Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

We love Dr. Seuss books in our house.

I grew up reading Dr. Seuss and loved his books so much that I even wrote him a letter when I was in elementary school.  I’m sure I wrote him several pages about me and my exciting life in Wisconsin.  This is what I received in return:


Dr Seuss letter

My framed letter from Dr. Seuss, 1987-ish


I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed with the short response.

Today I have a bit more perspective on how fan mail works, so I appreciate it more. The letter is no longer relegated to a plastic storage bin, instead, it sits on my son’s dresser in his bedroom.  He may not appreciate it as much as I do, but someday, maybe he will.

Keep on reading Dr. Seuss! Happy birthday to one creative, remarkable author!

Timely Kids Book: Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor

I read Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor by Herman Parish to my kids, and it was a hoot!

I remember enjoying Amelia Bedelia stories as a kid, so it’s really fun to re-read some of them to my own kids. There are so many idioms in the English language, and it is funny to see Amelia Bedelia do exactly what she’s told.

Here are some of the highlights that we really enjoyed:

Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor by Herman Parish

A few pages we liked from Amelia Bedelia 4 Mayor.

“We need some change” a reporter said.

“Here’s 43 cents.” said Amelia Bedelia.

And then her words are twisted by a reporter when the major says that we doesn’t have two cents.

“Mayor Thomas doesn’t have any sense?” asked a reporter. “Is that what you just said?”

Amelia Bedelia clarifies what she said, and more silliness ensues.

A few pages later, Amelia Bedelia is advised by her employer, Mr. Rogers, who shares that most voters are undecided, or “sitting on the fence.”

I love the illustration, which is what Amelia Bedelia imagines, saying that it means, “Sore bottoms.”

This book was really cute, and it was appropriate for this (and most any) election cycle. Many people are calling for change and want honest politicians who have plans that make sense. Don’t we all get a little sore from all the mud-slinging and spin that media puts on it all? Since I’m not “on the fence,” I am just ready to cast my vote in November and move on.

What’s a fun kid’s book that you’ve read lately that seems appropriate for current events today? What authors do you enjoy sharing with your kids from your own childhood?


Parenting Tips Needed? There’s a Berenstain Bears Book for that

As I’ve mentioned before, we love reading together. We did 1000 Books Before Kindergarten and have read and own many Berenstain Bears books. Upon looking at the back cover of any Berenstain Bears book, I realize what an awesome collection there is to address many circumstances that kids may experience. Many valuable lessons and parenting tips can be learned from this sweet bear family.

Berenstain Bears Books

So…what’s going on in your family? I’m sure there’s a Berenstain Bears book for that!

Here are some of the titles available:

  • New Baby
  • Go to School
  • Go to the Doctor
  • Visit the Dentist
  • Moving Day
  • The Sitter
  • Go to Camp
  • Get in a Fight
  • In the Dark
  • The Messy Room
  • Trouble with Money
  • The Truth
  • Too Much TV
  • Mama’s New Job
  • Meet Santa Bear
  • Too Much Junk Food
  • Forget Their Manners
  • Learn About Strangers
  • No Girls Allowed
  • Too Much Birthday
  • Get Stage Fright
  • The Week at Grandma’s
  • Go Out for the Team
  • The Trouble with Friends
  • The Bad Habit
  • Trouble at School
  • The Bad Dream
  • The Double Dare
  • Get the Gimmies
  • The In-Crowd
  • Too Much Vacation
  • Trick or Treat
  • The Slumber Party
  • The Prize Pumpkin
  • Trouble with Pets
  • Don’t Pollute (anymore)
  • The Trouble with Grown-ups
  • And the Golden Rule

And we even have a cute mini-storybook called The Berenstain Bears and the Wild, Wild Honey.  More titles are available in that format as well.

While we don’t read the Berenstain Bears every night, I do like to pull out specific titles every so often to help remind my kids of good behavior!  In particular, I’m thinking of the Golden Rule book!

Summer Reading Challenges, We Love You!

This post should be no surprise, as I’ve written about reading challenges through our local library before in this post (1000 Books Before Kindergarten) and this one too. We have since finished the 1000 Books program and kept right on reading every day with our kids.

The Summer Reading Program is always so awesome, giving options for kids who are listeners and readers. At the half way point and again at the end, kids receive packets of coupons to so many family-friendly attractions. Plus for reading recommended authors, (a great way to discover new, good books), they are entered into a drawing.  I just received an email saying that my daughter WON one of these drawings for a gift card to a local custard & burger joint. YES!

Reading Challenges, we LOVE you!

Reading Challenge Complete

Finished – one of my kid’s reading logs for the summer reading program.

By doing all of this reading, it has become a daily ritual in our home, in the car, at church…books seem to always be with my kids. We’ve received books for free from these programs, and thoroughly enjoy going to the library regularly to check out new books, participate in their many activities, or just play with toys that support early literacy. I feel very fortunate to live in a community with such a wonderful public library!

It’s fun raising super readers!

800 Books Down – 200 to go!

We are approaching the END of 1000 Books before Kindergarten!

It’s felt like a long haul some times, but little by little, we’ve kept on reading to our kids and religiously filling out those reading logs.

Front of the reading log in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten.

Front of the reading log in 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. The back includes the list we fill out (not as photogenic).

Along the way, there have been incentives for the kids. Free paperback books, and stickers that say “This book belongs to.”  Here are two books we received from the program:

Books that my kids picked out for their "listening" to so many stories.

Books that my kids picked out for their “listening” to so many stories.

As I mentioned in the first post, I am into this program! I love the quite time that reading to my kids brings, and I hope to instill within them a love of books and reading.  To my delight, I will find them snuggled up with books from time to time.

kids reading together in a chair

Love seeing them snuggled into a chair together looking at books.

In these pictures they were reading “old books” that had old book smell.  As I wrote about in my Fly on the Wall post, my daughter asked if books took baths.

For the record, they also partake in “wrestling” and do not simply sit quietly and read all day.

What reading programs do you do with your kids? What are your favorite children’s books?