Dr. Seuss Day, Reading Tips & A Giveaway

Happy March. 

What better day to come out of hibernation and plug back in than Dr. Seuss Day. Did you have as much fun celebrating literacy on your campus as we had on ours?

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
I joined Paula at Right Road Kids for a radio show last night; 
here are some of the literacy tips I shared.

Reading is someTHING special.
There's noTHING like it.

1. Read, read, read and read some more. My earliest and fondest memory about reading is of the Bookmobile coming to my rural farming community to bring me the keys that would open up my world. Reading was my springboard to becoming a wordsmith, taking advanced classes, graduating with an English major and Spanish minor, teaching English and Spanish, and ultimately writing magazine articles, a blog and a book. My 7th-grade teacher's advice from forty years ago ~ Hoard words like a coin collector. ~ still resonates with me today.

An FHS Cheerleader &Mighty came to read!
2. Keep a vocabulary journal. Words that your readers aren't yet familiar with yet are going to show up, so why not encourage them to write those words down, study them, maybe even illustrate them. Look at antonyms and synonyms of them, maybe even discuss word origins and usage. Our two older children, now in college, were both spelling bee champs in their elementary-school experiences because of reading-enrichment strategies like this one. They were also both named National Merit Scholars in high school, an achievement I firmly believe is a direct result of early and ongoing literacy.

An Army Major shows his daughter's class how to salute before he reads.
3. Select high-interest books so that your littles will be hooked. When your children are old enough to choose, give them some choice about what they read. Choice empowers children and, in fact, will heighten their confidence and sense of well-being as well as increase their motivate to learn.

School leaders like Asst. Superintendent Lynn Hobratschk came to read.
4. Carve out DEAR (drop everything and read) time into every day. We started this when our children were very young and it's something they anticipated with delight. I loved it, too, because I got reading time myself. Often it was reserved for tuck-in time, but that doesn't have to be the case. Decide together which block of time is going to work best for you and your family's schedule.

Reading recipes then frosting and eating the treats makes reading sweet!
5. Don't limit reading to books. Remember, even reading a cereal box is reading. Magazine articles, blog posts, newspaper headlines, anything in print counts in early literacy. Our two older children actually honed their reading skills with Pokemon cards. One of our jobs as parents, educators and caregivers is to foster of love for learning through print - wherever we can find it! - to ultimately help students connect text to their own experiences as they read, bloom, reflect and grow.

6. Check out these literacy tips from PBS for more activity ideas.

And that's now all, friends, because here comes some really big news ... about our birthday giveaway. See the Valise that this cutie cat is carrying? 

Oh, the places you'll go ...
Not only is it filled with five engaging Maurice's Valises storybooks . . .

but it's also up for grabs, thanks to the kindness and generosity of author J.S. Friedman and my friend Kirsten at Curious City Books. 

Want a chance to win? All you need to do is leave a comment below (or on my book's FB page under this post) telling us the name of your favorite book. 

Contest will be opened until Thursday night, March 5th, at midnight (CST), at which time the Gruener Generator will pick one lucky reader from all of the comments. We'll announce the winner when I return Friday morning with a new PPBF for our list. Someone is going to win; remember to check back on Friday 
to see if it's you! 


  1. My favorite book is The Mitten by Jan Brett. I love all of her books!

  2. Our current fav read is The Storybook Bible. Other than that Emme loves The Kissing Hand. Asher loves The Day the Crayons Quit. :-)

  3. Currently my favorite book is Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson. I love how it makes kids think about how the words they say (positive or negative) might be the last ones they hear them say and the impact of that on both parties.

  4. Thanks Kidadvocate! I will pick up Each Kindness. Sounds like a wonderful read.:-)

  5. We love reading Berenstein Bear books and Arthur books.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!