Did you know that March is National Reading Month in the U.S.? To kick off the event, National Read Across America Day was celebrated on March 2. USA Today reported that this year, the National Education Association (NEA) has pivoted from reading books from the popular children’s book author Dr. Seuss and diversifying the range of books that kids can read today. National Read Across America Day traces its roots back to 1998, when the NEA first launched the informal holiday to motivate children and teens to read. NEA then partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises and celebrated the holiday on March 2, the author’s birthday.
This year’s theme for Read Across America Day is “Cultivate Compassion,” and the NEA is highlighting the several books for different age groups, including “Tiara’s Hat Parade” by Kelly Starling Lyons for elementary children, “Each Tiny Spark” by Pablo Cartaya for middle grade kids, and “They Called Us Enemy” by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott for young adults. If you want to celebrate National Read Across America Day, you can go ahead and check out their website, where they recommend one book to read every month.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, National Reading Month celebrations will most likely be held while social distancing. Worry not however, as there are a lot of fun activities you can do with your kids. The NEA recommends reading along with students in an online classroom to keep them engaged. For teachers, you can also have guest readers share books with students and share their thoughts on favorite books. The same goes for Mystery Readers, who are often parents, grandparents, older siblings, school staff or other community members who join in the fun and love of reading. Teachers can also host an author or hold book talks to encourage kids to read or provide unique insight on an author’s book. There are a lot of fun ways to celebrate National Reading Month but the first step is always to pick up a new book. Here are some great recommendations from parents.
National Reading Month: Great Books to Encourage Kids to Read
1. Seeds and Trees: A children’s book about the power of words by Brandon Walden
In an easily divisive world, it’s important to teach children the power of one’s words. “Seeds and Trees” by Brandon Waldern tells of a special tale that will warm the hearts of all ages as it revels in the power of words. This book, designed to raise confident children explores the effects of words on one’s feelings and emotions through the journey of two seeds. This book follows a young prince as he gathers both green and dark seeds from those he encounters and shares it with others. He later plants the seeds that grow into two different kinds of trees: dark trees and green trees. With the help of a kind friend, he realizes that he can cut down and uproot the dark harmful trees and replace them with good green trees. This book shares the key message of love and positivity in an easy to understand language for kids. Available in Kindle, hardcover, and paperback formats. This book has an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “This book has been a wonderful resource for our family. I originally bought it for my 5 year old, but my 10 and 13 year olds have listened to it with us. It has given us good vocabulary to talk about the ways we are talking to each other and what we are ‘planting’ in one another. I highly recommend this book!” KDR
2. Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug by Jonathan Stutzman
This National Reading Month, teaches kids the value of resilience with the “Tiny T. Rex and the Impossible Hug” by Jonathan Stutzman. It is a story that follows an unforgettable character who teaches a lesson about overcoming obstacles. Tiny T. Rex is a good friend who only wants to cheer up his friend Pointy, but his small stature and tiny T-Rex arms won’t let him give a hug. What will he do now? This whimsical story book follows the plucky little dinosaur in his very first adventure, a warm and funny tale that shows just how no obstacle is too difficult to overcome for those who have big hearts. It teaches lessons in kindness, overcoming obstacles, and perseverance in a story written by Jonathan Stutzman, an award winning filmmaker and children’s book author whose films have been screened at film festivals all over the world. Available in Kindle, hardcover, and paperback formats. This book has an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “My three year old loves this book and tells everyone all about it. It has a great message about helping others and trying hard, even if it seems like the odds are stacked against you. Super cute!” Kristina M.
3. How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, this book is one in several in the How to Catch Series from Adam Wallace. This fun and lively children’s picture book will inspire young minds to build leprechaun traps, complete with shamrocks, pots of gold, and rainbows, in your own home! Get creative and laugh along this fun story that is not all just laughs as it combines STEAM concepts with hilarious rhymes and vibrant illustrations that will keep your child entertained and engaged. Great for kids aged 4 to 10. It has an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “This book is fun and we used it to start expository writing in our class. This is a great resource!” Megan
4. The Adventures Of Pirate Pete And The Lost Fairy Treasure by Teelie Turner
This newly released adventure from Teelie Turner follows Pirate Pete, a pirate fairy who is responsible for helping patrol the turbulent seas while looking after his cabin boys. This honest pirate fairy is dedicated to doing good work as he travels aboard the ship called “The Treasure Trove.” Pirate Pete is called to action by Purnella the Sea Fairy when a secret fairy treasure needs recovering from the hands of unlawful pirates. To do this, he’ll need the help of his brother Peppin so they can both get the treasure back to the Fairy Headquarters and find new allies in Purnella. However, this won’t be a smooth sailing journey ahead with the scheming pirates on their heels. Listen as this magical book creates a whole new reading experience for kids. Available in paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon.
