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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Childrens Books, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 2,503
26. #527 – E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen by Judy Sierra & Matthew Myers


EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen

by Judy Sierra & Matthew Myers, illustrator

Candlewick Press      2/25/2014


Age 4 to 8     32 pages


“Once upon a time, Old MacDonald didn’t have a farm. He just had a yard—a yard he didn’t want to mow. But then, under the direction of the wise (and ecologically sensitive) Little Red Hen, Mac learns to look at the environment in a very different way, and whole new worlds start to bloom.”


“Old MacDonald had a house, E-I-E-I-O!”

The Story

Old MacDonald had a house with a big backyard he didn’t like to mow. In fact, he waited so long to mow it that Old MacDonald would sweat after just a short push of his power mower. There had to be a better way. So Old MacDonald got a goat. E-I-E-I-O! There were problems with the goat. MacDonald knew there had to be a better way, so he searched the Internet for help. He got that help from the Little Red Hen, the smartest hen in the world. But could she help Old MacDonald with his backyard lawn mowing aversion?


A fun story that will have kids and adults laughing from the beginning, E-I-E-I-O puts Old MacDonald in the middle of suburbia. He has a house with a large backyard and Old MacDonald doesn’t like to mow. He gets a goat but the goat eats the hedges, putting a window between MacDonald and his neighbor. But MacDonald’s real trouble—and fame—doesn’t begin until he hires the Little Red Hen. I love bringing in a character from another story. It adds more flavor to the story and most kids will instantly recognize the Little Red Hen. Plus, this wise hen has an agricultural diploma—perfect for Old MacDonald.

First, Little Red Hen gets rid of the grass. At first, I didn’t get what she was doing—nor will most kids—but soon it became clear. Until that could happen, the neighbors join and form a protest, insisting, as one sign put it, “A LAWN in every YARD.” I love the signs. One says the neighbors formed a mud watch group. But the sign stating, “Change is BAD” pretty much sums up the problem: no one like change. Though there is one little guy who may like change. His sign says, “No More Mud,” but he put a line through one of those words. Not until Old MacDonald has a workable farm, producing organic veggies, does the neighborhood change their feelings toward the smell of Old MacDonald’s backyard farm.

The illustrations are fantastic. They tell the story as well as the text tells it. The details are terrific and sometimes surprising, but you must look carefully to appreciate all the effort that went into these spreads. Colorful, informative, and humorous are but three words that immediately come to mind when looking at E-I-E-I-O. I love the part when Little Red Hen has Old MacDonald throw his trash onto his backyard, well, actually, his back-mud. Old MacDonald looks like he has given up when he tosses his corncob out the window onto his back-mud.

Kids inherently think the word “poop” is funny. Well, Little Red Hen cannot make her compost without it, or worms, so kids will love these spreads. Of course, Little Red Hen stays out of the muck, calling directions out from atop her hen house. Yes, she is one wise hen. Eventually, Old MacDonald gains the neighbors’ favor and a new career in one of the most entertaining, yet informative, picture books this year.

E-I-E-I-O: HOW OLD MACDONALD GOT HIS FARM. Text copyright © 2014 by Judy Sierra. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Matthew Myers. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.


Learn more about E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen HERE.

Get your copy of E-I-E-I-O at AmazonB&NCandlewick Pressyour local bookstore.

.Meet the author, Judy Sierra at her website:   http://www.judysierra.net/

Meet the illustrator, Matthew Myers at his website:  http://www.myerspaints.com/

Find other great books at Candlewick Press’ website:   http://www.candlewick.com/

Also by Judy Sierra

Wild About You!

Wild About You!



Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur

Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur





Also by Matthew Myers 

Battle Bunny

Battle Bunny

Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind  

Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind

The World According to Musk Ox  9/2014  

The World According to Musk Ox  9/2014






.New from Candlewick Press

Ocean Creatures: A 3D Pocket Guide

Ocean Creatures: A 3D Pocket Guide

FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Doggie Duties  

FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman: Doggie Duties

Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation

Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation


eieio how old macdonald got his farm

Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: Candlewick Press, children's book reviews, ecology, eieio, environmentlism, gardens, judy sierra, matthew Myers, old macdonald had a farm, organic frming, sustainability

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27. Writing Processes Blog Tour

A post to brighten this wet spring morning. The lovely Akiko White, recent winner of the SCBWI Tomie dePaola illustrator award, tagged me to join this fun Blog Tour on writing processes. Each week, authors post answers to four Writing … Continue reading

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28. A ‘Writing Process’ post

My friend, San Antonio SCBWI Illustrator Coordinator Akiko White recently tagged me to take part in a ‘Writing Process’ Blog Tour. It was fun because it got me thinking about how the kind of writing I’ve been doing is much like the writing I’ve always done, as the author-illustrator of three books for upper elementary […]

0 Comments on A ‘Writing Process’ post as of 3/31/2014 1:01:00 AM
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29. Resources For Teaching About Wangari Maathai and Seeds Of Change

Jill_EisenbergJill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

Seeds of Change cover

Seeds Of Change

In honor of Wangari Maathai’s birthday on Tuesday, April 1 and upcoming Earth Day later this month, we at Lee & Low Books want to share all the fantastic resources and ideas that are available to educators who are teaching about Wangari Maathai’s legacy and using Seeds Of Change: Planting a Path to Peace.

Wangari Maathai

Seeds Of Change

Elementary School:

Seeds of ChangeMiddle School and High School:

  • Seeds Of Change won the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustration in 2011. The Committee Chair and Book Jury have prepared activities and discussion questions for Seeds Of Change in the 2011 Discussion Guide for Coretta Scott King Book Awards, P. 20-21.
  • Have students read and discuss author Jen Cullerton Johnson and illustrator Sonia Lynn Sadler’s joint interview with Lee & Low, which covers the environment, their travels, and Wangari Maathai’s achievements.
  • After introducing Wangari Maathai with Seeds Of Change, delve deeper with the Speak Truth To Power human rights education curriculum, a project of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. They present an in-depth exploration on Wangari Maathai, the Green Belt Movement, and sustainability issues.
  • In teaching standard 7 of the ELA Common Core, have students evaluate how Wangari Maathai is presented in a documentary compared to the Seeds Of Change biography. PBS’s documentary on Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement, Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai, contains a classroom section full of video modules, handouts, and lesson plans.

What did we miss? Let us know how you are using Seeds Of Change in your classroom!



Filed under: Curriculum Corner Tagged: African/African American Interest, biographies, CCSS, children's books, common core standards, diversity, Educators, ELA common core standards, environmentalism, History, holidays, lesson plans, Reading Aloud, reading comprehension, ReadyGEN, Wangari Maathai

0 Comments on Resources For Teaching About Wangari Maathai and Seeds Of Change as of 3/29/2014 10:41:00 AM
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30. #524 – PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. by M. J. Bronstein

photoplayPhotoPlay!: Doodle. Design. Draw.

by M. J. Bronstein


Chronicle Books     3/04/2014

Age 5 and up     128 pages


“Wondrous and wacky photographs paired with quirky, clever prompts make PhotoPlay!a delightful invitation to imaginative exploration! Design an upside-down world, a passing parade, and an underwater garden. Draw a tasty birthday cake for Bob, a pet for Grace, and Ravi’s imaginary friend. This offbeat photo-based doodle book invites creative minds of all ages to draw outside the lens.”


“What might you do with this book? Draw right on top of the photographs? Yes! Design something that seems goofy or impossible? Yes! Color outside the lines? Yes! Laugh out loud at my photographs? Yes! Laugh out loud at your drawings? Why not? With your pencils, crayons, markers, and your wide-open imagination, it’s your turn to step, jump, run, or dive right in!”


PhotoPlay! is a coloring book for kids too old to color in a coloring book with fat ducks, round apples, and the number 4. If you think you’re too old, then PhotoPlay! is the doodle, design, and –YES—the coloring book for you.  (You are also wrong. You are never too old to color in any coloring book, even if it contains the number 8!)

Inside PhotoPlay! are interesting photographs for you to complete as you see fit. The back cover is a picture of a lake or maybe the ocean, with a few people standing in the water, a kid walking in the sand, followed by a dog, and one white empty sky. As an example, the author—who probably thought this scene was a bit dull—added a sailboat, giving those just standing in the water something to look at. She also added a big bright yellow sun with an equally big smile. And, my favorite, a dolphin jumping out of the water close to shore, with a great smile and raised dolphin eyebrow. This dolphin must be what caught the attention of the kid walking on shore. Easy, right?

back on ARC

Now it is your turn. What page do you go to next? How about somewhere you can draw yourself and all your friends or relatives looking out from fancy windows with old-fashioned shutters. Or, right next to that, two large Vintage Wedgewood-style frames. A family of four fits perfectly in the windows and two BFF’s in the two frames. You can always go a bit wild and make the windows a family of dinosaurs or aliens. These are yours to do with as you please. The entire book is yours to do with as you please.

You can write a story, illustrate a comic book, sketch a self-portrait, start a list, draw a song. The pictures range from ordinary cats and dogs, basketball hoops and gym equipment, to a lone seal in the middle of nowhere and a camera looking back at you. I think of these as unusual art or writing prompts. Every page is waiting for guidance, wanting to blossom and grow, needing to be completed—all by you and your imagination and willing hand. This is not your little sister’s coloring book. PhotoPlay! really cannot be adequately described. Everyone will start with the same photographs and then end with a book of unusual photographic art. There are no rules, no right or wrong, they just are. (This is when you say, “Oh, deep.”)



