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PRAESA accepts the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
at the Stockholm Concert Hall

It was an emotional moment when, this past Monday, June 1st, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) was presented to PRAESA of South Africa by Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke. PRAESA (Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa), is the first laureate ever from the African continent.

Malusi Ntoyapi, Ntombizanele Mahobe and Carole Bloch from PRAESA. Skeppsholmen May 25, 2015 [Source:Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award]
PRAESA, an organization working to promote reading and literature for children and young people in South Africa since 1992, is based in Cape Town. It was founded by the political activist Neville Alexander who was imprisoned on Robben Island during South African apartheid era as a fellow- prisoner of Nelson Mandela. The organization emerged from Neville Alexander’s struggle against the apartheid education, intending to document alternatives that had been tried out that could inform the new education process.

At the Stockholm Concert Hall PRAESA was represented by Director Carole Bloch, Training Coordinator Ntombizanele Mahobe and Programmes Support Officer Malusi Ntoyapi. In her speech, Carole Bloch emphasized how stories actually can change children’s and young people’s lives:

Carole Bloch, Director at PRAESA. Skeppsholmen May 25, 2015 [Source:Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award]
“We believe that the stories we tell, write and read can change lives. Sharing stories inspire us all to struggle against becoming overwhelmed by the challenges we meet each day in our fractured and profoundly unequal society. This is also the impetus behind the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign PRAESA runs.”

The Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, underlined the importance of culture for democracy:

“For me as a minister of both culture and democracy it is very encouraging to see PRAESA’s successful work using culture to strengthen democracy. A wide range of culture, arts and literature that reaches both adults and children is a prerequisite for democratic development and for preserving democracy.”

Artist Kristina Amparo performed her own songs during the evening, and Swedish rap artist Petter performed his own text Fäller en tår. The program also included a street dance performance inspired by the South African Kwaito music style. Host for the evening was Ingemar Fasth, Head of Literature and Libraries at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern.


The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest prize for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5,000,000 (or U.S. $602,177.50), is awarded annually to a single recipient or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and those active in reading promotion may be rewarded. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature, and in children’s rights, globally. An expert jury selects the winners from candidates nominated by institutions and organizations worldwide. The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is administered by the Swedish Arts Council. Last year’s winner was Barbro Lindgren.




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Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day





image003Yesterday I attended a launch event for an exciting new early literacy program, “Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day,” at the spacious Children’s Bureau in Los Angeles. This initiative is a partnership between Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street,  and the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF).

Sesame Street's Walkabout Cookie Monster shared hugs with Ronna at EVERY DAY IS A READING AND WRITING DAY event.
Sesame Street’s Walkabout Cookie Monster shared hugs with Ronna at EVERY DAY IS A READING AND WRITING DAY event.

Sesame Street’s Walkabout Cookie Monster showed up, stealing both the show and lots of little hearts (yes, and mine, too!). The event featured interactive reading/writing activities for the more than 100 children and parents who attended. There were volunteers from several insurance companies on hand in addition to the caring Children’s Bureau staff, all there to help youngsters make books, color pictures and design bookmarks.

Every day is a Reading and Writing Day event attendees having fun.
Every day is a Reading and Writing Day event attendees having fun.

The interest in Every Day is a Reading and Writing Day was evident in the smiling faces filling the room. Dads sat with babies and toddlers on their laps as they tried out interactive computer games, moms encouraged pre-schoolers to participate in preparing the books made from those versatile brown school lunch bags, and volunteers helped explain how everything worked.

This totally free program, both in English and Spanish, targets kids from birth to age five with an emphasis on getting parents to start the conversation at home to get youngsters interested in reading and writing. “Just by taking little incremental steps,” said Alex Ben Morales, L.C.S.W., President & CEO, Children’s Bureau-Southern California, “parents can start their children on the path to becoming well-rounded individuals by the time they begin Kindergarten.”

Enjoying the coloring activities!
Enjoying the coloring activities!

