I recently had the chance to chat with first lady Daniels about her favorite books, her thoughts on the importance of reading rituals, and how she's helping to ensure that the children of Indiana grow up as successful readers.
I was five when I played my first soccer game and it changed my life forever. Physical activity was always part of my childhood, as was reading. Fit minds are just as important as fit bodies, which is why I'm endorsing the Wild Soccer Bunch.
Comic books are not for kids. They are not for "geeks" and certainly are not for girls. They're for everyone. One of the most important things to happen in comics in the past few years has been the rise of all-ages books.
With poetry, photographs, creepy monsters, and a weird family next door, this month's recommendations give us a chance to celebrate the women who bring home the bacon, tuck kids into bed, bake cakes and remind us how important it is to always listen to our mothers.
I will always remember one of my first reading groups in Yonkers, N.Y. One afternoon four little girls walked in and took a seat with me at our reading table. I said, "Oh, it's us girls today!" Then little Alfonse walked in and I said, "And one boy!"
We examine the role of the picture book in introducing children to the visual arts as well as language, and consider important issues such as the appropriateness of certain subjects and styles of illustration for children.
Here are some books that celebrate the trouble we all have fitting in sometimes. From monsters to farm animals to utensils, it never hurts to remember that just because something is different, that doesn't mean it isn't wonderful.
Whether the heroes and heroines of these books are precocious or tentative, suicidal or resourceful, disconnected or endearing, each of them bumbles along as we all did -- as we all do! -- without a handbook.
Kids are changing faster in these years of early adolescence than at any time since infancy. They're trying to figure out not only how their bodies work but who they are going to be and where they fit in.
It shouldn't matter what kids want to read. They should just read. If they want to spend half an hour doing MadLibs, or reading a sports magazine, or a comic book, or novel, or a fix-it book, or a book of jokes they should. It's all reading.
Children yearn to grow up faster than most parents want them to. One area that parents thought might still be under their watchful eye was reading. What could be the problem with reading? Believe it or not, peer pressure.