Category Archives: Get to Know Me and My Family

My Kid’s Favorite Books to Read Themselves

I have 2 kids in elementary school and I am constantly on the lookout for new books to keep my kids interested in reading.

My son just turned 9 and he has always been a pretty good reader but at first, he wouldn’t choose to read on his own unless there was some sort of incentive (like the Summer Reading Program at the library). Recently, though, he has been devouring books up in his bed! It’s amazing. I will share with you some of the books that turned him into a book-obsessed boy.

My daughter is a different story, however. She is 6 (almost 7) and a little behind with her reading skills, and she gets frustrated easily if she feels like she isn’t doing a good enough job. So I’m always telling her how hard she is working and how proud I am of her and that usually gets her more excited about reading. She’s been trying to show off her new skills since she started a new reading group at school so she’s been reading a lot more lately. I think she’s also seen how much her brother loves to read, and she is trying to keep up 😉

I’ve added Amazon links for each book/series. I’ll start with the younger books and work my way to the bigger chapter books.

BOB Books

These books were a lifesaver when my kids were just starting to read! They come in different levels, so even now, I can find BOB books for my daughter’s level. I have found these at the library before, too. They are usually repetitive, so it really helps kids start to feel confident. I highly recommend these for new readers!

Gerald and Piggie

Both my kids are in love with this series! It’s pretty easy for them to read themselves, full of funny times and sweet friend moments, and most the stories are written in word bubbles. My kids love to trade being Gerald or Piggie and reading just their parts, so they love to act out the lines. It’s pretty entertaining. For ages 4-8 years.

Fancy Nancy

Some of these books are a little harder for my 1st-grade daughter to read, but you can find different levels for these books. So just choose the level that your little one is currently reading if you want them to read it on their own. Fancy Nancy is perfect for my fashionable daughter who started creating her own outfits at 2 years old. lol. She definitely has her own sense of style (as you can see from the photos above… she made that out of fabric and ribbons!).

Fly Guy 

This series is another one that both my kids love. One of the first chapter books my son was super excited about was Fly Guy so it holds a special place in my heart. It’s about a Boy and his pet fly and it isn’t too hard to read if you’re just transitioning into easy chapter books. For ages 4-8 years.

The Princess in Black

I will admit that these books are a bit more challenging for my daughter. We take turns reading these and I usually have to help her with some words along the way. The story is really cute and fun; it’s about Princess Magnolia who moonlights as The Princess in Black (she saves the goats from the monsters who sometimes come out and try to eat them). It’s definitely silly but my daughter thinks it’s great! For ages 5-8 years.

Press Start! 

My son loves this book so much! We got this one from the library and he rereads it before bed almost every night. It’s kind of like a comic book mixed with a video game and is a pretty fast read. There is a second book in this series coming out in May, too. If your kid likes video games, try this one out. This is for age 5-7 but my son loves it and he just turned 9. It’s below his reading level but he doesn’t care, he just likes the story!

Captain Awesome

We always find these at the library, and my son has always been into superheroes so this is right up his alley. These are for ages 5-9 so he hasn’t been reading these much anymore, but he used to love them last year.

Rainbow Magic

These are a bit hard for my daughter to read but she begs me to read these to her. I can usually get her to read a sentence or two, and then I’ll read a page, but I have a feeling that she will be ready to read these by herself pretty soon. These are full of magic and fairies, two things that my daughter loves. These are for ages 7-10.


This is the first big series that my son has read all the way through. He’s basically OBSESSED with these books. My son loves that there are random illustrations and comic type pages throughout the books. They are super funny and great for ages 8-12.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid

I freaking hate this series, but I did tell you this blog post was going to be books that my kids love to read themselves so I do have to add this one to the list. At school, my kids can check out books from the library and read them in school or at home, and my son keeps checking out these stupid books. But he loves them! He thinks they are hilarious. I do not and wouldn’t choose to get him these but at least he is reading, right? For ages 8-12 years.


I hope this post helped introduce you to at least a few new books to try with your kids. I’m a family photographer in the Portland, Oregon area and I’ll be blogging about my photography sessions, raising school-age children and what moms should know when they’re looking to hire a family photographer. If that’s interesting to you, follow my blog to get email updates straight to your inbox, and/or follow me on Facebook. Thanks for reading!

What Did My Son Get for His 9th Birthday? | Portland Oregon Children’s Photographer

For my son’s 9th birthday, my husband got him this:


Of course, my first thought was, it doesn’t go too fast, does it? Luckily, it doesn’t, and my son can easily turn off the motor just by tapping the break, so it’s pretty safe. He found this little gem on craigslist for super cheap and fixed it up. My husband is so crafty! It may not look that beautiful, but it runs great! It still needs a sticker on the front for some decoration, though. Here’s my happy 9-year-old posing on his bike for me…





We have a motorcycle helmet for him but he says it hurts his ears 😦 #bigearproblems

Playing in the Sun | Portland Oregon Child Photographer

This weekend we finally got some sun! It’s been so rainy, my kids were going a little stir crazy being stuck inside after school every day. Sunday ended up being amazing! We played basketball, jumped on our trampoline, went to the park for a little bit, and went out for lunch. These two definitely got out their energy because they were both passed out in random places by 7pm on the first day of Daylight Savings (when they really should have wanted to stay up an hour later than their bedtime).

iPhone photos of my daughter sleeping on the floor(in a hat?), and my son sprawled out on the couch. The story here is that my son was watching videos with Daddy and fell asleep, and my daughter decided she was going to take a “cat nap” (see the ears on the hat?), set out blankets on the floor, and then actually fell asleep.

Rowena Crest Detour with my Mom | Portland Oregon Photographer

My mom and I rode home from my sister’s house together and had a mini adventure. I had always wanted to stop at this beautiful spot called Rowena Crest. It’s close to The Dalles and it only took a few minutes to get to this spot from the freeway, so I talked my mom into it (it really didn’t take any convincing). Since there was snow pretty much everywhere except the roads, we got some super fun shots of this winter wonderland. I highly recommend checking this place out if you are driving past!


Here is my gorgeous Mom!IMG_5193SM

And this is me, thanks Mom for taking these last two photos for me!IMG_5203SMIMG_5206SM

Chloe in Vintage | Portland Oregon Children Portrait Photographer

This precious 6-year-old belongs to me, and sometimes she is just an angel, other times not so much. You can see her whole range of expressions here in these photos, lol. I have a friend who sells vintage clothing on Etsy, and sometimes she sends me clothing to photograph. This is one of those outfits. If you’d like to check out her shop, here it is.



And one last photo because it’s too cute: