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Fall 2010 Librarian Preview Webcast

It's not too late to get the inside scoop on upcoming picture books, fiction and nonfiction titles by Walter Dean Myers, David Shannon, and other favorite authors being published by Scholastic's trade imprints this Fall. Watch the Fall 2010 Librarian Preview Webcast today!

Help Reading Is Fundamental


For 40+ years Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. has helped children build literacy skills and provided greater access to books. Now, with funding in jeopardy, RIF needs your help to keep its programs alive. Find out how to support RIF and spread the word.

Plus, help RIF while getting students excited about reading over the summer. Join the 2010 Summer Reading Challenge — students have fun competing to read the most books while participating in Scholastic’s 50,000-book donation to RIF!

Author Events: Sarah MacLean, Liani Taylor, & More

9780545048866_xlgSarah MacLean, author of The Season will be making an appearance at:

Book Cove in Pawling, NY
November 14, 2009 at 1 p.m. ET
Call for details: 845-855-9590

9780545097499_xlg Michael Northrop, author of Gentlemen will be making an appearance at:

Book Cove in Pawling, NY
November 14, 2009 at 1 p.m. ET
Call for details: 845-855-9590

0545055857_xlgLiani Taylor, author of Lips Touch: Three Times and illustrator Jim DiBartolo will be making an appearance at:

Books of Wonder in New York, NY
November 16, 2009 at 6 p.m. ET
Get Details

Marilyn Nelson, author of Beautiful Ballerina and photographer Susan Kuklin will be making an appearance at:

Scholastic Store in New York, NY
December 2, 2009 at 7 p.m. ET
Call for Details: 212-343-6166

Maggie Stiefvater, author of Shiver will be making an appearance at:

Borders, Inc. in Fredericksburg, VA
December 12, 2009 at 2 p.m. ET
Call for Details: 540-785-6171

Save the Dates! Fall Season Webcasts

Fall Season Webcasts Offer Something for Every Student and Teacher

This fall season, Scholastic is offering THREE LIVE WEBCAST events that deliver original, engaging, and interactive content directly into classrooms.

Winter's Tail Winter's Tail: A Virtual Fieldtrip to Clearwater Marine Aquarium
October 7, 2009, 1:00 pm EST/10:00 am PST
Students will go deep underwater (while staying on land!) as this webcast explores the facts about dolphins and the inspirational true story of Winter, whose journey of courage and determination is documented with the new book Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again. Author Craig Hatkoff and special guests (including Winter!) will join the webcast too!


Goosebumps Get Goosebumps! with R.L. Stine
October 28, 2009 1:00 pm EST/10:00 am PST
What’s Halloween without a few scares? Bestselling author R.L. Stine will weave a spine-tingling story on the spot, with YOUR students’ help! Students can submit their ideas for a thrills-and-chills story in advance, and a tie-in writing contest will see one lucky student and school win a Goosebumps prize package!


The 39 Clues The 39 Clues: Advanced Agent Training
November 2, 2009 1:30 pm EST/10:30 am PST
To unlock the mystery of the 39 clues, kids need highly classified, super-intense skills. Hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, this webcast will offer just that! All five authors, of the first six books of the groundbreaking, multi-platform series, including Rick Riordan will help students uncover the secrets of being an agent. Upon successful completion of the training, your classroom will receive a secret code that unlocks never-before-seen files that will help answer a key question in the series. Pre-register for your webcast event kit and for details on The 39 Clues Advanced Agent Training Essay Contest!


Join us on exciting adventures without leaving your classroom!

Harry Houdini for Kids

Harry Houdini for Kids:

His Life and Adventures with 21 Magic Tricks and Illusions
Written by Laurie Carlson
Ages 8-13

And it's a bonus book review for you this week folks. Chock-full of primary source materials, Harry Houdini for Kids is a nice segue into the world of magic. It features illustrated directions for numerous tricks, including the "Magic Key Trick" and the "Lift a Person with One Hand Trick," as well as directions for making "slimy ectoplasm" and other such crafty concoctions.  

Using some slight of hand, author Laurie Carlson manages to slip in the science behind the magic. Students are bound to enjoy the projects and tricks, whether they perform them independently or as a group in class. For some real fun, have students practice the various tricks and put on a show for a neighboring classroom.

