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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: book news, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Starring Sherri L. Smith ~

It's Day 6 of the PASADENA blog tour!Bad things happen everywhere. Even in the land of sun and roses. When Jude's best friend is found dead in a swimming pool, her family calls it an accident. Her friends call it suicide. But Jude calls it what it... Read the rest of this post

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2. Press Release: LEE & LOW Partners with First Book and NEA Foundation to Expand New Visions Award

WASHINGTON – The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation and publisher Lee & Low Books have joined forces with First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise, to expand the Stories for All ProjectTM, First Book’s groundbreaking initiative to increase the diversity in children’s books. The new two-year collaboration, supported with funding from the NEA Foundation, includes the publication of a brand new book by a never-before-published author of color, and the production of thousands of diverse books, companion tipsheets and funds available for educators working with children from low-income families.

The diverse books include eight titles from Lee & Low Books, the largest U.S. multicultural children’s book publisher, and feature first-time authors of color, award winners, or books that previously were only available in hardcover formats. The titles will be printed as more affordable special edition paperbacks and available on the First Book Marketplace, First Book’s award-winning site offering First Book Logo brand new books and educational resources – at the lowest possible prices or for free – to schools and programs serving children in need. A free, downloadable tipsheet will be developed for each title, with guidelines on how educators can use the book to create opportunities for student learning and shared experiences that embrace the importance of diversity and foster understanding both in and out of the classroom setting.

In addition, more than $100,000 from the NEA Foundation will be used to provide educators with credits to purchase diverse books through the First Book Marketplace. Many schools and programs have little or no budgets for books or resources for their programs; 74 percent of educators served by First Book spend their own money on educational resources for their students; national surveys indicate that teachers spend an average of $500 or more annually out of their own pocket.

LEE & LOW’s New Visions Award Expands; Manuscripts Due October 31 

First Book and the NEA Foundation are also working with Lee & Low to introduce a new middle grade or young adult book by a never-before-published author of color, as part of the publisher’s existing New Visions Award. The collaboration will enable Lee & Low to expand its New Visions Award by selecting and publishing work by an additional new author of color. The winning book is expected to New Visions Award sealbe released in 2018 as a hardcover edition at retail, and as a special edition paperback available exclusively on the First Book Marketplace. Award submission deadline is October 31; full submission information can be found here.

“Educators around the country have increasingly more diverse classrooms, with children from a wide variety of home environments, family structures, religions, cultures, ethnicities, languages and more,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “First Book has been out in front of the need to provide our educators with relevant, affordable books and resources that they can use in their classrooms every day. Diverse books and resources are not only critical to foster understanding and empathy, they’re critical to learning. To have kids see themselves and their families in books lets kids know that books are, in fact, for them! Sharing diverse stories is a powerful tool for learning and belonging.”

First Book, which has operations in both the U.S. and Canada, works with formal and informal educators serving children in need ages 0-18 in a wide range of settings – from schools, classrooms, summer school and parks and rec programs, to health clinics, homeless shelters, faith-based programs, libraries, museums, summer food sites and more. Almost 32 million children are growing up in low-income families in the U.S. alone; in fact, in U.S. public schools, children in need are now the majority. First Book currently works with more than 275,000 under-resourced classrooms and programs; more than 5,000 new programs and classrooms sign up with First Book every month.

The need for books featuring diverse voices was underscored by feedback from First Book’s membership. In a survey, 90 percent of respondents indicated that children in their programs would be more enthusiastic readers if they had access to books with characters, stories and images that reflect their lives and their neighborhoods. Additionally, 51 percent use books and resources from First Book as a way to enable kids to learn about other cultures and experiences. By aggregating the purchasing power of its network, First Book is able to work with publishers to expand content that accurately reflects diversity of race, ability, sexual orientation and family structure in an ever diversifying world.

“Lee & Low has long been publishing multicultural and inclusive content, and we’re pleased to be expanding the New Visions Award in partnership with NEA Foundation and First Book. First Book has been leading the charge to bring this content to a broader market, and for developing partnerships like this one that make diverse content more affordable and more widely available to educators and children in need,” said Craig Low, president of Lee & Low Books, Inc.

“One only needs to read the headlines to know how important it is to help celebrate our similarities and learn how our differences can make us stronger,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “We are grateful to the NEA Foundation and the team at Lee & Low Books to help us expand our Stories for All Project and our ongoing effort to arm heroic educators with best-in-class resources of all kinds.”

Organizations serving children in need can sign up to access First Book’s wide range of books and educational resources at firstbook.org/join. For more information on First Book, visit firstbook.org.

About First Book

First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise founded in 1992 that has distributed more than 150 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada, which, with more than 275,000 members, is the largest and fastest growing network of educators serving kids in need. By making new, high-quality books and educational resources available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. Eligible educators, librarians, program leaders, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter. 

About NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation envisions a great public education for every student. We support educators as they pioneer creative and innovative classroom approaches designed to prepare students for college, work, and life. The Foundation’s innovation work identifies new opportunities and pilot approaches in public education aimed towards preparing all students to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

About Lee & Low Books

Established in 1991, Lee & Low Books is the largest children’s book publisher in the United States specializing in diversity. Under several imprints, the company provides a comprehensive range of notable diverse books for beginning readers through young adults. Lee & Low titles have received major awards and honors including the Coretta Scott King Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Sibert Medal, the NAACP Image Award, and many more. Visit leeandlow.com to learn more.  

# # #

For press inquiries or questions, contact:
Hannah Ehrlich, Director of Marketing and Publicity
Lee & Low Books
hehrlich[at]leeandlow.com
212-779-4400 x. 29

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3. You Be the Judge!!

