Read Alouds to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here! These books are perfect to share with your little valentine.

Pair one of these books with some sweet treats for a winning Valentine’s Day gift.

Picture Books:

Click, Clack, Moo I Love You!

by Doreen Cronin

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“It’s Valentine’s Day and on the farm – that means a Valentine’s party! Little Duck is wildly excited. She hangs balloons, streamers, sparkling lights, and hearts everywhere, and hand-makes a valentine for everyone. On top of a hill, a little fox hears the music from the party and follows Little Duck’s many decorations to the barn…but foxes are not at all welcome on farms. The chickens stop dancing. The sheep stop dancing. The pigs stop dancing. The mice hustle off to hide. Will Little Fox ruin the dance? Or, perhaps, she’s just what the party needs!”

Hedgehugs

by Steve Wilson

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“Horace and Hattie are hedgehogs, and the very best of friends. Together, they make daisy chains, splash in puddles, and have tea parties. But there is one thing they can’t do—hug! They are just too spiky. Throughout the seasons, these two hedgehogs will try many different ways of hugging. But will Horace and Hattie find a hug that feels just right?”

Here Comes the Valentine Cat

by Deborah Underwood

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“Cat does NOT like Valentine’s Day. It’s much too mushy, and no way is he making anyone a valentine—especially not his new neighbor, Dog. Dog refuses to respect the fence. He keeps tossing over old bones and hitting Cat in the head! But just as Cat’s about to send Dog an angry “valentine” telling him exactly what he can do with his bones, Dog throws a ball over the fence. What is Dog playing at?”

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

by Eileen Spinelli

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“One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. “Somebody loves you” the note says. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who, ” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?” After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!”

Love, Splat

by Rob Scotton

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“It’s Valentine’s Day and Splat has a special valentine for a certain someone in his class. Her name is Kitten, and Splat likes her even more than fish sticks and ice cream. But Kitten doesn’t seem to like him at all—she always ties his tail and pokes his belly when she sees him. And then there’s Splat’s rival, Spike, who also likes Kitten. Will Splat’s heartfelt valentine win Kitten’s paw in the end?”

Pinkalicious: Pink of Hearts

by Victoria Kann

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“Everyone in her class is assigned to make an extra-special Valentine’s Day card for one person in the class. Pinkalicious creates a magnificently pinkerrific card. Will the valentine that she gets in return measure up?”

 

Board Books:

Llama Llama I Love You

by Anna Dewdney

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“With short and simple rhyming text, the Llama Llama board books introduce Llama Llama to babies and toddlers before they’re ready for longer full-length stories. And their small size and durable pages are perfect for little hands.

In Llama Llama I Love You, little llama shows his friends and family how much he loves them with heart-shaped cards and lots of hugs. What could be sweeter than Llama Llama on Valentine’s Day?”

Babies Love Valentines

by Holly Berry-Byrd

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“With colorful artwork and especially sturdy lift-a-flaps, this chunky board book introduces classic Valentine’s Day traditions like giving cards and candies.
Simple sentences reinforce future language structure.
Grasping and lifting the flaps helps develop fine motor skills.”

 

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Huggy Kissy

by Leslie Patricelli

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“When you’re an adorable bald baby, your family finds lots of ways to show you how much they love you: Mommy lifts you uppy, Daddy kisses you on the tummy, and everyone wants to snuggle. What’s not to love? With comedy and warmth, Leslie Patricelli offers a universal tribute to love and affection in a board book full of instant appeal for little valentines everywhere.”

Happy Valentine’s Day Mouse!

by Laura Numeroff

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Join Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as he celebrates Valentine’s Day with all the friends he loves. This board book with sturdy pages is perfect for preschoolers, who will enjoy the simple introduction to the fun of Valentine’s Day.

Where Is Baby’s Valentine 

by Karen Katz

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“Baby made a valentine for Mommy. Where could it be?
Is it behind the lamp? No, those are pretty, sparkly flowers!
It’s a shiny, glittering delight as you lift the sturdy flaps to help Baby find her very special valentine.”