Nonfiction Monday: Beginnings and Endings

Way back in August, I was the first to post on this new Kid Lit Kit blog, and now, at the end of the school year, I'll be the last. What a year it was! So many great books! I'd like to wrap up by revisiting three science activity books you can use in your classroom next year.

Nonfiction.monday Facts First

Oldredshoe What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?
by Anna Alter

Reading level: Grades K-2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt

This "Green Activity Book About Reuse" has 12 activities for young readers. No need to save this for Earth Day, you can use it all year in your "green" classroom.  

64daringexperiments The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science: 64 Daring Experiments for Young Scientists
by Sean Connolly (Author)

Reading level: Gr 3-5
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Workman Publishing

Learn how to make a Frankstein Hand (page 46), turn milk into stone (page 52), make Do-It-Yourself Blubber (page 160) and more in this book of "daring" science experiments. 

You can find the "ingredients" for these experiments at home or in the grocery store, so it's easy to get started. (A "time factor" is listed for each experiment, and some only take 2-3 minutes!)  

602n Keeping our Earth Green
by Nancy Castaldo

Reading level: Grades 3-9
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Williamson Books

The subtitle says it all: "Over 100 Hands-On Ways to Help Save the Earth." That's a lot of ready-made lessons! The book is divided into four sections: Air, Water, Land, and Energy, so you can use it all year.

Today's Nonfiction Monday is at Jean Little Library. (To see the summer round-ups, visit the Nonfiction Monday link and click on the blog listed for that date.) I hope you'll stay in touch! Come visit my Literacy Links twitter. Happy summer!

Friday Blog Round Up

Spout CoverCongrats to Eric Carle on the big 80!  The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will be celebrating this event in a number of ways, including a Birthday Bash and Children's Book Festival with the Western Massachusetts Illustrators' Guild, on June 13th. If you can't make it, be sure to check out their online gift shop. The bath spout is one of my favorites.   

Oh, the Places You'll Go!, that Dr. Seuss classic, is the focus of a new scholarship sponsored by Random House. President Chip Gibson announced Random House Children's Books, "will award one 2010 graduating high school senior $5,000 toward post-secondary education." Visit www.ohtheplaces.org for details.

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast has yet another interesting interview, this time with illustrator Amy Ackerley. I still haven't stopped laughing from seeing her illustration of Patrick the penguin with a plunger on his head.

Tuttles-Cover If you're in the market for some picture book illustrations you need to check out the R. Michelson Galleries. They have a terrific selection; everything from Dr. Seuss to Mo Willems. They even had a show for one of my favorites, Thomas Locker. If you're in the Northampton, MA area, this jewel of a gallery is worth a visit. You can even pick up an autographed copy of one of Mr. Michelson's picture books.  

Have you signed up yet for Scholastic Mini Books?  Now's the time my book-savvy friends. There is quite a selection, including resources on favorites like The Grouchy Ladybug and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Hope you have a super summer folks. If you're looking for some summertime books reviews, be sure to visit me on TeacherShare. Until then, keep reading and enjoy the sun!

Picture Book Thursday: Art for Everyone

FlyKiteFly Fly, Kit Fly!: A Story of Leonardo and a Bird Catcher
Written and illustrated by John Winch
Little Hare

Ages 4-9

A_is_for_Art A Is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet
Written and illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson
Ages 5-9

Vermeer_Interviews The Vermeer Interviews: Conversations with Seven Works of Art
Written and illustrated by Bob Raczka
Ages 8-16

Fly, Kit Fly!: A Story of Leonardo and a Bird Catcher

This book was published a year or two ago but it's a good one to have for your classroom. This bit of historical fiction is based on the real meeting of Leonardo da Vinci and his life long friend Giacomo. Challenged to capture a red-tailed kite for the prince, the young boy completes his mission by offering a model built by da Vinci. Combined with rich red infused illustrations, this book is a fun tale and visual treat.  

A Is for Art: An Abstract Alphabet
This has to be one of the most interesting alphabet books on the market. Filled with truly abstract artwork and accompanying alliterative text, this title is well suited for old and young students alike. I think my favorites are "Fast Food Frenzy" featuring french fries and "Hoopla!" every Slinky aficionado's dream. Nice job Stephen T. Johnson!

