Category: Book Recommendations & Reviews

Personalized Book for Kids | Family Stories Review

Personalized Book for Kids | Family Stories Review

It’s no secret that we love books in this house. We have stacks and shelves in nearly every room–and yet, I still add more to our collection every week or so! Not too long ago, I was introduced to Family Stories, a company passionate about representing every child and family in their stories. After visiting their website, I knew my girls would love to have a personalized book of their own.

Personalized Book for Kids | Family Stories Review : family diversity books, book review, geography for kids, teaching geography, around the world

Note: I received a personalized copy of Family Stories’ –Travels Around the World book for our own family in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own. See our full Disclosure Policy for more information.

The ordering process for Family Stories is so simple and fun! I started out by choosing characteristics that match my Katie: brown hair, blue eyes, and glasses. I also got to create characters for my husband and myself. Because I wanted the book to be a surprise, I didn’t include my kids in the customizing part. (I’m sure they’ll want to help me when the next story comes out!)

Less than two weeks later, our personalized book arrived! Katie was so excited when she saw the title of the book and then realized the girl on the cover looks like her! (She also got a laugh when she saw the customized mom and dad characters.)

Personalized Book for Kids | Family Stories Review : family diversity books, book review, geography for kids, teaching geography, around the world

Over the last few weeks, Katie Travels Around the World has become one of our family’s favorite books. Beyond the fact that it’s personalized, the story is also really well done. Katie loves learning about new places and cultures! Each two-page spread has introduced us to a new location to learn more about. Best of all, the back of the book includes fun little tidbits about the language, the food, etc

We are excited to see what other books Family Stories adds to their collection. I know my older daughter would love to have a personalized book of her own in the future!


Want to get your own personalized book?

Join our Facebook group for parents and get our exclusive 10% off code from Family Stories!   

Join our FREE Facebook group just for parents!

Spring Books for Kids

Spring Books for Kids

Growing up in San Antonio, I never quite understood the appeal of spring. When the weather is pretty much the same all year long, “seasons” become more about events and holidays than the temperature outside. February is rodeo season, March is bluebonnet season, April is Fiesta season, and then it’s summer.

After two winters in Iowa, however, I’m starting to appreciate spring so much more. The trees have been bare for nearly five months now. The cold, grey skies really do start to play tricks on your emotions. Spring represents hope, renewal, and new life.

We’ve recently begun planning our spring garden and looking for signs of spring outdoors. Our mourning dove pair has returned to the area, and tulip stems are starting to peek up out of the ground.

Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids

We’re also bringing out our favorite spring books for read aloud time.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Spring Books: Fiction

One of the most well-known spring books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Children of all ages love the sweet story of a caterpillar who eats and eats and eats…and finally transforms into a beautiful butterfly. If you’ve read the book hundreds of times, try this fun video featuring the author himself:

Spring Joy by Liesbet Slegers

Spring Thaw by Steven Schnur

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na

Hooray for Spring by Kazuo Iwamura

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes

Mouse’s First Spring by Lauren Thompson

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano

Mud by Mary Lyn Ray

Maple and Willow Together by Lori Nichols


Don’t miss our favorite rainbow-themed books! {Click here.}


Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids

Spring Books: Non-Fiction and Field Guides

A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston is one of our favorite nature books. It can be read at any time of year, but it usually fits in well with our garden-planting time.

Seasons: Spring

Spring Across America by Seymour Simon

How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan

Big Yellow Sunflower by Frances Barry

Nature Anatomy by Julia Rothman

Tell Me, Tree by Gail Gibbons

Trees, Leaves and Bark by Diane L. Burns

The Usborne Outdoor Book


Spring Enrichment Activities for Families | outdoor fun, spring activities for kids, lesson plans, family activities, early literacy, outdoor gross motor, STEM, family time, learning through play

Looking for more spring learning ideas?

Our Spring + Rainbow Activity Guide is for families with children ages 2-6 and includes more than 40 activities, featuring:

  • math,
  • science,
  • literacy,
  • art,
  • and more!

Get all the details here!


Before you go, leave a comment! What are your favorite spring books for kids?

Spring Books for Kids | spring-themed picture books, recommended books, stories for kids, read aloud, nature books, non-fiction books for kids

Best Books About Kindness and Friendship

Best Books About Kindness and Friendship

Books about kindness and friendship give children the opportunity to learn about empathy in a safe environment. Taking time to talk about the characters and their choices is the most important part of the family read-aloud experience. Read on for our five favorite kindness books for kids!

Best Books About Kindness and Friendship | kindness books for kids, intentional bookshelf, teaching with books, recommended picture books

Best Books About Kindness & Friendship

(Rolling Prairie Readers does use affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if you purchase any items we recommend. For the full disclosure policy, you can click here.) 

Chrysanthemum
by Kevin Henkes

I’ve talked about our love for Chrysanthemum in our favorite books for new readers post, but I really do recommend this book to everyone! It’s a great story for back to school or when a child is feeling anxious about a new experience. It’s also the perfect introduction to what bullying can look like in a classroom. Why don’t Chrysanthemum’s classmates stand up for her? Are they afraid they’ll be bullied next? Use this book to talk about what YOU would have done if you were in the book.

Bonus: You can also watch this one on DVD (narrated by Meryl Streep)!

Corduroy
by Don Freeman

Corduroy is one of those “classic” books that really has endured through many generations. It’s a sweet and simple story that any toddler will love, especially if there is a special lovey in the family. Use this book to talk about taking care of others. What does it look like to be a friend?

Officer Buckle & Gloria
by Peggy Rathmann

This is one of my favorite picture books because it’s just ridiculous from begining to end. Children will love looking at all the details in the illustrations! But the best part of this Caldecott-winning book is the true friendship between Gloria the dog and her human, Officer Buckle. It’s a great invitation to discuss how our friends can (and should!) bring out the best in us.

My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother
by Patricia Polacco

Growing up, I always wanted an older brother. My husband tells me of his many adventures and mischief-filled days with his older brother, much like Patricia and Richie in this autobiographical book by my very favorite author. Don’t be turned off by the title; this relatable book ends with a very sweet moment between two siblings, showing our kids that family can be friends, too.

Chicken Sunday
by Patricia Polacco

As I mentioned, Ms. Polacco is my favorite children’s author, and I probably could list every book she’s ever written in this kindness category. But I am choosing Chicken Sunday as our family’s “book of the month” because it has so many rich characters and moments of kindness. Set a few years after the story above, Tricia is now living in California with her mom and brother. She has added new family members, neighbor Miss Eula and her grandsons Winston and Stewart, and builds a true friendship with hat shop owner Mr. Kodinski. This book features so many rich cultural and religious moments, showing our children what a life of diversity and respect can look like.

We’ll be taking the lessons found in Chicken Sunday and using them as a jumping off point for our “theme of the month” discussions in The Intentional Book Club.

You can learn more about The Intentional Book Club here, or click on the image below to join us!

Join other intentional families in The Intentional Book Club!

Before you go, I would love to hear YOUR favorite kindness books for kids!