 

What are you favorite Valentine’s Day reads? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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Repost: Books and Podcasts for the New Year

Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed ringing in 2019 and that you’ll get some time today to curl up with a good book.

Today I’m sharing a post from last January with some of my favorite nonfiction reads to start the new year.

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Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 9.20.43 AMRead more…

 

 

This Thursday, I’ll be sharing an interview with Ann Braden on the podcast, author of the incredible middle grade novel, The Benefits of Being An Octopus

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Be sure to subscribe to the blog and podcast to get notifications whenever there is a new episode or post.

Have you set a reading resolution for 2019? I’d love to hear! Tag me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome. My goal for the year will be to read two books a week.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

Janie and Jack Sale on Now

 

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Repost: Books to Curl Up With This Winter

I hope you’re enjoying time with family and friends this holiday season!

Today I’m sharing a post from New Year’s Day 2018 on books to cozy up with this winter: 

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Read more…

I’ll be back next week with a new interview from Ann Braden, author of The Benefits of Being an Octopus. I can’t wait to share this one with you.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

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Take a Re-Reading Vacation

The rush and bustle of this time of year can leave us all a bit harried. There are parties to attend, shopping to finish, presents to wrap. Soon we’re rushing to catch flights to visit relatives or whipping the house into shape, preparing to host.

The pace is fast, and I know if I’m not careful, this bookish introvert will wind up curled into a ball in her fleece pajamas by New Year’s, totally depleted.

For the bibliophiles out there, maybe we can try at least slowing down when it comes to our reading lives. Not reading less, but retreating to a familiar, bookish happy place. Let’s take a re-reading vacation.

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I know for me, I sometimes feel guilty ignoring my library checkouts and long TBR list to re-read old favorites. Gretchen Rubin always says, something that can be done at any time, is often done at no time. I find that when it comes to re-reading.

So this holiday season, I’m pulling out the books I know by heart–the ones I’ve been yearning to revisit after reading three fabulous bookish titles this year: Jane Austen at HomeMarilla of Green Gables, and Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women And Why It Still Matters.

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“Few have failed to be charmed by the witty and independent spirit of Elizabeth Bennet in Austen’s beloved classic Pride and Prejudice. When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows us the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.”

 

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“L. M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan mistakenly sent to a pair of siblings who intended to adopt a boy to help work on their farm in Prince Edward Island. Yet Anne’s quirky personality and good-natured spirit causes the siblings to grow to love her anyway, and soon the entire town falls for the precocious little girl with bright red hair.”

 

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“It is no surprise that Little Women, the adored classic of four devoted sisters, was loosely based on Louisa May Alcott’s own life. In fact, Alcott drew from her own personality to create a heroine unlike any seen before: Jo, willful, headstrong, and undoubtedly the backbone of the March family. Follow the sisters from innocent adolescence to sage adulthood, with all the joy and sorrow of life in between, and fall in love with them and this endearing story. Praised by Madeleine Stern as “a book on the American home, and hence universal in its appeal,” Little Women has been an avidly read tale for generations.”

 

Turning to Pride and Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables and Little Women sounds just right for the next few weeks. It’s impossible for me not to feel cozy and at peace when I curl up with the Marches, visit Avonlea, or root for Elizabeth Bennett. For you, it might be turning to Harry Potter, The Hobbit, or Middlemarch that calms you down and fills your bookish heart with joy.

 

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I want to show up as my best self for my family and friends and enjoy the magic of the holidays. Fitting in little bits of rereading quiet time when my daughter naps or while I wait in line at a store, will hopefully recharge this introvert.

What will you be reading during this season? Leave a note in the comments or tag me on Instagram or Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

 ABookishHome.com

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Ep. 18: Lisa Gozashti, Owner and Manager of Brookline Booksmith

Have you stopped into your local independent bookstore this holiday season? Lisa Gozashti joins me this week to chat about one of my favorites: Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Massachusetts. Lisa gives us the inside scoop on bookstore life and recommends some of her favorite reads.

 

 

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

 

I hope you are able to stop in at Brookline Booksmith or your local indie to finish your holiday shopping!

