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Raising Star Readers

Echo Pam Munoz Ryan

Anita Dualeh and Her Reading Team
January 2021

Rais­ing Star Read­ers is grate­ful to have reg­u­lar reminders from Ani­ta Dualeh’s Read­ing Team that read­ing aloud isn’t an activ­i­ty reserved only for fam­i­lies with small chil­dren. Instead, shar­ing and talk­ing about books as you read them aloud togeth­er is some­thing a fam­i­ly can grow into … 

The Stuff of Stars

Constance Van Hoven and Her Reading Team
December 2020

As we bring this year-like-no-oth­­er to a close, Rais­ing Star Read­ers con­trib­u­tor Con­stance Van Hov­en shares a reflec­tion on the pow­er that books hold to con­nect us in so many ways: across time, across space, and across gen­er­a­tions. Here is Connie’s mov­ing reminder that “’tis the sea­son for Read­ing Team angels”: Here’s my read­ing team ready to head out­doors.… more

The Stuff of Stars

Catherine Urdahl and Her Reading Team
December 2020

Rais­ing Star Read­ers is delight­ed to intro­duce a new Read­ing Team, this one led by children’s book author Cather­ine Urdahl. Here, Cather­ine shares some heart­warm­ing read­ing moments, with enough book-love and remem­bered sum­mer sun­shine to take the chill out of the cold­est of Decem­ber winds: I read to my daugh­ters from the time they were infants, and now I have the joy of read­ing to my two-year-old grand­daugh­ter Juni and my new grand­son Col­by.… more

The Stuff of Stars

Constance Van Hoven and Her Reading Team
November 2020

Despite the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic and a way-too-long phys­i­cal sep­a­ra­tion from her Read­ing Team, Con­nie Van Hov­en has con­tin­ued to find cre­ative ways for them to enjoy books togeth­er. Here, Con­nie describes some of the tac­tics she’s using — includ­ing tech­nol­o­gy and canine love — to assist her in Rais­ing Star Read­ers: My Read­ing Team is going to the dogs!more

Dancing Hands

Deb Andries and Her Reading Team
November 2020

Rais­ing Star Read­ers is delight­ed to drop in again on Deb Andries and her Read­ing Team as they cel­e­brate diverse new offer­ings from Deb’s local library. Here’s how Deb describes the books that are help­ing to bring her joy: Read­ing remains a joy. Read­ing remains a trea­sured moment and a teach­able moment. Read­ing is shared. Joy­ful read­ing occurs when the twins, Myles and Hayes, now 14 months, make every attempt to “sit” and “eat” the book!… more

Yellow Elephant

Anita Dualeh and Her Reading Team
October 2020

It’s always fun to catch up with one of our Read­ing Teams and see what titles have become new favorites for them. This month, how­ev­er, Ani­ta Dualeh and her sons are revis­it­ing OLD favorites: pic­ture books that were once beloved by Anita’s boys, but that they have now out­grown at ages 10 and 12. Below, Ani­ta describes what hap­pens when her Read­ing Team reex­am­ines these child­hood favorites through their more “grown-up” eyes: One evening a few months ago, I came down to our office to find my son Adam fin­ish­ing up The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.… more

On the Day You Were Born

Brenda Sederberg and Her Reading Team
October 2020

Rais­ing Star Read­ers is delight­ed to hear that Bren­da Sederberg’s Read­ing Team has added to its mem­ber­ship: wel­come, Baby Phoebe! Bren­da is also focus­ing on adding some­thing else — she is expand­ing on the list of her Team’s old favorites by inten­tion­al­ly look­ing for books that are diverse and inclusive 

Soar High, Dragonfly

Ann Angel and Her Reading Team
September 2020

As our Rais­ing Star Read­ers col­umn kicks off anoth­er school year, edu­ca­tors and care­givers both con­tin­ue to face the kind of chal­lenges few of us could have imag­ined last fall. Here, Ann Angel describes how her Read­ing Team is coun­ter­ing the “pan­dem­ic bub­ble” by adding non­fic­tion books to their list of favorite reads:  Hey there, par­ent or grand­par­ent, raise your hand if you’re a pan­dem­ic teacher.… more

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Ann Angel and Her Reading Team
May 2020

In this Rais­ing Star Read­ers update, Ann Angel shares how read­ing aloud helps car­ry on her family’s her­itage of sto­ry­telling. Here’s how Ann describes it:  With Stay-at-Home a require­ment in most states, mine includ­ed, I only see some of my grand­kids via Skype and Zoom. But I have a daugh­ter and grand­son liv­ing with us.… more

The Gingerbread Baby

Deb Andries and Her Reading Team
April 2019

We’re espe­cial­ly delight­ed to cel­e­brate with Deb Andries (a.k.a. Gram­my) this month as she launch­es her newest Read­ing Team. Here’s how Deb describes the expe­ri­ence: My heart has always felt this “explo­sion of love” when we’ve wel­comed a grand­child into our fam­i­ly. I vivid­ly remem­ber when our grand­son Park­er, now 14, was born, and the pure and ele­vat­ed joy I felt.… more

Home of the Brave

Anita Dualeh and Her Reading Team
April 2020

In this addi­tion to Rais­ing Star Read­ers, we check in again on Ani­ta Dualeh and her Read­ing Team. Along with many of us, they’re using books as a dis­trac­tion and a con­so­la­tion while liv­ing with the mas­sive changes brought about by the threat of COVID-19. Here’s how Ani­ta describes this shared moment of his­to­ry-in-the-mak­ing: In the past month, my kids haven’t had much for­mal school­ing.… more

The Stuff of Stars

Constance Van Hoven and Her Reading Team
March 2020

In this addi­tion to Rais­ing Star Read­ers, we check in again on a Read­ing Team that morphs each time we meet them (depend­ing on who’s will­ing to sit still long enough!). This time around, Con­nie (Gigi to her grand­chil­dren), is cel­e­brat­ing a read­ing mile­stone that will res­onate with every book lover. Here’s how Con­nie describes it: I brought along sev­er­al book choic­es on a recent Col­orado vis­it to my Read­ing Team: Priya (3 years) and Nikhil (15 months).… more

Bartholomew and the Oobleck

Norma Gaffron and Her Reading Team
February 2020

Nor­ma Gaffron is thrilled to have this chance to share her family’s long tra­di­tion of read­ing aloud. Her chil­dren and grand­chil­dren are now grown, but they took the time dur­ing their Christ­mas Eve cel­e­bra­tion to share a pic­ture book togeth­er. Norma’s son Tim took the pho­tos of Lau­ren (21), Nor­ma (88), and Erik (25) enjoy­ing Tues­day by David Wies­ner.… more

Wherever You Go

Ann Angel and Her Reading Team
January 2020

Rais­ing Star Read­ers rel­ish­es this chance to catch up with Ann Angel and her multi­gen­er­a­tional Read­ing Team. For this entry, Ann was espe­cial­ly focused on how the words and visu­al art in pic­ture books lead kids to think and to dream. Here’s how Ann describes it: Long before I had kids and grand­kids, I thought I’d grow up to be a visu­al artist.… more

A Season of Gifts

Anita Dualeh and Her Reading Team
December 2019

Rais­ing Star Read­ers is delight­ed to intro­duce a new Read­ing Team, one that high­lights how reward­ing it can be to con­tin­ue a prac­tice of read­ing aloud with chil­dren as they grow old­er. Ani­ta Dualeh’s Team includes her sons Adam, age 12, and Caleb, age 9. As Ani­ta explains, “While I encour­age inde­pen­dent read­ing, I believe read­ing aloud is equal­ly impor­tant, and for every age.… more