Happy Summer Reading 2017!

Last Summer, I enjoyed sharing posts & videos of the books my children and I were reading. I can’t believe a year has passed and it’s time to sign up for the Summer Reading program again! This year’s theme is “Build a Better World,” and local libraries will have literacy activities that challenge kids to create, build & have fun together. Here’s the short infomercial that my local library made for the program.

The program kicked off this weekend with Maker Faire, where kids were involved in DIY crafts & creative projects that combined reading with science & art. Throughout the summer there will be many chances for kids of all ages to attend fun events; check with your local library or their website to get a summer calendar. All events are free, are for specific age groups, and require you to register children before attending. Here is a link to the online event calendar & registration for St. Tammany Parish:

St. Tammany Parish Library Events Calendar

Kids in St. Tammany Parish can register for Summer Reading 2017 at any of our local library branches beginning May 23, which is our last official half-day of school.

Another reading program option that my children and I like to participate in is Barnes & Noble Summer Reading. This year they have programs for adults, teens and kids where you can earn a free book after completing and turning in a reading journal at your local Barnes & Noble bookstore. You can get the reading journal when visiting, or download it online. Each store also has special events throughout the summer that include storytime, book themed crafts & author visits. Here are links to check out for their summer program & events:

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading

Barnes and Noble Events

I’m excited to begin the summer with my kids & read together! It’s probably no secret that I love the stories we read just as much (and sometimes more) than they do, but the best part of sharing summer books is seeing their love for reading grow. While I also love themed activities that encourage them to go “beyond the book” and use their imaginations & creative skills to create something new, my main goal is simple. I want my children to be excited about reading.

When my kids are motivated to pick their own books, when they choose to spend their free time reading, when they ask for more reading time before bedtime – that is the best feeling! That’s when I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment as a parent who wants to instill a lifelong love of reading in my children. And I know many parents, teachers, & caretakers who feel the same. Reading is not just a skill but also a door to our imaginations, our abilities and our dreams.

I hope you are starting your summer as we are, with plenty of books and a visit to your local library! Happy Summer Reading 2017!

Thanks for stopping by Space to Dream. My next post will feature our first Summer Reading video and show you the books my kids & I have chosen to begin our summer reading adventure. ūüôā


Space to Dream: A First Post

Welcome to my new website, hosted by Siteground and created on WordPress. I have moved over most of my content from blogger but am still in the process of recovering some images – so please forgive any missing pieces!

If you previously followed me over on blogger, thank you for coming over — you will find the same type of content here from me: poetry, prose and book reviews, with the occasional book video share thrown into the mix. If you are seeing my writing (and me) for the first time, I also want to say thank you for dropping by! And I hope that you will stay along for the ride with me.

In addition to here on my website, I also also share writing over at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads, a community of poets who are wonderfully creative. I encourage you to check out the Toads site and comment, comment comment! Here, there, or anywhere you are online¬†— it’s important we join¬†in a dialogue together. For readers and writers, it’s essential. To that end, I have a page titled “Writing: A Dialogue” that I invite you to share on. And you may comment on any of my regular posts as well.

And now — to end my official welcome and share a special video.¬†A continuation of my last video on summer reading, here is a round-up of children’s series books that my kids are loving. My kids and I made the video together in two parts, with my daughter narrating the second with her picks. Enjoy!

Here is a list of books we highlighted in the video:

The Adventures of Captain Underpants,  Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants by Dav Pilkey
Fly Guy Presents¬†Dinosaurs, Fly Guy Presents Space, There’s a Fly Guy in my Soup¬†by Tedd Arnold
Mercy Watson Fights Crime, Mercy Watson Princess in Disguise by Kate Dicamillo
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (Not mentioned, but we’ve also read Smile from this author)
The Rainbow Magic Fairies by Daisy Meadows (Too many choices in this series to list them all, believe me!)

Thank you for visiting Space to Dream — it’s exciting to create something new. TGIF! And Happy Reading.

Opening Pandora’s Box, & Summer Reading

Yesterday, my son noticed some boxes in the top of his closet. Pushed to the side, behind a mountain of play clothes, masks, light sabers and shields — they’ve been up there for a few years, forgotten. Because it was a lazy Sunday afternoon, I decided to pull them down and discover what was inside of these “lost” boxes.¬†For any boy, what we found was a treasure trove, a Pandora’s box filled to the brim with delights – mostly transformers from the 1980s. My sons eyes grew big as watermelons as we carefully unpacked them, with each one exclamations of “Wow! Mama look at this!” as if Santa himself had made a stop to our house in June. It was the kind of find that I’d like to have saved for a rainy day, but once the box was opened, I knew there was no going back!

While he set to work engineering together (and apart again) the transformers, I sat down with the second box. Because it had my mother’s name on it, I knew it came from my childhood home. As I lifted the lid, I felt a rush of joy at what I saw. Inside was a collection of some of children’s stories that I had written, sticker books and drawings I had made, and children’s books that I remembered from my childhood bookshelf. Some were so stuck together that I had to pry them apart, and many are aged, tattered and faded. But to me, they are pure gold. I could have sat with them all day, but instead chose a few to put on my bedside table, a few to give to my kids, and a few to donate.

In the video below, I share some of the books my children and I are reading this summer.

Summer Reading Programs and Book Lists:


The theme this summer is “On your mark, get set, READ!” My kids and I have participated in local reading programs together since they were babies, and I’m a firm believer that there is no better summer activity to make time for! Here’s a link to our local program:¬†http://stpl.readsquared.com/¬†

Scholastic has an online reading challenge titled “Be a Reading Superhero.”¬†http://www.scholastic.com/ups/campaigns/src-2016

Barnes and Noble stores allow kids to earn a free book by completing a summer reading journal. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/b/summer-reading/_/N-rs9

Here is a recommended summer reading list from the Association for Library Service to Children, for kids birth through 8th grade. http://www.ala.org/alsc/2016-summer-reading-list

Author Kate Dicamillo is the 2016 National Summer Reading Champion. Check out this link for her top 10 reasons to read this summer and a recommended reading list from her. http://www.cslpreads.org/nationalsummerreadingchampion/


Do you know of any summer reading programs or challenges that you’d like to share? If so, please tell me below in the comments! Have any summer reading recommendations for kids or adults? Comment! I’m on the lookout for my next beach/pool read…

Happy Summer Reading!