Picture Book Pair for a Fun Fall Story Time

by Rebecca J. Gomez Pairing two or more picture 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 the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Read : Leaves by David Ezra Stein and The Leaf Thief by Alice Hemming, illustrated by Nicola Slater Discuss :  What is the main theme in each of these stories? How are these two books different? How are they similar? What were Bear and Squirrel both confused about?  Have you ever been confused or curious about something in nature? Talk about it! What is fall like where you live? Do you see leaves changing, then falling from the trees?  What other books about fall or leaves have you read? Are any of

Ten Book Nook Ideas for Siblings or Friends

by Marci Whitehurst

Is there anything that can possibly make reading better?

A story takes us on adventures, whisks us to new places, introduces us to different people—but it can be even better when we share it.

Siblings are built-in friends and sharing a book with a sibling is built-in joy. Our family also loved reading with cousins and neighbors. Creating a reading nook or spot to share a story can be twice the fun. Here are ten fun book nook ideas to try with a buddy:

1. Pillow Palace. Find a corner, a couch, or any interesting place and create a stash of pillows—enough for each kid. Settle in with a good book!

2. Set up a tent. If you have a tent, pitch it in the living room or family room—or if it’s warm enough, outside.

3. Blanket fort. Stretch a blanket over a coffee table or across chairs to build a fort. Settle in together for a good book. Bring a flashlight for extra fun.

4. Popcorn reading! Siblings take turns reading—a page or a chapter—it’s up to you!

5. Boxes. Make a box car or a train. This is great for younger readers. We once did this with laundry baskets—it was like a drive-in movie, only for reading.

Photo credit: Jamie Reimer and Hands on as We Grow®

6. Hidey-Hole. Find a spot to hide and snuggle in with a good book together.

7. Set up a snack for read-alouds. If an adult or one sibling is reading, the other kids can snack while listening. Make sure to wash hands before becoming the next reader. You could also put hot cocoa in a spill proof cup.

8. Bookcase snuggles. Put a yoga mat (or a big blanket) on the floor in front of a bookcase. Each kid picks a book off the shelf to read—or maybe two or three!

9. Flashlight night. They say reading in the dark is bad for the eyes, but a good flashlight provides plenty of light. If siblings hold flashlights for each other, it can be a lot of fun.

10. Car reading! If you have kids that do not get car sick while reading, settle in for traveling with a stack of books. Otherwise, books on CD or streaming are a great option for traveling.