Episode 24: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Books with Coleen Graham

Episode 24: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Books with Coleen Graham

What do we mean by healthy bodies, healthy books? We share how can you use books to help your family stay healthy, and what are some great options to read together.

This week we are joined by Coleen Graham, a RN who has worked in a major pediatric hospital for the past eleven years. She also has three kids of her own, so she has had plenty of experience teaching kids about being sick and staying healthy in all sorts of settings. Along with nursing she also teaches preschool and the occasional yoga class, so we are very grateful that she was able to take the time to chat with us about this topic that has been on many parents’ minds lately!

In this episode we talk about:

1. Coleen’s job at the hospital and what she does there. She explains her unit as a “step-down NICU.” She mostly works with infants and toddlers, although they have recently started getting children of many different ages.

2. What she prioritizes as a nurse and a mom when she teaches her kids about their bodies and staying healthy. 

3. How she has used books to teach those things to her kids and why picture books do such a great job at putting these complicated topics on their level.

4. How she has seen books used at her hospital unit. For instance, she has seen a feeding tube kit that comes with a story book and coloring book that talk about what it is, how it is used, how they can talk about it, etc. Since her unit is mostly younger kids, they do not use them to explain what is going on as much, but they have books that are for the kids and parents to use while they are there, which helps to bring something familiar and comforting to a scary situation.

“The parents are happy to see a book that they are familiar with and they are happy to read to their child and it kind of makes a scary hospital experience something a little less scary.”

5. Coloring books and what a great tool they can be. Coleen has used them when teaching her kids about their bodies and she made a great point about how kids are often times better able to listen to things we are trying to teach them when their hands are busy doing something else… like coloring or drawing!

7. How she has decided what to teach her different children at different ages.

8. A few of their family’s favorite books for talking about bodies and health.

9. How our emotions and mental health can affect our physical health and how we can help our kids with their emotions and especially to identify and communicate them.

10. All three of us chime in with some books that might be good for older children, teenagers or even adults who want to

We are so grateful to Coleen for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, the books we chat about, and other resources to help us teach our kids about being healthy can be found in the following places:

In Healthy Bodies, Healthy Books we mention:

Websites:

Kids Health.org

Google Scholar

Books:

The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain

What are Germs? – By Katie Daynes (Usborne)

My Body – Usborne

The Usborne Science Encyclopedia by several authors

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

Standin’ Tall Cleanliness by Janeen Brady

Little Monkey Calms Down by Michael Dahl

Lurlene McDaniel (author)

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost

Magic School Bus: The Giant Germ by Scholastic

The Big Book of the Body – Usborne

Daniel Visits the Doctor – Daniel Tiger book

Looking for more on “healthy” books for your family? Look at this blog post

Want to read about the Covid-19 financial crisis of 2020? Here’s a great booklist to get you started

Week one: Get Lovin’ those books

Week one: Get Lovin’ those books

Welcome to One Page at a Time’s Summer of Fun! We hope you’ll get lovin’ those books right off the bat. We are bringing you 12 weeks of books and activities for all ages, all centered on a weekly theme that will help you bring books into activities that you are already planning or could easily add into your summer plans. With several books in each reading level category, we hope that there are at least a couple that are available to you, wherever you may be. The activities are also planned to be simple and cost-effective, making them achievable for anyone who wants in on the fun!

To kick off our Summer of Fun, we wanted to start with something that will hopefully set you and your families up for a whole summer of finding the fun in books. For this week we have gathered our favorite books about books for all reading levels so we can celebrate the awesomeness found in all those pages out there in the world.

And now, without further ado, we give you WEEK ONE: Fall in Love with Books!

Picture Books

This is My Book by Mark Pett

The author/illustrator of this book may think he is in control, but he definitely underestimates his rogue illustration!

How This Book was Made by Mac Barnett

Librarian on the Roof! A True Story by MG King and Stephen Gilpin

How to Read a Story by Kate Messner

Juvenile Fiction

The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff

Matilda by Roald Dahl

A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Young Adult Fiction

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

Adult Fiction

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

The Cracked Spine: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Adult Non-Fiction

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett

A Gentle Madness by Nicholas A. Basbanes

The Year of Reading Dangerously by Andy Miller

My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul

Toddler Activity

Make reading as fun for the kiddos as possible this week so that they absolutely fall in love with it!

  • Read somewhere you don’t normally read (outside, at the table while eating a meal, in Mom and Dad’s bed, in a fort built underneath the dining room table, etc)
  • Make a treat together and then read while eating the treats
  • Read a favorite book over and over again
  • Give them an M&M every time they hear a certain word in a book,
  • Listen to an audiobook while snuggled together on a couch or bed
  • Ask your local librarian to help you find a stack of books all about something that they love right now

or whatever else you can think of! And then share your ideas with us so we can try them out, too!

