Many of us are working from home, and now our kids have joined us. How do we keep the kids busy and their minds active? Reading checks both boxes and there are some great series available that deliver an educational experience in an entertaining format. A series can be books in succession or a common theme or character to be read in any order. One of the things I like about this format for kids is that once a reader gets pulled in, they are eager to read the next book and the next...Harry Potter, anyone?
Below are a handful of my favorite series for different ages that teach something about our world and are also fun and interesting.
Aru Shah and the End of Time (A Pandava Novel, Book 1) by Roshani Chokshi
Published by Rick Riordan Presents, the publishing arm created by the beloved author of the Percy Jackson series, Aru Shah and the End of Time is perfect for readers interested in mythology around the world. Mythology is usually part of the school curriculum and for many (myself included) is one of the most enjoyable study topics. Chokshi's novel, the first in the Pandava Novel series, is about a very relatable 12-year girl who, with the help of some new friends, faces an ancient demon and takes on a dangerous quest. Bravery, friendship, and Hindu mythology shine in this action-packed fantasy for tweens.
Other book series from Rick Riordan Presents dive into mythologies from around the globe, giving fantasy readers new and exciting stories to sink into.
Hello, World! Arctic Animals by Jill McDonald
The Hello, World! series of board books has become a favorite of mine. The illustrations are friendly and all have beautiful, bright, color palates to accompany toddler-appropriate learning content. This new title is all about arctic animals, and there are books in the series about construction, ocean life, the solar system, and more. If you've also got older kids at home, having them read these to the little ones is a win-win for keeping minds active.
How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
Rocket is an adorable dog character from the author of the bestselling Duck & Goose books, Tad Hills. In this sweet picture book a little yellow bird helps Rocket with the alphabet, sound out words, and ultimately learn to read. Other books featuring this eager little doggie include the ABC book, R is for Rocket, and Rocket Writes a Story. For beginning readers, the popular Step Into Reading series includes titles about Rocket with large text, simple words, and plenty of clues to help early readers piece the story together.
I am Walt Disney (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer
A nonfiction biography series of picture books for older readers, Ordinary People Change the World focuses on key traits of people who have shaped our world. Part history lesson, part inspiration to be brave, curious, and help others, this series includes such luminaries as Harriet Tubman, Albert Einstein, Sonia Sotomayor, and Jackie Robinson. The content is engaging for young readers, and the variety of people profiled across the series makes it easy to find a biography to suit your child's interest. After all, what kid isn't at least a little bit interested in the man behind Disneyland?
Where Is Machu Picchu? by Megan StineI love these books. The Where Is? series is a spin-off of the original bestselling, Who Is? series, and there is also a third: What Is?/What Was?. Between the three, there are so many choices of topics it's not hard to find something new to capture a young person's attention with nonfiction. History and geography, current events and people--the subject matter covers everything from D-Day to J.K. Rowling. This book on Machu Picchu is fascinating. How the lost city was found, what was there, what we've learned about ancient Mayan civilization, and more. The books in these series are all pretty short, around 112 pages, but there's a lot of great information packed in and a narrative tone that doesn't feel like homework.
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