Archive for February, 2018

How To Coach Girls by Mia Wenjen and Alison Foley


I’m so excited to announce the blog tour stops for HOW TO COACH GIRLS! Thank you so much to these bloggers for reviewing our book!

How To Coach Girls Alison Foley Mia Wenjen coaching book for girls

March 1      Wise Owl FactoryHow to Coach Girls Book Review and Free Sports Awards Printable

March 2     The Conscious Kid: Review including her favorite chapter

March 3     Jump Into a Book: Keeping Our Girls in the Game Read more…

Adding to 10 Math Games

Adding to Ten Math Games

I met with an Editorial Director at Charlesbridge Publishing a few weeks ago, and she invited me to submit my picture book manuscripts. I had gone to an author event at Charlesbridge last year with my son to learn about Paul Reynolds’ latest books with his brother, Ish! author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.

I have, in fact, have a picture book manuscript with an adding to ten concept and my dream publisher for this book would be, in fact Charlesbridge. My son and I read every single book of their Sir Cumference series. He likes math picture books a lot!

I thought I’d add an Adding to Ten Back Matter page to my book.

Adding to 10 Math Games

What’s In My Hand?

Adding to Ten Math Games
Use ten dried beans, coins, or other small objects that fit in the palm of your hand. Divide them randomly into two piles and hold one in each closed fist. Read more…

Rambutan exotic fruit challenge

My Son’s Exotic Fruit Challenge: Rambutan

My son has discovered our green grocer and is now excited to try exotic fruit. This has been a popular video for me on my Instagram, so I thought I would share our series on my blog as well.

Our first Exotic Fruit Challenge is rambutan. My son was attracted to the hairy shell which made him think of Halloween decorations. He thought they would make perfect creepy eyes. We are trying to dry each half to see if it also works for creepy potpourri but I don’t think that will work out. The husk is drying to a darker and more shriveled version.

rambutan exotic fruit challenge

Rambutan are expensive here in New England. At about $5 a pound, a single rambutan costs almost a dollar! Read more…

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]

Read more…

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.

Read more…

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…

Fun Activities to Teach Kids About Weather

Fun Activities to Teach Kids About Weather

Teaching kids is not an easy task as you have to ensure that you come up with fun ways to enable them to enjoy your teachings at any time of the day. One area that you must teach your kids about is the weather. They also need to know about the different weather changes that we experience and how to measure them as well. So here are some fun ideas that you can employ to teach your kids about the weather.

• How to read the thermometer.

In most cases this part of the study is not put too much into consideration as the rest of the curriculum but, it is advisable for kids to know how the weather is fairing. A thermometer is a gadget used for measuring the temperatures of space. In the beginning, the kids may not quite understand it, but you can add other features for easy reading. Craft your thermometer at school or even at home and ensure the kids are also involved in the making process to get their attention. Also, ensure to use bright and visible items when making the thermometer for easy reading. Read more…