Tag Archives: children’s books

Happy Birthday, George!

Since 1879, Americans have been celebrating George Washington’s birthday.

As the first president of the United States and the general of the Continental Army during the War for Independence, George Washington plays a very important role in American history.

But most people do not know that Presidents Day was originally intended – and some argue is still intended – to celebrate his achievements alone. They believe that Presidents Day celebrates George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. And some argue that it is a holiday to celebrate the achievements of all US presidents.

But the fact remains that – officially – the Presidents Day holiday is for George Washington alone. Here are some book suggestions to help you learn more about the man who helped create America.

The Story of George Washington – Patricia Pingry

George Washington – Cheryl Harness

A Picture Book of George Washington – David Adler

Who Was George Washington? – Roberta Edwards

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Cuddle Up With a Book on Valentine’s Day

The one enduring love of my life is books.

I never get mad at books for not making the bed. I’m never upset when books forget my birthday. And the only time I have to compete for books is when I want to read a new title at my local public library.

For all of these reasons – and regardless of how many sweethearts you have in your life – books are a great way to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. Here are some book recommendations for you to share with kids because one of the best gifts you can give children at any time of the year is a lifetime love of reading.

The Kiss That Missed – David Melling

If You’ll Be My Valentine – Cynthia Rylant

Zombie in Love – Kelly DiPucchio

Guess How Much I Love You? – Sam McBratney

10 Valentine Friends – Janet Schulman

Love, Splat – Rob Scotton

A Giant Crush – Jennifer Choldenko

Happy reading!

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Black History Month By the Books

Although we at KidCulture think that any month – and every month – is a good time to learn about other people and cultures, we’re happy to celebrate Black History Month with a list of some books you can share with kids to give them a better appreciation for the history, culture, and talents of the diverse group of people we honor this month.

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Freedom Song: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown by Sally Walker

What Color is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors by Kareem Abdul Jabbar

We Are the Ship: The Story of the Negro Baseball League by Kadir Nelson

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Stories Fit for a Prince or a Princess

Reading with kidsWith the British royal wedding only a few days away, royal fever seems to be gripping many people around the world.

And since I enjoy any excuse to read with my child, it seems like a good time to introduce some royalty-themed books into our nightly routine.

The Prince’s Bedtime by Joanne Oppenheim and illustrated by Miriam Latimer is a wonderful read even if your little guy – like mine – isn’t too interested in the royal wedding. The problem facing the king and queen is universal: how do I get my child to fall asleep? All parents will be able to relate to the prince in the story who is only too willing to let his parents jump through hoops to get him to sleep at a reasonable hour. But it’s one wise old woman who finds the way to send him off to dreamland, no hoops required.

The Princess and the White Bear King by Tanya Robyn Batt and illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli combines Greek myths and Norwegian folk tales to spin a story of a brave young princess who withstands many trials, and her own foolishness, to win a husband worth having.

The Real Princess: A Mathemagical Tale by Brenda Williams and illustrated by Sophie Fatus is a mathematical take on the classic story of the Princess and the Pea. In this story, math plays a much greater role in the discovery of a real princess fit to marry the prince and take over the kingdom. Any parent who’s ever struggled with the stereotype that girls don’t like math will want to scoop this book up and make it part of their nightly reading ritual.

The Seven Wise Princesses: A Medieval Persian Epic by Wafa’ Tarnowska and illustrated by Nilesh Mistry is a great book to introduce children to Persian literature, which has been a dominant force for centuries. This book is based on a poem by Nizami, a Sufi poet who was born in the 12th century in what is today Azerbaijan. With ten stories told by different princesses from China to India to Greece to Morocco, it is a wonderful way to introduce children to folk tales from other cultures.

For more great books to read, check out the Barefoot Books website and KidCulture’s Amazon.com reading list.

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Read This: Children’s Books About Africa

Anansi the Spider by Gerald McDermott

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This book was a gift from a friend of mine, a retired public school teacher, who had an amazing library of children’s books.  She has been the source of many excellent book recommendations, but there’s something special about Anansi the Spider.

Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky

by Elphinstone Dayrell, illustrated by Blair Lent

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I loved Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories and this book is familiar as it tries to explain how the moon and the sun (a married couple) decided to leave the earth to live in the sky.  But the subtext is an interesting observation about hospitality.  To what lengths would you go to welcome a guest to your home?  In most parts of the United States, not too far.  But in Africa, it’s a different story.  It’s a great opportunity to talk about how we treat others, particularly immigrants to our country.  I also love the illustrations.

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