William E. Ross, CEO of IICF spoke about how important early literacy was in children’s development and stressed the need to read to them every day. The idea to partner with Sesame Workshop arose out of the need for business and community to come together Ross said. Since both organizations believe our children are the future, their commitment to bringing these types of opportunities to those underserved in L.A. and other major U.S. cities is commendable. The initiative first launched in New York on October 11 with Los Angeles being the first regional launch. Chicago and Dallas are next in line.

About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the landmark television program that reaches millions of children every day in more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to use the educational power of media to help children everywhere reach their highest potential. Delivered through a variety of platforms, Sesame Workshop develops research-based content – including television programs, books, games, mobile apps and community engagement initiatives – that supports early childhood learning, helps prepare children for school, and addresses developmental needs. The Workshop’s programs are tailored to the needs of specific regions and focus on topics that help young children and families develop critical skills for lifelong learning. For more information, visit us at

About the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF)

The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation was established in 1994 and is completely directed and funded by the insurance industry. The foundation helps communities and enriches lives by uniting the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service and leadership. Since its inception in 1994, IICF has contributed more than $20 million in grants to charities and 166,000 volunteer hours to hundreds of community nonprofit organizations. IICF is a registered not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code. Learn more at about the IICF at


™/© 2013 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.


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Reading Dogs and Writing Snakes You Say?

What the Snakes WroteIn a picture book, any scenario you can imagine – and even those beyond your wildest dreams – can come to life. In What the Snakes Wrote ($9.95, Firefly Books, Ages 5-8), a farm dog named Rufus befriends a big family of snakes that slither and arrange themselves into letters and words to send messages. Rufus, being the friendly, helpful canine that he is, runs to the rescue of the snakes as they post different messages calling for help. He even tries to get the attention of the farmer when the snakes need more assistance than he alone can give. But the farmer is busy and just doesn’t notice what’s going on. When the snakes are in real deep trouble, will Rufus be able to save the day?


The story, by author Hazel Hutchins, is original and the message is one of literacy. I like the fact that even though the story is not reality (i.e. snakes cannot write and dogs cannot read) in the back of the book the author provides two pages of interesting true facts about snakes. The cheerful illustrations are cartoon-like, and I love the way illustrator Tina Holdcroft depicts the snakes as they form words.

Reading What the Snakes Wrote with your children, is the perfect time to broach the subject of the importance of being able to read and communicate. It also opens the door to further exploration of the fascinating world of snakes. And it is just a really cute story.

– Reviewed by Debbie Glade

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Read! Build! Learn! With LEGO and Libraries

LEGO and Libraries – A Good Fit

I have never known a child who did not love to play with LEGO building bricks, but I have met many a reluctant reader.  Now like a little foot in its first shoe, LEGO is partnering with libraries all over the country and offering a one-of-a-kind experience that’s a good fit, too: Read! Build! Play! And just how lucky are we? Los Angeles is the first stop! That’s a super step forward to encourage reading we can all build on. If you cannot make it to the library event, (on Tuesday, June 26th from 11a.m. noon at the LA Public Central Library 630 West 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071 – Cost is free. Participation is first come, first serve) be sure to visit this new website that provides families tips, suggestions and ideas on how to keep playtime fresh, energetic and educational –

Everyone knows that, from birth, reading and play are critical to a child’s growth – so why not combine the two? Designed for children under five, the Read, Build, Play experience brings together reading and building in a fun, educational way. As story tellers read, children will be encouraged to build, sing, play and explore through original games and creative activities.

Support libraries across the country and encourage children’s play and learning development. 

The experience also celebrates the hard work of librarians in their quest to help grow our youth.  In June, the Association of Library Service to Children kicked off a national program with LEGO DUPLO in which parents can support their local library by nominating them to receive special recognition for all their hard work.

Beat boredom this summer with the program’s website, Check it out for suggestions and ideas on how to keep playtime energetic and educational. Download unique activity kits to involve you and your kids in a variety of ways to play and read. At this site, anyone will also be able to find ways to support their local libraries, including online nominations for recognition in the Read! Build! Play! program. 

Parents – you can link to the website to vote for your local library and download the activity guide while reading. And if you do attend the event be on the lookout for a 6-foot X 6-foot book stack model made entirely of vibrant DUPLO bricks.  

Order some copies of the new Read and Build sets from LEGO DUPLO. Just this month, a series of sets were released that are meant to inspire young children to read and build along with the story line. 3 sets of books and bricks like Grow Caterpillar Grow! and Busy Farm blend reading with construction play for a new, fun way to encourage directed and free play, and hands-on exploration while reading. 




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Read With Me, Please

Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers by Stephanie Zvirin is reviewed by Krista Jefferies.

In her book, Read with Me: Best Books for Preschoolers ($18.95, Huron Street Press), Stephanie Zvirin offers parents numerous helpful tips to encourage their children to read, along with a comprehensive catalog of kid-friendly books. Zvirin, an editor for the American Library Association (ALA), provides insight about the types of books that are appropriate for each age group and how to share the experience of reading with children at the various stages of their early lives. 

This book is logically organized, each chapter building on the previous one like adding train cars to a locomotive on this journey to literacy.  Each list of suggested reading is alphabetically ordered, and filled with a variety of books for both boys and girls.  Among Zvirin’s recommendations for infants and toddlers are books that include bright colors and vibrant pictures, subjects that include everything from animals to sports, stories that teach anything from opposites to counting (in English and Spanish), and multi-cultural characters that expand a child’s scope of the world.  Her lists for older children, ages 4-8, include books that adhere to a child’s growing sense of the world, offering themes like family, friendship, nature, and make believe.

This book is a great tool for parents, but it’s also useful for family members, friends, daycare providers, and anyone else with an opportunity to read to kids. I recognized strategies I’ve used with my nieces and nephews, and even my students while reading aloud with them, such as changing inflection to capture characters’ voices or to show enthusiasm.  There are also plenty more to try out in the future, simple tips that make reading a constant fixture in a child’s life.  I plan to pass this book along to a friend who has recently mentioned he’d like to read more with his children but doesn’t really know where to start.  This is a terrific starting point for any parent, and Zvirin’s advices don’t stop here—the final pages offer an array of reputable resources for reading guides and book blogs that will connect anyone to the wide world of words. 

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Be An American Girl All Summer Long With Read-A-Palooza & An Exciting Book Giveaway!


 (Plus you’ll help Save the Children’s U.S. literacy program when you buy American Girl books)

Enter below today for your chance to win a bunch of the best books for summer reading

In conjunction with American Girl’s super summer celebration of reading called Read-a-palooza, Good Reads With Ronna is offering a great giveaway. It’s just the right time to join the millions of girls who’ve grown up with American Girl’s award-winning books and discover the delights of reading all summer long. So get out your beach bag, sunblock, swim suit and some sunglasses and get ready to dive in to a good time

Books shown here do not necessarily reflect titles offered.
Please refer to list on the left.

One winner will receive a selection of summer reading including:  

  • McKenna (A 2012 Girl of the Year book)
  • McKenna Ready to Fly (A 2012 Girl of the Year book) 
  • The nonfiction advice book, Take the Challenge
  • The nonfiction advice book, A Smart Girl’s Guide to Liking Herself
  • The Innerstar University Book (these are “choose your own ending” books), Behind the Scenes
  • A Cecile Mystery, The Cameo Necklace

Click here to enter with your name and address, then leave a comment below and remember to
LIKE Good Reads With Ronna on Facebook  for your chance to win. Contest ends midnight on Weds., May 30. Scroll down for contest rules. Good luck!

Keep your girls away from electronics and get them into books to sharpen their reading skills and keep them happily entertained while away from school. American Girl’s Read-a-palooza, a summer reading program created for girls ages 8 to 12, is packed with fun activities and incentives that encourage literacy. Read-a-palooza takes place May 1 to September 3, 2012, and also includes a charitable partnership with Save the Children’s U.S. literacy program.

