Children's Books

nine, ten: A September 11 Story Book for Young Readers

nine, ten: A September 11 Story Book for Young Readers

With another Anniversary approaching on a day we will never forget, this book is a must read for all junior readers. When I was first sent this book and had not read it yet, I was a tad curious. This is a loaded event and to write a junior novel about such a heavy discussion seems hard to do. Would this book be sad? Confusing? Fearful? It had emotions, yes, but it is so well written there is no worry about guided politics, confusion or fear as a result of reading this book.

nine, ten: A September 11 Story follows 4 multicultural teens that live in 4 different parts of the country. It is September 10, 2001 and they are living their separate lives with life issues of their own. Within 24 hours, these kids learned just how small their problems were in the realm of what had just happened around the country. Each found out about the 4 plane crashes in their own ways, each were personally impacted in different ways and each ended up coming full circle in the same place a year later.

nine, ten: A September 11 Story is written by Nora Raleigh Basking and was published in 2016. This is a great time to order as we approach another September 11 on our calendar. Nora is from Connecticut and is the ALA Schneider Award-winning author of Anything But Typical. It is 208 pages and rated for ages 8-12. Order today on Amazon!

Children's Books

A Boy and His Elephant book that helps answer the question, Who is God?

A Boy and his Elephant book

It is one of life’s greatest questions. Who is God? Many around you may already know him and perhaps you struggle to see or feel him in your life. The fact is, God comes to everyone in different ways. We all have our own unique relationship with him and sometimes it is in the little things we take for granted. The book, A Boy and His Elephant, is for kids and adults, too.

It is a conversation between friends that tackles this question. In the end, we will all be reminded how simple it is to find God all around us. Young and old, we all can use the reminder this book offers.

book about God

A Boy and His Elephant book is available now on Amazon. Learn more about the Author, Ethan L. Watson and his plans to continue writing with hopes of creating a series of books addressing some of life’s more complex questions with the simplest and sincerest answers.

Children's Books

Imaginative Play Teaches Kids to Think Outside the Box

Imaginative Play Teaches Kids to Think Outside the Box

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

In the picture book, Nutshell Regatta, a young girl and her beloved grandmother spend an afternoon exploring a pond and the many creatures and plants living in and around the water. Through their interaction, and using imaginative play, their experience transcends what most people might see when looking at a similar landscape. The animals take on unique roles, the plants play their special parts and the little girl and her grandmother transport themselves to a whole other world whereby they share a unique adventure and create their own story. This is imaginative play.

When we engage in imaginative play, we engage all of our senses. Observing a scene is very one-dimensional. Creating the scene, however, is multi-dimensional. All creative people and great problem solvers use imaginative play. At its core, imaginative play, is “thinking outside the box”. 

There are those who might worry they are not creative or don’t know how to start. The great thing about imaginative play is there is no wrong way to do it! Start with a simple plan. Next time you take a walk with a child, try to engage with your surroundings. 

  • Collect pebbles or leaves. Think about how you could arrange them in a vase or picture frame. 
  • Take a walk with a child in silence. When you get back home, take turns sharing what you saw, smelled, heard and felt.

The fun part is there is no wrong way to do this. Creativity really has no boundaries- you just need to start. In keeping with that vein, let children color outside the lines. Encourage creativity and story-telling. Keep as many supplies around as you can manage including empty boxes, old fabric, old costumes, catalogs, crayons, pencils, paint. All of these types of items are a treasure trove for imaginative play. And remember, it’s the process of imaginative play that’s important rather than what is created! 

Ideas For Imaginative Play:

  • Have one person start a story. Then, each family member or friend adds the next sentence or two. Round and round the story goes, often ending up in very unexpected places. This is a great boost for memory skills, and a source of delightful silliness for everyone!
  • Take out any board game. Collectively reinvent the rules. An example of this activity: a word tile game, like Scrabble, could expand to accept made-up words as a long as a pronunciation and a definition is given and the word is used in a sentence.
  • In this variation of charades, take out a stack of blank index cards. Each person draws or writes out instructions for whoever pulls one of their cards from a stack.
  • Create an entire new and zany rule book for a familiar game – this works well with strategy board games.
  • Flip the script. Rewrite or retell the endings of favorite shows or movies. To be able to deconstruct and reconstruct a familiar storyline is a prime example of imagination meets critical thinking skills.

The most important rule of imaginative play is …. There really are no RULES!

About the Author:

Nutshell Regatta in many ways is an homage to author Jonna Laster’s grandmother. The person that championed and introduced her to imaginative play. One of her favorite memories of imaginative play involves her visits to their home. “My grandmother would turn on any random soap opera and then turn the volume off. We would then make up the story for the actors. I would play dramatic chords on an electric piano and we would make up the dialogue for all the actors… we would create a lot of drama, it was so much fun. And also such a great learning exercise. “ Nutshell Regatta is Jonna’s first children’s book.

Children's Books

2 Toddler Books that Teach Shapes and Numbers

2 Toddler Books that Teach Shapes and Numbers

I wanted to share about 2 new toddler books that are both interactive as they teach colors, counting and shapes. These 2 books from Chronicle Books publishing are available now.

Animal Friends 1 2 3 by Christophe Loupy

This is a counting book with fun animal illustrations that include Seek-and-find flaps on every page turn. You will find a row of dots at the bottom to reinforce counting and adding skills. This book is for ages 3-5. Available on Amazon.

SURPRISE! Slide and Play Shapes by Elsa Fouquier

This shapes and colors book will have your child twist a green square, push a yellow star, or wiggle a blue triangle. There is a a surprise pop-up ending! This book is for ages 0-3. Available on Amazon.

For more great children books to add to your library, visit Chronicle Books.