#TWKatHome Family Fridays

Don't Just Read,

Talk About Books

Wendy Jeffries, Executive Director, TasteWise Kids

Our #TWKFamilyFridays series is where we hope to provide you with resources to both learn a little more about the world of food and its sources, and connect with one another in the process.


We all know how important it is to read with our kids - and read for ourselves if we can find (or make) the time. The other day I was at a local children’s bookstore with my two girls and we each picked out a book. What a fun way to make an afternoon special since we can’t browse at the library like we used to.

The book I picked up was Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear which is a beautiful, whimsical book about friends and the joy of being a kid, regardless of your age. It is “a fictional tale loosely inspired by the life and spirit of the very real Julia Child — a story that should be taken with a grain of salt and a generous pat of butter”. The message really resonated with me and reminded me that sometimes something as simple as a picture book can be both enjoyable and meaningful, especially these days.

Even more important though than getting a new book to read - whether it is from a friend, online, from the library, or a local bookstore - is the conversations it sparks. My girls and I had fun talking as we read the book about friends, cooking and how adults can (and should) be silly sometimes.

Want to get some ideas/tips for how to engage with your kids as you read together? Here’s a few questions I like to ask:

  • What does this make you think of? (help to make connections with things beyond the book)
  • How would you add to this story/this part? How would change something?
  • What do you see in the pictures (picking out details and/or making connections with the text)
  • How do you think this character is feeling? (building empathy)

Don’t forget that area libraries have pivoted and are offering amazing services, including “Sidewalk Service” meaning you can reserve books online and then go pick them up at the library. In Baltimore City, they will also mail you books and you can drive up to some libraries and use their WiFi! To learn more about what your local library is providing check out these links:

Baltimore City libraries

Baltimore County libraries

Harford County libraries

Howard County libraries

For a few more ideas, check out this sweet video I found when I wanted to share the book with a friend out of state. The conversation between Dean and his mom is so organic and just follows Dean’s flow of ideas (even if it means taking a while to start the book!). A great reminder for us to listen and follow the path our kids take us on with their ideas and imaginations.