11 posts categorized "Bookworm Moments" Feed

#BookwormMoments: Reading while Walking through the Mall

UltraSquadMy daughter and I spent some time at the mall recently. In truth, this is not my favorite pastime, but we needed a couple of things. I'm not sure if you all know this, but the tween girl-focused Justice store carries its own series of graphic novels, called Ultra Squad. I haven't read them myself, but in her quest to possess every single middle grade novel known to mankind, my daughter always checks for new installments. [I might add that I don't see her re-reading them very often, which suggests that they are not her top favorites, but I still respect Justice for adding some books to the sparkly mix of bling at the front of the stores.]

Anyway, this time there was a new book, and my arm was twisted to purchase it. This resulted in the following photo. 

ReadingIntheMall

Yes, that's my daughter walking through the mall while reading a graphic novel. If you think about it, the $8 I spent on the book probably saved me from arguing about quite a few other "I wants" before we could make our way to the exit. It did require a bit of vigilance to make sure that she didn't walk into anyone, but of course it was worth it. 

This is what bookworms do. We read whenever we can seize the opportunity to do so. Especially when there's a new book in hand. 

Could I just turn in this photo to her teacher, do you think? Instead of a reading log? Don't you think that a tween girl who walks through the mall reading probably does read enough over the course of the month? [Kidding. And hoping to hold onto this behavior for as long as I can.]

I took this photo to remember the moment, and because I thought that my bookish friends would appreciate it. Happy reading to all! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Tip for #GrowingBookworms: Take Photos of Your Kids Surrounded by Books

I don't know about your kids, but my 9 year old daughter LOVES to look at pictures of herself as a baby / toddler / etc. This  is always nice, of course, but something I noticed recently was that looking at these photos is reinforcing her identity as a person who loves books.

BabyAnimalsWhen she was a baby we generally surrounded  her with books. She had accordion-style books with pictures of baby faces open in her pack-n-play. We would toss down those "indestructibles" when she was doing tummy time. We would give her taggies books to gnaw on in her carseat while we were out at restaurants (she loved the one below, with a mirror on it). We would read to her while she had her bottle. And so on.

Being first-time parents, we took lots of pictures. And because the books were always around, it turns out that we have a lot of pictures of her holding, chewing, or otherwise surrounded by books. 

Yesterday my daughter and I were looking through some little photo books that I made when she was small, and she made some remark about always having loved books. We came to a photo that included a particular book with an attached stuffed animal. I remarked that I believed this particular book to be the very first object that she ever reached for. This made her positively giddy with joy. "The first thing I reached for was a BOOK!"  She was thrilled. 

TaggiesMirrorIt struck me that every time we look at these photos, her identity as a person who loves books is reinforced. It then struck me that parents  who want to raise kids who love books could purposefully take such pictures in the first place. I'm not suggesting that you fake it and create some sort of artificial record of your baby's childhood. But if your baby happens to be holding a board book that the doctor gave her at her six-month checkup (thank you, Reach Out and Read!), make sure you snap a quick photo. If you always stick books in the playpen with the stuffed animals, make sure you capture them in photos from time to time.

Truth be told, if you know that you want your child to grow up to love books, you are probably already surrounding her with books anyway, right? If not, well, that's something to think about, too. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Tip for #GrowingBookworms: Schedule Playdates at the Library

I was reading a blog post by Pernille Ripp over the weekend in which she talked  about ways  for teachers to encourage kids who aren't reading (serial book abandoners). There are many good ideas  in the post, but one question she asked particularly struck me:

"Do they have people? Is it cool to not be a reader in their friend group? Who do they have to talk books to? Do they have reading role models that extend beyond the teacher? ..." 

This reminded me of something that I've done a couple of times to nurture having "book people" for my daughter. I thought the idea might be useful to other parents who are looking to support a love of reading in their kids. 

I have been scheduling playdates at the public library for my 9 year old. I am very lucky that not only are there several library branches within an easy drive of our neighborhood, but one of them has an outdoor playground accessible from the same parking lot. Brilliant work, San Jose! So here's what I've done with a couple of my daughter's friends on different occasions. 

  • Pick up the other child or meet at the library.
  • Go first to let them play in the children's section for a bit (and return books, use the restroom, etc.).
  • Take them to the playground and let them loose (bringing a comfortable folding chair and something to read for myself as well as snacks for them).
  • Let them play for as long as possible, and then return to the library to pick out books to take home. 

There is nothing like watching your child and a friend recommend books to each other, or listening to them chatter about books in the back seat while you drive. Of course you have to choose a friend who wants to go to the library, but in our case the playground also helps. I've only done this one-on-one. I realize it will be more challenging to accomplish if there are siblings with their own needs to balance, but I think it could still work.

