Reading with Jandee

Friday, February 12, 2016

Jandee is a true renaissance woman, I could call her a ballerina, painter, quilter, horse back rider, wonderful mother and all would be true because she is simply one of those people who excels at many things.

In addition to her talents, her home is always welcoming, it might be the big cozy fire she has going during the winter months or the plate of freshly baked goods she offers you upon arrival, or perhaps the way she is fully engaged in the conversations you have, whatever it is, I always love visiting her.

While she has many qualities that I appreciate and admire, my favorite may be that as soon as you walk into her home you know that she is a book lover.

As a certified bibliophile she has some wonderful tips and recommendations. Please join us in welcoming Jandee!

Name: Jandee
How many kids do you have and what are their ages? I have 4 kids: Isaac (7), Gavin (5), Lydia (2), Henry (5 months)
What did you study in college? I did a BA in Comparative Literature with a minor in French
Where do you live? Utah!

What are 3 ways you foster reading in your home?

I have books in every room. They are accessible everywhere, so almost without thinking about it you find yourself picking them up and thumbing through them. I make it a point to rotate books on coffee table/end tables/sofa tables, etc. so this is more apt to happen. Also, during large chunks of the year i try really hard to limit screen time during the week to just 30 minutes a day (this does not always happen in the dead of winter when we are all trapped inside). Finally, I set aside designated reading times, after lunch, before dinner and before bed are the times I make a point to stop what I am doing and read with my kids (before dinner is usually done with my husband while I am making dinner).

What 5 picture books do you think every home library should have? 

It is cruel to limit it to five but here are five books or illustrators that we have really taken to. These are the ones that both the kids and I love equally --sometimes the kids will love a book, but it drives me crazy to read and other times I will love a book but they are losing interest quick; so here are some tried and true that we both love and that hold the attention of both a toddler and an older child.

When You Were Small and When I Was Small by Sara O'Leary are very frequently requested.

Imogene's Antlers by David Small (I had this in my collection when I was young and my kids think its the funniest book ever, they could read it every night).

I have every book of Gyo Fujikawa and something about her illustrations really appeals to young kids (and me), probably Are You My Friend and Oh What A Busy Day we read the most.

We own all the classic folk tales illustrated by Paul Galdone and while they are not always my favorite adaptations of the stories themselves they are definitely the ones my kids ask for the most probably because of the illustrations and the pacing.

I have almost everything illustrated by Barbara Cooney and we love them, but favorites are The Ox Cart Man and Roxaboxen

What is something your parents did well to encourage a love of reading in you?

My mom encouraged us to start our own collections. We all had our own bookcases in our bedrooms and got to buy books somewhat regularly. Being involved in choosing them and then having them in my room made them feel special and made me more excited about both collecting and reading books.

What are you reading right now with your kids?

My oldest son is handicapped and prefers to look only at picture books, his favorites are the National Geographic animal books and Mickey Mouse Disney books. My next two prefer books we can read in one sitting; lately I have been working my way through Chris Van Allsburg books and the Magic School Bus books (that latter are definitely his choice over mine, but he is excited about them so we read them) and we recently did start reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone together. Lydia is obsessed with the Olivia books and the Miss Lina's Ballerinas books.

What are you reading right now for yourself?

I usually read several books simultaneously, right now I am reading Gift From the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (for a book club), A Star for Mrs Blake by April Smith, The Entitlement Trap by Richard and Linda Eyre, and The Greater Journey by David McCullough. Some of these I read every day and finish at a rapid pace, others I read every few days and will take longer to finish.

Do you have a favorite children's Christmas book? If so, what is it?

I LOVE Christmas books, but probably my favorite is Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck.


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