Happy Friday. One of my true parenting pleasures is reading to my children, hearing them read to me and watching their love of books and reading unfold right before my eyes.

I am so pleased to introduce you to Melissa Taylor and her new and lovely book called “Book Love,” a book filled with activities for letters, phonics, rhyming, and lots more. I read a good chunk of it in the parking lot of my local mall while waiting until it was time to pick up my girls. It’s a super easy, super fun and totally inspirational book on raising happy readers. We all want that, right?! There’s also a giveaway at the bottom so read to the end.

1. Welcome. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Let’s start by asking about you. Who are you and what’s your story? How many children do you have and how old are they?

I’m Melissa Taylor, a mom of two girls ages 10 and 7, a teacher, an education advocate, a kid-lit addict, a blogger at Imagination Soup, a freelance writer, a coffee drinker, and I better stop now . . . sorry.

2. I love the name of your book, “Book Love.” What was most compelling for me as the mother of two beginning readers is that my eyes are now opened to some pretty bad habits we are forming as a family. Since they began reading on their own I have wanted to encourage them to read more but it has been very hard because after work/school/dinner/homework, there’s only an hour and I’m not going to tell them to read instead of play. Your book shares some really great tips for inspiring children to read and so now I’m feeling encouraged to make it more fun for them. Can you share three of your favorite ideas in the book?

We get in those same habits, too – we all do. I am a firm believer in giving yourself lots of grace to ebb and flow with life. 🙂
But, to your question, I’ll share three that consistently work for my kids.
    • Stay up late to read in bed with headlamps. They love that!
    • Start reading aloud a book, get them hooked, and then get “too busy” to keep reading. Inevitably, the kids can’t resist the lure of the story and continue reading on their own. (Insert evil laugh!)
    • Fill a bag of books at the library. I don’t limit my kids books as long as they can carry their books in a bag or backpack. They don’t get through all the books but they certainly read way more than if we hadn’t gone in the first place. We love the library. (And they love me and all my fine money!)
3. I have these daydreams, sometimes, of being that family that sits together on the couch, reading together. I’m not sure this is entirely realistic. Why is sitting still so hard for some children?

And adults, right? Both my husband and my oldest daughter don’t sit still ever. It’s kind of hilarious but is just the way they’re made. So, we must adapt to being in the vicinity of each other. Often times, I have two kids bouncing on their exercise balls reading books. It’s not exactly cozy reading chairs but it works for them.

4. Tell us about Imagination Soup. What is your blog all about?

Imagination Soup helps give parents (and teachers) ideas and resources to make literacy and learning fun and engaging for kids.

5. I know you are big on education at home, but how do you seek out meaningful moments in your everyday family life — you know, just for fun?
I’ve been intentionally working on being mindful — present with the kids so that I am really practicing reflective listening. When they feel heard, it’s an important moment for them.

6. You encourage us to keep reading to our children as long as humanly possible. What are your favorite books that you are reading with your own children right now?

Both my kids are into series that I don’t love. But, we’ve read the Harry Potter series twice through before and I love those books!

7. Tell us about something that you are so happy you said YES to in your life.

 You and I have had this conversation recently. I said yes to a healthy future which meant I sent boundaries with the toxic people in my life, primarily my family of origin. This is the first year I said no to pleasing my mother and thought about what was meaningful for our little family during the holidays. As you can imagine, I’m so excited and happy about enjoying (not dreading) the holidays.
Melissa Taylor is a mother, a teacher with a M.A. in Education, a freelance writer, and a blogger at Imagination Soup.


Thanks, Melissa. If you’d like win a copy of “Book Love” please leave a comment on this post by Wednesday, Nov. 21. The random winner will be selected and notified by e-mail so be sure to leave an email address. The winner can select either a PDF or a Kindle version of the book. Learn more about “Book Love” by going to the web site Book Love.
:: If you need more parenting inspiration my book The Playful Family will be on sale during Thanksgiving weekend along with more than 10 other fun books. More than 10 bloggers are teaming up to sell nearly a dozen e-books with tons of new ideas to do together as a family as well as promote learning in your children. Stay tuned for how to get this awesome deal next week.

:: Also, it’s not too late to join The Abundant Mama Project … dozens of mamas from around the world gathering in one place on the Internet to talk about their gratitude. The stories are heartbreaking but we’re all filled with joy as we find the treasures of abundance in our days worlds apart.

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