How To Coach Girls

HOW TO COACH GIRLS First Draft DONE!

I’m so excited to be writing a book about coaching girls with Alison Foley, Women’s Soccer Head Coach at Boston College called How To Coach Girls
How to Coach Girls by Alison Foley and Mia Wenjen

We’ve been hard at work since landing the publishing contract in early January with Audrey Press and the first draft is done!

How To Coach Girls

Here are the chapters: Read more…

Big Book Format Diversity Picture Books

Big Book Format Diversity Picture Books for Storytime

My college boyfriend’s first job was working for his uncle’s educational publishing company which made these Big Book picture books. I remember him calling me (we had broken up after college but were still friendly) that he was so nervous at his first sales presentation. He psyched himself up by turning away from the classroom of children and teachers, and said to himself, “I went Harvard, I can do this.” Then he turned around and wowed the crowd.

He read a Big Book to the kids and he was amazed that a little boy guessed the surprise ending right off the bat. He just couldn’t believe that that kid figured it out that there was an animal reveal at the end. I think it was a cheetah.

My friend moved on from this job to do other things, but he gifted me two Big Books for my birthday. I wasn’t sure what to do with them. They were really big books. They didn’t fit in my book case. Now, of course, they would really come in handy. Who doesn’t love a really Big Book for a read aloud? The sad thing is that there are hardly any diversity titles for Big Books. A reader asked me for a list, and I dug around and found these.

Do you do read alouds? What other Big Books do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Big Book Format Diversity Picture Books for Read Alouds

The Colors of Us (big book format) by Karen Katz

Multicultural colors reflect a wide range of skin tones that pair with different kinds of food in this diversity picture book. With engaging illustrations, this picture book is a nice way introduce diversity through skin color in a positive way: cinnamon, chocolate, honey, coffee, toffee, and butterscotch. They sound so delicious. [Big Book picture book, ages 4 and up]

Flower Garden (big book format) by Eve Bunting

It’s a lot of effort to plant a lovely window box garden but a little girl and her daddy work on it all day in their brownstone apartment because it’s a special surprise for someone they both love! [Big Book picture book, ages 2 and up]

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Homemade bath bombs and the science behind the fizz

DIY Lush Bath Bombs and the Science Behind the Fizz

My 12-year-old son has had a headache for the past two months. Fast forward five doctor appointments later, and we now think he has a concussion. He found baths soothing and he likes the Lush bath bombs that his sisters gave him for Christmas. They’re pretty expensive at $7 each, so we decided to make them ourselves.
DIY Lush Bath Bombs and the Science Behind the Fizz

An interesting Teachable Moment is the science of bath bombs. My son noticed that when he’s in the bath as the bath bomb gets crazy fizzy, that he feels a cold sensation coming off from the bomb. What is that? I think it’s the carbon dioxide gas that is generated from the chemical reaction. Read more…

I Appreciate You Gift to Students

I Appreciate You Gift to Students

I finally found the last I Appreciate You graduating gift certificate for PickyKidPix. Their 5th grade teacher had each student in the class writes one sentence about every other student, and these comments are typed up on a certificate and presented to teach student. It’s a snapshot of how they were perceived during their year in 5th grade.

I Appreciate You Gift to Students

Here’s my oldest I Appreciate You certificate for Grasshopper and Sensei and my son’s 5th grade I Appreciate You class certificates . PickyKidPix’s soccer team did one too for team building.

I Appreciate You: Sports Team Bonding Idea

I Appreciate You Because…

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Poets and Their Poetry Books for Kids

Poets and Their Poetry Books for Kids

Are You An Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko by David Jacobson, Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi who wrote the narrative and did the translation, illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri

All Japanese children read her deeply compassionate poems about creatures in the natural world. Think of her as a Japanese Pablo Neruda and/or Emily Dickerson. Her sad, short life is depicted in this biography/poetry hybrid picture book. This combo really works for me since she is unfamiliar to most of us. Her poems are deceptively simple and kids can really relate to them. I hope this wins a Caldecott but I hesitate to add it to my watch list because the rendering of the faces in the illustrations were too cartoon-y and didn’t go with the rest of the illustration style. [biography and poetry picture book hybrid, ages 4 and up]

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

This is Kwame’s personal favorite collection of poets with original poems created by himself, Chris, and Marjory in the style of each poet. “Poems come out of wonder, not by knowing.” Lucille Clifton. Kwame invites you and your kids to discover the joy of poetry, and to perhaps come up with a poem of your own. [picture book, ages 8 and up]

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Dave belongs to Mr Miles /
wher the oven bakes & the pot biles ///

—July 31, 1840

Dave the Potter is a puzzle to unwind. A slave living in South Caroline during the 1800s, he wrote enigmatic poems into the pottery that he crafted. Born into slavery, Dave worked as a potter in a factory while he was still in his teens making stoneware vessels. It is on these vessels that Dave would inscribe short rhyming poems. This is remarkable given that slaves were forced into illiteracy and South Carolina passed a harsh anti-literacy law shortly after Dave’s first poem was published on a pot in 1834. Poetry thrives even in inhospitable climates, and because his artistry with clay, Dave the Potter’s life story and creative talents endure for posterity. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

p.s. Learn more about Dave the Potter from Leonard Todd, whose family owned Dave.

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Starring Carmen by Anika Denise

Cover Reveal: Starring Carmen & GIVEAWAY

Starring Carmen by Anika Denise, illustrated by Lorena Alvarez Gómez

Meet Carmen! She LOVES the spotlight and applause. She’s an actress, a singer, a dancer—a one-girl sensación! She exhausts her parents with her nightly performances and completely overshadows Eduardo, her adoring little brother. But when Eduardo shows his big sister how much he loves her in a way even Carmen can’t ignore, will Carmen realize that the stage is big enough for two?

Exuberant illustrations by Lorena Alvarez Gómez offer the perfect compliment to Anika Denise’s warm, Spanish-sprinkled text in this celebration of theater, family, and imagination. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

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Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit: Favorites

Our theme for #DiverseKidLit in April is Favorites. Please consider sharing diverse books and resources that support love and families. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

Thank you SO much to everyone who participated in Monday’s #diversekidlit  Twitter chat! We had a wonderful conversation with a great community. If you weren’t able to join us, you can catch up on all the posts you missed here.

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

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#HappyDreamer GIVEAWAY by Peter H Reynolds

#HappyDreamer GIVEAWAY by Peter H Reynolds

Paul Reynolds PragmaticMom and son

You might know Peter H. Reynolds from The Dot and Ish. Now he has a new book out that encourages readers of every age to find their own unique path to happy. My son and I have fond memories learning about how a math teacher changed his life from his twin brother Paul Reynolds.

Today, I am thrilled to giveaway Peter H. Reynold’s new book, Happy Dreamer. A picture book that celebrates ADHD as an acronym for Amazing Delightful Happy Dreamer. Read more…

The Importance of Early Childhood Education

The first years of a child greatly affect their future. This stage is where the brain needs to develop more in their cognitive, social, language, physical, and emotional aspects. Therefore, it is critical to make sure that this stage will be meaningful and productive.

Otherwise, it may result in a long-term social, mental, or emotional problems. And this is where the dilemma comes in. How can the parents make sure that their child develops at this early stage and not lose their way? Is it through formal education which is provided by organizations and government or is it through homeschooling? Read more…