Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Archive | Raising Star Readers

Deb Andries and Her Reading Teams
May 2019

Guess How Much I Love You?For this addi­tion to our Rais­ing Star Read­ers fea­ture, we’re delight­ed to once again be show­cas­ing Deb Andries, a Nation­al Lit­er­a­cy Con­sul­tant who lives in Wis­con­sin, and her grand­chil­dren: Fin­ley and Grayson, who live in Cum­ber­land, Wis­con­sin, and Emmer­syn, who lives in Sartell, Min­neso­ta. Gram­my and her Read­ing Teams recent­ly shared Guess How Much I Love You, writ­ten by Sam McBrat­ney and illus­trat­ed by Ani­ta Jer­am, while enjoy­ing mile­stone read-togeth­ers dur­ing their Mother’s Day cel­e­bra­tions.

Deb explains that the book was giv­en to her by a friend five years ago when she was a lit­er­a­cy coach in Min­neapo­lis and her fam­i­ly was eager­ly antic­i­pat­ing the arrival of both Emmer­syn and Grayson. Deb explains, “My friend knew how excit­ed I was to know that there would be two to love (and they were born five days apart!).”

Deb, Fin­ley, and Grayson read­ing Guess How Much I Love You

The book has become very mean­ing­ful for the fam­i­ly. As Deb says, “When I think about the bond of the love between grand­par­ents and grand­chil­dren, this book sends that mes­sage. As far as our arms can reach, as high as we can hop or jump, all the way up to our toes and across the lane and down the riv­er … our love extends THAT far. When we read the book, the grand­kids are enam­ored by the illus­tra­tions and how Lit­tle Nut­brown Hare and Big Nut­brown Hare share how much they love one anoth­er. Then, we talk about those very same things. ‘I love you, Gram­my, as far as my arms can reach.’ And, ‘I love you, Emmer­syn, Grayson, and Fin­ley as far as MY arms can reach!’

Read­ing Guess How Much I Love You has become a spe­cial tra­di­tion for Deb and Emmer­syn

Deb loves the time spent read­ing aloud togeth­er. As she explains, “This time with a book, snug­gled up tight togeth­er, is spe­cial and cre­ates a bond of love that is like no oth­er. There’s always room on Grammy’s lap for all of us to lean in to lis­ten and share the words, and then our own ‘I love you as much.…’ We also have a tra­di­tion with the book: we trace their hand­print once a year and write their name, as a ‘mem­o­ry mak­er’ of this love and bond.”

Deb adds: “We read the book around Mother’s Day this year, but we also read it many oth­er times dur­ing the year. Any day, and every day, is a good day to spend time togeth­er in books and con­ver­sa­tions around them. Read­ing indoors or out­doors, books are a pow­er­ful way to help my grand­kids learn about the world around them, share sto­ries we love, and find new sto­ries, too.”

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We here at Bookol­o­gy wish Deb and her Read­ing Teams many won­der­ful hours of read­ing togeth­er this sum­mer! If you would like us to fea­ture your Read­ing Team when Bookol­o­gy starts up again in the fall, con­tact Lisa Bullard for fur­ther infor­ma­tion about how to par­tic­i­pate.

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Constance Van Hoven and Her Reading Team
February 2019

For this addi­tion to our Rais­ing Star Read­ers fea­ture, we’re delight­ed to be show­cas­ing anoth­er new Star Read­er: Baby Nikhil was just 2 months old when he joined the Read­ing Team that also includes his grand­moth­er Con­stance Van Hov­en (Con­nie) and his big sis­ter Priya (2). The team was cel­e­brat­ing Connie’s first oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet her new grand­son, who lives with his fam­i­ly in Col­orado.

Constance Van Hoven and her grandchildren

Priya, “Gigi,” and baby Nikhil share their first read-aloud togeth­er.

Con­nie (or Gigi, as she is known to her grand­chil­dren) chose Owl Babies, writ­ten by Mar­tin Wad­dell and illus­trat­ed by Patrick Ben­son, as the team’s first read-togeth­er title. Con­nie notes that the book is gen­tle and reas­sur­ing and adds “who does­n’t love owls?” She also says that new big sis­ter, Priya, enjoyed point­ing out each owl sib­ling on every page and that she cheered when their Owl Moth­er returned to the nest. Nikhil clear­ly sensed some­thing good was hap­pen­ing, because he stayed awake for two read­ings! Of course, Con­nie admits that their spon­ta­neous “whooo-whooo-whooo’s” also helped keep his atten­tion. Con­nie comes from a fam­i­ly of bird­ers, so she is espe­cial­ly hap­py to share that love and antic­i­pates read­ing this book with them many times in the future.

Con­nie is a for­mer buy­er for Cre­ative Kid­stuff stores in Min­neapo­lis. She cur­rent­ly lives in Boze­man, Mon­tana, where she enjoys the great out­doors with her fam­i­ly and one extra-ener­getic dog. She is the author of sev­er­al pic­ture books, includ­ing Rare and Blue: Find­ing Nature’s Trea­sures, forth­com­ing from Charles­bridge in 2020. You can find her online at www.constancevanhoven.com.