 

Lisa’s Favorites:

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

There There by Tommy Orange

Immigrant Montana by Amitava Kumar

Nine Continents by Xiaolu Guo

Emissary by Yoko Tawada

Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck

Disoriental by Negar Djavadhi

Border by Kapka Kassabova

Happiness by Aminatta Forna

 

 

Brookline Booksmith’s Kids’ Department Favorites:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

The Track series by Jason Reynolds

The Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey 

Refugee by Alan Gratz 

Rescue and Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes illustrated by Scott Magoon

The Wild Robot series by Peter Brown 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus 

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima 

The Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland 

 

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.

 

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

 

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

What I’ve Been Reading…

Lately, I’ve been loving hibernating with a good read while the snow falls.

Luckily, there are books from my TBR list scattered all over the house, so I have quite the stockpile at the ready.

Here are some of the books I’ve been reading lately:

One Day in December

by Josie Silver 41wMPIhMMHL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_-2

This is the perfect book for fans of Love Actually and One Day to curl up with this holiday season. I spent a completely delightful afternoon on the couch devouring this one as I sipped hot chocolate. A lovely escape.

“Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away. 

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be. 

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.”

Jane Austen at Home: A Biography

by Lucy Worsley


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Have you read Pride and Prejudice over and over? Own a prized copy of Persuasion Jane Austen At Home is a must read. I love books about books and this one does not disappoint. Lucy Worsley’s writing is engaging and this book was full of surprising, inspiring details about Jane’s home life and writing career that make me adore Jane Austen even more.

“Take a trip back to Jane Austen’s world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen’s childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses–both grand and small–of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a ‘life without incident’.

Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but–in the end–a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy.”

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Girl, Wash Your Face

by Rachel Hollis

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If you’re looking for some tough love to start chasing down New Year’s resolutions, Girl Wash Your Face fits the bill. I recently started listening to Rachel Hollis’s Rise podcast and following her on social media. I found some of the chapters more helpful than others, but there are definitely useful insights and it’s an interesting peek behind the scenes at this online personality. To preview some of the book, you can listen to Hollis read chapters on several episodes of the podcast.

“As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.”
 

The Perfect Score

by Rob Buyea

Rob Buyea is the master of the middle grade school story. I can’t count the number of times his Because of Mr. Terupt books were devoured by eager readers in my elementary school library! I recently picked up The Perfect Score and Buyea is definitely at it again, capturing the daily life at school and the dynamics between children, teachers, and parents so well. Next up for me is the recently published sequel, The Perfect Secret.

“No one likes or wants to take the statewide assessment tests. Not the students in Mrs. Woods’s sixth-grade class. Not even Mrs. Woods. It’s not as if the kids don’t already have things to worry about. . . .
 
Under pressure to be the top gymnast her mother expects her to be, RANDI starts to wonder what her destiny truly holds. Football-crazy GAVIN has always struggled with reading and feels as dumb as his high school–dropout father. TREVOR acts tough and mean, but as much as he hates school, he hates being home even more. SCOTT’s got a big brain and an even bigger heart, especially when it comes to his grandfather, but his good intentions always backfire in spectacular ways. NATALIE, know-it-all and aspiring lawyer, loves to follow the rules—only this year, she’s about to break them all.
 
The whole school is in a frenzy with test time approaching—kids, teachers, the administration. Everyone is anxious. When one of the kids has a big idea for acing the tests, they’re all in. But things get ugly before they get better, and in the end, the real meaning of the perfect score surprises them all.”

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Crafty Llama

by Mike Kerr, Illustrated by Renata Liwska

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I’ve been loving reading this book to my toddler. Crafty Llama has such a sweet, cozy feel (perfect for this time of year) and I really like the message about the joy of “making”.

“Llama loves to make things. It doesn’t matter what, really–something special, something lovely. Beaver loves to make things, too. But he likes things to be useful. On this lovely day, Llama is inspired. She is having fun making things, like gifts for her friends. And soon many of her friends are inspired right along with her. But Beaver needs to think about what Llama and the other animals are making. What useful thing can he do with this day?”

