Eine schöne Schweinerei …


… und gleichzeitig ein grandioser Lesespaß für alle Menschen ab 3 Jahren! Unzählige Male schon haben wir mit diesem außergewöhnlichen und amüsanten Buch aus dem J.P.Bachem Verlag im vergangenen Jahr Tränen gelacht.

Das große Kackaturnier (ISBN 978-3-7616-2967-3) ist ein herrausragend gutes, großformatiges Kinderbuch von Guido van Genechten, und liefert neben der lustigen Erzählung auch wunderbar witzige Illustrationen der Turnieraustragung und natürlich der Kandidaten mit ihren Kunstwerken. Schöne farbenfrohe Bilder mit vielen tollen Details fesseln nicht nur die Augen der Kinder. Es steht auf den vorderen Plätzen unserer Vorleseliste und wird zwischendurch auch oft alleine von den Kindern einfach nur mal gerne durchgeblättert, um die süßen Teilnehmer in aller Ausgiebigkeit zu begutachten.

König Kötel der Erste ruft alle Untertanen zur Teilnahme am jährlichen Kackaturnier auf. Schleunigst machen sich die Tiere an ihre individuellen Darbietung oder auch Teampräsentationen der Kackakreationen und überbieten sich regelrecht in der Darstellung dieser. Herrlich heiter kommt die Idee mit dem Butterbrot der Mäuse daher, und auch die Kacke auf Rädern-Kreation vom kleinen Hund sorgt für vergnügliche Lacher. Aber mit dem rührenden Beitrag des Gewinners am Ende hätte wohl keiner gerechnet, weder König Kötel, noch sein Minister für Innere Kackangelegenheiten.

Ein großartiges, kreatives Buch, mit einer wunderbar umgesetzten Idee.  Das große Kackaturnier unterstüzt Familien, sowohl den Umgang mit diesem Thema etwas lockerer zu gestalten, als auch für einen teilweise recht schambehafteten natürlichen Vorgang durch Humor einen Zugang zu ermöglichen. Ein mit Nachdruck zu empfehlendes Kinderbuch!

Das niederländische Original „Het Grote Poepconcours,“ welches mir beim Clavis Verlag 2016 ins Auge fiel, wurde von Meike Blatnik ins Deutsche übersetzt.

Euch allen ein vergnügliches Lesewochenende! ❤




Reading is a family experience

Research shows the importance of parents reading with children – even after children can read

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Research has typically found that shared reading experiences are highly beneficial for young people.

Margaret Kristin Merga, Murdoch University

Many of us will be able to recall the enjoyment of shared reading: being read to and sharing reading with our parents. However, my research has found that of the 997 Year 4 and Year 6 respondents at 24 schools who took part in the 2016 Western Australian Study in Children’s Book Reading, nearly three-fifths reported that they were not being read to at home.

A sample of these children also participated in interviews, where I asked them how they felt about shared reading. While a few children did not mind no longer being read to, others were disappointed when it stopped. For example, when I asked Jason about his experience of being read to by his parents, he explained:

… they kind of stopped when I knew how to read. I knew how to read, but I just still liked my mum reading it to me.

His experience is common, with other recent research suggesting that more than one-third of Australian respondents aged six to 11 whose parents had stopped reading to them wanted it to continue.

But why is it so important for us to keep reading with our children for as long as possible?

Research has typically found that shared reading experiences are highly beneficial for young people. Benefits of shared reading include facilitating enriched language exposure, fostering the development of listening skills, spelling, reading comprehension and vocabulary, and establishing essential foundational literacy skills. They are also valued as a shared social opportunity between parents and their children to foster positive attitudes toward reading.

When we read aloud to children it is also beneficial for their cognitive development, with parent-child reading activating brain areas related to narrative comprehension and mental imagery. While most of the research in this area focuses on young children, this does not mean that these benefits somehow disappear as children age.

As young people’s attitudes towards reading reflect their experiences of reading at home and at school in childhood and beyond, providing an enjoyable shared reading experience at home can help to turn our children into life-long readers.

However, not all shared reading experiences are enjoyable. Some children described having poor quality experiences of being read to, and children did not typically enjoy reading to distracted or overly critical parents. In some cases, parents attempted to outsource this responsibility to older siblings, with mixed results.

