1st-3rd Grade Readers, Preschool-Kindergarten

Someone Needs a Friend Today.

“Can I be Your Dog” is a sweet book that my whole family enjoyed. It is basically a compilation of letters written between the dog and various community members as the dog searches for a home and family. Troy Cummings does a great job of taking a serious topic of helping animals in need and making it bringing it to the attention of children in a heartwarming way. Don’t worry, I won’t give away the ending, but I will tell you that at the very end of the book Mr. Cummings shares lots of ideas of how you too can help animals without a home, and of course, we were inspired! But first, the review…

  • Age appropriate words and tone Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Yes,
    • I would rate this book a 5 out of 5!

You’ve read the book, now what?

The Value of Working for a Gift

They made their sign, they knew their message (“the money is to help the lonely puppies,”) and they mixed their product. By 10am my little entrepreneurs were ready to open their first business. Let me say, we have some very generous neighbors! I have never in my life paid so much for a glass of lemonade as some of the kind souls that drove by this sale over the weekend did, but my children were so excited and so grateful! In under two hours, they raised $45 to take to donate to the SPCA! I don’t know who benefited more from this project, the homeless puppies, the people who were able to donate and many of whom commented on being proud of the kids for taking such initiative, or my children, who got to work for something other than themselves. They got the satisfaction of the joy that comes from working hard for something other than yourself. They were so happy to give all that money away, knowing it was for a good cause. I was so proud of them. After it was all said and done, it was very late, and I did treat them to a Happy Meal, which was almost providential because inside they found a dog of their own to take home!

Letters Lift a Lonely Heart

Great Grandpa has terrible Alzheimer’s disease, he won’t remember which great- grandchild Lydia is when this had written card reaches his complete care home, but he will remember that he is loved. He will know that he is remembered and treasured even though we are far away. If you know someone who might be lonely, write them a letter. Don’t send a text. Don’t rely on a Facebook post. There is something special about the extra effort of putting a stamp on an envelope and taking those few steps to the mailbox that really spark our hearts. Let’s revive the dying art of letter writing!

Read together and Do together!

1st-3rd Grade Readers

You’re Big Enough to Make a Difference!

Easter holiday is over, but the joy and hope remain. This year the festivities were marred with the deep sadness for the people of Sri Lanka. Whether you, dear reader, are a Christian or not, I hope you agree that terrorism is the most EXTREME form of bullying there is. I also hope that you agree that it is part of our job, as parents or educators, to teach our children that even when we don’t accept or believe the same as others, we can, and SHOULD, be kind.

Crystal Bowman’s book “The Boy on the Yellow Bus” has been my go-to tool for launching off all lessons or conversations involving kindness for nearly a decade! It was published in 2010 while I was a preschool teacher, and I couldn’t wait to read it with my students. Well, as you know, I am now a mom of three, and this book has been read so many times the binding has started to fray, so I have had to hold it together with tape. We can’t get enough! The illustrations by Karen Lee are sweet and engaging, the rhyme scheme is entertaining and catchy, but most importantly, the story’s valuable message is shown throughout the book in a way that makes it clear that (SPOILER ALERT) through kindness,”(they) can do important things, no matter what (their) size!”

  • Age appropriate words and tone Yes
  • Age appropriate messaging – Yes
  • Engaging illustrations – Yes
  • Inspire growth, imagination, or thought- Yes
  • Sustainable interest over multiple reads- Yes
    • I would rate this book a 5 out of 5!

You’ve Read the book, now what?

My son is nine years old, and while we love reading chapter books like the “Harry Potter” series, or “Treasure Island,” sometimes we have just enough time for a quick little bedtime story. Last night, it was his turn to read me his bedtime story. He read “The Boy on the Yellow Bus.” As I mentioned earlier, we had the people of Sri Lanka on our minds, so of course one big act of kindness we could do right then and there was PRAY!

Praying with your children for other people and other nations is a big deal. I think there are at least three ways it will benefit them. 1. Any time spent in prayer is time spent growing their foundation for a strong relationship with the Lord. 2. Prayer for different nations reinforces little minds with the truth that God loves all people. 3. When we are intentional to come alongside our children and help them grow in their relationship the Lord, I truly believe He honors that time by using it to grow and bless our relationship with our children.

While prayer is powerful, and we believe God can do BIG things with little prayers, Matthew wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to do something more hands-on. We brain-stormed together for a few minutes, and building off his worry that the Christians might feel scared to be lights for Jesus, now that they were being targeted, we decided to send them a little reminder not to let Satin blow their light out!

I found a Christian Ministry with an offices in the US and Sri Lanka. I contacted the US office explaining our plan, and they gave me the address to which we could send Matthew’s gift. The unfortunate part is that internationally is EXPENSIVE, so I could only afford to send a small number of flashlights with his message of hope, but the point is still valid…one small act of kindness will inspire another, and then another, and another. One small act of kindness can make a big difference!

Read Together and Do together

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