Early Reader Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Growing up, I have always loved reading comic books of all different varieties. As my daughter has gotten older, her passion for reading graphic novels has intensified. She loves reading all different types of books, but the graphic novels are her favorite. Since she has such a keen interest in graphic novels, I have read many of these books myself … [Read more...]

What Can A President Really Do?

Would you like to teach your child more about what a president can do? Check out this free ebook that is now ready to download from Penguin Young Readers. This book is not only informative for our children but can help lead to many constructive conversations about how democracy works as a government in our country. What Can a President Really … [Read more...]

Nutrition Tips for Children with Special Needs

I am happy to present this guest post by Jenny Wise about nutrition tips for children with special needs. Jenny is a mother and blogger who educates her four children at home. Jenny has a child with special needs and shares tips for homeschooling and special needs on her website, Special Home Educator. To contact Jenny, email her here. If you have … [Read more...]

Reducing Stress with Contimusic

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Tom and Christine Conti, the founders of Emotion Transitional Music Therapy. As a speech language pathologist who works with children and adults with varying disabilities, I have seen first hand the positive and calming effect of music on my clients, specifically those with Autism. Although Contimusic is … [Read more...]

How Does Technology Affect Face to Face Communication?

How does technology affect our face to face communication? As a speech language pathologist, communication is a great interest of mine. With the dramatic increase in technology in the past five to ten years, how is this affecting our conversations and ability to communicate face to face? The technology I am referring to in this article is about … [Read more...]

Support Our Kickstarter! A Tale of The Monkey Balloon

  Have you ever lost a balloon? In 2014, special educator Mindy Winebrenner, illustrator Yuki Osada and I teamed up to make our life long dream of becoming authors a reality -we published our first book, The Monkey Balloon. This book was a unique story about Mimi and her adventures in finding her lost balloon. With the help of Yuki Osada, … [Read more...]

Picture A Conversation

With the increase in technology, our face to face communication has decreased over time. We are communicating more and more via text messages, email and through social media than we are with face to face communication. As a result, our ability to converse with others and stay attentive to specific topics is becoming more challenging. At times, … [Read more...]

Today I Feel..An Alphabet of Feelings

Today I Feel by Madalena Moniz is a beautifully illustrated alphabet book about a range of feelings. Each page is a piece of artwork and describes feelings that are more complex in nature which can naturally elicit conversation. Although this book was intended for preschoolers, I find that it can be even more appropriate for older children because … [Read more...]

Jack’s Worry

Jack's Worry by Sam Zuppardi is an exceptional picture book about overcoming short-term anxiety and worry. A couple of weeks ago, I was in a waiting room and saw this book lying on the table. I immediately picked it up and read it to my son and instantly loved it. It was a simple story with real and complex feelings that any child could relate … [Read more...]

What’s The Big Deal About First Ladies?

In honor of Women's History Month, I am proud to review the book, What's The Big Deal About First Ladies? written by Ruby Shamir and illustrated by Matt Faulkner. This book is packed with facts about the first ladies of our nation dating all the way back to our first lady, Martha Washington. What's The Big Deal about First Ladies? can help teach … [Read more...]

Ed Roberts Father of Disability Rights

Ed Roberts: Father of Disability Rights written by Diana Pastora Carson and illustrated by Patrick Wm. Connally tells the inspirational story of Ed Roberts, the man who changed the life of people with disabilities. As a young child, Ed was a typical child that could run and play with all of the other children. He loved organizing football and … [Read more...]

Life on Mars

Life on Mars by author and illustrator Jon Agee is an silly and engaging story about a daring boy's quest to find life on Mars. The book begins with the character stating, "Everybody thinks I'm crazy. Nobody believes there is life on Mars. But I do. And I just know that I'm going to find it." I love this introduction statement because it … [Read more...]

Anansi Folktales: Learning Valuable Lessons

For the month of February, I wanted to share two folktales that can help teach your child valuable lessons about responsibility, citizenship, fairness, respect and sharing. These folktales written by Bobby and Sherri Norfolk and illustrated by Baird Hoffmire are a great fit for Black History Month as well since the culture of both books takes place … [Read more...]

Tips on Encouraging your Child to Enjoy Reading

I am excited to present  this guest post by Danny Nguyen from My Parenting Journal . Danny's informative website, My Parenting Journal is an excellent resource for parents that includes information about stages and ages, child's education, child's health, family relationships, and parenting issues. Education has become an integral aspect of the … [Read more...]

How to Supplement Your Child’s Museum Trip

I am excited to present this guest post written by Joyce Wilson. Joyce is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for the classroom. Thank you … [Read more...]