PhotoPlay! must be the unusual book of the year and will win awards. That stuff is all nice, but what do you care? As long as you have a copy of PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. your world is all set—or will be once you get out your art supplies and get to work building your own personal photographic art journal. Absolutely no one will have a PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. like your unique, one-of-a-kind photographic journal. Do I think this is a cool, original, stupendous, idea? You bet I do. Have I started my own personal one-of-a kind journal? You can make your PhotoPlay! journal a group effort, a school class contest, a personal journey, a family event. Make it whatever you want.

FREE! Pages from the book.   Check out the Gallery.  All this and More at THE PLAYGROUND.


Check out PhotoPlay! Doodle. Design. Draw. HERE.

Buy your copy at AmazonB&NChronicle Booksyour local bookstore.


Meet the photographer, M. J. Bronstein at her website:  http://www.marciejanbronstein.com/

Find more NEW Chronicle Books at the company website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/titles/kids-teens

.PHOTOPLAY! DOODLE. DESIGN. DRAW. Copyright © 2014 by M. J. Bronstein. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.



Cat Says Meow

Cat Says Meow

Daddy Wrong Legs

Daddy Wrong Legs

Peek-a Zoo!

Peek-a Zoo!






All to be reviewed at KLR soon.







Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, NonFiction Tagged: art, art for kids, children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, creativity prompts for kids, drawing, iimagination, M. J. Bronstein, photography

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31. #523 – Don’t Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager & Mike DeSantis

dont dangle participle.

Don’t Dangle Your Participle

by Vanita Oelschlager & Mike DeSantis, illustrator

Vanita Books       5/01/2014


Age 4 to 8         24 pages


“Words and pictures show children what a dangling participle is all about. Young readers are shown an incorrect sentence that has in it a dangling participle. They are then taught how to make the sentence read correctly. It is done in a cute and humorous way. The dangling participle loses its way and the children learn how to help it find its way back to the correct spot in the sentence. This is followed by some comical examples of sentences with dangling participles and their funny illustrations, followed by an illustration of the corrected sentence. Young readers will have fun recognizing this problem in sentence construction and learning how to fix it.”


“What on earth is a participle and how does it dangle? Okay. Okay. Let’s start from the beginning.”


In Don’t Dangle Your Participle Vanita explains what a dangling participle is and explains how to fix the sentence so that the participle no longer dangles and mangles the sentence’s meaning. The participle comes before the noun to clarify it, but Vanita shows how easy it is for the modifier to get lost, ending up in the wrong place in the sentence. If you still don’t get it from that explanation, well, this is because explanations are easier to understand when Vanita adds in pictures to make her point.

And it works!

I know this because dangling participles (and dangling modifiers, but that is another story) have always confused me, BUT honest, after reading Don’t Dangle Your Participle, I understand what a dangling participle is and how to correct the sentence and send the raskly participle on its way to bother someone else’s sentence. Don’t Dangle Your Participle belongs in every school library and language arts classrooms. Using humorous illustrations, Vanita shows how the participle, when left to dangle, changes the meaning of the sentences often with disastrous consequences. Try this one.

  1. While riding his skateboard in the park, a deer almost ran into Lester.


What this sentence is saying is this:  When the deer rode his skateboard in the park, it almost ran into Lester. This is not what the sentence was supposed to mean. The dangling Participle—riding—changed the meaning of the sentence to something unintended and, as shown by the illustration, often something unintentionally funny. Vanita clearly shows kids how to fix these sentences.

Did you get the correct sentence? Maybe another illustration will help.


Correct: While riding his skateboard in the park, Lester was almost hit by a deer.

Vanita has a canny way of helping kids understand English and its many rules. She effectively uses humor, which can help a child remember a concept. The more senses involved in learning, the better the material will be remembered. Vanita easily explains a subject, breaking it down so that kids can get the concept quickly. Don’t Dangle Your Participle may be her best language arts book yet.

Don’t Dangle Your Participle can help teachers explain sentence structure in general and the dangling participle. Many of Vanita’s books make great adjunct texts, especially in a homeschooling situation. For those kids that like to learn, Vanita Books make learning loads of fun. Don’t Dangle Your Participle helps the teacher and student, and charitable organizations—all net profits go to select charities. Try one more. Are you ready?

  1. Melting in the hot sun, Ida rushed to finish her ice cream.


This sentence says, As Ida was melting, she rushed to finish her ice cream. The dangling participle—melting—changed the meaning of this sentence. The writer is trying to say, the ice cream was melting, but darn it, he dangled the participle!

I bet you figured out the correct sentence.  Just in case, here it is with a visual aide.


Correct: Melting in the hot sun, the ice cream had to be finished quickly

English is a difficult language. The rules are numerous and onerous. Kids need all the help they can get in understanding how to write English. Don’t Dangle Your Participle can be that help and should be available to every school child by way of the classroom and the library. Vanita explains the participle—a verb that acts like an adjective—and what happens when the participle no longer comes before the proper noun—it dangles. Her use of fun and funny illustrations help drive home her explanations. If I can finally understand these dangerous dangling participles, kids will be able to and probably faster. Use Don’t Dangle Your Participle can be used at home and at school to increase your child’s ability to write English properly. A skill that will help children their entire life.


Learn more about Don’t Dangle Your Participle HERE.

Buy Don’t Dangle Your Participle at AmazonB&NVanita Booksyour local bookstore.


Meet the author, Vanita Oelschlager at her website:  http://vanitabooks.com/MeetVanita.html

Meet the illustrator, Mike DeSantis at his website:  http://www.mikedesantis.com/picblog/

Find more wonderful Vanita Books at the publisher’s website:  http://vanitabooks.com/index.html


DON’T DANGLE YOUR PARTICIPLE. Text copyright © 2014 by Vanita Oelschlager. Illustrations copyright © 014 by Mike DeSantis. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Vanita Books, Akron, OH.



The Pullman Porter

The Pullman Porter





Ariel Bradley

Ariel Bradley

Magic Words

Magic Words







Reviews: The Pullmn PorterKneesFarfallaAriel BradleyMagic Words

dangle participle

Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: children's book reviews, dangling participles, English language, language arts for kids, Mike DeSantis, sentence structure, vanita books, Vanita Oelschlager

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32. Rock Tumbling a Picture Book:The Art of Revision.

Today’s Post comes from my writing friend and soon to be published Picture Book Author Beth Ferry, who writes about the revision process she goes through for her picture books.

Here’s Beth:

I can clearly remember the summer I was given a rock tumbler. It was a gift of transformation. A gift of possibility. It was THE gift of the 70s. I can remember carefully placing those dusty rocks into the chamber, knowing that very soon I would be the proud owner of sparkling, gleaming gemstones. I remember how LOUD it was and how LONG it took. I also remember being amazed by what emerged.

Many, many years later, the idea of the rock tumbler came back to me. In so many ways, writing is a lot like tumbling rocks. In addition to rocks and water, rock tumbling requires sand-sized particles of silicon carbide, also known as GRIT. Grit is tough and hard and unrelenting. It wears down the rocks, smooths them and rounds them. GRIT is a crucial part of WRITING.           Beth_Ferry_photo

There are 4 steps to Rock polishing:

1.                  Shaping the rock

2.                  Removing the scratches

3.                  Smoothing and polishing the rock

4.                  Burnishing the rock

What do these steps have to do with writing? Well, think of them this way:

1.                  Writing and shaping the story

2.                  Big picture edit

3.                  Small picture edit

4.                  Polishing edit

My first step is to unearth the story, get it down, write it! Ideas truly come from everywhere, but I mostly get my inspiration from words that I like. Some words just speak to me louder than others and an idea will often spark from that one particular word. My FIRST DRAFT is very much like a lumpy brown rock. It usually isn’t pretty, but it has potential. With a little work, I know I can expose the beauty within.  During the FIRST DRAFT, I shape my story. I explore the plot, characters and conflict.  I don’t worry about each word, just the essence of the story. Am I telling the story I planned to tell? Does it have an arc? Is the ending satisfying? Just the first draft alone takes many, many rewrites.

Once I’m happy with the overall shape of my story, I drop it into the tumbler. Here’s where it gets LOUD. I read the story out loud. Again and again and again. I read it inside; I read it outside; I read it to my dog and to my family. Nothing is more useful that hearing my words out in the air. This is where I hear my mistakes, the slow parts, and the beautiful parts. What goes on inside my head is very different than what goes on outside of it so it is crucial to read your story out loud.

Once my story is tumbling around in my head and in decent shape, it’s time for the BIG PICTURE EDIT. This is truly the hardest part. This is where I ask myself who will be reading this story? Who will be buying it? Is it too much like another story?  It’s basically a question of worth. Will my story add to the greater good? Will it make the reader think, laugh, cry or clamor for more? Does my story belong out in the world and will it enhance not only the shelf, but the reader him/herself? Is it a gem? Hopefully I’ve answered yes to these questions and, if so, I move onto the SMALL PICTURE EDIT.

