I am not much for New Year’s Resolutions. The truth is, I will probably still have the extra 10 pounds (if not more) when December rolls around and it is unlikely that will take that girl’s trip to Italy. However, there is one resolution that I have managed to keep. I called it “Reading Resolution” – pretty catchy huh?
Not only did I add more to my personal reading list than soup labels and Pier One catalogs, I also committed to reading more with my children. Our reading routine was inconsistent and sometimes sacrificed for sports, homework, and yes – T.V. Frankly, it had not been a big priority and I had done a lousy job leading by example (putting a television in my bedroom was a BIG mistake). However, someone once wrote, “The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency – the belief that the here and now is all there is” – Alan Bloom. The best way to get kids outside of their little worlds is through reading and I hope to some structure to begin this process.
One of the keys to having a Reading Resolution is having good books to read. Every month, our team of Not-So-Perfect Parents will select various children’s books that we consider worthy of your child’s library. These books will offer seasonal or topical options that not-only help build a few brain cells, but also gives you and your kids some stuff to talk about. So let’s unplug our kids and let’s get reading!
“Duck for President” (preschool) by Doreen Cronin
This is a Story about a Duck who was fed-up with how the Famer was running things. So, he held an election and became the head of the Farm. To his surprise he was successful and then went on to run for Governor. Ultimately, he made a successful run for president only to discover that he did not like Politics and decided to return to the farm…. and write his Biography. This is a wonderful tale about how anyone can run for president and how the electoral process works.
“Abe’s Honest Words” by Doreen Rappaport
This beautifully illustrated story chronicles the life of Abraham Lincoln. This children’s book includes quotes from the 16th President on every page. It highlights Honest Abe’s early life and his road the White House. It shares how his commitment to honesty served as the basis for most of his decisions. In addition, this book provides an early introduction to the Civil War.
“Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope” by Nikki Grimes
This is a Children’s Biography of the 44th President of the United States. The story builds on the Theme of Hope and focuses on how his limited relationship with his father really shaped his life. This little beautifully illustrated book provides great insights into Barack Obama’s life.
“So You Want to be President” by Judith St. George
This book is a winner of the Caldecott Medal for Illustrations. This delightful book highlights the similarities and differences among all of our US Presidents up to President Bush. It provides a wonderful history lesson on the various presidents and offers insight into the office of the Presidency.
“Change Has to Come” words by Barack Obama and drawings by Kadir Nelson
This is a wonderful little book for people of all ages. Pencil illustrations bring to life the words to the now famous speech, “Yes We Can”. It is an inspirational read for the entire family.
“The Story of Valentine’s Day” by Nancy Skarmeas, Stacy Pickett-Venturi (Illustrator),Stacy Venturi-Pickett (Illustrator)
A brightly colored explanation of the history of the holiday as it originated in Rome, Italy. The story is short and easily understood by younger children.
“The Day it Rained Hearts” by Felicia Bond (Illustrator)
This is the story of Cornelia Augusta and the day it rained hearts. From the illustrator of “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” and is a wonderful portrayal for younger children.
“A Valentine for Ms. Vanilla” by Fred Ehrlich
The story of Ms. Vanilla’s classroom on Valentine’s Day. The kids work together to create a special valentine. This cute little story will inspire your kids to get excited for the day and participate in their own classroom activities.
“Hearts, Cupids, and Red Roses: The Story of the Valentine Symbols” by Edna Barth, Ursula Arndt (Illustrator)
This explains the common symbols used on Valentine’s Day as the title suggests. Edna Barth explores the lesser known sides to the holiday and provides an educational experience for children and families alike. The book also includes a few Valentine’s Day stories and poems.
“Queen of Hearts” by Mary Engelbreit (Illustrator)
The story of Anne Estelle and her Valentine’s box. The real treat here are the classic illustrations of Mary Engelbreit. An enjoyable, uplifting story for children in the spirit of Valentine’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day
Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson, Katy Bratun (Illustrator)
This book follows Jack Mouse to Ireland and explains Irish traditions and folklore along the way.
Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: An Old Irish Story by Linda Shute
A charming little tale about Clever Tom, a leprechaun’s pot of gold and all of the mishaps Tom encounters along his way.
Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola
This comical retelling of Irish folklore is all about the laziest man in Ireland and how he uses his leprechaun wishes.
The Luckiest Leprechaun: A Tail-Wagging Tale of Friendship by Justine Korman, Denise Brunkus(Illustrator)
This is a cute little story about a friendship that develops between a dog and a grouchy leprechaun.
The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story About St. Patrick by Sheila Macgill-Callahan, Will Hillenbrand (Illustrator)
This story puts a whimsical, fictional spin on the classic story of St. Patrick and makes history fun again.