One Page At a Time Podcast-logo

One Page At a Time Podcast


Strategies and resources for using books in our homes


United States




Strategies and resources for using books in our homes






Episode 37: Reading: Helping to Heal Trauma

Did you ever think of reading for helping to heal trauma? We talk to Jessica Sinarski about her books and reading as a way to help connect with those who have experienced trauma and help them heal. This week we are joined by Jessica Sinarski, a Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health who works with children and has so much knowledge and experience to share with us! In this episode we talk about: 1. Jessica’s experience and background working with children and people who have experienced significant trauma in their early lives as well as her passion for digging into the effects of early trauma on the brain and the different paths to healing. 2. Why and how stories and reading can play a role in helping and working with kids who have experienced trauma. “Story is a powerful tool for connecting and healing.” 3. Why it is important to bring the “big” and “scary” parts of ourselves or our experiences to the surface and process them. 4. Why picture books are a good medium for kids to be able to engage with different parts of the story, depending on their situation and needs. “That is my goal- to start young and often, dealing with the tough stuff in life.” 5. Jessica’s experiences seeing picture books help people of all ages- even adults- recognize, express or process their feelings. 6. The books that Jessica has written and how they came to be. “There are kids who desperately need these stories, ...but then they are empathy builders for kids who haven’t had a lot of stressors yet so they can be a friend.” 7. How the books can help take the shame out of having these big feelings and help both kids and adults understand where the feelings come from and how to handle them. 8. What types of books can be helpful when trying to connect with kids who have experienced trauma and a few ideas on when and how to use them. “Humans... have these little windows where we can learn... and where we’re receptive and ready and can soak things up. Sometimes that’s at bedtime during reading, but that’s where we have to be really tuned into the child, because sometimes it’s during play or it’s when we’re out for a walk…” 9. Heaps of book recommendations to help kids with their feelings and experiences! 10. Extra resources for parents and adults trying to parent and work with kids who have gone through trauma. “We can’t fix everything. Sometimes you just have to sit with it.” In Reading: Helping to Heal Trauma we mention We are so grateful to Jessica for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, her books, and her work can be found in the following places: Instagram: @rileythebrave (Jessica Sinarski) Websites: Brave Brains Riley the Brave Common Sense Media Book Reviews Books we mentioned: Riley the Brave by Jessica Sinarski Riley the Brave Makes it to School by Jessica Sinarski (releasing June 2021) What’s Inside Your Backpack? by Jessica Sinarski The Invisible String by Patrice Karst Mo Willems (author) Hey Warrior by Karen Young Hey Awesome by Karen Young The Kissing Hand by Barbara Bain Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang You may also be interested in: Listen to our interview with Dr William Stixrud about internal motivation to read Listen to our interview with Drs Dollahite and Marks to hear insight into strengthening family relationships through reading.


Episode 36: Helping Kids Take Control of their Reading with Dr. William Stixrud

This week we are joined by Dr. William Stixrud, neuropsychologist, and co-author of the widely known and regarded book, The Self-Driven Child. We talk with Dr. William Stixrud about becoming and helping your child become a self-driven reader. In this episode we talk about: 1. What is motivation in relation to the issues Dr. Stixrud addresses in The Self-Driven Child. 2.. The connection between some things we have researched and read about in Scholastic’s Kid and Family Reading Report, especially the “Decline by Nine” with the principles of child self-motivation. “I love you too much to fight with you about reading.” 3. Some words of encouragement for those who are skeptical of handing over more control of their reading and academic habits to their children. “Making peace with the fact that you really can’t force a kid to do something is really liberating as a parent.” “I want to support kids in every way to become a good reader, but I also want to pay attention to what we know about the brain. If at the end of the day, at night when a kid is tired and done with school, the idea that making them read is going to make them better, it just doesn’t make any brain sense at all.” 4. How we can help kids who are struggling with reading. “What I recommend is that allowed to listen. We know that the same brain systems activate if you are listening to a story or if you are reading it yourself- the same brain systems having to do with comprehension.” 5. How we can prioritize our relationship with a child when there are struggles or friction. 6. How the difference in boys’ and girls’ physiology and development can play a role in their reading development and how important it can be to bear this in mind. 7. Some thoughts on rewards and incentives and how we can use them to our and our kids’ advantage. “It’s not trying to bribe them to do stuff we want to do, it’s...helping them beat their own goals.” We are so grateful to Dr. Stixrud for taking the time to talk with us! More information about him, his work and what we chatted about can be found in the following places: Resources we mention in Helping Kids Take Control of their Reading Instagram: @simplyonpurpose with Ralphie Jacobs Websites: Simply on Purpose The Stixrud Group Scholastic’s Kid and Family Reading Report Books The Self-Driven Child by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson What Do You Say? by William Stixrud and Ned Johnson (coming Fall 2021) Grit by Angela Duckworth You may also be interested in: Fighting the Decline by Nine with Lauren Tarshis You may have missed our last episode with Kai Gomeau...


Episode 35: Read With a Teen with Kai Gomeau

This week we are joined by a very impressive teenager! Earlier in 2020, Kai Gomeau was looking for ways to get involved in some community service, but, as it has for so many of us, Covid threw a wrench into his plans. Kai was determined, however, and decided to start his own virtual reading program- Read With a Teen. In this episode we talk about: 1. Kai’s reading habits as a busy teenager, how and when he fits time to read in and what he likes to read. 2. How Kai's project, Read With a Teen, went from a memory from Kindergarten to a successful online program with connections all over the country and even world! “I had to go out and find another way…” 3. What Read WIth a Teen is and how it works. “He started the program not liking reading, but as a couple weeks went by… when I would offer to read a book he’d be like, ‘no no no, let me read, let me read!’” 4. Some of the sessions and experiences that Kai has had that have made an impact on him. “Part of that might have been reading with someone else that wasn’t his mom and doing it for fun!” 5. What Kai’s vision of the future of Read With a Teen is and the goals he has for himself and his program. “I’ve heard from a lot of my high school friends that they don’t like reading and that they never liked reading, so I was like, ‘huh...I should fix that.’” In Read with a Teen with Kai Gomeau we mention: We are so grateful to Kai for taking the time to talk with us! More information about him and Read With a Teen can be found in the following places: Facebook: Books we mentioned: Pete the Cat (series) by James Dean Fox in Socks by Dr Seuss Scooby Doo Storybook Collection edited by Beth Dunfey The Book with No PIctures by BJ Novak Don’t the Pigeon Drive the Bus (series) by Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie (series) by Mo Willems Mercy Watson (series) by Kate DiCamillo Shel Silverstein (author) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee William Shakespeare (author) The Odyssey by Homer Percy Jackson (series) by Rick Riordan Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King Catch a Fire by Timothy White If you liked Read with a Teen with Kai Gomeau, be sure to check out our interview with Sarah Wood about what your child's teacher wants you to know about reading.


