I’m taking a little breather this week. Thursday I hope we’ll have a guest post from a pediatrician, and today I have some book thoughts (mostly for your kids…) for these last weeks of August.

But first I wanted to address some of the response I got to the last post. I heard from a number of people complaining (mostly nicely, thank you) about the interpretation of the numbers and the comparison with the flu.

They made a number of points. On the one hand, an estimated 11 million kids got the flu last year, and the counts here suggested only about 340,000 kids with COVID. If 11 million kids had COVID, the hospitalization rate as a share of population would be much higher. People also noted that as we mix more, there may be more spread, so the counts of cases are likely to go up.

On the flip side, there were those who noted that actually the count of COVID cases was likely way too low since many places do not routinely test kids. Further, these tests are almost all performed on symptomatic kids. Antibody testing has suggested infections are 6 to 24 times higher than detected infections. This would put the actual case count between 2 and 8 million. Someone also pointed out that hospitalizations in this case included children who were hospitalized for something else and tested positive for COVID-19 while there. This would mean that that actual risk if serious illness is smaller in healthy children.

In a way, this all highlights some of the many problems without our understanding of the data, and clearly a full reckoning will have to wait. My point in the last post wasn’t to say “Flu is bad and COVID-19 is no big deal.” It was, rather, to put these numbers in some context, to provide some reassurance that (in kids) hospitalization and serious illness from COVID-19 are rare as a share of cases, and to (gently) make the point that we take on health risks with our children that we likely do not think much about.

Some books we like!

Our family likes books. Here are some you might like, too.

On Parenting

Obviously I think mainly you should read my books! But here are a few others we used.

Board Books

Never too early to read to baby and/or let them chew things up. I know which books were popular in our house as they are chewed down to the cardboard.

Picture Books

The key to picture books for toddlers is that they shouldn’t be too long since you have to read them over and over and over again.

Learn to Read

I am actually pretty negative on most of the early reader books since many of the levels are really hard to understand.

But with one of my kids we had good luck with the Bob Books. And if you are home schooling your kids (and, really, who isn’t at this point) there’s Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

Early Chapter Readers

We liked the Branches books (Owl Diaries, Notebooks of Doom, Dragon Masters, etc). We also like Ivy and Bean, Marvin Redpost and Judy Moody.

My kids also are fans of the Rainbow Magic Fairies. No comment from me on that one.

Older Kids

I’m constantly looking for books as the kids have gotten older. These recommendations are harder since they depend a lot on the reader. If your kid is into non-fiction, I cannot help you.

I will say I started with many things I loved as a kid, including the Ramona series, anything by Roald Dahl (warning: his books can be a little intense for younger kids and some are a bit dated in their values) and the Little House Books. And Harry Potter is a rite of passage.

But a few that were new to me and you may not have heard of…

Finally, I will make a pitch for graphic novels, which both my kids love. I would recommend you immediately buy everything by Raina Telgemeier, especially Guts and Sisters and the graphic novel adaptations of the Babysitters Club (seriously much, much preferred to the original).