Over the past couple of weeks, the Readeo Team has been talking to our users (we love you guys!) about how you use Readeo and how it’s helping you stay connected to each other whether you’re 10 or 10,000 miles apart. Your stories have been
amazing, and have really energized us as we see people enjoying sharing story time and building relationships through BookChat. Throughout all of this, we’ve seen an interesting sentiment emerging, and thought it would be a good point to make here. We’ll be the first to tell you that we love Facebook and Twitter. In fact, if you haven’t fanned or followed us, do it—we’d love to connect with you there. These and other social networking sites are great tools for staying up-to-date with friends, family, colleagues, etc. They aim to being people together and in many ways do a great job of accomplishing that goal. But at the same time, do you sometimes feel like they also remove us a step from each other? Technology is great, but sometimes it seems like
Status updates are sanitized versions of the people we know. Photos from the summer vacation
We added five great new books to the
Readeo Library this week. 1-2-3 4-5-6 Are You Eating Something Red Butterfly Birthday That”s What Grandmas Are For That”s What Grandpa”s Are For
My oldest daughter recently had a tantrum. An EPIC tantrum. The kind that happens about once a year at our house, and included kicking chairs and doors, throwing toys, and lots of yelling and crying. I was startled. Then perplexed. And then simply downright angry at this unusual display from our usually cheerful and easy-going daughter. I kept my cool, mostly ignoring her outburst, and alternately asking her to take a time out in her room to calm down. She did eventually tromp to her room with a slam of the door, leaving me fuming in the kitchen. My three-year old had been silently sitting on the counter during our interaction, adding ingredients to a bowl of bread dough. After the door slammed, she remarked with wide eyes, “Wow-ee, Mom. She is mad at you! Yi-yi-yi!” “Yeah. It sure seems like she’s having a rough day, doesn’t it?” I mumbled while kneading furiously.
“Poor thing. You should help her or somepin’. She probably needs a hug.” I responded with a nod, digesting the suggestion slowly and hoping it would work its way through my frustration. An hour later, my oldest daughter is stepping out of the shower and calling for a towel. I’m up to my elbows in bread dough, now wrestling it into loaf pans. I say to my three-year old, “Can you get Emma a towel from the hall closet? Any towel will do.” She scampers up the stairs, pulls down a towel and hands it through the bathroom door with a cheery, “Here you go, Emma!” Silence from the other side. “Emma! Here’s your towel! I got it for you!” A hand reaches out to snatch the towel with an “Alright! I got it!” and then is quickly followed with a blast of irritation: “Aaargh! This is the wrong towel!” “Hey, how about a thank you?” I call, with obvious irritability, and an incoherent “Thanks” wafts through the door. My three-year old beams benevolently at me as she marches down the stairs, replying, “Any pleasure, Emma! Any pleasure.” And so it is: I often find my children are several steps ahead of me, in compassion, in patience, in thoughtfulness and in life. So I couldn’t help but smile while reading through the opening lines of this month’s featured book, Mama Panya’s Pancakes, by Mary and Rich Chamberlain, illustrated by Julia Cairns: “Surprise! I’m one step ahead of you, Mama!” Meet Adika, a young boy from Kenya, who generously invites all those he meets to a dinner of pancakes. His mother, nervously fingering the two small coins in her pocket, becomes more and more anxious with each new invitation, worried about how she will manage to stretch her meager cup of flour. But Mama and readers alike soon discover that Adika’s kindness will not go unrewarded. A beautiful folkloric tale illustrated with vibrant watercolors, Mama Panya’s Pancakes is a great read for the 6- to 8-year old crowd, but is also a hit with little readers due to its easy-to-follow plotline. A comprehensive appendix follows the tale, including a Kiswahili pronunciation guide, facts about local animals, and even a recipe for Mama’s spicy pancakes!
Log in today and celebrate Mother’s Day by enjoying Mama Panya’s Pancakes with your sweet readers, and make a mother’s day by surprising her with breakfast (perhaps some spicy pancakes?) in bed! A special thank you to Barefoot Books for providing May’s Book of the Month.
