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'

Deck the Halls with a Christmas Book Buffet!

by Laura Sassi

One of the things I love most about doing signings at bookstores is chatting with customers. Often, as I am inscribing a book, customers will explain why they are buying the book and who they plan to give it to. Well, a few years ago, one lovely customer got extra excited when she saw Goodnight Manger. For the inscription, she asked that I inscribe it with a simple “Merry Christmas 2016”. Then she explained that my book would be part of her family’s most wonderful tradition – decorating the house for Christmas with picture books!

This tradition, she explained, began the year her first child was born. That Christmas she and her husband purchased their first Christmas picture book and displayed it as part of their holiday decor. The next year they bought a second book, the third year a third book and so on. For over thirty years now, she has been decorating her house for Christmas with these picture books. Each year she nestles the new book somewhere among the special collection. And every year her children dash through the house looking for the new book. Her children are in their 30’s now, but they still look forward to coming home for the holidays each December and searching for the newest book. I’m honored and delighted Goodnight, Manger is in that collection.

When my kids were little, I would pull out the special box that holds our Christmas picture book collection and place it by our fireplace. All month we’d re-read our favorites and savor some new picks as well. But, I think that having the books out on display, as this woman and her family do — makes their presence even more special and engaging. Don’t you?

That’s why I like to set up what I’ve come to call our Christmas Book Buffet. And each night that our family eats dinner together (which unfortunately is no longer every night due to after school and evening activities) one of us chooses a favorite to re-read for the family after dinner.

For extra fun, I’ve decked this post with pictures of several spots in my house that are now decorated – picture book buffet style – for the holidays. I think they warmly capture the spirit and charm of this delectable Christmas picture book tradition. Happy reading, all!


Rebecca Gomez said…
I love all these ideas, and now I am looking around my house for all the spots that can fit a buffet of books!