5 Reasons to Read to Your Baby

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You wouldn’t wait until your baby started forming words and sentences before talking to him or her—so why hold off on introducing the joys of reading to your little one? The benefits of reading to children have been proven by hundreds of studies led by education experts. Although most of the … [Read more...]

Columbus Day Fun for You and Your Child

Happy Columbus Day! While you may not have a chance to experience New York City's amazing Columbus Day parade in person, there's no reason you can't take time out to enjoy this special day with your child -- and celebrate the spirit of exploration and discovery that Christopher Columbus stands … [Read more...]

Monday Inspiration — Dogs Helping Kids Learn to Read

Dogs don't judge. They don't make fun. And they're always ready to lend an ear (or two). What better audience for a child who needs some extra reading practice? As a recent study shows, the family pet might be just the teaching tool your child needs to help make him a confident reader! Children who … [Read more...]

Summer Reading

As many of you know, I am the youngest of nine children, and that ranking comes with many, many nieces and nephews. Last year around this time, my oldest nephew graduated from high school and left for the Air Force Academy, while one of my nieces graduated from kindergarten. This year it's another … [Read more...]

Children’s Books I Love, Father’s Day Edition

Bark George

In belated honor of Father's Day, it's time to share my favorite children's books, otherwise known as "Books Kids Love, and Ones This Dad Loves to Read to Them." How does a book make it on this super exclusive list? It's simple. First, it has to be something my kids love. Both of my kids have … [Read more...]

Remembering Stella, and the Books That Got Us Through

Stella

The most troubling thing was how quiet the house had become. With two kids, six and nine, our home is rarely silent. That was especially true with Stella in the mix, our Shepherd/who-knows-what pound puppy mutt ambling through the house. Stella was always there to stand guard over late night … [Read more...]

Eco-Friendly Reading!

I Can Save The Earth

This week we will celebrate Earth Day! Responding to widespread environmental degradation, Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, called for an environmental teach-in, or Earth Day, to be held on April 22, 1970. Over 20 million people participated that year, and Earth Day is now … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Hey--did you know it was Beverly Cleary's birthday? I just found out, too! I adore Beverly Cleary. She was a staple in my path to loving reading as a child. My sisters Mary and Karen gave me the Ramona Quimby book set for Christmas in 2nd grade and I fell in love. I still think of Ramona every … [Read more...]

Irish You’d Read These: St. Patrick’s Day Books

Reading List Roundup: St. Patrick's Day

  It's not possible St. Patrick could have imagined how, 1600 years in the future, millions of schoolchildren would chase each other around, pinching anyone not wearing an article of green clothing. Yet here we are....and in keeping with that and many other great St. Patrick's Day … [Read more...]

Choosy Children Choose Chapter Books

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One of the keys to cultivating a strong and engaged reader is obvious but often overlooked: finding books your child will love. And the key to finding those books? Letting your child choose. I was six years old when I read my first chapter book. It was called Striped Ice Cream by Joan M. Lexau. … [Read more...]

Use your words!

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My brother recently e-mailed me a story about his six-year-old daughter: Claire: Daddy, I really regret going on our trip to Canada and Niagara Falls. Daddy: Claire, you're too young to have regrets, but why do you regret it? Claire: Because on Webkins, if I don't work on my garden every day, it … [Read more...]

Back to School Writing Games

St Jerome

OK, school has started - time to get your kids in bed earlier and to pack those bag lunches. Soon enough, the inevitable moment will arrive when your child presents you with a homework assignment that asks him or her to write a story. If your child draws a blank, here are some games you might try to … [Read more...]

The Bookstore Etiquette Checklist

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As a writer, I have the luxury of being one of those dads you see pushing a stroller in the middle of a weekday. Living in New York City, I have a wide choice of destinations—playgrounds, children's museums, the American Museum of Natural History, a toy store with a train set, and of course, the … [Read more...]

Sneaking in Reading: Menus

cowboypauls

Just because your kids are away from school for the summer doesn't mean that they should give up reading practice. When we were developing the new Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read, we thought a lot about sneaking in reading in unexpected places. Say you're out at a restaurant with your family. You … [Read more...]

The Top 100 Picture Books of All Time

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Recently the wonderful blog A Fuse #8 Production created what could possibly be the definitive list of the Top 100 Picture Books of All Time. Fuse #8's Elizabeth Bird invited her readers to submit lists of their top ten picture books of all time. I saw blog posts and tweets far and wide from … [Read more...]