While many children really enjoyed the social aspects of reading and being read to as valuable time with their parents, they also felt that they learned from these experiences. For example, listening was felt to provide an opportunity to extend vocabulary, and improve pronunciation. Gina recalled the advantage she lost when her parents stopped reading to her, as:

… when they did read to me when I was younger, I learnt the words; I would like to learn more words in the bigger books and know what they are so I could talk more about them.

Similarly, Craig explained how being read to enabled his academic advantage in literacy, as “they were teaching me how to say more words”, and “that’s why I’m ahead of everyone in spelling and reading and English”. When this stopped “just because my mum thought I was smart enough to read on my own and started to read chapter books”, Craig was disappointed.

In addition, children were sometimes terrified of reading aloud in the classroom, and this fear could potentially be alleviated through greater opportunities to practice at home.

Hayden’s anxiety around reading aloud at school related to his lack of confidence, and his tendency to compare his skills with those of his peers. He described himself as “always standing up there shivering, my hands are shivering, I just don’t want to read, so I just start reading. And I sound pretty weird”. No-one read with him at home, so he had limited opportunity to build his confidence and skills.

This research suggests that we should not stop reading with our children just because they have learned to read independently.

The ConversationWe should continue reading with our children until they no longer wish to share reading with us, ensuring that these experiences are enjoyable, as they can influence children’s future attitudes toward reading, as well as building their confidence and competence as readers. It is worth the effort to find time to share this experience with our children in the early years and beyond.

Margaret Kristin Merga, Senior Lecturer in Education, Murdoch University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.



Giving girls wings to fly: an extraordinary gift


For all girls in your life, regardless of age.

For all dads who want to read inspiring stories to their daughters.

For all boys you know to let them see the world from a woman’s perspective.

For every family and every library around the world.

It can’t be denied that this magnificent book, which my daughter was given at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, is possibly the best book of 2017.  We have been reading in it ever since and ordered the Spanish edition as well, so she can read it with the Spanish speaking part of the family.

Well, what can I say about Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls? I honestly can’t help but join the myriad of voices that have already praised this book. It is really worth every minute of your time. Finally there is a beautiful book to consult when looking for female role models from all walks of life. KUDOS to the authors Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo for creating this gem filled with the stories of 100 ambitious women of all centuries from all around the world,  who had and have accomplished so much in their lifetimes that they serve as perfect role models to girls: Be it powerful politicians such as Evita Perón and Aung San Suu Kyi; scientists, for example Marie Curie; artists and writers such as Frida Kahlo, Nina Simone, Maya Angelou or Isabel Allende; activists such as Balkissa Chaibou, Rosa Parks and Helen Keller; athletes such as Amna Al Haddad and Simone Biles, and many other mathematicians, architects, poets, queens, war heros, formula one racers, lawyers and so many more. They all inspire young kids to find their voices and show them that it always pays off to follow their dreams.

Every story of the featured women is accompanied with an alluring illustration. We really enjoy that they vary in style, because they add an individual touch and a certain liveliness to the stories. The reason for the different styles can be found in their origins: Sixty different female artists from around the world contributed their art to this project. Our favorite illustration is by Sarah Wilkens of New Zealand and comes with Millo Castro Zaldarriaga’s entry. It just so perfectly portrays the colors and spirit of Cuba.

We love all the women featured in this 1st volume (yes, a second one is just about to be published!), but we especially enjoy reading about the two inspiring Cuban women who are part of the book: Alicia Alonso and Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Half-blind Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso set her mind to be a successful dancer even when she was not able to move for a certain time. Nonetheless, she created a unique style, became very popular and ended up travelling the world with her ballet company. Later in life, she founded what is now known as the Ballet Nacional De Cuba. Little Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who was consistently told that she could not play the drums because it supposedly wasn’t for girls, proved everyone wrong by taking lessons despite people telling her she couldn’t do it, and became a world-famous drummer because she believed that „las chicas también pueden tocar los bongós.“ Yes, girls can also play drums!

