Archive | Picture Book Abundance

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Abandoned Books = Fraud Readers?

When I was a child in school—a thousand years ago—we were taken weekly to the library and encouraged to find books we could enjoy for that week. The following week, we’d return the previous week’s choices, swapping them for a new set of books. Simple. Early on, when a book report was called for, or […]

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The Year Summer Slide Started in March

The U.S. tradition of long summer school breaks hails from times when children lived on family farms and needed to be available during the growing season to help tend them. While beneficial for farming, long breaks from structured learning can take its toll on academic progress. The sometimes negative impact of up to 12 weeks away […]

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Why so Testy?!

Every so often news headlines alert us that the U.S. ranks “below average” in reading test scores, lagging behind other countries, like China, which consistently rank at or near the top. It’s probable that we’ll receive the same news again this spring after many schools dutifully administer standardized tests. Why? Because, as a whole, our education system continues […]

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Support Reading. It’s Right.

Last September the International Literacy Association (ILA is the largest professional literacy educator organization in the world) released the Children’s Rights to Read, a set of 10 rights associated with ensuring all children around the globe learn to read books and grow to be joyful readers throughout their lives. This is not the first time that a “bill of rights” […]

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Cultural Clash or Embrace?

This Friday, Jan. 25, is Multicultural Children’s Book Day, a book-reading and book-discussing celebration intended to contribute to children’s understandings of their own cultures and the appreciation of others’ cultures. Perhaps you heard about this special day in the media. It is more likely, however, that you read or saw video of an incident in Washington, D.C., involving some high […]

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Time and Fun Choices Make For Happy Readers

Good readers don’t necessarily think about wanting to read better, they typically just want more time to read. Struggling readers certainly don’t want to spend any more time reading, they just want to read better–or not at all. Hmmm….but what if struggling readers DID want to spend more time reading? Researchers uniformly predict their reading […]

How Everybody Can Enjoy Story Time

One of the joys of parenting is reading with our kids, beginning when they are infants. There is nothing like snuggling up with a pile of simple books with our little ones on our laps. Soon, we invite toddlers to select the books. Later, we invite them to read along. But unfortunately, not all parents […]

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Love Thy Neighbor–Learn Their Language and Culture

For bilingual children in the U.S., having just a sufficient grasp of the English language to succeed in school doesn’t work well the rest of the time. These children often can only fully communicate their  wants, needs and values when they are at home speaking their native tongue. This is not okay for a country of immigrants and […]

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What Sacrifice is Too Great? What Investment is Too Small?

To sacrifice is to give up forever something we would prefer to keep. Sacrifices are made to obtain something of  value, a personally irreplaceable loss of time, opportunity or possessions, given up usually for others. All families make sacrifices to get what they want for their children. After all, what sacrifice is too great to make […]

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Plant a Book Garden. Grow Readers.

By Mike McGuffee My mother always had a garden. To be precise, she had lots of gardens. Our yard was dotted with plants that were given the prospect of a good life from my mother’s hands. Through the backyard of my childhood, I grew alongside Black Diamond Watermelons and Paper Shell Pecan Trees. I believe […]