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Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

Welcome to the October edition of Smart Story Time! 

Every month, we curate some of our best recommendations for timely topics to read about with your child and diverse picture books (and other reading material) to delve into. The goal is to give you plenty of ideas and inspiration to keep your family reading time fresh and help you introduce your child to new subjects and vocabulary. Check out this list, then head out to find some great new-to-you kids’ reads at your local library or independent bookstore

Here are some topics to read about with your child this month:

Halloween Picture Books 

For a lot of us, October means Halloween—pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns, spooky decorations, and costumed kids tramping door-to-door to the timeless refrain, “trick or treat!” And you know that sharing some sweet reads with your little one is a total treat. Visit our post on great kids’ books for fall holidays and scroll down to find some recommended picture books for Halloween. You’re also sure to find plenty featured at your local library!

Kids’ Book about Dia de Los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos means “Day of the Dead” in Spanish. This tradition from Mexico, now celebrated in many Latin American countries and across the world, celebrates the lives of loved ones who have died. Rather than being a sad and somber holiday, however, it is filled with love, flowers, sweet foods, candles, parties, and laughter. You’ll also find Dia de los Muertos book suggestions in our fall holidays books post.

Picture Books about Diwali  

Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is coming up this month, too. The biggest holiday of the year in India (though it is celebrated around the globe), it’s observed by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and some sects of Buddhism. It takes place over five days, with prayers, feasts, decorations like intricate sand art called rangoli, and the lighting of lamps. Though different regions of India have different stories as to the origin of Diwali, all celebrants recognize it as a holiday about the triumph of good over evil. You’ll find some awesome Diwali reads near the end of the fall holidays books post.

And (Always) Books Your Child Loves

In addition to reading books that tackle timely topics or important subjects, be sure to follow your child’s interests, as well. If your kid loves sports, science or animals, read plenty of books on those topics to keep them engaged and help you build a close, responsive relationship. Check out our other kids’ book lists and articles for curated reading lists on various topics and loads of reading inspiration. 

We’ll be back next month with the next installment of Smart Story Time. Meanwhile, feel free to message Maya with requests for future posts, book recommendations, or just to say hi!

What are you reading with your child this month? Connect on social media & let me know!

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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.