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1. Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 Edition

This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine.

baker 123peas boardbk2 Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 Edition1-2-3 Peas
by Keith Baker
Little Simon     36 pp.
5/14     978-1-4424-9928-7     $7.99
“Five peas painting— / brush, brush, brush, / Six peas traveling— / rush, rush, rush.” In this follow-up to Baker’s LMNO Peas, the peas row, splash, build, nap, and more, on and around large-size numerals from one to ten, then skip counting by tens to one hundred. The rhyming text bounces along as the spring-green peas frolic in the lively illustrations. The smaller trim size means much of the art’s amusing details are harder to see, but the colorful pages and fun-to-read-aloud rhymes will delight small listeners.

horacek time4bed boardbk Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionTime for Bed: Flip-Flap Fun
by Petr Horáček
Candlewick     16 pp.
9/14     978-0-7636-6779-5     $7.99
First it’s “time to play.” Then, after putting “away my toys,” it’s “time for supper.” A little boy’s recognizable end-of-the-day routine plays out in Horáček’s simple, comforting text and boldly colored illustrations. The thick graduated pages make it easy for small hands to interact with the book. After a bath, teeth brushing, and a story, the final page-turn shows the narrator for the first time, tucked into bed and gently reminding listeners that it’s “time to say good night.”

laden peekazoo boardbk Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionPeek-a-Zoo
by Nina Laden
Chronicle     24 pp.
3/14     978-1-4521-1175-9     $6.99
If a board book could be a considered a cult classic, Laden’s Peek-a Who? (2000) would be one. In this animal-themed follow-up (in a small format perfect for little hands), the pattern is the same. “Peek a” on the left-hand page faces what looks like a linocut design; a die-cut hole hints at what’s revealed on the following spread. “Mew!” accompanies a tiger; “Bamboo!” captions an image of a panda munching on its favorite food. A kangaroo and a cockatoo are also featured, as well as the cute creature reflected in the mirror on the final page: “You, too!” For babies and toddlers, this trick never grows old.

carle pandabear boardbk Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionPanda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?
by Bill Martin Jr; illus. by Eric Carle
Holt     28 pp.
8/14     978-08050-9950-8     $12.99
This lap-size board book’s rhyming text follows the familiar pattern of the author/illustrator team’s Brown Bear, Brown Bear. A panda, water buffalo, spider monkey, whooping crane, and six other endangered species parade across the pages; at the end, a dreaming child sees all ten animals “wild and free.” Carle’s striking, brilliantly colored illustrations are as eye-catching as always, making this ideal for use with groups.

mckee elmer boardbkjpg Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionElmer
by David McKee
HarperFestival      32 pp.
8/14     978-0-06-232405-4     $7.99
Available in a board-book edition for the first time, Elmer has been everyone’s favorite patchwork elephant for twenty-five years. Though the other elephants in the herd love his jokes and games, Elmer wonders if they’re laughing at him because he looks different. He tries to blend in by covering up his colorful hide, but he can’t disguise what’s really special about him. The message about accepting yourself and celebrating differences isn’t likely to interest babies; older toddlers, however, will welcome Elmer into their herd.

mcphail babypigpigtalks boardbk Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionBaby Pig Pig Talks
by David McPhail
Charlesbridge     14 pp.
8/14     978-1-58089-597-2     $6.95



mcphail babypigpigwalks boardbk Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionBaby Pig Pig Walks
by David McPhail
Charlesbridge     14 pp.
8/14      978-1-58089-596-5     $6.95

Baby Pig Pig (Pig Pig Returns) reaches two developmental milestones in these original board books. In Talks, mother pig names everything they see during a stroller walk: “Snake. Taxi. Tricycle.” Baby Pig Pig repeats after her, sort of: “Hissa. Honka. Dinga.” An overly friendly dog gets him talking — “Mama!” In Walks, Baby Pig Pig wants to explore the world beyond his playpen. After some wobbly steps, he climbs out and heads off “…down the hallway…toward the kitchen” and right into his mother’s welcoming arms. The small adventures have just enough tension to keep little walkers and talkers enthralled.

