Summer Reading Resources for Kids…

As an elementary school librarian, I always spent the end of the school year encouraging students to read over the summer. This time of year can be magical for reading, with more free time and the opportunity to hopefully curl up with a book outside.

But it can also be challenging for kids to maintain an active reading life. Without their teachers and classmates, kids might have a harder time figuring out what to read next and without classroom and school libraries they may have less access to books.  That freedom also means less structure, without built in time to read every day at school.

You can support your child as a reader this summer by connecting them with books they enjoy as well as by making reading part of your family’s routine.

 

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Your local public library is a great resource for this. Visit the library as a family each week to check out books and find out what summer reading programs your little ones can participate in. In addition to fun activities for kids to take part in over the summer, many public libraries also create reading challenges to inspire kids to read during vacation.

Often libraries have summer reading lists available for kids. These are great tools for moments when kids are stuck for an idea of what book to read next. You can also stop by your local bookstore and stock up on books for the whole family to read over the summer.

15 Summer Themed Books for Kids:

1. Baby Loves Summer!

by Karen Katz

“Little ones will love lifting the flaps in this new Karen Katz book to reveal a big yellow sun, flip-flops, an ice cream cone, and everything else that Baby loves about summer! The sturdy format and easy-to-lift flaps make this a perfect summertime treat for parents and children to share.”

 

2. Hush, Little Beachcomber

Written by Dianne Moritz, Illustrated by Kelly McGee

“Hey, Little Beachcomber, what do you say? Let’s take trip to the beach today! Cold root beer athe pier, seagulls, wuick dips, beach-sand pies..Hush, little beachcomber, and don’t say a word..Just enjoy the day!”

 

3. Jabari Jumps

by Gaia Cornwall

“Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board. In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can’t help but root for.”

 

4. Saffron Ice Cream

by Rashin

“Rashin is excited about her first visit to the beach in her family’s new home. On the way there, she remembers what beach trips were like in Iran, the beautiful Caspian Sea, the Persian music, and most of all, the saffron ice cream she shared with her best friend, Azadeh. But there are wonderful things in this new place as well — a subway train, exciting music… and maybe even a new friend!”

 5. The Honeybee

by Kirsten Hall and Isabelle Arsenault

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“Buzz from flower to flower with a sweet honeybee in this timely, clever, and breathtakingly gorgeous picture book from critically acclaimed author Kirsten Hall and award-winning illustrator Isabelle Arsenault.”

 

6. Backyard Campout

The backyard campout is tonight. Jada and Jamal Perkins have never slept in a tent before. Neither have their best friends, Carlita Garcia and Josh Cornell. Camping is going to be so much fun. Or is it? It’s really dark in the backyard. And what’s that noise? It’s coming from the bushes.  

7. Like Bug Juice on A Burger

“In this sequel to Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, Eleanor is off to summer camp. At first she’s excited, but when she gets there she finds bugs, no electricity, and terrible food. And worst of all: swim class, where she just can’t seem to keep up with the other campers. But as the days go by, Eleanor realizes that life is full of special surprises—even after some belly flops.”

 

8. Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters

by Lenore Look

“Alvin, an Asian American second grader who’s afraid of everything, is back, and his worst fear has come true: he has to go camping. What will he do exposed in the wilderness with bears and darkness and . . . pit toilets? Luckily, he’s got his night-vision goggles and water purifying tablets and super-duper heavy-duty flashlight to keep him safe. And he’s got his dad, too.”

 

 

9. The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden

by Karina Yan Glaser

“While Isa is off at sleepaway orchestra camp, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney are stuck at home in the brownstone with nothing to do but get on one another’s nerves. But when catastrophe strikes their beloved upstairs neighbor, their sleepy summer transforms in an instant as the Vanderbeeker children band together to do what they do best: make a plan. They will create the most magical healing garden in all of Harlem.”

 

10. The Parker Inheritance

by Varian Johnson

“When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.

So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again?”

 

11.Where the Heart Is

by Jo Knowles

“It’s the first day of summer and Rachel’s thirteenth birthday. She can’t wait to head to the lake with her best friend, Micah. But as summer unfolds, every day seems to get more complicated. Her “fun” new job taking care of the neighbors’ farm animals quickly becomes a challenge, whether she’s being pecked by chickens or having to dodge a charging pig at feeding time. At home, her parents are more worried about money than usual, and their arguments over bills intensify. Fortunately, Rachel can count on Micah to help her cope with all the stress. But Micah seems to want their relationship to go beyond friendship, and though Rachel almost wishes for that, too, she can’t force herself to feel “that way” about him. In fact, she isn’t sure she can feel that way about any boy — or what that means. With all the heart of her award-winning novel See You At Harry’s, Jo Knowles brings us the story of a girl who must discover where her heart is and what that means for her future.”