Youth Activity

Try your hands at creating your own book recommendation lists! Pick a theme (go simple- “books set in England,” or go detailed- “books with an animal as the narrator”), or simply try and narrow your choices down to your top five or ten (or fifty!) books you would recommend to people. Pick the same theme as friends, siblings or parents and see how many books in common you all chose.

Adult/Family Activity

Have a family movie night and watch the movie version of a book you have read and loved. Use this as a way to encourage a reluctant reader to finish a book or to connect a younger child to books by introducing him/her to a favorite character from the screen in book version.

Episode 23: Building Character with Picture Books with Mary Costello

Episode 23: Building Character with Picture Books with Mary Costello

Building character with picture books is not even possible, we here at One Page at a Time argue that it’s fantastic. We hear about how one Bookstagrammer is using picture books to help their whole family learn 12 Character Traits in 2020.

This week we are joined by Mary Costello, the amazing woman behind the website, Children’s Lit Love. Mary spent years gaining her education in Child development and Elementary education before teaching elementary school for ten years. When he oldest was born she began using that wealth of knowledge and experience in her own home and now shares it with us on her website and Instagram account. 

In this episode we talk about:

1. How she went from being the book recommendation lady for all of her friends to her website now, which still has plenty of book recommendations, but also fantastic information on children’s literacy in general.

2. Their family’s journey this year to focus on developing different character traits with their children. They wanted to be very intentional about teaching their girls certain things, so they pick a new trait each month to talk about. Mary puts together the books and other things they have used so far and shares them all on her sites.

3. We talked a bit about the nitty-gritty of how exactly they have been putting this character trait plan into practice in their family and what roles she and her husband play in what they do.

4. Mary had some thoughts on how to do something similar if you do not have the same support from a spouse. She especially points out that by the end of the year she will have twelve character traits-worth of lists and information that anyone can use, thus cutting down on a ton of work and preparation for someone who wants to try it!

5. How has it been going so far for them? In Mary’s own words, “It is going so much better than we had imagined!” It has been fun and unifying for their family and they have been able to see the differences in their girls that their efforts have made.

6. Why books are such a good fit for what she and her husband are doing with the character traits in their family this year. 

7. How Mary handles the gathering and organization of the books she collects and uses for her monthly topics. 

8. And some great book recommendations to round us off!

We are so grateful to Mary for taking the time to talk with us! More information about her, her sties, and their family’s character traits development journey can be found in the following places:

In Building Character with Picture Books we mention:

Instagram:

@childrenslitlove

Websites:

Books

Molly and Mae by Danny Parker

Mindset by Carol Dweck

The Power of Showing Up by Daniel J Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Clementine (series) by Sara Pennypacker

Henry Huggins (series) by Beverly Cleary

Ramona (series) by Beverly Cleary

Sharing a Shell by Julia Donaldson

Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson

Valentine Cats by Jean Marzollo

Excited for One Page at a Time’s Summer 2020 books and activities? So are we! Get started with the first week here

Books for a Rainy Day

Books for a Rainy Day

Jill Given

It’s pretty rainy where I live. All the green trees and bright flowers are a pretty great reward for the rain, but it’s sometimes hard to accept that all of these rainy days are the price I have to pay for that beauty. I quite often let the rain get me down and I plow through my day, just a little grumpier than I probably should be. Recently, I was talking to a friend and she told me that she gets through rainy days by giving herself permission to do those lazy, cozy, feel-good things, like drink a fun drink or watch movies. As much as I would love to indulge like that to get me through the bad weather, if I did that on every rainy day, I would never get anything done! 

Instead, I have decided that the next time I am feeling down on a rainy day, I am going to turn it into a reading day! I want to stockpile some new and exciting books for me as well as my kids and give us something to get excited about the next time it pours!

Here’s the list I have so far. If any of you have some ideas to add, please send them our way! Like I said- it rains a lot here. I’m going to need all the rainy day books I can get!

Soup Day by Melissa Iwai. A mom and her daughter spend a snow day making soup for the family. Hopefully it can inspire my kids and I to make something delicious on our rainy days!

10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle. When I feel like I am drowning in all this rain, why not embrace the feeling and follow the adventures of these rubber duckies navigating the seas, inspired by a real shipment of rubber ducks that fell off a cargo ship and floated around the world!

Chalk by Bill Thomson. This wordless picture book will remind us that even a rainy day shouldn’t stop us from having playground adventures!

The Big Umbrella by Amy Jun Bates and Juniper Bates. No rainy day would be complete without an umbrella and no rainy day book list would be complete without a book about an umbrella! While the story of this umbrella big enough for everyone is a delight, it is the illustrations that really captured my heart. I read this one to myself while my kids played at the library a while back and knew it would be perfect to wait and read it again with the kiddos on our next rainy reading day!