Celebrate National Comic Book Day!

The first real comic book in America appeared in 1933 and was a book containing reprinted comic strips from earlier newspaper editions. Comics have come a long way since their beginning. Throughout the world comic books and graphic novels have become a growing source of literary enjoyment. Not sure what you think about the literary value of comics? If you are a little skeptical, consider these advantages that comic books and graphic novels can afford your children:

  • Boosts Vocabulary – You might be surprised to learn that comic books foster vocabulary development. If a child comes across an unfamiliar word when reading a comic, she can often figure out the meaning of the word by referring to the accompanying picture, thus boosting her vocabulary.
  • Improves Reading Comprehension – Learning to infer an author’s meaning is necessary for attaining good reading comprehension. As mentioned above, the sequencing illustration strips help kids to exercise inference in their reading.
  • Unintimidating – Many children find typical books with page after page of small text to be intimidating. With narratives that are broken up in smaller chunks, struggling readers may find the comic book format to be more manageable.
  • Unexpected – Many people have a narrow idea concerning comic book subject matter. Comics and graphic novels encompass multiple genres, including superhero, science-fiction, history, and biography.
  • Reluctant Reader Friendly – If you have a reluctant reader in your house, you may find that comics are a good reading resource. Comics are visually appealing with characters that children recognize and admire.

Have we convinced you of the benefits of reading comics yet? If so, here are a few comic book/graphic novel selections you may want to try:

BabyMouse (Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm) – Meet Babymouse, an imaginative, sassy, fun-loving rodent who dreams of glamour and being queen of the world! (ages 7-10)

Amulet (Kazu Kibuishi) – After their father dies, Emily and Navin move with their mom into the home of their deceased great grandfather. The kids must search for their mom after she is lured through a basement door of this strange house by an evil creature. This compelling graphic novel can get a little dark at times, so it’s definitely for older elementary school children. (ages 8-12)

Tiny Titans Vol. 1: Welcome to the Treehouse (Art Baltazar) – Kids will love these young D.C. Universe heroes! Find out what happens when the kids from Sidekick Elementary hang out in the Batcave one afternoon! (ages 7-10)

Abigail and the Snowman (Roger Langridge) – It can be hard making friends when you’re the new girl in town. Fortunately, Abigail meets a friendly Yeti named Claude and they become best friends! Will the two friends find Claude’s real home and be able to escape the “shadow men” who are chasing him? (ages 7 -10)

Nursery Rhyme Comics: 50 Timeless Rhymes from 50 Celebrated Cartoonists – Fifty famous cartoonists interpret and illustrate (in comic form) 50 classic nursery rhymes in this jewel of a book. (ages 3-8)

Surprise your reader with a comic book or graphic novel to celebrate Comic Book Day on September 25. Happy reading!

10 Books for Teddy Bear Day

There’s nothing quite like that bond between a child and his teddy bear. Since National Teddy Bear Day is September 9th, why not celebrate this special day with your little one and a book? In honor of the occasion, Red Apple Reading has compiled a list of ten special books about bears that your kiddo will love.

Kiss Goodnight  (Amy Hest)

All small children have their own special nighttime routine; bear cub, Sam, is no different. Mama Bear goes through his list with him and doesn’t fail to forget the most important part of his bedtime ritual: a kiss goodnight! Ages 2-5

 

Corduroy  (Don Freeman)

This classic book stands the test of time. When a stuffed bear in a department store realizes he’s lost a button on his overalls, he looks for it all over the store that night. He doesn’t find his button, but the next day he finds something better – a new friend who takes him home and fixes his missing button. Ages 3-6

 

Paddington Treasury  (Michael Bond)

Ever since the Browns found Paddington in the train station in London wearing a tag reading, “Please look after this bear”, Paddington has consistently charmed readers. Parents will enjoy reading this aloud to kids of all ages.

 

The Complete Tales and Poems of Winnie-the-Pooh  (A.A. Milne)

Perhaps the most popular bear of all time, Winnie-the-Pooh has captivated the imaginations of several generations of children. Kids and parents love going on adventures with this lovable bear and all his funny friends. Another great read-aloud for all ages!

 

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  (Bill Martin Jr. & Eric Carle)

This beloved board book begins with a brown bear and visits a whole crew of other animals along the way! What does this brown bear spy? Young children will love finding out as they turn the page! Ages 2-5

 

 

The Teddy Bears’ Picnic  (Jimmy Kennedy)

If you’re familiar with lyrics from the tune The Teddy Bears’ Picnic, you will love this book. Words from the original song are accompanied by sweet illustrations. Read or sing this one with your preschooler. Ages 2-5

 

 

Otto the Book Bear  (Katie Cleminson)

Otto is a storybook bear who frequently comes out of his book for a little adventure whenever it is replaced on the shelf. What will Otto do when circumstances leave him without a book in which to live? Will he find a new home? This title is sure to become a new household favorite! Ages 3-7

 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt  (Michael Rosen)