Episode 34: 2020 Favorite Reads with Jill Berrett Given and Amanda Fristrom

We both had reading goals we mastered in 2020 and want to share with you some 2020 favorite reads from us, One Page at a Time hosts, Jill Berrett Given and Amanda Fristrom As we look forward to a new year in our podcast, we wanted to take a minute and look back at the last year. It was a big year in reading for both of us, so before we dive back into the awesome guests we get to chat with, we decided to share some of our favorites of all the books we read! In this episode we talk about: What our 2020 reading goals were and how they changed and developed as the year went on. Our top five books for the year! We each had our own criteria for picking our top books, so we ended up with a pretty diverse list! We will link to all the books we picked below. How the pandemic and other events in 2020 changed our (and so many other people we have talked to!) reading habits and limited the scope and type of books we read. And finally, we wrapped up the episode sharing our 2021 reading goals with each other (and all of you)! We talk about our reasons for reading fluffy fiction. Interested in learning more about just one of the benefits of reading fiction? Here's the Harvard Business Review article and the research study Amanda refers to about how fiction positively affects decision making. In 2020 Favorite Reads we mention: Amanda's reads: Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain The Book of Eels by Patrik Svensson Lovely War by Julie Berry The Four Kingdoms (series) by Melanie Cellier Jill's reads: The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff Pitch Perfect by Mickey Rapkin Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan The War That Saved My Life/The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley We also mention: Holes by Louis Sachar Chronicles of Narnia (series) by C. S. Lewis Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling Hatchet by Gary Paulsen Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine A Boy Called Bat (series) by Elana K. Arnold Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel Sophie Kinsella (Author) Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern Shannon Hale (author) Gail Carson Levine (author) In 2020 Favorite Reads we also mention these resources: Everyday Reading and here is the 2021 Reading Log Adam Sockel, Professional Book Nerds for a podcast on book recommendations (here's our interview with Adam about Professional Book Nerds) Superhero Book List (from yours truly) Princess Book List for all ages (also from yours truly) For our entire reading list: Interested in seeing all 300+ books we read in 2020? Or to follow us on Goodreads? Here's the link to Jill's year in review and Amanda's year in review for all the fun stats and links to all the books. For our entire lists together, organized by category/series and with our recommendations (because let's be honest, we wouldn't re-read all of these or recommend some of them to you) we will be publishing a separate blog list soon. Just what did reading more than 200 books in 2020 do to Amanda? Find out 20 lessons from reading 200+ books in 2020 in Amanda's blog post all about it, coming soon.


Episode 33: How We Read with Jean and Mark Yockey

The (first?) grandparent edition of How we read with Jean and Mark Yockey helps us all to gain the perspective of a parent who raised their kids on books and now read to their grandchildren as well - wherever in the world they are. This week we are joined by Jean and Mark Yockey, parents of our one and only Amanda! They wear so many hats, including educators, PhD holders, a nurse, an entrepreneur, and, what they joined us especially to talk about: grandparents! Books were always a huge part of their lives as they raised their family and the theme has carried on into their grandparenting. In this episode we talk about: 1. A little bit about how their family’s book collection evolved through the years, through many moves to new cities, states and homes and now as the kids have grown up, left home and started families of their own. 2. Their experiences being the parents of teenagers with different reading styles and interests. 3. The evolution of their experiences from parents to grandparents when it comes to reading. “it’s different if you see somebody in a picture or on a computer screen, vs seeing them in person... After one story, though, then it’s like, ‘okay... I remember this and life is good.’” 4. What do they like about reading with their grandchildren? 5. Their experiences reading with one of their grandchildren who is on the Autism spectrum. “Books are a good way to introduce him to other things in the world that he is a little more reluctant to open up to.” 6. The benefits of revisiting a familiar or favorite book to help kids through concerns or difficult times. “There’s a fair amount of uncertainty and loss of structure [right now]..that we can’t control, but you can always go back and revisit the magic of your friends that are in books, even if you can’t see your real friends as much.” 7. How they juggle and manage to read to as many of their 7+ grandkids as possible at one time- both in person and virtually! “I don’t run around as much as I used to; I can’t keep up with them! It’s a good opportunity for me to sit down and relax and rejuvenate, too.” 8. What are some of their favorite things to read with their grandkids? 9. How they tailor their reading and discussion about books to their grandkids’ different ages. 10. Thoughts on how parents of adult children can help encourage their children to make books a part of their grandkids’ lives. We are so grateful to Mark and Jean for taking the time to talk with us! In this How We Read with Jean and Mark Yockey we mentioned: The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone Mercer Mayer (author of the Little Critter series) The Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain Go Dog Go! by P. D. Eastman Chickens to the Rescue by John Himmelman Robot Bot Bot by Fernando Krahn Llama Llama (series) by Anna Dewdney Never Let a Unicorn Scribble! by Diane Alber You may be interested in: Episode 29: Bringing out the best in princesses and superheroes We talk about how to discuss books with our children - and when those books have something you don't like in it.


Episode 32: How did a dyslexic become an author,.?!

