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'

Book-inspired Art: Buried Bear


It's the middle of March, and for many that means spring is nearly hear. But that doesn't necessarily mean that winter is going to let go so easily, as we see in the lovely picture book SO MUCH SNOW by Kristen Schroeder, illustrated by Sarah Jacoby. SO MUCH SNOW is about a snow storm that brings a lot of snow, blowing it around, piling it everywhere, until everything and everyone seems to be buried in it. This book, with its simple, yet lyrical, text and repeating "OH" sounds, will delight readers as they follow along, watching the snow piles grow and grow. This book captures well a sense of wonder about snowy weather that will delight readers, especially those who enjoy a good snow day. 

Read: SO MUCH SNOW by Kristen Schroeder, illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

  • What kind of winter weather do you experience where you live?
  • If you've been around snow, do you like it? Why or why not?
  • If you've never experienced snow first hand, would you like to?
  • What do you think you would do with "so much snow"?
  • How do the animals seem to feel about the snow in the beginning of the story? How about the end?
Do: Make a "buried bear" painting inspired by the book's cover.

You will need:
  • Blue card stock or construction paper
  • A round sponge brush (or cotton balls)
  • Brown and white tempera paint
  • A marker
    1. Use the round brush or cotton ball to make the bear's head. It should be a rounded triangle shape, pointed upward. Add an ear to the left side.

      2. Again using the round brush, dab on the snow so that it looks like the bear's head is poking out of a large drift.

      3. Dab on a few fat snowflakes in the blue sky!

      4. Use a marker to draw an ear, the nose and mouth, and eye. Then, use the edge of the round brush to add snow to the bear's ears and snout.

      And now you have your own "buried bear" painting! 

      Looking for more snow-themed book fun? Check out this story time idea for SNOW MUCH FUN! by Nancy Siscoe, illustrated by Sabina Gibson.