Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

My girls fell in love with glass blowing after going to Dale Chihuly’s exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. They took glass blowing lessons to learn and now they are able to rent time at a glass studio to create glass art on their own.

Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

We recently visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle. If you get a chance to go, we highly recommend a visit. Here’s a video of our experience! Read more…

My Son's 6th Grade Recommended Book List

My Son’s 6th Grade Recommended Book List

My son’s reading journey started when he turned three and wanted to only read about dinosaurs. At age four, his interest switched to Pokémon. He learned to read in kindergarten when he turned six and we read mostly picture books.

Graphic novels got him reading in first grade but we also read a lot of picture books too, particularly those with a math theme. By second grade, he read books about aliens, funny books, and graphic novels, and explored different genres in third grade.

In fourth grade, he read a combination of funny, realistic fiction and graphic novels with a little fantasy adventure thrown in. In fifth grade, he discovered he liked poetry thanks to Kwame Alexander. (Thanks Kwame!) This was the year his reading exploded.

Sixth grade was marked by a year of concussion, but we kept on reading with me reading aloud to him. I would describe his taste in books as solidly Rick Riordan, realistic fiction, anything funny including graphic novels, with an interest in science topics either in fiction or nonfiction. He is essentially your typical boy. We’d love your recommendations for a boy who likes funny, action adventure. Thanks so much!


My Son’s 6th Grade Reading List

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

This was the assigned summer reading for his rising 6th grade. We both really liked it, and were thrilled to learn that director Rob Reiner, also reading this book with his daughter, liked it so much that he decided to make it into a movie. My son isn’t into girls but he didn’t seem to mind this middle school love story. [chapter book, ages 12 and up]

Booked by Kwame Alexander

My son learned that he liked poetry after reading The Crossover. My son doesn’t play basketball but he’s played club soccer since he was eight. When I told him Kwame Alexander’s next book was about soccer, he was excited to read it. He liked this book about soccer, divorce, and bullying too. I was surprised that a soccer star could be bullied. I haven’t seem that where I live, but I guess it happens. [novel in verse, for ages 10 and up]

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A Recap of KidLitCon Hershey 2017

A Recap of KidLitCon Hershey 2017

It was wonderful to be with my children’s book blogging tribe at KidLitCon Hershey 2017. Pam Margolis of An Unconventional Librarian organized the event with assistance from Charlotte Taylor (Program Chair), Sarah Stevenson and Tanita DavisSheila RuthMelissa FoxPaula Willey, and Jen Robinson.

Pam was fabulous and funny and warm and friendly as were all the organizers! KidLitCon was also a wonderful and intimate way to meet authors and illustrators (list who participated at the bottom).

Pamela Tuck at KidLitCon Hershey

The second day keynote was by Pamela Tuck, winner of the 2007 New Voices Award from LEE & LOW BOOKS.  Tuck’s picture book As Fast As Words Could Fly was released Spring 2013. Pamela is a native of Greenville, NC. She spoke about her writing journey which included juggling raising and homeschooling her 11 children!! 

I blogged on her book here years ago and she remembered the post! It was thrilling to meet her!

My big takeaway from Pamela Tuck: study mentor texts. She studied Paula Yoo’s Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story both to see what Lee and Low published and to find how Yoo created a story arc anchored in emotion. I’m working on a picture book biography as well, so I am going to do the same.

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10 Recent Picture Books With a Lot of Heart & 2 Book GIVEAWAY!

10 Recent Picture Books With a Lot of Heart & 2 Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome Alison Goldberg today with her list of 10 recent picture books with a lot of heart just in time for Valentine’s Day. We are giving away a copy of her book, I Love You for Miles and Miles and Love Is, a picture book on her list. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

I Love You for Miles and
Miles by Alison Goldberg, illustrated by Mike Yamada

When my own children were in preschool, they adored trucks, trains, boats, and planes. At bedtime, the “How much do you love me?” game turned into a comparison of our love to the size and strength of all things that go. I thought this would be a fun take on a love book.