To participate in Read-a-palooza, girls can visit, where they can download colorful bookmarks and free book-related content, such as tips and materials for starting a book club. They’ll also be able to do reading challenges and take fun, interactive quizzes. Starting in June, girls can participate in Read-a-palooza by visiting an American Girl retail store, where free reading events will be offered all summer long.

To further emphasize the importance of reading and to help a great cause during its Read-a-palooza campaign, American Girl is partnering with Save the Children’s U.S. literacy program. From May 1 through September 3, 2012, $1 of every book purchased through American Girl (up to a maximum of $100,000) will support Save the Children’s efforts to raise literacy rates in impoverished communities by providing basic education and equipping schools and teachers with reading materials. In addition, American Girl will make its third donation of books to Save the Children this fall, bringing the value of the company’s total book donation to nearly $1.5 million.

For more information about Read-a-palooza and American Girl’s partnership with Save the Children, visit


TO ENTER – We are giving away 1 prize of 6 assorted American Girl books to include  (2) Girl of the Year books: McKenna and McKenna Ready to Fly, (1) Take The Challenge,(1) A Smart Girl’s Guide to Liking Herself, (1) The Innerstar University Book: Behind the Scenes, (1) A Cecile Mystery: The Cameo Necklace worth a total of $49.70.

  1. This giveaway ends at midnight on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 with one winner selected on Thursday, May 31st. Winner will be notified by email so be sure to include your name, address, (no P.O. Boxes please) and phone number in an email to Please write American Girl Giveaway in the subject line.
  2. For a chance to be the winner please leave a comment on the giveaway blog post (no one or two word comments please). Be sure to LIKE  Good Reads With Ronna on Facebook for an additional entry and follow us on Twitter @goodreadsronna for an additional entry to the giveaway, too. If you don’t provide an email where you can be contacted your chance to win is forfeited.

This giveaway will run through midnight on May 30,  2012 (PST). Winner will be chosen using from all valid entries and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us at before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is open to U.S. (18+) residents only.

American Introduces Read-a-palooza

About American Girl

American Girl Brands is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, (NASDAQ:MAT,, the world’s leading toy company. Since American Girl’s inception in 1986, the company has devoted its entire business to celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational products, and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators. To learn more about American Girl or to request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005, or visit 

About Save the Children

Save the Children’s U.S. Programs work to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of children by ensuring they have the resources they need—access to a quality education, healthy foods, and opportunities to grow and develop in a nurturing environment. When disasters like hurricanes and wildfires strike, Save the Children is among the first on the ground ensuring the needs of children are being met.

Save the Children’s early childhood education, literacy, physical activity and nutrition, and emergency response programs reached more than 147,000 children and families in the United States last year alone. For more information, visit


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My Favorite Book Contest from First 5 LA

Be a Reader & Be a Winner!

Ready. Set. Grow! is First 5 LA’s family resource website for parents with young children offering fun and safe ways for children to be healthy, safe and ready to learn.

This November, First 5 LA is encouraging a love of literacy with its annual Read early, Read ALOUD! campaign. This year’s slogan is “My Favorite Book.” Read here about the contest they will be running all month long with book giveaways and a grand prize. Visit their website by clicking here or head over to their Facebook page now by clicking here.

    • Contest Rules: Contest begins today, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. All entries must be received by noon on Dec. 5, 2011. A winner will be selected randomly from the entries and notified the afternoon of Monday, December 12, 2011. Multiple entries allowed. Previous winners are ineligible to win subsequent prizes. Prizes are non-transferable. There may be no cash or other substitutions of prizes by winner. Qualified winners will receive prizes within four to six weeks after they are notified of their winnings, unless otherwise specified. Only Los Angeles County residents are eligible to win.
    • To enter, you must “Like” Ready, Set, Grow on Facebook and/or Follow Ready, Set, Grow on Twitter and post a Tweet with the contest hashtag: #myfavbook  You can enter multiple times by both following on Twitter and tweeting the hashtag #myfavbook AND filling out the survey at:
    • Prizes: Each person from this site that enters the contest is eligible to receive a bookmark with early reading tips, but you must write a comment below and indicate you have entered the contest already. One person who enters from Good Reads With Ronna  (randomly selected) will win two books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle & Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells) and a bookmark with early reading tips but you must write a comment below indicating that you have entered at the link supplied here.  The grand prize winner will receive a library of 50 books (including a selection of Scholastic titles) and a tip sheet bookmark.

