I've participated sporadically in the past in Donalyn Miller's #BookADay summer reading initiative (outlined and motivated here, now in its 7th year). The idea is to read a book for every day of summer break (many participants are teachers), and share your selection on social media using the #BookADay hashtag. Donalyn says:
"Beyond the goal to read and share, #bookday celebrates reading freedom. We can choose what we read, when we read it, and how we respond to what we read. No strings. No arbitrary markers of success. The #bookday challenge is the antithesis of a summer reading contest. No one keeps score. No one competes. Everyone who reads is a winner."
There are some guidelines, but they are quite flexible. What I decided to do was share each day a favorite book from my recent reading aloud with my daughter. The selection of favorite is a bit subjective, of course. I'm basing the choice on some combination of her reaction and mine. Most days we read multiple books. Occasionally life gets in the way and we might not read anything together (particularly when my husband does the bedtime reading). But since we certainly average more than one book each day, I think we'll be able to make it through.
One week in, I've been motivated by participating in #BookADay. I'm thinking about what might be "share-worthy" as I select books. I've taken to adding my selections to the pile by my daughter's place at the breakfast table, and we are reading a bit more than usual in the mornings. The ultimate choice of which books to read still falls to her (she is allowed to reject anything, for any reason), but I've been digging out old favorites as candidates.
I have not tried to explain this whole thing to her - I'm steering clear of anything that might feel like pressure. So I'll just ask her, after we read 3 or 4 books, if there's one she liked best, and share that one. Here are the books we read in our first week:
Kate Woodward: What Makes You Ill? (Usborne Starting Point Science). This book was a birthday gift from my brother and sister-in-law. They knew (from Facebook posts) that my daughter frequently asks us to tell her about "chicken pox and stuff like that." She is fascinated by vaccines and symptoms and the like. This book from Usborne's Starting Point Science series is perfect for her, full of details about illnesses and their causes.
Laura Purdie Salas: Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School. Stampede!, from Clarion Books, is a title that I had reviewed a while back, but didn't recall having read with my daughter. I thought it might be a good choice, though, given the combination of school setting and poems (child being very into rhyming these days). Turned out she had heart it before, because before we could read the book cover to cover, we had to find the boy about a boy who stinks like a skunk.
Peter Brown: The Curious Garden. This one, from Little, Brown, is a long-time family favorite, reviewed here. We've been reading it quite often of late, I think because it's gardening season.
Andrew Larsen: The Imaginary Garden. I bought The Imaginary Garden, a Kids Can Press title, for my daughter's first Christmas, having reviewed it previously. She has only recently come to appreciate it. In addition to having an interest in gardening, she seems quite charmed by the relationship between the main character, Theo, and her grandfather.
Tupera Tupera: Polar Bear's Underwear. I'll be sharing this book from Chronicle Kids in a future post. It's a rather silly book about a polar bear who can't find his underwear, and all of the crazy pairs that he finds that turn out to belong to other animals. My daughter thinks that it is hilarious.
Kat Yeh: You're Lovable to Me. This was actually our very first #BookADay selection. I never reviewed this title, from Random House Books for Young Readers, because I received it very shortly before I went into early labor five years ago. It was one of the first books that I read to my tiny daughter in the NICU, and my emotional attachment to it remains strong. This was the first time I read it to my daughter and explained that family history, or at least the first time that she seemed to understand. It will always be very special to us.
The #BookADay challenge is working out well for us so far, and I anticipate keeping it up. I'm not sure whether I'll have time to write about our selections each week, but you can find them in the lower right-hand sidebar of my blog. And, of course, on Twitter @JensBookPage and my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.
Are you participating in the #BookADay challenge?
© 2015 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.