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

Summer Challenge Week Four: A Sporting Good Time!


Welcome to week four of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge! This week's theme is about sports, and we hope it encourages you get out and get active with your family. Books about athletes and sports are not only great for an active story time, but they can help foster discussions about sportsmanship and might even get your kiddos interested in trying a new activity! 

Suggestions for books to read:

BONAPARTE PLAYS BALL by Margery Cuyler, illustrated by Will Terry. This is a classic baseball story about a little skeleton who has to hold himself together (literally and figuratively) and help his team win the big game. It's full of puns that are sure to delight.

WIBBLE WOBBLE BOOM! by Mary Ann Rodman, illustrated by Holly Sterling. This is a charming story in which a young girl tries ice skating for the first time, and realizes it's not as easy as she hoped, but is worth the effort.

THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Frank Morrison. A fun and lively story about a young girl, the quickest kid in Clarksville, who is looking forward to seeing famous running Wilma Rudolph in an upcoming parade, when a new girl (wearing brand new running shoes) shows up and challenges her to a race! What if she's no longer the quickest kid in town?

THE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander. For independent readers, this middle grade verse novel about basketball and family bonds is a quick paced, engaging read. 

Suggestions for things to discuss:

  • What does it mean to be an athlete?
  • Do you prefer team sports or would you rather do your own thing?
  • Is there a sport you have always wanted to try?
  • What kinds of sports do you enjoy playing? How about watching?
  • Do you have to be on an official team to take part in a sport? 
  • How does it feel when you or your team lose? Are you a good sport? 

Suggestions for things to do:

  • Organize a family or neighborhood ball game. Baseball, basketball, soccer, and football can all be good options and can be adapted to suit various ages and skills.
  • Head outside with a ball or frisbee and play a game of catch.
  • Watch a sporting event together, in person if possible!
  • Go for a bike ride.
  • Run races in the yard or at the park.
  • Make up a new sport!
We hope you have fun reading and getting active this week. We'd love to know what you're reading and doing together, so let us know in the comments or on social media using the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.

Also, don't miss the...


...for a chance to win books at the end of the summer. Download the PDF and join the fun! The rules are basic: Finish as many of the tasks as you can--the more you do, the more chances you have to win! You must be 18 or older to enter and have a U.S. mailing address. 

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