By Maya Smart What does Santa Claus really look like? Nancy Redd’s new children’s book, The Real Santa, features one boy’s quest to find out. In today’s video, I chat with Nancy about this beautiful Christmas tale, the importance of representation in kids’ stories, and the behind-the-scenes process of creating a picture book. Watch the video of our conversation, or scroll down for the transcript. https://youtu.be/BK7DSYnmPts Thanks so much for joining us this afternoon. I'm so . . .
By Laila Weir When the holidays and school vacations roll around, they bring family time for many of us. Not just time with the members of your household—visits with extended family. Big gatherings and family meals. Going to stay with relatives, or hosting them at our homes. Grandparents visiting or coming to stay. Cousins, aunts, uncles. So. Much. Family. Gathering and reconnecting with loved ones near and far, within and across generations, is a source of great joy. It can also represent . . .
By Penny Leigh Sebring Kids often think of heroes as big, powerful people doing monumental deeds. True heroes, however, come in all shapes and sizes, and not all heroic acts are monumental. These 10 picture books about animal heroes feature a diverse group of creatures, including dogs, a mule, bees, and even a brave little koala bear. Heroic traits such as kindness, cleverness, and acceptance are highlighted, along with more conventional heroic traits such as bravery and . . .
By Chrysta Naron With the holidays approaching and shopping lists and letters to Santa getting longer every day, it’s easy to get stressed looking for the perfect gift. So we’re making holiday shopping just a little bit easier. We’ve compiled a list of 14 terrific educational gifts for preschoolers that will become household favorites the whole year through. These fabulous gifts spark early learning and a love of reading in your child. And best of all? None of them sing or have flashing . . .
By Chrysta Naron I’m a teacher, and as November approaches, parents often ask me to recommend books by Native American authors or with Native American characters. I always have a list handy. But it got me thinking: Why now; why November? Well, we know the answer, of course. Thanksgiving. It’s generally the only time of year schools and media celebrate the contributions of Indigenous Americans to the current version of this nation. What’s more, many kids’ Thanksgiving books tell a . . .
By Chrysta Naron December is creeping closer, bringing its flurry of wonderful winter holidays! With those holidays come beloved traditions—favorite dishes, decorations saved and hung year after year, and stories to be told. Every family has their personal favorite tales and books (The Night Before Christmas is a staple in our household, like so many others). Traditions are a wonderful part of the holiday season. But what if, this year, you added some new books to your mix, to become new . . .
By Courtney Runn Is there any sport quite as universal as the game of soccer? Whether you call it football or soccer, there’s nothing like cheering on your country in the World Cup or yelling Gooooooal! when your favorite player scores. Like all sports, soccer showcases teamwork, perseverance, and discipline—wonderful qualities to reinforce during read-aloud time. To help you encourage the little players and fans in your life, we rounded up some of the best picture books about . . .
By Chrysta Naron Arrr, me mateys! It’s the 19th o’ September, which means we be celebrating “Talk Like a Pirate Day!” For this silly and seaworthy occasion, we’re taking the opportunity to create a pirate treasure map reading activity and story time. And, along the way, we’ll be working on literacy and an important life skill: the ability to follow written directions. With that goal in mind, the treasure map we’ll be creating today isn’t any ordinary one. Instead of pictures, dotted lines, . . .
By Courtney Runn Whether you and your family root for your college team or love to watch your favorite NFL players, you’ll all be a fan of these football picture books! These sweet reads capture the magic of a fall day in the stadium: the excitement in the stands, the heartbreaking losses, the underdog victories, the athletic feats, and the inspiring stories of the players themselves. Aspiring football players and all sports fans—kids and adults alike—will enjoy learning about legendary . . .
By Chrysta Naron It’s fall, y’all! Time for the weather and the apples to get crisp, the pumpkins to plump, and the holiday season to get rolling. People from countries and religions around the world observe a wide variety of fall traditions that celebrate the harvest, change of seasons, and love of family and friends. To help you bring reading into your favorite fall celebrations or learn about those that are new to you, we’ve curated a list of a few favorite picture books for fall . . .