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Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

Welcome to the August edition of Smart Story Time! 

Keeping new material in the mix helps make family reading time fresh for your child (and you), as well as introducing them to new subjects and vocabulary. That’s why at MayaSmart.com we curate some of our best suggestions for timely reading each month. 

We hope this inspires you to spend some time reading with your child this month—whether in the library, on a picnic, in the kitchen, or even while shopping. 

Here are some ideas for what to read with your child this month:

Picture Books for Starting School

The time is fast approaching: The sound of new zippers rings out and the smell of sharpened pencils fills the air. It’s back to school! Whether it’s your child’s first year in school or they’re an old pro, a new school year can be daunting. But don’t worry! There’s something that can help ease their worries and spark some enthusiasm for their upcoming year—books.Early childhood educator Chrysta Naron recommends a selection of picture books that help kids get ready to start school. These books are special because they cover a wide range of first-day-of-school experiences. In their pages, we meet children just starting out, moving from a new country, expressing their creativity, and celebrating their names (not to mention an adorable cat and one very stressed-out pigeon). Whatever your little one’s circumstances, these picture books about starting school are sure to help guide your child into a less-stressed and happier beginning to the school year.

Funny Kids’ Books 

What’s black and white and “read” all over? 

Contributor Andrea Hunt’s roundup of funny books for kids, of course. (You didn’t guess that, did you?) August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day, so indulge in the healing power of laughter—plus discover all the ways that some rib-tickling reads can make reading together more fun, encourage reluctant readers, set the scene for learning, and even help kids regulate emotions or navigate challenges.Then, if you and your child are up for a creative challenge, build on your comical story time by working together to write and illustrate your own funny tale. Or, for pre-writers or reluctant writers/artists, keep it light and just engage in some humorous oral storytelling.

Menus, Signs, Clothes, and More (Not Kidding)

August is traditionally vacation month. If you’re taking some time off, look for creative ways to get in some reading with your kids. Read my post on working literacy into travel with kids, or check out our collection of Read-with-Me Recipes for some educational quality time during a staycation.

If you’re not on vacation, never fear! Take a few moments in the evening or over the weekend to make (and read) one of the recipes, and review our tips for maximizing story time to get the most out of the time you have available to read with your child.
And whenever you hit the stores (or internet) for back-to-school shopping, check out our tips for using writing on clothing to help kids learn to read. See? You really can work in literacy learning to everyday moments with your kids, no matter how busy or tired you may be. And feel free to message me with your questions or requests!

Anything Your Child Loves

In addition to bringing books into your family reading time that tackle timely topics or important subjects, be sure to follow your child’s interests, too. This keeps them engaged and helps you build a responsive relationship with your child. Check out our other kids’ book lists and articles for inspiration.
We’ll be back next month with the next installment of Smart Story Time. Meanwhile, feel free to message me with requests for future posts, book recommendations, or just to say hi!

What are you reading with your child this month? Scroll down to connect on social media & let me know!

New to MayaSmart.com?

Welcome! It’s lovely to have you here. I’m Maya, an author, literacy advocate, and mom. On this site, I publish articles, advice, book recommendations, and activities for busy parents. Through it all, my goal is to help parents like you feel equipped and confident to support your children in reading. Let’s start by understanding what you bring to the effort—your unique superpower.

Find your raise-a-reader superpower now.
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