How a Math Teacher Changed Peter H Reynolds' Life

How a Math Teacher Changed Peter H Reynolds’ Life

Most of us swoon at the mention of picture books The Dot or Ish, making Peter H. Reynolds a household name among those of us who love children’s books. But did you know his twin brother, Paul Reynolds? Together, they are the co-founders of Fablevision and they also write books together.

For any child who doubts the artist inside, read them The Dot, and its sequel Ish. And if you want to see authors and illustrators create their own dot, check out Celibri-Dots.

 

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Finding the artist within can be as simple as making a dot; even when made in anger! How to turn the agony of a blank sheet of paper into an piece of art! This book is dedicated to Peter H. Reynolds’ math teacher who dared him to make his mark … more on that below. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

This companion book to The Dot takes the idea of a frustrated almost-artist a step farther. Sometimes art is in the eye of the beholder. Perhaps hyper-realistic renderings are overrated? Reynolds tries to dissuade the idea that art is not necessarily limited to technical drawing skills. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

RISD Precollege Program Summer 2016

RISD Pre-College Program Summer 2016

Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program

For those of you who read my blog regularly, you probably know all the steps that led up to my daughter’s (Grasshopper and Sensei) RISD Pre-College Program. First, we looked at Art and Design Schools’ summer programs. She got four concussions her sophomore year of high school which lead to anxiety and panic attacks.

Her dorm room was spacious. 4 students shared one bathroom with shower. Each room was set up for two.

She was enrolled in the RISD Pre-College 6 week summer program as a resident student, but after three traumatic days, we switched her to a commuter student … 5 days a week from Boston to Providence, Rhode Island!

It was not the easiest commute — about 1.5 hours each way from door to door, sometimes more — but she made it to every class and, by a miracle of god, was never tardy.

RISD Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College ProgramRead more…

Celebrating African American Hair Picture Books & GIVEAWAY

Celebrating African American Hair Picture Books & GIVEAWAY

You might recognize Furqan from our Multicultural Children’s Book Day poster! Robert Liu-Trujillo created the artwork for our event. When Rob gave us sketches for the poster, we didn’t know the boy in the flat top was a character in his book; he just appealed to us and we picked him right away!

FREE Downloadable Multicultural Children’s Book Day Poster!

I’m thrilled to be introducing Rob’s book, Furqan’s First Flat Top, today and we are giving away an inscribed copy too (see below)!

 Furqan's First Flat Top

Valarie and I are passionate about the need for more multicultural, diverse, and inclusive books for kids. Today, I wanted to examine this from the perspective of When Whiteness is The Standard of Beauty. Lisa Wade, professor at Occidental College, notes:

One manifestation of white supremacy is the use of whiteness as the standard of beauty. When whiteness is considered superior, white people are considered more attractive by definition and, insofar as the appearance of people of other races deviates from that standard, they are considered ugly.

Non-white people are still allowed to be considered beautiful, of course, as long as they look like white people.

This is a no win standard for women of color, but then think about how this affects girls of color and their self esteem? Read more…

Coupon for Jimmy Dean® Stuffed Hash Browns

Coupon for Jimmy Dean® Stuffed Hash Browns

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own.

Now that school is starting soon, I find that hot breakfasts are harder to pull off. We are always rushing in the morning due to the fact that two of kids — the youngest and oldest — are simply not morning people. They tend to skip breakfast or eat on the run because they are always running late.

My middle daughter, however, gets herself up every morning and makes herself a hot breakfast. She likes a big breakfast to set herself up for the day. Read more…

Maker Space STEAM: 3D Printing Camp

Maker Space STEAM: 3D Printing Camp

PickyKidPix joined her brother at computer camp this summer. This was her first introduction to the computer camp that he has been going to for the past three years. They picked 3D Printing this year which struck me as the perfect partnership of ART in STEM or STEAM.