**Jo Knowles will be a guest on an episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast in September!**

12. The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island

by Dana Alison Levy


The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island (Family Fletcher Series) by [Levy, Dana Alison]

“The Fletchers are back on Rock Island, home of all their best summer memories. But from the first day they arrive, it’s clear that this year, things have changed. FIRST, a giant fence is blocking their beloved lighthouse. SECOND, they have new neighbors. THIRD, who the heck is the weird artist guy who’s never actually painting? And FOURTH, there’s now an ice cream truck! Can the island stay the same even with these crazy transformations? “

 

13.  The Lotterys Plus One

by Emma Donoghue

“Meet the Lotterys: a unique and diverse family featuring four parents, seven kids and five pets – all living happily together in their big old house, Camelottery.Nine-year-old Sumac is the organizer of the family and is looking forward to a long summer of fun.

But when their grumpy and intolerant grandad comes to stay, everything is turned upside down. How will Sumac and her family manage with another person to add to their hectic lives?”

14. Junior Ranger Activity Book

by National Geographic Kids

“Calling all explorers and nature-lovers! From Acadia to Zion, discover all 59 of the United States’ amazing National Parks in this jam-packed book of games, trivia, jokes, fun facts, and so much more, all inspired by the National Parks outdoor-based Junior Ranger Program. Great for generating pre-trip excitement, long car rides, poking around historical sites, or general learning, these fun and sometimes silly activities will entertain while they draw kids into the majestic and historic importance of America’s national parks. Check out the most amazing park habitats, plus awesome sights and animals you might see, from birds to bears. Fun facts are jam-packed onto every page, so kids learn something amazing about each cool park.”

 

15. Smithsonian Maker Lab Outdoors

by DK

“Twenty-five science projects and experiments to be done outside will spark kids’ creativity and help them develop science skills through hands-on learning.

Projects focus on Earth and the environment, plants and animals, weather, water, and physics, bringing science learning home and into the backyard. Young scientists can build a wormery and learn about compost, crack rocks with water and learn about freezing and thawing, build and launch a water rocket to see Newton’s laws in action, and more.”

In addition to connecting the kids in your life with great reads, you can look for other ways to bring books into your summer routine.

Your family could visit a local bookstore,  listen to audiobooks in the car together, attend an author event, or read together outside.

Bring bookishness into any summer travels as well. Check to see if your destination has a local bookstore or public library your family can visit.  Don’t forget to check the events offered as well!

 

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Finding books you love to read during the summer is important as well. Modeling an active reading life for your children is so valuable and of course means enjoyable reading time for you!

Stay tuned for summer reading recommendations for adults in next week’s post.

And of course, if you are looking for book ideas for you and your family, subscribe to A Bookish Home and follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

What I’ve Been Reading…

Lately I’ve had the best of bookish problems. My nightstand and living room are overflowing with books I can’t wait to read.

Library holds that I’ve been pining for for ages are coming in all at once and I’m also reading so many wonderful books for upcoming podcast episodes.

Here are a few kidlit and adult books I’ve really enjoyed lately…

 

The Great Believers

by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers

I was fortunate enough to hear Rebecca Makkai speak at a writer’s conference called Muse and the Marketplace, here in Boston. I love when writers talk about the journey from there to here and talked about carving out time on weekends to write her first novel at Starbucks. She’d have to pump for days in advance to make that time happen and also remind herself that this wasn’t a silly hobby. Fast forward a few years and this completely absorbing, heartbreaking book about the AIDS epidemic in Chicago is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist. This is truly one of the best books of adult fiction I’ve read in a long time and it’s one that I’ll be thinking about for years to come.

“In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.”

 

 

The Artful Year: Celebrating the Seasons & Holidays With Crafts & Recipes

by Jean Van’t Hul

I love this book of arts and craft ideas from the creator of the blog, The Artful Parent. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, this book will have you breaking out the art supplies with your little ones in no time. The photography is also beautiful and I love that the ideas are divided into seasons.

“Celebrating the seasons and holidays is a wonderful opportunity to embrace creativity together as a family. It’s also a fun way to decorate, prepare for, and learn about the holidays we celebrate. In The Artful Year, you’ll find art activites, crafts, recipes, and more to help make each season special. By doing so, your family will create memories and mementos, you’ll develop creative growth in your children and yourself, and you’ll have lots of fun! The book includes.

