Picture Book Pair for Sharing Love and Friendship

  Picture book pair posts are about showing how 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 and experiences the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Today is Valentine’s Day, and that has everyone talking about love! But not just romantic love. The love of friends and family is a big topic too! Yes, this time of year love is a hot topic, but it’s a good topic to read and talk about all year long. So today we’d like to share two lovely books with a theme of love between friends. But love isn’t the only thing these two books have in common. They also both feature bears! In Love is in the Little Things by Stella J. Jones, illustrate

Summer Challenge Week Three: Amazing Animals!

Who doesn't love a good animal story? This week's Summer Challenge theme is Amazing Animals! This week, we encourage you to read some books about animals, both fiction and nonfiction, then get out and enjoy some animal antics together with friends or family. 

Recommended reads:

Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals by Katy S. Duffield, illustrated by Mike Orodan. This book is both moving and educational, a testament to what humans can accomplish when they have a common purpose and caring hearts. 

Honey: The Dog Who Saved Abraham Lincoln by Shari Swanson, illustrated by Chuck Groenink. A charming story about Abraham Lincoln as a child and his real life hero dog.

After Dark: Poems about Nocturnal Animals by David L. Harrison, illustrated by Stephanie Laberis. This book of poems is creative and educational and is pleasant to read. The illustrations are lovely too!

This Way, Charlie by Caron Levis, illustrated by Charles Santoso. A truly charming and moving story inspired by a real life animal friendship. 

Ideas for things to discuss:

  • Talk about the story. Is it fiction or nonfiction? Realistic or fantastical?
  • What kind of animals do you find most amazing?
  • What kinds of animals make good pets? What might make the worst pet?
  • How can you help make the world a better place for animals? How can you start in your own back yard?
  • Did you learn something new about an animal in the book you read?
Ideas for things to do:
  • Head to the zoo!
  • Go on a neighborhood safari. Take pictures or keep a list of the animals you see.
  • Donate to an animal shelter.
  • Hang a bird feeder in your yard. Here are some DIY bird feeders kids can make on their own from LetGrow. 
  • Have an animal-themed movie night. 
  • Create some animal-inspired art, like this torn paper animal art collage from EduArt 4 Kids.
How will you celebrate Amazing Animals this week? Do you or your kids have any favorite animal books? Let us know in the comments or share on social media with #RDDSummerChallenge.