Love can be stronger than the strongest excavator, longer than the longest train, and taller than the tallest crane. And no matter where you go, love travels with you always. With exciting imagery and engaging, lyrical text, this I-love-you book is perfect for children who love vehicles that dig, carry, and lift.[picture book, ages 2 and up]

10 Recent Picture Books With a Lot of Heart

Many wonderful children’s books about love have been published during the last five years, including board books for the littlest readers and picture books for school-age kids. I loved reading these stories one after another and reflecting on how the heart finds its expression in so many forms. Since love is woven into such a wide array of experiences, these books touch on diverse themes, including fatherhood, motherhood, community, caretaking, immigration, adoption, and friendship. Here’s a collection to share with the kids in your life for Valentine’s Day and beyond.

10. Oh, Oh, Baby Boy! by Janine Macbeth

This gorgeous picture book follows the life of a boy through the eyes of his loving father, from infancy to adulthood. With strong visual storytelling and so many lovely details–including foil-stamped shiny stars on the endpapers—this book is a true celebration of a father’s love. Moreover, Macbeth brings a vision of love to publishing through her independent press: “Blood Orange Press sees the beauty in our communities and our stories. We make books that recognize and affirm first nations and kids of color, and their power and potential in the world.” [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Read more…

2018 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books

2018 ALA Awards: Caldecott, Newbery etc.

The 2018 Youth Media Awards will be announced at 8 a.m. Eastern time today during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibition!

My predictions for the 2018 Caldecott are here and Newbery are here.

2018 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books

2018 Caldecott Medal and Honor Books

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.

2018 Caldecott Winner

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

2018 Caldecott Honor Books

Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James 

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

Read more…

Gabby Kicking It Around with Lily

How To Keep Girls In Sports series with Berkshire Soccer Academy

In celebration of the launch of How To Coach Girls book, we are partnering with Berkshire Soccer Academy, a sleep away soccer camp for girls, with a five-part series.

How To Coach Girls by Mia Wenjen and Alison Foley

How To Coach Girls available for pre-order here.

March: The effect of Team Impact on the Boston College Women’s Soccer Team. Team Impact is a national nonprofit that matches kids facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams. The bonds that formed can be life-long and life-changing. We will be learning about Lily and Alison Foley’s women’s varsity soccer team and what they have been up to thus far this year. Holly Confalone, a midfielder on the team, will be filling us in.

Boston College Women's Soccer and Team Impact

Happy Birthday to Lily…the newest member of the #BCWSoccer team as she signed her NLI with her teammates by her side yesterday. 

Gabby Kicking It Around with Lily

Gaby Carriero kicking it around with #teamimpact teammate Lily before the game.
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Heroes of Black History: Rosa Parks

Heroes of Black History: Rosa Parks #BlackHistoryMonth

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, was one of two black students to attend the University of Georgia fifty years ago. She recalls, “We were greeted by a screaming, howling mob of students, and I think some provocateurs…And as we walked under the arch, the students were yelling and screaming all kinds of epithets, and telling us to go home — in some cases saying, ‘Kill the you-know-what.’ ” From NPR

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Today, she is an American journalist and former foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, and the Public Broadcasting Service. She also wrote the Introduction to Heroes of Black History: Biographies of Four Great Americans here: TFK_HeroesOfBlackHistory_Intro. Read more…

Asian Drumming Crafts, Recipes & Books for Kids

Asian Drumming Crafts, Recipes & Books for Kids

Author Debbi Michiko Florence and I will be making some noise with our February offering in our Asian Culture series. This month we explore Asian drumming through books, crafts and recipes. We will be learning about Japanese Taiko and Chinese Lion Dance which also has drummers.

This is part two of our 6 Part Asian Craft and Culture Series:


Asian Drumming Crafts, Recipes & Books for Kids

Recipe: Almond Cookies (adapted from Allrecipes)

almond cookies and tea

I’m lucky that Debbi is a talented baker! She says, “The cookies didn’t brown as much as I had hoped, but they are absolutely DELICIOUS!”

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Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit and #ReadYourWorld Multicultural Children Book Day

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit ! Please join us in sharing your diverse children’s book links and resources, as well as visiting other links to find great suggestions and recommendations.

Did you miss celebrating Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th? Never fear! You can check out all the highlights of the Twitter party and conversation, as well as check out 100s of diverse book recommendations 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.


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