Interactive Books for Kids Who Like to Move

If you have a child who would rather be moving or talking than sitting and listening to an entire book, you aren't alone. Not all kids love sitting, but most kids love a good story. Below are a few interactive books with great story lines for those kids who might feel more engaged when participating.  

ABC3D by Marion Bataille. This book has been on my shelf for probably ten years and I use it every single year. I taught one particular student who struggled with reading, and getting through our sessions was tiring for him. Looking through this book always served as a fun reward. It's a design lover's dream, and can be given as a gift to either kids or adults. 

 

Herve Tullet books. The author, illustrator, and artist has a way of fully captivating kids with his fun books and use of bright primary colors. He's even come out with some board games to accompany the books, Press Here Game and ZaZaZoom! A Game of Imagination: Mix. Match. Connect. Play. 

 

Press Here by Herve Tullet. My kids can't get enough of this book at bedtime. It asks for the reader to interact with each page through a dialogue of fun activities that will have parents and kids laughing. 

 

Let's Play by Herve Tullet. A game of hide and seek within in a book. What a creative idea! This book does exactly that; it plays with the reader.

 

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet This fun book teaches colors and perspectives on art while also engaging readers to participate in the process. 

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novack - "Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say." Both kids and parents love this one and Novack has recently come out with a new one, The Alphabet Book With No Pictures.

 

Huff & Puff by Claudia Rueda. In this book, the author tells the classic story of the three little pigs with a twist. In this version the reader can huff and puff through a hole in the book, acting as the big bad wolf. The pages have short and sweet sentences which appeal to young readers and learners.  

 

Shhh! This Book is Sleeping by Cedric Ramadier, Illustrated by Vincent Bourgeau. A funny nighttime book, this creative story asks the reader to help put the book to bed. Make sure the book has finished all of the nighttime duties like brushing its teeth and going to the restroom.  

 

Please Open This Book by Adam Lehrhaupt. The monkeys in this story are trapped inside, What's happened while the book was shut? This very creative story line is a sequel to Warning, Do Not Open This Book.

 

Poke-A-Dot books by iKids. Just as fun as playing with bubble wrap, these books contain little raised buttons that kids can push. Designed for younger children, toddlers can explore colors, animals, and transportation all through fun interactive activities.

Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson. This book is charming and sentimental. Your child will touch a firefly and rub an owl's head as they say good night to the world and all its magical creatures. This is a super sweet one for nighttime and a personal favorite. Many are raving about the author's most recent book, Plant the Tiny Seed, which seems perfect for Spring. 

 

Now I'm Reading! Plays: by Nora Gaydos. These plays are the absolute best for brand new beginning readers and struggling readers. They are leveled and come with fun masks, though a little hard to track down. If you can find them they are worth the hunt. With classics, like Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs and Jack and the Beanstalk, children are typically familiar with the story line, which helps readers focus on the phonics and words rather than getting confused by the comprehension. 

 

Just remember, you aren't alone if your child doesn't want to sit down through an entire book, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will dislike books. As always, feel free to email me if you have questions or need more specific suggestions.

Meaningful Bunny Books

While Peter Rabbit and Pat the Bunny will always be sweet classics, there are many new options today. If you are looking for ways to modernize your child's Easter basket and remind kids about the love of family and the importance of gratitude, check out these interesting and fun bunny books for the season. 

Dear Bunny by Bianca Gomez. A story about gratitude and friendship, this book is simple and very touching. A girl writes a letter to her bunny explaining what she loves most. This is a great book for parents who love design and illustrations, as Gomez's prints also make beautiful additions to a child's room. I'm thinking of ordering this one and this one to help my pre-schooler get excited about Kindergarten. 

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Yoga Bunny by Brian Russo. Bunny enjoys yoga and its positive effects, though his friends are too busy and upset to participate. Bunny begins his yoga anyway and pretty soon all of his friends are participating and feeling happier. The book is a cute story that touches on self-care and mindset, while also teaching children actual yoga poses. 

 

Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, Illustrated by Zachariah OHora. In this book, the Bunny family takes in a baby wolf, who is left on their doorstep. Dot, the baby Bunny, is less than pleased with the family's newest member. Another great one for design lovers, OHora's illustrations have appeared in the New York Times and The Atlantic.

 

Love by Emma Dodd. A baby bunny and her parent experience love all around throughout the day by simply playing and being with one another. A sweet story that will appeal to a wide range of ages with short sentences and beautiful photos. This book is part of a touching series named Love You books. Wish and Forever are two of my favorites from the series. 