The Vermeer Interviews: Conversations with Seven Works of Art
What a innovative way to help children to appreciate art. Bob Raczka "interviews" a number of the figures found in the paintings of Vermeer, allowing him to comment on artistic style and symbolism as well as everyday life in the 1600s. You're going to enjoy reading this as much as your students will.

After having a class discussion about Leonardo da Vinci, students can draw pictures of their own inventions. Bind the drawings together to create a class book or display them on a bulletin board.

For more book reviews during our summer hiatus, be sure to hop on over to TeacherShare.

Friday Blog Round Up: Duck! Rabbit! and an Olivia poster

Duck_rabbit Cathleen at Chronicle Books tipped me off to a bunch of cool book features they have online. They include teacher guides, printable posters and videos. Check out the links for the following: Duck! Rabbit!, Little Oink, and Horse Crazy.

Chris Gall is currently being featured on the Little Brown Books You Tube channel. Hear about his inspiration behind Dinotrux! or check out another video to hear Patrick McDonnell, Stephenie Meyer, or James Patterson.

Over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, there's an interview with one of my favorite illustrators, Christopher Denise, as well as author Kristy Dempsey. It's also worth taking a look at his Web site; you'll get a full sense of his artwork. Keep up the good work Christopher!

With all the festivities around last week's Children's Book Week, there are still so many fun resources out there. I'm assuming this poster of Ian Falconer's Olivia is still available and worth the 60 cents for your classroom.

There's something about Mir that makes me want to pull a chair up to the table at Kitchen Table Reviews. This week she's blogging about Tedd Arnold's Super Fly Guy -- and fly he is!

You know the drill folks. Have a happy weekend and we'll see you back here next week!

Nonfiction Monday: Travel

Nonfiction.monday Get ready for summer travel with this fiction/nonfiction book pair and activities for K-2.

2004_cv2 Facts First

Follow That Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills
by Scot Ritchie

Reading level: Grades 1-3
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Kids Can Press

Follow Sally and her friends as they search for Max the dog and Ollie the cat while traveling across different types of maps.

Pair With


The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman
by Darcy Pattison (Author)
and Joe Cepeda (Illustrator)

Reading level: K-2
Hardcover/Paperback: 52 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

In this story told in postcards and letters, different travelers take a life-sized wooden man across the country.


Participate in the Oliver K. Woodman Map Project and geo-tag Oliver's travels.

Plan ahead for the next school year with these Travel Pal Scrapbook lesson plans.

Print and perform this mini-book, A Play: Follow the Map and make the map center in the lesson plans.

If you're blogging about nonfiction books on this Nonfiction Monday, go to ACPL Mock Sibert blog and add your blog to this week's Round-up.

Friday Kid Lit Round-Up

According to PBS, Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat is coming to TV this fall in the new animated series "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!" With comedian Martin Short giving voice to the whacky feline, "the world's most beloved cat will whisk preschoolers off on a voyage of scientific discovery for the first time ever as an animated TV series..."

I'm guessing any number of you Twilight fans would have loved to trade places with beauty salon owner Casey Ray. She found the script for New Moon laying in the trash and went to lengths to return it to the studio. Nice job Casey!

Have you taken a look at the handy summer reading book list that's part of the Summer Reading Challenge? Which titles are new to you? I bet you'll find a few fun selections to share with your favorite young friends.

I'm not sure how I missed it, but Jennifer posted a list of class made ABC books that looks just super. Ideas include photographing students as they shape their bodies into letters and finding objects in the classroom that begin with each letter.

While I'm bringing this to your attention too late to win a copy, you'll still definitely want to check out the reviews for Chicken Butt. I'm trying not to judge a book by its title but it's a struggle people. Let me know what you think.

OK folks, you know the drill. I'm off to write a lesson plan or two and I want you to have a super weekend. I'll catch up with you next week.

Nonfiction Monday: Children's Book Week

Nonfiction.monday Celebrate Children's Book Week May 11-17 with these books and activities for Grades K-8.

9781416908128 That Book Woman
by Heather Henson(Author)
and David Small (Illustrator)

Reading level: Grades K-3
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Atheneum

Cal is not the readin' type, but that Book Woman keeps coming up the mountain and Cal learns to read so he can find out what the words say. (Inspired by the Pack Horse Librarians, the "Book Women" who carried books on horse or mule into the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky in the 1930s.) 