The SMALL PICTURE EDIT may be the longest process. I might rewrite a story 12 times or 83 times. When I think about how many times the rock revolves in the tumbler, I know that I might possibly make hundreds of tweaks to any one story. Tweaks that involve line editing, using my thesaurus, and more reading out loud. I check for clear, concise sentences, for matching tenses and consistent POV. I ask myself if the resolution is not only satisfying, but hopefully unexpected or fun as well. Does my story make me happy? Is my word count satisfactory? Rocks lose approximately 30% of their size during tumbling, so I am not afraid to cut, cut, cut.  I try to lose as many words as I can in this step of editing. This is also when I share with my critique group. A critique group is essential. There is no better support than other committed writers writing the same genre, and no better eyes to point out not only your mistakes, but your successes as well. Whether in-person or on-line, a critique group adds a valuable layer to your editing process. Finally, when I feel that my story has a nice shine, I put it away.

Yes, indeed! It’s like walking away from that rock tumbler and letting it churn for weeks.  As eager as I am to peer into that barrel and see my shining gems, I don’t. I need some distance so that I will have fresh eyes when I read it again. This is the part of the process where I work on another story. Remember, besides water and GRIT, a rock tumbler needs to be filled with other rocks or the process won’t work. I always have more that one story tumbling around. I work on those. Then after a week or two, I take the story back out and read it OUT LOUD with fresh eyes. This is the polishing step. I can usually identify the problem spots right away at this point. I work on those. Then if I love the story as much as I did before I walked away from it, I know I am done. Finished. My story is shaped, sanded and polished. It is ready to meet the world, a gleaming gem full of possibility.

Beth Ferry lives with her family by the beach in New Jersey. She is represented by Elena Giovinazzo of Pippin Properties and her first picture book, Stick and Stone, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld will be released on April 7, 2015.  In addition to this, she’s sold two other picture books:
Land Shark illustrated by Ben Mantle, Chronicle Books, TBD   and,

Pirate’s Perfect Pet, illustrated by Matthew Myers, Candlewick Press, Fall 2016


9 Comments on Rock Tumbling a Picture Book:The Art of Revision., last added: 3/30/2014
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33. Harriet the Spy Celebrates 50 Year Anniversary With Art Exhibition

coverLouise Fitzhugh’s classic children’s book Harriet the Spy turns 50 this year and to celebrate The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is hosting an exhibit.

The Amherst, Massachusetts-based museum will be showcasing original art from the book from May 20 through November 30, 2014. The exhibition, which is currently on display at The Forbes Galleries in New York through May 3rd, includes original illustrations from the books Harriet the Spy, as well as the sequel The Long Secret. The exhibit will also showcase a watercolor painting of Harriet’s favorite tomato sandwich, as well as letters between Fitzhugh and her publisher Ursula Nordstrom at Harper Collins.

Random House Children’s Books released a 50th anniversary edition of Harriet the Spy on February 25th to celebrate as well.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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34. Illustrator Interview – Christine Davenier

Christine Davenier is an illustrator whom I have admired from afar for a while and only recently plucked up the courage to invite to our Illustrator Wednesdays. I was first wowed by her illustrations in the book, SAMANTHA ON A … Continue reading

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35. Growing Bookworms Newsletter: March 25

JRBPlogo-smallToday I will be sending out a new issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on children's and young adult books and raising readers. I currently send out the newsletter once every two weeks.

Newsletter Update: In this relatively brief issue I have four book reviews (board book through young adult) and two posts with links that I shared on Twitter recently. I had a particularly hectic couple of weeks at work, and wasn't able to post as much as I might have liked. But I have some Baby Bookworm tidbits at the end of this post. 

Reading Update: In the last two weeks I read one early reader, one middle grade book, and two adult titles:

  • Noah Z. Jones: Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe #1: Moldylocks and the Three Beards. Scholastic. Early Reader. Completed March 17, 2014 (and read it many more times to my daughter, who adores this book). Review to come. 
  • Megan Frazer Blakemore: The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill. Bloomsbury. Middle Grade. Completed March 18, 2014 (ARC). Review to come. 
  • Maeve Binchy: A Week in Winter. Knopf. Adult Fiction. Completed March 19, 2014, on MP3. Simply delightful. 
  • Brigid Schulte: Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. Sarah Crichton Books. Adult Nonfiction. Completed March 23, 2014, on Kindle. I enjoyed parts of this book, and found a few useful take-aways. But I also found parts of it repetitive. There was a bit more about what the author thinks that the government and corporate America should be doing about the issue of overwhlemed parents than I was personally interested in. I was more looking for strategies for myself. But it was worth the time overall. 

I must admit that I stopped reading Insignia by S. J. Kincaid about halfway through. I had been enjoying it, but then I couldn't get on board with a major plot development, and found that I didn't want to finish. Fortunately it was a library book, rather than one that I had purchased. Right now I'm reading Dangerous by Shannon Hale on my Kindle and Eddie Red Undercover by Marcia Wells by in print. Not having quite gotten over my Maeve Binchy phase yet, I'm listening to her Whitethorn Woods

I've been reading on my Kindle while I ride my exercise boke, and listening to audiobooks while I go for walks, which means that most of the books I'm reading now are either digital or audiobooks. I'm so tired by the time I get to my bedtime reading that I haven't been making very good process with my print books, and they are stacking up a bit. I need a 48-hour book challenge, I guess. 

Baby Bookworm has started talking about how much she LOVES books, because we read her so many of them, and that's what she is used to. Not sure if she is trying to butter me up ahead of her upcoming fourth birthday, but it's nice to hear in any case. You can check out the complete list of books we've read to her this year. She is currently obsessed with the first book in a new series by Noah Z. Jones about Princess Pink and the Land of Fake-Believe: Moldylocks and the Three Beards. She also loves A Gift for Mama by Linda Ravin Lodding and Alison Jay, a much more traditional tale.

At the library, she's still picking out TV tie-in books like Olivia, Arthur, and Charlie and Lola, though she doesn't actually watch the associated television shows. She can spot a Max and Ruby book by Rosemary Wells from across the room, and always brings home at least one of those, too. Any Fancy Nancy book that she hasn't already read is a surefire pick, too. We sat for over an hour in the library on Saturday, just reading whatever she picked up off of the shelves. Then we brought those books all home (and more). 

What are you and your family reading these days? Thanks for reading the newsletter, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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36. #521 – The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story by Gerald Hausman & Ramon Shiloh


The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story

by Gerald Hausman &  Ramon Shiloh, illustrator

Wisdom Tales Press       10/01/2013


Age 4 to 8       36 pages

“Based on a traditional story from the Creek Indians of northern Florida and Georgia, ‘The Otter, the Spotted Frog, & the Great Flood’ tells the tale of Listener the Otter, the only animal that heeds the warnings of Spotted Frog. Ridiculed by the other animals, Listener begins to build a raft to try and survive the impending disaster. But will his effort be enough?”                                                                     


“There were two animal people who lived in the long ago. One was Listener, a river otter. The other was Honors Himself, a buffalo chief.”

The Story

In the span of four days, Listener and Honors Himself would take different actions upon hearing the prophecy of Spotted Frog. Listener was the only one who had the ability to understand the frogs’ singing. Spotted Frog sang,

“A Great Flood is coming.

Soon it will cover the land.

I sing so that you can save yourselves.”

Honors Himself, who claims to hate frogs, throws Spotted Frog into the fire, but no matter how many times he does this, Spotted Frog remains unharmed. Honors Himself refuses to believe the prophecy though Other Woman tries to understand but can see no sign of rain. Listener reacted differently. He ass Spotted Frog to repeat the prophecy and then does exactly what Spotted Frog tells him to do—build a raft.

Honors Himself calls Listener a fool and the other animals laugh at Listener. Through it all, Listener continues to build his raft and follows all of what Spotted Frog tells him. Soon it starts to rain, lightly at first and then heavier. The ground swells with water and the swamp becomes a great lake. Water covers the land and rises. What becomes of  the other animals, Listener, Honors Himself, and Other Woman?


Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Wisdom Tales Press, Bloomington, IN.


The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood:  A Creek Indian Story tells the story of the flood and Noah’s Ark. It is an original story from the Creek Indians. Other Native Indian tribes have similar stories. Listener follows the prophet Spotted Frog, just as Noah followed God’s orders to build an ark. Honors Himself is the perfect name for those that followed only what they could see or knew, rejecting everything else. Honors Himself becomes so upset he tries to kill the prophet Spotted Frog. That reminds me of a saying, from who I do not know, that says not to kill the messenger.


Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Wisdom Tales Press, Bloomington, IN.

The story also explains how man—the two-leggeds—came to exist. There is so much symbolism in The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood that this book is best for middle grades and above. I think younger children will understand the straightforward story of the Great Flood but not that of the birth of people—the two-leggeds. The transformation of Listener to a man might even test middle grade students. The Great Flood is the majority of the story and it is interesting. Listener ties his raft to a strong tree and rises up to the dome of the sky, safe from passing through it and never returning. With the rope, Listener connects to the tall, mighty oak—a  higher spirit, who in turn protects Listener

Teachers might find The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood a good book when teaching Native Indian traditions and teachings. This book also lends itself to the study of symbolism. The illustrations visually interpret the story giving the book an unmistakable folktale style. With the text, The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood will entertain the reader while instructing on the power of Mother Nature and of listening to her, to those more knowledgeable than oneself, and to a Higher Power. Animal stories have a way of capturing a child’s attention, so it is no surprise the Creek Indians used animals in this story.


Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Wisdom Tales Press, Bloomington, IN.

I found The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood to be an interesting story that required a slower, more thoughtful reading, and even a second reading to fully comprehend all of the symbolism used. This is a beautiful book. The bright illustrations that will catch a child’s eye, just as the use of animals will hold their attention. The heavier pages will withstand grabbing by little hands.


Learn more about The Otter, the Spotted Frog, & the Great Flood HERE.

Buy The Otter, the Spotted Frog, &the Great Flood at AmazonB&NWisdom TalesiTunesyour local bookstore.


Meet the author, Gerald Hausman at his website:  http://www.geraldhausman.com/

Meet the illustrator, Ramon Shiloh at his website:  http://www.ramonshiloh.com/

Find other great children’s books at the Wisdom Tales Press website:  http://wisdomtalespress.com/


THE OTTER, THE SPOTTED FROG & THE GREAT FLOOD: A CREEK INDIAN STORY. Text copyright © 2013 by Gerald Hausman. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Ramon Shiloh. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Wisdom Tales Press, Bloomington, IN.



otter spotted frog and great flood


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Middle Grade, Picture Book Tagged: children's book reviews, Creek Indians, folktales, Gerald Hausman, Great Flood, Native Indians, Ramon Shiloh, Wisdom Tales Press

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37. #520 – Elephants at the Airport: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe by Steve Wolfson & Heleen Brulot

EA Frnt Cover-1sm.

Elephants At The Airport: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe

by Steve Wolfson & Heleen Brulot

Argami Productions     11/25/2013


Age 4 to 8   32 pages


“Nicki is not so happy about having to move to Zimbabwe, Africa. She is not sure what to expect and is truly surprised when one of the first things she sees is an elephant at the airport.”


“Nikki thought she was waking up, but maybe it was a dream. Why else were her parents sleeping in her bedroom and why she was sleeping sitting up in a chair.”

The Story

Nikki’s mother gets a job that takes the family to Zimbabwe, Africa. Like most young kids, Nikki does not want to leave her home and her friends. She wonders how she will hang her posters on a mud wall. She is also fearful of all the wild animals that she believes will be everywhere. Nikki might be right. At the airport an elephant—a green elephant with red and yellow spots—takes her suitcase off the belt and walks away with it. Dad insists there are no elephants in the city.

In her new home, Nikki sees a menagerie of animals come through the bushes defining her backyard. Rhinos, lions, zebras, baboons, and an ostrich run and play in front of Nikki’s bedroom window. Dad sternly insists there are no wild animals in the city. Nikki spends all her time playing with the elephant from the airport, much to her parent’s dismay. They never see any of the animals that hide in the bushes until Nikki is alone.



The first reading of Elephants at the Airport was confusing. Why could only Nikki see the animals that were real enough to play with her? The title on the cover states, Elephants at the Airport and nothing more, not even the author and illustrator’s name (that is perfectly okay). A closer look at the credit and title pages shows a subtitle: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe. Now I get it. The story is a fable. Nikki has no desire to move to Africa and is terrified of the unknown. To make things worse, a green elephant—with red and yellow dots—grabs her suitcase. Dad refuses to believe his child.

Zimbabwe is not a place to fear, but a magical place for kids where the animals entertain Nikki in front of her bedroom window. The story lacks development. Mainly Nikki and her father are in a stalemate over wild animals in the city in which they live. Dad even takes Nikki to a game park—actually a mechanism to end the story. Nikki declares the elephants were great, but her favorite is still the airport elephant, which causes her dad to yell,

“There are NO elephants at the airport!”

Nikki replies that he is right; the elephant is now at their home. She then runs out to play with Airport. Nikki happily skips out of the house and her parents look out to see their daughter with something green and wonder . . . could it be? An acceptable ending I suppose. Kids will laugh and so might their parents.


To me, the ending just tells me the inevitable. An easy ending that does not develop the protagonist. Nikki should change by story’s end, but she changes on the first morning. It seems the character that might change is dad, a secondary character. Does he now believe wild animals are in the city? Does he now believe a green elephant with red and yellow spots plays with his daughter? Nikki folded her fears and her lack of enthusiasm for living in a new country too soon in the story.

Young children will like the imaginary playmate aspect of the story. They will like Airport, maybe even more so because of his coloring. They will most likely not care that the story is poorly constructed and in need of a good edit. Though they might want to know where the other elephants are at the airport.

I love the cover and really like the elephant. The artist draws a nice, realistic elephant. The illustrations are good. A few have what looks like paint smeared across the paper, making the image difficult to see. I think this is supposed to indicate speed—of the animals as they play. A few other images are mostly shades of brown with a bit of color, making it difficult to see what the image represents. That very well could be a printing problem, but in the end, whatever the problem, these spreads are not good. It really is a shame because the illustrations are extremely good.

[After watching the trailer, it is clear that the problem is with printing. The illustrations, every one of them, are gorgeous and detailed clearly in the trailer, but muddled on the page.]

Elephants at the Airport: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe takes a young girl out of her familiar surroundings and places her into a strange land of wild animals. Nikki quickly recovers from her fears and plays with the elephant from the airport. Dad is not happy, thinking his girl is isolating herself. She has a great time playing with what might or might not be an imaginary friendly elephant. I like the premise of the story. Elephants at the Airport has wonderful story potential but it needs work before I would purchase this adorable green elephant.



Learn more about Elephants at the Airport: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe HERE.

Get a copy of Elephants at the Airport at AmazonB&Nbook’s websiteask for it at your neighborhood bookstore.


Meet the author, Steve Wolfson at his website: http://www.wolfsonsworld.com/ 

Meet the illustrator, Heleen Brulot at her website:  http://www.brulot.net/

Check out other books by Argami Productions at its website:  http://www.argamiproductions.com/


ELEPHANTS AT THE AIRPORT: ONCE UPON A TIME IN ZIMBABWE, Text copyright © 2013 by Steve Wolfson. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Heleen Brulot. Reproduced by permission of Argami Productions, Weston, FL.



elephant at airport

Filed under: Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Africa, Argami Productions, children's book reviews, creativity, elephants, family, Heleen Brulot, imagination, relationships, Steve Wolfson, wild animals, Zimbabwe

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38. #519 – At the Same Time Around the World by Clotilde Perrin

same time aaround world.

At the Same Moment, Around the World

by Clotilde Perrin

Chronicle Books    3/11/2014


Age 4 to 8      36 pages


“Discover Benedict drinking hot chocolate in Paris, France, Mitko chasing the school bus in Sofia, Bulgaria, and Khanh having a little nap in Hanoi, Vietnam. With each turn of the page, learn what people around the world are doing at the same exact moment.”



“It is six o’clock in the morning in Dakar, Senegal. Keita wakes up early to help his father count the fish count during the night.”

The Story

At the Same Moment, Around the World takes the reader around the world—time zone by time zone—to see what people around the world are doing at the same time. What the world is doing at 6 o’clock in the morning, Greenwich Time, connects us in a way many never consider. Each turn of the page takes the reader into a new time zone—one hour later, yet the same time as when the story began—traveling eastward from Dakar, Senegal.

As Keita counts fish in Dakar, Senegal, Nadia watches the construction of a new building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Allen and Kiana watch the sun set in Hawaii, and a baby is born at 1 o’clock in the morning in Lima, Peru. Finally, bringing the reader full circle, a cruise ship sails mid-Atlantic Ocean at 5 o’clock in the morning. In Dakar, Senegal, Keita is counting fish with his father.


Originally published in France (2011), At the Same Moment, Around the World is a gorgeous book with the illustrations picturing early morning to early morning. The left side of each spread flows into the right side. Time gradually moves on, or does it? Time is abstract. What is moving is the Earth and though 6 o’clock in one country is 7 o’clock in another, they are really the same moment in time. This is an abstract concept that may be difficult for kids to grasp right away. Some will ask, “Why isn’t it just the same time?” That is a good question. Teachers in science classes, what is the answer? I think At the Same Moment, Around the World could help explain this phenomenon.


Kids will marvel at this book. The illustrations flow from morning to night with ease. The details in each time zone are fascinating. They give a clue to the country. In Dubai, where construction has never really stopped, the image is of a construction site. In Hawaii, where the sunsets are amazing, that is what we see there. The author also includes a world map that marks each child’s location. What are missing are the time zones on this beautiful pastel map.

The illustrations have enough detail that without the text it would be easy to understand the time of day. The book’s large rectangular shape, allowing for the sky’s inclusion, also helps. At the Same Moment, Around the World shows kids—and adults—that the world has solidarity. One thing to note:  there is a white bird with an orange beak in nearly every illustration, as if following the author as artist from place to place


I love the illustrations showing what people are doing at the same moment in time, depending on where they are living. While I write this review at 9 o’clock in the evening, someone in Paris, France is tossing and turning in bed (2 o’clock), and in Hawaii, the early dinner crowd is sitting down to eat (4 o’clock). All these things are happening At the Same Moment, Around the World.  There is one last note: in looking at the author’s website, she has the book, folded by page but not torn apart. Placed end-to-end, Ms. Perrin makes a circle.  I think this is terrific and couldn’t let the review pass without mentioning it–or showing you.

© Clotilde Perrin  http://www.clotildeperrin.net/livres/livre1.html

© Clotilde Perrin
http://www.clotildeperrin.net/For a young view, read Erik’s review HERE!

Read a younger review by Erik, age 11.

Learn more about At the Same Moment, Around the World HERE.

Buy the book at AmazonB&NChronicle Booksyour neighborhood bookstore.


Meet Clotilde Perrin at her website: http://www.clotildeperrin.net/ 

Find more great books at Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/



AT THE SAME MOMENT, AROUND THE WORLD. Text and illustrations copyright (2011) by Clotilde Perrin. Translation copyright © 2014 by Chronicle Books. Reproduced by permission of the publisher Chronicle Books, San Francisco CA.



Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book Tagged: children's book reviews, Chronicle Books, Clotilde Perrin, Greenwich Mean Time, picture book, time zones

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39. Eight Ways to Help Students Remember that Books are Fabulous

Jill_EisenbergJill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

Dissecting excerpts, highlighting evidence, defending one’s answer choice, bubbling in exit slips. As necessary as all that preparation for upcoming state assessments may be, March and April for teachers and students can be arduous. In some cases, students are learning how to take a test for the first time. For many, the third quarter risks turning enthusiastic momentum for reading, developing interests, and taking academic risks into a trudge of review and re-teaching.

Now more than ever, students need the bigger picture of how literacy helps us as citizens, the experiences of deriving joy from print, and practice using books for stress management.With all this reading in overdrive, it is understandable that few students (and teachers) want to keep reading at home for pleasure. Yet we need to sustain student excitement for reading and prevent testing anxiety. Now more than ever, students need the bigger picture of how literacy helps us as citizens, the experiences of deriving joy from print, and practice using books for stress management.

Where On Earth Is My Bagel?

Where On Earth Is My Bagel?

If you have observed your students retreating from the idea that books are an escape and hobby to an unpleasant, stressful task, here are some techniques to increase the joy factor in reading and keep kids hooked:

  1. After lunch, recess, or the morning message, bring the class together to listen to you read a poem or a chapter from a longer book that is not connected to a skills or strategies lesson. This daily activity exposes students to books beyond their reading levels, bolsters classroom community in an otherwise competitive time, and communicates that books have calming, revitalizing effects.
  2. Continue to highlight books with relevant holidays, core value themes, or S.T.E.M. content using designated bins or book cover displays at child height. Even during crunch time when it is hard to infuse lessons with interdisciplinary connections and core value applications, these exhibitions or quick booktalks allow students to explore and develop their interests. Consider creating collections for Women’s History Month, Cesar Chavez Day, baseball season, National Poetry Month in April, and Earth Day.
  3. Lead students with books in arms to another classroom or outside for a “field trip.” This physical change of scenery reinforces that books are a mental change of scenery and a respite.
  4. Set aside 20 minutes every day just for independent reading instead of squeezing in one more skills mini-lesson. Preserving time for students to interact with books of their choice in independent reading allows students to take a break, manage tension, and re-focus their energy. During this time, students self-select books they enjoy, exercise literacy strategies, and feel in control of their learning. This commitment and preservation of independent reading time conveys to students how seriously you value and respect this sacred time to enjoy a book.

    Ten Oni Drummers

    Ten Oni Drummers

  5. A lot of test preparation and review involves independent work and sitting quietly. For an end of the week reward, let students choose a classroom peer to read to instead of independent reading that day, invite a younger grade to your classroom for your students to read to, utilize siblings and family relationships at the school, or invite other stakeholders in your students’ educations (like the cafeteria or main office staff) to enjoy a book with students. Reading to someone (buddy reading) allows scholars a chance to talk, enjoy a book in a low-stakes environment, and escape to a new world in a wonderful story.
  6. Encourage parents to lead a whole-class read aloud in the classroom. This time gives you a chance to conference with struggling readers, celebrate parents as teachers, and encourage the intergenerational fellowship of books.
  7. Invite an author to school or hold an online interview . There is nothing quite like reinvigorating young readers and writers than with a real author. This bright treat gives students a badly needed broader perspective of books beyond assessments. For more information on how to bring authors into your unit of study no matter what your budget is, check out this post.
  8. Change up the routine! Have an “opposites day” in which two teachers switch for a read aloud/poem one day. Or engage other school community members (like the principal, school nurse, and other non-teaching staff) to read to the whole class so that your students can see that they have a whole team cheering for them and invested in their growth, health, and success.

Do your students need a distraction? These joyful books offer just enough silliness, escape, or suspense to remind students that books are also for entertainment!

Filed under: Curriculum Corner Tagged: CCSS, children's books, Reading Aloud, reading comprehension

0 Comments on Eight Ways to Help Students Remember that Books are Fabulous as of 3/22/2014 1:19:00 PM
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40. #517 & 518 – The Sugary Sherburts by Heather Ellis, age 10 AND The Thing about Things by Cheryl Chen, age 17

CaptureThe Sugary Sherburts

by Heather Ellis, age 10

illustrated by James Ellis


Age 5 to 8   28 pages


“Herbert Sugary-Sherburt has just finished his magnificent chocolate rock masterpiece. When he gets home from work, there is a big disaster at the chocolate factory. How did it start raining hundreds and thousands in Thornton? And how on earth did the Sugary-Sherburts get involved? Kit and Kat are on the case. Will they be able to save the families and their homes in time?”


“A long time ago in a very frosty village called Thornton, there lived a family called the Sugary-Sherburts.”

The Story

The Sherburt family lived in a small village supported by one industry, chocolate. Herbert Sherburt worked at the chocolate factory in the village. One day, after constructing a gigantic ball of chocolate, Hebert strolled home. Later that evening, a commotion started outdoors and ended with the huge chocolate ball Herbert had made at work ramming through the front of his house. With half of the house was gone, Mom Charlotte needed to think of a solution because the kids (Kit, 6 and Kat, 7), could not get to sleep until the house was fixed. She sent her children out to collect as much candy as they could carry, which Charlotte used the candy to rebuild their home. Everything was fantastic . . . until cold Thornton became unexpectedly warm.

Review  [continue reading]


thing about things coverThe Thing About Things

by Cheryl Chen, age 17


Age 7 to 9   30 pages


“There is nothing worse than being ordinary. At least, according to seven-year-old Joey Jones. When Joey gets picked not first, not last, but right in the middle for playing dodgeball at school, he feels unspecial and unwanted. But through an encounter with a certain monster who has been hiding in his bedroom all along, Joey learns that everyone, including Thing, is special in their own way.”


“The kids of Mrs. Larson’s second grade class were splitting up into dodgeball teams that day on the playground.”

The Story

Seven-year-old Joey finds himself picked just before Sheldon—“Smell-don” chosen last—for a game of dodgeball at school. Joey wanted to be first choice and that thought had him tossing and turning in his hammock that night. Joey loved his new hammock. He could see everywhere, even under. Then came the noises.

“Thump. Thump. Thump.”

As Joey watches, the moonlight turned into The Thing. Thing is not a scary monster despite his seven eyes and extra-large fangs, but Joey doesn’t yet know this. He runs for the door tripping on a toy instead. Thing tells Joey he had a bloody knee and then scoops him up. Joey bites down hard on Thing’s arm upsetting the monster, who was afraid Joey wanted to eat him. Joey tells Thing to go home tp his family. Thing tells Joey Things do not have families.

“As a Thing, you are just like every other Thing.”

Thing sadly says he is nothing special but Joey protests saying Thing was the only Thing living in his bedroom.

Review [continue reading]

Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Picture Book Tagged: Cheryl Chen, chocolate factories, Heather Ellis, James Ellis, monsters

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41. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: March 21

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage.

Book Lists and Awards

2014 Indies Choice, E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards Finalists Announced | via @PWKidsBookshelf http://ow.ly/uNU2V #kidlit

10 New Picture Books that Will Challenge, Amuse and Teach, recommended by @TrevorHCairney http://ow.ly/uNT9e #kidlit

The 2014 Carnegie Medal shortlist has been released http://ow.ly/uLPFn #kidlit @bkshelvesofdoom

2014 Shortlist for The Hans Christian Andersen Award | @tashrow http://ow.ly/uLPhn #kidlit

Guest Post @abbylibrarian | Kelly Jensen @catagator for 2016 Printz http://ow.ly/uJc9B #yalit

Common Core

A Crash Course On #CommonCore @NPR http://ow.ly/uNUAy via @PWKidsBookshelf #literacy


A Response to “Where Are The People of Color in Children’s Books” from @StaceyLoscalzo http://ow.ly/uGtNm #kidlit

“The Boundaries of Imagination”; or, the All-White World of Children’s Books, 2014 @PhilNel http://ow.ly/uGscv #kidlit

Gender (including Women's History Month)

The Independent on Sunday will no longer be reviewing books that are "marketed to exclude either sex http://ow.ly/uGsYh @bkshelvesofdoom

Campaign to end gender-specific children's books gathers high-profile support | @GuardianBooks http://ow.ly/uJaUj @PWKidsBookshelf

Is it really true that "Gender specific books demean all children" asks @chasingray | Some counterexamples http://ow.ly/uNTq7 #kidlit

Responses to reactions to Independent on Sunday decision not to feature books aimed at boys OR girls http://ow.ly/uQ4Et @playbythebook

Stacked: Challenging the Expectation of #YAlit Characters as "Role Models" for Girls: Guest Post by @SarahOckler http://ow.ly/uQ3dS

Girls in #yalit have a right to be angry sometimes | Guest Post at Stacked by @EScottWrites http://ow.ly/uNTFL

Hey, Girlfriend — @lizb shares her picks for #yalit where positive girl friendships are front and center http://ow.ly/uJclU

