Saturday, July 2, 2022

7 Days of Books for Children, Day 7 Problem-Solving

Here we are! Day 7 of #7DaysOfBooks! 

Thank you so much for traveling with me on this journey! I hope that you have found some new titles to check out, as well as some old ones to pull off the shelves and read again with the young readers in your life.

As a teacher, I can't say enough for how important reading with children is

Twenty minutes a day of reading Out Loud with a child can make all the difference in putting that child on a path to success. When children are young, they are learning to read, which can be as enjoyable, and challenging, and rewarding as it can be. It also can be frustrating in learning how letters work together to form different phonic sounds, which is why learning to read, with daily exposure to words being connected in sentences is so important. By the time children are in the middle grades and in high school, students are reading to learn. See that subtle switch? In the upper grades it's expected that kids can interpret text in order to discern details and absorb information.

Thus, as we are at the end of this week, I hope you are inspired to dive into the summer reading program at your local library. In Utah, I've seen that the state-wide summer theme is "An Ocean of Possibilities.

Over the last week, we've certainly seen some ocean-related stories. But summer reading doesn't need to be all about that particular ecosystem. We've also seen books related to dinosaurs, building rockets, celebrating family, and laughing for laughing's sake. And so much more.

I particularly like today's topic because it involves books that touch on solving problems. We humans naturally lean toward trying to help one another in figuring things out. Perhaps this is why mysteries are popular with kids, as well as hands-on projects in school. Figuring things out is an activity which allows a child to view situations from all sorts of different perspectives. The more practice children have at finding solutions, the better they become at seeing alternative possibilities to current predicaments and daily situations. 

Plus, we have 4 giveaways today! Four! I hope you'll dive in and support these authors by buying their books or requesting them at your local library! 

Also, after checking out the book recommendations, be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. 

Because a new giveaway has been presented every day, you'll want to make sure you renew your chance to win and enter each Rafflecopter on each day. 

Best wishes! Happy reading! Thank you for stopping by and checking out #7DaysOfBooks!

One Turtle's Last Straw
written by Elisa Boxer, illustrated by Marta Alvarez Miguens (Random House Children's Books 2022). 

How many straws do you think young readers have used in their short lifetime? How many end up in the ocean where they can cause problems with marine animals? This book is a perfect story for launching young readers into the effects of plastic waste on our planet and the importance of recycling. It shows how one straw ended up in the ocean and caused problems for one turtle that ended up inhaling it as it ate. Keep in mind, this is one turtle of many that are affected by ocean pollution. The story also shows that the turtle was lucky enough to encounter marine biologists who were able to remove the straw. Overall, this book is perfect for the presentation of a problem and offering an easy solution that readers can take to eliminate plastic pollution. I may be biased given my love of oceans and marine life, but this book is a favorite!

Lila Lou's Little Library: A Gift from the Heart
written by Nikki Bergstresser, illustrated by Sejung Kim (Cardinal Rule Press 2021). I can completely relate to this book! 

When a girl realizes she has too many books, she comes up with a creative solution. She decides to share them with others by turning an old stump in her yard into a little library. Because my neighborhood has its own little library (which gets used frequently, based on the changes in stock that I see on my regular walks), this book holds a special place in my heart. I love the problem-solving approach where Lila Lou is able to come up with a positive outcome for her friends and neighbors! I also love this book because it shows the resourcefulness of the young girl in setting out to build something. Having grown up with similar encouragements, this book is a must-read for kids that like to dive into problems and create hands-on solutions.

Bugs for Breakfast. How Eating Insects Could Help Save the Planet
written by Mary Boone (Chicago Review Press 2021). 

A handful of years ago, I shared a short news article from National Geographic with my students. It shared how different insects pack an amount of protein that beats or meets what is found in regular hamburgers. My kids were mesmerized, but also somewhat grossed out. And truth be told, that kind of reaction is totally due to their lack of exposure to the idea. Because across the globe in other countries, insects are a regular part of the daily diet, and are regularly found at markets in order to make specific recipes. 

Mary Boone's book is fascinating, easy to read, and full of interesting and unputdownable facts. I highly recommend this book for any reader. According to the World Heath Organization, insects are going to become a more common-place household staple that will be found at the supermarket in the future. We might as well be prepared and educated on the topic, and most importantly take steps to save our planet. After all, it's the only planet we've got!

Book 3 in the Cayuga Island Kids chapter book series: The Case of the Messy Message and the Missing Facts
written by Judy Bradbury, illustrated by Gabriella Vagnoli (Cross Your Fingers 2022).