YA3CT Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Journey to Change the World…One Child At A Time Young Reader’s Edition
by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Authors), Adapted by Sarah Thomson

Reading level: Grades 4-8
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Dial

Rescued by villagers in Pakistan while mountain climbing, Greg Mortensen returned their kindness by building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


Download the Children's Book Week Bookmark and print one for each child in your class.

Visit Scholastic's Professional Development Articles and Curriculum Ideas for National Children's Book Week 2009.

Students can write their own books with these Author Activities for National Children's Book Week.

If you're blogging about nonfiction books on this Nonfiction Monday, go to Book Scoops and add your blog to this week's Round-up.

Friday Blog Round Up

Leanne Italie has created an interesting list of famous moms and their favorite kid-lit lines. See if you can make the match for this quote from Charlotte's Web: "You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you." Was it Cokie Roberts, June Lockhart, or Lori Loughlin?

Summer_challenge_promo_lg Now is the time of year to get your students geared up for summer reading. Check out the Summer Challenge, where kids read, play, and get the chance to win prizes all summer long.

And I know how much you all enjoy a good contest. Throw in a chance to win a copy of Meg Cabot's Airhead and you've got yourself a bucket load of fun!

Librarian Approved recently got me turned onto the idea of playing with books. On the one hand, I think it would drive me somewhat loopy to see books bandied about during play but some good points are made.  After you read the list, I'd love to hear your comments.

If you're not familiar with Bridget Zinn, DeoWriter describes her as, "a YA public librarian and YA writer. Lots of energy and sweetness."  She is currently battling cancer and her treatment is "aggressive and expensive." A number of folks in the kid-lit world have gotten together to help raise funds for her, starting with an online auction. This is a perfect chance to make a donation yourself, or hold a fundraiser with your school or students. Send me a note if you need some ideas.

Alrighty, I'm off to read up on what's new in poultry-themed picture books. Have a super weekend and I'll see you back here next week.

Nonfiction Monday: A Taste of Asia

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, so let's begin with a taste of Asia for Grades K-8.

9780395442357_lg How My Parents Learned to Eat
by Ina R. Friedman(Author)
and Allen Say (Illustrator)

Reading level: Grades K-2
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

An American sailor and a Japanese student teach each other how their families eat.

9781584302759_lg Hiromi's Hands
by Lynne Barasch

Reading level: Grades 3-5
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Lee and Low Books

In this true story, a Japanese-American girl grows up and learns how to make sushi in her father's restaurant.

Wtwe_med What the World Eats
by Faith D'Aluisio (Author)
and Peter Menzel (Photographer)

Reading level: Grades 6-8
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Tricycle Press

See what 25 families around the world eat in this photo-essay filled with maps, charts and recipes.


Discover Asian Pacific American stories with these lesson plans and videos from Scholastic.

Visit the Asian Pacific Heritage Month pages at the Library of Congress for lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids using primary sources.

Write a Reader's Theater script for your K-8 classroom with these Asian Folktales Lesson Plans.

If you're blogging about nonfiction books on this Nonfiction Monday, go to Chicken Spaghetti and add your blog to this week's Round-up.

Friday Blog Round Up

Manfish All the talk of Jacques Cousteau at GreatKidBooks has me reminiscing as well.  Although I only have vague recollections of watching his specials as a tot, to me he was the Jeff Corwin of the ocean. You don't want to miss Manfish, the new book about his adventures.

So I was checking out some top 10 picture book lists on BookLights when I came across this tidbit: Can you guess which funny man and picture book author/illustrator used to write for Sesame Street?

I'm with Christine at the BookBench. Our recent record breaking heat wave had me ready to pull out every winter-themed book I could find, but she saved the day for me with a favorite Poppleton book.

Are you interested in winning a copy of Janet Halfmann's new Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea? Then pop on over to ReadingRumpus for numerous ways to enter the contest.

Newsflash! "Mir gives her son the week off to do some birthday bonding with her daughter over a great book." Now you know how much I enjoy KitchenTableReviews. It's worth a peek to see which book was birthday worthy.

Alrighty folks. I'm off to find the latest on bunny picture books for next week's review. Have a super weekend and we'll see you then.

Picture Book Thursday: Springtime Holidays

Cinco_de_Mayo Cinco de Mayo: Celebrating the Traditions of Mexico
Written by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
Photographs by Lawrence Migdale
Holiday House

Ages 6-12

Book_Fiesta Book Fiesta!
Written by Pat Mora
Illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Ages 3-7

ThatBookWoman That Book Woman
Written by Heather Henson
Illustrated by David Small
Ages 4-9

Cinco de Mayo: Celebrating the Traditions of Mexico

I wouldn't expect anything less than a quality book from Holiday House and this title is certainly no exception. In depth text, great color photos, and skillful graphic design make this book a must have for celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the classroom. Students will enjoy Rosalba Rosas and her family's celebratory traditions. The glossary of Spanish words is the icing on the cake. 

Book Fiesta!
You can't judge a book by its cover, but I won't blame you if you're smitten with the colorful artwork by the time you open to the endpapers. When you reach the two-page spread of "reading to the moon," you'll wonder if Rafael Lopez has the artwork available in poster form.  

Author Pat Mora has done a fine job crafting a book that celebrates reading and nods to the April 30th Mexican celebration "Day of the Child." Written as a bilingual picture book, both English and Spanish speakers will enjoy the celebration that this book has to offer.

That Book Woman
According to the author's note, "This story was inspired by the true and courageous work of the Pack Horse Librarians, who were known as 'Book Women' in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky." Told from the point of view of a poor farmer's son, Cal goes from disinterest in reading to asking his sister to teach him after he observes "that book woman" and her dedication to her readers. Author Heather Henson does a nice job capturing Cal's voice, while David Small uses his beautiful illustrations to keep the focus on Cal.

Distribute large index cards to students to make book lists they think the "book woman" should share. Make copies of the cards and bind them into books for students to take home. They'll be able to refer to their friend's book lists when they're choosing what to read.

Nonfiction Monday: Space Day

Get ready for Space Day on Friday with this fiction/nonfiction book pair and activities for Grades 6-8.

Nonfiction.monday Facts First

51OdOk2p4dL._SL500_AA240_ Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
by Tanya Lee Stone (Author)

Reading level: Grades 6-8
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Even though the Mercury 13 women did not make it into space, they inspired the women who came after them to take their place in the sky.

Firstinspace First In Space
by James Vining

Reading level: Grades 6-8
Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Oni Press

This historical graphic tells the story of Ham, a chimpanzee that NASA trained for the first sub-orbital spaceflight.


Read the collection of poems about the 13 women in Almost Astronauts when the "flying bug" bit.

Preview the first 10 pages of First In Space.

Use primary sources with NASA's Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions.

If you're blogging about nonfiction books on this Nonfiction Monday, go to at Picture Book of the Day and after you add your blog to this week's Round-up, enter the Space Day Giveaway drawing for FREE Virtual Author Visit for one class on Wednesday, May 13, 2009.

Friday Blog Round Up

Duck_rabbit OK, I have to admit it, I have not weighed in on the whole Duck! Rabbit! debate. Now that Chronicle has released this video on YouTube, we can all make an informed decision.

Now that your mind is at rest about Duck! Rabbit! you can devote some more time to wondering, "Who knitted Coraline's little sweater for the movie?" That would be miniature knitter extraordinaire Althea Crome.

Margaret Peterson Haddix has a new title out and Achockablog offers a review. I'm not sure how the rating system works but The Missing appears to have earned 4 green chicks.

The folks at PaperTigers are celebrating Earth Day with Jan Reynold's Cycle of Rice, Cycle of Life: A Story of Sustainable Farming. They describe it as a "fascinating photo essay." Sounds like one to add to your classroom bookshelves.

Here's a tip for you as you finish celebrating National Poetry Month with your students. Check out Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo -- and their writing tips -- on Scholastic's Writing with Writers.

As always folks, have a great weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday.

Picture Book Thursday: Pop Ups

Petsgopop Pets Go Pop!
Written and illustrated by Bob Staake
Little Brown Kids

Ages 4-8

Popuphouse  Pop-Up House of Inventions
Written and illustrated by Robert Crowther
Ages 5-11

Earthlyinventions Earthly Treasure
Written by Kate Petty
Illustrated by Jennie Maizels
Ages 6-10

Pets Go Pop!