No, really. It's already time for another Cybils Awards season, and the application for judges is open until September 14th, so get cracking! There are TWO new pilot categories this year for you to explore--Board Books and Audiobooks--so if you... Read the rest of this post

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4. Pssst! It's out this week!!!

Labyrinth LostBy Zoraida CórdovaSeptember 6, 2016; Hardcover, ISBN 9781492620945Praise for Labyrinth Lost“This work is a magical journey from start to finish... A compelling must-have for teens”–School Library Journal, STARRED... Read the rest of this post

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5. MAMÁ THE ALIEN/Mamá la extraterrestre Blog Tour with René Colato Laínez

To celebrate the release of Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestreauthor René Colato Laínez will be stopping by the following blogs from August 15th to the 24th! Follow along as René Colato Laínez discusses his writing process, his thoughts on diversity in kidlit, and the recent debate over the term “illegal alien.”Below is the schedule of the Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre Blog Tour:René Colato Laínez BLOG TOUR

August 15: The Latina Book Club

August 17: Mommy Maestra

August 19: Latinaish

August 22: Pragmatic Mom

August 23: Reading Authors

August 24: The Logonauts

And in case you missed it, here’s René Colato Laínez’s post about his experience being called an “illegal alien” when he was young.

To find out more about René Colato Laínez and Mamá the Alien/Mamá la extraterrestre, check out his blog and follow him on Twitter. And if you are a blogger interested in being included on this or future blog tours, please reach out to us at publicity [at] leeandlow [dot] com.

1 Comments on MAMÁ THE ALIEN/Mamá la extraterrestre Blog Tour with René Colato Laínez, last added: 8/25/2016
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6. Marisol Celebration: Lee & Low Staff Share Their Fears

Marisol McDonald and the Monster coverIn the latest installment of the Marisol McDonald series, Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo, Marisol McDonald is confronted with her greatest fear: monsters! In celebration of Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo, released last month, Lee & Low Staff share the scary things that keep them up at night.

Louise May, Editorial Director

“Having to sing in public. I don’t have a great voice and I can’t carry a tune.”

Kandace Coston, Editorial Assistant

“I’m arachnophobic.”

Pia Ceres, Marketing & Publicity Intern

“Not having the courage to speak up when it counts. Also, since I was a kid, I’ve had this fear that someone living in the mirror would reach through the threshold and grab me while I’m brushing my teeth, which is a very vulnerable position if you think about it.”

Randy Eng, Operations Coordinator

“Stage fright.”

 Keilin Huang, Marketing & Publicity Associate

“I have a huge fear of clowns. I think it’s because I watched Stephen King’s “It” when I was young with my cousins and it scarred me for life.”

Marisol McDonald and the Monster spread
from Marisol McDonald and the Monster

Jalissa Corrie, Marketing & Publicity Assistant

“I have a fear of ghosts. I think there is one (or more) that lives in my parent’s house in the Hudson Valley. They tend to make themselves known when I’m home by myself.”

 Hannah Ehrlich, Director of Marketing & Publicity

“I actually had a very strange phobia when I was growing up: I was afraid of buttons. I would not let my parents dress me in any clothes with buttons, did not like to touch buttons myself, hated sitting on chairs with buttons, and even avoided hugging people who were wearing button-down shirts. For most of my childhood, I thought it was just a weird thing that only I had. But thanks to the Internet, I’ve actually learned that there is a name for this phobia: Koumpounophobia. It’s pretty rare, but it’s estimated that nearly one in every 75,000 people experiences it. Most famously, Steve Jobs admitted that he has koumpounophobia and some speculate that his fear of buttons may have led to the invention of the iPhone and other buttonless devices. My phobia is fairly mild now but I still hate wearing button-down shirts, avoid button-up duvet covers, and prefer not to touch buttons (especially the small plastic ones) if I don’t have to!”

Hsu Hnin, Operations Assistant

“My greatest fear is the darkness; especially when I have to sleep in a place where there’s absolutely no light.”

John Man, Director of Operations

“My biggest fear is running out of poke balls during a hunt.”

You can purchase a copy of Marisol McDonald and the Monster/Marisol McDonald y el monstruo here.

Don’t miss the first two books in the Marisol McDonald series:

Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina

Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash

Marisol McDonald and the Clash Bash / Marisol McDonald y la fiesta sin igual

Share with us in the comments! What’s your biggest fear? You can win a chance to win signed copies of our Marisol McDonald series!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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7. Congrats to Our Friend Ashley Hope Perez, Walden Award Finalist!

"The Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, presented annually by ALAN, is an award in the United States for a book that exemplifies literary excellence, widespread appeal, and a positive approach to life in young adult literature."ALAN, for those who... Read the rest of this post

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8. Celebrating 25 Books Over 25 Years: Under the Lemon Moon

Lee_Low_25th_Anniversary_Poster_2_LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today as well, as hear from the authors and illustrators.

Featured title: Under the Lemon MoonUnder Lemon

Author: Edith Hope Fine

Illustrator: René King Moreno

Synopsis: One night, Rosalinda is awakened by a noise in the garden. When she and her pet hen, Blanca, investigate, they see a man leaving with a large sack-full of fruit from Rosalinda’s beloved lemon tree.

After consulting with family and neighbors about how to save her sick tree, Rosalinda sets out in search of La Anciana, the Old One, the only person who might have a solution to Rosalinda’s predicament. When she finally meets La Anciana, the old woman offers an inventive way for Rosalinda to help her tree–and the Night Man who was driven to steal her lemons.

