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'

SANCTUARY: A Read, Discuss, Do! Book Review

by Mindy Baker

Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie’s Place, the Nation’s First Shelter for Women, written by Christine McDonnell and illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov, is a picture book biography that will inspire your family to want to serve others. It demonstrates how one person can make a huge difference when they act on the compassion they feel for others. Kip grew up during the Great Depression and helped her grandmother serve food to hungry people. When she realized that women often disguised themselves as men in order to receive food and shelter, she made it her life goal to do something to help solve that problem. Because of her efforts, Rosie’s Place was opened in Boston. It was the nation’s first shelter specifically designated for women.

I think you will enjoy reading this book together with your family, and it is a perfect springboard into a discussion about the issues of food insecurity and homelessness. Opening our eyes to the needs around us and serving others as a family can inspire new compassion in all of us as well as motivate us to want to make a difference.

READ: Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie’s Place, the Nation’s First Shelter for Women by Christine McDonnell and illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov

  • What was the Great Depression and when did it occur?
  • What did the “X” symbolize outside Granny’s door? What were some other hobo symbols during this era? (See back matter for answer)
  • What are some reasons that people become homeless?
  • Can you name a few of the ways that Kip helped people?
  • What are some ways that you and your family can help others?

DO: Here are five great ways to serve others with your family this holiday season.
  • Invite a guest to dinner for Thanksgiving or another holiday.
  • Call or make a card for a far-away relative or friend.
  • Donate the items for a turkey dinner to a family in need.
  • Volunteer at a food pantry, food bank, or homeless shelter.
  • Offer to rake leaves or do other yard work for an elderly neighbor.

Books for further reading:
  • Saturday at the Food Pantry by Diane O’Neill, illustrated by Brizida Magro. Molly and her mom are in need of food and visit a food pantry. She learns that everyone needs a little help sometimes.
  • Thank You, Omu written and illustrated by Oge Mora. This is a heartwarming story about generous woman who lovingly shares her stew with everyone in the community. Will there be any left for her?
  • Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting. An emotional story about a homeless father and son who live at the airport.
  • Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen. Annabelle lives in a drab town and brings everyone joy by knitting them sweaters. This is a story about the magic of generosity.