Another month begins and hopefully spring weather has found you where you live. April is traditionally a month of rainy weather, which then leads into May, a month of flowers hence the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” It is a time when the earth seems to come back to life or become re-born and is the month of Easter (this year at least) as well as Earth Day and Arbor Day. It is also another month where reading is brought to the forefront. Not only is it a month-long celebration of D.E.A.R (Drop Everything And Read), but it is also Poetry and School Library Month. Research shows that there is a direct positive correlation between schools that have a library and certified librarians and student achievement. School libraries are the central point in a school for reading, cultural activities, access to information, knowledge building, open discussions with collaboration and deeper thinking. It is a shame to realize that not all states require schools to fund libraries so celebrate if your school has a funded library with a certified librarian. This month we also recognize the importance of nature and the need to be good stewards with Earth Day and Arbor Day. Combat “Nature Deficit Disorder” by taking a walk in the woods and experiencing the wonders of nature.
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Experience and share the positive impact of nature and books this month!
2nd: International Children’s Book Day - Celebrated to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's books from all around the world. For some wonderful international books, check out Kane Miller's titles. Kane Miller is a division of Usborne Books & More.
Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday - Once again we can celebrate the lessons presented in fairy tales. Consider reading one of his popular tales such as The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Princess and the Pea, The Snow Queen and The Ugly Duckling.
3rd: Author Sandra Boynton’s Birthday - Boynton’s books are a must for the infant and toddler set. They are humorous, simple rhyming books with whimsical illustrations that children and adults alike find amusing. Many are board books along with several CD illustrated songbooks. A few of our favorites are Hippos Go Berserk!, But Not the Hippopotamus, Frog Trouble…and Eleven Other Pretty Serious Songs and Happy Hippo, Angry Duck.
12th: Author Beverly Cleary’s Birthday & D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything and Read) - A month long celebration of reading honoring Beverly Cleary’s birthday since Cleary first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby. It is to remind people that reading is important and to take time to just drop everything and read! Have some D.E.A.R. moments with your family not only this month, but every month, all year long.
22nd: Earth Day - Celebrated in more than 192 countries, help your child to learn their role as a steward of the earth. Titles to consider are Earth Day: An Alphabet Book by Gary Kowalski and Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter Series book It’s Earth Day! Search your local library and bookstore for additional titles that celebrate the wonders of our planet and take a look at our previous blog Let's Celebrate Earth Day & Arbor Day!.
23rd: Playwright William Shakespeare’s Birthday – Don’t wait until your child is in high school to introduce the beautiful turns of phrase and poetic descriptions of the world famous works of William Shakespeare. Look for biographies of the famous bard as well as the wide range of books containing his plays available for many different age groups, including illustrated stories and graphic novels. Ask your librarian or local book seller to help you choose the right one for your child.
“April, dressed in all its trim, hath put a spirit of youth in everything”
24th: Library of Congress Established in 1800 - Celebrate the largest library in the world by getting to know your local library. Great books to read before visiting the library include The Library by Sarah Stewart, Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, But Excuse Me That is My Book by Lauren Child, The Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy, That Book Woman by Heather Henson and "No Pirates Allowed!" said Library Lou by Rhonda Gowler Greene.
For additional library related and bookish titles take a look at our Stories about Books & Reading list.
Also remember that the:
Fourth Thursday is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day - Share your life with your child and give them real world experiences along with ideas and dreams for their future. Wonderful books to read include Iggy Peck, Architect, Rosie Revere, Engineer and Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty as well as When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic.
Last Friday is Arbor Day - Celebrate by reading under or even to a tree! Titles to consider
include: As An Oak Tree Grows by Brian Karas, Mr. Tamarin’s Trees by Kathryn F. Ernst and The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins. Don’t forget to plant a tree as well!
For more information about Arbor Day and ways to celebrate, visit the Arbor Day Foundation’s website.
Take the time each month to enjoy the simple moments of life that will become your child’s memories. Be sure to include snuggle time with books for not only do they become warm memories as well but will build the background knowledge that is essential to reading and life!
-Kate @ BTBL
We are three generations that seek a way to get back to basics. It’s not that we eschew technology, but sometimes simpler is better, especially in raising our children. Mom was a reading teacher, Amanda is an early childhood educator and Kate a children’s literature specialist and former school librarian along with the latest editions, a daughter for Kate (now 3) and a son for Amanda (now 1.) We advocate reading aloud, the simple toys that use imagination and encourage creativity and learning in the kitchen, which can be a fun mess but also teaches life skills. Join us in raising healthy, happy, inquisitive and intelligent children.
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We are mom Sandra and daughters Amanda and Kate, all with backgrounds in literacy and education, who want to share our philosophy of taking the basics of life; books, simple toys that encourage play, imagination and creativity, and using cooking and baking to teach math and real life skills to raise happy, inquisitive children. Join us in exploring the old and the new and sifting through the myriad of research to consider what is best for our children.