sayre rahrah boardbk Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionRah, Rah, Radishes!: A Vegetable Chant
by April Pulley Sayre
Little Simon      34 pp.
7/14     978-1-4424-9927-0     $7.99
“Oh boy, bok choy! / Brussels sprout. / Broccoli. Cauliflower. / Shout it out!” Kids may not want to eat their greens, but they’ll dig right in to this colorful feast for the eyes and ears. Sayre’s energetic rhymes are accompanied by appetizing photos of a variety of veggies, many of which may be unfamiliar to small children. Bring this book along on your next trip to the farmers’ market and see how many vegetables you can find. Who knows? Maybe it will inspire some taste testing!

stiles todayimgoingtowear boardbk Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionToday I’m Going to Wear…
by Dan Stiles
POW!     18 pp.
10/14     978-1-57687-718-0     $9.95
“Today I think I’m going to wear a yellow ribbon in my hair.” In a pleasantly rhyming text, a little girl describes her hand-picked outfit, which includes a polka-dot cowboy hat, a too-small coat, “in case of sun, a parasol,” mittens, and rain boots. Stiles’s vibrant graphic illustrations are hard to resist; their hip, retro vibe will appeal to grownups and young kids alike.

wells drduck boardbook  Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 EditionA Visit to Dr. Duck
by Rosemary Wells
Candlewick     30 pp.
8/14     978-0-7636-7229-4     7.99
Little guinea pig Felix eats too many “chocolate blimpies” and doesn’t feel well the next day. His mama tries chamomile tea and fresh air; finally, she takes him to see Dr. Duck. Originally published in hardcover as Felix Feels Better (2000), this edition’s title change puts the focus on going to the doctor — and Felix’s nervousness about the experience will resonate with young listeners. Wells’s comforting tone and warm illustrations will reassure toddler and preschool patients.

share save 171 16 Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 Edition

The post Board Book Roundup: Fall 2014 Edition appeared first on The Horn Book.

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2. Halloween Book Challenge Bonus

Happy HalloweenHave you been participating in the Halloween Book Challenge? Every week, we read a different book. Today is Halloween so we have a BONUS challenge for you! It’s a Halloween Party Spell-It-Out Challenge.

Here’s how the bonus challenge works. Think of all the books you read this month for the Halloween Book Challenge. Then think of the perfect Halloween party item (drinks, candy, decorations, etc.) and spell it out using the first letter of words in your book titles.

G - 
The Graveyard Book

U - Captain Underpants

M - Midnight Howl

Leave yours in the Comments. Have a super-fun and safe Halloween!


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3. How’s Modern Dance Doing In Vietnam?


“We have a history of war, but we are not trying to promote that, but rather bring the feeling of what we have through contemporary dance, through the eyes of a young generation.”

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4. A ‘Nasty, Glorious, Freewheeling’ Alternative Art History For The U.S.


“It’s possible to create a neat and tidy map tracing the progress of American art over the last 50 years. Yes, you can draw some sort of shape connecting Pop Art to Minimalism to Conceptual Art, highlighting the famed (often white and male) artists associated with each. … But it’s a stagnant, small portrait.”

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5. Interview with Carolyn Wolfe for The Moonsparrow Collection

Come and join me as I talk with author Carolyn Wolfe about her Moonsparrow Collection on Stories From Unknown Authors http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 1pm EST today.


The Moonsparrow Collection is comprised of a tapestry of Tall Tales, Myth and Magic. This compilation of tales is the best of Ms. Wolfe’s original published and unpublished Short Stories, and includes the stories that she has introduced at local public writing events and festivals.  The subject matter ranges from: A woman who turns a small town on its ear, to: a Magical midnight concert in the woods. It is a light journey into a magical world when anything can happen, and usually does

Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Avid Readers Publishing Group (April 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935105531
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935105534

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6. Theaters Are (Finally?) Recovering From The Recession, Says Report


“Earned income was up an impressive 40.8 percent (adjusted for inflation), although total attendance was up only 0.4 percent.”

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7. Does Going On A World Tour Make A Symphony World Class?


“In Chicago Symphony lore, it was the orchestra’s first-ever overseas tour — a massive six-week, nine-country, 15-venue, 25-concert trip led by music director Georg Solti in 1971 — that vaulted it to world-class status while changing cultural perceptions of Chicago, with the orchestra greeted by a ticker-tape parade upon its return home.”

