You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2008.

Check out the article in School Library Journal.  Colorado, Every Child Ready to Read (offered here at Southern Peaks), and CLEL (of which I’m a member) are all highlighted.

Pumping fist in the air, everyone heard me cry, “YES!”  Scholastic Books is dropping Bratz chapter books.

Here’s the story: Scholastic Cuts Bratz…

Want to read more? Check out:

The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What You Can Do About It by Gigi Durham

And for kids:

Princess Grace by Mary Hoffman

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker (series)

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (series)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (great for talking about cultural expectations of boys and girls; I mean, why does a six year old girl have to wear a dress?!)

The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander (series)

Maybe you’ve seen in my quote list, “Change a Life. Read to a Child.” It sounds extravagant but it really is true.

So read, read, read to your children and to all the children in your life.  It is simple and profound, like feeding the good food rather than junk food.  Yes, it takes some intentionality and time in today’s world, but we’ve got to get real and be honest with each other about the consequences of not doing it (either the good eating or the good reading).  It affects a child for their entire life.

Ok, so you’re reading to the children in your life.  Now what more can you do?  Especially when you read Scary Statistics, Part2 and say OMG!

Donate a new book to the Holiday Book Project here at Southern Peaks Public Library.

The Friends of the Library are tackling that blood-chilling statistic head on, collaborating with La Puente to give every child at La Puente’s Holiday Party a book as one of the gifts they receive that day.  We’ll need upwards of 300 books for ages birth to fifteen.

One book, folks, that’s all.  Make it a good one, one to please and excite a child, one to make them proud to own books, one to make them want to spend more time with books.  One will bring their book count up from 0.4 to 1.4.  I’m a big believer in small steps adding up! So think about adding “new book” to your shopping list.

In today’s world, the abilities to find out and to think are critical.  These abilities depend upon language.  We use language to communicate and understand orally through speaking, aurally through hearing, and visually through reading and writing.

Early literacy is everything a child knows about reading and writing before he or she can read or write.  Six basic skills comprise early literacy and determine whether a child will be ready to learn to read and write.

No teaching is required; no special equipment is needed; no preparation is involved! Just mix a caring adult, a child, and a book with a large dose of fun, and early literacy skills develop!  Just like other language development (babbling, understanding speech, talking, etc.), these six skills are simply “caught,” not “taught,” through fun, enjoyable “living” interactions with caring adults and books on a regular basis.

The six skills that help prepare children for reading later include:

Print motivation


Print awareness

Narrative skills

Letter knowledge

Phonological awareness

I’ll tell you more about each skill later!

Children who read have more books in their homes (from studies in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1998, 2003).

A child from an affluent family has 200 books.  A child from a lower income family has 0.4 (from The Power of Reading by Stephen Krashen, 2004, p.68).

Banned Books Week begins this Saturday, Sept. 27, and runs through Oct. 4. In recognition of it, KRZA radio will have a call-in discussion program on Sunday, Sept. 28, at 5 p.m. I’ll be one of the guests. 🙂

You can hear KRZA on FM radio at 88.7, 100.9, or 105.9 and the big news is that the station is now streaming!

That means you can go to its website,, find the picture of the house, and click under it where it says “Listen Live” to hear the broadcasts through your computer.  So you can listen to KRZA anywhere now, even in your house if before it was all static-y (like ours; giving up my chickens and not being able to pick up KRZA in my house were the only real drawbacks to moving into town).

And self-promoting plug: my stint as DJ on Ballads and Bluegrass is the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Great Dog Eats Doug cartoon; (just click on the highlighting.)

Here’s some rhymes to burn up some energy. Turn up the speakers and join in! (Just click on the highlighted word “rhymes” in the line above.)

This NYT article is a wealth of terrific info on nutrition for all of us (notice the sentence about fat-soluble nutrients)–but especially for those with picky eaters.

HEALTH / HEALTH | September 15, 2008
6 Food Mistakes Parents Make
Most parents can relate to the daily challenge of finding foods that children will eat.

We went through stages with our boys, too, now ages 19 and 13, who don’t love everything now but will eat anything.  What’s probably even more enjoyable now is that they will try most anything!

What were some of our personal family solutions?

In response to “But I don’t like it!!!,” we said (calmly)(usually),  “As you and your taste buds grow, one day you will.”

We served them very small portions of everything. (A child’s portion really is quite small). They could always have more. And they could always have peanut butter if they were still hungry (but just immediately after supper, not hours afterwards.  We followed my mother’s advice that if they get hungry enough, they will eventually eat.)

We restricted or eliminated juice.  For a small person, juice contains an incredible number of calories and can really restrict the need or desire to eat.  I really did have one child who would not eat even hours later if he had had any juice during the day.

Finally, we kept a compost bucket.  Anything (except meat) that they didn’t eat went into it.  That way, I felt a little better about “wasting food.”  It wasn’t going to waste; it was feeding my garden! 🙂
What works at your house?

Today at Cole Park, 12 noon to 2-ish.  Bring picnic food, outdoor toys and games.  This is the first gathering for the Alpine Homeschool Alliance for this school year.  Great way to meet other homeschoolers.

Great true story, nice animated film–FREE this Friday night,  Sept. 19, on the big screen at 7 p.m. here at the library.  Bring a drink; we supply the popcorn!

“In the (first) fifteen years (of fieldwork) I can remember just ten times when I had really narrow escapes from death. Two were from drowning in typhoons, one was when our boat was charged by a wounded whale; once my wife and I were nearly eaten by wild dogs, once we were in great danger from fanatical lama priests; two were close calls when I fell over cliffs, once I was nearly caught by a huge python, and twice I might have been killed by bandits.”

 Roy Chapman Andrews, dinosaur hunter

From a new non-fiction book here, Dragon Bones and Dinosaur Eggs.  Who wants it first?  Really cool!


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Contact Info for Babette

email babette(dot)reeves(at)gmail(dot)com
snail mail
73 State Avenue
Alamosa, CO 81101

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