• Bootstrap Marketing 101 for Authors

    I thought I would talk about branding, SEO and social media marketing for authors even though I am not an author, nor have ever marketed a book. So then, you might ask, why would I be qualified to talk about bootstrap marketing for anyone, let alone authors? Thanks for asking. When I was twenty years […]

  • 25 Diversity Authors & Illustrators Spotlighted!

    To kick off our Author and Illustrator interviews at the Multicultural Children’s Book Day blog, we interviewed Joseph Bruchac …  followed by Jacqueline Woodson! (and stay tuned for Margarita Engle, Lisa Yee, and Cynthia Kadohata!) Coming in January — Multicultural Children’s Book Day Spotlight: Shining the Light on Inclusive Authors & Illustrators! From January 1st through the […]

  • Predicting 2015 Caldecott & Newbery

    I have a selfish reason for compiling this list. It’s my Christmas book list for my kids. It’s also because my kids won’t read (probably like yours!) unless they have a really good book and so I search and search and present, like a game show hostess, blog posts of books that I think my […]

  • Top 10 Life Skills Kids Need Before College

    My book list of Top 10 Books to Teach Kids to Be More Responsible made me start to think about life skills that kids need before going off to college. That and the fact that my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, will be starting high school next fall so we have only 4 years to tackle this […]

  • Today I am on the Front Page of The Boston Globe

    Today I am on the front page of The Boston Globe for the past week of posts that I wrote on my microblog, I Love Newton, about the anti-Asian racism in the local high school musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie. School play’s stereotypes bring outcry and apology. “Millie” touches nerve in Newton by Ellen Ishkanian, Globe […]

  • Get Kids Reading Strategies: 12 Surefire Ways

    I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports! I started my blog after my oldest […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

    I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. (It’s wonderful. I put it on my  Newbery 2014 Contenders list! And it just won a Middle Grade Fiction Nerdie). Colby Sharp, one of […]

  • Best Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade

    Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

  • How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

    Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.

  • Top 10: Best Dragon Children’s Books (ages 2-16)

    The Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors blog has a great post on dragons that preempted this post but I actually had been working on this for several weeks. There is something magical about dragons and I’m glad that some kids can keep the magic alive. I’ve gathered my favorite dragon books that range in age from picture books to young adult. What is your favorite dragon book? Please share!

Feather vs Bowling Ball: Which Falls Fastest?

Feather vs Bowling Ball: Which Falls Fastest?

PickyKidPix‘s soccer team played in Italy this past summer and the tour included a stop at Pisa on the Fourth of July.soccer team at Leaning Tower of Pisa
We were warned that Pisa is swarming with petty thieves and that we had to be on high alert.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Once we got there though, the square is so beautiful with other buildings besides the leaning tower.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa, known worldwide for its unintended tilt to one side. The tower’s tilt began during construction, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft on one side to properly support the structure’s weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed, and gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. From Wikipedia

Leaning Tower of Pisa

So I thought I would center this post around Galileo’s Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment, but done in the world’s largest vacuum chamber to show that when you remove friction, a feather and a brick will fall at the same rate. 

Read more…

Febreze #Noseblind with Pets GIVEAWAY and CONTEST!

Febreze #Noseblind with Pets GIVEAWAY and CONTEST!

Does your pet stink sometimes? Mine does. Right now in fact! He’s badly in need of a bath but we’ve been on vacation for the past week week and my dog has been with his favorite dog sitter stinking it up.

Febreze stinky dogs

My dog is the Golden Retriever on the right. Read more…

17 Great Books for Kids and Teens on the Arab World

What Do Muslims Really Want Anyway?! 17 Books on Muslim World for Kids

Please welcome my guest poster today, author Elsa Marston who is my resident Middle Eastern Children’s literature go to! She has a list of recommended books for kids and teens at the bottom of the post.

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Lately we’ve been reading about terrorist actions by Muslims in Europe and other places, events that have again raised anger and confusion. Are Muslims really committed to hostility toward other religions? Or do most Muslims want to find common ground and live together with non-Muslims, without fear or threats? Read more…

Champions for Kids #SnacksforStudents

Champions for Kids #SnacksforStudents

I’m thrilled today to be helping my local Boys and Girls Club through the Champions for Kids Snacks for Students Program which matched up a local non-profit for kids in my town, John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton, with Walmart in Framingham, near where I live.