Just how does a dyslexic become an author of a series of picture books teaching language and grammar rules to children? Kimberlee Gard shares her story with us. This week we are joined by children’s book author Kimberlee Gard, who is an inspiration for anyone who has a loved one who struggles with reading or is experiencing the struggle themselves. Growing up with dyslexia, she, in her own words, “spent her childhood running from books instead of reading them.” As time went on, she gained the tools and skills she needed to not only unlock the joy of books, but has become the author of them! She has written several picture books and is passionate about the power that books have to change children- especially ones who may not follow the same path to a love of reading that their peers might.. In this episode we talk about: 1. What it was like for her growing up with dyslexia and not being able to read by herself until she was about ten years old. “That really set me apart and way behind my makes you feel different; it makes you struggle with who you are.” 2. A few of the tools that Kimberlee learned along the way in her journey of learning how to read and form a positive relationship with reading and writing. “It can change a child’s life to be encouraged by focusing where their attributes are instead of where their struggles are.” 3. How her struggle reading actually helped to turn her into a storyteller and led to her writing career and how it affects her writing today. “I think that struggles can sometimes become a gift, and I know that is true for me.” 4. Why Kimberlee decided to write a children's book about punctuation of all things! “The majority of the time, punctuation is not taught until children are far past the initial stages of reading and because of this, children have to go back and relearn how to use punctuation or they just discount it and don’t use it at all!” 5. How her “Learning is Fun” book series was born out of her desire to focus on where she struggled as a kid and create tools to help other children. In How Did a Dyslexic Become an Author,.?! we mention: We are so grateful to Kimberlee for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her and her books can be found in the following places: Instagram: @kimberlee.gard Websites: Kimberlee's website Books we mentioned: The Day Punctuation Came to Town by Kimberlee Gard The Mighty Silent e! by Kimberlee Gard The Little i Who Lost His Dot by Kimberlee Gard Karma Wilson (author) If you like this episode, you may be interested in listening to episode 23: Building Character with Picture Books with Mary Costello


Episode 31: Show Me the Money…Bunnies! Talking Finances with Kids with Cinders McLeod

We know, talking finances with kids doesn't usually rank high on a parent's list of highlights. Moneybunnies may just be able to help you out with that, however. This week we are joined by Cinders Mcleod, cartoonist, illustrator and author extraordinaire. She taught herself everything she knows about finances during her decades-long career with publications all over the world (even making it into the Guiness Book of World Records!). In recent years, she has been sharing her hard-earned wisdom with the world through her illustrated picture book series, Moneybunnies, which are wonderfully imaginative and a wonderful way to start conversations about money and finances with children. In this episode we talk about: 1. Moneybunnies! Cinders grew up not really talking about money in her home, so she began wondering and pondering on it from a very early age. Her ponderings came into play during the 2007-08 financial crisis, when more people were concerned about teaching kids about money, and she decided to turn them into a series of books to help kids navigate the world of money. “I left my newspaper to focus on a series of books that could help kids navigate the world of money, because I wanted to write the books that I really could have done with when I was a kid.” 2. The individual books in the series and what they are all about. 3. The universality of the books- Cinders created her own world to set the books in, a bunny world, so that children all over the world can understand and relate to the stories and, by extension, the principles they teach. “My intention isn’t to tell parents how to do it, but to get the conversation started.” 4. Some thoughts and tips on actually starting conversations about money with children and specifics about how the Moneybunnies books and other resources Cinders has on her website can play a part in the conversations. 5. Cinders shared some feedback she has received from people who have read and used her books. “I wanted through my social comment cartoons to help the world, but I think fate directed me to something probably more important, which is helping children get a good start at having better lives...if I can do that, that’s pretty magic!” 6. How the humor and very approachable illustration in the books make them very palatable to both children and adults, which came from both her background as a cartoonist as well as her experiences with her own children. 7. Possibilities of starting conversations with your kids when you as the parent or adult might need to instigate them rather than waiting for your children to come to you and ask the questions. “I’m really proud of what I learned in my life because I had to, and if I can share [those] little things I learned with children, then maybe I can help them skip a few steps!” 8. We wrapped up by taking advantage of chatting with a cartoonist to get her thoughts on cartoons and especially cartoon books. In "Show Me the Money...Bunnies! Talking Finances with Kids " we mention: We are so grateful to Cinders for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, her books, and the Moneybunnies’ world can be found in the following places: Websites: Books we mentioned: Earn It by Cinders McCleod Spend It! by Cinders McCleod Save It! by Cinders McCleod Give it by Cinders McLeod is now available! Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson Want to be sure your child understands Difficult concepts related to financial literacy? Listen to our episode with Sydnie Brinkerhoff, The Development of Language.


Episode 30: What Everyday Reading Looks Like with Janssen Bradshaw

Book recommendations, printable reading lists, a free ecourse on raising a reader and more all reside at this website, but here we interview Janssen about what everyday reading looks like to learn what goes into this powerhouse of information. This week we are joined by Janssen Bradshaw, the woman behind the incredibly popular website and instagram account, Everyday Reading. While she seems to have a hand in everything from designing rainboots to perfecting the chocolate chip cookie, her background as a librarian led her to bringing us the support and book recommendations that make her sites stand out. In this episode we talk about: 1. Janssen’s background from growing up in a “serious reading family” to discovering her own reading tastes as an adult and even becoming a school librarian in Boston before she started having her girls. 2. How her website started and evolved into what it is today. “I thought, ‘I’m going to start reading again!’ So I went to the library, and I just wandered through all the stacks and I thought, ‘I have no idea even what to read!’” 3. What it was like to be a school librarian in Boston and some of the lessons she learned from those experiences. 4. What it takes for Janssen to make her epic book recommendation lists and some of the resources she uses for them. We learned she has a whole post on her website that compiles those resources, which she shared with us: 5. How book tastes are very unique and your taste may not line up with someone who is recommending books to you, but how there are books out there for everyone. “There’s never better conversations on my blog or instagram than when I say, ‘what book does everybody love that you can’t stand?’” 6. What are some of the elements that make a book one of Janssen’s “favorites” and what are some of Janssen’s most popular recommendation lists from her website. 7. Where someone can start when they come to her website for the first time and get the most out of the information that she has compiled over the years. 8. Advice on what to do when the kids in your life start to get opinions about what they want to read and how to balance letting them read what they want while still suggesting and reading your book picks with them. “Just because they don’t like it now doesn’t mean they’ll never like it.” 9. Some tips for anyone who is struggling finding books that their kids will read or having other kids of friction when it comes to kids and reading. “I feel like as a job is to make reading fun and something that they enjoy.” 10. We wrapped up with a little bit (or a lot) of love for audiobooks and how amazing they are for kids! We are so grateful to Janssen for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, her website, and her oodles of excellent book recommendations can be found in the following places: To find more about what Everyday Reading looks like: Instagram: @everydayreading Facebook: Websites: Books we mention in What Everyday Reading Looks Like: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain Don't miss our previous interview with Dr. Sarah Coyne about using books to re-write the way popular characters are seen in your home.


