Favorite Books for a Preschooler

Some of my earliest childhood memories involve books. One of my favorite books was The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone. I made my parents read this book to me so many times that I had it memorized long before I knew how to read. I still remember when m grandparents came to visit and I “tricked” them into believing I could read by reciting the entire book as my grandmother turned the pages.

When I found out I was pregnant with Coco, one of the first things I thought about was instilling in him the love of reading that I’d always enjoyed. I started reading to him literally the day we brought him home from the hospital and I haven’t stopped since.

I’ve found the key to keeping a reading habit with your kids is to find books that you enjoy reading as well since you’ll probably end up reading them over and over and over again.

Here are a few of our favorites right now.

The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
The book takes place during Halloween, but honestly? I picked this one up at Goodwill sometime this summer and we’ve read it at least once a week since then and I’m not tired of it yet. It’s so fun to read.

Round and ’round across the ground
Makin a thumpin’ bumpin’ sound
Came that thumpety bumpety thumpin’ bumpin’
Round and Rolly Runaway Pumpkin

I mean, can’t you just hear that pumpkin rolling down the hill? I can’t get enough of it.

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont
This is another Goodwill find. I learned my lesson early on when I started shopping at Goodwill for books. I used to just grab anything with a cover and title I thought would appeal to him, but I quickly wound up reading books that were terrible . . . over and over and over again.

But when I flipped through this one and saw the illustrations, I was sold. Plus, it’s funny!

There’s a Cow in the Road! by Reeve Lindbergh

Another Goodwill find. Are you sensing a theme here? This book was originally published in 1993 and one thing that irks me just a little about the illustrations is that it’s obvious that Dad is getting ready to go to work while the mom is hanging around the house in her slippers. Since the story has nothing to do with that at all, I’ll let it slide. It’s a cute little story about strange things happening on the street while the kids are getting ready for school.

I Know a Rhino by Charles FugeThis cute little book has a twist ending, which in my experience is somewhat rare in a book geared toward children this young.

There are so many more, but I’ll keep it short and sweet this time. What are some of your favorites?

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National Novel Reading Month

The past two years, I attempted to participate in NaNoWriMo, writing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. The conclusion? I am definitely NOT a novel writer.

NaNoReadMo

I AM, however, a novel reader. So when I heard about National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReadMo), started by Austin Kleon, I knew this was the November challenge for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear about it until November 4th, so I’m a bit late, but whatevs.

For the rest of the month I’ll be sharing my favorite novels on my Instagram account (@jberryjohnson) and tagging them with the hashtag #NaNoReadMo.

The first novel I’m sharing is A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Way back in the olden days when I was young, I was a huge fan of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. When my dad lived in Mississippi and he asked what we wanted to do during our summer visit, my obvious answer was “see New Orleans.” I managed to find Anne Rice’s home address and stood in front of her house, marveling that I could see her globe, visible behind her in so many television interviews, sitting in an upstairs window. I’d never heard of A Confederacy of Dunces, but a friend, knowing how much I’d loved New Orleans, bought the book as a birthday present. I’ve never laughed so hard reading a book. I’ve let go of many beloved books in my life – moving often has that effect – but Confederacy is one that will always have a home on my shelf.

If you love to read, I encourage you to join the fun. Leave your IG handle in the comments so I can follow you, too.

Photo credit: Kate Ter Haar via Flickr CC

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, I may receive a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!

Book Review: The Quick Start Guide to Making (Real) Money With Your Writing Skills

While perusing Twitter a few weeks ago, I saw a tweet from Michele Lashley offering a link to sign up to receive a free copy of her new book, The Quick Start Guide to Making (Real) Money With Your Writing Skills. Since I’m always a sucker for a freebie, especially one promising to teach me to make more money doing something I love, I signed up.

ebook

I downloaded the book on my Kindle on October 13th and finished it less than a week later. (I could have finished it faster but I’ve been working, volunteering at church, and tending to my family.) The book is a quick and easy read at just 102 pages long, but it offers lots of helpful, practical advice for anyone looking to get started making money from writing.

The book’s eleven chapters offer advice on naming your business, soliciting professional help from attorneys and accountants, getting a logo, equipping your workspace, building a portfolio and website, deciding how much to charge, and how to find (and keep) clients.

As a CPA, I have experience setting up my own businesses and walking clients through setting up theirs, but I still found helpful advice that I hadn’t considered, especially when it comes to choosing a business name. One of her tips, “Don’t use the name of the geographic area you’re in,” would have been helpful to me in the past. Shortly before we relocated from Northern Nevada to Arizona for my husband’s job, I set up my own bookkeeping and tax business and named it Battle Born Accounting & Tax Service. Everyone in Northern Nevada knows what Battle Born refers to, it’s the state motto. I tried using the same name and business cards in Arizona and people wondered why the heck I named an accounting firm “Battle Born.” The name didn’t translate across state lines.

I really appreciated her advice to work with an accountant when you’re getting your business started. Many people that try to set up a new business on a shoestring budget see an accountant as an extravagance, but they can save you a money and headaches in the long run. I’ve had clients that don’t know the difference between a debit and a credit buy Quickbooks, thinking they’d be able to handle their own books. Without basic bookkeeping knowledge, you can make a real mess of Quickbooks really fast and it will take an accountant twice as long to fix your mistakes than it would to get you started on the right foot from the get-go.

Each chapter ends with a Quick Start Takeway: simple, actionable advice that you can put into place right now.

While I don’t see this book becoming a reference tool that I keep on the shelf and refer back to time and time again, it does offer very good, basic information on a wide variety of topics. If you’re interested in getting started in the freelance writing world and don’t know where to start, it’s a quick and easy read that won’t steer you wrong.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, I may receive a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free, so thank you!