Readers 4 and up

Author Focus: Grace Lin

Today marks the beginning of the Spring Festival in China, better known as Chinese New Year. I thought that made it the perfect day to talk about one of our family’s favorite authors, Grace Lin.

Grace Lin is an author-illustrator of numerous picture books, easy readers and novels for young readers. While her books are fiction, most of her stories are inspired by real life.

As a multi-racial family (two of our kids were born in China), I love the connection Grace’s books give them to their country of origin. We have used her picture books to help us learn about and celebrate different Chinese holidays, like Chinese New Year and the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival. Her Pacy-Lin novels give my kids a relatable character that looks like them. Her Chinese folklore novels (including one of my very favorites, Newbery Honor book Where the Mountain Meets the Moon) give my kids a glimpse into the world of Chinese fairy tales as well as takes them on an epic adventure.

The Jesus Storybook Bible

I love to share new books and stories with my kids. I love to see them engrossed in a good book, but the story I really want them to grab on to and hide in their hearts is this one: “the story of how God loves his children and came to rescue them.” This story written down for us in the Bible, is "the story of all stories." It is life-changing and it is life-giving.  A great way to introduce them to this story, to help them understand what the Bible is all about, is to read them The Jesus Storybook Bible

Kids, E-Readers and Kindle Deals

I’m a mixed bag when it comes to e-readers. I am the owner of a Kindle and while I like it and use it, it is not my method of choice when it comes to books and reading. 

I am also a mixed bag when it comes to e-readers and kids. My son will use his Kindle Fire periodically for reading. I'm not crazy about reading from a lit-up screen (my Kindle is of the paper white variety), but if he's actually reading, I can support it. 

For those of you who do use a Kindle, reader, or tablet of some kind, another plus (albeit a dangerous plus for your wallet) are the great deals you can find on e-books, which brings me to today's list! There are some great children's e-book deals available this month on Amazon. (If you don't have an actual Kindle, you can still read Kindle books. Just download the free Kindle app on your phone or tablet to do so.) 

Here are some of my favorites:

Guest Post: 10 Books Every Child Should Read Before Leaving Elementary School

My sister recently asked me if I had to pick 10 books every child should read before they leave elementary school, what would they be. While I have a few ideas, I immediately thought the ideal person to answer this question would be a school librarian. So I asked ours. The list he gave me is fantastic and I am excited to share it with you.

Boxed Sets (aka Series) of Books your Kids Should Read (and own)

I love it when a book captures my kids’ imagination and they don’t want to put it down. I love it even more, when that book is part of a series. It makes the answer to the inevitable question “What should I read next?” so much easier to answer. A great series of books is a wonderful thing. And, since it's the holiday season and I have gift-giving on the brain, if there is a set of books your child already loves, or one you want to introduce them to, a boxed set might be the perfect gift. 

Books are my love language and I will freely admit I purchase them too freely. In my defense, favorite books are like old friends; I want to keep them around. If, however, you need a better reason for investing in a boxed set of good stories, here are a few: 

A Book List for the Newest of New Readers

One of the most exciting milestones is listening to your child read a book out loud to you for the first time. Finding the right books at this age (books that make them feel like they can do this reading thing) can be an important way to encourage a love of reading in your child. 

To put together such a list, I contacted a few experts...

Reading Inspires Imagination and Play

I don’t know if my parents bought our copy of A Baby Sister for Frances because I too was about to become a big sister, or if it’s path to our house was more random. I do remember reading it over and over. I also remember how it inspired me to make the momentous decision to run away, just like Frances.