 

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The Next Great Paulie Fink

by Ali Benjamin

I was a huge fan of Ali Benjamin’s first book, The Thing About Jellyfish so I was thrilled to see that she had a new one coming out. Ali captures that middle grade voice and the dynamics between kids so well in this quirky, thought-provoking read. I’m really looking forward to having Ali Benjamin on the podcast to discuss her creative process and writing journey.

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with author Ali Benjamin.

“When Caitlyn Breen begins her disorienting new life at the rural Mitchell School–where the students take care of real live goats and study long-dead philosophers, and where there are only ten other students in the entire seventh grade–it seems like nobody can stop talking about some kid named Paulie Fink.

Depending on whom you ask, Paulie was either a hilarious class clown, a relentless troublemaker, a hapless klutz, or an evil genius. One thing’s for sure, though: The kid was totally legendary. Now he’s disappeared, and Caitlyn finds herself leading a reality-show-style competition to find the school’s next great Paulie Fink. With each challenge, Caitlyn struggles to understand a person she never met…but it’s what she discovers about herself that most surprises her.

Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

Words by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Julie Morstad

From the first pages, the rich, vibrant illustrations in this picture book completely grabbed me. I looked up the illustrator and realized that it’s no wonder. Julie Morstad is also the artist behind several other books whose illustrations I adored– House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery, How To, Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova, and When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons. If you’re looking for a captivating read aloud about an inspiring woman in history, look no further.

A dazzling picture book biography of one of the world’s most influential designers, Elsa Schiaparelli.

By the 1930s Elsa Schiaparelli had captivated the fashion world in Paris, but before that, she was a little girl in Rome who didn’t feel pretty at all. Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli is the enchanting story for young readers of how a young girl used her imagination and emerged from plain to extraordinary.”

 

 

 

Nature All Around: Trees

by Pamela Hickman, illustrated by Carolyn Gavin

Cover image for Nature all around. Trees

I love this new children’s nonfiction title. I’m trying to be more outdoorsy with my toddler and we often go “say hello” to the different trees in our yard. This is the perfect book to read together and then try to identify nearby trees, learn about some different types, and explain some of the science behind the changes we witness from season to season.

“This comprehensive and beautifully illustrated introduction to trees and the important role they play is part of the essential Nature All Around series. The book first explores the parts of trees, their life cycles, the difference between deciduous and evergreen trees, leaf types and the processes of photosynthesis and respiration. Then it takes readers through a year in the life cycle of trees, describing what happens during each of the four seasons. Readers will discover the many ways trees are vital to the environment and how various animals can share one tree as a home.”

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle

This is a book that has really grown on me as a parent. At first, I didn’t see what the fuss was about, but watching how much my toddler adores it, I’ve come around. It’s the perfect book for little ones to gain some confidence “reading” aloud to you, with it’s simple sing-songsy text and bright, bold illustrations.

“A big happy frog, a plump purple cat, a handsome blue horse, and a soft yellow duck–all parade across the pages of this delightful book. Children will immediately respond to Eric Carle’s flat, boldly colored collages. Combined with Bill Martin’s singsong text, they create unforgettable images of these endearing animals.”

 

What have you been reading? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Have you subscribed to A Bookish Home yet? Sign up to receive an email every time there is a new post or podcast episode.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

 

Five Books to Read Aloud On Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up Sunday June 16, 2019. If you’re looking for a gifts for the dads in your life, why not give a dad-themed picture book?

This makes an especially sweet present from a child who can then snuggle up with dad and read.

You could also borrow some of these picture books from the library and read them leading up to Father’s Day.

Five Picture Books that Celebrate Fathers:

1. Dad By My Side

by Soosh

Author and illustrator, Soosh, portrays this father/daughter pair with so much love and affection as they play games, snuggle, have puppet shows, chase monsters, and more. I particularly love the pages where they “try new things” (sewing the daughter a dress) and keep in touch when the dad is away by singing lullabies on the phone. This is a book that has become a bedtime staple for our family and I bet the dads and kids in your life will enjoy it as well. To see more of Soosh’s illustrations and read about her inspiration for the book, check out, “Artist’s Tender Illustrations Show The Kind Of Father She Wishes She’d Had”.

“Whether they’re playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond…

These illustrations now come together in a universally relatable story of familial love for parents and children to share.”

2. Daddy Hugs

by Karen Katz

Karen Katz’s board books are always a hit in our house. This sweet counting book is perfect for Father’s Day or any night at bedtime.

“Daddy loves to give Baby hugs to say “I love you!”

Now Baby and Daddy can cuddle and count along with this hug-and-read book perfect for Baby’s teeny, tiny hands.

 

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3. My Dad Loves Me!

by Marianne Richmond

This sweet board book touches on all the way dads show their love and spend time together, from “My dad teaches me” to “My dad kisses me”. Adorable animal illustrations accompany each page (“My dad hangs out with me” with pictures of a monkey dad and baby). Perfect for babies and toddlers to share with their fathers.

My dad protects me.
My dad naps with me.
My dad teaches me.

Featuring adorable illustrations from Marianne Richmond, My Dad Loves Me! illustrates all the ways a dad shows his love to his children! Kids can relive their best times with Dad every day!”

4. My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Fathers

by Hope Anita Smith

This is a wonderful collection of poems that kids will enjoy cozying up with their dads and reading. The poems celebrate the many experiences of fathers and children with love and humor–from breakfast together, to writing letters to a daddy that is far away, to playing catch and reading together.

A picture book of poems that celebrate fathers from a two-time Coretta Scott King Honor–winning poet.

Who is your hero? Who’s your best friend?
Who says he loves you again and again?
Daddy!

Told through the voice of a child, Anita Hope Smith’s My Daddy Rules the World collection of poems celebrates everyday displays of fatherly love, from guitar lessons and wrestling matches to bedtime stories, haircuts in the kitchen, and cuddling in bed. These heartwarming poems, together with bold folk-art-inspired images, capture the strength and beauty of the relationship between father and child.

 

5. Because I’m Your Dad

by Ahmet Zappa

This is a sweet, funny story about a monster dad sharing the kind of father he plans to be–from making mud forts in the backyard, to going to all the soccer games (even the far away ones), missing school for travel adventures, and more.

“Because I’m your dad, you can have spaghetti for breakfast, French toast for dinner, and rocky road ice cream in the bathtub.

In a text that’s both playful and loving, a father expresses his hopes and dreams for a one-of-a-kind relationship with his child. Whimsical monster characters bring the silly and sweet scenes to life and keep the book universal. The book’s ending, a moving tribute to the author’s father, guarantees intergenerational appeal.

Because I’m your dad, I will do all of these things for you and more . . .
because that’s what my dad did for me.”

What are your favorite books to celebrate Father’s Day? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

 

Ten Bookish Gift Ideas for a Baby Shower

Today I’m sharing a favorite post from last year: literary gift ideas for the new babies in your life.

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Will you be attending a baby shower or buying a baby gift soon? This is a great time to help build baby’s library and make sure the nursery is well stocked for many bedtime read alouds to come!

If you’re the one planning a baby shower, I love when the invitation asks guests, “Instead of a card for baby and mother, please give a book with your thoughts in the cover”. Many of my daughter’s favorite books and read alouds were baby gifts from friends and family and it is so wonderful to open a book and see a loved one’s name inside.

Not sure what book to choose? Here are some ideas to get you started!

Ten Bookish Gift Ideas for a Baby Shower

1. A Fun, Silly Board Book by Sandra Boynton–she has many!

Board books are also a perfect, durable choice for easy sharing with a little bookworm that might love chewing on the pages.

 

2. One of Nancy Tillman’s Sweet Stories

These board books make loving, sentimental read alouds. On the Night You Were Born is our favorite.

 

3. A Delightful Bedtime Read Aloud

Meet Little Nutbrown Hare in the classic Guess How Much I Love You or discover beautifully illustrated dreamlands in Dream Animals. Both are perfect for reading over and over with a sleep little one!

 

4. A Board Book for Learning

Try a book that teaches–from where baby’s eyes and nose are (Where is Baby’s Belly Button) to baby’s First 100 Words, or well known nursery rhymes such as “Humpty Dumpty” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb” (Usborne Very First Nursery Rhymes).

 

5. Holiday Read Alouds

A great idea for building baby’s library is by gifting books for holidays. We received books for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Halloween and more at our baby shower and it has been so helpful to have those ready to share with our little one! Some of our favorites are Leslie Patricelli’s funny stories such a Boo!, Fa La La, and Huggy Kissy.

 

6. A Classic Picture Book

Help build baby’s library with one of these wonderful picture books to enjoy for years to come!

 

7. A More Recent Picture Book Favorite

Gift one of these stellar books to stock the nursery! Capture the imagination with The Dot or Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and inspire perseverance (Ada Twist Scientist) and gratitude (Last Stop on Market Street). You also can never go wrong with  a book from Mo Willems’ crowd pleasing, laugh out loud Elephant and Piggie and Pigeon series.