Bunny Roo, I Love You by Melissa Marr, Illustrated by Teagan White. With an Anthropologie, vintage feel to its illustrations, this story is a beautiful addition to any nursery. The book shows children in the sweetest way that their caregivers will always comfort them when they need it.

Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson. This story is a great lesson for parents and children. Rabbit loves his carrots so much and his greed starts to take a toll on him and his friendships. Through generosity, kindness, and gratitude, Rabbit starts to see the benefits of sharing and looking out for others. 

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes. A very sweet story about the love of family. The story shows an adventurous bunny who imagines what it would be to be different. He wonders what it would feel like to be green, or tall or to fly like a butterfly and eventually sees that he has so much to enjoy just as himself.

I'll also be checking out Kevin Henkes's new book, Egg. With large sight words and lots of repetition, Egg is great for children to practice early and preliteracy skills. I hope you are able to find something here you enjoy sharing with your family. 

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10 First Chapter Book Read Alouds

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When your child reaches the age that they can sit and listen to a chapter book, it can be a bedtime game-changer. It's fun, magical and rewarding for you both. You will likely be looking forward to bedtime to see what happens with your favorite characters. Below are a few age-appropriate chapter books to get you started. You might remember some from your own childhood. These are appropriate for children ages 4 and up. Enjoy!

Amelia Bedelia by Herman Perish. With short and quick chapters, this series is a perfect fit for young children. Kids will laugh and it provides the opportunity for silly conversations about vocabulary words. A friend of mine recently made a lemon meringue pie with her kids just like Amelia Bedelia does in the first book after reading it. What a fun idea!

 

Miss Nelson Is Missing by Harry G. Allard Jr. Chances are you remember Viola Swamp from your own childhood. Viola mysteriously shows up as a substitute teacher to Miss Nelson's unruly class. The book is fun for families to share together again and again. 

 

The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Clearly. The story of a curious and adventurous mouse, Ralph finds trouble and fun when he arises to the challenge of driving a toy motorcycle. 

 

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne. You will feel sentimental while reading this innocent and classic book. The characters provide lots of opportunities for conversations about emotions and friendships. Plus, that Pooh bear is pretty wise and can teach a thing or two to adults.

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett. Elmer Elevator runs away from his family to save a baby dragon. Kids love the boy's name, his goodhearted nature, and the adventurous storyline.

 

Stuart Little by E.B. White. We are currently in the middle of reading this book with my four-year-old. A mouse is born into a family of humans in New York City. The story is one of adventure and family bonding. Children will probably love Stuart's endearing character most of all. 

 

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonaldMrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a way with children. She is able to help parents in the neighborhood when they don't know what to do with their child's behavior. Kids love the idea that a parent doesn't know what to do all of the time and you will both have a laugh at some typical preschool-aged problems like not wanting to go to bed or take a bath. Be aware that the book was written over fifty years ago and contains stark gender stereotypes. In order to get past the gender roles, I simply interchanged Mr. and Mrs. for the primary caretaker in every other chapter.

 

Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic by Emily Jenkins. With a Toy Story feel, this book explores the friendship between three toys belonging to a little girl and their adventures.  

 

The Adventures of Sophie Mouse by Poppy Green. With lots of illustrations and easy to read language, these books are fun and engaging.

 

A Mouse Called Wolf by Dick King-Smith. Named after Wolf Gang Amadeus, this little mouse loves music and learns that he has talent too! Through his talent and practice, he develops a skill but something even more important: a much-needed friendship. 

 

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10 Picture Books About Girls Who Changed the World

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While March marks Women's History Month, I believe we all agree that there is much work to be done year-round on cultivating confidence in and opportunities for girls. Below are ten books about women who overcame obstacles at a young age and went on to make a big impact in the world.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirt Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Clara Lemlich was a Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike for women’s labor rights. When no one in her union proposed dramatic action to gain attention, she started the movement herself. Markel writes, "The speakers, mostly men, want everyone to be careful. Two hours pass. No one recommends a general strike….So Clara does." 

 

Little Melba and her Big Trombone Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Illustrated by Frank Morrison. Melba Doretta Liston taught herself how to play the trombone at age seven. She went on to perform with many jazz legends like Duke Ellington and utilized her talents overcoming much misogyny, sexism and racism. 