Awards and Honors:

  • Honor Book Award, Society of School Librarians International
  • Notable Children’s Book, Smithsonian Magazine
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, National Council for the Social Studies/ Children’s Book Council
  • The 50 Best Children’s Books, Parents Magazine
  • Parent’s Choice Silver Award, Parent’s Choice Foundation
  • Children’s Books Mean Business, Children’s Book Council (CBP)

From the author:

“I can’t help grinning when I look back on my years of Under the Lemon Moon school visits. This book came about from a San Diego news story about a lemon grove that had been vandalized—lemons were taken, trees damaged—a little lemon seed of an idea.

Young readers gasp when I tell them I worked and reworked 42 versions before sending out the manuscript. They brawk like Blanca the chicken, make butterflies with their hands, and echo “Gracias” on cue. They hear, then say, the key opening line, “Deep in the night Rosalinda heard noises,” moving their hands to catch the rhythm of the words. They get their first taste of magical realism as La Anciana helps Rosalinda heal her damaged lemon tree and gain a sense of empathy when learning more about the Night Man.

I’ve now written eighteen books (including Armando and the Blue Tarp School and Snapshots! with Lee & Low) but Lemon Moon, with René King Moreno’s warm illustrations, was my first picture book and has garnered numerous awards. Thanks to my critique group’s patient support, plus Lee & Low’s Spanish translation and attention to back list, Lemon Moon still sells well today. With its subtle theme of sharing and forgiveness, this book still holds a special place in my heart.” –Edith Hope Fine

Resources for teaching with Under the Lemon Moon:

Book activities:

Olfactory FactoryUNDER_THE_LEMON_MOON_spread_3
Lemons have a special scent. Scents can trigger memories from long ago. Choose objects with distinct smells, such as a lemon drop, a flower, a crayon, a Band-aid, a piece of pine, cinnamon, peanut butter on a cracker, etc. Put each object into a separate plastic bag. Choose one bag, without peeking. Now open the bag and waft the scent toward your nose with your hand. (That’s the safe way to pick up scents in the air-you’ll do that in science in high school.) That scent may bring back a strong memory. Write about what you remember.

Bake Lemon Moon Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tablespoons shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons “zest” (grated lemon peel; add more if you love the lemony zing)
  • 1 capful lemon extract

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar.
Add milk, egg, baking powder, salt, and flour. Mix well.
Add lemon juice and zest. Mix well.
Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheet, two inches apart.
Bake 10-15 minutes until the cookies are just turning golden.

Under the Lemon Moon is also available in Spanish: Bajo la luna de limón

Have you used Under the Lemon Moon? Let us know!

Celebrate with us! Check out our 25 Years Anniversary Collection

veronicabioVeronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.

 

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9. Meet the Newest Cute Animal of 2016!

Red pandas? Done. Quokkas? Yawn. Pikas? Boooring. Here are six reasons why you need to know about the olinguito.

olinguito1
Smithsonian / Via insider.si.edu

1. The discovery of the olinguito was only just announced in 2013, meaning this cutie is ready to take over the internet!

olinguito2
Smithsonian / Via insider.si.edu

2. It looks like a cross between a cat and a teddy bear. ‘Nuff said.

olinguito3
CNN / Via cnn.com

3. It is an adept jumper that can leap from tree to tree in the forest canopy. Skillzzz!

olinguito4
Smithsonian Magazine / Via smithsonianmag.com

4. Scientists hope that the olinguito might serve as a charismatic ambassador for the conservation of dwindling Andean cloud forest habitats. How can anyone say no to that face?

olinguito5
Apex Expeditions / Via apex-expeditions.com

5. As Kristofer Helgen, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, says, “The discovery of the olinguito shows us that the world is not yet completely explored, its most basic secrets not yet revealed. If new carnivores can still be found, what other surprises await us? So many of the world’s species are not yet known to science. Documenting them is the first step toward understanding the full richness and diversity of life on Earth.”

olinguito cover image
LEE & LOW BOOKS, illus. by Lulu Delacre / Via leeandlow.com

6. Learn even more about the olinguito and its habitat in ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado /Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest, a new bilingual alphabet book from LEE & LOW BOOKS.

Award-winning author and illustrator Lulu Delacre uses lyrical text in both Spanish and English to take readers to the magical world of a cloud forest in the Andes of Ecuador. Discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there, and of course help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito!

Purchase a copy of the book here.

You can also see this post on Buzzfeed.

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10. 25 Books from 25 Years: Sam and the Lucky Money

Lee_Low_25th_Anniversary_Poster_2_LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year! To recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today and hear from the authors and illustrators.

Today, we’re celebrating one of our most popular and bestselling titles: Sam and the Lucky Money. We love this book because it accomplishes so many things at once: it teaches about kindness, generosity, and gratitude; it lets readers experience Chinese New Year in New York’s Chinatown; and it teaches readers about special Chinese New Year traditions.

Featured title: Sam and the Lucky Money

Author: Karen Chinn

Sam and the Lucky Money

Illustrators: Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu

Synopsis: Sam is excited to spend the Lucky Money his grandparents gave him for Chinese New Year during a trip to Chinatown, but learns that sometimes it is better to give than to receive.

Awards and honors:

  • Notable Books for a Global Society, International Literacy Association
  • Choices, Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)
  • Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award Honoree
  • Pick of the List, American Bookseller’s Association
  • Story Pick, Storytime PBS

Other Editions: Did you know that Sam and the Lucky Money also comes in a Spanish and a Chinese edition?

Sam y el dinero de la suerte

Sam y el dinero de la suerte

Sam and the Lucky Money Chinese edition

Sam and the Lucky Money Chinese Edition

Purchase a copy of Sam and the Lucky Money here.

