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 Six: Caring for Creation

Welcome to week SIX of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge. This week's theme is Caring for Creation. Now, that may seem like a bit of a downer topic, maybe a little less fun than some themes we've had in the past. But it's not meant to be heavy-handed or preachy or boring. No, we hope this week's theme encourages you to read beautiful, fun, hopeful books that will encourage you and your little readers to take the best care of our home as you can. 

Ideas for books to read:

  • THE MESS WE MADE by Michelle Lord, illustrated by Julia Blattman. This book is a rhythmic, beautifully illustrated story about the problem of trash in the oceans, how it became such a problem, and how we can change it.
  • ONE PLASTIC BAG by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. An inspiring story about the a woman who started a recycling program using the plastic bags that were littering her community.
  • BUTTERFLIES BELONG HERE by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Meilo So. This book is a little longer, so it's ideal for older readers. It tells the story of a young girl and her efforts to help the monarch butterfly, and how her efforts help her to grow and change too, just like a butterfly! 
  • CROSSINGS by Katy S. Duffield, illustrated by Mike Orod√°n. This is a really cool nonfiction book about ways that different communities have created safe crossings for the local wildlife. 
Ideas for things to discuss:
  • What does it mean to care for creation?
  • What are some things that you do to help take care of the earth?
  • Do you ever see litter on the ground? How does that make you feel?
  • How do you like to get out and enjoy the natural world?
  • What would you do if your back yard or favorite park got filled with trash?
  • How can you make it fun to recycle or reuse things you would otherwise throw away?
Ideas for things to do:
  • Take walks to help instill an appreciation for the natural world.
  • Pick up litter in your neighborhood.
  • Make an art project out of repurposed materials. 
  • Plant a native garden in your yard to support local pollinators and other wildlife.
What are your ideas for a "caring for creation" story time? We'd love to hear about them! Share in the comments or on social media using the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.