• 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!

  • Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

    I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.

  • Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness!

    Thank you to Hubpages for this information. There are additional book suggestions by grade if click here to see their post. I have added an asterisk to the books that I’ve read and loved (and two astericks for must reads!).

  • Best Picture Books That Teach Math Concepts

    Picture books can be a visual and fun way to introduce math concepts. I think it makes math less intimidating when it’s part of a story. For those kids who love math, it’s another way to eat it up!

Andy Smithson : Venom of the Serpents Cunning , L. R. W. Lee, fantasy mythology chapter book for ages 9 and up

Harry Potter-Like Fantasy Adventure Series GIVEAWAY

Please welcome author L. R. W. Lee, author of the Andy Smithson fantasy adventure chapter book series. Her second book, Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning launches today! To celebrate, I’m interviewing the author with a 5 question Q and A interview and giving away some books!

Andy Smithson : Venom of the Serpents Cunning , L. R. W. Lee, fantasy mythology chapter book for ages 9 and upRead more…

FREE Resources on Bullying, IEPs, Dyslexia and More

FREE Resources on Bullying, IEPs, Dyslexia and More

Today I wanted to share some great resources via the National Center for Learning Disabilities. The best part? These toolkits and e-books are FREE!!

Free E-Book: IEP Basics for Parents of Students with LDRead more…

Creek Indian genesis folk tale story

Native American Picture Book of the Day Exploration

I chose a Creek folk tale today for Picture book of the Day and wanted to explore both the story, its influences, and make connections to learn more about the Muscogee (Creek) people. I hope you enjoy this exploration!

The Muscogee (Creek) people are descendents of a remarkable culture that, before 1500 AD, spanned all the region known today as the Southeastern United States. Early ancestors of the Muscogee constructed magnificent earthen pyramids along the rivers of this region as part of their elaborate ceremonial complexes. The historic Muscogee later built expansive towns within these same broad river valleys in the present states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.

from Muscogee Nation

 

The Otter, The Spotted Frog and The Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story by Ramon Shiloh

When the spotted frog warns everyone of a great flood that threatens to destroy all life on earth, only Listener the otter takes heed. He builds a raft and ties it to the tallest tree and thus is able to survive. While this picture book is a Creek creation myth, it is interesting to note that the Creek people may also have incorporated Bibilical stories into their own oral tradition. Doesn’t this story remind you a little of Noah’s Arc?

There is another interesting twist after the great flood subsides. Listener the otter turns into a human and you find a reference to Greek Mythology’s Metis story regarding his wife! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

Kid Lit Blog Hop & Highlighting Multicultural Children's Books

Highlighting Multicultural Children’s Books & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Last Monday was a busy day. Valarie from Jump Into a Book and I co-hosted Multicultural Children’s Book Day along with more than 80 wonderful bloggers:

2GirlsLostInaBook · 365 Days of Motherhood · A Bilingual Baby · A Library Mama · A Simple Life, Really? · Africa to America · After School for Smarty Pants · All Done Monkey · Andi’s Kids Books · Anita Brown Bag  · Austin Gilkeson · Barbara Ann Mojica ·  Between The Covers ·  Bookish Ambition · Books My Kids Read · Bottom Shelf Books · Cats Eat Dogs ·Chasing The Donkey · Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac · Children’s Books Heal · Church o Books · CitizenBeta · Crafty Moms Share · Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes· Early Words · Flowering Minds · Franticmommy · Gathering Books · Geek Club Books · GEO Librarian · GIFT Family Services · Gladys Barbieri · Going in Circles · Growing Barefoot Bookworms · Growing Book by Book · iGame Mom · I’m Not The Nanny · InCulture Parent · Itsy Bitsy Mom · Just Children’s Books · Kid Lit Reviews · Kids Yoga Stories · Kid World Citizen · Kristi’s Book Nook · Mama Lady Books · Mama Smiles · Mission Read ·Monkey Poop · Mother Daughter Book Reviews · Mrs AOk · MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter · Ms. Yingling Reads · Multicultural Kids Blog · My White Board · One Sweet World · Open Wide The World · P is for Preschooler · Rapenzel Dreams · Randomly Reading · Reading Through Life · School4Boys · Sharon the Librarian · Spanish Playground · Sprout’s Bookshelf · Squishable Baby · Stanley and Katrina · Svetlana’s Reads and Views · Teach Mama · The Art of Home Education · The Brain Lair · The Educators’ Spin On It · The Family-Ship Experience · The Good Long Road · The Yellow Door Paperie · This Kid Reviews Books · Trishap’s Books · Unconventional Librarian · Vicki Arnold · We3Three· World for Learning · Wrapped in Foil

