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

COOLER THAN LEMONADE Review and Activity

by Rebecca J. Gomez

This week's Summer Challenge is Beat the Heat, and what better way to beat the heat than with a cold, tasty treat? Even better if you can share it with your neighbors and maybe learn a little bit about running a business in the process. 

Read: COOLER THAN LEMONADE by Harshita Jerath, illustrated by Chloe Burgett

When everyone in the neighborhood is trying their best to beat the heat, Eva gets an idea to open a lemonade stand! But she isn't prepared for the challenges that come from competition when her neighbor Jake opens one too...until she gets an idea that is even cooler than lemonade. This book is colorful and fun, with a savvy, determined protagonist whose story will teach the unsuspecting reader about dreaming up big ideas and making them happen, even in the face of challenges.


  • In the beginning of the story, how are Eva and her brother and neighbors trying to beat the heat?
  • Have you ever had a lemonade stand? Talk about your experience.
  • In the end, Eva makes a treat that is "cooler than lemonade." What beat-the-heat treat do YOU think is even better than lemonade?
  • What are some other ideas for things you could sell at a summer stand besides lemonade?


There is a recipe at the end of the book for kulfi, an Indian dessert similar to ice cream. Make the recipe with your family and/or friends for a special beat the heat treat. 

Here's another idea: Set up a treat stand of your own! Here are some tips on making it a success:

  • Make a big sign that people can see from the street. Be sure it says what you're selling and the price. It may also help to make another sign or two directing people your way, like in the photo of my son below.
  • Keep your prices low (but not too low). 
  • Offer more than one flavor.
  • Don't worry about being too fancy. Drink mixes work just as well as fresh lemonade. And store bought popsicles are great too!
  • If you're doing popsicles or another frozen treat, keep some of it on ice in a cooler, but keep the rest inside in a freezer and replenish your stock as necessary.
  • Keep beverages cold. Canned drinks can be kept in a cooler with ice. Try using reusable ice cubes to keep lemonade or other drinks cold without getting watered down. Or, pour it over ice when you serve it.
  • If possible, set up your lemonade stand on the corner to get more visibility.
  • Is someone you know having a yard sale? Ask them if you can set up your stand in their driveway! 
  • Keep plenty of change on hand.
  • Be cheerful and welcoming. Everyone loves great customer service!
My son when he was little, holding up the lemonade sign 
he made all by himself! 


Mindy Baker said…
What a perfect book and activity for the theme! So creative! Love it!