Blog Posts

Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon by Kat Zhang

"Make them special!... Make them yours." Amy loves to create and is very excited to make her own drawing after her teacher reads about dragons to the class. Amy works diligently to make her drawing special as Ms. Mary has directed. Amy's friends do not think Amy's drawing looks like a dragon. Their comments fill… Continue reading Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon by Kat Zhang

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Dad Bakes by Katie Yamasaki

Dad Bakes by Katie Yamasaki When I first encountered Dad Bakes on the “New Picturebooks” shelves of my local library I didn’t have any expectations beyond a read-aloud to compliment a cold weekend after some father-son baking time. When flour finally returned to shelves a few months into the initial on-set of the pandemic, baking… Continue reading Dad Bakes by Katie Yamasaki

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Ten Beautiful Things

Recently on Twitter, Tara Lazar asked people to give a shout out to picture books published during the pandemic that they thought hadn't received enough attention. I read through the chat and stumbled upon this book. The beautiful cover and the title caught my attention. When I read the reviews and learned it was about… Continue reading Ten Beautiful Things

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Zonia’s Rain Forest, written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

We all must answer. Zonia lives with her loved ones in her home in the Amazon rain forest. Each day the rain forest calls for her to explore, and she does. She greets the many animals of the forest, the Blue morpho butterfly, the Hoffman’s two-toed sloth, the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the Amazon river dolphin, and… Continue reading Zonia’s Rain Forest, written and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

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The Alphabet’s Alphabet

Have you ever thought of the alphabet as one big happy family of relatives?  That’s how they are presented in The Alphabet’s Alphabet, written by Chris Harris and illustrated by Dan Santat.  Harris begins by explaining that the alphabet is just like a family and that they are all alike in many ways.  He then… Continue reading The Alphabet’s Alphabet

Blog Posts, Read Aloud

Amara and the Bats

Amara and the Bats models ways student can channel their concerns for the environment into civic action. Its not uncommon these days for young readers to be aware of challenges facing our planet's ecosystems and their most vulnerable creatures. Amara and the Bats by #KidLit4Climate campaign founder, Emma Reynolds aims to inspire the next generation of… Continue reading Amara and the Bats

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Welcome to Our Reading Community

I'd like you to think for a moment about what we might share with other kids and teachers about our reading community. What makes our reading community special? "We do Meet Someone New Monday." -N On Mondays, my students are introduced to someone who has contributed to the world in their own unique way. By… Continue reading Welcome to Our Reading Community

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A Small Kindness by Stacy McAnulty

A Small Kindness It’s easy to be kind when it’s a small problem, it’s hard to be kind when it’s a big problem. - Aiden, First Grader I had popped into this first grade classroom to relieve a busy teacher as they were wrapping up a discussion on kindness. Aiden floored me with this comment and… Continue reading A Small Kindness by Stacy McAnulty

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Big Feelings ~ are you feeling them?

The book jacket is a poster that can be used for a variety of things. Here I am introducing new feeling words. I have so much to say about the true power of this book…So many incredible things that have already happened with my students because of this book.  But the thing I’m currently feeling… Continue reading Big Feelings ~ are you feeling them?

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Going Up by Sherry Lee

Going Up by Sherry Lee reviewed by Susan Kennedy As we are going back to school in whatever form that is taking, hopefully we are returning to writing. I love writing with students and hearing them storytell their narrative plans. Returning to school this fall, I hope we'll start with some narratives: small moments, memoirs,… Continue reading Going Up by Sherry Lee

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I Have Missed Books

A Sharing of My Best Friend by Julie Fogliano & Jillian Tamaki This was a different kind of reading summer. Normally, I go to local libraries on hot days, browse the recent releases in the children's section for hours, and check out stacks upon stacks of beautiful books. I visit small, local bookstores and linger… Continue reading I Have Missed Books

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Awesome Read Aloud Resources

With so many students being out of school, families are looking for read alouds to keep the love of reading alive. Check out these great resources! Author Kate Messner has compiled so many resources from fellow authors and illustrators. https://www.katemessner.com/read-wonder-and-learn-favorite-authors-illustrators-share-resources-for-learning-anywhere-spring-2020/ Author Susan Tan put this YouTube channel together. Books, art, and more... Pernille Ripp compiled… Continue reading Awesome Read Aloud Resources

Blog Posts, Read Aloud

The Three Billy Goats Buenos by Susan Middleton Elya, Illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez

Today I asked my youngest daughter, Alice, to join me as we read The Three Billy Goats Buenos, written by Susan Middleton Elya and illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez. Alice has been in her pajamas all day because school is closed for the next two weeks due to the Coronavirus. It was a nice break in… Continue reading The Three Billy Goats Buenos by Susan Middleton Elya, Illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez

Blog Posts, Read Aloud

A Read Aloud of One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

Hi Readers, Isatou Ceesay is one of my heroes. She cleans up the environment in her community, she creates her own business, and she makes beautiful things. Here is a read aloud about her written by Miranda Paul. I hope you don't mind that Ranger and Hoppy are listening too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLQ_zBBMXSs&feature=youtu.be Do you want to… Continue reading A Read Aloud of One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

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I Wonder by K.A. Holt and Kenard Pak

Do tires ever get tired? How does a clock know what time it is? These are just some of the questions children ponder in author K.A. Holt's I Wonder picture book. With beautiful, whimsy illustrations by Kenard Pak, both the text and the images capture the questions we all have thought, but didn't dare to… Continue reading I Wonder by K.A. Holt and Kenard Pak

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The King of Kindergarten

The King of Kindergarten “It’s time to start kindergarten, and you know what, kid? You got this! It’s your time to shine and be the King of Kindergarten!”  The King of Kindergarten joyfully written by Derrick Barnes and artfully illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton should be every kindergarten teacher's read during the sparkling-with-opportunity first few minutes… Continue reading The King of Kindergarten