I've got a few books I'm working on and one I just finished with the kids, so here's what we're reading these days:
The sweet author of this book sent us a copy to review and John Paul and Cecilia loved it. We read a chapter each night (sometimes two because they really didn't want to stop!) and just finished it. Bernadette is a first grader at a Catholic school, and the first book in this series involves Bernadette trying to find a saint to dress up as for her school's All Saints Parade.
This reminded me a lot of the Ramona books I so loved when I was a kid, except without all the ridiculous antics - Bernadette is a pretty typical first grader, and I think this is a book I really would have loved to read when I was that age. I think it's the type of book that would appeal to homeschooled kids too, because I remember being intrigued by books about kids at public school when I was in private elementary school... I imagine the same goes for homeschooled kids and Catholic school characters!
John Paul is so excited that soon there will be another book, Christmas with Bernadette! Cecilia is now saying special prayers to "Saint Mama Mary" and tells me that Saint Mama Mary visited her in her dreams. And both of the kids sat perfectly still for every single chapter and now Bernadette and Victor are key characters in their make-believe.
I think this book fills a niche that needs to be filled - I'm not an expert on children's literature but there definitely weren't any books about kids in Catholic school when I was growing up, nor were there fiction books that subtly interjected saint stories and facts throughout the story!
You can purchase I'm Bernadette! on Amazon or through the publisher's link above - Emily Grace Ortega is a Catholic mom of 6, so you're certainly supporting a lovely woman!
Ana has a review of the same book up at her blog, if you're looking for more opinions.
Siblings Without Rivalry
I'm still not very far into this one because I'm really bad at reading nonfiction. But I went to a talk a couple months ago and the speaker (A renowned discipline expert) recommended this MANY times, and said it was one of the best books she has ever read and helped her understand her childhood and raise her children to have a good relationship with each other. Soooo since I haven't read a whole lot I can't really say much except that it has a lot of cartoons that John Paul has been reading (and quoting) during naptime, so maybe if you get it, consider hiding it from your precocious 4-year-old because he may or may not tell someone "You're a bad person." Because he may have read it in the book.
Anyway, I have high hopes for this book!
How to Negotiate with Kids . . . Even if You Think You Shouldn't
This one I'll admit, I haven't even started... But I wanted to mention it with the other book because the same expert recommended this one when I told her about my somewhat difficult 4-year-old who argues with every. single. thing. that we say to him. I need to read this, because his behavior just keeps getting worse, no matter what ramifications bad behavior might have.
We've been trying to use some of the tips from the book, like naming our emotions, and that's really been helping John Paul. Instead of screaming because he's angry, he's been able to (not always, but sometimes) say, "I'm upset because I wanted [xyz]" or "I'm feeling really frustrated!" And considering his default is usually just to scream as loudly and as long as possible, this is definitely a plus!
Check out more books over at Housewifespice!