I also think it could still work without a playground, though you probably won't be able to stay for as long. When I went recently with my daughter and her friend they had a great time giggling over the games for preschoolers on the computer. I did not fuss about screen time. I want them to enjoy the library and have fun there. And in truth they got bored with that pretty quickly.  [And yes, I supervised - I'm not saying to leave your kids at the library or anything, or to burden the library staff with watching them.]

I agree with Pernille that to become readers, it helps if kids have friends who are readers, too. If your child is lucky enough to have friends who like books, consider scheduling some playdates at the library. And really, if your child's friends don't like books, you might as well try this anyway. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Bookworm Moments: Mourning a Ruined Book

AnneGraphicNovelMy daughter was out with my husband the other day. When she came home she immediately came to find me, with something in her hands. I couldn't quite see what it was when she called out: "Mommy! Something died!". I thought maybe they had seen a dead animal by the side of the road or something. But no. The "something" that had died was her copy of the Anne of Green Gables graphic novel by Mariah Marsden and Brenna Thummler. Apparently after the book sat in the heat in my husband's car for some period of time, the glue binding the pages together gave way. The book fell to pieces in my daughter's hands. She was devastated! 

We've all been there, mourning a ruined book. I'm still sad over my copy of The Scalawags of Oz, which was lost to water damage in my basement bedroom when I was young. In this case, I did put the pages  back in order, but it was  going to be pretty tough to read the book. [I find that difficult enough with unbound picture book ARCs.]

BookGirlOf course, this is the age of eCommerce. My daughter begged me to order another copy. Immediately. And while I really am trying to teach her that not all whims  need to be immediately granted ... this was Anne of Green Gables! Coincidentally, the very next page of the book that I was reading at the time, Sarah Clarkson's Book Girl, waxed rhapsodic over  the original Anne books. And  so ... one more Amazon  delivery came to our house this week. Anne with an e was restored. We kept the fallen apart copy to use for projects. 

A small price to pay for a child who loves books, I say. My daughter later rewarded me by remarking: "What I love about Anne  is how great her vocabulary is."  Then she quoted me a line from took. 

One day, I hope that she'll read the original. But for now, it's enough that she loves Anne enough to genuinely mourn damage to a book. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


#BookwormMoments: Creating a Book Nook

IMG_7006My daughter had one of those bunk bed setups where there's a top bunk and a removable full-size bed underneath. We recently moved the full-size bed to another room. I noticed that the space underneath the top bunk seemed big enough to hold the two bookshelves that were on the other side of the room. My daughter immediately seized on this idea. I don't remember which of us started referring to the area as a book nook, but she was immediately eager for said nook to be arranged.

IMG_0336She even got ready for school early so that we had extra time in the mornings to move the bookshelves. This ended up involving a weeding/sorting process, discussed in a previous post. The initial stacks are shown to the left. The whole thing  took a couple of days, but in the end the shelves were much better organized. I only hit my head on the upper bunk once, so that was a win, too. 

Once the bookshelves were moved, a trip to Target followed, during which two beanbag chairs were procured.

And voila! A new book nook! I hope it gets many hours of enjoyment. 

One of the ways to encourage kids to read is to give them comfortable spaces in which to do so. I feel fortunate that we were able to put together this one.  Happy reading! 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


#BookwormMoments: Seeking a Book that "Calls Out to Me"

BetterYouThanMeThis morning I found my daughter in my office, perusing the stacks of books. She said: "I'm looking for a big book that kinda calls out to me. Something like Better You Than Me or Snow and Rose." [Two titles that she had previously pulled from the stack and enjoyed, and that were both more challenging than her usual fare.] I pulled a few things from  the stacks, but they apparently did not call out to her. We had to head out and that desire was not met for today. 

Clearly we are in need of a visit to the library, where the books are much better organized.

But isn't that what we're all after as readers? That book that just calls out to us to be read. It was a tiny moment in our day, but it made me  happy. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


Bookworm Moments: Begging for Access to a New Book

GutsMy daughter asked me to pre-order Guts (the newest graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier) months ago. She checked in frequently on when it was coming, and was thrilled last week when she learned that release day was coming up. 

Today was arrival day. I kind of hoped that she would forget, because I wanted her to stay at her after-school care long enough for me to get my work done. But about an hour after school let out she called me, frantic, declaring: "I WANT MY BOOK!" She had apparently seen someone with it at school and was wildly jealous.

I told her I was in the middle of something, and could get her in about an hour. No dice. She begged me to come right away. She pleaded. She promised not to bother me. Though I don't normally like to give in to begging, what could I do, as a bookworm parent? So I paused my work and headed over to get her.

She raced out to meet me, struggling with a gate. There were shrieks. There was hugging of the book. There was kissing of the book (and yes, there is video, but I'm not going to share that here). And after that? Silence. She didn't even come in from the car until she was almost finished. 

