Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Pleasure to Read

In March LaLa was bullied on the bus. I wrote a small blurb about it on one of my Dear So and So posts, but I didn't really get into the specifics. That day seemed like any other when the bus pulled into my driveway, only when I caught La's face through the window, I knew something was wrong. As La hopped off the bus she burst into tears and was crying and trying to tell me what happened. La's best friend was also trying to explain but it was all coming out too fast and all I caught was the bully's name. When LaLa and I got inside I was trying to calm her down and sooth her and getting the story at the same time. La had been bullied about her reading level. The bully had spied her reading book from the school library and had announced to the whole bus that La was a baby and read "baby books". My heart broke into a million tiny pieces as I heard the story.

Right then and there she and I decided that we would work really hard on her reading and we would try to read everything in sight in order to help her. I of course also explained that she was not a baby and the book she was reading was not a "baby book", but that the bully was a year or two ahead of LaLa and was reading tougher books.

Since this incident I have been doing everything I can to help LaLa's reading. I have bought several books on her reading level and she has finished them with no problem. We work reading the books already in her home library but I think she doesn't so much as read them as has memorized the stories from them. A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a childrens book company called Bayard Press who asked me if I would be interested in working with their company. I did my research on the company (because I am like that) and decided to give it a whirl. Jo, who is representing Bayard Press, sent me one of each level of the Bayard Press books to have my children try out.

StoryBox is geared towards children aged 3-6, AdventureBox is for children aged 6-9, and DiscoveryBox is for children 9-12. Each box contains a story, activities and games to promote learning and reading. When I received them I was honestly shocked at the quality of the books. The covers are made of high gloss cardboard just like a standard children's book. I thought that because the books are sent to customers monthly like a magazine that the quality of the paper and cover would be of a lower standard but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was wrong. These are books that I would expect to find in a school library or classroom.

When LaLa and KiKi received the books they were extremely excited and poured through them looking at the pictures. It was funny, the book that excited KiKi the most was the DiscoveryBox book which is supposed to be for much older children. This month the DiscoveryBox book was about having a "Garden Search" and was filled with pictures of animals. It also had a history section about Rome and a geography section that focused on the country of Argentina. KiKi really enjoyed looking at the map of Argentina because it had pictures of denoting cultural activities that take place in each region of the country.

The biggest surprise however was the story in the StoryBox book. It was about a child named Mustafa who was bullied by children in his village. His uncle helped him over come being bullied and every one lived happily ever after (of course). It really hit close to home. LaLa hasn't been bullied on the bus since that day, but like Mustafa's uncle I never want it to happen again. Although I received a trial subscription of Bayard Press Box Magazines for free I am signing up soon as it runs out to receive them monthly. I cannot recommend them highly enough. They are good quality, the kids love them and most of all the promote learning and reading in a fun manner.

*This review was not paid but I did receive copies of the books to give to my children to review.