Resources for teaching with Sam and the Lucky Money:

Other Recommended Picture Books for Teaching About Generosity and Giving:

The Can Man

The Can Man by Laura E. Williams, illus. by Craig Orback

Lend a Hand

Lend a Hand: Poems About Giving by John Frank, illus. by London Ladd

Have you used Sam and the Lucky Money? Let us know!

Celebrate with us! Check out our 25 Years Anniversary Collection.

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11. New May Releases from LEE & LOW and TU BOOKS

We can hardly believe how fast the year is flying by! Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, which means summer is officially here. We’re looking forward to nice weather, beaches, and of course, our new titles out this month!

We’re very excited to introduce our new May releases – there’s sure to be something for everyone!

A Morning with Grandpa

a morning with grandpa cover

By Sylvia Liu, illus. by Christina Forshay
$17.95, 978-1-62014-192-2
Hardcover, 32 pages
Ages 5 to 8

A curious and active Chinese American girl spends the day learning tai chi from her grandfather, and in turn tries to teach him how to do yoga. Winner of our New Voices Award.

“Debut author Liu scores with a sweet story about the joys of intergenerational relationships. The love between the two shines through in both text and illustrations. A fine example of contemporary multicultural literature.” —Kirkus Reviews

Buy the book here.


Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas

tiny stitches cover

By Gwendolyn Hooks, illus. by Colin Bootman
$17.95, 978-1-62014-156-4
Hardcover, 32 pages
Ages 7 to 12

The life story of Vivien Thomas, an African American surgical technician who developed the first procedure used to perform open-heart surgery on children.

“Beyond the crucial message of perseverance and spotlight on prejudiced attitudes that still resonate today, this middle-grade picture book illuminates the life of little-known man whose innovations continue to be essential to modern medicine.”                       —Booklist, starred review

Out next week! More information here.


Perfect Liars

perfect liars cover

By Kimberly Reid
$19.95, 978-1-62014-273-8
Hardcover, 384 pages
Ages 12 and up

Andrea Faraday, a society girl with a sketchy past, leads a crew of juvie kids in using their criminal skills for good.

“Crime, intrigue, and deceit abound in this novel about a biracial teen embracing her criminal instincts in order to thwart a treacherous plot. Gripping, suspenseful, and refreshingly diverse.”     —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Buy the book here.

What are you looking forward to reading in the coming month?

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12. How to Be an Explorer in Your Own Backyard: The Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s Guide

Have you ever wanted to take a trip to the cloud forest? Explore the Andes of Ecuador? Discover a new species? Well, you’re in luck.

With ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito from A to Z! travel to the unique world of the cloud forest and discover the bounty of plants, animals, and other organisms that live there as you help a zoologist look for the elusive olinguito, the first new mammal species identified in the Americas since 1978.olinguito spread 1

But the adventure doesn’t stop there. Anyone can learn to be an explorer in their own backyard with the FREE Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s GuideLearn more about the cloud forest and other ecosystems, including all of the important animals and the adaptations that help them survive in their environment with the many interdisciplinary ideas, projects, and engaging activities.

Content themes and subjects covered:

  • ecosystems and habitats
  • biodiversity
  • animal classification and adaptation
  • vertebrates and invertebrates
  • competition and predation
  • world geography

Here’s a preview of the types of engaging projects and activities youOlinguito Activity Sheet.indd can find in the Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s Guide:

Observe an Ecosystem!

You will need:

  • a notebook
  • a pen or pencil
  • a camera
  • a thick, old paperback book
  1. Make note of the time of day you are making your observations. Is it morning, afternoon, or night?
  2. Record all the plants and organisms you see, including trees, shrubs, bushes, grasses, ferns, mosses, and lichens.
  3. Record all the animals you see in the area, including insects, arachnids, mollusks, reptiles, birds and mammals.
  4. Gather fresh leaves of different shapes from trees and shrubs and put each separately between two pages of the paperback book. You may also gather small, colorful flowers or flower petals and put them between pages of the book.
  5. Take photos of any animals you see.
  6. Once you are back inside, place the paperback book under a pile of heavy books for a week or two to let you pressed leaves and flowers dry.

Design a Cloud Forest Travel Brochure!Olinguito Activity Sheet.indd

Have students research cloud forests in the Andes and create an informative and persuasive travel brochure. Include headings, subheadings, pictures, maps, and informative captions.

  • Where are the cloud forests located?
  • What plants and animals live there?
  • Why are cloud forests valued or important?
  • What is the climate like?
  • What will people see there?
  • What environmental and human threats do they face?
  • Why should someone make the cloud forest his or her next vacation destination?

Create a Cloud Forest Alphabet or Glossary Book:

  • card stock
  • hole puncher
  • string or twine
  • art decorating supplies (crayons, colored pencils, markers. etc.)

Alphabet Book: include the featured letter, a picture or drawing of the featured plant or animal, and the name of the plant or animal.

Plant/Animal Glossary Book: include the name of the plant or animal, a picture or drawing of the featured plant or animal, and an informative description of the plant or animal: where does it live? what does it eat? how is it classified (plant or animal, vertebrate or invertebrate, etc.)?

For more fun and exciting activity ideas, including I-Spy Fun and learning to create you own pressed leaf print, check out and download the FREE Olinguito Activity Kit and Teacher’s Guide.

You can purchase a copy of ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! / Olinguito, from A to Z! : Descubriendo el bosque nublado / Unveiling the Cloud Forest on our website here.

veronicabioVeronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking or hanging out with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.

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13. Cover Reveal: SHAME THE STARS

Shame the Stars by Pura Belpré Award-winning author Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Summer of the Mariposas, Under the Mesquite) is a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set against the Mexican Revolution in 1915 Texas.

Shame the Stars is set to be released Fall 2016! We’re excited to share a first look at the cover with you today.

