We Love Reading
Oakland letter artist Jessica Hische’s debut children’s book encourages kids to be brave, creative, adventurous and more through simple rhymes and bold illustrations. The New York Times bestseller also introduces what the author calls “the very grown-up concept of self-forgiveness,” ending with the hopeful verse: “Tomorrow I’ll be all these things or at least I’ll try my best.” Penguin Workshop, 2018. $17.99.
Spark an early love of reading with Square Panda, a multi-sensory phonics game for children ages 2-8 that uses your tablet and 45 “smart letters” for tactile and kinesthetic learning. Created by a Bay Area dad – a tech company CEO with a dyslexic daughter – Square Panda includes free downloadable learning games on letter identification and sounds, rhyming, vocabulary and more that adapt to your child’s progress. Home edition: $49.50.
As an outgrowth of its popular weekly storytimes, The Reading Bug bookstore in San Carlos has created a series of half-hour podcasts with original stories and music that encourage kids to listen, dance and draw along on adventures with dinosaurs, ninjas, royalty and more. It’s a family affair: Husband-and-wife team Brandon and Lauren Savage, the store’s owners, write the stories and music and voice the narrator and characters, fourth-grade daughter Chloe stars as the Reading Bug, and other family and staff help, too. FREE.
San Francisco author-illustrator Jon Agee is back with another humorous page-turner, whose spare prose and cartoony illustrations may actually spark some serious conversations with kids. There is a wall, right in the middle of the book, protecting a knight from all sorts of scary things, especially an ogre. But when danger arises on his own side of the book, the knight learns an important lesson about who’s on the other side – and whether walls provide the safety some might think. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2018. $17.99.
Things We Like celebrates the best products, people and places that make parenting fun. Got a suggestion? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or submit your idea at bayareaparent.com/content/submit-a-story.html.