• The Best Picture Books Published in 2019 - so far - part two
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books of 2019 – Part Two

    Every year I like to make picture books of the best books published that year. I take my job very seriously and read a ton of picture books. Many of them do not make these lists. Some times it surprises me what actually gets published, there are some truly terrible picture books out there! But there are also some great ones! Earlier this year I made a part one to some of our favorite picture books published this year and today I am sharing part two! If you have some favorite picture books that have been published in 2019 that I haven’t shared on either list, let me know, I’ll…

  • The Best Picture Books Published in 2019
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books for October

    It’s time for another monthly book list! I can’t believe that October is almost here – we are officially close to the end of the year! I know that most people would lean towards a pumpkin themed list for October but I feel like those have been done so many times over I wanted to do something different. Things definitely start getting chillier here in October and I like to change up my own reading list, while I like to read things a little darker at this time of year (more fantasy and mystery and books involving the English moor), I wanted to be more whimsical for a picture book…

  • Free Pirate Unit Study Resources - great for talk like a pirate day
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades,  picture books

    The Best Pirate Books – Picture Books & Non-Fiction

    We’ve been learning all about pirates for the last week in preparation for Talk Like a Pirate Day and of course I had to share a pirate book list! This list includes a bit of everything, picture books, chapter books, fiction and non-fiction. If you are interested in continuing to learn about pirates you can check out a list of the resources we used for our pirate unit study here.     We did everything from drawing pirates to creating pirate names, to watching videos about why they actual wore eye patches and of course: reading pirate themed books! Check out the pirate mini unit study resources. Now, on to the…

  • The Prairie Thief Book Review - fantasy for elementary and middle grade
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    Fantasy Book Recommendations For Elementary and Middle Grades

    I was not a fantasy reader as a child and boy, do I ever feel like I missed out! I wasn’t even a fantasy reader as an adult until recently! I spent the last few years reading some elementary and middle grade fantasy to proof read for my kids and it really hasn’t been until this last year or so that I’ve started to get into older fantasy and I am really enjoying the books! I love that fantasy gives the characters purpose (some version of fighting the darkness) and isn’t so woe-is-me like other books can tend to get (obviously I’m generalizing here). My daughter has been a huge…

  • The Best Picture Books for Fall and September
    book lists,  elementary,  picture books

    The Best Picture Books for September

    It’s time for another monthly picture book list! To be honest, I quite love fall but in the past number of years I’ve allowed the impending winter to dampen my enjoyment of the season and I hope to change that this year. Because of the coming of autumn in the middle of September this is mostly a book list of our favorite fall picture books, all of which I am excited to read in the upcoming month and really get into the spirit of the season. If you have some family favorite fall picture books that aren’t on this list I would love to hear about them, I may even…

  • Independent Books for Fourth Graders to Read
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades

    17 Independent Reads for Grade 4

    Every year I like to create a list of independent reads for my daughter (and will do the same for my son once he is reading on his own). She never reads every book on the list but I enjoy making it nonetheless. My main goal of the independent reading list is to push her out of her comfort zone. She can read harder books but can easily get into the rut of re-reading all the Geronimo Stilton books. I give her separate reading time during our official school portion of the day to read her current book off of my list so she also has other time to read…