Wednesday, July 1, 2009

GIVEAWAY: Take the Scholastic Summer Challenge & Win A Pack of Books



Education and book leader Scholastic is working to ensure that kids don't fall victim to the "summer slide" - a loss of skills that can occur when they're out of school and out of practice - with the Scholastic Summer Challenge.

Experts have found that kids who read 4 or more books over the summer can maintain their skills and even make learning gains. The Scholastic Summer Challenge keeps reading fun with a cool free website. There's online games, prizes, and Stacks, a virtual team community where big kids can motivate each other to read.

My young kids like playing the Garden Game and I love all of the parent resources that Scholastic provides for parents. My fave are the Summer Reading Lists categorized by age, reading level and children's interests. I've been printing those out that correspond to my kids before hitting the library. We've found some great new reads, and I've re-discovered some of my childhood faves.

Since Scholastic recommends at least 4 new books read over the summer, I'm going to recommend 4 books each week for three weeks in July. In the comments below, if you recommend 4 titles too, then you'll be entered to win a pack of 4 new books especially tailored to your child's age! One winner will be randomly chosen each week on Wednesday.

Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes $12.23 Hardcover
Nothing puts my preschool-aged daughter in a more peaceful frame of mind for sleep than the whispering magic and illustrations of this book. Winner of the Caldecott Medal.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg $6.99
My all-time favorite novel as a child, and I still re-read it every year. Now my oldest is loving it as we read a chapter each night. On the surface it's the story of a sister and brother who run away and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. [Note: Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson totally ripped this off for The Royal Tenenbaums.] But it's also about independence, mystery, love for family, appreciation of art and history, and realizing the power of information. Winner of the Newbery Medal.

Transformers: Meet the Autobots - An I Can Read Book $3.99
Hey, I don't just give my kids precious picture books and award winners - anything that helps them learn to read is A-OK by me. For a kindergarten boy, what better reading incentive than Autobots and Decepticons? Since he's too young to see the feature films, I know this is a low blow, making him read the story. And the complicated mechanical words are tough to sound out. But for love of Optimus Prime, my kid totally obliges and I'm happy to keep him in pulp fiction if his reading skills are the better for it.

The Other Dog by Madeleine L'Engle $6.99
True story: I have written exactly ONE fan letter in my life and it was to this author. (If you would like to have dorky convos about the Wrinkle In Time series and how characters from all L'Engle's adult and children's books intersect and intertwine, I'll supply the wine.) Anyways, this is a fun picture book for kids about a new baby. The catch is that the author of the book is the dignified family poodle. Both of my kids love the ongoing joke that the dog thinks the new baby is "the other dog." Beautiful illustrations, cute and clever language.

There's my 4 for this week - what are yours? And I've personally been the winner of a pack of new children's books from Scholastic on Tech Savvy Mama before, and I can attest that they are new and they're spectacular. Recommend 4 in the comments below for a chance to win!

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