Thank you also to our sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Susan Daniel Fayad, Lee and Low Books, and Chronicle Books.

Pinterest-collage1-210x300

We had 144 (and counting!) posts linked up and I thought I’d share a few of the books with you today.

From Story Snug: Anna Hibiscus picture book series by Atinuke Read more…

Rebecca Stead from secret writer to newbery author

Rebecca Stead: From Attorney to Secret Writer to Newbery Winner!

Are you ready for an inspiring story? Rebecca Stead’s journey from lawyer to mom to secret writer to published author to Newbery Award winning author in just a few skips and a jump. Seriously, watching her writing career might make you think that Rebecca’s Newbery comes from the Lottery of God Given Talent.

But she would say otherwise. I think it’s interesting that motherhood gave her that break in her career to consider other possibilities. She became a “secret writer.” Are there any other secret writers out there? (I’m working on a chapter book!)

I love the idea of a secret writer. It’s not quite bold enough to proclaim: I AM MAKING A CAREER CHANGE AND INTEND TO WRITE SOMETHING PRETTY MIND BLOWING. JUST A HEADS UP.  DON’T FREAK OUT MOM AND DAD. YOU’LL BE PROUD!

A secret writer is quite a modest endeavor, equal parts hope, anxiety, and butt-in-chair. And I think that’s the difference between a would-be writer and a secret writer. Discipline. Butt-in-chair. Writing 1,000 words a day. Or some set amount.

Rebecca Stead, Liar and Spy, Guys Read Other Worlds, Leslie CollegeRead more…

Celebrate International Book Giving Day

Celebrate International Book Giving Day Feb 14th!

International Book Giving Day, 14th February, is a day dedicated to getting new, used, and borrowed books into the hands of as many children as possible.

Two of my favorite KidLit bloggers are behind the wonderful International Book Giving Day (Delightful Children’s Books and My Book Corner)! To celebrate, I had to attack the piles of books all over my house. My husband is very happy that I am getting rid of some books but for me, it’s all about getting the right books to the right people. Read more…

making Valentine's Day cards with kids

Super Easy Valentine Card Craft for Kids

DIY Cute and Easy Valentine’s Day Cards for Kids

Second grade seems to be the transition from homemade cards required to homemade cards optional for Valentine’s Day. It’s usually quite a task to get my kids to make Valentine’s Day cards. The first five or six go pretty smoothly as they are earmarked for their closest friends, but the last two dozen are difficult to extract. Luckily, we had two days off due to a blizzard named Nemo so we had plenty of time to do this over two days in two steps.

Toilet Paper Roll Heart Valentine’s Day Cards

Despite the option to buy Valentine’s Day cards this year, I found an easy craft using a toilet paper roll to stamp hearts on Pinterest and thought it would be perfect to make with my son. I was hoping his 5th grade sister could be persuaded as well. She ended up making her own cards but rejected the toilet paper roll heart idea.

homemade Valentine's Day cardsRead more…

90 second newbery film festival

90 Second Newbery Film Festival 2014!

With Newbery season upon us, it’s also time for the 3rd annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. It’s a video contest in which kid filmmakers create movies that tell the stories of Newbery award-winning books in 90 seconds or less. These movies are funny, ingenious, and impressive!

Read more…

2014Caldecott

2014 Newbery, Caldecott, Printz Awards and More!

Live cast of the awards is here! Here are the winners and honor books!

 

Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 2014

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

2014 Caldecott Winner

Locomotive by Brian Floca

2014 Caldecott Honor Books

Journey by Aaron Becker

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner

Read more…