Episode 29: Bringing out the Best in Princesses and Superheroes with Dr. Sarah Coyne

We help you bring out the best in princesses and superheroes in your books - whether they are for you or your children! We know. You don't know what to think of your toddler trying to climb walls like Spiderman and your daughter singing "Let it Go" for the bajillionth time. Luckily Dr. Sarah Coyne has done the research and spills all for ways we can bring out the best in princesses and superheroes using books about these beloved characters. This week we are joined by Sarah Coyne, professor and a director at the School of Family life at Brigham Young University where she studies gender, body image, children, and adolescence. Her studies are vast and varied, but she joined us today to chat about a topic that many people have strong opinions about- superheroes and princesses. In this episode we talk about: 1. How an experience with her then-three-year-old daughter asking if she was too fat sparked Dr. Coyne’s interest in the scientific study of princesses and superheroes. “[A colleague] said, ‘I don’t really have any research to back me up here in terms of scientific studies,’ and I thought, ‘well that’s what I do for my job, so I think I’ll do a study on Disney princesses!’” 2. What some of the results of Dr. Coyne’s studies on the effects of both princesses and superheroes on young children have been. 3. Some of the criticisms of princess and superhero stories, but also how they are changing with time and thoughts on how we can consume them rather than simply give up on them. “There’s all these beautiful themes that are mentioned in the princess movies, like loyalty or defending your family members or following your dreams or how to work really hard and not give up when people are mean to you...I think if we focused on those messages and those themes we would do a lot better than generally focusing on appearance or how pretty they are, which is sometimes what we do.” How to focus on the good using books 4. How we can focus on the good in these stories and characters using books. “If you’re watching a movie, it’s hard to pause it and be like, ‘okay, let’s talk about what’s going on here,’ but with a book it feels more natural to do that… It’s a really beautiful opportunity to be able to talk about some of those good themes we find in princess movies as opposed to watching a move.” 5. How we can take a child’s more superficial interest in a character or story and help them see different aspects and attributes of those beloved characters that we would love for our kids to emulate or internalize. 6. We dip just a bit into Dr. Coyne’s studies about aggression in children and adolescents and the role superheroes might play in that. She had some great thoughts on using those stories to start conversations and using them to learn and grow. “I’m not a big fan of banning things just flat out; I really believe that media can be such a valuable tool in all sorts of different ways… Media is just a tool and you can use a tool for both good and evil.” In Bringing out the Best in Princesses and Superheroes we mention: We are so grateful to Dr. Coyne for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her and her research can be found in the following places: Websites: Social Media Curriculum for 5-8 graders- Freakonomics Episode (Dr. Coyne is a contributing guest) Does Hollywood Still Have a Princess Problem Books we mentioned: Frozen Storybook Collection by Walt Disney LeapStart Disney Princess Shine with Your Vocabulary My Little Pony Friendship Adventures (series) by Olivia London One Page at a Time's princess book recommendations We give you a list of some of our favorite princess books and some ideas for positive themes you can talk about with your child. One Page at a Time's superhero book recommendations


Episode 28: Focusing on Focus: Helping Kids Read Independently with Kristen Berrett

We are focusing on focus and helping kids read independently in this episode - a sometimes overwhelming subject. If you have a wiggle-worm or reluctant reader in your life, this may be a helpful listen. This week we are joined by Kristen Berrett, an educator who has worked with non-profit youth mentoring organizations for many years. She is an avid reader (not surprising, as she is one of co-host Jill’s five sisters) who joined us to share her thoughts and years of experience working with children and teenagers from all sorts of backgrounds. In this episode we talk about: 1. How many parents and others who work with kids would love for said kids and teens to read more, but aren’t sure how to help them have the focus needed to read independently. “If we are talking about teaching a child the skill of being able to focus and read independently, just the same with any skill- practice makes perfect.” 2. Several things that Kristen has studied and researched that can affect a child’s ability to focus (and, by extension, their ability to read independently). Two main ones that she has focused on in her career are screen time and childhood trauma. “Even as I’m working from home today I have like 12 internet browsers open and I’m going back and forth between all of them and it’s not teaching anybody- kids or adults- how to focus on one thing.” 3. Things that Kristen has learned both through her research as well as through working with kids that can help children improve their ability to focus. 4. How meditation and mindfulness is a growing idea in schools, after-school programs and even families that can help kids “get their brain back into a place where they can focus.” “Even just a few minutes in nature every day can help a kid learn how to calm their mind and slow things down so that they can focus on other things during the rest of their lives.” 5. Some techniques that Kirsten has seen actually help kids improve the effects of childhood trauma, which can be a big factor in kids’ ability to focus. 6. The unique classroom experience Kristen had when she was teaching- elementary school physical education and high school leadership classes for Latinos and refugees- and how she used books in her classes. “Because of the demographics of the classes I was teaching, we had a lot of conversations about race and about what that means, to be different from other people...and the book really opened up a lot of those conversations.” 7. Independent reading and young children, starting habits early and how audiobooks can play a role in that. 8. Research and resources Kirsten has used to build her knowledge base in this subject. We are so grateful to Kristen for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, and some of the things we chatted about can be found in the following places: Books we mention in Focusing on Focus: Helping Kids Read Independently The Deepest Well Nadine Burke Harris Paul Tough, author Peaceful Piggie Meditation by Kerry Lee MacLean Blue Willow by Doris Gates Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell We also mention: Better Screen Time - a great resource for helping you keep the tech in your home in check, no matter how old your children are. You may also be interested in our interview with Lauren Tarshis from Scholastic, Fighting The Decline By Nine.


