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

Summer Challenge Week Three: You're Super, Hero!

by Marci Whitehurst

Welcome to week THREE of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge! It’s super hero week!

Heroes are people who help others, especially when helping might be difficult or scary (or, for heroes like a firefighter, even dangerous). Who are your heroes?

Summer schedules often mean park days, traveling, and time outside—all of which are super fun! We’ll highlight some of these themes throughout our summer reading challenge. As we go about our activities, let’s also consider HOW we do them. How can we be someone’s hero?

Suggestions for books to READ:


This story shares the rules that a young child, Lava Boy, and Captain Magma see for being a super hero. Rule #1: A superhero must ALWAYS respond to a call for help.

SUPER HERO INSTRUCTION MANUAL by Kristy Duncan Dempsy, illustrated by Mark Fearing 

A comic book style with funny illustrations and instructions for what’s most important for being a super hero. Step 3: Craft a super disguise!

SUPER ROOSTER SAVES THE DAY by Maureen Wright, illustrated by Rob McClurkan 

A humorous story full of farm puns, the chicken dance, and a rooster who’s certain he’s a hero—until he realizes sometimes you need a friend to be a hero.

MAX AND THE SUPER HEROES by Rocio Bonilla and Oriol Malet 

In this charmer, Max admires a girl super hero, even though his friends aren’t sure a girl can be strong. However, Megapower is brave, tames animals, has x-ray vision, is super smart, and she can fly. She’s Max’s favorite. Maybe because she’s his mom.

Suggestions for things to DISCUSS:
  • If you could be a super hero, who would you be? Why?
  • What powers would you have?
  • What powers do you already have?
  • What super heroes do you look up to? Why?
  •  If you could be a hero for someone this week, what would you want to do?
Suggestions for things to DO:
  • Create a costume for your super hero or dress up as a super hero.
  • Make up a special super hero name for yourself.
  • Write a list of super hero traits that you admire.
  • Make up your own rules for how to be a super hero.
  • Declare a day this summer as super hero day! Maybe a day this week!