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8. Sketchbook Spread

Before we had all these beautiful coloured inks and watercolors, the old masters used Bister, or Bistre. It was made out of ground shells of walnuts.
'Bistre' is French for brown, hazelnut color, or chocolate brown. 
I had never heard of this until my mother-in-law talked about it. She uses it in the art group she attends weekly. I got curious and bought a few bottles, that looked like medicine bottles from long, long ago. Then Of course, I tried it.  By taking some of the grains out, and dilluting them with water, you can paint with it. Just like with watercolor you can use it wit a lot of water, or just a little. Pretty cool! So that's the drawing on the right hand side of this journal spread.

On the left, with my ususal watercolours, I made a selfie the day before. Just because.

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9. New York’s Latest Graffiti Crackdown May Be Backfiring


“Busting graffiti artists distracts the local cops from fighting serious crime, like robberies or homicides, which have increased in Long Island City’s 114th Precinct, where 5Pointz is located, over the past year.”

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10. New York Times Best Illustrated list announced

Here it is! http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2014/10/30/books/review/2014-BEST-8.html?_r=1&

Usually this list matches up pretty well with our Calling Caldecott list with one or two big surprises. This year I am finding more surprises than matches. But you can be sure we will be locating the books that weren’t so much on our radar and will weigh in as we get our hands on them.

This list always seems to be a bit idiosyncratic. The team of three judges is comprised of one critic and two illustrators. This year they were Jennifer Brown (Bank Street College, Shelf Awareness), Brian Floca, and Jerry Pinkney. When Roger was on this committee, he said that rather than discussing the books together, each member added their favorites to the list, pretty much split evenly. I don’t know if this is how it always works, but the result is always an interesting list.

Please let us know in the comments which of these you love (or don’t) and why. Now I have to go look for some books…

share save 171 16 New York Times Best Illustrated list announced

The post New York Times Best Illustrated list announced appeared first on The Horn Book.

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11. ‘Gray Mountain’ Joins iBooks Bestsellers List

Gray MountainJohn Grisham’s new fiction book, Gray Mountain, has joined Apple’s Top Paid iBooks in the U.S. this week at No. 2.

Apple has released its top selling books list for paid books from iBooks in the U.S. for week ending October 20, 2014. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult are occupying the first and third spots on the list this week.

We’ve included Apple’s entire list after the jump. (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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12. From exploring gardens to exploring outer space (Pinterest links)

I found some more beautiful photos for my Pinterest garden board: http://www.pinterest.com/joyvsmith/exploring-gardens/

And I found more beautiful and cool photos for my Exploring Outer Space board: http://www.pinterest.com/joyvsmith/exploring-outer-space/

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13. Bookstore MFA


“At some point, it’s just you and the poems. You haven’t been told to read a poem, you haven’t been assigned a poem to critique, you haven’t been told a book’s really great, so you’re just picking up books that either speak to you or don’t. You’re just looking through book after book after book trying to find something engaging.”

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14. Are Some People Hard-Wired For Bravery And Others For Cowardice?


“Which trait increases my chances of survival or my chances to reproduce? What would be most adaptive is switching from one response to the other, depending the situation, but our underlying biology cannot switch back and forth that quickly”

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15. Fandango, The Movie Ticket Seller, Joins The Content Producer Race


“The deal is part of Fandango’s ongoing effort to expand its offerings as a one-stop-shop for moviegoers. The site now offers reviews, commentary, celebrity interviews, trailers, guidance for families, and of course, their well-known ticket purchasing service.”

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16. Ahmindagoreth -A Work In Progress

It was a sunny, cloudless day in Magpie Wood. Suzy and Bobby were walking through the fallen leaves whilst glancing occasionally at the variegated canopy that Autumn assumed.

Suzy had just put a Smartie in her mouth and looked up.  A big black spot the size of a bumble bee began appearing before them. "Look, Bobby!" cried Suzy.

Bit-by-bit the black spot grew until it filled the woodland path.  Then there came a colour.  Then another. The siblings looked on in wonderment at what became of this oddity.

"Golly. What on earth can it be, Bobby?" asked Suzy.

"I am the cold blackness come to wrap you in my arms" replied Ahmindagoreth.

Below: Ahmindagoreth a work in progress. Stage 1 and a variant but much, much more work to do!

Ahmindagoreth, Suzy and Bobby (whoever they are) (c) Terry Hooper-Scharf

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17. Galway Kinnell, Poet Of Nature, Religion And Human Rights, Dead At 87

galway kinnell

“He also wrote frequently about death. ‘The Book of Nightmares’ was inspired by the horrors of the Vietnam War. But as angry as he could be, he sometimes considered mortality more gently and wistfully.”

