Thursday, December 24, 2009

We've Got a Winner!!!!

A big thank you to Michelle Batty for her support of GUWB! Not only did she Tweet (actually it was a re-tweet ) us, she is a fan on Facebook. You are our winner of GUWB's first giveaway. Your crew will receive a free month subscription of 5 books at a time as well as 2 additional titles. The first is 10 Things I Can Do to Save My World by Melanie Walsh. The second is Recycle!: A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons. These two books are great examples of what GUWB is all about...great books sending a great message.

Thanks again for all who participated and have joined us on Facebook, Twitter, and the blog.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!!!

The GUWB Team

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gift Giving...Simple + Unique = Perfect!

At this time of year we tend to get into a rush and begin to feel rather overwhelmed. GUWB has a recipe for the perfect solution to any gift giving troubles you may have! A gift subscription to GUWB offers so much.

IT'S SIMPLE. Signing up for a gift subscription is quite easy. Use the "present" icon to guide you in the right direction. Follow the steps and your gift is done! No need to worry about whether the gift you are giving is too small or too big. You won't have to wonder if they already have this gift since it's such a new concept and product. With the wide variety of book choices, the child you have in mind for this gift is sure to find something that interests him/her! To top it off, it's purchased online and the ordered books are delivered directly to the child's house--FREE!

IT'S UNIQUE. A gift subscription to GUWB is a OOAK (one of a kind) idea. Not only does the child have a variety of books from which to choose, there are connection ideas inside the book covers helping to make the books and characters come to life even more. The connection idea cards can provide guidance to parents with our Read TWO Experience. It answers the questions--"Do I read this book To my child, With my child, or let my child read it on his/her Own?" A gift subscription to GUWB will also be a gift that keeps on giving. Once the books have been read, return them in the provided mailer and we'll send you the next books in your cue! Another key piece to this idea is that children have "CHOICE" in what they are reading. Donalyn Miller talks about the importance of "time to read and choice in reading material" in her article "Book Whisperer: Are good readers born or made?" Both of these important topics are addressed with a gift subscription to GUWB!

IT'S PERFECT. A gift subscription makes a perfect...
-stocking stuffer
-stand alone gift
-birthday gift
-baby shower gift
- a "just because we love you" gift

GUWB would like to help you with your last minute gift buying by doing our first giveaway. This packed prize includes a FREE month's subscription (5 books at a time), a copy of Recycle by Gail Gibbons, and a copy of 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh...a total giveaway package worth more than $40!!!!!!

In order to enter the "Gift Giving" drawing:

1. Post a response to our blog. (1 chance)
2. Become a follower of the blog. (1 chance)
3. Follow us on Twitter. (1 chance)
4. Share this entry on Twitter. (1 chance)
5. Share this blog on Facebook. (1 chance)
6. Become a FAN of Grow Up With Books on Facebook! (1 chance)

We will do the drawing on Wednesday (12/23) so that the winner can give the subscription for Christmas if they'd like. The winner will be able to decide if they want to keep the books or send them with the gift!

Happy Reading from GUWB!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Features!

It's our FIRST official posting for Grow Up With Books (GUWB)! Our "Friday Features" this week will focus on several of the great titles we have to offer at our website. Also, we'd love to hear from you and what some of your favorites are during this time of year--from books to traditions and more.

While we offer many of the classics, including The Polar Express and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you may not be so familiar with Berkeley Breathed's Red Ranger Came Calling. This famous Bloom County cartoonist has written a story that has become a holiday tradition in our house. It was told to Berkeley by his father and is set in the 1930s. Red Breathed, a nine-year-old boy, is losing his belief in the magic of the Christmas season and Santa. He has asked for a Red Ranger bicycle and on Christmas morning thinks that he has this whole "Santa thing" figured out when the bike isn't there. Or maybe it is and he just hasn't looked in the right place. Just like us. Maybe we aren't looking in the right place for the holiday spirit. What should we be looking for? Where should we look for it? This is a wonderful story to talk about the real "reason for the season" and what you can do as a family to spread the spirit of believing to those who may have lost it.

The second book I want to share is by an author known to many middle grade readers, Cornelia Funke. However, her holiday title, When Santa Fell to Earth, isn't so well-known. Similar to Seuss's Grinch, Gerold Geronimus Goblynch wants to stop the gift giving tradition. Niklas Goodfellow, the last real Santa, will use elves, angels, reindeer, and children who know how to still believe to do what he can to save Christmas. This story is one that could be read as a family for children who are in elementary school all the way to middle school kids reading it on their own. Being that it's a chapter book, what fun to read a chapter or two each night and come back for more later. Leaving your child "hanging with anticipation" is a great way to gain excitement with reading.

I'm not sure about your families, but our is filled with those traditions that we MUST do or else there will be trouble to pay. For Thanksgiving, it's family gathering at my parents' house wherever they happen to be living...sometimes 25+ people staying in one house for an entire weekend! Turkey Dijon soup is always made the day after Thanksgiving. Our children have come to know and love cutting down our Christmas tree at the tree farm. And don't forget opening one gift on Christmas Eve in anticipation of Christmas Day. Traditions are what make your family special. Traditions help to define who you are. In Louise Borden's Just in Time for Christmas, the same holds true. The Bryan family awaits their hundred-year-old tradition of making candy. This is a wonderful story to remind you of your own traditions as well as encourage your family to think about starting new ones.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Do you have favorite holiday books as well? Leave us a comment...we'd love to hear from you!

*As a member of GUWB, you can have the above mentioned books mailed directly to your house and also receive the great connection ideas and activities that go along with them. Below is a sampling of what you might find on the Connection Cards inside our books. Feel free to contact the Reading Consulting Team directly for additional ideas and specifics on how to best use your GUWB subscription!

Red Ranger Came Calling
•Check out the real pictures that inspired the story!
•Learn more about the author, Berkeley Breathed.

When Santa Fell to Earth
•Learn more about gravity as well as potential and kinetic energy from Steve Spangler!
•Try one of these gingerbread recipes or cookie recipes for the holidays!

Just in Time for Christmas
•Talk about Great Gram and her memory. Even though she may not remember her grandchildren and great-grandchildren's names, she still loves them. Consider visiting or sending letters to relatives that you haven't seen in awhile.
•Take pictures while experiencing one of your family traditions. Turn those pictures into a book. As a family, write the story that goes with it!
•Try this "Cream Pull Candy (Taffy) Recipe," just like in the story. It may just become your next holiday tradition.

Happy Reading from GUWB!