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 NINE: Song and Dance!

Welcome to week NINE of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge! This week's theme is Song and Dance, and we hope you take the opportunity to read some books that have something to do with music or dance, books that make you feel like singing or dancing, or books that are so rhythmic that you could set them to music! Interpret the theme however you like.

Ideas for books to read

  • DIVA DELORES AND THE OPERA HOUSE MOUSE by Laura Sassi, illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings. This sweet story is not only about opera, but about friendship and learning to accept help when you need it.
  • GOODNIGHT SONGS by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by various artists. This is a lovely book of lullabies/rhymes that are imaginative and soothing. The book comes with a CD of the rhymes set to music. If you can't find the book with a working CD, you can find the songs online.
  •  A DANCE LIKE STARLIGHT by Kristy Dempsey, illustrated by Floyd Cooper. This is a lyrical book about a young girl's dream of becoming a ballerina.
  • WE WILL ROCK OUR CLASSMATES by Ryan T. Higgins. This book is funny and is a nice story about a T-Rex named Penelope who overcomes her doubt in order to rock her classmates at the school talent show.
Ideas for things to discuss:
  • Do you have a favorite style of music? How about a favorite song?
  • Do you play an instrument? If you could learn any instrument, which would it be?
  • Have you ever performed a song or a dance for anyone? 
  • Do you enjoy dancing? How about watching people dance?
  • What kinds of musical performances have you seen? Did you enjoy them? 
  • Do you think you would enjoy seeing an opera or ballet? How about a rock concert?
Ideas for things to do:
  • Have your own song and dance party. This could include playing the "Just Dance" video game, karaoke, or even singing by a camp fire.
  • Write your own song! Choose a familiar tune and write new words. Perform it for your family and/or friends if you're brave enough.
  • Learn a dance!
  • Make your own musical instruments (see this previous post for some ideas).
  • Go to a concert or other musical/dance event.
  • Share your favorite songs with someone.
We hope you have a musical week!