So yes, my work day was interrupted. But it was for a good cause. 

Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage


#BookwormMoments: Reading in the Grocery Store

This post continues my new series on "Bookworm Moments" experienced with my 9-year-old daughter.

DramaQueenDorkThe other day my daughter and I went to the library, where she checked out the two Dork Diaries books that she doesn't already own (though she had read them both before). Naturally enough, she started reading one of them [Tales from a Not-So-Dorky Drama Queen] right away.

She was outraged when I told her that to make a quick stop at the small local grocery store, declaring that this would cut into her reading. I told her that I would let her sit in the little cafe area in front of the store and read while I shopped. Thus I was able to encourage her love of reading AND boost her independence a bit. A bookworm parenting win, I say.

I will admit that as I went around the end of each aisle, I looked over to make sure she was still there. I wouldn't have done it this a bigger store, or one in a less familiar area. This is a store where I run into at least one person I know every time I go there. We ran into two people yesterday, one of whom realized it was us when she noticed a child walking through the parking lot reading.

Thanks for reading! Wishing you all plenty of summer bookworm moments for yourselves. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.


Bookworm Moments: Giggling on the Balcony

BetterYouThanMeThe other day my daughter and I were reading our separate books on our balcony (pretty much my favorite place in the world) when my concentration was interrupted by the sound of giggling. I  looked over and my daughter was snorting with laughter over something in her book (Better You Than Me, by Jessica Brody). She read the passage aloud (something about eating a burger), but it wasn't clear to me what was funny about it. She choked out: "They (the two main characters) are just so DIFFERENT". And I settled back into my own book, content.

This wasn't some wordplay or slapstick humor (though of course those would have been great, too). Rather, my daughter was seeing the humor in a character behaving in a way that was contrary to that girl's own nature. Though I haven't actually read the book in question, I'm pretty sure this shows that my daughter's understanding of books is increasing. Slowly but surely, and as it should be.

As  for me, I just love that she can double up laughing over a book. It was a great way to start the day. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.


Bookworm Moments: Backup Books for Reading by the Pool

BabymouseLockerLast weekend my daughter had a playdate with a friend at our local pool. [This is my favorite kind of playdate, because I can sit quietly and read.] After her friend left, we decided to stay for a while so that my husband could join us. While we were waiting for him, she asked if we could go out to the car to get something for her to read. She proceeded to gather a stack of six graphic novels. [As I've mentioned before, my car is basically a mobile library.]

I said something like "You are a nut." 

Her response was: "What? I'm not sure which one I want to read right now. And they're all GOOD." 

"Fair enough," I conceded. And she mostly sat reading until she was able to convince my husband to go in the pool with her.  

SecretCodersTo me this incident demonstrates that kids need reading choice not just overall, but also in the moment. As I reflected on this for a moment, I realized that I myself had finished one book on my Kindle while I was sitting there and then dabbled in a few samples before settling on what I was  going to read next.

This is how real readers read. We graze. We pick and choose. And we always make sure that we have a backup available, in case we finish our first, or it just doesn't suit our mood.

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.


Bookworm Moments: Still Requesting New Picture Book Purchases

PigeonSchoolMy daughter is nine now. She has introduced graphic novels, novels and some nonfiction into her reading repertoire. But I am happy to report that she still loves picture books. We don't read them together as much these days, but I frequently find little piles of them on the floor around the house. She is especially drawn to picture books at times of physical or emotional distress.

She received a few picture books that she had really wanted for Christmas (the Bears on Chairs books by Shirley Parenteau and David Walker, e.g.), and we've continued to check picture books out from the library. However, I have been ramping down purchases of picture books for her. If anything, I'm trying to reduce the number of picture books that we have in the house, so that we have room for things like furniture. 

The other day, however, she happened by my computer as I was reading a news story about the publication of a new Pigeon book by Mo Willems. There was a big screen shot from the book at the top of the article. She stopped dead in her tracks and said: "Is THAT a new PIGEON book?" On learning that it was, she promptly began her campaign for me to purchase The Pigeon HAS to Go to School! I was not all that hard to convince, truth be told. 

RedLemonBut it didn't stop there. As we were ordering the book she said: "Hey, are there any new Bob Staake books? You know how much I love books by my friend Bob Staake." (She cherishes a book that he autographed to her as his friend a while back, and considers The Donut Chef to be one of the best books of all time.) A search revealed one that was not new, but that we didn't have and that she could not live without (The Red Lemon). This, too, was added to the cart. 

I'm sure she would have kept going  given any encouragement. Although I really am trying to cut back, she knows my weaknesses. And, like my daughter, I am a sucker for picture books. 

Thanks for reading! I've decided to start tagging posts like this that document a little incident in my daughter's reading, but that aren't really milestones, "Bookworm Moments."  Stay tuned for more. 

© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage