10 Ways to Celebrate Our Favorite Books







1. Craft a bookmark: With some heavy paper or craft foam, you can make a fun bookmark that represents your child’s favorite book. Add crayons, markers, or stickers to help them add decorations!

2. Read Aloud with a parent: When your child finds a book that they absolutely love, read it with them. Take turns reading the pages aloud to each other.

3. Act it out: Plan a night with friends or family and act out a little play about the book. You can write up a script with a few of the ideas from the book to act out or just wing it! Everyone will love it. Plan to wear something too, decorating a costume with paper – like hats or a necklace label, or just with a certain color of clothing!

4. Write their own version of a story: Have the children re-write the story in their own words, changing up a couple of the scenes from the book. Maybe it has a new character or a different ending. Or you could give it a sequel if it doesn’t already have one… what would happen next?!

5. Get older kids reading to younger kids: I have 2 older children who love to read to their 5 year old sister. They sometimes help her read words she can recognize or even read the words for a chapter book. It’s good practice for all of them.

6. Keep a chart: If your child has a hard time getting into a book, one that will probably be one of their favorites, help them by making a chart to keep them going. You can offer a prize at the end of some sort. You could try out our post about a summer reading chart!

7. Watch the book’s movie: There are so many books that have been turned into movies. Check your local library, as they sometimes have children’s book in video format where the author reads the story as well. This is a fun and different way to see their favorite story and characters come to life.

8. Book signings near you: If you live in a larger city, often times a book’s author will be on a book tour. Go to the author’s website or the publisher and see if they have any upcoming tour dates near you!

9. Read all the books in a series: I love these days most of the books coming out are available in a series. There are a lot of 3, 4, or 5 books in chapter book series and my kids eat them up. Good ol’ Harry Potter, Fablehaven, Anne of Green Gables, Origami Yoda, Cheesie Mack, Ramona Quimby, Artemis Fowl, 39 Clues, etc.  If you can find a good book that your child loves, it’s great to find more in the series.

10. Read all the books by an author: This works well for both picture books and chapter books. Whatever book your child loves, there’s a big possiblity the author has written more books, either with the same theme or something new and different. Check the library or Good Reads to see reviews!

Written by Marie LeBaron


Why Use Children’s Literature for ESL Students?



Breakfast for a Prince uses good pictures and universal language for ESL Students

Good pictures are as close to universal language as the world is likely to get…picture books are an invaluable aid to communication across linguistic lines.

Here are the top reasons why Children’s books help ESL learn English:

• Engagement that’s not intimidating

• Children’s books have universal themes

• Simple language

• Manageable story length

• Illustrations make it fun and engaging

• Increase vocabulary in context

• Helps with skills and strategy development

• Integration of language skills: reading, listening, and speaking

• Creates heightened interest in books and reading

• Cultural knowledge (Western and other cultures)

• Multicultural stories – students see themselves, adds to connecting with story

• Exposure to literary terms and appreciation of literature

•Figurative language and cultural metaphors

• Visual art appreciation

• It’s FUN !





Reading is Going to the Dogs!

Reading is Going to the Dogs!


Early readers need encouragement and what’s more reassuring than a wagging tail, sweet puppy dog eyes, and a rapt audience that will never utter a discouraging word?

Having kids read to man’s best friend gives them an outlet for their newfound phonics, and the pooches — with their need for attention — Dogs and kids lap it up.

Give your children 15-minute stints to read to a dog. Your child has pet allergies? No problem, this method also works with stuff pets too!

Look for every possible way to motivate kids to love to read. For both kids and their pets, this approch will make the dog happy and the kids smile!

Source: Leader-Telegram
Image: Zuzu from Prince Garrett’s book series


Prince Garrett is excited about reading this summer!



As summer quickly approaches, many parents and teachers worry about the potential of learning loss, or a “summer slump.”  Reading at least five books over the summer can help prevent this loss and keep young people engaged as learners. However, finding a book that a kid is excited to read can be a major challenge, whether your child is a bookworm or a reluctant reader.

Introducing Bookopolis.com, a new, free tool to get kids excited about reading this summer. Bookopolis is a safe and fun online community made especially for young readers (ages 7-12) where they can connect with friends to share their favorite books and discover new ones.  In Bookopolis, kids earn points and badges for reading, rating, and reviewing books. They can easily see what books their friends recommend and are motivated to read more through healthy competition with friends.

Nine out of ten kids are more likely to finish a book they choose for themselves (Kids & Family Reading Report TM 4th edition.) But, where do they find out about new book ideas?  Friends! According to a recent study on children’s reading habits by Bowker® Market Research, friends have actually replaced teachers and librarians as the #1 source of new book ideas for kids today. 

Kari Riedel, an entrepreneur and mom of two elementary school-aged kids started Bookopolis based on her own experience seeing the power of book recommendations from friends. Ms. Riedel tried to help her eight-year-old Harry Potter obsessed son find a new book to read and suggested he would enjoy another fantasy adventure series, The Mysterious Benedict Society. He dismissed her suggestion until his friend recommended the exact same book a week later. Then, of course, he could not wait to read it.

“We wanted to create a fun and engaging online space for our tech-savvy kids to celebrate their reading accomplishments and also to motivate them to get off the computer and go read a book” says the founder, Ms. Riedel.

Bookopolis has been gaining traction in schools across Silicon Valley as a way to get elementary school-aged kids excited about reading and help them find peer approved books.

“My son actually asked me to go to the library today after playing on Bookopolis at school. He couldn’t wait to get new books that his friends had recommended so he could earn more points in Bookopolis” shared a parent of a fourth-grade reluctant reader who recently joined the site.

As the school year winds down and summer heats up, get your kid excited about reading by signing them up for a free account at www.bookopolis.com,and dont forget to add “Breakfast for a Prince” to their reading list.

Bookopolis is a COPPA-compliant social network and book discovery tool made specifically for young readers ages 7-12.  Kids can create virtual bookshelves of books they’ve read or want to read, earn points and badges every time they rate or review a book, connect to friends to see what they are reading, and explore the top book picks from other young readers. Parents must approve their child’s account and approve of any friends they connect to in Bookopolis.  


Mr. Bullfrog’s Anthem

Mr. Bullfrog
Mr. Bullfrog


Just in Time for Halloween! The Bullfrog Anthem is a fun song from the Prince Garrett series, The Beautiful Book of Possibilities. Mr. Bullfrog instills the love of learning through an updated version of a children’s classic. Check out Mr. Bullfrog’s Song and find out what’s possible http://ow.ly/qgL6w !