Episode 26: Dealing with Covid-19

Dealing with Covid-19 using books may sound overwhelming or like a perfect fit - or likely somewhere between these two on the sliding scale. We wanted to give you a look at what's happening in One Page at a Time and also a couple resources you can look into if you wish. In this episode we talk about: 1 Jill and Amanda are both dealing with Covid-19 in different ways, since we have different personalities and different situations. The one commonality with everyone is that this is an unexpected and life-altering period in our lives. We all handle it in different ways, and that's totally okay. 2 We very quickly list some of the resources we are aware of that are currently available to help us all during this time. Check the end of this post for links and more info. 3 Finally, we both feel as though some of the unpublished interviews we have done may be helpful for many of us now. Therefore, we've changed our schedule around and you can expect to hear from authors Dealing with Covid-19 resources: We are Teachers This may be the most concise and inclusive list of "virtual author activities" that we have seen. This lists a lot of authors and illustrators doing drawings (think Mo Willems) and many read alouds (think Oprah Winfrey). It's sectioned off into 3 age categories, so don't get too overwhelmed by the length of the list. If you're going to start somewhere, we recommend you start here. A Kid's Book About Covid-19 Big fan of A Kid's Book series like us? Download their great ebook on Covid-19 for free at the link above. In general, these are great books about subjects that can be difficult one way or another, so it may be worth perusing their shop, as well. (not affiliated in any way, just like their books) What is a Pandemic? Free e-story Teachers Pay Teachers is a treasure trove of great resources, and this free story is definitely one to read. It's graded K-3rd grade, though my 5-year-old had a harder time with the text. Wide Open School This is one of the resources we have that covers kids Pre-K to Grade 12. I will quote the website, "As parents, you may be adjusting to the idea of having your kids at home all the time. To make learning with them more accessible, we have been busy compiling the best free online resources." If you are feeling a bit lost and on your own, this is a great start for schooling. Kate Messner Author and former teacher, Kate Messner has shared a page full of resources that are even divided by age. As a parent, I think this is a useful page, even though it is intended for librarians and teachers. She includes a link to publisher guidelines for online read a louds, if you have been wondering about that. She also has links to several of her own children's books on YouTube. Author Penpal: Kimberlee Gard We have a great interview we will be publishing soon with Kimberlee about her books. The Day Punctuation Came to Town is my personal favorite, and she is an absolute delight. She just announced on her instagram account that she will respond to anyone who wants to write to her, pen-pal style. Storyline Online Celebrities reading books can never get old, right? These are picture books, heads up. Story Seeds Podcast story about Corona Virus Story Seeds is a fabulous podcast that shows up regularly in our bedtime routine at Amanda's house. Jason Reynolds, author of the newly released Stamped, gives 8 tips for keeping the new "villain" in town at bay. It's not so much a story, but definitely worth a listen (it's 4 minutes) to see if you feel it would be helpful for your family. Brain Pop video and curriculum on Covid-19 The video by Brain Pop is great for any age, and if you have school-age kids, be sure to look into the accompanying reading, vocabulary, quiz, etc. This is a great way to be sure you and your child are on the same page with understanding such a difficult subject.


Episode 25: Loving Bookstores from Afar

Loving Bookstores from Afar may seem impossible, given the nature of brick-and-mortar stores. Add in the current #stayhome world we are in, we fear for our sanity and for the bookstores around the world. can help with both these concerns. This week we are joined by Stephanie Ballien, the director of marketing for a digital company called Libro FM. She worked with many other major brands before finding her passion and home at Libro FM. She hails from Seattle and enjoys life there with her two children. In this episode we talk about: 1. What Libro FM is. It is a company that provides a way for you to buy audiobooks through local and independent bookstores that they have partnered with- a great way to support bookstores while still getting the digital content we love! 2. How the partnership with bookstores makes Libro FM different from other audiobook platforms and what features they are able to bring to their customers thanks to that partnership. 3. A speed-round of Frequently Asked Questions that Stephanie handled like a champ! So much good information about them, how they work, how much it costs, and so much more in such a short amount of time (you get to own the audio file! They have monthly sales! You can get a refund if you did not like the book! You can pick a bookstore to support!). 4. When we recorded and originally aired this episode, the world was in the middle of dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19. We chatted about what Libro FM was doing to support the local bookstores that they partner with, many of which had to close down while their cities tried to contain the virus. 5. And, as a final wrap-up, we got Stephanie about the latest book that she has read and fell in love with. In Loving Bookstores From Afar we mention We are so grateful to Stephanie for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, and LibroFM can be found in the following places: Instagram: @librofm @Childrenslitlove Websites: Email: Books we mentioned: Stamped by Jason Reynolds Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (series) Disney's Frozen Anna and Elsa sister series by Erica David Nate the Great (series) by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat A Boy Called Bat (series) by Alana K Arnold Related Episodes If you're looking for another great way to listen to audiobooks, be sure to listen to Episode 9: Getting to Know Overdrive and Libby with Adam Sockel We also talk about listening to audiobooks in one of our earliest interviews with Family Looking Up in Episode 6: Finding Books for your Family


Episode 24: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Books with Coleen Graham

What do we mean by healthy bodies, healthy books? We share how can you use books to help your family stay healthy, and what are some great options to read together. This week we are joined by Coleen Graham, a RN who has worked in a major pediatric hospital for the past eleven years. She also has three kids of her own, so she has had plenty of experience teaching kids about being sick and staying healthy in all sorts of settings. Along with nursing she also teaches preschool and the occasional yoga class, so we are very grateful that she was able to take the time to chat with us about this topic that has been on many parents’ minds lately! In this episode we talk about: 1. Coleen’s job at the hospital and what she does there. She explains her unit as a “step-down NICU.” She mostly works with infants and toddlers, although they have recently started getting children of many different ages. 2. What she prioritizes as a nurse and a mom when she teaches her kids about their bodies and staying healthy. 3. How she has used books to teach those things to her kids and why picture books do such a great job at putting these complicated topics on their level. 4. How she has seen books used at her hospital unit. For instance, she has seen a feeding tube kit that comes with a story book and coloring book that talk about what it is, how it is used, how they can talk about it, etc. Since her unit is mostly younger kids, they do not use them to explain what is going on as much, but they have books that are for the kids and parents to use while they are there, which helps to bring something familiar and comforting to a scary situation. “The parents are happy to see a book that they are familiar with and they are happy to read to their child and it kind of makes a scary hospital experience something a little less scary.” 5. Coloring books and what a great tool they can be. Coleen has used them when teaching her kids about their bodies and she made a great point about how kids are often times better able to listen to things we are trying to teach them when their hands are busy doing something else... like coloring or drawing! 7. How she has decided what to teach her different children at different ages. 8. A few of their family’s favorite books for talking about bodies and health. 9. How our emotions and mental health can affect our physical health and how we can help our kids with their emotions and especially to identify and communicate them. 10. All three of us chime in with some books that might be good for older children, teenagers or even adults who want to We are so grateful to Coleen for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, the books we chat about, and other resources to help us teach our kids about being healthy can be found in the following places: In Healthy Bodies, Healthy Books we mention: Websites: Kids Google Scholar Books: The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain What are Germs? - By Katie Daynes (Usborne) My Body - Usborne The Usborne Science Encyclopedia by several authors The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems Standin’ Tall Cleanliness by Janeen Brady Little Monkey Calms Down by Michael Dahl Lurlene McDaniel (author) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach The Rent Collector by Camron Wright The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost Magic School Bus: The Giant Germ by Scholastic The Big Book of the Body - Usborne Daniel Visits the Doctor - Daniel Tiger book Looking for more on "healthy" books for your family? Look at this blog post Want to read about the Covid-19 financial crisis of 2020?


