Picture Book Pair for Sharing Love and Friendship

  Picture book pair posts are about showing how 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 and experiences the world a little differently, and it's good to see other people's perspectives. Today is Valentine’s Day, and that has everyone talking about love! But not just romantic love. The love of friends and family is a big topic too! Yes, this time of year love is a hot topic, but it’s a good topic to read and talk about all year long. So today we’d like to share two lovely books with a theme of love between friends. But love isn’t the only thing these two books have in common. They also both feature bears! In Love is in the Little Things by Stella J. Jones, illustrate

Ten Reason Your Kids Should Participate in a Summer Reading Program

by Rebecca J. Gomez

When my kids were young, summer reading programs were a sure thing. For the most part, my children were avid readers, especially my girls. A summer reading program wasn't necessary to encourage them to read, but we participated because it was a fun addition to summer. And the free pizza, books, and water park tickets definitely didn't hurt! There are lots of reasons to participate in a summer reading program or challenge, and here are ten of them:

1. Many summer reading programs offer prizes. And while we all know that reading is its own reward, some kids haven't figured that out yet. For those kids, a prize is just the incentive they need to stick their noses in a book now and then over the summer.

2. It's a fun way to reward those kids who will be reading no matter what!

3. For some families, trips to the library may help break up summer monotony. 

4. Summer reading programs promote reading together as a family, especially for those with very young children who are not yet reading independently.

5. The discovery of new favorites!

6. More reading means more opportunities for books to spark interest in other activities. My daughter wanted to try archery because of The Hunger Games. My son insisted we try the biscuit recipe at the end of The Magic Thief

7. Reading can spark conversations, even when you're not reading the same books. 

8. Many summer reading programs offer events that are fun for the whole family. 

9. It will give your kids a reason to read rather than play video games or scroll on their phones during road trips.

10. You're going to make reading a part of your summer anyway (right?), so you might as well reap some bonus benefits from it! 

I hope that a summer reading program will be part of your family's summer adventures, even if you have to make one up yourself. But you don't have to! The Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge has everything planned for you: weekly themes, reading recommendations, a coloring contest, a scavenger hunt, conversation starters, giveaways, and activity ideas to extend the magic of story time. All you need to do is get to the library and start reading!

Want to join the fun? 

Sign up here and enter to win a free book by Thursday, June 1st at 11:59 p.m. CDT (signing up is not mandatory for participation).

Also, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don't miss an update! (Good for the Summer Challenge and beyond.)

Happy summer and happy reading!