Girls (in #kidlit + #yalit ) Kicking A** With Their Brains: Guest Post by @aquafortis at Stacked http://ow.ly/uJcxK

Women's History: Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell, by @TanyaLeeStone @MaryAnnScheuer http://ow.ly/uNSXy

Growing Bookworms

Michaels Read | A dad is happy to have his son "not follow directions" as long as reading in bed is the result http://ow.ly/uGsud

Lovely! To My Dear Little Duckie Quotes From Children's Books for When Things Are Not Going Your Way @BooksBabiesBows http://ow.ly/uJcNG

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

Maine publisher makes way for Robert McCloskey artwork in posters / note cards . Article mentions @FuseEight http://ow.ly/uNUY7

Young people aren’t buying e-readers. Only 5% expect to by one next year | @NYDailyNews via @PWKidsBookshelf http://ow.ly/uJb4f

Promo Friday @gail_gauthier asks: Would You Buy A Book A Blogger Recommended? http://ow.ly/uGvE1 Well, yes, all the time for me

Programs, Events and Research

Celebrating the 3rd year of the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program @lochwouters library. So great! http://ow.ly/uNSaK

An Estimated Million—from Italy to North Carolina—Participated in World Read Aloud Day | @sljournal http://ow.ly/uJa7t @roccoa

I can see this | @PBSKIDS Survey Says School Readiness More Important to Parents than Letters + Numbers @sljournal http://ow.ly/uNWfP

Levels of key brain chemicals predict children's reading ability, @medical_xpress via @tashrow http://ow.ly/uGwqx

Schools and Libraries

Malorie Blackman: asks: Why are libraries mandatory in prisons but not schools? The Telegraph http://ow.ly/uGwdw via @tashrow

Miami library cuts are forcing tough decisions + huge cuts in purchases of children’s books i http://ow.ly/uNUo0 via @PWKidsBookshelf

This is nice to see | St. Paul to Create 15 New School Library Positions (more than double current amt) http://ow.ly/uJada @sljournal

Five Compliments for Reading Teachers by @JustinStygles @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/uLQ12 #literacy

"Our aim should be to foster a love of reading" vs. focusing on tests, says @amyrass @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/uGwT6

New Report: Pew Internet Releases a Typology of U.S. Public Library Engagement | LJ @INFOdocket http://ow.ly/uJan2

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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42. Humans of New York Blogger Brandon Stanton to Publish New Book On Kids

honyBrandon Stanton, the creator of the “Humans of New York” (HONY) blog, has been working on a new book called Little Humans.

Little Humans exclusively focuses on children that Stanton has photographed and interviewed while wandering around New York City. Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers will release the book on October 07, 2014.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Stanton (pictured, via) talks about his process for photographing kids: “I never even make eye contact with the child until I’ve asked the parent’s permission. But once I’ve gotten the go ahead, I sit on the ground and try to be as playful as possible. I think it’s important to try to get on a kid’s level when taking their photo.”


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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43. March Madness Fractured Fairy Tale Competition-Once Upon a Table

Here is my entry to Susanna Leonard Hill’s marvelous March Madness story contest. My story comes in at 398 and is a mashup fractured fairy tale. The rules are, “Write a children’s story, in poetry or prose, maximum 400 words, … Continue reading

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44. #514 – Cock-a-Doodle Oops! by Lori Degman & Deborah Zemke

cock a doodle oops from jack.


by Lori Degman & Deborah Zemke

Creston Books   5/13//2014


Age 3 to 9   36 pages


“When the rooster is away, who is there to ring in the day? Cock-a-Doodle Oops! is the humorous tale of a community of farm animals who band together to help out a rooster who is badly in need of a vacation. How hard can it be to wake up a sleeping farmer? While the rooster is gone, the pig, cow, sheep, and other farm animals attempt to rouse Farmer McPeeper with “cock-a-doodle SQUEAL,” “cock-a-doodle MOO,” and “cock-a-doodle BAAAA,” with hilarious results.”


“Farmer McPeeper was such a deep sleeper, not even an earthquake could shake him.

A poke or a pinch wouldn’t budge him an inch, ‘cause only his rooster could wake him.”

framed 3

The Story

Rooster had planned a beach vacation and the time had come to leave. He was excited to be able to sleep as late as he pleased. All the animals were worried.

“If you go, who will crow?”

Rooster had a plan. Each animal would take over one morning and waking up Farmer McPeeper. On Monday, Pig knew he could do it and with the others looking on Pig gave his best.


On Tuesday, Sheep took her turn. Wednesday Cow, with much ego, told the others to step aside as he gave a morning wake-up for Farmer McPeeper. Chicken, also sure of himself—he and Rooster were birds of a feather. She stood atop the fence and gave her very best, which wasn’t very good. Chicken blamed it on the weather. Mule filled in on Friday and Goat did his best on Saturday. Finally, Owl, with much confidence, tried to wake up Farmer McPeeper. When Rooster arrived home, all the animals gathered around urging him to wake the farmer. But something was wrong .

framed 1


Cock-a-Doodle Oops! had me laughing starting with page one. Poor Rooster, worn out from his morning job, he needs a vacation. For one week, Rooster is going to the beach and someone else will have to wake up Farmer McPeeper. Every page will delight kids. Those reading will enjoy all the opportunities to sound like a cow, or a mule, or a sheep. Storybook hour will explode with laughter.

The illustrations deftly show the animals cock-a-doodle-doing their hearts out for Rooster and Farmer McPeeper as the other wide-eyed animals look on. The animals take on a life of their own as they spew out their wakeup calls. From the farmhouse a short ways away, all that one can “hear” are the z’s of McPeeper’s sleep. Even his dog stays by his side, asleep, waiting for the Rooster to arouse him and his master. Just getting through the week of substitute morning calls will delight the children. But there is more. There is an unexpected twist, or rather, a double-twist!

framed 2

I know young children will love Cock-a-Doodle Oops! The fresh story has a cartoon flare and the illustrator makes sure the delightful story stands out from the crowd. The ending is cartoon-comical. I want so badly to tell you the crazy twists, but no endings here.* The rhyming story is easy to read, which is good since kids are going to want Cock-a-Doodle Oops! read to them nightly. And don’t forget those voices. Your kids definitely will not. Find a home on a shelf for Cock-a-Doodle Oops! It’s a keeper.


Find out more about Cock-a-Doodle Oops! HERE!

Laugh at the wild ending after you get a copy at AmazonB&NCreston Booksyour neighborhood bookstore.


Meet the author, Lori Degman at her website: http://www.loridegman.com/loridegman.com/Home.html 

Meet the illustrator, Deborah Zemke at her website:  http://www.deborahzemke.com/

Find more great books at Creston Books’ website: http://www.crestonbooks.co/ 


COCK-A-DOODLE OOPS! Text copyright © 2014 by Lori Degman. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Deborah Zemke. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Creston Books, Berkeley, CA.


1 Zany Zoo

. 1 Zany Zoo



– Won 2010 Cheerios New Author Contest




The Deep, Deep Puddle

The Deep, Deep Puddle

Sports Doodles Placemats

Sports Doodles Placemats







cock a doodle oops

Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: children's book reviews, Creston Books, Deborah Zemke, farm animals, Lori Degman, rhyming text, Rooster, waking up

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45. Michelle Obama & Su Dongpo: A Character Analysis with Bloom’s Taxonomy

Jill_EisenbergJill Eisenberg, our Resident Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

First Lady Michelle Obama travels to China this week from March 19-26 and will be focusing on the power and importance of education. In an open letter to American students, the First Lady writes, “During my trip, I’ll be visiting a university and two high schools in Beijing and Chengdu (which are two of China’s largest cities). I’ll be talking with students about their lives in China and telling them about America and the values and traditions we hold dear. I’ll be focusing in particular on the power and importance of education, both in my own life and in the lives of young people in both of our countries.”

We at Lee & Low Books wish we could join the First Lady, but since we can’t this time around, we will be reading the biography of one of China’s greatest statesmen, poets, and humanitarians, Su Dongpo. This scholar is a shining example of how persistence and dedication to one’s studies lead to achievement beyond the classroom and enable one to affect meaningful change.

Su Dongpo, Chinese Genius

Su Dongpo, Chinese Genius

This biography presents a rich setting for Standard 3 of the Common Core State Standards: character analysis. We follow Bloom’s Taxonomy to illustrate the range of questions you can use to meet your students’ needs and access their literary strengths. By creating a progression of questions within one standard, we differentiate for students within a class, provide extension opportunities for ready learners, or move the whole class from literal- to higher-level thinking over the course of several readings.


  • What are Su Dongpo’s appearance/physical attributes, deeds/actions, thoughts/dialogue, and feelings/emotions?
  • What are other character’s opinions of and reactions to Su Dongpo?
  • Can you select sections showing how Su Dongpo relates to other characters?
  • How would you describe Su Dongpo in a paragraph?


  • How would you classify Su Dongpo’s character trait(s) based on these actions, thoughts, and feelings above?
  • How would you summarize Su Dongpo’s opinion or feelings about Wang Anshi?
  • How would you describe Su Dongpo’s feelings about being banished from his job and home?
  • What problems does Su Dongpo face and how does he solve them?
  • How would you summarize Su Dongpo’s opinion about the purpose of government?