Episode 23: Building Character with Picture Books with Mary Costello

Building character with picture books is not even possible, we here at One Page at a Time argue that it's fantastic. We hear about how one Bookstagrammer is using picture books to help their whole family learn 12 Character Traits in 2020. This week we are joined by Mary Costello, the amazing woman behind the website, Children’s Lit Love. Mary spent years gaining her education in Child development and Elementary education before teaching elementary school for ten years. When he oldest was born she began using that wealth of knowledge and experience in her own home and now shares it with us on her website and Instagram account. In this episode we talk about: 1. How she went from being the book recommendation lady for all of her friends to her website now, which still has plenty of book recommendations, but also fantastic information on children’s literacy in general. 2. Their family’s journey this year to focus on developing different character traits with their children. They wanted to be very intentional about teaching their girls certain things, so they pick a new trait each month to talk about. Mary puts together the books and other things they have used so far and shares them all on her sites. 3. We talked a bit about the nitty-gritty of how exactly they have been putting this character trait plan into practice in their family and what roles she and her husband play in what they do. 4. Mary had some thoughts on how to do something similar if you do not have the same support from a spouse. She especially points out that by the end of the year she will have twelve character traits-worth of lists and information that anyone can use, thus cutting down on a ton of work and preparation for someone who wants to try it! 5. How has it been going so far for them? In Mary’s own words, “It is going so much better than we had imagined!” It has been fun and unifying for their family and they have been able to see the differences in their girls that their efforts have made. 6. Why books are such a good fit for what she and her husband are doing with the character traits in their family this year. 7. How Mary handles the gathering and organization of the books she collects and uses for her monthly topics. 8. And some great book recommendations to round us off! We are so grateful to Mary for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, her sties, and their family’s character traits development journey can be found in the following places: In Building Character with Picture Books we mention: Instagram: @childrenslitlove Websites: Books Molly and Mae by Danny Parker Mindset by Carol Dweck The Power of Showing Up by Daniel J Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson Clementine (series) by Sara Pennypacker Henry Huggins (series) by Beverly Cleary Ramona (series) by Beverly Cleary Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson Valentine Cats by Jean Marzollo Excited for One Page at a Time's Summer 2020 books and activities? So are we! Get started with the first week here


Episode 22: How We Read with Amanda Pilmer Roberts

This week we are joined in a discussion of How We Read with Amanda Pilmer Roberts, a “semi-retired” librarian, as she describes it, who has a great love of (and talent for) music, dance and theater. She has degrees in Theater, Musicology and Library Science and has spent her varied career working in unique school libraries, singing in choirs, choreographing musicals and now, her latest adventure, raising her beautiful baby daughter. In this episode we talk about 1. Amanda’s unique career in equal parts theater and libraries. She gives some great insights into what goes into many librarians’ careers and gives us a sense of how many different types of libraries there are, which many people aren’t aware of! 2. How being a librarian has influenced Amanda’s approach to books with her family now that she has her daughter. Suffice it to say, she will never hesitate heading to a library and asking a librarian for help when they are in need of books or information! 3. What reading looks like with her baby, who is just younger than a year old. This is a hard stage for many people to read to their kids at, as they are active and mobile, yet not always engaged in book, and Amanda shares what works for her and her baby. 4. Both Amanda and her husband are actively involved in reading with their daughter and she talks about what the looks like in their family. They had talked about it and knew that books were going to be a part of their family’s life even before they were married and had kids and started their book collections for their future family long ago. 5. We talk about tracking the books our kids read and Amanda makes a great point that she wishes she had kept track when she was younger, since there are books that she remembers and wishes she could find then again, but doesn’t remember enough about it (...the cover was blue…?). 6. Amanda wraps up by sharing with us a technique she used as a school librarian to help her students to pick books to read. She used a system from Scholastic called PICK (link to it below). It’s a great system helpful in a school as well as family setting! In How We Read with Amanda Pilmer Roberts we mention: Books The Princess Bride by William Goldman Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease and Cyndi Giorgis ABCs of Physics by Chris Ferrie The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood If you enjoyed listening to Amanda Pilmer Roberts, try one of these other episodes: Episode 17: How We Read with Rachel Lambourne Episode 13: From Reluctant Reader to Librarian with Harold Hayes Episode 11: How We Read with Cathy Balfanz Episode 01: The More You Read the Better you Get with Cyndi Giorgis


Episode 21: Organize yourshelf; Storing books with Jamie Shaner

This week we are joined by Jamie Shaner, a professional organizer who founded Home Solutions of WNY, Inc. in 2005. She is also an avid perennial gardener who loves playing in the dirt, and enjoys reading and listening to all kinds of music. This was an interview we looked forward to for a long time, both for her expertise as well as because of her approach toward books, which to quote her is: “As a professional organizer, I'm authorized to say there's such a thing as too many suitcases, too much jello in the pantry, or too many dolls with eyes that move, but rarely ever too many books.” In this episode we talk about: 1. Note that Jamie’s book philosophy is that one can rarely have too many books (not never), so she does share with us some circumstances that may show that we have books that might be better served finding a new home for. 2. For all of our remaining books, we talk about finding ways to store books appropriately using the space we have available. One missed book storage opportunity that both Amanda and I are guilty of is picking short bookcases- why limit yourself to that when we could find one that goes all the way up the wall that can use that rarely-utilized vertical space. 3. We were very interested to ask Jamie her thoughts on Marie Kondo, the rather famous organizational expert who has gotten some flak through the years for her sometimes sparse attitude towards owning and storing books. Jamie gave us her personal method of helping her clients organize: “Do you need it, do you use it, do you love it (if it is something loveable), and do you have the space to store it?” She shares with us how she would apply it specifically to books and it is incredibly helpful! 4. If we do every find ourselves needing to downsize our book collection, Jamie also had thoughts on what to do with the ones that we, as she put it, “release out into the universe for someone who does not have these books of their own.” 5. We also got into the organization of books once you have the spaces set to store them. The librarian half of our duo loved this part of the discussion and, while we recognize that everyone is going to have their own “cataloging” system for their home collections, she gave us some great thoughts and tips if you are struggling managing it. We are so grateful to Jamie for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her and her company can be found in the following places: In Organize yourshelf: storing books, we mention: Websites: Home Solutions WNY Inc University of Buffalo Annual book sale How Amanda's bookshelves are changing as a result of Jamie's interview Facebook: Books we mentioned: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo Ann Patchett (Author) Barbara Kingsolver (Author) Anne Tyler (Author) Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein


Episode 20: Learning a new language? Grab a novel! with Camilla Bates

This week we share with you a great strategy for learning a new language: reading! If you've ever tried learning a new language by reading novels for fun, you may have experienced the great benefits this form of studying has. After all, if we know it is helpful for our kids learning their native language, it makes sense that free reading in a new language is a good idea. This week we are joined by Camilla Bates, a small-town Spanish teacher (as she describes herself). She grew up in Northern Minnesota and Michigan and is now settled in rural Western Colorado, where she and her husband are raising their two boys. She has taught Spanish for more than fifteen years, has written two books and set up a website to share ideas and resources with other language teachers. In this episode we talk about: Learning a new language by reading 1. How her interest in Spanish and eventually teaching it got started (slowly!). She started off taking Spanish classes herself in high school, never thinking she would stick with it. Something kept going, however, and by her third year she had discovered 2. The link between “free reading” and language learning. She learned about the important link between the two in conferences and now includes it in her classes. She wanted to give her students enjoyable things to read and wrote a four-part story with another teacher. It opened the world of writing to her and she has continued to write Spanish stories and has published two books so far, including one about a student trying to learn how to speak Spanish, which her students very much relate to! 3. While offering her students this “free reading” time to solidify the vocabulary and other things they are learning about the language, Camilla talks about the benefits of reading fiction. “Most studies have shown that we actually learn more from reading fiction than we do from reading non-fiction, which seems counter-intuitive, but....studies have shown!” While she does include non-fiction books in her classroom collection, a great deal of it is fiction. 4. Teaching high school, Camilla is dealing with many students who do not regularly read for themselves, which poses challenges. “By the time I have them in high school, I would say 75% of my students identify as not liking reading. So when they come into my room and they are reading...- not just reading, but reading in a second language- I want it to be as comfortable an experience as possible… I don’t require them to do anything at the end of it. They literally come in, they choose a book, sit down and read.” At the end of the semester, however, she asks them something that they have learned from reading and the answers she gets are “spectacular.” 5. Along with the “free reading” that she has her students do in every class period, Camilla also reads stories aloud to her students when teaching them new material, which helps students at every level for different reasons! 6. Camilla’s second book, Soy Carlos, was written because people always ask her how they can learn Spanish when they are not able to take a class. She always tells them to read in Spanish, but it is often difficult to find material at the right level, so she wrote a graphic novel aimed to help people learn Spanish on their own! As a Spanish teacher, she is in a great postition to give us advice if we want to learn a second (or third or fourth, etc) language. She reminded us to start small- don’t immediately dive in and try to read Harry Potter. She gave us some great resources to get started, which we will link to below. In "Learning a new language? Grab a novel!" we mention: We are so grateful to Camilla for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, her books, and her website can be found in the following places: Facebook Websites: Smalltown Spanish Teacher's website


Episode 19: How We Read with Lucia and JR Ratliff

Have you ever read with your spouse? Maybe listened to a book in the car together? We get lots of great ideas from Lucia and JR Ratliff on how they read together, and then Jill and Amanda talk about how it went with their husbands when they brought up the possibility of reading together. This week we are joined by married couple Lucia and JR Ratliff. Natives of the US, they are currently experiencing life in host Amanda’s neck of the woods- the United Arab Emirates. She is a songwriter and teacher while he is a professor and they have four kids. They have been reading together since the early days of their relationship and now have years’ worth of experience and advice to share with us! In this episode we talk about: 1. How did they get started? “Just a matter of, we only have one book, but we both want to read it, so we’ll just read it out loud!” As it went on, their voices couldn’t keep up with them, so they switched to audiobooks. They listen or read while doing other things- such as working out or playing tetris as well as in the car. Quite often it also happens when they are in bed at the end of the day, when they utilize the handy timer function on many audiobook players so as not to lose their place when they fall asleep! 2. How has reading together affected their relationship? It gives them something beyond their kids and everyday lives to joke about, relate about and talk about. “It definitely added another dimension to our relationship, because we were doing that together…” 3. How do they decide what books to read? Goodreads, recommendations from friends, Audible suggestions similar to books they have enjoyed, reading their way through the collections of authors they like. They take turns picking the books so that both of their tastes and interests are covered. 4. How and when do they talk about the books that they read together? It is usually mixed in with their everyday conversations. Their morning routines are a great time to chat about what they listen to the night before, while they are in the car or even as they are messaging each other throughout the day, when a thought occurs to them or something else they read connects to it. 5. Where are their kids during all this book listening? Sometimes the kids are around! Usually it is when they are all in the car and Lucia picks one that is appropriate for all of them (“Lucia is the audiobook CEO around here!”). They usually stick to children’s literature when they are all together, however, at times parts of the books they read as a couple stick out to them that they want to share with their kids and listen to it together. 6. Where could a couple start who have never read together? Start with what you already enjoy doing together. “I think couples already kind of know what they enjoy doing together and most things come in book form!” Taking turns is important as well, because it helps you get to know your partner in a new and different way, or gives you clues as to what is on their mind when you read what the other is into at the moment. 7. Audiobooks vs. reading out loud to each other will come down to each couple’s preference. The Ratliffs have their reasons for preferring audiobooks, but each couple will have to figure out what works best for them! We are so grateful to Lucia and JR for taking the time to talk with us and can’t wait to dive into this list of recommendations they gave! In How We Read with Lucia and JR Ratliff, we mention a lot of books: The Twilight Saga (series) by Stephanie Meyer Stephenie Meyer (author) Brandon Sanderson (author) Brandon Mull (author) Brené Brown (author) Anne Lamott (author) Roald Dahl autobiography (There are two books) Harry Potter (series) by J. K. Rowling Beyonders (series) by Brandon Mull The Lunar Chronicles (series) by Marissa Meyers Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell ...