Check out the family-friendly Ready. Set. Grow! website. Re-vamped, it contains literacy features for both kids and parents including:

  • Literacy tips appropriate for each age group: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months, 24-36 months, and preschool
  • Suggested reading lists for each age group, with descriptions of each book
  • Literacy-themed blog posts
  • A schedule of story time events at L.A. County libraries
  • Low-cost book suggestions
  • Literacy-themed book list for parents
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Kohl’s Keeps Kids Interested in Reading All Summer Long



From May through the end of June, visit any Kohl’s and for just $5 each you can take Llama Llama red pajama and  Llama Llama misses Mama home with you.

Both these adorable books by Anna Dewdney can be purchased along with a precious coordinating plush llama or zebra, also for only $5. What an affordable and meaningful way to get kids reading and to share with friends for birthday presents or simply because it makes you feel good to give to such a worthwhile cause.

lunchboxrecipebookAfter reading, head off to the kitchen and cook up some fun with this pair of cookbooks that will support your healthy eating goals at home: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur and The Top 100 Recipes for a Healthy Lunchbox by Nicola Graimes, both available  now for $5 each as part of the Kohl’s Cares program.

If you’re not familiar with the Kohl’s Cares program, it’s a great one to know about because the merchandise program donates 100% of the net profit from the sale of the featured books and plush toys to benefit kids’ health and education initiatives in communities nationwide.

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Avoid The Summer Slide!

Finallogo4-C.largeScholastic’s Tips for Helping Kids Avoid the Summer Slide:

Encourage your children to read four or more books. Research shows that kids who don’t read at least four books during the summer break lose valuable reading comprehension skills that can put them behind when they go back to school in the fall.

Find great books. Nine out of 10 kids say that they are more likely to finish reading a book if they pick it out themselves, so make a trip to the bookstore or library more exciting by allowing them to show you which books they want to read!

Take reading beyond the book. Ask your child questions about the story they are reading and try to find relevant supplemental activities to enhance their comprehension, such as a visit to a museum, checking out the author or book website, or doing an arts and crafts project.

Join a fun, free summer reading program. Scholastic’s Summer Challenge is completely free and easy to use! Kids read books, log their minutes, and earn rewards! Parents receive emails each time their child hits a reading milestone so that they can keep the encouragement going all summer long.

Fun For Kids! On April 27th, Scholastic will launch the 5th annual Summer Challenge, a free online reading program for kids grades K-8, found at . The Summer Challenge encourages kids to read books that are interesting to them and to log the minutes they spend reading on the website in order to win prizes and contribute to the Read For the World Record. Last summer, kids around the world read 52,710,368 minutes which broke the previous record, and we’re confident that they will do it again this year! Kids can keep track of their personal reading minutes and can also choose to contribute to their school’s tally.

Parents Win Too! Parents are provided with free recommended reading lists, and will receive emails when their kids hit milestones during the course of the summer. Plus, the site offers free resources, expert articles, and downloadable reading certificates you can print and hang on the fridge.

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Are You The Next Great Children’s Book Author?


box-and-book-lrDid you know that the annual Cheerios New Author Contest launches today! Do you have the ‘write’ stuff?
Are you an ambitious writer eager to pursue your dream of creating a children’s book that will be remembered years from now? If you are, you probably need no encouragement from us, so just click here to enter. The contest (, which is seeking the next great children’s book author, encourages aspiring authors nationwide to submit an original story, in either English or Spanish, for children ages three to eight.

In 2010, mom and small business owner Laurie Isop, of Renton, Wash., was named Grand Prize Winner and received a $5,000 cash prize. Also, beginning in late March, Laurie’s book How Do You Hug a Porcupine? will be featured in more than two million Cheerios boxes nationwide, with hard covers becoming available in July.