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18. Italy Hid This Leonardo Self-Portrait From The Nazis So It Wouldn’t Give Hitler Magical Powers


“It is said that just before taking an exam, students would do their last-minute revision in the Royal Library above the vault. Legend has it that studying near Leonardo’s genius can somehow rub off.”

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19. Movie Theatres Ban Google Glass


“If it can record, the new guidelines say, shut it off and put it away.”

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20. How to Schedule Your NaNoWriMo Writing Time for Success

The idea of thousands and thousands of writers writing together as one beginning in just a couple of days is sublime.

Many of you will use the support of other writers to keep you writing. Others will take daily walks. Some will plot as you write. Others have detailed Plot Planners at the ready as you write, every word a joy. I give thanks for journey we travel together.

NaNoWriMo Schedule:

11/1 - 11/7 -- Write the Beginning 1/4 of your story
11/7 -- Write the End of the Beginning scene
11/8 -- 11/14 Write the 1st 1/2 of the Middle
11/14 -- Write the Recommitment scene
11/15 -- 11/21 Write the 2nd 1/2 of the Middle
11/21 -- Write the Crisis
11/22 -- 11/28 Write the End 1/4
11/27 -- Write the Climax
11/28 -- Write the Resolution
11/29 -- 11/30 Catch-up

(NOTE: For now, don't worry about your plot or if you're starting in the right place or any of the details. We'll get to that in December. For now, give yourself permission to completely give yourself to writing your story.)

For plot help before, during and after writing a novel in a month, take my Plot Whisperer books along: 

1)  The Plot Whisperer Workbook: Step-by-step Exercises to Help You Create Compelling Stories
2)  The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master
3)  The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts: Easy Exercises to Get You Writing.
To continue writing and revising (and, lots of writers are finding PlotWriMo the exact right resource to help pre-plot for a powerful first draft. Knowing what to look for in a revision helps create a tighter first draft):
  • PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month
 ~~ View your story in an entirely new light. Recharge your energy and enthusiasm for your writing. 8 videos (5.5 hours)+ 30 exercises

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21. SILK festival 2014, skudeneshavn, norway

Hello from Skudeneshavn in Norway! I've been doing intensive school visits today and Stuart's been traipsing about town, and we're both crashing in our guesthouse lounge having a rest before the official SILK Festival Opening Ceremony this evening.

We're staying in the same town I visited in February, Skudeneshavn, and it's great getting a chance to show Stuart around. (And if you're a burglar in England reading this, we have a big, scary German looking after our flat, so don't get any ideas.) We're staying at the guesthouse on the far right:

So here was my first visit this morning, to Grindhaug Primary School, where I showed the 11- and 12-year-olds how I made the Jampires picture book with David O'Connell (and the original comic book that inspired it). I led the group in drawing their own Jampire, then we talked about our favourite foods and designed creatures that could steal other food - Pizzapires, Chocopires, Spareribpires, etc. Then we used our characters to write stories in a big Comics Jam! Everyone finished with a four-panel comic, but each panel was drawn by a different person, so no one knew how their story would turn out. (When I explained about the word 'jamming' meaning something other than sticky fruit spread, they all knew the Bob Marley song, so that was good.)

And here's the second group, same ages, at Norheim Primary School!

I had a few minutes before all the kids were assembled when I could draw this poster for them:

Big thanks to everyone who looked after me for the day, including John Rullestad (not pictured here), Head of the Department of Culture, Jan Arve Hveding (who popped in to say hello), the culture coordinator (let me check her name!) and Head of Karmøy libraries Hanna Mulelid.

After Hanna drove me back to Skudenshavn, Stuart and I retired to the festival Green Room, where we found Norwegian writer Arne Svingen, who'd joined us at dinner the previous evening. Arne writes spooky books, mostly for older children, but all sorts, and does lots of school visits. He gave me a big list of Norwegian illustrators that I want to look up (I don't really know anything about Norwegian illustrators yet), and hopefully post links here. Here are a few, for starters, if you want to peek at their work:

* Ragnar Aalbu
* Stian Hole

* Øyvind Torseter
* Svein Nyhus
(More later!)

Speaking of spooky, I was a bit nervous of sitting in these two chairs in the Green Room; they looked like they might be alive.

But other than that, he Green Room's awfully cosy. I rewarded myself for the school visits a bit too thoroughly with lovely CAKE.