  • When Su Dongpo was twenty, he took the official exams and earned status as the First Scholar for his academic achievements. Based on what you know about Su Dongpo’s character traits, how would he have handled the situation differently if he had not earned such high marks the first time?
  • How would Su Dongpo react if his brother, Su Ziyou, became a corrupt government official?
  • What would need to happen or change for Su Dongpo to work for Emperor Zhezong?
  • How would Su Dongpo distinguish a “good” government from a “bad” government?
  • What would Su Dongpo likely think about our end of the year state assessments or the Common Core State Standards?
  • What advice do you think Su Dongpo would have for students who take state and national tests today?
  • If Su Dongpo worked for the U.S. Department of Education, what might Su Dongpo feel and think about the role of education in America today?


  • How did Su Dongpo’s upbringing prepare him for his career in government?
  • What inspired Su Dongpo’s beliefs about the purpose of government?
  • Why did Su Dongpo not care about “instant glory” or “worldly fame” when making a decision?
  • Compare Su Dongpo and Wang Anshi’s motivations for working in the government.


  • Compose and present a speech that will communicate the thoughts and feelings of Su Dongpo to the Chinese people after he is pardoned when Emperor Zhezong dies.
  • Imagine you are Su Dongpo and write a diary account of your daily thoughts and activities. What would you say about the work that you do, the people you meet in government and in the villages, and the challenges you face?
  • Rewrite the scene of Su Dongpo hearing he is pardoned after the death of Emperor Zhezong. What would Su Dongpo feel and what would the Chinese people think about him if he were not pardoned?


  • Defend whether you would or would not like Su Dongpo to work in your government.
  • Argue what lessons Su Dongpo learned from his career in and out of government.
  • How effective is Su Dongpo as a humanitarian?
  • Determine whether Su Dongpo was or was not disrespectful of government.
  • Assess whether Su Dongpo changed from the beginning to the end of the book based on his character traits.

Additional resources:

Sign up for updates from the First Lady throughout her trips and opportunities to ask questions.

Explore PBS LearningMedia for the First Lady’s blog, a map of China, and other resources.

Filed under: Curriculum Corner Tagged: biography, bloom's taxonomy, CCSS, character analysis, children's books, close reading, common core standards, differentiation, Educators, ELA common core standards, guided reading, higher level thinking, History, reading comprehension, rigor, white house

0 Comments on Michelle Obama & Su Dongpo: A Character Analysis with Bloom’s Taxonomy as of 3/17/2014 12:23:00 PM
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46. guest post – Working With Dad by Author Heather Ellis

Today Kid Lit Reviews is extremely happy to showcase a new author. Heather Ellis released her debut children’s, The Sugary-Sherburts,  in 2013. Her second book, The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch, released this past January 7, 2014. Both books will be reviewed here this Saturday, March 22, 2014.

There is one amazing catch . . . Heather is a ten-years-old. She will tell us what it was like to work with an illustrator, whom she calls Dad.

What is it Like Working with My Dad as an Illustrator on My Books? 

My name is Heather and I am 10, from Yorkshire in England. I have luckily written and self-published three children’s books aimed at 8 -11 years old.

I work quite a lot with my dad as he illustrates my books. I thought it would be nice to tell you about how that works and what it’s like.

My book writing first started properly in 2013. My dad used to draw for (and with) me when I was much younger, because we both like drawing.  My dad is good at drawing, better than me anyway.

When I published my first book (called The Sugary-Sherburts – in 2013) I didn’t always want to put pictures in my book. CreateSpace.com needs a minimum of 25 pages to create a book – I think I was a couple of pages short and it helped fill up a couple of pages when my dad drew for my book. However everyone who bought the books said it really gives the books character – so I started putting pictures in all my books, my dad draws them all.


Evil Witch Ola from The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch

It wasn’t an accident that I worked with my dad for illustrations on my books. He could draw well and I didn’t have to pay him any money to illustrate my book. I never thought about using another illustrator because of the cost (I am only 10 after all!). Working with my dad is great (and easy!) because I don’t have to tell him what to draw. He usually reads my books a lot and has his own ideas and tells me what he thinks. Another good thing about working with my dad is that he doesn’t have a deadline either. Normally the opposite, he is usually asking me to be quicker with my writing when he wants to draw a certain part of the book.

Charlotte from Sugary-Sherburt

Charlotte from Sugary-Sherburt


My favourite book illustrator is Axel Scheffler of The Gruffalo books; his drawings are awesome and so colourful! I do like colour in kidslit books but I told my dad to keep my pictures plain black and white. I like black and white and that was my decision.

If there is something I don’t like about one of his drawings – I do ask him to change it and redraw it. He is ok with that and doesn’t take offence! For example when I wrote Rosie and Camilla’s Candyland Adventure, he drew a pointy moustache on one of the characters called Professor Quirk. The moustache didn’t make him look very friendly – so he drew him again for me without (the moustache).

The Sugary-Sherburts was my dad’s very first book that he ever illustrated and now he has done three. I asked him if he always wanted to be an artist or illustrator. He say he  knew that he was not bad at sketching with a pencil when he was little – but he always moans that he can’t use a paint brush – so he never really wanted to be an artist full time.

I would never draw my own pictures for my books, because I can’t really draw very well.


My very first copy that arrived in the post!

Here is a link to my latest book called The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witchpaperbackkindle version.

Thank you for reading my blog post, I hope you liked it.

Heather Ellis

Website – www.heatherellisbooks.co.u k

Blog – http://heatherellisbooks.wordpress.com

The Sugary Sherburts 2013

The Sugary Sherburts 2013

The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch  1/07/2014

The Sugary-Sherburts and The Stone Witch 1/07/2014


Rosie and Camilla's Candyland Adventure   1/08/2014

Rosie and Camilla’s Candyland Adventure 1/08/2014

Filed under: Children's Books, Guest Post, Middle Grade Tagged: Createspace, Heather Ellis, indie author, James Ellis, kid writers

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47. #515 – Nate Rocks the City by Karen Pokras Toz

Today is a rather long post. Eleven-year-old Nate Rockledge, his older sister Abby, and his once best friend Lisa Crane are here for a short interview followed by a review of the new–and the final–Nate Rocks book: Nate Rocks the City.        Let’s get started.

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Today Kid Lit Reviews welcomes Nathan Rockledge (aka Nate Rocks), his older sister, Abby, and his know-it-all classmate, Lisa Crane. They are all characters in the Nate Rocks series, the newest being Nate Rocks the CitySince this is the last book, I thought it would be fun if you each talked about your favorite moment from the series. Who wants to go first?

Lisa Crane :  Oh!! Me! Me!

Yes of course, Lisa, go ahead.

Lisa : Well … In Nate Rocks the Boat, there was this scene where Nathan was leaving for summer camp and his parents were giving him a going away party…

Nathan: Oh no! Really? Do we have to bring that up here?

Lisa: Hey! She said I could talk about my favorite moment from any of the books, right?

Nathan, please, Lisa, cont–

Lisa: So anyway, we were playing horseshoes – Nathan and me – and of course Nathan was missing them all, while I was getting them all. So I kindly offered to show Nathan how it’s done, only he got a little too close to me, and BAM the next thing you know, he’s on the ground crying like a big old baby. He says it’s because I hit him, but I think it’s because I beat him at horseshoes.

Nathan: You gave me a black eye!!

 Abby: It was awesome.

 Nathan: Can we move on?

Sure, Nathan. How abou–

 Abby: Ooh – I have one!

 You characters sure are, um, ready. Abby?

 Abby: So in Nate Rocks the World, Nathan was trying to get back at me for – well that really doesn’t matter – anyway, he put food coloring in my shampoo bottle, but Dad wound up using it instead of me, and he wound up with PURPLE hair! HAHAHAHA! It was so funny, and Nathan got in so much trouble.

 Nathan: You got in trouble, too.

 Abby: Not as much as you though – it was classic.

 Nathan: So far, this interview isn’t quite as much fun as I thought it was going to be.

 I’m sorry, Nathan. You’re the star, so what is your favorite moment?

 Nathan: Hmmm, that’s such a hard question because I had so many great moments in every book! I really did love going to New York City in this last book though. I got to save the city from aliens, I jousted with knights in the museum, and the last scene – well let’s just say if you’ve read Nate Rocks the World, I had a chance to go full circle. I don’t really want to give anymore away than that. Overall though, the entire series was a blast. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did – even the parts with Abby and Lisa.

 Lisa: “Hey!”

Abby: “Not funny, Nate.”

Nathan: Thanks for reading and thanks for having us on your blog today!


rocks city.

Nate Rocks the City

by Karen Pokras Toz

Grand Daisy Press    2/14/2014

978-0-9848608-9- 0

Age 7 to 12     142 pages


Hey New York! Are you ready for Nate Rocks? Fifth grader Nathan Rockledge has been counting down the days—and meals—until his class trip to New York City. Now that the big event is finally here, he can barely stand the excitement. After all, isn’t this what being a fifth grader is all about? Oh sure, his Mom is one of the chaperones, his annoying sister Abby is tagging along, and that know-it-all classmate, Lisa, will be there as well. However, none of that matters. Not when he’ll be with his best friends, Tommy and Sam.

While seeing the sights, his teacher wants his class to take notes, but Nathan has other ideas. With paper and pencil in hand, Nathan prefers to doodle, transforming himself into Nate Rocks, boy hero. Amid ninja pigeons to fend off, aliens to attack, and the baseball game of the century to save, will Nate Rocks be able to save the day one more time?


