Children’s Book Corner

Children’s Book Corner is a column suggesting children’s books from a mother of 11 children, who has also explored writing for children. Today’s column highlights fun children’s book reads for June that will hopefully keep your young reader reading!

By Pamela Tuck

School’s out and the last thing your child wants to do is READ! As a mother of 11 children, with ages ranging from 6 to 21, I know the struggle of keeping children entertained during the summer, especially the grueling labor of encouraging them to slip reading in here and there.

Well, I’m more than just a mom, I am also a children’s book writer who has had the privilege of working at my children’s school with a Reading Specialist and Intervention Teacher (talk about pressure with reading over the summer). No, truthfully, working with these fabulous professionals has garnered me a deeper appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes at schools to help our children become stronger readers. My experience with working with children inspired me to keep my children’s reading momentum going to prevent the “summer slide,” which is the reading skills lost during the summer. So, to help my children, and yours, I’ve created this column to hopefully share some fun children’s book reads that correspond with activities happening each month. 

Before introducing the recommended books, I’d like to offer a few tips to encourage reading with your child:

  1. Create a reading area in your home. Maybe get some comfy chairs and a few crates to create a bookshelf for your child.
  2. Read with your child. Set D.E.A.R. time to Drop Everything And Read.
  3. Make connections between reading and real life. Help your child apply what they read to their own experiences. This may increase their interest if they can relate to the topics they’re reading. Feel free to expose them to new ideas and concepts and discuss what they learned from the book.
  4. Visit your local library and try to keep reading materials in the house.
  5. Suggest that your child carries a book along with them on road trips and have them read to you while traveling. Take turns acting out the characters or even changing parts of the story to spark your child into thinking beyond the text.
  6. Let your child select books that interest him or her.
  7. Read each night and set a reward system for you and your child after you’ve completed a week’s worth of reading. Maybe treat yourself to ice cream or a picnic, where you can read together on a blanket.

In thinking about June, one of the first activities that comes to mind is Father’s Day, and if you’re anything like me, it’s one of the hardest holidays to pick out gifts that don’t suggest more work (like tools) or replacing worn out clothing (like socks and ties). So, hopefully this first book recommendation may not only give you a few laughs, but spark some gift ideas for Father’s Day.

Drumroll please . . .

The Night Before Father’s Day
written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer

This book is recommended for grades Pre-K through 2.

In this fun rhyming picture book, Mom and the children find ways to surprise Dad with a special gift. When Dad leaves for a bike ride, everyone gets to work. Dad wakes up the next day to a bunch of surprises revealed from his family’s hard work and labor of love. They celebrate the day with one of the best surprises yet.

As a parent, I enjoy introducing new ideas and history, but in a fun way of course. One of the best ways to expose children to snippets of heavy topics is through picture books. One of my favorite genres in children’s literature is historical fiction, so that sets the scene for the next book recommendation.

Drumroll two please . . .

This book is recommended for grades K through 4

All Different Now, Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. At first Juneteenth was only celebrated within African American communities by playing games, eating food and dressing up in nice clothing to symbolize that they no longer wore the garments of slavery. During the 1900s interest in celebrating Juneteenth declined, but more awareness increased during the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. In today’s society, Juneteenth is widely celebrated and has also transformed into a more national symbolic celebration of respect for all cultures.

 All Different Now follows the journey of one little girl as she tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms.

Hopefully these suggestions will spark some ideas and serve as a springboard to fuel your own discovery of the important things that happened in June in America and beyond and most importantly . . . keep you and your child reading!#

Categories: Art, Entertainment, & Lifestyle, Books

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