The Sundown Kid: A Southwestern Shabbat

The Sundown Kid A Southwestern Shabbat by Barbara Bietz and illustrated by John Kanzler is a story about a Jewish family living in the Wild West. The author's note states "The setting of this story, the Wild West, has historical relevance. Many Jews settled in Western states in the 1800's and early 1900's to established businesses, schools, and … [Read more...]

Literacy and Children with Down Syndrome: Strategies for Home

As a speech language pathologist that works with children and adults with Down Syndrome, I wanted to take a look at some research about how literacy is affected in this population. I also wanted to find some valuable and evidenced based information to share with the families that I work with to help their children develop more advanced literacy … [Read more...]

Owly, A Wordless Adventure!

Owly, by Andy Runton is a wonderful wordless graphic novel series about an Owl named Owly and his best friend, Wormy. This series is ideal for any age but I think most appropriate for young school age children ages 5 and up. This is also a series that be enjoyed together with a parent. Owly, The Way Home and The Bittersweet Summer tells the … [Read more...]

I am Jim Henson

I am Jen Henson is another wonderful book in the series of Ordinary People Change the World. This series celebrates how ordinary people achieve extraordinary achievements. Other books in this series that I have reviewed are I am Helen Keller, I am Lucille Ball, I am Martin Luther King Jr., I am Albert Einstein and I am Abraham Lincoln. As a … [Read more...]

A Greyhound, A Groundhog

A Greyhound, A Groundhog by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Chris Appelhans is a children's book about the playful interaction between a greyhound and groundhog. The book is beautifully illustrated and captivates the child's attention with engaging illustrations and interesting of use of text. This book is filled with tongue twisters and … [Read more...]

The Benefits of Reading Aloud with Older Children

Is reading aloud and joint reading only for young children? No! Many parents have the misconception that once your child can read independently, it's time to stop reading aloud. This cannot be further from the truth. I found an interesting article by Connie Matthiessen discussing the benefits of reading aloud written by Jim Trelease, the author of … [Read more...]

The Water Princess

The Water Princess written by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel and illustrated by Peter H Reynolds is a thoughtful, poetic and beautiful book about the efforts of a young girl named Princess Gie Gie. This book is written and illustrated based on the childhood experience of Georgie Badiel. As a young girl, Georgie Badiel would have to walk for miles … [Read more...]

Get Ready for Jetty

Get Ready for Jetty written by Jeanne Kraus and illustrated by Sandra Kimbell is a book written in a diary form about a girl named Jetty. Jetty is in 4th grade and has been recently diagnosed with ADHD. Throughout the book she discusses in the first person perspective, her thoughts and feelings about her diagnosis of ADHD and how it affects her … [Read more...]

Plenty of Love to Go Around

Plenty of Love to Go Around by Emma Chichester Clark is a thoughtful and heartwarming book about sharing your love. Plum is a dog that is known as the "special one" to his owners Emma and Rupert. Their next door neighbors, Sam and Gracie love Plum and view him as their "best one and only". Plum feels loved all over and special until one day, there … [Read more...]

Toby

Toby by author and illustrator Hazel Mitchell is a heartwarming story of a boy who adopts a dog named Toby. When the boy and his father visit the shelter, he immediately gravitates towards Toby. When Toby comes home from the shelter, he doesn't want to play and appears passive and scared. The boy immediately comforts Toby by giving him his special … [Read more...]

Odd Duck

Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon is a funny and engaging chapter book about a duck named Theodora and her best friend Chad. Theodora is a unique kind of duck that loves routine and structure.  She loves doing her daily exercises including balancing a teacup on her head while swimming and engaging in other activities such as wingspan and … [Read more...]

Make an Inspirational Canvas!

I was contacted by the Canvas Factory a couple of months ago about about writing a post and creating a canvas of my choice. Given my love for children's literature, I wanted to create a canvas with one of my favorite quotes that I could display in my home. One of my favorite quotes is from the children's book, I am Albert Einstein, part of the … [Read more...]

Ada Twist, Scientist

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” — Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts is about a young, interesting and inquisitive girl named Ada. Ada didn't talk until she was three and her first word was "Why?" Once she began talking, she couldn't stop … [Read more...]

Baby Sign Language: Learning about Baby Says More™

I am excited to present this article written by Michelle Lerner, Bilingual Speech Language Pathologist and owner of Baby Says More. Michelle is not only a colleague and friend of mine, but a woman that I respect because of her hard work and dedication to helping parents and caregivers teach their babies to communicate better. I know you will find … [Read more...]

The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep

Does your child have trouble falling asleep? Check out this book, The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin a behavioral scientist with a bachelor's degree in psychology. This author also wrote the book, The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep which has sold over 1.6 million copies. To learn more about this book, check … [Read more...]

