Happy Family Literacy Day! Books and family seem a perfect segue into the weekend, setting us up for relaxing and cozy days in this chilly January. And how’s that to-be-read pile? Do you have enough books for your kids and for you, so you can read when they’re (finally) tucked into bed. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there.
Books for Bedtime
Written by Alison Hughes and illustrated by Holly Hatam
Teach your children about environmentalism and why little actions matter with this charming picture book. Follow along with what happens when one small boy picks up one small piece of litter. He doesn’t know it, but his tiny act has big consequences. From the miniscule to the universal, What Matters sensitively explores nature’s connections and traces the ripple effects of one child’s good deed to show how we can all make a big difference.
Best Friend Trouble
Written by Frances Itani and illustrated by
Hanna is fed up with her best friend, Lizzy, who is always trying to be better than her. When Lizzy tells Hanna she can throw her ball farther and succeeds, it’s the last straw. Hanna is tired of feeling second best, but what she doesn’t realize is that sometimes she makes Lizzy feel that way too. Maybe there’s a way they can still be best friends after all.
Doors in the Air
Written by David Weale and illustrated by Pierre Pratt
Doors in the Air is the story of a boy who is fascinated by doors. He marvels at how stepping through a doorway can take him from one world to another. He is especially enthralled by the doors of his imagination, which he refers to as “doors in the air.” He delights in discovering that when he passes through these doors, he leaves behind all feelings of boredom, fear and unpleasantness.
Books for You
Are You Seeing Me?
Written by Darren Groth
Twins Justine and Perry have left their home in Australia and embarked on the road trip of a lifetime in the Pacific Northwest. It’s been a year since their dad lost his battle with cancer and Justine became the sole caregiver for her autistic brother, Perry. Now Perry has been accepted into an assisted-living residence in their hometown, Brisbane, Australia, but before he takes up residence, they’re seeking to create the perfect memory. For Perry, the trip is a glorious celebration of some of his favorite things: Ogopogo, Jackie Chan movies and earthquakes. For Justine, it’s an opportunity to learn how to let go—of Perry, of her boyfriend, Marc—and to offer their mother the chance to atone for past wrongs. But the instability that has shaped their lives will not subside, and the seismic event that Perry forewarned threatens to reduce their worlds to rubble…
Written by David Wright and Luc Bouchard
Matt, a white quarterback from Montreal, Quebec, flies to France (without his parents’ permission) to play football and escape family pressure. Freeman, a black football player from San Antonio, Texas, is in Paris on a school trip when he hears about a team playing American football in a rough, low-income suburb called Villeneuve-La-Grande. Matt and Free join the Diables Rouges and make friends with the other players, who come from many different ethnic groups. Racial tension erupts into riots in Villeneuve when some of their Muslim teammates get in trouble with the police, and Matt and Free have to decide whether to get involved and face the very real risk of arrest and violence.
Dancing in the Rain
Written by Shelley Hrdlitschka
While struggling with the death of her beloved adoptive mother, sixteen-year-old Brenna reconnects with members of her biological family, hoping to discover why her biological mother broke off contact many years earlier. At the same time, she is falling in love with Ryan, who provides support while she grieves but has to leave her when she needs him most. Despite powerful feelings of abandonment, Brenna realizes that getting strong physically and focusing on the needs of others might just help her move beyond her crippling grief, find peace and plan a future for herself.
Dancing in the Rain continues the story that began in Shelley Hrdlitschka’s bestselling Dancing Naked.
**These books are best read with cookies, warm and chewy from the oven. Here’s a recipe for snickerdoodles to help thing run smoothly.
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and 1/3 cup (267g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375*F
- In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts. The dough is quite thick and you may have to stir the rest by hand.
- Roll the dough into 2″ balls and then roll through the cinnamon and sugar topping. Sprinkle extra cinnamon-sugar on top if desired.
- Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes or until golden.