Eighteen-year-old Joaquín del Toro’s future looks bright. With his older brother in the priesthood, he’s set to inherit his family’s Texas ranch. He’s in love with Dulceña—and she’s in love with him. But it’s 1915, and trouble has been brewing along the US-Mexico border. On one side, the Mexican Revolution is taking hold; on the other, Texas Rangers fight Tejano insurgents, and ordinary citizens are caught in the middle.

As tensions grow, Joaquín is torn away from Dulceña, whose father’s critical reporting on the Rangers in the local newspaper has driven a wedge between their families. Joaquín’s own father insists that the Rangers are their friends, and refuses to take sides in the conflict. But when their family ranch becomes a target, Joaquín must decide how he will stand up for what’s right.

Shame the Stars is a rich reimagining of Romeo and Juliet set in Texas during the explosive years of Mexico’s revolution. Filled with period detail, captivating romance, and political intrigue, it brings Shakespeare’s classic to life in an entirely new way.

shame the stars cover small

Thanks to YA Interrobang for hosting the cover reveal! We can’t wait to hear what you think of the cover.

 

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14. Beverly Cleary is Turning 100!

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Author Beverly Cleary will be turning 100 on April 12. Cleary is best known for her rambunctious and beloved character, Ramona Quimby. There isn’t a reader today who isn’t familiar with the sweet world Cleary created. Ramona Quimby, Age 8, holds a special place in my heart as it was the first book that I ever read “critically,” my first book report. I agonized over capturing the enjoyment I found in this delightful book. I remember being so worried that my teacher (Hello Mrs. Schwarz!) wouldn’t believe I read the whole thing so my report rambled on and on and on. I wanted to write about every detail because I loved so much of it. How could you not love a strong, precocious, daring, real girl like Ramona. What astounded me most about Ramona (besides the fact that we were the same age when I read the book), was that it was the first time I saw myself in a character. I was Ramona! Someone had written a book about a girl just like me! We both had older sisters, we were both trying so hard to earn everyone’s approval, we both wanted to be loved and also to be independent. Cleary had a knack for creating living, breathing characters that were innocent and honest and real and true. She is all of those things, as well, and that is why we all love Beverly Cleary so much.

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Here is the biography straight from Beverly’s website:

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and, until she was old enough to attend school, lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There young Beverly learned to love books. However, when the family moved to Portland, Beverly soon found herself in the grammar school’s low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers.

By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew. And so Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, and her other beloved characters were born.

When children ask Mrs. Cleary where she finds her ideas, she replies, “From my own experience and from the world around me.” She included a passage about the D.E.A.R. program in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (second chapter) because she was inspired by letters she received from children who participated in “Drop Everything and Read” activities. Their interest and enthusiasm encouraged her to provide the same experience to Ramona, who enjoys D.E.A.R. time with the rest of her class.

Mrs. Cleary’s books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the 2003 National Medal of Art from the National Endowment of the Arts and the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively.

Among Mrs. Cleary’s other awards are the American Library Association’s 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association’s 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi’s 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children’s literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a prestigious international award.

Equally important are the more than 35 statewide awards Mrs. Cleary’s books have received based on the direct votes of her young readers. In 2000, to honor her invaluable contributions to children’s literature, Beverly Cleary was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. This witty and warm author is truly an international favorite. Mrs. Cleary’s books appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages and her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. And her popularity has not diminished.

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15. LEE & LOW BOOKS Named 2016 Carle Honors Angel

We’re thrilled to announce that LEE & LOW BOOKS was named the 2016 Carle Honors Angel from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

Here is the list of fellow 2016 Carle Honorees:

Carle HonorArtist: Allen Say. Allen Say was born in Japan and moved to the United States as a teenager. Having trained in both Japanese and Western styles of art, after a successful career in commercial photography, he became a full-time writer and illustrator of picture books at 53. His exemplary and award-winning children’s books explore many aspects of his bicultural experience. 

Mentor: Regina Hayes. Regina Hayes served for 30 years as publisher and is now
editor-at large at Viking Children’s Books, long known for innovation and dedication to quality. A champion of picture books and picture book art throughout her distinguished career, she has worked with such well-known authors and artists as Barbara Cooney, James Marshall, Simms Taback, Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, John Bemelmans Marciano and Sophie Blackall, and Rosemary Wells.

Bridge: Steven Heller. A visionary in graphic design and illustration and the recipient of the 2011 Smithsonian National Design Award for “Design Mind,” Steven Heller is the co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design/Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program. The author or co-author of over 170 books on design, he writes for Wired, Atlantic, Print, Design Observer and The New York Time.

According to the Eric Carle Museum, “the Carle Honors Angel award recognizes those people and organizations whose resources are critical to making picture book art and education programs a reality. Lee and Low Books has inspired so many people with its dedication to multicultural books and to a new generation of artists and authors who offer children both mirrors and windows to the world.”

The Eleventh Annual Carle Honors will awarded in New York City at Guastavino’s on Wednesday, September 28, 2016!

Lee & Low Books truly appreciates this honor. Our warmest congratulations go out to the other honorees.

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16. Open eBooks Initiative Makes Thousands of Books Available to Low-Income Students

At Lee & Low Books, we’ve always known that making diverse books is only half the battle. The other half is getting those books into schools, libraries, bookstores, homes, and ultimately into kids’ hands. For low-income families, purchasing just one book can seem like a luxury, and giving kids access to a full library can seem like a distant dream. Yet we know that lack of access to books contributes significantly to lower reading levels and a widening achievement gap, leaving many kids in this country behind.