Isop offered some tips for raising kids who love books: “Start early, and don’t just read the words. Use as much inflection and drama as possible.” She encourages parents to offer a variety of books so children have lots of options. “Eventually they’ll find a character or subject they connect with, and voila! They’re hooked on reading!” She also says, “Don’t be afraid to conjure up your own books. When my youngest was four his preschool class got to visit a working construction site. That evening I wrote a little story on my computer. It was all of ten pages and had clip-art for illustrations. It was called Erik Visits the Construction Site. I used his name on every page and he just loved it; he begged me to read it to him again and again.”

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Target Free Reading Event on Feb. 26

image002Target to Celebrate Reading with an In-Store Family Event

Los Angeles-area families are invited to attend this fun and free reading event on Feb. 26

What: Target Corp. will host a fun-filled reading event for families in celebration of reading and the National Education Association’s Read Across America program. Target’s “Who Reads? We Read!” events will be free at all Target stores and include a Dr. Seuss-inspired reading nook, activity packets for children, readings by Target team members, giveaways and more. As part of the festivities, families will be able to enjoy Dr. Seuss classics such as The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham and I Can Read with My Eyes Shut.

Education is at the heart of Target’s 5 percent giving program. Since 2003, Target has supported the Read Across America program, which calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on or around March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss. Target’s partnership with the National Education Association is just one example of the company’s commitment to education and its focus on helping more U.S. children learn to read proficiently by the end of third grade, which is a critical milestone on the path to graduation. As part of that commitment, Target plans to donate $1 billion in education-related giving by the end of 2015.

When: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011

Where: 9 to 11 a.m.

Be sure to look for signs pointing you in the right direction.

For more information, visit

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Breakfast & Books

Journeys to outer space, talking animals, enchanted castles – the world of reading has no limits. Books can offer a child imaginary and thought-provoking experiences unlike any other.


Collect all five titles.

This fall, Cheerios is inviting families to start the day with a nutritious breakfast and a new book. As part of its ongoing commitment to help families connect by fostering a shared love of reading, Cheerios is providing more than six million children’s books, free inside Cheerios boxes, through its Spoonfuls of Stories® program. This year’s in-pack offerings are appropriate for children ages three to eight and written in both English and Spanish.


Recently, Cheerios fielded a survey to examine the role reading plays in family life. Some key findings include:

· Although two-thirds (67%) of moms said they read to their children at least once a day and eight in ten moms (81%) started reading to their child before their first birthday, a quarter (26%) said they only read together a few times a week.

· Nearly two-thirds (61%) of moms said “busy schedules” prevent them from spending more time reading with their kids. Cheerios hopes that the simple act of putting books in boxes encourages families to read more – even if it means squeezing in a story at the breakfast table.

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Monkey Around With Lindy Michaels

IT’S A BOOK! (Roaring Brook Press, $12.99, ages 6 and up) written and illustrated by Lane Smith is reviewed today by the ever enthusiastic Lindy Michaels, of BookStar on Ventura Blvd.

9781596436060As the monkey is getting his literary enjoyment by reading the ink printed word on, yes, actual paper, the donkey (here stated by his ‘other name’), while playing his technological invention, looks up and seems perplexed. Next, comes a barrage of questions from the donkey.

“How do you scroll down?” Do you blog with it?” “Can it text?” “Tweet?’ “Wi-Fi?” And the computer-like questions go on and on and on.

“NO! IT’S A BOOK!!” the monkey repeatedly tells him, with much frustration.

This book is simply perfect, not to mention hysterically funny, for all of you out there who would rather turn a page than hit a key. And perhaps it will bring some insight to those who don’t understand the joy gotten from one of the greatest simple pleasures that can be gotten in this life. A wonderful lesson for youngin’s, also. I’m not saying all this new technology isn’t great, but, to me, there is nothing more wonderful than curling up on a comfy couch and reading a real book! It’s something that, I certainly hope, won’t ever go out of fashion. For goodness sake, IT’S A BOOK!!

