I'm so happy to have Mikey as a guest on my blog today! Mikey's new middle grade book THE DREAM KEEPER was just released and I'm so excited to have him here to speak about reading with kids.
Reading With Kids
by Mikey Brooks
I have three great passions in life: my wife, my daughters, and
books. Naturally as a book lover I want my children to have a passion
for the written word. So much can be learned from stories. I recall
several times a story from a book helped me as a child. They taught me
the true meaning of friendship, the longing for adventure, and the
thrill of suspense. As an author/illustrator I am interested in telling a
good story not only with words but with art. I find that art and words
work great in painting a larger picture in the child’s mind. Picture
books are important in developing a child’s love of books. As the levels
of illiteracy grows it our duty as parents to help encourage our kids
to read. They are our future and our future needs books. We need to make
reading sound fun and entertaining. I wanted to share some tips that I
have on reading with your kids.
Dedicate a comfy
place. Whether they are on your lap, sitting in bed, or relaxed in a
chair, make sure your area is free of distractions and comfortable.
it daily! The best habits come from repetition. If you make it a part
of your routine it will become a habit the whole family will love and
Start right now! It is never too early to read to your
kids. Tiny babies love the sound of your voice. What they’re teenagers?
Do it anyway. Books can build connections.
Be animated. Not
everyone is gifted with doing voices but you can always try. Kids love
the effort and it makes the story fun to them. Try different dialects,
pitches, and sounds—it will be fun for both of you.
it. Once you are done reading your chapter, book, or section take a
minute to ask your child what they enjoyed about it. Discuss the art,
characters, plot, or theme. Try to find connections to them making the
book more meaningful.
Let them do it! While it is fantastic for
kids to listen to their parents read it is more important for them to do
it on their own. Help them find courage to read aloud to you. Encourage
them with the difficult words. For older kids try taking turns.
it fun. There are many, many books make sure you select one that is
interesting to your child. If they like airplanes make an effort to find
books on airplanes. If they like ghost stories research great ghost
stories. Help make reading interesting to them.
Read a Great
Book! Nothing can compare with reading a fantastic book. When a kid
falls in love with a story they fall in love with reading and that is
your goal. There are so many terrific books. Utilized your local
children’s librarian, they can be a great tool in discovering good
Need a book to reads to your kids? Well I got some for
you. For the younger ones I recommend my picture books. ABC ADVENTURES: MAGICAL CREATURES is a fun concept book that has fun with fantastical
beasts and the alphabet. If your kids are older I have a book for them
too. THE DREAM KEEPER is an action-packed adventure with a toe in both
the real world and the fantastic. “When an evil shifter takes over the
gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and
Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream
Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?” You can
check out my books and more about me at:
Have fun reading with your kids!!
THE DREAM KEEPER back cover blurb
Loser—the most frightening word to ever be uttered in middle school.
Even the coolest kids are afraid of being associated with it.
14-year-old Parker Bennett is no exception. He can’t even be himself
around his friends for fear they might not accept who he really is. When
circumstances force him to team up with Kaelyn Clarke, the biggest
loser in the ninth grade, Parker has to decide what is more important;
protecting his social status or saving the world. Nightmare named Fyren
has taken over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, with the intention of
controlling mortals, and it falls on Parker, Kaelyn, and Gladamyr – the
Dream Keeper – to stop him. They learn being called a loser is no
longer a fear, when compared to the terror of real nightmares.
Parker was about to assassinate the general of the goblin army. It
wasn’t murder, it was an assignment. He tried to justify what he was
about to do as he jumped from the rooftop and landed just above the
battlement wall. It was the perfect spot to scout the camp. The goblins
filling the keep were everywhere, sharpening blades and axes or
gathering weapons for the impending battle. Parker noticed a large troll
in the right hand corner of the space below, hammering solidly on a
sword large enough to split three men into six. He spotted his target.
general of the goblin army was a large brute with golden braids hanging
down his chest. He was the one who had ordered the burning of Parker’s
home village. The one who had ordered the death of Parker’s family and
friends. This monster, this villain, was the reason Parker had set out
on his journey to seek vengeance upon the unjust. This was the creature
responsible for Parker swearing allegiance to the Mightercore army, who
quickly gave him the role of assassin-scout.
his way down the wall, careful not to move too fast or his invisibility
cloak would lose its power. He placed his foot in one crevice, then his
hand in another. After a few moments of skilled climbing, Parker found
himself precariously positioned just behind the golden haired brute,
leaving only a small distance between him and his foe. In a quick
session tactic, Parker could ignite his blade with the magic of the
Mightercore and his target
would be no more. He positioned
himself to strike, raising his sword and whispering the incantation that
would release the blade’s power—.
whoever was calling his name; they did not matter. All he saw was the
villain before him. The completed spell ignited Parker’s sword with a
blazing haze of blue fire, and he had to act fast.
loud call startled him and he swung too late. The goblin general had
already turned and he struck, forcing Parker back against the rocky
battlements. Parker parried the attack and thrust forward with a low
slash. The general sidestepped and lunged forward again. Parker parried
and rolled away from the wall. A lightning spell was the only magic he
had left. If he could find enough time to call out the incantation, he
could have the general radiating electrons from every appendage.
rolled until he was a good ten feet from his opponent, then quickly
stood. Lifting his hand into the air, he called down the lightning. The
sky filled with a brilliant white light, and the crack of thunder
reverberated off the walls. Parker briefly closed his eyes then opened
them, praying he had hit his target. As the white dust began to clear,
he made out an image before him. He peered at it, his heart thumping.
The screen went black.
“Parker, I’ve called you three times. Now get off that machine and go do your homework.”
Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as adult. On occasion
you’ll find him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and
pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of
several books including BEAN’S DRAGONS, the ABC ADVENTURES series, and
author of the middle-grade fantasy-adventure novel, THE DREAM KEEPER. He
spends most of his time playing with his daughters and working as a
freelance illustrator. Mikey has a BS degree in Creative Writing from
Utah State University. He is also one of the hosts of the Authors’ Think Tank Podcast.
THE DREAM KEEPER book links
hardback * paperback * kindle * Barnes & Noble * createspace * goodreads
website * blog * podcast * Amazon author page * goodreads * facebook * twitter * wattpad