Jenny Rivera

De Colores, by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein

Jenny Rivera and her family read De Colores (In Colors), A bilingual book of harmony, by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein. Jenny shared the following: “My husband Izzy bought this book for baby Isla. It is one of the first books in her collection. We wanted to introduce her to words in both English and Spanish. This book is special to me because my mother used to sing the words to me when I was little. So, when he brought the book home and surprised us, I was so excited! I could now not only sing it to Isla, but also read it to her. To me, it feels like a tradition passed on, as this book is inspired by a traditional Spanish folk song that our family knows and loves. The book is also full of beautiful illustrations with color that really catches Isla’s attention. I love the animals’ lyrics because it makes Isla smile: ‘Canta el gallo con el quiri quiri quiri…los pollitos con el pio pio pio.’ It’s important for my family and I to not only keep our culture’s traditions, but for our children to be exposed to both languages. Whether it’s through talk, singing, reading, art or play. We hope for this to be one of many books that Isla enjoys, and that she will share with others.”


Big Fish and Little Fish by Christy Webster

I think the author’s purpose was to teach us that reading can start with a single step. The book is very fun and it comes with a page of shiny stickers in the back. I love this book because it’s about fishes and the ocean. My favorite character is Dory because she is funny. I like going to the pool and imagining that I am a fish in the ocean.


The Babysitter Club series: Claudia and Meanie Janine By Raina Telgemeier

I got this book because I love the author. I have read three of other books in the series. Even though it’s a story, I feel like the author is talking about her childhood and herself. I help my mom babysit my siblings and it can be very annoying! The book is very entertaining. I especially like the main character Claudia.

Stella Wilderspin-SagerViking

Ships at Sunrise By Mary Pope Osborne

The Magic Tree House series makes children imagine things; like about how people survived 1,000 years ago in Europe. When I was 4 my older brother read this book to me. When I was a little older my first day in History class I was in the library and I found this book. It was the first book that I read by myself. Once I went kayaking with my grandpa and it reminded me about Jack and Annie adventures. At first I thought reading was boring but now I like it. I love books that are about history. I think Jack and Annie are the best characters, but my favorite is Annie.


Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

I love scary stories and I think the author does too, I believe this is why he writes these books. Goosebumps are very cool chapter books. I’ve read like seven of the books and I’ve seen the movies. What is interesting is the spookiness, which I like best. My favorite character is the villain Slappy because he is an entertaining fictional character.

Xiomara Gutierrez

Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli

This is a story about how it is difficult to move to a different city and all the opportunities that come to us because of moving. The book connects to my life because I needed to move away from my real family and needed to go to a foster family so now, I am part of a different family. Because that sounded about something interesting to me, I started reading this book. I love how Where I Live explains how difficult is to move from a different house. My favorite character was Rose. I didn’t like it when I had to move but now, I know why I moved.

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Brittany Vardakis, Y-Kids Preschool, Lead Teacher
Greater Holyoke YMCA – Pre-school

The Big Pumpkin

by Erica Silverman

We read this book around Halloween last year. The children in their second pre-school year remembered the book and enjoyed hearing it again. Kids love catchy and repetitive text. We will keep on reading it because it’s so popular. This story has been carried out throughout the entire year and that is why we read it even when it’s not Halloween. We read the book out loud with the help of the audio book version, and the kids just love it. We are very big on literacy; we have subject stations in the class room with books that have to do with what we are learning about. In the Science station we have books about plants, farm animals. We try to make literacy very embedded in our curriculum.”

 — with Holyoke YMCA.

Virginia K. Dillon
Executive Director
Homework House INC

Let the Great World Spin
by Colum McCann

This book evokes so many memories for me. I grew up in the decaying New York of the 1960’s & 70’s – a place that bears almost no resemblance to the city today. I was going into my junior year in high school when Petit made the tightrope walk between the Twin Towers and I vividly remember standing in the very hot, un-air-conditioned kitchen of my family’s apartment listening to 1010 WINS reporting about it on the radio. I think that McCann really captures the feel of the city at the “Ford to NY: Drop Dead” time. This book also speaks very much to my New York Irish-Catholic self.