 

 

8. A Bookish Onesie from Out of Print

Pair your gift of a classic picture book with a coordinating bookish onesie!

 

 

 

9. A Storybook Gift Basket

You can create a gift basket with a children’s book and coordinating stuffed animal or other items. I’m a big Peter Rabbit fan and loved the coordinating blanket and baby dish set we received. Barnes and Noble has quite a few character stuffed animals including Peter Rabbit, Pigeon, and Madeline. Your local bookstore would be another good place to try.

 

10. A Subscription to Hello Magazine from Highlights

We received a Hello magazine subscription as a baby gift and it has been a hit! It’s fun to get mail each month and the magazine makes a great read aloud choice. My favorite part though is how perfectly constructed this is for babies and toddlers– it’s the perfect size for little hands (and to throw in the diaper bag), the pages can be chewed on and tugged without ever getting damaged and you can wipe it down.

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Do you have a favorite bookish gift idea for a baby shower? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.

Don’t forget to subscribe to A Bookish Home to receive your weekly email with a new post sharing ideas for building a culture of reading in your home.

 

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Ep. 31: Susan Tan, Author of the Cilla Lee-Jenkins Series

This week I’m excited to share an interview with Susan Tan, author of a middle-grade series I completely adore–Cilla Lee-Jenkins. The third installment is called Cilla Lee-Jenkins: The Epic Story. Cilla is on her own heroine’s quest this year as she braces for middle school, navigates changes in her family, and continues to grow as a writer and reader.

 

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire 

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book Is A Classic

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: The Epic Story

Anne of Green Gables

Ramona series

Little Women

Ms. Marvel

This One Summer

Jasmine Toguchi series

To learn more about Susan Tan you can visit her website Susantanbooks.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @SusanMTan and on Instagram @Susansmtan.

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

10 Author Events Coming to the Boston Area in June

Are you in the Boston area and looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

These are just some of the fabulous authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area next month. Some of these events require tickets so be sure to book your spot soon!

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list and get to the top of the library holds list. And be sure to check the events calendars for your local libraries and bookstores.

Chris Van Dusen

“Every porcine wonder was once a piglet! Celebrate the joy of a new arrival with this endearing picture-book prequel to the New York Times best-selling Mercy Watson series.

Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something different would happen. And one day it does, when someone unpredictable finds her way to their front door. In a delightful origin story for the star of the Mercy Watson series, a tiny piglet brings love (and chaos) to Deckawoo Drive — and the Watsons’ lives will never be the same.”

For more information visit the event website.

Rajani LaRocca

Midsummer’s Mayhem

“Please join us on Sunday, June 2 at 3pm, when Rajani LaRocca launches her middle grade novel, Midsummer’s Mayhem!

Rajani LaRocca was born in Bangalore, India, and immigrated to the US with her parents when she was a baby. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from Harvard with both a BA and an MD, and has worked as a primary care physician since 2001. She lives in Concord with her family.”

 

“An Unlikely Story is hosting a launch party like no other, with not one but TWO beloved authors! Jenna Blum will launch the paperback of The Lost Family in conversations with New York Times bestselling author Jane Green, who will be introducing her latest novel, The Friends We Keep. Please join us to celebrate—and bring your book clubs! Appetizers and cocktails from both books will be served.

Ticketing information to come!”

For more information and tickets visit the event website.

Sarah Dessen

“Legendary YA author Sarah Dessen will be here to discuss and sign her new book, THE REST OF OUR STORY, a big-hearted, sweeping novel about a girl who reconnects with a part of her family she hasn’t known since she was a little girl – and falls in love, all over the course of a magical summer. 

Ticketing information will be announced soon!”

For more information and for tickets visit the event website.

Jennifer Weiner

“From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.”

For more information and for tickets visit the event website.

Scott Magoon

Linus the Little Yellow Pencil

“Scott Magoon will be visiting to read, draw and present his new picture book LINUS THE LITTLE YELLOW PENCIL.

Linus and his eraser, Ernie, don’t always see eye to eye. But with the family art show drawing near, these two will have to sharpen their collaboration to make something neither one could do on their own!

This ode to art by the illustrator of Spoon and Chopsticks points out the power of sharing the creative process and sticking with it.”

For more information visit the event website.