The Elephant

by Jenni Desmond

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I am such a big fan of Jenni Desmond’s nonfiction picture books. The Blue Whaleis one of the most engaging books I’ve read aloud to kids and full of facts that I still remember several years later! The Elephant continues in that vein with a book brimming with surprising bits of knowledge (For example an elephant produces 300 pounds of dung a day and their tusks measure the length of 8 feet, or two seven-year-old children toe to toe.) The illustrations are useful to kids and beautiful. Highly recommend as a class read aloud to spark more research or discussion.

“In this, Jenni Desmond’s third nonfiction children’s book about one of the large, endangered animals of Earth, we join a young boy as he learns about The Elephant.
From Africa to Asia, the elephant makes its home. Light on their feet, despite their great weight, these magnificent creatures appear light and graceful because they’re always walking on their tip-toes. They have excellent hearing and can detect the rumblings of other elephants from six miles away.”

There’s still time to wrap up read alouds you already own for your little ones! A Christmas Wish and Fa La La Tra-la-la are two of our favorite books from the Bookish Advent Calendar I made for my little one. Check out that post for all the details.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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

Bookish Gifts for the Readers on Your Holiday Shopping List

Are you looking for gift ideas for the readers in your life?

Here are some literary presents for the book nerds on your holiday shopping list:

 

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Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards Socks

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Jane Austen Candle,  

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Library Card Mug

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“This Is How We Roll” Sweatshirt

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Persuasion Tote Bag

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“Read” Onesie

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Wonder Blanket

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“Book Nerd” Hat

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Vintage Library 1000 Piece Puzzle

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“When In Doubt, Go To The Library” Zippered Pouch

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What are your favorite bookish gift ideas this holiday season?

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

 

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Ten Bookish Charities to Support on Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday!

Here are ten organizations promoting reading and literacy that you can donate to this holiday season.

1. Book Trust

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Book Trust’s mission is to help elementary school children with little or no access to books fall in love with reading and become lifelong learners. In the 2017-2018 school year, Book Trust provided nearly 1 million books to 55,000 students (22,000 in CO) who chose, read, and loved them.

2. Pajama Program

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Pajama Program is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2001 that believes that every child, no matter their circumstances, has the inherent right to a loving good night, complete with the comforting bedtime ritual of changing into new pajamas and enjoying an enchanting story. Pajama Program offers children affected by instability the unconditional, magical gifts of new pajamas and new books so that they can enjoy the greatest benefit of a loving bedtime and peaceful good night: a fulfilling good day.

3. Books for Africa

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Books For Africa remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 42 million books to all 55 countries on the African continent since 1988.  In fiscal year 2018 alone, Books For Africa shipped 2.3 million books, and 123 computers and e-readers containing 283,000 digital books, to 29 African countries. More than $2.2 million was raised last year to ship these books to the students of Africa.

4. Save the Children

In their gift catalog, Save the Children offers options to provide a Book Bag to children in need or to fund a Community Book Bank.

5. First Book

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First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need. Since our founding in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 175 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families.

6. Children’s Literacy Foundation

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The Children’s Literacy Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire a love of reading and writing among children up to age 12 throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Since 1998, CLiF has served more than 180,000 low-income, at-risk, and rural children in 400 communities across every region of the Twin States.

7. Room To Read

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Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. 

8. Project Night Out

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Project Night Night donates over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children 12 and under who need our childhood essentials to have a concrete and predictable source of security and an increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during their time of upheaval. Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age- appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. By providing objects of reliable comfort, Project Night Night reduces trauma and advances the emotional and cognitive well-being of the children we serve.

9. Reach Out and Read

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Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

10. Book Aid International

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Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Every year, the charity sends around one million brand new books to people around the world who would otherwise have very few opportunities to access books and read.

I hope you’re able to find a bookish charity that you’d like to support this holiday season!

If you think your friends and family would be interested in any of these organizations, please spread the word.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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Create A Bookish Advent Calendar

I’m so excited to add a new bookish tradition to our family’s holiday celebration this year!

I made an advent calendar using Christmas books:

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I’m all about finding ways to bring my love of reading into our family life. I also am trying to avoid too much holiday busyness and choose what traditions I start carefully, so while I didn’t make time for a holiday card and will probably forget to move the Elf on the Shelf half the time, creating this was pure joy for my inner book nerd.

I’m beyond excited to share this with my daughter and celebrate the season with a different holiday read aloud each day. If you’re looking for a new tradition or a way to bring books into the holidays, here’s how I went about creating this advent calendar.

First, I searched my house for Christmas board books or picture books that we already own or have gotten as gifts. Once I figured out how many I had (fifteen), I requested others from the library. I decided not to buy new books for this project, but you certainly could if you want.

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I wrapped the books, marked them 1 to 25 with a sharpie, and will put them under our tree. My toddler and I will open one book together each day and have a special Christmas read aloud.

I made sure to put any library books first in the order so we can return them quickly! I chose to keep all my books Christmas themed, but you could wrap up any books in your house or incorporate general winter read alouds.

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I’m looking forward to snuggling up with my daughter and having a Christmas read aloud every day for the next few weeks. Adding in some cups of hot chocolate and cookies for a few of these story times also sounds festive.

Most of these books will only take a few minutes to read together, but I think this will be a great way to build anticipation and connect over a busy few weeks.

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We celebrate Christmas in our family, but you could  wrap up a book for each night of Hannukah and number them one through eight. If your family isn’t religious, another idea would be to choose a week’s worth of winter books sometime in December and wrap them up to create some special read aloud moments.

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Here are the 25 books in our Bookish Advent Calendar:

1. Fa La La 

by Leslie Patricelli

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“Baby is so excited about the upcoming Christmas season! There are things to decorate: a tree, a gingerbread house, a doggy! Celebrate the season with humor and joy as everyone s favorite baby puts a special spin on Christmas.”

2. Pick A Pine Tree

by Patricia Toht

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“Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree”.

3. A Christmas Wish: A Peter Rabbit Tale

Peter Rabbit Christmas Wish

“It’s Christmas Eve and Peter Rabbit is wide awake, listening out for Santa Claus. He hears all sorts of noises in the night, but none of them turn out to be Santa! Can Peter stay awake long enough to see Santa? Another addition to the adorable line of very young stories set in Peter Rabbit’s world. The simple tales deal with the early experiences and emotions of small children, as seen through the eyes of Beatrix Potter’s classic characters.”

4. Red & Lulu

by Matt Tavares

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“Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it’s just the season for miracles. . . . From Matt Tavares comes a heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love.”

5. Olivia Helps With Christmas

by Ian Falcon

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“Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure dad sets up the tree, wait for Santa, watch mom make the Christmas dinner, wait for Santa, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung and, of course, OPEN HER PRESENTS! Do you see how hard it is to be so helpful during the holidays? A lovingly-told and lavishly-illustrated Olivia Helps With Christmas is the perfect stuffing for any stocking, and a bright star atop the Olivia series.”

6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

by Dr. Seuss

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“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Not since “’Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old. “

7. Waltz of the Snowflakes

by Elly Mackay

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“It is a cold and rainy evening when Gran gives her granddaughter something special: tickets to the ballet. Her granddaughter is reluctant to go. The weather is terrible and they have to wear fancy, uncomfortable clothes. But as the curtains rise on The Nutcracker, the girl’s eyes light up as she’s introduced to the magic of the theater. The bright costumes, the intricate dances, the magical music, and a new friend all combine to captivate the girl and to bring color to an otherwise dreary evening. Waltz of the Snowflakes is Elly MacKay at her finest, mixing her acclaimed paper-cut artwork with vibrant colors in this whimsical, dreamlike, and inspiring wordless picture book. A must-have for any ballet- and theater-obsessed reader and the perfect gift to be shared during the holidays or any time of year when the world outside needs a little bit of color and vibrancy.”

8. The Polar Express

by Chris Van Allsburg

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“A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.”

9. A Very Merry Christmas Prayer

by Bonnie Rickner Jensen

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“Enjoy the wonder of Christmas with a thankful heart. These little woodland animals are full of joy over so many blessings, from twinkling lights and sparkling snowflakes to family fun and the gift of God’s love. Join the celebration with gratitude and make this your own very merry Christmas prayer!”