Our motto is “About everyone, for everyone,” and we take that motto seriously, not just in terms of the books we publish but also in terms of access to those books. That’s why we are proud to announce that our books will be part of Open eBooks, a new initiative and e-reader app that will make thousands of popular, top-selling eBooks available free to children in need. Launched this week, the Open eBooks initiative will make it easier than ever for low-income students to get access to great books that build literacy, nourish the soul, and ignite the imagination.

Here’s First Lady Michelle Obama with more information:

We are so excited to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative. Keep reading for the full press release, and please spread the word to anyone you know who may be able to benefit from this program. Registration is now open!


Open eBooks Open eBooks, a new initiative and e-reader app that will make thousands of popular, top-selling eBooks available to children in need for free, has just launched. First Lady Michelle Obama released a video raising awareness of the new opportunity for children and parents. The initiative is designed to address the challenge of providing digital reading materials to children living in low-income households, and offers unprecedented access to quality digital content, including a catalog of eBooks valued at more than $250 million.

President Obama announced a nongovernmental eBooks effort in support of the ConnectED Initiative at the April 30 Kids Town Hall held by the White House at the Anacostia Branch of the District of Columbia Public Library. ConnectED is multi-pronged effort designed to provide all youth with access to high-quality digital learning tools. Since it launched, over 20 million more students have been connected to high-speed broadband in their schools and libraries and millions more are taking advantage of its free private sector resources. Open eBooks complements the new digital infrastructure to provide an opportunity for kids in need to have a world-class eLibrary in their homes.

A coalition of literacy, library, publishing and technology partners joined together to make the Open eBooks program possible. The initiative’s partners — Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), First Book, and The New York Public Library (NYPL), with content support from digital books distributor Baker & Taylor — created the app, curated the eBook collection, and developed a system for distribution and use.

They received financial support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and content contributions from major publishers. National Geographic announced today that they will provide all of their age-appropriate content to the app, joining publishers Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Cricket Media, Hachette, HarperCollins, Lee & Low, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster, who made commitments providing thousands of popular and award-winning titles last year.

The books in the Open eBooks collection were selected by the DPLA Curation Corps, which was established to ensure a diverse, compelling, and appropriately targeted set of thousands of titles— something from which every child could read, enjoy, and learn. The Curation Corps was selected through a competitive process from a pool of more than 140 applicants from across the country, and they bring their extensive experience helping children select titles in school and public libraries.

Adults who work with children in need through libraries, schools, shelters and clinics, out-of-school programs, military family services, early childhood programs and other capacities can qualify for Open eBooks credentials by first signing up with First Book and then requesting Open eBooks access for the children they serve. Students can download the free Open eBooks app to their individual devices from the App Store or Google Play and enter their access code to start enjoying Open eBooks.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this fantastic initiative that will bridge a major gap in our society and help all children discover a love of reading,” said Dan Cohen, DPLA’s executive director. “Maximizing access to our culture has been the Digital Public Library of America’s goal from its inception, and we are so delighted to join together with such great partners to make eBooks much more widely available.”

“The Open eBooks initiative recognizes the critical need for books — in all forms — among children growing up in families in need,” said Kyle Zimmer, president and CEO of First Book. “We’re proud to support this ground-breaking effort to put high quality digital content into the hands of those who need it most, and to welcome the teachers and program leaders seeking access to these resources into the largest national network of educators serving kids in need.”

“The New York Public Library is proud to work with these partners on the Open eBooks initiative, in support of the White House’s ConnectED initiative that is perfectly aligned with NYPL’s mission to provide free and open access to information, education, and opportunity,” said Tony Marx, president and CEO of The New York Public Library.

“This program is the result of an extraordinary public-private partnership, which could not have been made possible without the support of many committed partners, particularly those in our libraries who really stepped forward to help move this vision into reality,” said IMLS Director Kathryn K. Matthew.

“Digital books open new doors to learning opportunities for students and can underpin brighter educational futures. IMLS is very proud to be a part of this unique initiative.”

“We hope that by donating our technology to this innovative program, we help expand access to information and create new reading opportunities for school-age children throughout America,” said George Coe, president and CEO of Baker & Taylor.

In the future, the partners will expand the initiative by adding to the collection with new and enhanced content from publishers and public domain titles; broadening the network of Title I schools, preschools, libraries, and other programs; incorporating new features into the app; and researching and sharing the effort’s impact and best practices.

Access and Equality

The Open eBooks initiative is a significant step toward more equitable digital access for all U.S. residents, addressing the need for free, quality digital content for children in pre-kindergarten through high school. Specifically targeting youth in need, Open eBooks aims to ensure that any device can be enjoyed as a tool to deepen a child’s love of reading.

While Internet access and device availability remain major hurdles in closing the digital divide, a recent study funded by the Gates Foundation and published by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center finds 85% of families below the poverty line have a mobile device (tablet or smartphone) in surveyed households with children aged 6 to 13. Additionally, a growing number of students can access and borrow electronic reading devices, and connect to the Internet at school and local public libraries. Open eBooks is designed to complement the Wi-Fi, computer, and physical book offerings of public libraries and school libraries, and serve as a gateway to more reading.

The Open eBooks Collection

The catalog of content in the Open eBooks initiative includes contributions of the most exciting, top-selling titles from publishers. Using Open eBooks, children will be able to build their own virtual collection of favorites and access single titles. The major publishers have committed to make thousands of popular and award-winning titles available to students over a three-year period include: Bloomsbury, Candlewick, Cricket Media, Hachette, HarperCollins, Lee & Low, Macmillan, National Geographic, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster.

Snapshot of the Open eBooks initiative

Each partner has made, and will continue to make, a unique contribution to the success of this initiative:

● The app: The New York Public Library developed the app that allows users to easily access the full text and illustrations of thousands of titles generously contributed by publishers.

● The distribution services: Baker & Taylor provided support with publisher relations, content management and the digital distribution technology.

● The eBook collection: The Digital Public Library of America recruited and enlisted a team of expert librarians to curate the collection to ensure a diverse, compelling, and appropriately targeted set of thousands of titles—something for every child at any age and reading level to read, learn from, and enjoy.

● Reaching the children: First Book, a non-profit social enterprise that provides books and educational resources to classrooms and programs serving kids in need, will tap into its network of more than 225,000 schools and programs to reach children in Title I schools, Head Start programs, military families, after school or community programs, and others serving low-income families.

Qualifications

The Open eBooks app is available through Title I and Title I-eligible schools as well as libraries, preschools, and community after school programs serving a minimum of 70 percent children in need. The program will also be available through schools and programs serving children whose families are enlisted in the armed forces, or serving special needs children.

How do programs and classrooms get started?

The Open eBooks initiative site, at www.openebooks.net, has full program instructions, including Frequently Asked Questions and links to program registration. From there, qualifying educators, librarians, community program directors, and others working with low-income children and youth must register their organization with First Book. Next, users will request a code and PIN combination for every student they serve or device available, and they should indicate the student’s grade level from one of three categories: elementary, middle or high school. Qualifying educators will be able to obtain enough codes to cover all of the students that they serve. Codes will correspond to Open eBooks Elementary Collection (for PreK – Grade 4), Open eBooks Middle School Collection (for Grades 5 – 8), Open eBooks High School Collection (for Grades 9 – 12). An All Ages code will also be available.

The registrant will receive a confirmation email with the codes and a letter for families and caregivers with instructions on how to download the Open eBooks app and input the code and PIN combination for their child. The app requires a device with an iOS 8.0 or later operating system or Android equivalent.

The Open eBooks app allows users to instantly borrow up to 10 eBooks at a time to their digital device. Each borrowed eBook will be available for 56 days before it must be renewed, or the eBook will be automatically returned. Because of this automatic return process, there are no late fees or penalties for Open eBooks users. Students and their families can choose eBooks based on the topics that get them excited about reading and learning, and sort by reading level, grade level, or title. The app can be used anywhere with an Internet connection.

The First Book Help Team can be reached at help@firstbook.org or by phone at (866) 732-3669 (8am -6pm EST).

Information and updates on the initiative will be shared on the Open eBooks website and on Facebook and Twitter.

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17. What I'm Doing Besides Reading for Cybils, Catching Up on Reviewing and Stuff...

I'm told the candy does NOT, in fact, taste like peas or carrots. Bummer. People expecting copies of PEAS AND CARROTS, those are going out this week. People who want a chance to win a copy, along with a lunch bag and a little magnet -- please stay... Read the rest of this post

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18. Books to Read in 2016

My-Name-Lucy-Barton-Elizabeth-Strout-Out-Jan-5

A new book by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is cause for celebration. Her bestselling novels, including Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, have illuminated our most tender relationships. Now, in My Name Is Lucy Barton, this extraordinary writer shows how a simple hospital visit becomes a portal to the most tender relationship of all—the one between mother and daughter. {Release Date: January 5, 2016}

 

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A “brilliantly done” (Sunday Times, London) comedy of manners that explores the unease behind the manicured lawns of suburban America from the Orange Prize–winning author of A Crime in the Neighborhood. Littlefield, Massachusetts, named one of the Ten Best Places to Live in America, full of psychologists and college professors, is proud of its fine schools, its girls’ soccer teams, its leafy streets, and charming village center. Yet no sooner has sociologist Dr. Clarice Watkins arrived to study the elements of “good quality of life” than someone begins poisoning the town’s dogs. Filled wtih suspense and social commentary, readers will love Suzanne Berne’s The Dogs of Littlefield. {Release Date: January 12, 2016}

 

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Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff–style Ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. Julia Claiborne Johnson. {Release Date: February 2, 2016}

 

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Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s second novel, The Ramblers, will take your breath away. It focuses on three very different people who are struggling to find themselves in New York City in the week leading up to Thanksgiving. They must face their pasts in order to understand where they are going. Fans of J. Courtney Sullivan, Meg Wolitzer, Claire Messud, and Emma Straub, will devour this gorgeous and absorbing novel. Rowley writes regularly on her blog, Ivy League Insecurities, and is the founder of the Happier Hours Literary Salon. {Release Date: February 9, 2016}

 

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A fiercely independent divorce lawyer learns the power of family and connection when she receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother in this bittersweet, witty novel from Joshilyn Jackson, the nationally bestselling author of Someone Else’s Love Story and gods in Alabama. The Opposite of Everyone is an emotionally resonant tale about the endurance of love and the power of stories to shape and transform our lives. {Release Date: February 16, 2016}

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19. 6 Young Adult Books That Use Illustrations

Is it possible to grow out of picture books? Because I HAVEN’T YET. The highlight of my week is taking my pre-schooling niece and nephew to the library and getting to reread all my favourite childhood picture books. Young Adult books are totally missing out. Seriously. But there are some YA books that make use of art and […]

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20. Who Is Ira Aldridge?

Our new children’s book, Ira’s Shakespeare Dream, tells the incredible story of Ira Aldridge. When we’ve shown this book to readers, we get one of two responses:
1) “I’ve never heard of Ira Aldridge.”
2) “You have a book about Ira Aldridge??! That’s so wonderful!”

The truth is, bringing Ira’s story to new readers is one of our great joys as a publisher. His is a story of phenomenal talent and determination, of someone who was truly born to do what he did. Too often, history has let the achievements of black people fall through the cracks–especially when they take place outside the narrative of slavery and civil rights. If you look at the African American biographies that appear most often, so many of them are focused on names we already know: Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass. While it is important to remember these people and their achievements, acknowledging the contributions of black people in other arenas–art, music, science, and in this case, Shakespearean acting–is equally important. 

So: who was Ira Aldridge?

Ira Aldridge was born July 27, 1807, in New York City. As a child, he attended the African Free School, a school established for the children of free African Americans and slaves. During that time, Aldrige would observe plays from high up in the balcony of the Park Theatre.

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Young Ira at the Park Theatre (image from Ira’s Shakespeare Dream)

Ira always loved Shakespeare. His acting career began in his teens, where he acted at the African Grove Theatre, the first resident African American theatre in the United States. Ira dreamed of performing Shakespeare one day on the stage of the Park Theatre. But black actors were not welcome there.

from Ira's Shakespeare Dream
from Ira’s Shakespeare Dream

Ira’s father, a church minister, tried to dissuade his son from pursuing acting. He encouraged him to become a minister or teacher, but Ira was determined to pursue his dream. At the age of 17, Ira headed to England as a valet for another actor to try his hand at acting. There, he found work running errands for small theaters and became an understudy for other actors.

When Ira finally got his chance to debut, his performance was met with mixed reviews. While some praised his acting, others did not like seeing a black actor onstage playing “white roles.” But Ira was not discouraged. He worked hard, studied acting, and gradually became known for his talented performances in a variety of roles. Later on, he toured United Kingdom, spending many years performing the lead roles in Othello, Macbeth and Richard III. Ira was most famous for his role as the titular Othello, which he first played at the age of 26. He was the first black actor to play Othello on the English stage.

Image of Ira Aldridge in a production of “Titus Andronicus”

Despite the fame he gained, Ira never forgot the plight of the enslaved African Americans in the United States. He would sometimes come out at the close of his performances to sit on the edge of the stage, preaching to the audience about the injustice of slavery. He used his performances to raise money to send to abolitionists fighting to end slavery in the United States.

Ira Aldridge toured around Europe and earned great acclaim for his performances. In 1858, the duke of Saxe-Meiningen granted him knighthood. He is the only African American actor listed among the 33 actors honored with plaques at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon. The theater at Howard University in Washington, DC is named after him.

Ira's Shakespeare Dream

Learn more about Ira Aldridge in Ira’s Shakespeare Dream, written by Glenda Armand and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Additional resources:

Read an interview with author Glenda Armand
View and download the free Teacher’s Guide

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21. Player Profile: Louisa Bennet, author of Monty and Me

  Louisa Bennet, author of Monty and Me Tell us about your latest creation: Quirky, charming and whimsical, a laugh-out-loud mystery with four legs and a tail, Monty & Me is a ‘must have’ for all animal and humorous fiction lovers. You might think that dogs can’t understand us… but you’d be wrong. Apart from an obsession with […]

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22. Freya Blackwood’s Books Make the Perfect Gift

It’s true. You can’t deny it. Freya Blackwood‘s art is so exquisite that whether it’s for a Christmas or birthday gift, or a ‘just because I want it’ gift, every household should own a piece of her talent. And of course, coupling with superb artists of writing makes purchasing decisions all that much easier. Two […]

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23. Christmas shopping list

  Queues, dodgy carols, aching legs, confusion over what size feet my nephew has. Not for me, this Christmas. This year I’m avoiding the festive-season shopping chaos and buying everyone a book and a pig (or maybe an orangutan). Here’s what my Christmas list looks like. For my Teen Son: Legacy by Tim Cahill Blurb: The […]

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24. Boomerang Book Bites: My Top 5 Reads of 2015

What another great year of reading! The great books didn’t seem to stop this year. My favourite read of the year was nearly tipped out by a trilogy and my big discovery of the year was Ben Aaronovitch and the Peter Grant series. So here it is my top 5 reads of 2015 (plus 5 […]

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25. Dive Into Reading!

We’re so excited to introduce readers to our new early chapter books! Two new chapter book series in our DIVE INTO READING line will help you find the perfect book to support children in each stage of their reading development. These books will be available February 2016.

Dive Into Reading!

Confetti Kids Series

Follow a diverse cast of characters living in a friendly city neighborhood! Approachable, realistic stories are at the right level for children to star reading independently.

Lily’s New Home

Lily moves from a quiet suburb to an apartment on a busy street in the city. Lily worries that she’ll never fit in. As she and her parents explore their new, multicultural neighborhood, Lily discovers that sometimes change can be a good thing!

Want to Play?

It’s a warm, sunny day, and the gang heads to the neighborhood playground to play. What should they play? Pablo comes up with a great idea: to play pretend. It’s a game that everyone can do easily. They can pretend to be archaeologists, astronauts, and explorers. There’s no limit to what they imagine they can be!

Rafi and Rosi Series

Now back in print, this beloved chapter book series follows two Puerto Rican tree frog siblings as they explore their surroundings and learn about the traditions, animals, and environment of Puerto Rico. The series is available in both English and Spanish.

Rafi and Rosi

Rafi amazes Rosi with the magic he finds everywhere. He can move sand with his magic fingers and shoot stars from the sky. After  Rafi’s pet hermit crab runs away, it’s now Rosi’s turn to show that she knows where to look for magic too. Can she find the crab in time for them to watch it shed its shell?

Rafi and Rosi, Carnival!

It’s time for Carnival! Puerto Rico’s joyous holiday is full of sights and sounds to explore. Rosi is determined to show Rafi the best way to enjoy the parade, while Rafi has a plan to make his sister queen for a day.But when Rafi scares Rosi with his terrible vejigante mask, Rosi decides it’s time to teach her brother a lesson. This little sister has a few tricks up her sleeve too!

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