Meg Medina

“Listening to a good author speak is like riding a bike—you never forget! An Unlikely Story welcomes middle-grade author Meg Medina to talk about her 2019 Newbery award-winning book, MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS. In the book, sixth-grader Merci is trying to balance feeling alone at her private school and feeling confused at home about the strange changes in her grandfather’s behavior. At the event, Meg will talk about her thoughtful coming-of-age novel, answer audience questions, and sign books.”

For more information and to register visit the event website. 

Author Dinner Party with Whitney Scharer, Marjan Kamali, and Grace Talusan

Age of Light, The Stationary Shop, and The Body Papers

 

“We invite you to join The Silver Unicorn Bookstore and three local authors for a unique celebration of food and fiction at Orange Door Kitchen. Novelists Marjan Kamali, Grace Talusan and Whitney Scharer will sit down with guests for a delicious meal inspired by their recently published works and then linger over coffee for book signing and more conversation.

MENU:

ONE // The Body Papers // Lumpia Shanghai (Filipino egg roll) with sweet and sour dipping sauce

TWO // Age of Light // Moules Mariniere with smoked paprika, tomato and feta

THREE // The Stationary Shop // Persian Spiced Chicken with jeweled rice

FOUR // Rose Cardamom Avocado Ice Cream with cinnamon pastry

Tickets include a copy of the novel of your choice plus non-alcoholic beverages and a four-course meal prepared by Orange Door Kitchen. All three novels and alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.

Stay tuned for a summer reading preview episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with Paul Swydan, owner of Silver Unicorn Books in Acton, MA.

 

 

What I’ve Been Reading…

The weather has been warming up in the Boston area which means it’s finally time to enjoy lots of reading time out on my porch. It’s my favorite spot to cozy up with a book–add an iced coffee and you’ve got the best way to spend nap time.

Here are a few of the books I’ve been enjoying lately…

 

I’m Fine And Neither Are You

by Camille Pagán

I have to thank Laura Vanderkam (author of Juliet’s School of Possibilities) for this recommendation. I know a book is good when this nervous flyer is completely absorbed at the airport and all through the flight. Fans of What Alice Forgot will enjoy reading about Jenny’s journey as she tries to make some big changes in her life and marriage.

“Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.

Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.

What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?”

 

 

Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites

by Mary Giuliani

Sometimes you’re just in the mood to sink into a good memoir. If you’re lucky, you have one on hand that’s equal doses funny and inspiring. (Bonus points if food is involved). That’s certainly the case with Tiny Hot Dogs  and I’m really looking forward to getting to chat with Mary Giuliani soon for an episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast.

“From awkward schoolgirl to Caterer to the Stars, Mary Giuliani weaves together a collection of hilarious memories, from professional growing pains to her long journey to motherhood, never losing her sense of humor and her love for everyone’s favorite party food, pigs in a blanket.

Mary’s utterly unremarkable childhood was everything she didn’t want: hailing from a deeply loving yet overprotective Italian family in an all-Jewish enclave on Long Island. All she wanted was to fit in (be Jewish) and become famous (specifically a cast member on Saturday Night Live). With an easy, natural storytelling sensibility, Mary shares her journey from a cosseted childhood home to the stage and finally to the party, accidentally landing what she now refers to as “the breakthrough role of a lifetime” catering to a glittery list of stars she once hoped to be part of herself.

Fresh, personal, and full of Mary’s humorous, self-deprecating, and can-do attitude against all odds, you’ll want to see where each shiny silver tray of hors d’oeuvres takes her next. You never know when the humble hot dog will be a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success, in building a business or simply making life more delicious.”

 

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New Kid

by Jerry Craft

I’m always looking for great graphic novels to add to my TBR list. I know in my school library we could hardly shelve a graphic novel before it was eagerly picked up by another student. This school story will hook kids that don’t normally gravitate toward graphic novels as well, but who love engaging, funny realistic fiction. A thought-provoking book that would lead to great discussions in classrooms or book clubs–New Kid is also a must-read for parents and teachers. Stay tuned for an upcoming episode of A Bookish Home, the podcast with author Jerry Craft.

“Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?”

Poetree 

written by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds, illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani

In this perfect book for spring, a young girl shares her love of poetry with a tree. Poetree (love this title!) would make a wonderful classroom read aloud during a poetry unit or a sweet bedtime story to share with your little one. The soft pastel illustrations will make you want to slow down and savor this one.

“A girl writes a poem to a tree, but then is surprised when the tree writes back in this wondrous and warm picture book about friendship, nature, and the power of poetry.