Episode 18: Loving your Spouse and Your Sacred Text

If you're wondering about how to better your marriage with sacred text, you're in the right place. In preparation for Valentine's Day, we thought we would focus a bit on the marriage relationship specifically. This is a continuation of the conversation we aired in episode 15: "Holy Script!" Sacred Text in the Home, with Dr. David Dollahite and Dr Loren Marks. We look specifically through the filter of sacred text in this episode, but much of what we discuss applies across the board for reading with your spouse. This week we are again joined by Doctors David Dollahite and Loren Marks of the American Families of Faith Project and professors at Brigham Young University. The first part of the interview, which we published last month (Episode 15), was focused on families interacting with sacred text, while this second part focuses more on the marriage relationship specifically. In this episode we talk about: 1. Our thoughts matter and words matter even more, as they turn into actions and, as the poet Emerson said, our character. Faith is not a magic pill. Many times it becomes a tool of power or to dominate. There is danger to faith when not applied with compassion and wisdom. It has been shown in studies many times over that religion, faith and spirituality is powerful- potentially powerfully positive, but also powerfully negative. 2. Use approaching sacred texts in a marriage as a way to honor the agency of each person involved, their time or their styles of study. Doing it to check off a box, imposing one’s approach, views or values over another’s, trying to do it when one party is not ready, or is distracted, tired or not ready to engage can be problematic. 3. We also looked outside of sacred texts and touched on the closeness that can come from couples reading other literature together. Dr. Marks and his wife would read out loud to each other as they did the dishes. 4. We touched on the role that mental health plays in marriage when it comes to faith and an individual’s readiness to participate in joint study. They referenced studies that show problems that can arise from the intersection of faith and mental illness in marriage and families, however, they also emphasized that, “Those couples that are able to draw from their faith, their sacred texts and their traditions, ways to be compassionate, understanding, flexible, long suffering, gentle, patient, etc. etc. etc., will do well. Those people who choose to try to dictate to their spouse how they should think about or how they should act in relation to their faith, those persons who insist that their spouse agree with them or toe the line that they would like toes, or change themselves to be more like I am...those marriages are going to have serious trouble.” 5. In our attempts to stay synchronized as a couple and in a place where we can both be ready to use our sacred texts in our marriage as well as our families, they mentioned a concept from marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman called the “Magic 30 Minutes.” When couples take 30 minutes of their day to talk to each other and listen. When kids are involved, it is almost impossible to talk to each other, so some couples use a cup of coffee together, or a walk or a drive together to stay on the same page. 6. As we apply our sacred texts and the examples of couples and marriages within them, to our marriage relationships, we should maintain a view inward- how does this apply to ourselves, how can this make ourselves better, as opposed to asking the other person to be better or do better. 7. Approaching scripture study as a couple as well as with our children gives us a wonderful opportunity to honor both members of the couple’s preferences and work through differences. “We have had to balance and take turns and try to honor each other’s preferences. Our children have seen us work that through. They are well aware that Mom feels strongly about this and Dad feels strongly about othe...


Episode 17: How We Read with Rachel Lambourne

Our most requested topic? How people are reading in their homes! How We Read episodes talk about just that. If you're looking for ideas on how to introduce books into your home or up your family's book game, or if you're looking for some great book recommendations, you are in the right place. This week we chat with our next “How We Read” guest, Rachel Lambourne. Rachel is the daughter of Brigham Young University professor Dr. David Dollahite, who we recently interviewed as well. She is a mother of four children, ranging in ages from pre-teen to toddler. She’s been a voracious reader from her childhood and has passed her reading appetite onto her children. This was not accomplished without a great deal of effort and creativity on her and her husband’s part and we are thrilled to have her share all sorts of wonderful ideas and a truckload of amazing book recommendations! Rachel Lambourne talks with us about: 1. Audiobooks! After her own books-on-tape experiences as a kid and teenager, she is a big fan of audiobooks with her own kids. They use then in the car, but also, quite brilliantly, she has used them for years as a way to get kids to have “quiet time” once they grew out of naps. 2. “Healthy” vs “candy” books. This was a system born when Rachel was trying to explain to one of her kids all the different kinds of books that are out there. She related them to food- there are all sorts of foods that do various things for our bodies and books are sort of the same. There are books that are easy and fun, but maybe don’t do a whole lot for our minds and then there are books that challenge us or make us think. Rachel told us more about her system of having her kids to read books they maybe wouldn’t pick up on their own as a way to earn screen time. 3. With this system, Rachel always has a supply of books that she sets aside for her kids to choose from if they want and she talks about different ways that she finds and sort of “vets” books for them as well as the experience of seeing some of her favorite books with “new” eyes as her kids read books she loved as a kid. 4. Along with reading the books, part of Rachel’s “system” is that they have to show what the books was about or what they thought about it by talking or writing about it. It has opened up great lines of communication for her and her husband with their kids, about the books, but also other part of their lives! 5. Rachel and her family lived abroad for a few years and were able to travel quite a bit. They used books for preparing their kids for different trips as well as during the actual travels. They read Peter Pan before going to see the Peter Pan statue in London, Pippi Longstocking when they visited Sweden, etc. 6. Even if you aren’t travelling, books can be a great way to get to know where you live in a new way. Rachel and her family now live in the Bay Area of California (US) and they have had a great time finding books that take place in areas around them now. Rachel left us with a great idea of how to get started on putting these great ideas into practice this week. She invited us to join her doing a read-athon with your families this week. Get some treats and books you’re excited about and read all together! We are so grateful to Rachel for taking the time to talk with us! We’ve got links for all the awesome books we chat about this week for you to peruse: Books we mention: audiobooks: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey Nate the Great (series) by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat Magic Treehouse (series) by Mary Pope Osborne Other books we mentioned: Lloyd Alexander (author) American Girl (one series for each girl) Edward’s Eyes by Patricia MacLachlan The Giver (series) by Lois Lowry Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie A Bear Called Paddington (series) by Michael Bond Winnie the Pooh (series) by A.A.