Okay, here are a few of the Comics Jams, in case anyone from the school is checking to see if their work got onto my blog! (And if you look here on my website, you can read a comic I made recently and find more comics here.)

A lot of the kids had never made any comics, so I was impressed with how well they did. Also, notice that they are in English. *gape* I hate to say this, but Norwegian kids write almost as well in English as a lot of the English children I've worked with.

And I'll include a few more Skudeneshavn photos, just to help me remember this place; it's awfully pretty.

Last night we had a music concert in a little house that wasn't a pub, exactly, but had the same nice feel to it.

And when we went for dinner at Smiå restaurant, the downstairs was packed with guys from this ship:

Another shot of our lovely guest house:

More news soon!

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22. U.S. Fails In Roman Polanski Extradition Attempt


“He has been wanted by US police since 1977 after fleeing the country before he could be sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.”

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23. D.C. Isn’t That Exciting A Town, But The Hirshhorn Museum’s New Director Has Big Plans


“I hope this means we are able to come up with another kind of new bold vision that has the potential to be a real game-changer in terms of contemporary art and the way technology impacts contemporary art.”

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24. Current Scratch: Join Us, Local, NaNo, Book Business, Awards, & School Visits

Howdy, folks! Have your projects been spooktacular this month? Are you getting geared up for NaNo? Whatever your WIP is, may the bookish force be with you!


Only 9 days left before Pick up the Pace!—A Workshop with Agent Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children’s Literary, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 at A& M United MethodistChurch, College Station, TX

Story pacing can make the difference between a “nice try” rejection and a publishable manuscript. Whether you’re working on page turns in a 500-word picture book or end-of-chapter cliff-hangers in a 50,000-word novel, Jodell Sadler has tips and tools to help pick up the pace. Join SCBWI Brazos Valleyfor a day-long workshop focused on pacing and strong writing skills.* Registration fees are $125 for SCBWI members and $150 for non-members. Whether paying by check or credit card, please register through the event website.

SCBWI Regional Webinar

Date - 11/11/2014
TIME: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Cost: SCBWI members/ $10; non-members/ $35. Members, make sure you're logged in with your SCBWI id and password to get the member price.

Abrams Creative Director Chad W. Beckerman will teach "The Evolution of a Book Cover" for the last joint Texas SCBWI webinar of 2014.


Teen & Middle Grade Authors event. Larry J. Ringer Library in College Station: On Saturday, November 8, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., and Sunday, November 9, 2-4 p.m., Teen & Middle Grade Authors: Teen and tween aspiring authors and adult authors who write for teen and middle grade audiences, talk about your books and about other teen and middle grade fiction, book signings allowed. Contact Kendra at kperkins@bryantx.gov or (979) 764-3416. More info about this event here. *If you would like to be a featured author and have books signed at this event, please contact Kendra Perkins at the email address above.


Have you had a story idea brewing in the back of your mind? Well, now is the perfect time to set that project on fire! The offical NaNoWriMo website can assist you. Meet other NaNo'ers, get support, keep track of progress, & write a novel in 30 days!


Diversity in books... Here's the latest news from Publisher's Weekly on the subject. The We Need Diverse Books organization is doing great things!


Here's a list of the CILIP Carnegie Nominations for 2015.


These tips come from a school librarian. Although written in a humorous tone, I found them most helpful when preparing for my school visit. 

*I'm working on a list of author visit tips. If you have any advice or suggestions, please email me at candice.fite@gmail.com.

The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the SCBWI.

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25. HarperCollins Publishes a Bilingual Edition of ‘Goodnight Moon’

Goodnight Moon - First Book bilingual edition - front jacket coverHarperCollins has released the first-ever bilingual version of Goodnight Moon.

Goodnight Moon/Buenas Noches, Luna, an English-Spanish board book, has been made available on the First Book digital marketplace at a discounted price for educators and programs serving children in need. The executives at the publishing house were inspired by First Book’s Stories for All Project to create this special edition of Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd’s beloved picture book. The mission behind this project is to address the lack of diversity in children’s books.

Rhian Evans Allvin, the executive director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, had this statement in the press release: ”Having a treasured book like Goodnight Moon available as a bilingual edition means so much more than just making a classic bedtime story more accessible. This creates opportunities for very young English language learners to enjoy a cozy story time in their native and learned languages and to create a culture of reading in classrooms and homes. It is also a sign of respect: that we value ALL of our children and families.”

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