“The piercing sound of the house alarm rips through the neighborhood as our car pulls into the driveway. ‘Nate! Come quick!’ Mrs. Jensen screams over the sound of the siren.”

The Story

Nate’s fifth grade class heads to New York City for their class trip. The chaperones include Nate’s mom and her best friend, Mrs. Crane, mother of the most annoying girl in the entire world—Lisa. Thanks to a Philadelphia Philly baseball player, the kids are getting two extra days and tickets the Phillies versus Yankees baseball game at the end of their trip. Nate counts his days by meals, starting with eleven meals. Nate savors every New York meal, even in the hotel cafeteria.

The group goes to Central Park, The City Zoo, the Statue of Liberty, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art before the final trip to Yankee Stadium. The last two days of the trip, Nate’s dad and older sister join the group. Mrs. Cogin, Nate’s teacher, gives each middle grader a journal to write notes about their trip as reference for an essay they will write later. Not much for words, Nate tends to draw his notes. Several times during the trip, Nate envisions himself as Nate Rocks, a hero to those around him. As Nate begins drawing the area around him changes. People are gone or settings change. Always, someone grabs him and an exchange like this occurs,

“Nate! Thank goodness we found you!”

“Me? Why me?”

“Why because you’re Nate Rocks, of course!”

Nate does whatever needs done, such as stop robotic birds from destroying New York City. The urgent task that only Nate Rocks can accomplished is competed and then this same adoring thanks occurs,

“You did it, Nate! You saved me/us!”

Finally, someone sharply brings Nate back to reality, reminding him that he is holding up the group or just annoying his mother. The last day of Nate’s trip to New York City culminates with a baseball game, the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Yankees. Nate Rockledge goes out in Nate Rocks fashion one last time.


Nate Rocks the City ends the Nate Rocks series. At age ten, Nate rocked the world and the boat and at age eleven, he rocked the school and now the city. In each one Nate envisions himself a hero, his current surroundings melting into a different scene and situations only an imaginative eleven-year-old boy can outwit. Nate’s biggest problem is fifth grader Lisa Crane. Lisa and Nate have spent a lot of time together as they grew up, thanks to their mothers being best friends. Nate sees Lisa as annoying and he is correct.

Ms. Toz writes like a pro. Punctuation errors, capitalization, spelling, and typos are all missing from Nate Rocks the City. One look at the credit page explains why the text is clean. Ms. Toz hired an editor from a company called There for You. Nate’s last story flows well from one scene to the next. His creativeness shines and makes his drawings come alive in his mind, on his pad, and for the reader. Ms. Toz thoroughly researched New York City and its sites before writing Nate Rocks the City. From the exhibits at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to the shops in Times Square, she has the details.

It is odd that both dad and Abby, Nick’s fifteen-year-old sister, would join the group midway through the fifth grade trip, like it were actually a family vacation. I suppose it was a way of getting all the usual characters into the story and for that, it is hard to place blame. Dad working as another chaperone at least fit nicely into the story, when he wasn’t getting the boys lost in the city, but Abby really made no sense.

All through the story—and in every Nate Rocks series—Nate envisions himself the hero of one situation or another. It is easy to know when Nick goes off on one of his tangents! You will find an exclamation point at the end of nearly every sentence! Nick sees these adventures as something exciting! At Yankee Stadium, Nate finally becomes that hero, exclamations not needed. I like the idea of Nate behind what happened, but the scene did not stand up. I would love to explain why, but it is the ending and I have no right to ruin it for anyone.

Nate Rocks the City is an enjoyable story with terrific imagination, too perfect annoying mom behavior, and a giant sense of fun kids will enjoy. The story is a fast read. Not wanting to leave the story helps this along. Kids will love Nate Rocks the City, whether as a fan of the series or a first time reader. Nate knows how to put on a show. Like the others, Nate Rocks the City can stand on its own, but read in order is more fun as Nate gets better with each book. The series is perfect for boys. Even young reluctant readers will find the Nate Rocks series worth keeping. I am sorry to see Nick leave us, but he does so in fine Nate fashion. Nate does indeed Rock the City!

Check out the Nate Rocks Series HERE.

Buy Nate Rocks the City at AmazonB&Nauthor websiteyour neighborhood bookstore.


Meet the author, Karen Pokras Toz at her website:  www.karentoz.com

Find other great books at Grand Daisy Press website: http://www.granddaisypress.com/ 

You can also find Karen Pokras Toz here:

Blog: http://kptoz.blogspot.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/karenptoz

Twitter: www.twitter.com/karentoz

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amznNRTC

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/bnNRTCity

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5009570.Karen_Pokras_Toz


NATE ROCKS THE CITY. Test copyright © 2014 by Karen Pokras Toz.



#1 Nate Rocks the World

#1 Nate Rocks the World

#2 Nate Rocks the Boat

#2 Nate Rocks the Boat

#3 Nate Rocks the School

#3 Nate Rocks the School



on sale! 99¢ through March 21, 2014


Millicent Marie Is Not My Name

Millicent Marie Is Not My Name

Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas

Pie and Other Brilliant Ideas







nate rocks city


Filed under: 4stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Digital Book, Series Tagged: chapter books, children's book reviews, fifth grade school trip, Grand Daisy Press, Karen Pokras Toz, Lady Liberty, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, reluctant readers, Times Square

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48. ‘Q is for Queens’ Children’s Book Featured on Kickstarter

LICNYC.com blogger Amol Sarva hopes to raise $8,000 on Kickstarter for his ABC children’s book, Q is for Queens. Most of the funds will be used to cover the cost of printing.

With this book, Sarva hopes to educate the world on all of the various landmarks and activities within New York City’s biggest borough. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“I’ve got the art part figured out and most of the icons sorted – so that part is well on its way. I still need to find the right printer to partner with here in Queens, so hopefully that part goes well. A is for Arthur Ashe, B is for Bayside, C is for Cyndi Lauper…R is for Ramones or maybe Rockaway or maybe both! Lots to do as you can see.”


New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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49. #516 – About Habitats: Forests by Cathryn Sills & John Sills

About Crustaceans Jkt/PLCAbout Habitats: Forests

by Cathryn Sills & John Sills

Peachtree Publishers     3/01/2-14


Age 3 to 7        50 pages


“With the help of beautifully detailed paintings by noted wildlife illustrator John Sill, the author describes the characteristics of different types of forests—from the cold boreal forests of the northern hemisphere to the warm tropical forests near the equator—and shows how various species of animals and plants have adapted to life in these habitats.”


“Forests are large areas of land covered with many trees.”



Forests, filled with trees and animals, are the life force of our world. Trees protect fresh water, keeping it clean, pure, and drinkable. Trees also give us oxygen. A map shown just before the text and illustrations shows the type of forests and the area where each forest can be found. A forest has many large areas of trees, some tall and some small, but all are important.

The beautifully detailed illustrations show children what those trees look like. Included are the animals that live in the trees and the forest floors, all so children who may never see a tropical forest, or a boreal forest, can envision one with the help of About Habitats: Forests. Colorful birds and flowers accent the many different trees in the 17 full-pages of paintings. Simple sentences with simplified information bring the subject of forests to the understanding of young children.


Older children need more complex sentences and detailed information. Turning to the back, these children, and teachers, will find information younger children may not yet be able to comprehend. Each numbered plate, accompanied by a smaller print of the illustrations, includes additional information. For example, here is the second spread followed by the back information for this plate (#2).

“Tall trees make up the top layer, which is called the canopy.”

“Different kinds of plants grow in each layer. The three main layers are the forest floor, the understory, and the canopy. Tropical forests often have a fourth one called the emergent layer. It is made up of the tallest trees that grow above the canopy.”

The Sills have produced another winner in their wildlife series for children of all ages. Six books currently make up the About Habitats series. In addition to Forests are the following five subjects: Deserts, Grasslands, Mountains, Wetlands, and Oceans. About Habitats should be sitting on the shelf of every elementary school library as reference materials for both students and teachers. Esthetically, About Habitats are beautiful illustrations with bright detailed birds and flowers in some, and exact details in all.


Information on the About Habitats series books HERE.

Buy About Habitats: Forests or any of the series at AmazonB&NPeachtree Publishersyour neighborhood bookstore.


Meet author Cathryn Sills at Jacketflap:  http://www.jacketflap.com/cathryn-sill/24246

Meet illustrator John Sills at his website:  http://www.johnsill.com/

Check out more great boos at Peachtree Publishers website:  http://peachtree-online.com/index.php/about.html


ABOUT HABITATS:  FORESTS. Text copyright © 2014 by Cathryn Sills. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by John Sills. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.


















about habitats forests

Peachtree Book Blog Tour

About Habitats:  Forests

Monday, 3/17/14
Jean Little Library

Tuesday, 3/18/14
Tolivers to Texas

Wednesday, 3/19/14
Chat with Vera

Thursday, 3/20/14

Kid Lit Reviews    ME, ME, ME!

Friday, 3/21/14
Archimedes Notebook

Geo Librarian

Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series Tagged: boreal forests, Cathryn Sills, children's book reviews, forests, habitats, John Sills, Peachtree Publishers, tropical forests

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50. Illustrator Interview – Charlie Eve Ryan

Charlie is one of those illustrators I feel like I have known forever! We are in a bunch of kidlit groups together, including Julie Hedlund’s 12×12, and I have watched her diligence, humor and activity over the past few years … Continue reading

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