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We here at Bookol­o­gy wish Con­nie, Priya, and Nikhil many won­der­ful hours of read­ing and owl-hoot­ing togeth­er! We espe­cial­ly look for­ward to a pho­to of the three of them enjoy­ing Connie’s newest pic­ture book when it is pub­lished next year. If you would like us to fea­ture your Read­ing Team, con­tact Lisa Bullard for fur­ther infor­ma­tion about how to par­tic­i­pate.

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Brenda Sederberg and Her Reading Team
February 2019

Sylvie and Gram

Sylvie and Gram begin a read-aloud tra­di­tion togeth­er.

For this addi­tion to our new Rais­ing Star Read­ers fea­ture, we’re hon­ored to be show­cas­ing a brand-new Star Read­er: Baby Sylvie was only two days old when this pho­to was tak­en! She’s pic­tured with Gram (Bren­da Seder­berg), as the two of them share Debra Frasier’s clas­sic pic­ture book On the Day You Were Born at Sylvie’s home in Duluth, Min­neso­ta. The mile­stone they were cel­e­brat­ing was, of course, Sylvie’s safe entry into the world.

Bren­da is a retired ele­men­tary teacher with a pas­sion for chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture. When she retired, she didn’t take much else from her class­room, but she did bring home 24 box­es of books! They are now on shelves in her home, and she takes cer­tain ones out to read to vis­it­ing chil­dren and now her new grand­daugh­ter as well. Bren­da also reads in a 4th grade class each week and belongs to the Duluth branch of Bookol­o­gy’s Chap­ter & Verse Book Clubs, which meets at the Book­store at Fitger’s. 

Sylvie is now five months old and Bren­da cares for her two days a week. They read togeth­er each time. This is impor­tant to Bren­da, being a teacher, and know­ing the impor­tance of books. Her wish for her grand­daugh­ter is to grow up with a love of read­ing, and Bren­da is delight­ed to report that Sylvie is already lis­ten­ing and focused.

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We here at Bookol­o­gy wish Bren­da and Sylvie many, many hap­py hours of read­ing togeth­er, and we look for­ward to shar­ing oth­er mile­stones with their Read­ing Team in the future. If you would like us to fea­ture your Read­ing Team, con­tact Lisa Bullard. She can answer ques­tions and pro­vide fur­ther infor­ma­tion about how to par­tic­i­pate.

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Deb Andries and Her Reading Teams
January 2019

We’re delight­ed to fea­ture Bookol­o­gy fol­low­er Deb Andries and her grand­chil­dren to kick off our new Rais­ing Star Read­ers col­umn! The column’s goal is to show­case dif­fer­ent Read­ing Teams as they read togeth­er dur­ing mile­stone cel­e­bra­tions.

Reading The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Grayson, Gram­my, and Fin­ley share The Polar Express by Chris Van Alls­burg (HMH Books for Young Read­ers).

Deb, a.k.a. “Gram­my,” was able to enjoy two mile­stone read-togeth­ers to kick off her Christ­mas sea­son. In the pho­to above, Gram­my shares The Polar Express, by Chris Van Alls­burg, with grand­sons Grayson (5) and Fin­ley (3) in Wis­con­sin. In the pho­to below, she shares the same book with grand­daugh­ter Emmer­syn (5) in Min­neso­ta.

Emmersyn and Grammy share a read-aloud tradition.

Emmer­syn and Gram­my share a read-aloud tra­di­tion.

Deb told Bookol­o­gy about the spe­cial rit­u­als her fam­i­ly enjoys as they read this hol­i­day favorite togeth­er every year: “All three grand­chil­dren know the sto­ry and have favorite pages on which we linger and share our thoughts. We also keep our bells in our pock­ets or close by to ring at the end of the sto­ry. My orig­i­nal bell is as old as the book pub­li­ca­tion as that’s when I start­ed read­ing it with my daugh­ters!”

Deb is a retired ele­men­tary teacher and lit­er­a­cy coach of 35 years from Min­neso­ta. Cur­rent­ly, she is a Nation­al Lit­er­a­cy Con­sul­tant for Bench­mark Edu­ca­tion Co. She talks about the impor­tance of books in the life of her fam­i­ly: “Time togeth­er with these spe­cial peo­ple in my life is cher­ished. We all have book­shelves in our homes, and at each vis­it, whether that’s for a day, or a week­end, we make time to cel­e­brate spe­cial books togeth­er. Some­times, we read the same ones over and over, and oth­er times, there’s an oppor­tu­ni­ty to read a new trea­sure!”

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We here at Bookol­o­gy look for­ward to shar­ing oth­er read-togeth­er mile­stones with Deb and her Read­ing Teams in the com­ing years! And if you would like us to fea­ture your Read­ing Team, con­tact Lisa Bullard. She can answer ques­tions and pro­vide fur­ther infor­ma­tion about how to par­tic­i­pate.

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