In this series young readers will certainly find a favorite character out of the five to identify with, as the characters contend with missing glitter pens, false information about chocolate chip cookies, and getting the facts right on a school research project about explorers. It's all about figuring out which facts are real, and which ones aren't and aspiring to be a good person.

This book hold multiple layers in finding solutions, treating others well, and fact-checking information--something every kid can benefit from getting practice at.

The Boy who Harnessed the Wind
written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Anna Hymas (Rocky Pony Books 2012). 

When the family of a young Malawan boy faces starvation after they lose their crops to drought, he figures out how to build a windmill in order to create electricity that can pump water out of the well so that it can be used in their agricultural fields. Need I say more? 

This memoir begs for being read aloud and shared with younger readers.

Princesses Can Fix It! 
written by Traci Marchini, illustrated by Julia Christians (Page Street Kids 2021). 

When alligators invade the castle and the king doesn't know what to do, three princess sisters pull their science and engineering skills together to solve the problem and save the day (or night--because that's when they spend their time figuring it out). 

This book is a wonderful introduction the simple tools (based in physics) that we actually use every day!

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World,
 written and illustrated by Melanie Walsh (Candlewick 2008, 2012).

This book remains a must-have for every collection. It offers simple, kid-centered approaches to things that kids can do to be less wasteful of resources and care for the planet, along with clear reasons why. Instilling this idea at a young age will make a world of difference in communities everywhere (pun intended), and . . . all because I love my world. 

Be sure to find a copy to share with the young children in your life.

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World's Coral Reefs
written by Kate Messner, illustrated by Matthew Forsythe (Chronicle Books 2018).  

This book is all about restoration science, and the fact that it presents it in a story that can be easily understood by kids is one of the main reasons I love it. As well as the idea that about ten years or so ago, the belief about coral reefs was that they couldn't be fixed after they died. However, when faced with challenges, scientists often rise up and meet them.

What a great example for young readers, especially with so many habitats in need of restoration on our planet. 

Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts
written by Joyce Grant, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte (Kids Can Press 2022). 

Learning to discern good facts from facts that are not based in truth is an important skill for young readers to learn and practice. It is one that will be used for all of their lives. 

I remember coming across a news article a few years ago about about a "new hybrid" corn crop in Minnesota that was so rigorous, it was taking over the highways and making them impassible given their strong root systems and crazy growth rate. When I read the article to my class, the students sat listening, mesmerized. I realized then and there that learning how to find good information for the research project they would be completing was a lesson I hadn't prepared on giving. If I'd had this book available at the time, it would have made my job much easier -- not only for me, but for the students. 

Told in kid-friendly text, with lots of illustrations and examples, this is a wonderful book for all young readers as they step from "learning to read" and into "reading to learn."

Today there are 4 giveaways! Be sure to follow the Rafflecopter below to log your entries.

1) An Ask-Me-Anything session with author Elisa Boxer

2) A signed copy of Lila Lou's Little Library from author Nikki Bergstresser

3) Book swag for the Cayuga Island Kids Book 3 from author Judy Bradbury

4) A signed copy of Bugs for Breakfast and tasty & decorative swag from author Mary Boone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. These look so inspiring! Thanks for sharing.
    Hannah Roy LaGrone

    1. I'm happy you're drawn to those here! Thanks, Hannah!

  2. I love this list! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. I adore problem-solving books because they allow kiddos to have agency. Another great selection of books!

    1. hooray! Problem-solving is definitely a natural, yet needs to be practiced skill!

  4. Fantastic recommendations! I’ll definitely be adding these to our list. And the switch from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”—love that and how true. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful books and ways of thinking! ❤️

  5. Jane Martin here. Thanks so much Shaunda for this wonderful event! I've followed lots of authors, made a list of new books to read and enjoyed your passion for reading and sharing fabulous stories!

  6. I haven't read many of these books, but THE BRILLIANT DEEP is amazing. An older problem-solving picture book that I enjoy is SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and Mary Azarian.

  7. As a teacher and a mom, it is so important for kids to read everyday!

  8. I can’t wait to grab ALL of these books from my library! Thanks for this great post!

  9. This was a great post! Thank you!

  10. Great combination of books and yes daily reading especially after they can read!

  11. Love problem solving books—this is an amazing list! Thank you for sharing! 😊

  12. These all look like amazing books I would love to read with my classes. Problem solving and creativity are key life skills!


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