Champions for Kids #SnacksforStudents

I’m helping John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club of Newton get basic resources through in-store donations. It’s quite simple. The Framingham Walmart will have donation bins for my organization that anyone can donate to. Since the John M. Barry Boys and Girls Club provides child care and activities for kids of all ages, snacks are especially helpful and kids are always hungry before and after school!

Champions for Kids Read more…

Best Book Blog 2014 Award

I Won Best of the Book Blogosphere Award of 2014!

THANK YOU to everyone involved for selecting my blog as Best of the Book Blogosphere 2014! It’s the very first blogging award I’ve ever won and it totally made my day!!

Here are the other fabulous bloggers that also won:

Best Book Blog 2014 Award

BEST SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY

Full of Fiction

BEST YOUNG ADULT

Too Many Books, Too Little Time

BEST KIDS/CHILDREN’s

Children’s Book Heal

BEST CONTEMPRARY/ NEW ADULT

Chill Reviews

Reading Bud

BEST INSTAGRAM

Confessions of a Book Blogger

 

Thank you again to all my readers who helped me win this award! It means a lot to me!!

 

10 Award Winning Jewish Books for Kids

10 Award Winning Jewish Books for Kids and Kid Lit Blog Hop

The Jewish Book Council announced this week the winner of the Louis Posner Memorial Award for Illustrated Children’s Book and The Sydney Taylor Book Awards for 2015 are out!

Louis Posner Memorial Award for Illustrated Children’s Book Winner

The Patchwork Torah by Allison Ofanansky, illustrated by Elsa Oriol

Fragments of damaged and rescued Torahs from several periods of history are woven together in this touching tale of four generations of a Torah scribe and his family. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Read more…

Drawing with Jef Czekaj and Jarrett Krosoczka

Drawing with Jef Czekaj and Jarrett Krosoczka

My son and I attended a Wondermore event that raises money to bring in authors to underserved kids in the Boston area. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jarrett a few times: Skype author visit at my schoolPeanut Butter and Jellyfish picture book trailer, and Platypus Police Squad book release at the book store owned by The Dot author Peter H. Reynolds!

Jarrett Krosoczka and Jef Czejak Author VisitRead more…

Learn to Box with Learnivore

Learning to Box through Learnivore

I really love that name Learnivore. Perhaps it’s because I spent one year reading dinosaur books to my T-Rex obsessed son when he was three-years-old. We learned about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. But Learnivores? Such great branding. I think it means folks who love to learn.

Learnivore

I was asked if I wanted to try out Learnivore as a sponsored blog post and I thought, why not? But then, learn what exactly? I’m done with formal education after I completed my M.B.A. more than two decades ago.  But Derek, the head of Learnivore community, said:

We would basically have you use our site to request a lesson in any discipline in the Boston area (everything from skateboarding to sewing, honestly). It’s pretty simple. You’d create a basic account, which takes no more than a minute or two , and then you would click on the big, green button that says “create a request.” You would then answer a few short questions about what you’re looking for so that, when completed, your request can be sent to all of the instructors in the Learnivore community that fit the bill. Within a few days, you’ll have a number of qualified instructors reach out to you via our messaging system and you’ll be able to use factors like cost, availability, student reviews, experience, etc. to choose your favorite.

The only thing I’m obsessively trying to learn these days is boxing, specifically to improve my sparring in the ring. Read more…

Happy International Book Giving Day #GiveaBook Giveaway

Happy International Book Giving Day #GiveaBook Giveaway

Happy International Book Giving Day and Happy Valentine’s Day as well! Want to celebrate too? Just give a new or used book to a child or a place or person that will reach a person. Grab your free book plates too, 2 versions!

International Book Giving Day February 14

Today, to celebrate, I’m giving away books! I believe in giving the right book to the right person so I’m matching up books by Core Curriculum subjects they teach or if I just think it would be a good addition to their classroom library. Read more…