I put together a Spring Break early reader list for the family book club I lead and thought I’d share with you all.
The book club is for kids first through fourth grade. This list may come in handy while your kids are home from school this break. I like to keep three or four books sprinkled in the backseat for my kids or uploaded to my Kindle.
7 Early Reader Spring Break Books
Fanny just sent me a couple of the color illustrations of upcoming Curlilocks book, Curlilocks and the Sleepy Giant. Super excited. I introduced a new character, Nelson. He’s Curlilocks best friend. I love the texture of Nelson’s hair :). Hoping to get this picture book out by Summer 2017.
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So although it’s a family book club, only the kids get to vote on the next months books. My lovelies voted between two sets of books.
The 2017 February Mommy, Daddy and Me book club books are…
Happy Reading. See you February 18th.
It’s the third year of Mommy, Daddy and Me book club. I’ve led the book club the first four months of the year since my daughter was in 1st grade. Now she’s a 3rd grader and I wondered about it being our swan song year with all of the other Saturday activities both she and my fifth grade son have on the books.
A talk with a good friend reminded me about the significance of book club to our community. The books chosen target grades 1-3 and we often get siblings around those grades K-5. I choose books that feature people of color as the protagonist (usually a child).
The first meeting the book(s) are chosen by me. Subsequent meetings the children vote from two books that I’ve researched. I count two picture books like one chapter book for the month. Our wonderful George Washington Carver Museum provides us the space, snacks and marketing on their site. Love!
This month we’re discussing
I’ll post discussion points after our January 28th meeting.
Update- We had a nice turn out for our January meeting with kids ranging from 5-12 years old. It takes some skill and family involvement to navigate that age range. Love how on involved the parents are and major shout out to my husband for asking more probing questions.
Book club flow
A few discussion points (some of the questions worked for either book):
This past December my illustrator created several images for me for the upcoming Story Bird Dance Journal. I’m in the middle of designing the lay-out. Readers of Story Bird Dance will be able to write their daily thoughts and complete how they were
There’s also a space for the next days goals.
I made the questions and layout with my 7 almost 8 year old in mind. Looking forward to seeing how she and other fans of Story Bird Dance use the journal.
I’m so in love with the cover of the newest book, Story Bird Dance and The Snowbird Ballet and the mini ballet. I wanted to incorporate black, grays and whites in the Snowbirds ballet costume. So often the main character is in all white.
I wanted drama and my illustrator delivered! She rocks!!! I sent her a picture of an actual bird because the colors inspired me along with a possible costume and she produced a work of art for the dancers.
The entire story is about the two of the dancers, Nia and Jada facing some fears around the performance. A back story includes a mini Modern Ballet story I wrote (as Ms. Kenya, the students dance teacher). My family has been a total trooper as I kept running ideas by them.
The ballet is about a Snowbird that flies from her snowy home and crosses a dessert to lay her diamond eggs once a year. She says goodbye to her friends the Arctic Hares (for some reason I leave out the first “c”) Polar Bears and the Forget Me Not Fairies. She has to pass the Lizard King and give him one of her diamond eggs. This year the Lizard King decides to imprison the Snowbird. I love it!
Ok… I’m so excited, just started writing a “winterish” story for the next Story Bird Dance book. I was heading in a different direction. Originally, I was going to do a party story, but another fabulous author, Marti Dumas (of the Jaden Toussaint series is putting together a winter writing bundle. Fingers crossed that I can get it done in time and illustrated. If not, it’ll be great when it comes out.
LOL, in addition, my house remodel deconstruction is finally underway. YES!!!! Meeting with the builder shortly for next steps (please stay on budget). Life is crazy, time is precious, family is love.
Putting together the final tweaks for ….the first book in Story Bird Dance series.
Something’s going on in that house… Sky, Jada and Nia love their dance studio and their instructor, Ms. Kenya. But when they learn that their studio is being moved to an empty old house, their excitement turns to dread. While exploring the house’s second floor, they encounter a ghost! They have to get rid of the ghost before the other students find out it exist. Who’d want to dance in a haunted studio?
I’m rebuilding my writing muscle. When summer hits and the kids are off, I’m off too. This morning I woke up totally refreshed. That’s probably because I finally went to bed around 10:30 pm. Instead of my normal midnight thirty. I’m pretty sure my husband and I were talking about something, when the quicksand of sleep pulled me home. I was awake and full of energy at 6 am this morning. Side note, I so need glasses… eye appointment one week away.
Lesson one- Go to bed on time
Lesson two- Wake up before the house wakes up
Lesson three- Write 5-8 goals for the day
Lesson four- Write
Lesson five- Move around
My kids are home for one more week. They go back to school after Labor Day. Hmmm, that tells me I can write while they’re home. See lessons one and two. This is about habit forming.
I’m proud of myself. I woke up and got to work. What’s my work? First, I need some quiet time. Quiet time while the house is still and dark inspires me. My head becomes clear and focused. I’m working on mediating. That’s a big one that needs improvement and I hold the keys. Once, I’ve been still for a bit, I need to figure out what needs to be done to progress my family, and the business of writing and publishing. Oh my goodness, when you’re the writer, marketer and publisher you always have a job to do. Sometimes that’s a daunting though and maybe why I totally go on break with the kids. I’ll self analyze more later in the privacy of my own head.
The family takes priority. What are we eating, clean clothes, fairly clean house, being the people mover (getting kids to and from their activities) and my favorite ongoing, forever, can’t believe it’s not over yet… remodeling our house. Breathe. When I was dating my now husband and feeling crazy with school and family I got some really great advice. My now mother-in-law saw me struggling and asked, “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer “One bite at time.” That imagine still walks me back down off the edge of the building.
Lesson 3- I’m tempted to just start writing. And that’s Ok. I can go with the flow of the exercise. I’m writing. I’ve still got goals to write and this will be one check on the list. Here’s my goal list for today. Write a draft for Nelson, Complete chair laundry, wash/style Riley’s hair, start book layout for Storybird, write a blog post, read about tribe building, start speed reading course.
When I wake up and start the day without goals or just as the house is waking up, Everyone else’s needs direct the day. Gone is the time to write or rest and find something productive to do selfishly for me. I write my goals in a journal or sometimes on a post it note pad.
Blogging is writing. I’m not writing content for my next book, but I am stringing together coherent thoughts at least I see them that way. All to the good of getting the writing muscle engage.
At age forty four, I find myself in an in-between world. I love technology, but also love the feel of a pen and paper when I’m writing. I can type out a blog post on line, but writing fiction currently requires paper and pencil. That’s something I’m experimenting with changing. Maybe I’ll get more things done with my trusty Mac.
Woohoo! Blog post done. My husband is awake now, and he’s working on his on projects before his daily phone calls start. The kids will be up soon and while they appreciate that moms an author they still want hugs and attention. I think we’ll start the day with a walk. Lesson five.