Join an adventuresome family as they go on a bear hunt. Don’t worry – they’re not afraid! But what will happen when they actually see a bear? Ages 4-8

 

 

The Teddy Bear  (David McPhail)

After a little boy accidently leaves his teddy bear in a diner, a homeless man adopts the toy. When the boy spots his bear on a park bench one day, he makes a very compassionate decision. This sweet story will warm parent’s and children’s hearts alike! Ages 3-7

 

 

Where’s My Teddy?  (Jez Alborough)

How did Eddie’s teddy get so big? How did the bear’s teddy get so small? When a boy and a real bear mix up their teddy bears, hilarity ensues! Kids will love this amusing tale of mistaken identity! Ages 3-7

 

With so many fun bear books to choose from, you may have trouble picking just one! Enjoy Teddy Bear Day with your little one.

 

School Themed Books – Goodbye Summer!

With school starting or about to start in most parts of the country, many children are having mixed feelings about entering a new grade. Part of our responsibility as parents is to assist our kids in navigating these varied emotions and help them begin school with a positive outlook. One way we can help them get ready for the first day of school is by sharing a book with them. We think you and your kiddo will enjoy these titles about school!

Llama Llama Misses Mama (Anna Dewdney)
It’s the first day of preschool for little Llama. He is nervous after his mother leaves him at his new school, but the other students quickly help him realize that school is fun! If you have a little one starting school, this is a great choice! Ages 2-6

Mrs. Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (Joseph Slate)
Mrs. Bindergarten is hard at work preparing her classroom for the first day of kindergarten. The kids are also preparing for the upcoming day. A fun ABC book that your kiddo will love! Ages 4-8

School’s First Day of School (Adam Rex)
Have you ever considered what the first day of school is like for the school building itself? You’ll find out in this fun picture book that personifies Frederick Douglass Elementary! Kids will love the collage illustrations with delightfully diverse characters! Ages 4-8

Second Grade Holdout (Audrey Vernick)
Every school kid understands the anxiety that comes from not knowing what to expect in a new grade. The narrator in this book is definitely not looking forward to all the changes that come with being a second grader! Could it be that second grade isn’t as bad as he thinks it may be? Ages 4-7

How to Get Your Teacher Ready (Jean Reagan)
This fun take on the back to school book approaches the subject with a witty role reversal. Students give tips on how children can help their teacher be ready for the school year and other events that will take place throughout the school calendar. Ages 4-8

First Day, Hooray! (Nancy Poydar)
Ivy just can’t wait for school to start tomorrow! However, she still feels a little anxious. She doesn’t realize that she is not the only one who’s nervous. The teacher, janitor, bus driver, and principal are also frantically preparing and feeling a bit jittery! This book reminds kids that everyone experiences first day jitters. Ages 5-8

First Day Jitters (Julie Danneberg)
We’ve all experienced first day of school jitters. In this story, Sarah Jane is experiencing jitters of her own as she begins a new school. This is a great book to read to your little one if they are feeling nervous about a new school year – and there is a surprise ending! Ages 5-8

This School Year Will Be the BEST! (Kay Winters)
All children have their own hopes regarding what the new school year will look like. This group of students is no exception! Children will enjoy learning what these kids are wishing for and laugh at the funny pictures that illustrate these hopes. Ages 6-8

Back to School (Boxed Set): School Story; The Report Card; A Week in the Woods (Andrew Clements) – I love Andrew Clements’ stories! He writes fantastic books for middle readers and really does a fantastic job of capturing the school experience of upper elementary and middle school students. This 3 book box set is sure to please your kiddo! Ages 8-12

N.E.R.D.S. National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society (Book 1) (Michael Buckley)
This hilarious book recounts the adventures of an undercover espionage agency headed up by a team of misfit fifth graders. With the help of science, these spies turn their inadequacies into super powers! Middle graders will love this funny take on the spy story. Ages 8-12

At Red Apple Reading we think a book about school is the perfect way to get your little one in the right frame of mind for the upcoming year. With plenty of amusing school reads out there, you are sure to fine just the right book for your student. This year, start the school season off with a good story!

10 Newbery Winning Reads

Each year the Association for Library Service to Children awards the Newbery Medal to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. This award is named for John Newbery who was an 18th century British bookseller. In honor of John Newbery’s birthday on July 19th, Red Apple Reading has compiled a list of 10 Newbery Medal Winning books that your family needs to read!

