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

Summer Challenge Week Seven: Nuts About Nature!

This week's Summer Challenge theme is nuts. Nuts about Nature, that is! Whether you are heading to the mountains for a week of camping or simply exploring your back yard, there's a lot to appreciate about the natural world all around you. We encourage you to read some nature-themed books and then head outside to explore.

Ideas for books to read:

  • Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jill Dubin. A charming book about exploring the forest, patterned after the song Over in the Meadow.
  • A Nest is Noisy by Diana Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long. Lovely illustrations and a simple, informative text about various kinds of nest. Read the sidebars for more detailed information.
  • Bear Island by Matthew Cordell. A story about a young girl grieving the loss of a pet, who finds solace and healing in nature.

Ideas for things to discuss:

  • What is something new you learned from reading this book?
  • Do you enjoy exploring nature? Why or why not?
  • What are some ways you can help take care of the environment?
  • Have you ever seen a deer while out walking? What other kinds of creatures have you spotted while out exploring the natural world?

Ideas for things to do:

  • Go for a walk on a nature trail. Take note of the different critters you see.
  • Participate in a neighborhood or park clean-up. Maybe organize one yourself!
  • Head out to the backyard with a magnifying glass. Take a close look at bugs, plants, fallen feathers--anything you find!
  • Visit a zoo or nature preserve.
  • Watch a nature documentary.
  • Get creative! Make leaf rubbings or a nature collage. 
Do you have a favorite book that fits this week's theme? Tell us about it in the comments. You can also share on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.


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