10. The Little Reindeer 

by Nicola Killen

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When a jingling sound wakes her from her sleep, a little girl’s dreams come true when she meets a lost reindeer in the forest. They set off on a magical adventure and it becomes a Christmas never to forget

11. The ABCs of Christmas 

by Jill Howarth

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“LEARN the ALPHABET and DECK the HALLS! Spread the joy of Christmas with this sparkly board book that features clever word associations and delightfully festive illustrations.”

12. Too Many Tamales 

by Gary Soto

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Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria’s favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. It was almost too good to be true when her mother left the kitchen for a moment and Maria got to try on her beautiful diamond ring . . . This is the story of a treasure thought to be lost in a batch of tamales; of a desperate adn funny attempt by Maria and her cousins to eat their way out of trouble; and the warm way a family pulls together to make it a perfect Christmas after all.

13. A Christmas for Bear

by Bonny Becker

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Celebrating Christmas for the first time, Bear and his friend Mouse have a party, but whenever Bear comes back from the kitchen with more treats Mouse has vanished in search of a present.

14. Santa’s Sleigh Is On Its Way To… series

by Eric James

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“It’s Christmas Eve and Santa’s sleigh is already on its way to your home-town. It promises to be the best Christmas ever; But things don’t go according to plan! Is Santa okay? And what was that very important task you meant to do before you went to bed?

The story is available in over 120 different locations within the UK, US and Canada (generic version also available) with bespoke artwork and locations unique to your chosen location.”

15. The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas

by Laura Murray

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“Everyone in class is busy practicing songs and making goodies for their trip to town to thank community helpers, and the Gingerbread Man has made a gift for someone extra sweet. But before he can deliver his gift, whipping wind and swirling snow come to town, too. Slushy sidewalks are no place for a cookie, but this Gingerbread Man won’t let a little bad weather stop him!”

16. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Lift the Tab Board Book

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Pictures of Rudolph, Santa, Sam the Snowman and other characters from the original stop motion animation appear on the pages of this Lift-the-Flap Tab Book, which has tabbed edges and fun flaps to lift on every page.

17. Christmas for Greta and Gracie

by Yasmeen Ismail

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Greta and Gracie are sisters – Greta is chatty while Gracie is quiet and it’s all fine until, one day, everything changes. It’s nearly Christmas and together the sisters decorate the tree, shop for presents and even try a spot of ice-skating! But Greta, of course, always knows best – poor Gracie can’t get a word in edgeways. Then on Christmas Eve, while Greta is quietly sleeping, Gracie hears a funny noise …whatever could it be? She creeps downstairs to investigate, and the next morning her very special revelation leaves chitty chatty Greta lost for words!

18. The Nutcracker in Harlem

by T.E. McMorrow

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“In Harlem in the 1920s, in the middle of a family Christmas party, Marie receives a nutcracker from her Uncle Cab, which leads to a marvelous dream in this resetting of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s familiar tale. Includes historical notes.”

19. Duck & Goose: It’s Time for Christmas

by Tad Hills

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Goose is more interested in skating, sledding, and making snow angels than in helping Duck decorate their big Christmas tree.

20. Ninja Claus

by Arree Chung

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It’s nearly Christmas, and Maxwell only has one thing on his mind–catching a glimpse of Santa Claus. No sweat for an experienced ninja like himself!On Christmas Eve, Maxwell rigs a super-special ninja trap and lies in wait. But when the trap is sprung, is it Santa who’s been captured? And might Santa have some super-special ninja tricks of his own?

21. A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World

by M. E. Furman

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A World of Cookies for Santa takes readers across the globe to see all the treats that await Santa on Christmas Eve. M. E. Furman provides recipes for children to bake some of Santa’s cookies for themselves.

22. The Night Before Christmas

by Clement C. Moore

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“Capture the thrill of a traditional Christmas with Clement C. Moore’s treasured seasonal rhyme. Brought to life with the warm and playful artwork of Henry Fisher, this magical story is full of character and humour, and will delight children new to the story as well as parents who know it from their own childhood.”

