Books, Local, Michigan, Reading

Small Business Saturday – Picture Book Edition


As we approach small business Saturday, consider shopping your local authors and illustrators! Here’s a round up of newly released picture books by Michigan authors and artists that I recommend for your bookshelf.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which helps to support the blog. 


Science With Scarlett: What Color Will It Be?

Written by Gary Abud Jr. and illustrated by Liz Craft, this is a fabulous book written in rhyme that teaches children (and adults!) about color and the way our eyes see it. They suggest LED finger beams to really make the story come to life! 

Image result for abcdetroit kari jo wagner 


 By Kari Jo Wagner and illustrated by Aprilia Muktirina is the sweetest glimpse into the beautiful and unique city of Detroit. I scored a copy through an Instagram contest (Thank you @kidlitinthemitten and @green_mitten_mama for the generous gift!) My kids love looking through and seeing places we’ve visited together downtown. Snag it for your little sweeties and be amazed at all our little big city has to offer! 

Image result for triple the fun mackinac island

Triple the Fun on Mackinac Island

 By Victoria Buursma and illustrated by Natalie Wohletz  is a fun and adventurous tale of triplet sisters at Michigan’s favorite summer spot – Mackinac Island! I love the bright colors that really remind me of those warm summer days biking by the lake on my favorite island. 

 The First Men Who Went to the Moon

 By Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by Scott Brundage is sure to capture the attention of aspiring astronauts. Rhythmic prose and factual information are  helpfully supplied alongside the story. This new book will inspire as well as introduce new and important vocabulary surrounding the extraordinary moon landing.  (This review also appeared in the Growing Book by Book Children’s Books About the Moon list I wrote)

Wild Honey from the Moon

By Kenneth Kraegel is a new release by an incredibly talented Michigan author and illustrator. I was in love with the title and cover alone, but the theme of pure maternal love, magical forest friends, and beautiful dialogue really put this book in the must buy category. Perfect for your budding readers who will be enchanted by the plot development over seven adventurous chapters.

The GREAT Pumpkin Contest-2nd edition

The Great Pumpkin Contest

By Lynn Magie looks like a delightful read set in New England during the picturesque fall season. Each year, two neighbors attempt to grow the biggest pumpkin and each season has a different ending!



Goodness Gracious: A Gratitude Book for Children

By Kathleen A. Green and illustrated by Lori McElrath Eslick is a lyrical book full of gratitude reflections and ponderings on the everyday things we overlook. Perfect for this season to remind us what’s truly important. 

Haggadah Regatta

 By Carol Bloom Levin, who generously offered this synopsis of her educational and engaging book. “This family Haggadah combines the best parts of a Passover seder with the tale of a little matzah raft. The raft sails at sunset with two kids and a tribe of shoes. Tracks along the seder trail lead to holiday candles, ten frightful plagues and a lot of questions. The Haggadah crew show readers why Jews retell the Passover story year after year. Levin’s playful illustrations capture the seder rituals and relate them to our world today. The language is welcoming with prayers and songs in English and Hebrew. Haggadah Regatta invites readers and non-readers alike to participate in the seder. The crew learns that actions really matter… especially if you happen to be an only kid named TwoZooZEEM.”



Books, Family, Literacy, Preschool, Reading

Reading with Your Preschooler

adult black and white books boy


As someone who was a classroom teacher, reading specialist, and now mother, I have a LOT to say about reading. But for today, I am just going to focus on the preschool age, specifically ages 3-4.


In the United States, there is increasing pressure to have our children reading earlier and earlier. Not just being read to, looking at books, but actually READING by themselves. As an (older) millennial, I remember attending half day kindergarten, reading aloud, and really beginning the reading process in school in first grade. That has since shifted and students are expected to be reading in kindergarten. Many of our children are ready at this point and there is nothing wrong with that, but pushing our children before they are developmentally prepared can leave them frustrated and with negative attitudes about reading.


Children in the preschool age should be given the freedom to explore books to develop a love of  reading. Here are some simple ways we try to do this at home. And the best part is that the only materials are you, your child, and a book!


  • Leave books in most rooms. Just like toys, books are fun and always leave space for discovery.


  • Let your preschool “read” a book on his own. You do not always need to read it aloud. Let him develop his own concept of a book and a story through the pictures and perhaps even some words.


  • In a book with sparse text, use your finger to track the words. This will help anchor your child’s understanding of how we read left to right and that each word is its own unit. You should not do this with all books and don’t even need to do it on every page.

photo of a boy reading book







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