Another of Lane Smith’s books that’s a must to check out is The Big Elephant in The Room. With great humor and truths, Mr. Smith has the unique ability to hit societal situations right on the head.

lindymichaelspicThe very versatile Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. where we first met. I think she might even be more gaga over kids’ books than me, if that’s possible!

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National Literacy Month Just Got Sweeter


logoThis month kicks off The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program, which will donate up to $250,000 to Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization.

As a company, Nestlé has a long standing history of supporting programs that benefit education and give back to the community – both have been integral parts of the company’s culture. For nearly 20 years, Nestlé has supported RIF by donating in excess of $6 million, which has helped hundreds of thousands of children to date.

How “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program” Works

While “The Nestlé Share the Joy of Reading Program” will be donating to RIF, it also gives you, the consumer, the chance to be rewarded with a wide range of prizes. Through this program, you will have the chance to help a child receive a new book every time you open a variety of specially marked bags of Nestlé candy – including CRUNCH®, BUTTERFINGER®, BABY RUTH®, 100 GRAND®, BUTTERFINGER CRISP®, WONKA® LAFFY TAFFY®, WONKA® NERDS®, WONKA® SWEETARTS® and WONKA® MIXUPS®. By entering the package promotion code on the inside of specially marked Nestlé candy bags at the program site, you have a chance to become an instant winner for which you’ll receive a $10 book certificate. Additionally, you’ll be entered into a monthly $5,000 cash drawing.

Each time a consumer enters a valid package promotion code to play the instant win game, Nestlé will donate $.10 to RIF. Additionally, Nestlé will donate a book in the form of $2 to RIF for each valid instant win prize claimed. Specially marked Nestlé bags are currently in stores nationwide and will be available until the program ends in December 2011 or while supplies last. During that time, Nestlé will donate up to $250,000 to RIF, with a minimum guarantee of $100,000 – the more consumers play, the more money will be donated.

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Book A Brighter Future at Macy’s

I’ve written about this very important program before and am pleased to announce that a new program with Macy’s and RIF  launches today.
babf2011Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s have teamed up to create Book A Brighter Future™, a national partnership to raise awareness and support of children’s literacy. This program will help RIF provide free books and literacy resources to children nationwide, while expanding RIF’s outreach to the children at greatest risk for developing reading difficulties.

The Book A Brighter Future campaign is an annual promotion held at Macy’s stores to help raise money for local RIF programs and to provide reading resources to the children who need them most.  This campaign provides an opportunity for Macy’s customers to join the effort and have an impact on literacy in their community. From June 30 through July 31, Macy’s customers can give $3 and receive a coupon for $10 off* one purchase of $50 or more at any Macy’s store nationwide. Macy’s will give 100% of every $3 to RIF. *Exclusions apply. See store or for details.

Since 2004, Macy’s and RIF have raised more than $13 million through the in-store promotion, which has had a profound impact on RIF’s mission. Macy’s has helped provide over 2 million free books to children served by RIF programs and has also donated more than 1,000 hardcover multicultural book collections to schools, Head Start centers, and libraries in every state and U.S. territory.

babf-2010-ver-logo-1For every $3, $1 will support local RIF programs; $1 will support RIF’s Multicultural Literacy Campaign, and $1 will help RIF’s ongoing efforts to provide reading resources to millions of underserved children across the country.

Macy’s supports RIF’s Multicultural Literacy Campaign, which is a multi-year effort to promote and support early childhood literacy in African American, Hispanic, and American Indian communities—in areas where reading scores are the lowest. Macy’s is also RIF’s lead partner for volunteer engagement and has supported the recent development of an interactive map on RIF’s website. This tool helps connect local RIF programs to local volunteers. The map also allows users to learn about RIF’s impact both in their community and nationwide. To view this online tool, go to:

About RIF
Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), founded in 1966, motivates children to read by working with them, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of everyday life. RIF’s highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8. Through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provides 4.4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources each year. For more information, and to access reading resources, visit RIF’s website at

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