Valentine’s Day Books For Secondary Education

Holiday book lists should never stop at just picture books! And yes, picture books can be read to secondary-aged kids as well. However, chapter books are just as important to read in your classroom as well. Here are a few Valentine holiday books to read to your older class this love season! To read my Valentine’s day picture book recommendations, head here. 

Little Wings: Willa Bean’s Cloud Dreams

Be My Valenslime By J. K. Arden

Cake Pop Crush 

11 Paper Hearts by Kelsey Hartwell (A more young adult book)

A Short History on Valentine’s Day by Sally Lee- Great for the history behind Valentine’s day, not just a story)

Picture Books for Valentine’s Day & Learning About Feelings & Emotions

Not only is Valentine’s day a great time to celebrate a holiday in the classroom, but it can also be a great segway into learning more about feelings. Here are a few picture books to use in the classroom during this time. 

Love Is by: Diane Adams 

The Invisible String by: Patrice Karst 

The Day it Rained Hearts by: Felicia Bond

In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by: Jo Witek

Sealed With a Kiss by: Beth Ferry

Christmas Book List for 2021

Announcing our 2021 Christmas book list! This is one of my favorite posts each year to write. It’s so fun to look over our holiday books and choose a handful to share with you each year. Here’s what I’ve gathered for this season- 

The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert: This is a longer picture book, but worth the read! Such a cute Christmas story. 

Merry Christmas, Curious George by Margret Rey 

The Wish Tree by Kyo Maclear: This is one I know I’ve put on a winter or Christmas list before, but it’s too good to not include again! 

A Simple Christmas on the Farm by Phyllis Alsdurf

What Christmas and holiday books are you reading this year? 

Books Celebrating The Women of the Revolution

Happy 4th of July weekend! What a great weekend to talk with students about the Revolutionary War and our Founding Fathers. While it’s important to learn about these, there is also a lack of educational information about our Founding Mothers and the women of the revolution. Here are some of the kids’ books that bring out the stories of these women.

Founding Mother’s: Remembering the Ladies

They Called Her Molly Pitcher

Who Was Betsy Ross?

Who Was Abigail Adams? 

From A Small Seed- The Story of Eliza Hamilton 

Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution 

This Land Is Your Land– Not a book about the women of the revolution, but still a moving book worth the read! 

How do you teach about the founding mothers and fathers of our country in your classroom? 

My Review On “Busy Toddler’s Guide To Actual Parenting”

I recently bought the book Busy Toddler’s Guide To Actual Parenting and want to share my honest review with you. If you’re thinking about purchasing her Playing Preschool guide, you can see my review here.

Please keep in mind that this review is not sponsored or endorsed in any way, these are all my own thoughts and opinions. 

Overall: This is a great parenting book! I feel like Suzy and I are old friends in another life, we are so similar! So that did sway my opinion in ways. However, I loved that she began the book with a preface that she didn’t really like parenting books, so she wrote one of her own! And did it beautifully by the way. The overall feel of her book is that parenting is hard and comes with a lot of challenges, but these challenges are manageable and she has tips to share to get us all through them. 

Things that particularly stood out to me:

*The pictures she includes of her family and kids, which make the whole book feel more relatable. It’s not as much a “preachy” book full of “I-know-more-than-you” type of wording, it’s full of her real-life experiences and how she managed as a mom. 

*She advertises it as an “activity” book as well because she includes 50+ activities to do with kids. I was worried this wouldn’t be applicable or helpful for me because I could just follow her Instagram account. Or I didn’t want to read one big list of activities and be overwhelmed by different things to do with my kids, making it not actually helpful. 

However, this wasn’t the case! They are strategically placed throughout the book where they made sense and lined out exactly what you need, how to do it, and even a picture to show the setup! For example, after a whole chapter on taby’s (not quite a baby anymore, not quite a toddler yet), she finished the chapter with a section of taby activities. 

They aren’t activities you will be doing right at that moment, obviously. But it does make it easier to flip through quickly and pull up an activity to do with your kids, and they are especially easy to find since there are pictures of where the activities are! 

*There is a whole chapter on tantrums that completely changed the dynamic of our home. It was so good! 

*A lot of her ideas were just little steps to get you through parenting. There wasn’t anything huge you needed to understand or accomplish, she just teaches simple ideas like, “teach your child to use a code word when they are struggling to avoid tantrums.” 

As far as cons go, I honestly could not find any. It is organized well, the activities are doable as a parent, and the whole book feels very relatable. The only minuscule thing I might be able to think of is that it’s very directed at parenting young kids, and won’t help as in-depth with parenting pre-teens/teenagers. However, it does really niche down the book to make it very applicable instead of having a broader perspective. 

Susie Allison wrote a great book, one I would recommend to any parent in the early stages of parenting. I have gifted this book to many friends that all agree, it is a great parenting book! 

If you’ve read it, what do you think about it? 

Picture Books For Kwanzaa

This is part of a series on writing booklists about holidays beyond Christmas. To read more about it, you can see it here.

Kwanzaa has officially started! Kwanzaa is from December 26th- January 1st. Here are some of the picture books I was drawn to that you can read during the holiday and can teach you and your students more about it! 

The Seven Days Of Kwanzaa is a spin-off of the popular 12 Day of Christmas but adapted for Kwanzaa. The rhyming keeps listeners engaged!

Kevin’s Kwanzaa I was instantly drawn to this book because of the bright pictures! A cute book following the Kwanzaa celebration of Kevin’s family. 

Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa A book about a cute little rabbit family celebrating Kwanzaa. 

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story is a fun story about a family using the seven principles of Kwanzaa to come together. 

What other books do you like to read to your students regarding Kwanzaa!? 

Picture Books For Winter Solstice

This is part of a series on writing booklists about holidays beyond Christmas. To read more about it, you can see it here.

Winter Solstice! The day is known by many as the shortest day of the year but celebrated by the Pagan religion. Here are my favorite picture books to celebrate the day. 

Wintercake: A cute story about a bear teaching why holiday traditions are important. 

This cute YouTube story about the winter solstice and the tradition this small family has 

A Solstice Tree for Jenny: A book about Jenny, who’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, so they adopt the celebration of Winter Solstice instead. It’s great for including many different winter celebrations beyond Christmas! 

The First Day of Winter: This book doesn’t explicitly teach Winter Solstice, but it’s a fun, catchy book that can be the lead for great conversations about what the first day of winter is. 

Snow Party: Such a fun book to visualize snowmen coming together to party on a snowy night! 

Winter solstice is such a fun holiday that deserves representation in picture books too! What are some of your favorite picture books to read for Winter Solstice?