Book and Gift Pairings for the Holidays

Books make great gifts any time of year. But what's even better? Books paired with a items meant to extend the enjoyment of the story! This Read, Discuss, Do! Gift Guide pairs some of our favorite books with other gifts meant to help extend the fun of the story beyond the last page and maybe even encourage some new experiences. We hope you find some good ideas for readers and doers in your life on this list. For Babies and Toddlers Hey, Bruce! by Ryan T. Higgins. Pair this super fun (and funny) interactive picture book with a black bear plush, such as this First and Main 10-inch Bear .  Stomp, Wiggle, Clap, and Tap: My First Book of Dance  by Rachel Burk and illustrated by Alyssa De Asis, a book that encourages imaginative play. Pair this book with a musical gift such as a music box or instrument. Or maybe a dance costume! More books for active babies and toddlers For Little Makers The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty and illustrated by Kristyna Litten will be a sure hit with lit

National Poetry Month Celebration: Concrete Poetry


Read, Discuss, Do! continues its celebration of poetry this week with concrete poetry! Concrete poems, or shape poems, are a really fun type of poetry because the words form a shape. These types of poems can be rhythmic and rhyming, or read like free verse, or even simply be groupings or lists of descriptive words arranged to look like or represent the poem's subject. These types of poems can be a great way to impress young readers who claim they don't like poetry. So, read some concrete poems and have fun writing and designing some too!

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka is a great place to start. It's a wonderful "mix" of concrete poems covering lots of topics.

Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poems by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Michelle Berg is a unique and clever story told completely in concrete poems!

A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Christ Raschka, is a colorful and playful assortment of poems aimed to please the reluctant poetry reader.

Some examples of concrete poems:

And here's one from our own Rebecca J. Gomez:

Learn more about writing concrete poetry from this lesson at Poetry4Kids.