Page 202 and 203 of the book provide some space for your own little rebel girl to add her own story and draw her own portrait in the book. A genius as well as inspiring move by the authors, since the girls get to feel like they’ll continue this powerful legacy they just heard about. So automatically they become extraordinary women and are equipped with the right mindset they need to tackle any problem that they may face.  Rebel Girls empowers young girls to understand that they should always shoot for the stars, regardless of the doubts that other people may have. It helps them to develop into confident and strong women, the likes of which we so desperately need more of.

We thoroughly enjoy both the Spanish and the English version of Rebel Girls and want to send a heartfelt ‚thank you‘ to the authors for not only publishing this first volume that brings us so much joy, but for also having us looking forward to a second one. Awesome! We can not wait to see who (besides J. K. Rowling) is part of it!

The English version of this New York Times Bestseller was published by Timbuktu Labs. If, for whatever reason, you do not yet own a copy of this precious publication, I would recommend getting the hardcover edition (ISBN 978-0-9978958-1-0, US $35). It will probably be one of the best Christmas gifts you will ever give.

The text for the Spanish edition Cuentos de Buenas Noches para Niñas Rebeldes was translated by Ariadna Molinari Tato and it is published by Planeta Publishing (ISBN 978-607-07-3979-8, paperback).

To the rebel girls of the world:

Dream bigger

Aim higher

Fight harder

And, when in doubt, remember

You are right.


From: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 


Sonne, Mond und Sterne



Na, seid ihr auch schon alle eifrig am Werkeln? Wunderbare Kindheitserinnerungen werden wach, wenn es Anfang November in die heiße Bastelphase der vielgestaltigen und kreativen Laternen für den Martinsumzug geht. Bunt leuchtendes Flackern in der Dunkelheit, das beeindruckend große Martinsfeuer oder der erste Biss in die heißersehnten Weckmänner… manchmal weiss man ja gar nicht mehr, wer sich mehr auf dieses Ereignis freut: die nostalgieschwangeren Eltern oder die laternenbastelnden Kinder.

Ein Buch zu diesem Brauch, auf welches sich jedoch Eltern sowie Kindergartenkinder gleichermaßen freuen, möchte ich euch heute ans Herz legen:

Mein Erstes Laternenfest aus dem Coppenrath Verlag (ISBN 978-3-649-66980-7) überzeugt mit unglaublich niedlichen Illustrationen von Outi Kaden. Wir hatten es im letzten Jahr ganz zufällig beim Stöbern in einem Buchladen in Koblenz entdeckt, und uns direkt in die tolle Bebilderung verliebt. Nun ist das hübsche Büchlein auch in diesem Jahr seit Wochen wieder ganz oben auf unserer Leseliste.

Den Rahmen der Erzählung bildet eine Kindergartengruppe, die sich mit dem Thema Sankt Martin beschäftigt und gemeinsam mit der Erzieherin über seine Geschichte lesen, Laternen basteln und zusammen ein Stück von der Martinsgeschichte nachspielen, bevor es dann mit Eltern und Geschwistern zum Laternenumzug mit den obligatorischen Weckmännern geht. Das musikalische Element kommt natürlich auch nicht zu kurz, mit Noten und Text zu Sankt Martin sowie Laterne, Laterne, mit jeweils herrlichen Illustrationen.

Die Kitageschichte wechselt sich mit den Liedern und der altersgerecht erzählten Geschichte des heiligen Martins auf den sechs stabilen Doppelseiten ab, was für ein sehr aktives und variantenreiches Erleben des Buches sorgt. Generell sind die Doppelseiten wunderbar detailverliebt illustriert, und kleine Kinderaugen können viel aus ihrem eigenen Lebensumfeld wiederentdecken und mit ihrer Lebensrealität verknüpfen. Genial gestaltet ist der Rahmen, der jede Doppelseite umgibt, da in den Ecken kleine Mäuse jeweils passend zum Seitenthema Situationen nachspielen oder lustige Momente gestalten. Die Rahmen werten folglich nicht nur optisch auf, sondern tragen einiges zum Lesespass bei.

Mit meiner heutigen Empfehlung dieses fabelhaften Buches zum gemeinsamen Lesen, Entdecken und Singen wünsche ich euch einen schönen Laternenumzug bei trockenem Wetter und leckeren Weckmännern.

„… Brenne auf mein Licht, brenne auf mein Licht, aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht!…“