The “Summer Slide” has become a familiar term to those who work in education as well as parents. What is the Summer Slide? Essentially, it’s the academic loss that children experience over the summer holidays. I’ve often been asked by parents at the library how to prevent their children from experiencing the feared “Summer Slide”
My advice is simple- “Kids who read succeed!”
But how do you incorporate reading into a daily activity in the summer without it seeming like school? I’ve had this dream of creating a book club for my son and his friends. With visions of them reading a book each week and then meeting to discuss our thoughts and feelings over a pitcher of lemonade and cookies. When I proposed this to my son, the horrified look on his face said it all. He also reminded me that Greg Heffley’s mom from Diary of a Wimpy Kid also tried to create a book club for Greg and his friends.(This is just going to prove his point that I am very much like Susan Heffley)
It would be wonderful to walk past your childs bedroom and see them curled up with a book each night. Or even see them turn off the TV and curl up on the couch. Truth is, this doesn’t always happen. Reading incentives work. Summer Reading Programs around North America are created on this premise and they are successful because of it. So, in addition to visiting a library and having your child sign up and participate in one of these fantastic programs, why not also provide a reading incentive at home. Here’s my example:
Using stickers, or stamps, have your child mark the different places he or she has read for at least 20 minutes. The only rules are that only one square can be marked each day, and the reading should be a book at their level (no board books for a 12 yearold for example) for at least 20 minutes. Once the “bingo card” is full, have your child choose a fun family activity that you can do together as the “reward”. You can create more cards to get you through the summer holidays by coming up with ideas for new places together.
Published by Simon and Schuster for Young Readers 2012
Source: Library Copy
The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch in this clever picture book parable about a rabbit who fears his favorite treats are out to get him. Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots. He eats them on the way to school.
He eats them going to Little League. He eats them walking home. Until the day the carrots start following him…or are they?
I’m not sure how this 2013 Caldecott Honor Book slipped under my radar when it was first released but I am so glad that it was brought to my attention this week.
Jasper raids the carrot fields on a daily basis until he starts to think that the carrots are stalking him! Tension builds page after page as the reader sees what Jasper does…carrots everywhere, but his parents don’t seem to believe him. A great homage to bedtime experiences for many children and their parents (perhaps with monsters instead of carrots) and a fantastic twist in the end make this a dynamic read aloud for many different ages. Peter Brown’s illustrations are a compliment to the story creating a slightly ominous atmosphere, that has this “film noir” feel to it. Creepy Carrots! deserves to be more than just a seasonal “Halloween” spooky read and would be a great addition to any home library or children’s programming shelf. A new favourite. Creepy Carrots!
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it’s a good thing that enormous fish won’t wake up. And even if he does, it’s not like he’ll ever know what happened. . . .
Jon Klassen’s first book “I Want My Hat Back” is an award winner and I believe this, his second book, is destined to be one as well. His understated style and simplified text has appeal for both children and their parents.
Little fish is the narrator, but the pictures tell a different story than the text. Is the little fish really safe? The illustrations are done in earth tones, full of texture and expressive which adds a nice dimension to each page.
Too often picture books tie things up in neat little packages for kids, but in “This is Not My Hat”, Jon Klassen allows the reader to to come to their own conclusions. The possibilities for extension activities in story time at the library or in a classroom setting are endless. One to buy for your personal library. Highly Recommended.
To learn more about the author and his books visit his website:
There is a story that I vividly remember my mother reading to me as a child. I can remember the sound of her voice as she read the text, and when I think about that book, I remember every page, how the book smelled and it also brings back memories of my mother’s hugs, her warmth and the time she spent reading to me.
The Maggie B by Irene Haas is the book and it is my favourite picture book, because it has so much meaning for me.
Books are magical, I think; because of their power to connect us to moments in our lives.
There is a part of the story where Maggie (Margaret) is cooking a lobster and fish supper for her little brother James. For dessert, she careful cuts ripe peaches in half, drizzles them with honey and cinnamon and bakes them in the oven. This scene is etched in my memory, as I remember thinking that there couldn’t be anything in the world, more delicious then baked peaches.
Last week I made this desert for my family and it is a moment that I will remember. I’m not one to spend too much time in the kitchen. In fact I totally dread cooking. Mostly, because I’m not very good at it. I gave this recipe a try though, and that fact that my son loved it was really just icing on the cake. He asked where I got the idea to make them…like it was a stroke of genius on my part. I told him about The Maggie B, and he smiled and then asked if I knew of any other picture books with good dessert recipes. 🙂
Is there a book from your childhood that brings you wonderful memories?