Children’s Book Week is Coming!

Children’s Book Week celebration is ready to kick off. From April 30 to May 6, bookstores, libraries, and schools across the country will take part in a busy week-long event, as they commemorate children’s books and the joy of reading.

What can you do? Read to your children and take them to local
Children’s Book Week Events. Check what is available in your area.

Mark your calendar! The St. Louis County Public library will be celebrating Children’s Book Week during April 30-May 6. Activities include a visit from Curious George, book-inspired crafts & more! Get the full schedule of events here:http://ow.ly/V3P330j6zC1

Reading aloud is the best advertisement because it works. It allows a child to sample the delights of reading and conditions him to believe that reading is a pleasureful experience, not a painful or boring one.”—Jim Trelease

Don’t forget to read the picture books in all the character voices. When I was a kid, that’s what I liked the best. Make every book special for your children.


If you are thinking about writing your own picture book for children and will be needing illustrations, contact me. I love to talk pictures books with self-publishing authors.

How to extend the attention span of your children.

Kids today are bombarded with video games as well as fast action cartoons and movies. Picture book publishers are requesting shorter and shorter picture books for young children. No wonder our children have problems keeping their minds focused on one thing for very long.

What can you do to help your kids have a longer attention span? My advice is not some new technical invention or app for your phone or tablet, but something easy and inexpensive that you can do in your own home.

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You can extend your children’s attention span by reading to them.

What better way to show them you love them and help them at the same time. Kids love getting attention from their parents and grandparents. This one-on-one time without any distractions from phones or TV is important. Children can later illustrate the stories you read together so you have a visual reminder of the time you have spent together.

Reading books to your children:

  1. Helps their creative imagination to develop.
  2. Expands their vocabularies
  3. Instills a future love of reading on their own
  4. Gives children time to slow down and unwind
  5. Creates a bond between the child and the reader
  6. Gives you an opportunity to teach life lessons through discussions of the stories
  7. Improve reading comprehension so they get better grades in school
  8. Opens the doorway to creative writing
  9. Is not expensive

For older kids who are able to read on their own, establish a family reading night when parents and children each read their own books. TV and cell phones are off-limits during this time. When children see their parents reading they know how important it is.

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If you have written a children’s picture book and would like to discuss it with an illustrator, contact me below.

 

 

Why Grandparents Should Make Great Storytellers!

September 10th is Grandparent’s day.

So we have a guest post by Susan Day

Susan Day is a passionate author, educator and, of course, a grandmother. She wants to allow all grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren. 

 

The role of grandparents has changed dramatically over the past years.Read out LOUD to your grandkids

Never before have we grandparents had access to some much time and resources. In fact, I’m of the opinion that we are in the ‘Golden Age’ of grandparenting, an era never before seen in history.

Without a doubt, we are truly blessed to be able to share our time and resources with our beloved grandchildren. We can speak to them in ‘real time’ across the globe, share photos and images online, as well as, interact in ways our grandparents couldn’t have dreamed of.

One of the most significant things any grandparent can do is spend quality time with their grandkids on a regular basis.

And, what better way to create long-lasting memories than by sharing books and stories?

Reading Out LOUD!

There are two ways to read a story to your grandchildren. 

The first way involves just reading the words on the page in an effort to inform and convey the meaning of the story. To be honest, this is quite boring. Sure, you are reading to them, but are you really connecting with them?

The other way – a truly more fantastic way – is to read out LOUD!Reading out loud just for fun

And, I mean really loud and engaging.

Don’t just read the words.

Instead, live and act them out.

Use your voice to bring to life the storyline, as well as, the characters. Give each character a different sounding voice to add more meaning to what they are saying.

And, don’t forget to stop at the end of the page or chapter to add more suspense. You could even stop mid-sentence and ask your grandchild if he or she knows what is going to happen next.

Stop and discuss the illustrations as you go. Use them to put the story into context. For example, you might say, “Look, the little pig has built a house of straw.”

Learning to Become a Great Storyteller 

Not everyone is born a natural storyteller. Some people find it natural to just sit down and unravel an amazing story from out of thin air.

If you are very good at telling stories, then go forth and confidently share your skills with your grandchildren.

If not, don’t despair.

By simply practicing your storytelling skills you will improve. While you are reading, look for ways where you can improve. As you get more practice, your skills and then your confidence will improve.

You will know you are doing the right thing when your grandchildren cry out for more when you’ve finished reading to them.

Our grandchildren have more and more things to distract their developing minds, and many are not learning the necessary literary tools they need to enhance their educational chances.

As grandparents, we have the opportunity and the means to bring books alive in an effort to make reading more enjoyable and rewarding. Our grandchildren should not only love reading but be excited about writing and using the written word as a powerful tool to connect with others.

Together we grandparents can really make a difference.

More about Susan Day

 Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three bossy cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo.

Discover what the Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing.10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing

 

Thank You, Jim Trelease! – The Power of Reading Aloud to Children

I believe that reading to your children is one of the most important things you can do to raise inquisitive, intelligent, creative and informed kids. Bravo to Jim Trelease.

Oxford Tutoring

Picture copy.jpg My son, Matt, reading to my four grandchildren.

Reading aloud to my four children is one of the fondest memories I have of their growing up years.  They are all adults now with their own families and busy lives, but I have wonderful memories of cuddling on the couch with them, reading stories together, watching their eyes light up as we traveled to other lands and other times through story.

As a teacher, reading to my children seemed a natural part of the parenting process.  Even when they were babies, they would sit on my lap as we enjoyed books like Pat the Bunny.  As they grew older, we graduated to story books.  Some were fairy tales, some were Bible stories, but all were chances to bond together over printed word. They had their favorites that they asked to be read to them over and over and over. We went…

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1,000 books before Kindergarten

Start your child on the best path
for life-long learning.

I think this movement to encourage parents to read to their children very early in their lives is a great idea. The 1000 Books Foundation is a non-profit charity which was founded in 2013 to promote reading to newborns, infants and toddlers. It seeks to create parent-child bonding through reading.

Studies have shown there is a connection between early exposure to reading and early stimulation for brain development. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to read aloud to their children daily. Reading to your children helps children with literacy and language skills. Spending time with your children each day in a shared activity strengthens bonding and development.

My local library has just started a  1,000 books Before Kindergarten Program. I know many library systems all over the U.S. and Canada have similar programs. This is something you can do with your children to give them a solid start in life. There are so many fantastic picture books and story books being published every year that you can discover together. You can also share your childhood favorites with your little ones.

Visit the 1,000 books before Kindergarten website They have instructions, activities, charts, reading logs, book lists and t-shirts. Start your child on the best path for life-long learning.

 

Maybe you have a picture book idea you want to publish. Contact me, I illustrate children’s books. I can help you navigate the complicated world of the publishing business.