• 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!

Black History Month Picture Book of the Day

Black History Month Picture Book of the Day

Februray is Black History Month and I’m celebrating with a round up of books that I hope teach and inspire for different reasons. I have two biographies on Sun Ra, a jazz legend and Malcolm X, the great civil rights leader. I chose Lend a Hand for the inspiring poems and inclusive illustrations that urge readers to help make the world a better place. The Hula-Hooping Queen is a picture book story not of a real person but it reminds us that we need stories that denote children of color where it’s not the main plot of the story. Read more…

More Fun and Educational Videos for Kids

More Fun and Educational Videos for Kids

My son and I watched more videos and picked our favorites to share that we found watching weeks and weeks of The Kid Should See This curated videos for adults but suitable for kids.

The first is an animation video from Aug(De)Mented Reality that combines a ordinary background with an animated creature by way of a clear sheet that is drawn upon.

Aug(De)Mented Reality Read more…

Books for 8yold Boy Reluctant Reader

Books for 8yold Boy Reluctant Reader

My friend Isra says her 8-year-old son is a reluctant reader. He likes Diary of a Wimpy Kid but now he’s exhausted that series so here are more! Books to appeal to an eight year old reluctant boy reader!

More Books Like Diary of a Wimpy Kid for Boys

Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look

My son thought this series was hysterically funny. Alvin is a boy who is nervous about a lot of things including girls, camping, school, and science projects. Set in Concord, Massachusetts, Isra’s son might also enjoy this Massachusetts connection!

Read more…

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Affordable Health Care for All

Have you heard of the Affordable Health Care Act? My college roommate, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, is the 22nd United States Secretary of Health and Human Services since 2014 and charged with providing affordable health care to all.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

What has happened so far with the Affordable Health Care Act? This video features Kathleen Sebilius whom my roommate replaced:

Health Care Reform Update Read more…

10 books for kids to explore China and Chinese New Year

12 Books to Explore CHINA for Chinese New Year

My kids do a country unit on China in second grade where they spent a day celebrating Chinese Culture with Red Envelope Crafts. My kids also studied Mandarin Chinese and my oldest middle school Chinese language teacher also did a Chinese New Year celebration with crafts and food.

Last year was The Year of the Horse, this year Chinese New Year falls on February 19 and is the Year of the Sheep.

Will you celebrate Chinese New Year with books and crafts? Our favorite Chinese New Year books are here and I have 10 more newly published books on China to explore for the year to come!

Read more…

The Américas Award

The Américas Award and Kid Lit Blog Hop

The Américas Award was founded by CLASP in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use. CLASP offers up to two annual book awards, together with a commended list of titles. This is a great award to find multicultural books for kids~

The Américas Award Winner

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore, illustrated by Susan Roth

This was my Picture Book of the Day selection and also the 2014 Seibert Winner about the amazing conservation recovery effort to save the parrots of Puerto Rico. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Read more…

Tips to Teach Oral Health to Kids

Tips to Teach Oral Health to Kids

This month was a bad month in the teeth department for my family. My husband is going to need a new crown and a filling replacement due to wear and tear — he’ll be fifty soon too! My son needed a baby tooth pulled last week to make room for a permanent tooth trying to come in with nowhere to go.

Tips to Teach Oral Health to KidsRead more…

Caldecott, Newbery and More 2015 Winners!

Caldecott, Newbery and More 2015 Winners!

The live webcast is here. Here are the winners and honor books! Of couse, my big question that I have asked goes unanswered is: Why isn’t APALA at the ALA party? Where are the best Asian American books for kids and teens? APALA is an affiliate of the ALA (American Library Association). They are announcing at the same place on the same day. And yet, their award is not included in the ALA event nor on the ALA awards page. It’s feels like a “separate but equal” thing.

Asian Pacific American Librarians Association: APALA

The goal is to honor and recognize individual works related to Asian/Pacific American experiences (either historical or contemporary) or Asian/Pacific American cultures.

The awards will be announced at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago (which is were all the rest of the awards are being announced). APALA is an affliate of the ALA.

American Library Association talks a lot about the need for diversity, inclusive and multicultural books for kids and teens but … do they talk the talk but not walk the walk? Why are only Asian American books for kids specifically excluded from this rainbow of diversity? As you can see by the awards below, the ALA awards include specific awards for African American, Latino American, Special Needs, LBGT, but not Asian American. Why is this? I have no idea. You tell me! It’s 2015 … if not now, when?

To recify this situation, I am including the APALA awards in my post.

p.s. Related posts:

My picks for Caldecott and Newbery 2015

More 2015 Caldecott Picks and Picture Book of the Day

 

Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 2014

Read more…

Ten Fabulous Folktales for Kids from Around the World

Ten Fabulous Folktales from Around the World #GIVEAWAY

Please welcome the lovely and talented author Alexis York Lumbard that I had the pleasure of meeting at the recent National Social Studies Conference in Boston. She is sharing her favorite 10 Folktales for Kids from Around the World!

Ten Folktales From Around the World from Alexis York Lumbard Read more…