When daughter number three joined our family, it seemed like the right time to put the two older girls in the same room. I never shared a room as child, so the idea held a Disney-esque sparkle for me – I imagined giggling softly in the dark, never feeling afraid of shadowy corners, and sharing stuffed animals, late-night whispering that slowly ebbs into blissful sleep. I was wrong. Imagine our surprise when our five- and three-year old”s whispering did not gently ease them into dreamland, but crescendoed into ear-shattering screams and raucous laughter. Stuffed animals were bouncing off walls! Children were jumping on beds! And, for heaven”s sake, they had the gall to turn the light back on! We quickly checked their unruliness with a not-so-subtle threat of separation if we heard even One. More. Peep. Needless to say, it was several peeps later and weeks of persuading, cajoling, threatening, sticker-charting, bribing and pleading before we finally heard the sound of…quiet. 8:00 pm, and all was still. We congratulated ourselves on our competence as parents, and settled in to watch a movie together. As the credits were rolling at about 10:30, we heard a distinct crash. Hearts racing, we rushed into the darkened hall, straining with eyes and ears in the sudden quiet. And then – a faint tap, tap, tap coming
from the direction of our daughters” room. My husband slowly turned the doorknob, his We feel these items are some of the most enjoyable new games and cabinets we've introduced to promote and expect these to provide Casino online operators with new must-have items for his or her gamers. heavy-duty MagLite at the ready. The room was black, except for a tiny strip of light coming from under the closet door. We advanced carefully, held our breaths, and opened the door to reveal – our three-year old daughter, sitting in a clutter of books and toys. She paused in her play, a My Little Pony suspended in mid-swoop, and greeted us with a cheery, “Hi, guys.” I suppose there are half a dozen morals to be learned from this story, but those that resurfaces almost daily are: (1) Just when you think you have everything under control, get ready to be surprised, (2) Kids have minds (and wills) of their own, and (3) If you can”t beat “em, join “em.
Your own little willful ones will adore April”s featured title, Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, a charming sotry about one resolute gardener and three determined little bunnies. Mr. McGreely has finally decided that this is the Spring to realize his dream of growing his own fresh vegetables. One day, his hard work and patience are rewarded with tiny green sprouts: “Lettuce! Carrots! Peas! Tomatoes!” But his efforts have not been unnoticed by three hungry little bunnies who impertinently enter the garden (“Tippy-tippy-tippy, Pat!”) to have a little taste. Mr. McGreely is furious, of course, and decides to take action. After a wire fence (“Spring-hurdle, Dash! Dash! Dash!”), tall wooden fence (“Dig-scrabble, Scratch! Scratch! Scratch!, and moat (“Dive-paddle, Splash! Splash! Splash!) do nothing to deter the tenacious little bunnies, Mr. McGreely decides to get serious. He builds a huge cinder-block wall complete with spotlights and barbed wire and awakes in the morning to…an undisturbed garden. But don”t believe those bunnies are beaten yet! Enjoy the surprise ending with your reader, while savoring the onomatopoeic language, delightful illustrations, and delicious moral. Have your little reader point out the three little bunnies in each illustration of McGreely”s attempts to thwart them, and have them guess how the bunnies will overcome each obstacle before turning the page. Thank you to Simon & Schuster Children”s Publishing for providing this month”s featured book. Please stop by our Facebook page to leave any comments, reactions, or questions. I”d love to hear from you! Happy reading, Kristen Johnson
“Have a great day!” My daughter’s bus driver says cheerily, smiling broadly.
My daughter turns slowly, pausing in mid-step with a wry little grin: “No, you have a great day!” “No, YOU have a great day!” the good-natured bus driver rejoins. “No, YOU!” my six-year old insists, and I am slightly relieved when the bus driver sees that this could actually take all day, and merely smiles and waves in reply. I seize the opportunity to herd my little one off the bus, hoping to spare the bus driver awkward explanations of why she is 15 minutes late for her next stop. At lunchtime, during a rare, quiet moment, my three-year old pauses between bites of quesadilla (“It’s a torsadilla, Mom”) to say, “I love you, Mom.” “I love you, too,” I say with a smile. “I love you
more,” she counters. “I love you most!” I say, triumphant. “I love you a-hundred-million-miles-all-the-way-to-infinity-so-much-I-can’t-even-tell-you.” What to say to that? And she, wholly satisfied that there could not possibly be any superlative response, takes a big bite and lapses into meditative chewing. It got me thinking about the ways in which we attempt to articulate our love for our kiddos, and whether they can truly understand the magnitude of it. The wise elephant mother in this month’s featured book,1, 2, I Love You, written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully, seems to have the right idea. She embarks on a series of fantastical adventures with her elephant son, all the while describing her love in sing-song counting rhymes. This mother’s love (and her energy!) seems to have no bounds as they march through a desert (“5, 6, clickety sticks, /a trumpet and a drum,/ I’ll march with you to Timbuktu,/ toot-toot tumpety-tum“), sail on an ocean, and hurtle down a grassy hill in a little, red wagon. Enjoy the vintage-looking watercolor illustrations that feature quite an array of headgear for mom (Can your little reader count how many fashionable hats she wears?) and ask your reader if she can find the two tiny mice friends that accompany mother and son on each page. The book concludes as the counting reverses (“2, 1, now we’re done…”) and mother elephant tenderly tucks her little one into bed, softly beckoning him into sweet dreams and sailing among the stars. So, next time my three-year old proclaims her inexpressible, infinite love, I’ll just say, “Come here. I have a book I want to read to you.” Express your love this month by logging in to read 1, 2, I Love You with all of the sweet children in your life, and don’t forget to stop by our Facebook page and tell us what you think. We love hearing from you! Thank you to Chronicle Books for making this story available to read during the month of February. Happy Valentine’s Day! And happy reading! Kristen Johnson
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