a page. Use that gadget to your advantage: load their iPod with some stories. Thanks to an email from Wonder Years Radio, we learned about these site: Here are some websites that have podcasts by and for kids. These will be especially valuable if you have an auditory learner.

  • is perfect for grades K-1 and has hundreds of fairy tales on their site which could be perfect for a bedtime story or just to listen during quiet time. There are some recorded bible stories and they also have a story specifically about Chinese new year animals.
  • is a sweet podcast produced by two young sisters and their mom. They talk about living in South Africa,conduct interviews with special guests and review their favorite books and movies. Kids will certainly be entertained and possibly become interested in another part of the world.
  • has kid-friendly podcasts that are produced by children! They have their own rating system and review each upload before it is made public, all in an effort to keep the material safe for children.

Year ’round Teacher Appreciation. Joanne Meier wrote a post about last week about combining literacy and student-friendly activities for Teacher Appreciation Week. The “official” week is over, but we can never thank our teachers enough. The reading/literacy ideas are great, and some of them (like building a crossword puzzle) would be fun summer activities.  We stopped by Jen Robinson’s Book Page for her Sunday Afternoon Visits, May 11


Jump In! We love that phrase here in the Tub. At The Well-Read Child, Jill reviews a relatively new book called Jump Into Literacy: Active Learning for Preschool by Rae Pica (Gryphon House, June 2007). In reading Jill’s post, the author offers parents some information so they can understand the basic  principles of learning to read, but  most of the emphasis is on age-appropriate activities that make learning fun. We saw it at The Well-Read Child.

The Answer Is (not) Harry Potter. Brian Scott posted What Kids are Reading: The Book-Reading Habits of Students in American Schools. We read a lot of books and yet we don’t see very many of our titles in the various best-selling lists. So I always wondered whether or not they are a true gauge of what kids read. Brian Scott lists the key findings of a Renaissance Learning study in this post We read about it in the Literacy and Reading News blog.

Keep reading. Over in The Reading Zone, Sarah posted Why Don’t Our Students Read? She draws on the findings in the Renaissance Learning study, as well as some other recent analysis of the No Child Left Behind Act. Stop by. The number of comments alone (20 as of this writing) lets you know that it is thought provoking. We saw the lead on Jen Robinson’s Book page in this post.

Getting Books to Kids. One of my “favorite” quotes about literacy is the one that explains that kids need reading material at home to become successful readers. It’s not poverty, but access to books at home that help build vocabulary and understanding. Where poverty does fit into the equation, though, is the ability to buy books (or for parents to have the time to get to the library to borrow them). Brian Scott lets us know that 25% of Children in Poverty Getting Books through Reach Out and Read. It’s a start. We read about it in the Literacy and Reading News blog.

Reading: Keep it Simple. On June 15, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation will publish a new edition of Dr. Lillie Pope’s classic Teach Anyone to Read: The No-Nonsense Guide. The methods Dr. Pope presents are useful for educators and lay people working with struggling readers. Read about it in John Micklos’ article here. We read about it in Reading Today Daily, International Reading Association blog.

Toni Buzzeo: Author (re)Visited. Toni was one of the first authors we had the honor of interviewing “way back when,” so when I saw that she had written a book about reading AND was joining Mark for a chat at Just One More Book, I had to share. You can link to it through Kim Norman’s post or go to Just One More Book directly. We read about it at Kim’s Author School Visits by State blog