Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BLOOMWATCH - ISSUE # 3: June 2008

Bloomwatch: Issue # 3

Here's the third edition of our monthly FYI/newsletter, Bloomwatch in an effort to connect parents and caretakers with the world of children’s literature!

Apologies for the delay in publishing this month’s edition of bloomwatch. We have been facing internet connectivity problems – thanks to the powerful thunderstorms that hit the D.C. suburbs last week. In fact, we didn’t have electricity for 30 full hours because of the trees that came down. But when the clouds moved and clear skies came, along came a blanket of heat and humidity. What a dramatic change in weather!

Summer is not even here officially in the U.S., but the temperatures certainly don’t reflect the fact in any way. While in most part of India, summer is almost over. It’s back to school time for children in India while children here in the U.S. are starting to wrap up the school year, and get ready for their summer break.

Summer definitely is a time to make trips and vacations – but I am sure you will agree that there’s no better time to make a trip down the nostalgic lane than summer. Having grown up in a very hot and humid city in India, summer brings lots of childhood memories to me – trips to local beaches, cousins visiting, warm and breezy outdoors, tropical fruits, and not to miss the steady doze of good books from the local libraries!

Living in the U.S. with children of my own, I am starting to look forward to summertime with the same fervor that I used to as a child. This year is even more special because it’s in fact her first official summer holiday break - a perfect time for building lots of special memories for my children!

What better way to build memories than to read an array of wonderful summer-time reads to/with your kids? Vacations are great, but we all know what’s even better… trips to the local libraries in those scorching, hot temperatures will go a long way in opening their minds to the whole world.

Here are the three highlights for the month of June. Sorry about summer monopolizing this month’s theme although it is back-to-school for children living in other countries, particularly India. The resources and links can very well be tied in even during the school year. The key is to encourage your children to read all through the year, and stay connected with the "written/printed word" through books, newspapers, and magazines that you can access locally.

Please allow me to splash right into the June edition of Bloomwatch!

1)Author Birthday: June is the birthday of a special author whose books are indeed very special. Pardon my usage of very…But that’s actually a clue to finding out the author I am referring to. His most popular books include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Busy Spider. I am sure your children can easily guess his name, particularly if you’ve followed Saffron Tree It’s Eric Carle of course who is celebrating his birthday on June 25th.

Here’s a list of children’s books by Eric Carle. Do hop to your local library to pick a book or two as a token of appreciation for a wonderful author’s contribution to the world of children’s literature.

We have three of his classic books listed here, reviewed by our very own contributors at Saffron Tree.

1)The Very Hungry Caterpillar
2)The Grouchy Ladybug
3)The Mixed-up Chameleon

Another bestselling children’s book author named Robert Munsch, known fondly for his “manic and exaggerated voice in story-telling” (source: in story-telling with works such as Paperbag Princess, Fifty Below Zero, Stephanie’s Ponytail celebrates his birthday on June 11th. Here’s the review of Stepahie’s Ponytail on Saffron Tree, in case you missed it when it was first posted.

2)Summer Highlights – Reading Resources:

Also in this edition, we would like to give you a sneak peek into summer time reading resources. If you are pondering what books you and your children need to get from libraries for some quality summer time reads, there are indeed lots of guides and recommendations.

One way of doing it is to go by your children’s interests. If it’s no particular genre or topic that your child wants to focus on, you could always choose award winning picture books and Classics in Children’s literature - two that are on top of my list for this summer.

The following are two resources that caught my attention that I would love to recommend to you as well.

1) American Library Association’s ALA)
summer guide has recommendations featuring award winning titles.

2) Another valuable resource that I would like to share with you is the Boston based The Horn Book’s website, which has an excellent list of recommendations in many genres and for different age groups.
Here's one that I love, which is their Children’s Classic list:

3)Literacy Link:

If you are interested in learning from the literacy experts at Reading Rockets about why it is important to help your children develop healthy reading habits, particularly during summer time, here is a presentation giving you insights on the following

1)why it’s important to read during summer
2)the benefits of summertime reading,
3)what are some of the resources and reading programs to look into
4)What makes a good summer time reading– according to the reading rocket experts, it’s not only about books but even reading other magazines, newspapers can help children appreciate “print, text and words in all forms and fashions.”

If you are interested in listening to the presentation, here’s the full video and slides that you can download and listen to.

Thanks for reading. Hope you and your children have a wonderful summer.
For families with children going back to school this month, hope you have yet another wonderful academic year!

That’s all for this edition of Bloomwatch!

We are taking a break on bloomwatch. When we come back, we will have a new layout, structure for the newsletter and wider array of reading themes and topics for you...moving forward!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A very useful post. Stumbled your site while researching good picks for 3-4 year olds.

"I am sure you will agree that there’s no better time to make a trip down the nostalgic lane than summer. Having grown up in a very hot and humid city in India, summer brings lots of childhood memories to me – trips to local beaches, cousins visiting, warm and breezy outdoors, tropical fruits,"

-- Couldn't agree more. We had an author write about just that

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