The snow has melted, the buttercups are blooming, and Sylvia celebrates winter’s end by writing a poem. She ties her poem to a birch tree, hoping that it doesn’t count as littering if it makes the world more beautiful. But when she returns, a new poem is waiting for her. Could the tree really be writing back? Sylvia decides to test her theory, and so begins a heartwarming poetic correspondence…as well as an unexpected new friendship.

Lyrical and sweetly satisfying, Poetree is about finding beauty in the world around you, and new friends in unlikely places.”

 

 

 

I Am Sam-I-Am

based on Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham

Do you have a young Dr. Seuss fan in your home? My toddler can’t get enough Seuss–we even had a Dr. Seuss themed party recently for her 2nd birthday. In particular, Green Eggs and Ham is a favorite. This board book (which tells the story from Sam perspective) was one of her gifts and it’s a hit. We’re hearing a lot of “More Sam-I-Am please!” around our house.

In this sweet, sturdy board book, Sam-I-Am shares the story of how he persuades his friend to try green eggs and ham. (What’s Sam’s secret? He never stops trying, of course!) Written in rhymed verse, this funny board book is an ideal introduction to the story for toddlers and preschoolers too young for the classic Beginner Book. Now everyone in the family–even pre-readers–can share in the fun and learn a valuable life lesson about trying new things!

Anne’s Alphabet and Anne’s Feelings Board Books

by Kelly Hill

I’m in love with this series and was excited to see two new additions! The embroidered illustrations are so beautiful and detailed and how can Anne of Green Gables fans not love pages like “P is for puffed sleeves” and “Anne is in the depths of despair”? Perfect for little kindred spirits–my toddler asks to read them over and over again.

I’m looking forward to having Kelly Hill on the podcast to chat about these lovely board books. Stay tuned for that episode.

 

What have you been reading? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on your favorite social media @ABookishHome.

Have you subscribed to A Bookish Home yet? Sign up to receive an email every time there is a new post or podcast episode.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

 

Build Excitement With Book Trailers

Looking to create some bookish enthusiasm in your home? Grab the popcorn and watch some book trailers!

Book trailers are similar to movie trailers. They offer a short snippet of the book’s plot and get you excited to read it for yourself. I loved using book trailers in my school library and I think they are great for elementary school age kids.

Because book trailers are usually very short, often less than a minute, you could watch 10 or 15 together to preview a range of books. You could look at them on your computer, pull them up with something like Apple TV and watch them on the big screen.

Have your kids sit with a notebook and pen so that they can write down the books they are interested in reading. That way, afterwards, you could request some of them from the local library or use the list to buy the books.

You can search for book trailers online. Here are 10 to get you started:

Picture Books:

1. The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Adam Rex

2. The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

3. A Different Pond by Bay Phi

4. A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

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Chapter Books/Middle Grade:

5. Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall

6. Notebook of Doom series by Troy Cummings

7. Front Desk by Kelly Yang

8. The School for Good and Evil by Woman Chainini

9. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

10. Last Kids on Earth series by Max Brallier

 

If you try showing book trailers to your kids, I’d love to hear about it! Leave me a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

10 Author Events Coming to the Boston Area in May

 

Are you in the Boston area and looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!

An Evening With Author Martha Hall Kelly

Lost Roses

Lost Roses

Pico Iyer

Image result for autumn light book

From one of our most astute observers of human nature, a far-reaching exploration of Japanese history and culture and a moving meditation on impermanence, mortality, and grief. Iyer leads us through the year following his father-in-law’s death, and as the maple leaves begin to redden and the heat begins to soften, Iyer offers us a singular view of Japan, in the season that reminds us to take nothing for granted.

For more information visit the event website.

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Lynda Mullaly Hunt

An Unlikely Story invites readers to a book party for the new release from Lynda Mullaly Hunt, author of the New York Times bestseller, FISH IN A TREE! In a celebration with the author herself, there will be activity booths and raffles, and Lynda will speak about her new book, SHOUTING AT THE RAIN. A soft and sweet story, SHOUTING AT THE RAIN tells of weather-loving Delsie’s adventures around Cape Cod with a new friend as she discovers the true meaning of family and friendship.

For more information and to order tickets visit the event website.

So You Want to Write a Children’s Book?

 

 

Join the Boston Authors Club and authors Nancy Tupper Ling, Padma Venkatraman, Susan Lynn Meyer and host Peter H. Reynolds for a lively and informative discussion on writing and publishing children’s literature of all genres! Located at The Blue Bunny Bookstore. Free and open to all!

For more information visit the event website.

