Category Archives: Reading

Why you need a house-ful of books

A home library can have a powerful effect on children

” Having books around the house can substantially level the playing field in reading and math skills even without the expense of post-secondary time in the classroom. “

Spend your child’s college fund on books today instead of paying for college when he’s older; it’ll do more for him.

” immersing children in book-oriented environments benefits their later educational achievement, attainment and occupational standing “

National Pizza Day!

Don’t miss out on National Pizza Day; come to the store (710 N. Huntington St., Syracuse) and buy Paula Deen’s cookbook for kids. It has 2 pizza recipes: personal pan pizza and pepperoni pizza.

Countdown to opening

Only 1 more day!! Yes, I went to the store yesterday, and it wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be — probably because I was all bundled up in long johns, long heavy coat, scarf, and a ski mask. But now all the signs are up, and the place looks fantastic.

2 days to go, and it’s -17* outside. I probably won’t go to the store today even though I have so much to do there. But I probably will. Although it’s a little cooler than normal and a bit windy, if the sign man is willing to come hang the interior signs, I’m willing to meet him! After all, it’s not like I’ll be out in the cold for longer than a walk from the parking lot to the door — less than 1 minute.

Nephew came in yesterday to help me hang the St. Valentine’s decorations. (He’s much taller than I am.) I’ve also re-arranged the non-fiction area, and it looks great! Your kids are going to love it because I mixed dinosaur games and puzzles in with dinosaur books, chess games in with chess books, etc. By the way, have you ever played chess with zombie pieces?

3 days…It’s so cold and snowy outside!  Who thought this was a good idea to open in the coldest week of the year?  I did. Because I can’t wait for everyone to see the lovely books and the colorful decorations.  Niece has been helping me put up the wall and ceiling decor, to make the store as kid-friendly as possible.  It’s as pretty inside as it is cold outside.  Brr! 

5 Days till OPEN…

I have the signs!  Beautiful.  I can’t wait for you guys to see them.  Brother will come some time this week to hang them.

Only 6 days till the store opens.  How exciting!  I’ve been taking photos and uploading them to yelp while my site was down, so now I can upload them here for everyone to see.  The sign lady has finished making all the interior signs (for each area of the store: board books, picture books, etc.) and will bring them today or Monday.  I’m anxious to see how pretty they look.  I hope you all like them, too. 


I haven’t taken photos that would show the signage areas (except for Chapter Books) because the signs aren’t there yet.  I received 3 more boxes of beautiful new books yesterday.  Here are a few of them:


  • Open 12-8pm each day. Closed Sundays.
  • 710 N. Huntington St., Syracuse, IN 46567

Website was updated, and now there are question marks everywhere

I should just ignore the question marks, right?  Just pretend they aren’t there.  I can do that. 

A book is a gift you can open again & again

The book is obviously inappropriate for this child’s age and will soon be torn apart and eaten, but isn’t this a cute picture?!1yo with book Book is a Gift

  • Good article about reading here

Why you shouldn’t homeschool

If you haven’t read about why you shouldn’t homeschool (by a homeschooling mom), you have to read it.  Be ready to laugh, because she goes through all the reasons that non-homeschooling people mention as to why we shouldn’t do it.

Acting out one of our many plays.  Pink Panther is playing the part of one of the nephews of Thystes

Acting out one of our many Greek plays. Pink Panther is playing the part of one of the nephews of Thystes

Why play is important for babies and toddlers

     [click here to find toddler games]

Play might not be the first thing on your list when you’re busy changing dirty diapers and getting up for 4 AM feedings. However, even the smallest forms of play early on are important for your baby’s development.

Simple forms of play are ideal for babies and toddlers. It gives them a developmental boost that helps them the rest of their lives. Plus, what’s more fun than making babies laugh?

Play Starts At The Beginning

Play begins from day one. While your newborn can’t play with toys and run around like a toddler would, they still benefit from being talked to and shown new things. To them, this is play because it’s helping them to discover the world around them. This early form of play helps form a foundation for them to continue learning and socializing.

Play Affects Social, Emotional And Mental Development

  • Splashing in water while taking a bath helps develop basic motor skills
  • Reading to your child helps develop their language skills, even before they can speak
  • Playing with crayons helps toddlers start learning how to write and comprehend
  • Puppet shows start teaching important social skills

While these might seem minuscule, they’re major milestones for babies and toddlers as they learn to thrive in the world around them. Play isn’t just something kids do for fun, especially at this young of an age. Play is a type of exploration that helps them develop emotionally, socially and mentally.

Play Boosts Brain Development

A shocking 75% of brain development happens after birth. This is why play for babies and toddlers matters. The earlier you start, the better it is for their development. Babies are eager to learn any and everything. After all, they start as a blank slate and it’s up to you to help them develop through playful interactions.

