Book Bites: August edition

Welcome to Book Bites! Every month, we'll take a bite of a book for elementary-aged children and digest it with fun literacy activities that help your family boost the way you enjoy a book together.


For Grades 1-3

When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree

Borrow the Book

Try These Fun Literacy Activities

1. Follow a Recipe

Following a recipe is a fun and easy literacy activity to do at home. Check out this article to learn how it also helps boost literacy skills. Make lemonade using the recipe featured in When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree:

Here are other ways we use literacy in our everyday lives. Try them out!

  • Make a list. For example, create a birthday or holiday wish list, grocery list, to do list, top five or ten list on a topic of your child's choosing.
  • Plant seeds and follow the directions on the back of the seed package or make up your own set of directions for planting.
  • Create your own recipe.

Use This Literacy Tip

Prioritize quality over quantity. Ten minutes of quality reading time that creates enjoyment and connection helps reinforce the pleasure of reading more than 30 minutes that feels like a chore. Treat reading time as a reward instead of an obligation.

For example, say “let’s snuggle up together with When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree" versus “you must get your home reading done or no screen time”.

Find More Great Books at EPL

If your family enjoyed When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, you'll also enjoy the titles featured on this booklist.


View Full List

For Grades 4-6

Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor and Super Puzzletastic Mysteries

Borrow the Book

Pro Tip: Use Book Connections available through EPL to get everything you need to know about Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor and Super Puzzletastic Mysteries. Explore author biographies and interviews, name pronunciations, book excerpts, book trailers, vocabulary lists and more.

Try These Fun Literacy Activities

1. Create a cipher for your friends or family to crack!

To make the cipher wheel featured in the video, use the template posted on the Frugal Fun 4 Boys website or freehand your cipher wheel as an alternative. Follow these instructions:

  1. Collect your materials. You will need paper, scissors, a paper fastener, cardstock or cardboard.
  2. Print out the template or draw two or three circles for your cipher wheel, each one smaller than the last. If using three circles, the smallest circle is the middle wheel and does not contain any symbols or letters (it is optional).
  3. If drawing or using the blank template, fill in your letters or symbols on each wheel that needs them.
  4. Line up your wheels and attach a paper fastener in the centre. The cipher is complete!
  5. Solve the code that Brandy featured in the Book Bites by setting the cipher wheel to the same specifications shown in the video. Re-watch the video to copy down the code and view the cipher wheel again if needed.

2. Create a Rube Goldberg machine

Sadie is the resident inventor and genius of Winterborne home. Try your hand at creating a Rube Goldberg machine using this EPL from Home STEAM challenge.

Use This Literacy Tip

Get physically close when you read aloud. Physical touch is an important part of many relationships between kids and teens and their parents and caregivers. However, by the tween years, many moments of needed physical touch taken for granted with young children have all but disappeared (help tying shoes, wiping hands and offering hugs after a skinned knee).

Setting up a habit of sitting closely for read-aloud time can help maintain the important physical connection between families as children grow into their teen years.

Find More Great Books at EPL

If you enjoyed Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor or Super Puzzletastic Mysteries, check out these titles.


View Full List


Stay tuned for the next Book Bite, coming in September! Looking for more suggested reading?

Book lists for kids 6-12

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