I Don’t Want To Be Big

I Don't Want To Be Big by Dev Petty illustrated by Mike Boldt is an engaging children's book about a frog that doesn't want to grow up! The book begins with a frog refusing to eat his dinner because he doesn't want to grow big. The story takes you through the dialogue between the frog and his father and several other characters. Other characters … [Read more...]

The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade

The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade by Max Brallier is the sequel to The Last Kids on Earth. This graphic novel sequel tells the story of Jack and his three best friends who go on an adventure to solve the mystery of the disappearing zombies. For this review of The Last Kids on Earth and the Zombie Parade,  I wanted to get the perspective … [Read more...]

Each Kindness

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson is a powerful book about kindness and regret. This story is told in the first person perspective by a young girl named Chloe and her friends who treat the new girl in class with unkindness. Each Kindness begins with the story of a girl named Maya, a new girl that has joined the class mid year. When Maya enters … [Read more...]

The Well of Truth

The Well of Truth by Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss is the story about telling the truth. Most children experiment with lying and for many young children, this is common. To learn more about developmental age and lying, check out this article by Parenting.com here. The Well of Truth is a folktale about three friends including Goat, Rooster and … [Read more...]

City Block

City Block written by Christopher Fanceschelli illustrated by Peskimo is an engaging, colorful and interesting book ideal for toddlers and preschool children. The book contains simple language with engaging pictures of various actions that are occurring in a city. The book is also not a standard "lift the flap" type of book. Each page is unique in … [Read more...]

Holy Mole!

Holy Mole! is a Mexican folktale about the origin of the mole sauce written by Caroline McAlister and illustrated by Stefan Czernecki. This folktale tells the story of a young boy named Carlos, an orphan who works in the kitchen of a monastery. Carlos helps out with the cleaning and preparing in the kitchen in exchange for food straps. The story … [Read more...]

Gravitybread Presents Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe

I am thrilled to present the interview with Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe, creators of the book, Hello My Name is Octicorn. This book was a huge hit in my house for number of reasons. It was engaging, interesting, funny and can teach an important lesson about being different and accepting others. Hello My Name is Octicorn is an excellent book for … [Read more...]

The Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo

Gingerbread Man Loose at the Zoo written by Laura Murray and illustrated by Mike Lowery is an engaging, interactive and fun book to read to a class or at home. The author takes you on a riddle scavenger hunt with the gingerbread man to explore all of the animals at the zoo. The Gingerbread Man gets lost and could only find his class once he solves … [Read more...]

Stone Soup

Are you looking for a book to help teach your child about sharing and working together? Stone Soup by Heather Forest illustrated by Susan Gaber is a folktale about two travelers that are hungry and are seeking food in a local village. This European folktale has been told for centuries and teaches an importance lesson for both children and adults … [Read more...]

All My Treasures A Book of Joy

All My Treasures A Book of Joy by Jo Witek illustrated by Christine Roussey is a story about treasuring the day to day gifts. This enchanting book makes an ideal gift to give someone because of it's beautiful presentation. The book also has the addition of numerous flaps on each page to further engage a child in the story during reading. All My … [Read more...]

Hello, My Name is Octicorn

Are you looking for a book that celebrates being different? Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller illustrated by Justin Lowe is a story that takes you the life of Octi (as he likes to be called), a creature that is half unicorn and half octopus. Octi is looking for a friend but is constantly left out because he looks different. He is not like … [Read more...]

Television and Language Development

As a parent and an SLP, I am interested in understanding the relationship between television and language development. Learning from the research helps me make better choices with regards to being a parent and when training other parents of young children. I read an interesting article titled "The Relationship Between Television and Language … [Read more...]

Milk Goes to School

Milk Goes to School is a clever and engaging story about Milk's adventures on her first day of school. With the author's clever puns and valuable lesson about treating others, Milk Goes to School is an excellent read at school and in the home environment. Milk was off to her first day of school and she was scared. What was going to happen? Who … [Read more...]

If You’re So Smart, How Come You Can’t Spell Mississippi?

Do you want to educate your child about Dyslexia? Whether your child has a learning disability or not, this book titled, If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi? is an excellent book to help children understand what Dyslexia is and how it can affect a child's reading and writing abilities. As an educator and advocate for all … [Read more...]

The Littlest Inventor

The Littlest Inventor by Mandi C. Mathis is the story of a young boy diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder that struggles with sensory overload when on a shopping trip with his parents. The crowds, noises and visual stimulation are just too much to handle. He grows nervous and feels a need to "fight or flight." Instead of trying to run away, … [Read more...]

What Do You Do With a Problem?

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada is an inspiring book about confronting problems in a child's life. I find Kobi's books to be not only inspiring and beautifully illustrated, but so thoughtful in the way that she is able to present complex information (such as having a problem) so that children can understand. Kobi Yamada is also the … [Read more...]