23. Merry Christmas, Little One!

by Sandra Magsamen

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Little ones will love this gently refreshed backlist classic Christmas lift-the-flap board book from the bestselling baby and toddler brand creator, Sandra Magsamen. With heartfelt rhymes, adorable illustrations, and engaging lift-the-flaps, children will be merrily reading and playing along all through the season.

24. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

by Eric Litwin

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Spend the holidays with your favorite blue cat! In this rockin’ spin on the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.

25. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas

by Alice Schertle

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Little Blue Truck is spreading cheer by delivering Christmas trees to his animal friends. Can you help count each green tree from one to five and back again? Don’t forget to save one for Blue! Beep! Beep!

What books will you use in your bookish advent calendar? I’d love to hear and see your photos! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter @ABookishHome.

And if you decide to make this a tradition for your family, you could ask relatives to give children’s Christmas books as presents or keep your eyes peeled at used bookstores or tag sales this year

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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Halloween Read Alouds To Enjoy With Your Baby or Toddler

Halloween is around the corner. Add to the excitement by sharing one of these books with your little one!

Here are five fun read alouds to introduce the holiday to your baby or toddler:

Look for these at your local bookstore or library. You can also use the links below to order online from Indiebound or Amazon. Descriptions are from the publishers.

 

EEK! Halloween!

by Sandra Boynton

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Sandra Boynton’s books are always a hit in our house. In Eek! Halloween!, kids will enjoy watching the chickens as they find out there’s no need to be nervous about the “strange” things going on. A pumpkin with flickering eyes? A witch? An elephant dressed as a mouse? “Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”

“Boynton celebrates Halloween! A new addition to the Boynton on Board series, with over 21 million copies sold, Eek! Halloween! is all treat and no tricks, a journey with Boynton and her nutty characters through the tradition of Halloween. It starts with an uh-oh—the chickens are nervous! Strange things are happening. One chicken saw a pumpkin with flickering eyes, another spied a mouse of enormous size. They all saw a wizard and a witch, and a spooky robot. “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? / Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”

Indiebound     Amazon

 

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween

by Alan Schertle

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This adorable lift-the-flap book is sure to delight as your little one finds which animal is “hidden” behind their Halloween costume. Rhyming texts and a chance to guess the animal sound adds to the fun of this read aloud.

“Beep! Beep! It’s Halloween! Little Blue Truck is picking up his animal friends for a costume party. Lift the flaps in this large, sturdy board book to find out who’s dressed up in each costume! Will Blue wear a costume too? With the delightful rhymes and signature illustration style that made Little Blue Truck a household name, Blue’s new adventure is full of festive costumes, fall colors, and plenty of Halloween fun!”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

Boo!

by Leslie Patricelli

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Patricelli’s holiday books are some of my favorites for young readers and Boo! is no exception. Boo! is a silly and sweet introduction to celebrating Halloween.

“The inimitable Baby brings a humorous spin to the holidays in a cheerful board book fit for trick-or-treat bags. It’s almost Halloween! How should Daddy carve the pumpkin? So many expressions to choose from! What should Baby be—a princess or pirate, ballerina or clown? When the jack-o’-lantern’s ready (looking suspiciously like Baby), it’s time for a little ghost to head out in the slightly scary night. But fear turns to excitement as the pumpkin fills up with treats. WOW!”

Indiebound      Amazon

 

 

Happy Halloween, Biscuit!

by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

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Your little one will love lifting the flap to search for biscuit as he gets lost in a pumpkin patch, hides under a Halloween costume, and more.

“Trick or Treat, Biscuit! Lift the flaps to reveal spook-tacular surprises on Biscuit’s first Halloween adventure! Biscuit and the little girl are going trick-or-treating on his first Halloween. What kinds of silly surprises are in store for them? Pull back the flaps to find out!

Indiebound    Amazon

Llama Llama Trick or Treat

by Anna Dewdney

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Fans of llama llama will have fun reading about ways to take part in the holiday–carving a pumpkin, choosing a costume, and preparing for trick-or-treating.

“In Llama Llama Trick or Treat, little llama finds the perfect costume, picks out a pumpkin for a jack-o’-lantern, and then goes trick-or-treating with Mama and his friends!”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

What are you favorite Halloween reads? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com