 

Hayley Barrett

As the weather is warming up, our Saturday Morning Story Time is the perfect destination for a family morning walk! Hayley Barrett will be reading her debut picture book, Babymoon.

Inside the cozy house, a baby has arrived! The world is eager to meet the newcomer, but there will be time enough for that later. Right now, the family is on its babymoon: cocooning, connecting, learning, and muddling through each new concern.
While the term “babymoon” is often used to refer to a parents’ getaway before the birth of a child, it was originally coined by midwives to describe days like these: at home with a newborn, with the world held at bay and the wonder of a new family constellation unfolding. Paired with warm and winsome illustrations by Juana Martinez-Neal, Hayley Barrett’s lyrical ode to these tender first days will resonate with new families everywhere.

Hayley Barrett says that fond memories of her own days spent nesting and cocooning with her husband and each of their newborns inspired her to write Babymoon. She lives in eastern Massachusetts

For more information visit the event website.

Toni Buzzeo

From a very young age, Sue Hendrickson was meant to find things: lost coins, perfume bottles, even hidden treasure. Her endless curiosity eventually led to her career in diving and paleontology, where she would continue to find things big and small. In 1990, at a dig in South Dakota, Sue made her biggest discovery to date: Sue the T. rex, the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton ever unearthed. Named in Sue’s honor, Sue the T. rex would be placed on permanent exhibition at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. When Sue Found Sue inspires readers to take a closer look at the world around them and to never lose their brave, adventurous spirits. 

Toni Buzzeo is the author of the Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times bestseller One Cool Friend and many other books for children. She lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.

For more information visit the event website.

 

Jeffrey S. Cramer

Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson Cover ImagePlease join us on Sunday, May 19 at 3pm, when local author Jeffrey S. Cramer returns to the Bookshop with his new book, Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Jeffrey S. Cramer is the editor of Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, winner of a 2004 National Outdoor Book Award, and The Quotable Thoreau, recipient of an Umhoefer Prize for Achievement in Humanities. In 2017, Cramer was the historical consultant for the Ken Burns–produced documentary Walden, created for the Walden Pond State Reservation during the Thoreau Bicentennial. Cramer is the curator of collections at the Walden Woods Project’s Thoreau Institute Library. He lives in Maynard.

 

Celebrate Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, this week I’m sharing a post from last April:

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April is Poetry Month! Celebrate by reading poetry with the children in your life or by picking up an adult collection. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Children’s Collections:

For collections that celebrate poetry and reading, try Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poetry by Kwame Alexander and Book Speak!: Poems About Books by Laurie Purdie Salas:

 

 

 

 If you’re looking for a funny poetry book, try A Light in the Attic or anything else by Shel Silverstein, Laugh-eteria by Douglas Florian, and I’m Just No Good At Rhyming And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-ups by Chris Harris.

 

 

 

Travel the world, celebrate sports, and explore animal life in these collections: The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry Edited by J. Patrick Lewis, Amazing Places with poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Good Sports: Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More by Jack Prelutsky.

 

 

For fun, creative pairs of poems that can be read in reverse I recommend Mirror Mirror, Follow Follow, or Echo Echo, which are all by Marilyn Singer and are based on fairy tales and greek myths.

 

 

 

You could also celebrate Poetry Month by reading a novel in verse. These also make fantastic choices for listening to as audiobooks.

Novels In Verse:

From Kwame Alexander’s Crossover (Plus Booked and Rebound), to Sharon Creech’s Moo and Another Day As Emily there is great kids’ realistic fiction in verse! (Bonus for Poetry Month: Another Day As Emily’s Susie decides to try living like poet Emily Dickinson).

 

 

For a historical read in verse try Inside Out & Back Again by Thanha Lai or Jacqueline Woodson’s incredible memoir Brown Girl Dreaming.

 

 

 

 

For a beginning chapter book in verse read Gone Fishing (Also Gone Camping) or the sweet, funny series of books beginning with Like Pickle Juice On A Cookie by Julie Steinberg.

 

 

I also adore “A Child’s Garden of Poetry” which HBO created with the Poetry Foundation. You can watch video clips of some of the poems on The Poetry Foundation’s website. 

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Check out “Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson, read by Claire Danes and also shared with sign language. It’s one of my favorites.

 

Poetry for Adults

I usually spend so much time sharing children’s poetry during April, that I haven’t made enough time for adult poets! This year, I picked up two collections from my local public library, Yeats’s When You Are Old: Early, Poems, Plays, And Fairy Tales And Maya Angelou’s The Complete Poetry:

 

 

 

What books are you reading and sharing during Poetry Month? Leave me a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com