Expanding Vocabulary During Storytime

Would you like to expand your child's vocabulary? When I am reading aloud, I will often define a word as I am reading it. Many times, I will provide visual cues to go with unfamiliar words so the child can get a "picture" in their mind of the word.  With regard to vocabulary expansion, I am more spontaneous in my choice of specific words and wanted … [Read more...]

The Color Monster

The Color Monster, A Pop-Up Book about Feelings by Anna Llenas is a special and engaging book about feelings. As a speech language pathologist who works with children and adults with complex communication needs, emotions can be an abstract concept to teach. Using a multi-sensory approach, like this author does in The Color Monster, can help bring … [Read more...]

El Deafo

El Deafo by Cece Bell is a graphic novel about a girl named Cece who becomes deaf after getting sick as a young child. What was it like for Cece being deaf? Upon learning that Cece was deaf, her parents sent her to a special school for deaf children called The Fisher School. At this school she felt comfortable and secure. "George, Sabrina, Terry, … [Read more...]

Activities That Teach Emotional Cues

Children and adults with varying developmental disabilities and/or social cognitive delays may have difficulty interpreting social and emotional cues. This reduced ability to interpret cues can significantly impact peer relationships and conversation with others. When an individual cannot discern whether a person is upset or happy with their … [Read more...]

Ferocious Fluffity

Ferocious Fluffity by Erica S. Perl is an entertaining and humorous book about a class pet that became ferocious! When Mr. Drake showed the children Fluffity, they said "She's so tiny!" "She's so sweet" "Such cute whiskers!" "Such cute feet!" He warned them right away by telling them "Look-don't touch" Did they listen? No! One day when Dr. Drake … [Read more...]

7 Ways to Encourage Healthy Eating with Your Child

I am happy to present this guest post about healthy eating by Katleen Brown, a health, beauty and fitness writer. As a parent, I struggle with getting my kids to eat healthy on a regular basis. Personally, I am an advocate of moderation and try to offer my children a varied diet. As my children are getting older, I find that it gets more … [Read more...]

The Jacket

The Jacket written by Kirsten Hall and illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova  is a creative and interesting picture book that tells the journey of a book searching for "the child who would finally notice him". One day he met the girl he always dreamed of and fit perfectly in her hands. Everything seems perfect until he came home with her and found out … [Read more...]

Diana’s White House Garden

Diana's White House Garden by Elisa Carbone is a true story about Diana Hopkins , the ten year old child who lived in the White House during the term of President Roosevelt. Back in 1943, Diana lived in the White House with her father, Harry Hopkins who was the chief adviser to President Roosevelt. During World War II, the White House was a a very … [Read more...]

Books about Vehicles…Language and Learning Tips

Does your child like vehicles? These two books, Blue Boat and With Any Luck, I'll Drive a Truck are excellent for children at the preschool age up to kindergarten. The books present with colorful and bright illustrations with engaging texts that will keep your child attending to the story. With Any Luck, I'll Drive a Truck by David Friend is … [Read more...]

Summerlost

Summerlost by Ally Condie is a novel about a young girl who recently lost her younger brother and father in an accident. The author tells the story of a girl named Cedar who returns to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. Upon settling into their house in Iron Creek, Cedar meets a boy named Leo who changes her world. Her summer is filled with a … [Read more...]

Social Thinking and Me: Thinksheets and a Kids Guidebook

  Social Thinking and Me is a two book set written by Linda K. Murphy and Michelle Garcia Winner that helps introduce older elementary and middle school students to Social Thinking. Whether you are just beginning to learn about Social Thinking or have been exposed to it for many years, this resource is invaluable for older students with … [Read more...]

Books That Spark Imagination

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” - Albert Einstein With electronics and busy schedules, sometimes it feels like there is no time for a child to use their imagination. Children have the beautiful gift of imagination and it's our job as parents to provide opportunities to stimulate it. Below are two books that … [Read more...]

4 Effective Mini Lessons for Students with ADHD

Photo via Pixabay by geralt I am excited to present this guest post written by Joyce Wilson. Joyce is a retired teacher with decades of experience. Today, she is a proud grandmom and mentor to teachers in her local public school system. She and a fellow retired teacher created TeacherSpark.org to share creative ideas and practical resources for … [Read more...]

From Wolf to Woof!

From Wolf to Woof! by Hudson Talbott is a fascinating children's tale about how a wolf's relationship with a human evolved into the dogs of today. "Long, long ago...before humans and dogs were friends...in fact, long before there dogs, there were.....wolves!" The story begins with the history of how wolves roamed the earth freely and in … [Read more...]