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes – Meet the Pyes, a unique family that is sure to steal your heart. Their family dog, Ginger Pye, is smart and loved by all who meet her. What happens when someone steals Ginger from her beloved family? (7-10 years) 1952 Newbery winner

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle – Meg’s father is a scientist who has gone missing while working on the tesseract (a wrinkle in time) problem for the government. Now Meg and her little brother Charles, along with their friend Calvin, must travel through time and space to find him. 1963 Newbery winner

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien – A widowed mouse, Mrs. Frisby, must move her four small children quickly to their summer quarters or face death. However, her son Timothy has pneumonia and cannot be moved. She turns to the mysterious rats of NIMH for help. (8-12 years) 1972 Newbery winner

Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor – Cassie Logan is a nine year old African-American girl who has grown up in a strong and loving family. A damaging year in depression era Mississippi threatens to undo everything the Logan family has worked so hard to maintain. (10 -14 years) 1977 Newbery winner

A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard – A collection of poetry about William Blake’s imaginary inn, this winner is sure to capture children’s imaginations. Find out what unusual guests and staff await the reader in this remarkable inn! (4-8 years) 1982 Newbery winner

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan – In this heartwarming tale set in the 19th century, Sarah Elizabeth Wheaton travels from Maine to the prairie in answer to an ad for a wife and mother. Anna and her little brother Caleb wonder just what kind of mom Sarah will be. (7-10 years) Newbery winner 1986

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis – Set during the depression in Michigan, this story is about a ten-year-old boy named Bud. After his mom’s death he is determined to find the man he believes to be his father – Herman E. Calloway of the Dusky Devastators. Bud’s on the run and determined that nothing will stop him from accomplishing his goal. (8-12 years) Newbery winner 2000

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck – When 15-year-old Mary Alice has to spend the year with her eccentric grandmother in small town Illinois, it’s bound to be eventful! Kids and adults will fall in love with Grandma Dowdel and laugh out loud at the shenanigans that ensue when she is around. (8-12 years) Newbery winner 2001

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo – Readers will meet a cast of misfit characters who have big dreams in this delightful story by Kate DiCamillo. One of these oddballs is a little mouse named Despereaux who happens to be in love with a princess named Pea. (7-10 years) Newbery winner 2004

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena – CJ and Nana take the bus through the city every Sunday after church. Along the way CJ asks his grandmother why they don’t have a car, why they have to get off in the dirty part of town, and why doesn’t he have an iPod like other kids? Nana patiently answers each question and gently points her grandson toward seeing the beauty in the simple things around them. (5-8 years) Newbery winner 2016

Interested in other Newbery winning titles? Visit ALSC for a list of all the Newbery winners from 1922 to present. Happy reading!

 

Books About Our Founding Fathers for Independence Day

While most children have a vague understanding of why we celebrate the 4th of July in the United States, most fail to comprehend the enormity of the sacrifices made by our founding fathers. This Independence Day why not introduce your child to one of the great men who helped lay the foundation of this great country? We think your family will enjoy these children’s biographies about our founding fathers.

 

Those Rebels, John & Tom (Barbara Kerley) – This book provides a witty portrait of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Your little one will enjoy seeing the differences in these two patriots and recognize how through joining forces, Adams and Jefferson worked to lead the country to freedom. Ages 7-10

 

 

 

George Washington: An Interactive Biography (Rod Gragg) – This biography includes pockets and envelopes with reproduced artifacts from Washington’s life. Kids will love learning about our first president through this interactive biography. Ages 8-12

 

 

Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? (Jean Fritz) – Your child may know that John Hancock’s was the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence, but do they know why he wrote it that way? Discover the answer along with several other interesting facts in this compelling biography by an award winning author. Ages 7-11

 

 

 

Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution! (Jean Fritz) – Here’s another interesting and informative book by Jean Fritz! In 1787 fifty-five delegates gathered in Philadelphia to draft our nation’s constitution. Young readers will enjoy this informative account of the Constitutional Convention. Includes the text of the Constitution! Ages 7-11

 

 

 

Benjamin Franklin, American Genius (Brandon Marie Miller) – Kids will enjoy learning about one of our country’s most beloved founding fathers in this biography about Benjamin Franklin. Not only is the text informative and compelling, but this title also has a cool timeline, glossary, and several hands-on activities related to the subject matter. Ages 9-13

 

 

 

 

 

George Did It (Suzanne Tripp Jurmain) This book provides a glimpse into Washington’s initial reaction to taking on the presidency. Readers will appreciate hearing a more personal account of our first president’s life. Ages 6-9

 

 

 

 

The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr (Judith St. George) – Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr’s legacies have enjoyed a revival thanks to the popular musical, Hamilton! Pre-teens and teens who wish to learn more about the interestingly parallel lives of these two men will want to read this biography. Ages 11-15

 

 

 

Thomas Jefferson (Cheryl Harness) – This biography, written for National Geographic, provides an interesting glimpse into the life of our 3rd president, Thomas Jefferson. Kids will learn about the many sides of this important historical figure who shaped many of the ideals upon which our country was founded. Ages 7-12

 

 

 

The Revolutionary John Adams (Cheryl Harness) – In this installment for her National Geographic series, Harness looks at the life of our 2nd president, John Adams. She details the many contributions that this often overlooked founding father made as our nation was being formed. A good read with lively artwork! Ages 7-12

 

 

 

Biographies can play an important role in inspiring our children toward greatness. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to share a little piece of United States history with your kiddos this Independence Day. Happy 4th of July from Red Apple Reading!