I have been following Lauren of Happily Ever Elephants for a long time on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/happily.ever.elephants/).  Lauren’s background is that of a school librarian and mother which gives her a good testing ground to see how books are received by children both in a home and educational setting.  I like how Lauren looks for and shares literature that focus on social justice issues, have a diversity of characters and feature a detailed description as to how they are helpful for both children’s academic and social-emotional learning.

Reading is such an important skill for children to acquire as a means of exploring information and expanding their thoughts on various topics.  I used reading as a vehicle for starting every type of lesson as an educator, whether it be creating a music piece to accompany a book, introducing the concept of a math game we were about to play or writing a persuasive letter to a character.  Reading with my own children is definitely my favourite part of the day.  It is a chance to bond, talk about the struggles a character might be facing (and how that might relate to ourselves or our community) and develop the children’s skills of analysis when it comes to reading.  Reading has become a passion for them and I think choosing good quality books that you can really dive into in terms of connections, predictions and exciting story and character development are key.  These are the types of books that Lauren carefully selects!

With school being online and at home for many children currently, Lauren’s new e-book PARADE: Family Book Club is a helpful guide for selecting meaningful books and connecting with your children, all while teaching them important skills for becoming more sophisticated readers.

The e-book focuses on picture books to teach social and emotional skills and gives you a weekly book suggestions and activities to develop your child’s understanding of the themes of the books and extend them through talk, play, creating and action- implementing what they learned into their own lives.

Find out more about the book here: https://happilyeverelephants.com/childrens-book-club

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Here’s an example of one of the activities we tried, along with a page of the e-book in its convenient digital format:

Happily Ever Elephants Book Club

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