Wish: Matthew Cordell
Four Recent Chronicle Kids Picture Books that I Enjoyed

Growing Bookworms Newsletter: May 20

JRBPlogo-smallToday, I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on children's and young adult books and raising readers. I usually send the newsletter out every two weeks.

Newsletter Update: In this issue I have two children's book reviews (both picture books) and two posts with mini-reviews of several titles each (from Eerdmans and Kane Miller). I also have one post describing my daughter's and my experience doing the #BookADay summer reading initiative, and one post describing a new literacy milestone for my daughter. Finally, I have two posts with literacy and reading links that I shared on Twitter recently, 

Reading Update: In the last two weeks I completed one early chapter book, one middle grade title, one young adult title, and two adult titles. I read:

  • Marc Brown: Buster's Dino Dilemma (An Arthur Chapter Book). Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Early Chapter Book. Completed May 18, 2015 (read aloud to my daughter).
  • John Stephens: The Black Reckoning (Books of Beginning, Book 3). Knopf Books for Young Readers. Middle Grade Fiction. Completed May 16, 2015. Review to come.
  • Melissa E. Hurst: The Edge of Forever. Sky Pony Press. Young Adult Fiction. Completed May 14, 2015, on digital ARC. Review to come. 
  • Daniel T. Willingham: Raising Kids Who Read. Jossey-Bass. Adult Nonfiction. Completed May 7, 2015. This is an excellent book for parents about encouraging children to love reading. The author shares a similar philosophy to my own, the idea of wanting kids to love books because we love them, and have gotten so much joy out of reading. I have not had time to review (I'm a bit daunted because I flagged about 100 passages), but I do highly recommend this one. 
  • Katherine Neville: The Eight. Ballantine Books. Adult Fiction. Completed May 19, 2015, on MP3. A re-read of an old favorite (and first time listening on audio). 

I'm listening to Dry Bones, A Walt Longmire novel by Craig Johnson. I'm reading the fourth book in Y. S. Lee's The Agency series, Rivals in the City on my Kindle (courtesy of a belated Christmas gift card). I have a sizable stack of books that I am dying to read, and am working on carving aside more time for that. My biggest problem is that I've been getting up very early, and by bedtime (when I'm most likely to allow myself to read), I fall asleep after very few pages. 

The books my husband and I have been reading to our daughter can be found here. Recent repeat requests have included The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen and Irene Luxbacher, The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, and The Eeensy Weensy Spider Freaks Out! (Big Time!) by Troy Cummings. On our most recently library visit she mostly picked out picturebacks featuring familiar characters from video series (Dora the Explorer, Caillou, Arthur, etc.). The funny thing is, she rarely actually asks to read these books - they mostly sit in her book bag until we return them. But something about pulling them off the shelf pleases her. 

She remains a dabbler in listening to chapter books. She has a good attention span when we read, and seems well able to follow along with a story even when there are minimal or no pictures. However, her attention usually flags between reading sessions, such that we rarely finish a title. Her selection process is somewhat random (based on what happens to catch her eye at the library, or what arrives on our doorstep).

I sometimes feel like if I pushed a bit harder to recommend titles myself, she might find the title that holds her interest from day to day. But my general policy is that if there's a book that she wants to read, for whatever reason (as long as it's not severely inappropriate), I go with it. So we spend a lot of time reading books like Plant Your Path: A Plants vs. Zombies Junior Novel (which has a decidedly non-linear, choose your own path storyline) and Battle Bugs: The Lizard War by Jack Patton (which we cannot read at bedtime, because it might cause bad dreams). I have managed to slip My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett into the rotation, so we'll see how that one works out. 

What are you and your family reading these days? Thanks for reading the newsletter, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook