Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture books with similar themes can open up a world of discussion possibilities, and those discussions are great ways to connect with your children or students. It can be fascinating to see how different authors and illustrators approach different topics and themes. Pairing books with similar themes during story time will help children learn that everyone sees the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

Ten Story Time Tips for a Year of Happy Reading

by Rebecca J. Gomez

Happy New Year!

I hope that story time is going to be a part of your family's routine this year. Reading together is a wonderful way to have fun, learn something new, build relationships, and so much more! To help you kick start your reading this year, here are TEN story time tips for you.

1. Reading together doesn't have to be a "sit still" activity. Keep little ones engaged by giving them something to do with their hands while you read. Some options: coloring, playing with blocks, playing with play dough.

2. Let your children have a say in which books you read together, even if it means repeating a few favorites more often than you would like. 

3. If your toddler loses interest, it's okay to finish story time before the story is over. Keep story time a positive thing!

4. Demonstrate the proper way to handle a book while reading, even to babies! 

5. Ask kiddos to make predictions at key moments in the story. 

6. All children benefit from a read-aloud, from still-in-the-womb to teenager! With that in mind, encourage independent readers to participate by listening, discussing, and even reading aloud themselves.

7. Read and compare two or more books with a similar theme or topic. 

8. With wordless picture books, let little ones take the lead by telling the story in their own words.

9. Make story time extra fun by combining it with a snack or other fun activity inspired by the book (search our posts for lots of ideas).

10. Keep young readers engaged by pointing out details in the book's illustrations, and be sure to pause when they notice those details themselves. 

Do you have any story time tips to share? We'd love to hear them!