Play Is How Kids Grow

Think of early play like school. Each grade builds upon what a child learned in the previous grade. The same goes with play. The types of games change over time, but that’s just because they’re building on the skills they have already developed from earlier forms of play.

Remember, it’s never too early for children to start playing. Whether it’s playing with you or themselves, play is a vital developmental tool.

SimplyFun blog

[link to this article]

New books for the summer

To see all the new books, meet me at the Elkhart county 4-H fair July 20th to July 28th.  This is just the first shipment.  The other books are still on the way!


Just a few of our newest books – publishers are Usborne & Kane Miller.

Just a few of our newest books - publisher is Usborne & Kane Miller

King Arthur (graphic novel, ages 12+), Axel & Beast (chapter book, ages 7-11), Are You There Little… (board book)

Illustrated Stories, chapter books, That's Not My...

Illustrated Stories, chapter books, That’s Not My…


When your kids are learning, they need reference books.  Depending upon google to find answers is a bad idea because google finds everything the internet has to offer instead of just the sites that have accurate information!  Don’t let the internet fill your child’s memory with nonsense; give them the facts.

homework helpers UPDATED

Very active kids learn better when they are moving while they learn.  Usborne has that covered, too, with their Look Inside and See Inside series.  Peek Inside is for the youngest ages, Look Inside and Lift-the-Flap are aimed at elementary-school aged, and See Inside is written for the oldest kids.  [Don’t let these guidelines stop you from getting an older book for the younger ones, though.  And don’t forget a pure-fun book such as Write and Draw your own Comics.]

09 25 comic bk

Reviews from the website:

ART TREASURY:  “I could not be more happy with this book! It is like an art history class and an art production class in one. I plan to use it as an art curriculum for our home school year. There are 22 works of art featured from all different genres. For each piece, you read information about the individual piece and the artist. Then you turn the page, and there is a project to do inspired by that piece. I have never seen another book quite like this! As an art history nerd with no artistic talent, I am thrilled to be able to expose my daughter to art history and have a guide to encouraging her to create art herself. This may be my favorite kids book of all time!”

CHILDREN’S ENCYCLOPEDIA:  ”My kids cannot get enough of the Children’s Encyclopedia.  My oldest two (ages 6 & 8) have read it together, cover-to-cover, many times, and will spend hours scanning the QR codes to find more information about the topics they’re currently interested in. This is a must-have for any home library!!  We also really love the flexi-binding.  It has held up well to the constant tough-love it receives in a house full of boys!”

COMICS:  “This is the best book for traveling, and the concept was brilliant! Great for anyone who is into graphic novels or comics, and best of all, totally professional. Must-buy product!!!”

  • “My son LOVES this book! He has come up with so many ideas since I gave this to him. It includes great writing prompts, drawing instructions and theme ideas as well as lots of spaces for writing your own comics. I plan on saving this for him so that as he gets older, he can look back on some of his ideas.”


A series for girls who like mermaids or friendship

Far out in the ocean live the Shell-Keeper mermaids. While the rest of the world sleeps, one little girl joins them for some magical mermaid adventures.

Molly is like any other little girl when her family move to Horseshoe Bay. So when her gran gives her a pretty shell necklace, Molly never dreams it could be enchanted …or that she could become a secret mermaid

A review from the publisher’s website:
This is a wonderful series for early readers, there are some pictures to entice them and  fun adventures of a young girl.  This does say it is book 1 but I read the books out of order and they still made sense and were a fun read. Molly is sure to have young girls wanting to read about her exciting dream adventures and maybe dream their own dreams!!
Date: 2/8/2016 8:38 PM
Age 7+
Size 5 1/8 x 7 3/4
Pages 82
Series Secret Mermaid
Author Sue Mongredien

Reading to children

 Sharing books with children has many wonderful benefits and it will give you the opportunity to cuddle up, relax and share a special moment with your child. And remember, it’s never too early or late to start!

Reading with your child can:

  • Develop his language skills
  • Help you bond with him
  • Help him feel more relaxed
  • Boost his confidence
  • Encourage him to draw and write
  • Give him a head start in life

Scottish Book Trust

lots of new books!!

Lots of new books to choose from!!

Picture books for teens and adults

Picture books are not just for kids under 10.

“They are excellent spring-boards for creative writing in middle school and high school and should be read by teens who will love their beautiful illustrations and lyrical language.  Anthony Brown, children’s laureate in the United Kingdom thinks the cry for graphic novels is the result of people being dragged away from picture books too early.”

Dad and daughter reading a Shine-A-Light book

Dad and daughter reading a Shine-A-Light book

If you as an adult can enjoy a good picture book when you read it to your child, why wouldn’t a 16-year-old also enjoy it?  The key is finding beautiful picture books that tell fascinating stories.  Fox is an absolutely fantastic short story about love and friendship, regret and redemption…and definitely not for little kids.  Another short love story written in picture book form for teens/adults is Norman and Brenda.

Click here to see all picture books