Ten Reason Your Kids Should Participate in a Summer Reading Program

by Rebecca J. Gomez When my kids were young, summer reading programs were a sure thing. For the most part, my children were avid readers, especially my girls. A summer reading program wasn't necessary to encourage them to read, but we participated because it was a fun addition to summer. And the free pizza, books, and water park tickets definitely didn't hurt! There are lots of reasons to participate in a summer reading program or challenge, and here are ten of them: 1. Many summer reading programs offer prizes. And while we all know that reading is its own reward, some kids haven't figured that out yet. For those kids, a prize is just the incentive they need to stick their noses in a book now and then over the summer. 2. It's a fun way to reward those kids who will be reading no matter what! 3. For some families, trips to the library may help break up summer monotony.  4. Summer reading programs promote reading together as a family, especially for those with very young

YOU'RE THE HUGS TO MY KISSES Review and Story Time Activity

by Laura Sassi

You’re the Hugs to my Kisses (Zonderkidz, 2022), written by Barbara Herndon with illustrations by Diane Ewen, is an engaging choice for Valentine’s Day or any time of year. Full of clever rhymes that celebrate the joy of loving others and embracing the special connections loved ones share, Barbara’s bouncy text is a delight to read. Diane Ewan’s illustrations stand out for their colorful and diverse cast of people of all ages enjoying each others’ company in various ways.

Read: You’re the Hugs to my Kisses by Barbara Herndon and Diane Ewen

  • What made this book fun to read?
  • What was your favorite “you’re the ______ to my _____” description?  Why was it your favorite?
  • Who are some special people in your life?
  • How would you describe them using the “you’re the ______ to my _____” format?

Do: Make your own “You’re the  _____ to my ______” postcards!

You will need: 

sturdy paper cut to postcard size (4”x6”)
markers, crayons
address of special person for mailing
postcard stamp

  1. Inspired by the story, brainstorm a batch of your own “you’re the ____ to my ____” descriptions. Ex: “You’re the sparkle to my lights”, “You’re the salsa to my tacos”, “”You’re the frosting to my cake” etc.
  2. Taking a blank postcard, write the one that best matches your special person on one side of the card. Then illustrate it using markers or crayons.
  3. On the other side, write a short note telling your special person why they are special to you. 
  4. Address the card. Then add a stamp and pop it in the mail!