5. Eliza The Easter Fairy by Teelie Turner
Excited for easter? Teelie Turner has the perfect book for your little ones to anticipate the holiday. Eliza the Easter Fairy story book follows the titular character, a fairy who serves as the Fairy Kingdom’s Master Artist for Easter Eggs. This storybook follows her as she faces a uniquely colorful challenge: she has to create dozens of Easter egg paintings this year! She was tasked by the Fairy Headquarters to run a school in which young eager fairy artists can train with the magical art of painting Easter eggs. Eliza now must teach them how to tip their brushes into paint and swirl them to create magic. On her enchanting Easter journey, she is joined by her adorable magical bunny artists and a clever Easter duck. Get your kids excited for the Easter holiday with this magical book, which has an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “My kids were very excited to hear all about the special Easter egg painting school! They love decorating eggs every year and this book made it even more magical for them. My daughter loves the story and her favorite character is Eliza’s pet,Henry the duck. My son is 3 and although it’s hard for him to sit through the story, he really enjoyed looking at the illustrations and counting all the eggs!” Crystal
National Reading Month: Reading Essentials for Kids
1. KidKraft Little Dreamers Reading Nook in Gray
Transform your kids’ room into a reading haven with the KidKraft Little Dreamers Reading Nook, which serves as a creative space where they can let their imagination roam. It’s perfect for reading, coloring, or just daydreaming about the last book they read! This cozy reading nook features an inviting tent shape and comfy cushions that make up for a cozy spot that kids will enjoy climbing into to explore adventures of books. It features a pair of 12-inch fabric bins, a removable seat and back cushions with machine washable covers, a tablet holder display shelf, and four shelves for convenient book storage. It is also equipped with a celestial-print canvas canopy that helps induce a calming, more immersive reading experience. This comfortable nook holds up to two children with a maximum recommended weight of 210 lbs. This KidKraft nook has an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Purchased this as a gift for our granddaughter. She fell in love with the pictures and wanted it for her bedroom. It was relatively easy to assemble and is durable. It looks great and everything has its place in it. Would definitely recommend, not only for a child, but it could be used for anyone looking for additional storage.” Justmyview
2. Books to Bed Girls’ Book and Long Sleeve Printed Nightgown Set in Madeline
Bedtime has never been this entertaining with the Books to Bed Girls’ Book and Long Sleeve Printed Nightgown Set, which features a beloved children’s book with a matching pair of adorable pajamas. Make nightly rituals more memorable with this soft pajama set that they’ll love to wear as they listen to the adventures that unfold in the accompanying book. Your daughter will enjoy heading to dreamland snuggled up in this ultra cozy pajama set that features illustrations from the book Madeline, which will inspire thoughts of an old house in Paris covered in vines and 12 little girls walking in two straight lines. The pajama set is made of 100% polyester and features a pretty bow detail on center front. The top gathers at the front body. This set comes with a hardcover book. It has an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Very cute. Great for gift giving! True to size.” CLR
3. Cuddly Readers Book Stand Cushion Support for iPad, Tablet, eReader, Kindle, Smartphone in Sloth
Ideal for kids of all ages, this cushion support for electronics will encourage kids to enjoy learning. It’s compatible with tablets, iPads, e-readers, smartphones, and more. It is a whimsical stand that will hold pages or your tablet in place with its soft furry teeth. It features high quality soft faux suede material that can easily be tossed in the washing machine for easy clean and maintenance. This book stand is the recipient of the Book Monster special stamp of approval from The Giftware Association. It has an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I am an older woman but enjoy a little whimsy in my life so this was so cute. However, cute would not be enough if it was not useful. It fits both a family member’s Samsung tablet as well as my kindle fire. And those teeth are the best for keeping the item still. I am seeing another one in our future as everyone loves this! Great purchase and great seller!” Shiboom
4. IF Reading Timer in Blue
Here’s a pretty cool way to encourage kids to read and teach them how to manage their time. We all know how time flies when you’re enjoying a good book, but as parents we also want to teach kids the value of time. To know precisely how much time is spent, this Reading Timer from IF will help your kids keep tabs on it. It works well for kids who are not yet enthusiastic about reading and for children who won’t relent and put down a book to go to sleep. This reading timer clips onto any book or stands on the table for easy use. It has an overall rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Ideal for monitoring reading time for children, it motivates them a lot and is easy to use. Very intuitive for kids. I bought it in two colors, my kids are crazy about them and they take them to school to read in their free time.” Salva
5. Knock Knock Original Personal Library Kit with Card Catalog Checkout Cards, Bookplates, Date Stamp and Inkpad
Learning from home means no more trips to the library. For book enthusiasts, this might be discouraging. But worry not, as you can recreate the experience of going to the library with your kids using this personal library kit! This unique kit reintroduces old-fashioned library circulation techniques for fun and book retention. This kit includes 20 self-adhesive pockets, 20 checkout cards, one date stamp, one black inkpad, and one genuine pencil. It’s a great gift for book lovers and a fun addition to any learn from home environment. This kit has an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “I have gotten this twice for two of my friends who are big readers and while they may not use them, they’re fun gifts for anyone who loves to read and has fond memories in a library.” PDLDRogan
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