Monday, August 3, 2015

My 5 Favorite Children's Books + A Special Project!

Happy Monday, Friends! Today I have some fun news to share! For the month of August I'm teaming up with two awesome bloggers to host a virtual BOOK DRIVE! I love giving back and showing people ways we can help others in need, even if we don't always have a lot of time to volunteer or much money to donate. I figure the easier it is, the more people are able and willing to help. And that's amazing!

Before I get into all the details, I want to share some of my favorite children's books with you. To go along with our book drive, Amanda (The Happy Arkansan), Pam (Hodge Podge Moments) and I will be writing about various book related themes, and today's theme is about what most of us started our reading journey with - children's books! We'll be doing this every Monday in August. We'd love to hear what YOU think about each topic. Leave a comment, or even better, write your own blog post about it and link up below! We can't wait to see what you have to say :) Here's my top 5!

1. It Was a Dark and Stormy Night 

"It was a dark and stormy night, the rain came down in torrents, there were brigands on the mountains, and wolves, and the chief of the brigands said to Antonio, 'I'm bored – tell us a story!'"

I loved this book as a kid, and I remember always asking my mom to read it. Even though she loves this book too, she didn't always say yes. It's a bit long for a children's book, hahah! Maybe that just made it more special when we DID read it. It Was a Dark and Stormy Night is about a young boy who's kidnapped by brigands. To pass the time during a (you guessed it) dark and stormy night, his kidnappers force him to tell them a story, which he does while also plotting his escape.

It was a Dark and Stormy Night book cover

2. The Stinky Cheese Man: and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

"And everyone lived happily, though not completely honestly, ever after."

This is a collection of fractured fairy tales, probably the weirdest ones I've ever seen! The illustrations used to freak me out a bit, hahah. When I was little I always wanted everything to be "pretty!" Luckily I learned to appreciate different, interesting styles, too ;) Jon Scieska books are a must for anyone (of any age) that loves a good laugh!

The Stinky Cheese Man: and Other Fairly Stupid Tales book cover

3. Letters from Felix

On her way back from a family vacation Sophie loses her plush bunny, Felix, in an airport. She's pretty torn up about it, until she starts receiving letters in the mail from Felix, who's now on a vacation of his own! Felix travels to London, Paris, Rome. Cairo, Kenya, and New York City before finally making his way home on Christmas Eve (#TravelGoals). These books were really fun, because along with the story it includes envelopes to open with the letters from Felix inside!

Letters from Felix Book Cover

4. The Lorax

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”

A thousand times better than the movie, so if you haven't read this yet, add it to your list! I don't care how old you are! I am the blogger! I speak for the books!

The Lorax book cover

5. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

The poor pigeon just wants to drive the freakin' bus! This came out much later than the first three books, so I didn't grow up reading it or anything, but I still really like it! You're never too old to appreciate a picture book ;)

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus book cover

I know I don't need to reiterate this, but reading is IMPORTANT. I can't even image what my life would be like now if I hadn't spent so much of my childhood with my nose stuck in a book. That's why I was so upset to learn some facts on literacy in North America and how many children in low-income families don't have access to books. If you don't want to click the link, here's a couple key points:

- One study found that in middle income neighborhoods the ratio is 13 books per child; in low-income neighborhoods, the ratio is one book for every 300 children. (Neuman, Susan B. and David K. Dickinson, ed. Handbook of Early Literacy Research, Volume 2. New York, NY: 2006).

- Price is the #1 barrier to book ownership. Programs have limited funds and 94% of teachers use their own money to provide books & resources for their students.

Books are a lot more expensive now than they used to be, so price being the #1 issue unfortunately isn't surprising. I rarely buy brand new books! A lot of the books I read come from the library, which is an AMAZING resource that I recommend to everyone - except a family in need might not have the time, transportation, or access to a library. This is where First Book comes in. Let's get these kids some books!

First Book

Amanda, Pam and I are teaming up with First Book to present to you The Blogger Book Drive! First Book is an amazing company that helps you donate and host your own online book drive. For every $2.50 raised, First Book will donate one book to a child in need. That's cheaper than a tall caramel macchiato at Starbucks (and let's be real, how many people only order a tall?). First Book has already distributed more than 130 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities, how awesome is that? The three of us have set a goal to raise $200 for our book drive, and as much as I'd love to donate the whole amount myself, we need your help! Raising $200 would provide 80 books, and if we can raise that goal who knows how many books we could donate?!
If you're interested in donating, visit our fancy book drive page right here! (Did I make it obvious enough? Hahah.) If you'd like to help in a way that's not donating, we'd greatly appreciate your help on spreading the word! Either through sharing our posts or linking up with us every Monday! If I didn't make it clear enough at the beginning of the post let me say it again - we REALLY want you to link up so we can see what you have to say about books! If you do, we will love you and share your bookish amazingness all over the interwebs.

We're so incredibly excited to be working on this project, and we hope it excites some of our readers as well! So join us every Monday in August for more bookish fun :) Now, here's the linky tool below! Have fun!


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