Sunday, July 29, 2012

Magic Tree House #16: Hour of the Olympics

The Magic Tree House books Dinosaurs Before Dark debuted 20 years ago yesterday, on July 28.  Since then author Mary Pope Osborne and illustrator Sal Murdocca have taken her readers on forty-seven more adventures with Jack and Annie. The forty-eighth adventure A Perfect Time for Pandas just hit bookseller's shelves on July 24, 2012.

If your kids haven't gotten into The Magic Tree House craze yet, we suggest you check out a few books, which are easily available at local libraries, used book stores, consignment stores, and local bookstores.  There's something for everyone in this series, whether you like science, history, culture, art, fantasy, etc.  You name it, if your child doesn't find a book in this series that he/she likes, then he/she isn't trying!  Mary Pope Osborne's adventures are perfect for budding readers!  I guarantee you, your child won't want to put down these page turners!

And for this Olympic season, try: Magic Tree House #16: Hour of the Olympics

And also check it's nonfiction companion book: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #10: Ancient Greece and the Olympics

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau

Wow!  That's all I can say . . . WOW!  This book is spellbinding.  

First of all, it taught me about the man behind that ocean camera, Jacques Cousteau.  I remember watching him in my childhood, but, of course, I didn't know his bio.  

Author/illustrator Dan Yaccarino (c. 2009) captures the wonder that lead Cousteau into ocean exploration and transports his readers into the fanciful water-dimmed world of Oceanic life.

Oh . . . and the kids loved it too!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Advice on HOW to become interested in Reading

Hi reading friends!  We are in for a treat today!  I have a guest post today that I'm quite excited to share with you because it is written by a young reader addressed to all the readers of ReadMeAStory.  So without further ado and with tremendous thanks to my guest:


Hi, I am an American living in England. I am going to tell you about reading through my life.  For a while I had no books that interested me, besides some of Mo Willems picture books. It wasn’t very long ago when I started reading a lot.

When I was younger, I read my first chapter book: Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. But it wasn’t long before I grew out of those.

Then, for my birthday I received a package from my best friend who lives in the USA. I opened the package. It was some Horrid Henry chapter books by Francesca Simon. I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed.

I started to read a little bit of the chapter… then some more… then the next chapter… then the next…then the next… then before I knew it, I had finished the book! It was a very good and funny book. I had a few more Horrid Henry books left to read…

Now I have bought 2 more Horrid Henry books, and even got one signed by the author when I saw her talking about her new book. I’ve now seen the movie, checked out most of the series from the library, and have read all of the ones I own about 100000000000000 times.

Now that I like to read, I have read lots of other series. Now, my favorite books are the Stardust series by Linda Chapman and still the Horrid Henry books.

I read chapter books in order, which encourages me to read the next one. I like to imagine myself in scenes or being the character.

I would say if you don’t like reading, don’t give up and keep reading books to find the right one. If you are lucky, it will be in a series so there will be many to read.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Secret Three

Here's another read that I vividly recall from my childhood summers: The Secret Three by Mildred Myrick with drawings by Arnold Lobel (c. 1963).

The Secret Three is a wonderful story of friendship that begins when Billy and Mark find a secret message inside a bottle that washed up onto the beach. (Seriously, doesn't that alone make you want to run out to get it?!)  See if you can decode the messages as you follow along Billy and Mark's seaside, summer adventure.  And be delighted - once again - by Arnold Lobel's excellent illustrations.  He has an uncanny way of capturing that essence of feeling we associate with each season.

Oh, and did I mention that this is a good book for those early readers too?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Boxcar Children

Gertrude Chandler Warner (c. 1942, 2009) begins her classic story The Boxcar Children with:

One warm night four children stood in front of a bakery.  No one knew them.  No one knew where they had come from.

The baker's wife saw them first, as they stood looking in at the window of her store.  The little boy was looking at the cakes, the big boy was looking at the loaves of bread, and the two girls were looking at the cookies.  . . .

Warner's story captures the plight and adventures of four orphans as they run away and live on their own in an abandoned boxcar hidden the the shelter of the woods.  It's the ultimate summer adventure!

L. Kate Deal's timeless silhouettes compliment Warner's timeless story that has been beloved by many generations.  It's another Read Me a Story family favorite on our MUST READ list.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Find "July" in A Child's Calendar, a collection of twelve of John Updike's poems that describes a child's journey through the seasons from January through December  (c. 1965).  Caldecott award winning artist Trina Schart Hyman illustrated the collection (c. 1999).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Do you know what I remember most about The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary (c. 1965)?  What I remember most is my prim, fourth grade teacher reading a chapter to us each afternoon.  What do I mean by prim?  Think navy orthopedic shoes and a wad of kleenex tucked into a sleeve, belt, pocket, or whatever most convenient spot for retrieval.  I never saw her smile except when she read to us.  Here we were a bunch of fourth graders stinking to-high-heaven of recess.  But she had our undivided attention for that whole chapter.  And what was most surprising to me was how reading this story completely transformed her from the prim, stodgy school-marm into a warm person with emotion and feeling.  I was transfixed with that afternoon alteration.

So, I decided to check out The Mouse and the Motorcycle to read to my little brood.  It's shocking how I don't remember one thing about the story line!  However, it's an entertaining one!  In a tale stock full of mischief and adventure, discover the blossoming friendship between a mouse and a boy.

And tell me readers: was this a drive down memory-lane? or is it a new-to-me read for you?