 

Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter, Illustrated by Edel RodriguezThis book tells the story of Sonia Sotomayor's upbringing in the South Bronx. It shows that it doesn't matter where you start in life, and it emphasizes the importance of not only hard work, but encouragement from family and friends. Written in both English and Spanish, the book is inspiring and hopeful for children and adults. 

 

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. At the age of nine, Audrey became the youngest child to be arrested during a civil rights protest in 1963. She confidently and bravely stood up for civil rights. 

 

Malala: Activists for Girls' Education by Raphaele Frier, Illustrated by Audrelia Fronty. When she was only fifteen years old, the Taliban attempted to assassinate Malala for her activism. Yet, she was convicted to make change, acted courageously and continued fighting for the rights of young women. The book tells about Malala's life as a girl in Pakistan and how she first recognized her own inequalities. She continually refuses to accept norms and ultimately became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize at age seventeen.

 

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. Chelsea Clinton shows that what you do and what you say, even at a young age, truly matters. It takes one person to change the course of history, and that one person certainly doesn’t need to be a grown-up. Clinton highlights many activists in our country who have made a big impact, including Nellie Bly, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor.

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead by Michelle Markel, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham. When Hillary was a young girl she traveled with her church youth group to see Martin Luther King Jr. speak. Listening to King’s speech, Clinton was moved in that moment to become an activist and to serve others. At only 21-years-old she gave a speech for her commencement at Wellesley College. She went off-script, speaking her mind, and Life Magazine featured her for the moving remarks. 

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles, Illustrated by George Ford. Ruby was only six-years-old when she was selected by a judge to integrate a white school during desegregation in New Orleans in 1960. In order to enter school each day, she walked passed angry mobs and attended an empty school classroom. The book shows her strength and also her forgiveness, as Ruby would pray each day for the protesters. 

 

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy, Illustrated by Elizabeth Braddeley. As a young girl, Ruth was encouraged to speak her mind. When Ruth met prejudices that stood in her way, she continued to reach for her goals. The book contains many rich vocabulary words, yet appeals to young readers through vivid illustrations.

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull, Illustrated by David Diaz. Wilma was born a small baby and was not expected to live beyond her first birthday. When she was five-years-old she came down with polio, which led to her left leg being paralyzed. Wilma was told she would not walk again. Yet, she learned to run and became a three-time Olympic gold medal winner. Highly regarded, Wilma used her platform to propel civil rights agendas.

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Inspiring Picture Books for Saint Patrick's Day

A few years ago I had the privilege of working at an all-girls Catholic school in Manhattan as a reading specialist. The teachers treated St. Patrick's Day with almost the same enthusiasm as Christmas. They would go all out planning late the night before to prepare the classrooms. In the morning you could hear screams down the hallway from the girls when they entered the room to find it covered in gold and glitter the leprechauns left behind. Those teachers are saints (no pun intended) for doing so much work to create a little magic for their students. If you are looking for a few ways to celebrate the holiday with your kids, check out the following picture books to inspire fun activities and writing.

How to Trap A Leprechaun by Sue Fliess - A group of friends sets out to catch a leprechaun so that they might have their wishes granted. The book is funny and colorful and will have kids laughing, crafting and plotting to catch a leprechaun this year. This book could also act as a fun writing prompt for kids who want to write about their wishes. 

Fiona's Luck by Teresa Bateman -  Fiona tricks the Leprechaun King who has put a spell on Ireland by taking their luck and hiding it away. This book is a story of perseverance and determination and can appeal to a wide range of ages. Great for a character study!

O'Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott - Kate brings peace to her village after someone has stolen the witch's horse. The book is a funny and adventurous tale that highlights the Irish tradition of storytelling. 

Fiona's Lace by Patricia Polacco - You can never go wrong with Patricia Polacco. Fiona's Lace tells the story of an immigrant girl who has a talent for creating beautiful lace. As the girl struggles to adapt to America the lace unites the family. This book will spark timely and significant conversations. 

Brave Margaret: An Irish Adventure by Robert D. San Souci - A classic fairy tale with a female heroine makes for a well-crafted and exciting plot line. Margaret battles the storms and sea serpents, and in the end she saves her knight. 

If you find yourself taken by the idea of Ireland and daydreaming of a family vacation, check out Miroslav Sasek's traveling collection, This is Ireland. You will love both the illustrations and the fascinating facts about the country. 

Fun Fact: Did you know that Ireland elected its first female president in 1990? 

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