Eight Tips for Helping Young Readers Bloom

Spring is here, so many people are planning and prepping to work in their gardens. In many places, spring flowers are already blooming or daffodils and other spring bulbs are poking up out of the warming soil. Given the right conditions and care, gardens can be thriving, vibrant places full of life. And the same is true for young readers! So, to celebrate spring and gardens and reading, here are ten tips to help your young readers bloom and thrive, along with some garden photos for some garden inspiration. 1. Just like flowers, budding readers blossom in their own time. Encourage them, but let them grow at their own pace. 2. Gardens need the right nutrients to grow, and this can vary depending on the plant. The same is true for young readers. Fertilize young readers minds with consistent, nutrient-rich mind food. In other words, offer a variety of books! But remember, not all growing readers will respond to the same books the same way.  Cone flowers and black-eyed Susans in Rebecca'

Summer Challenge Week 8: Night Time!

It's week eight of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge, and this week it's all about night! Summertime is a great time of year to spend a little time out at night. There is so much to see and hear that doesn't happen during the day. Stars shining, owls hooting, bugs buzzing around in the glow of street lamps. We hope that this week's challenge will encourage you to do some night time reading and have some night time fun, even if you stay inside to do it!

Ideas for books to read:

  • If You Were Night by Muon Thi Van, illustrated by Kelly Pousette. This beautiful book, illustrated with cut paper dioramas, is a lyrical exploration of the natural world at night. 
  • The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, illustrated by Beth Krommes. A quiet, lyrical book about sources of light inside and out.
  • While You Are Sleeping by Mariana Ruiz Johnson. This is a wordless book that takes the reader on a night time adventure while a child in the story dreams.

Ideas for things to discuss:

  • What are some things you can only see at night?
  • Are you afraid of night or of the dark? If so, why?
  • What is something you like to do at night?
  • How many nocturnal animals can you name?

Ideas for things to do: 

  • Go for a walk at night and look for things that are featured in the book you read.
  • Sit outside and star gaze. Try looking for constellations and planets. Use a telescope if you have one!
  • Visit your zoo's nocturnal exhibit if possible. Otherwise, watch a documentary about nocturnal animals.
  • Create some night-inspired art. Try a style based on one of the books, such as a cut paper diorama (If You Were Night) or scratchboard art (The House in the Night). 
  • Play a game of hide-and-seek in the dark.
Do you have a favorite book about night time? Let us know in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.