3d Printing Camp is Art in STEM

PickyKidPix, now 14 years old, would be the first to tell you that she doesn’t think of herself as arty (more crafty), nor computer science oriented although she does like math and science. She called this camp nerd camp and we wondered how she would fare since she wasn’t able to get any of her friends to join her.

how to get girls interested in STEM and STEAM

It turns out that she does have an interest in Industrial Design. All her designs were practical applications of 3D printing. She made dog tags for her dog because she has long complained that the current dog tag is inadequate. She attempted to design retainer cases which took the 3D printer 7 hours to print (each), and were all failures.

3D printing camp projects

Read more…

Multicultural Children's Book Bundle Giveaway

Multicultural Children’s Book Giveaway!

It’s time for the 2nd Annual Multicultural Children’s Book Giveaway and KidLit TV is teaming up with Pragmatic MomJump into a BookFranticmommyThe Educators Spin On ItWhat We Do All Day and Multicultural Children’s Book Day to give parents, teachers, and librarians in need, a chance to win a multicultural book bundle for their school library.

Libraries play an important role in everyone’s life. The library is a place where knowledge and the love of reading shine!  However, budgets for school programs are being cut, and school libraries have been heavily affected. Hours for library time have been shortened in some schools, and even non-existent in others.

Up until September 30th you can enter to win a curated bundle of multicultural books featuring StoryMakers guests and additional kid lit authors.

Multicultural Children's Book Bundle Giveaway

Read more…

Picture Books for Toddlers About Being a Good Friend

Picture Books for Toddlers About Being a Good Friend & GIVEAWAY!

Maria Ashworth is my guest blogger today with a list of ten picture books to help toddlers and preschoolers learn how to be a good friend. Her picture book is called My Big Tree and introduces counting to 10. Animals in North America join a blue bird in a tree but must reorganize into segregated groups in order to make the bird happy.


10 Great Picture Books for Toddlers About Being A Good Friend

10. It’s Mine by Leo Lionni
Selfish frogs bicker about everything until a disaster strikes their pond. Then do they learn the value of friendship. The book is a perfect story for any child who needs a little reminder on why it is important to learn to share.

Read more…

Sleepaway Camp and Why Dangerous Activities are Good for Kids

Sleepaway Camp and Why Dangerous Activities are Good for Kids

It probably won’t surprise you that my two daughters refused to do the easy thing for their parents: go to the same sleepaway camp. No, they chose YMCA sleepaway camps on the other side of the state. My oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, went to the Berkshires at Chimney Corners where the camp culture emphasizes being yourself and accepting others.Sleepaway Camp and Why Dangerous Activities are Good for Kids

My middle daughter, PickyKidPix, chose Cape Cod, Camp Hayward for girls because the sessions were only two weeks versus four weeks at Chimney Corners. The culture is also different. Camp Hayward has daily interaction with their boys’ camp (unlike Chimney Corners), so there is a sense of competition of boys versus girls. For example, my daughter’s sailing class included a game of pirates where the point was to jump onto a boy’s sailboard, and take down the sail to capsize it. The boys at Burgess retaliated by removing the girls’ rudder. Good fun was had by all.

Read more…

10 Great Picture Books to Learn About Mexico

10 Great Picture Books to Learn About Mexico

My kids studied Mexico in 2nd grade, a unit that was filled with crafts and excitement, including a Mexico Day Party. One of the student’s mother who teaches Spanish at the high school, even participated by dressing up as Frida Kahlo to teach the kids Spanish. At the end of fifth grade, some kids still talked about Mexico Day. Apparently making guacamole was a highlight of their elementary school experience!

Mexico 2nd grade unit

This collection of picture books is meant for all years of elementary school. I noticed that our 5th graders studied the Ancient Mayans.

10 Great Picture Books to Learn About Mexico

10.  Rain Player by David Wisniewski

This reads like a folk tale but it’s actually an original story set in Maya civilization. A drought been foretold. Chac, the god of rain, is displeased when a boy, Pik, speaks disrespectfully. To earn the god’s favor, Pik must win pok-a-tok, sending a five-pound ball of rubber through stone hoops on a walled court. If Pik is defeated, he and his teammates will be turned into frogs. Pik appeals to the Jaguar, the Quetzal, and the sacred cenote, who are persuaded to join his team. Will Pik be able to make the rains fall? [picture book, ages 6 and up]

Read more…