By Chrysta Naron It’s time for the Fourth of July. A day of flags, picnics, parades, fireworks, and, now, books! After all, what better way to introduce your child to the significance of this holiday and what it means to you than through the written word? This list of picture books for the Fourth of July gives families the opportunity to explore different ways people love America and a variety of American experiences. Granted, we’re certified book lovers, but we think these books . . .
By Andrea Hunt Kids’ audio stories are a brilliant alternative to screen time, an invaluable way to keep children entertained on car journeys, and a wonderful opportunity for parents or caregivers to share in family story time while multitasking. Even better, they can boost literacy skills. But when it comes to the youngest listeners, there are a few key things to consider before diving in. For example, whether the length of the story is appropriate, how well the audio version complements . . .
By Courtney Runn Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 that word of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached enslaved Texans, two years and six months after President Abraham Lincoln issued it. On June 19, Union General Gordon Granger arrived in the state and announced the news, making Texas one of the last states to legally abolish slavery. In 1980, Texas declared Juneteenth a statewide holiday and, thanks to the work of activists like Opal Lee, it became a federal holiday this year. To . . .
By Chrysta Naron Father’s Day is fast approaching! It’s a great moment to honor Dad—and all the special guys in your and your child’s life. This year, why not create a celebration of dads, uncles, and grandpas on your bookshelf? The gift of a book is wonderful in and of itself, but the gift of time spent reading together is priceless. We’ve curated a list of some favorite Father’s Day picture books to celebrate all the men we care about. Let’s have some fun and read together! Perfect . . .
By Chrysta Naron “Families are like branches on a tree. We grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one.” The author of this saying is unknown, but its wisdom resonates with so many of us. In my family, so much of our love is rooted in shared books. The women of the family have always made time to read with their growing children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. These reading roots helped every single one of us grow into the people we are today and continue to shape us. . . .
By Chrysta Naron “Once I unlocked the mystery of the alphabet that led to words, a multitude of words connecting me to the world, there was no stopping me.” —Gloria Naylor Every word in the entire English language, every word your child will ever read or say, is made up of only 26 letters. Learning the alphabet is the gateway to reading, but in order to master it, kids need to relate the letters to their names, sounds, and to real-world objects. This is the way letters become more than . . .
By Chrysta Naron May is the time to celebrate and lift up the mothers and mother figures in our lives. But rather than just limiting our celebration to one day, let’s make a DIY Mother’s Day gift that lets them know how much we appreciate them every day. I love to kick off most kid projects with, you guessed it…a book! While there are many incredible picture books for this special day, I am particularly fond of A Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams. Most other Mother’s Day books focus . . .
By Laila Weir We have a saying in our family of three children: Siblings are friends for life. But along the way to that lifelong relationship are plenty of challenges, competition, and complicated feelings. Encouraging first children to get excited for an upcoming sibling, and then supporting both younger and older children through the emotional ups and downs of their relationship, will help them develop that special bond. And a well-selected book is among parents’ most powerful . . .
By Tulani Thomas In my family, Earth Day is every day. We strive to cherish our planet and never take it for granted. Every day we can do small acts that make a big difference: This is the ethos that I have always taught my children. I try to incorporate nature-friendly living into so many areas of our lives that it becomes second nature (pun intended). We turn the lights off when leaving a room, use reusable water bottles, turn the water off when brushing our teeth, and, yes, eat loads of . . .
By Carlene Murray As a mother of three young children and an early childhood educator, I’m always looking for ways to help my charges learn about other cultures and traditions from around the world, as well as explore their own heritage. I’m fortunate to live in an area where my kids see faces of many colors everyday, and nothing warms my heart quite like seeing a group of children from different backgrounds bonding and playing together. But no matter where you live, reading a wide variety of . . .