If you're planning on teaching about pets, you need to get a hold of this book. With a Dr. Seuss like text and over-the-top pop-up animals, your students will get a kick out of the comic goings on. My favorite is a bystander reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rhino. Oh, it even comes with an activity poster that makes a nice addition to your classroom.

Pop-Up House of Inventions
This title is so loaded with interactive pop-up flaps and folds, I'm certain I haven't found them all. A suit of clothes hanging in a closet, a moving shower curtain, and a cookie sheet of gingerbread men in the oven are just a few of the interactive features that even I was having a blast with. Combine these with facts like, "Romans used candles as early as the 1st century A.D. They were made of animal or vegetable fat, and sometimes hungry soldiers would eat them" and you have a hit. A super book to use when teaching about changing technologies.

Earthly Treasure
I've never been one to get excited about teaching about rocks and minerals. Then again, I didn't have a fun pop-up book like Earthly Treasure as a resource. One pop up scene depicts what a house would be like without metal, while another page features an erupting volcano, complete with lava. If this book doesn't get kids excited about rocks and minerals, I don't know what will.

OK, so this activity is a tad obvious, but I'll make it a bit more intriguing. Pick a theme and have students create a pop-up card. Bind five or six of the cards together to make classroom pop-up books.

Nonfiction Monday: Dogs

Learn about life with a dog in this fiction/nonfiction book pair and activities for K-3.

Nonfiction.monday Facts First

15228808 May I Pet Your Dog?
The How-to Guide for Kids Meeting Dogs
(and Dogs Meeting Kids)

by Stephanie Calmenson (Author)
and Jan Ormerod (Illustrator)

Reading level: Grades K-3
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books

Practical advice for kids meeting a new dog.

Pair With

9780395822661_lg Little Dog Poems
by Kristine O'Connell George (Author)
and June Otani (Illustrator)

Reading level: Grades K-3
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books

The dog is little and so are the poems as a girl narrates a day in the life of her dog.


Have your students write a "mask poem" to welcome Bo to the White House (and send them to the author of Little Dog Poems.)

Watch Bo at the White House.

Learn about dog care from the ASPCA.

If you're blogging about nonfiction books on this Nonfiction Monday, go to Mommy’s Favorite Children’s Books and add your blog to this week's Round-up!

Friday Blog Round Up

Thenorthstar If you're interested in attending a The North Star book release party with Peter H. Reynolds, you should drop him a note. The event is Saturday, April 25th and sounds like a great time. Or if you'd like to simply order a copy of the book and have it personalized you can do that too.

After reviewing baseball books last week, I thought you might like to find out about one more.  Anokaberry Annotated reviewed The Brooklyn Nine: A Novel in Nine Innings and it sounds like another home run.

This news has been floating around in the blogosphere for a month or two now. Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke is officially on board to direct If I Stay, which was released on April 2nd.  It's definitely worth a peek as there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the title.

"#19.  Write a ballad or song about the characters and events in your story.  Set the words to the music of a popular song and sing it to the class."  This is just one of 25 book report alternatives found in Karen Sevaly's November! Idea Book.

Easter at the White House involved the President and First Lady reading from two of their favorite picture books. It sounds like President Obama would have made a good teacher. 

OK folks.  Go order a copy of The North Star and have a super weekend.  We'll see you back here on Monday.

Picture Book Thursday: Spring Has Sprung

Ohwhatabeautifulday Oh, What a Beautiful Day!: A Counting Book
Written by Jeanne Modesitt
Illustrated by Robin Spowart
Ages 2-6

Agardenofopposites A Garden of Opposites
Written and illustrated by Nancy Davis
Ages 3-8

Thetwelvedaysofspringtime The Twelve Days of Springtime: A School Counting Book
Written by Deborah Lee Rose
Illustrated by Carey Armstrong-Ellis
Ages 4-8

Oh, What a Beautiful Day!: A Counting Book
How can you not enjoy a book depicting hugging hamsters, flipping ferrets, and a prancing pig? Young readers will enjoy the simple counting and fun rhyming. Combined with illustrator Robin Spowart's simple color palette and color pencil-like strokes, spring is in the air. Sitting under a tree is the perfect place to share this book with students.

A Garden of Opposites
Printed on heavy paper with young readers in mind, this title features illustrations reminiscent of Lois Ehlert's work. With bold shapes and colors, Nancy Davis features opposites like asleep and awake, plain and fancy, and short and long. As a special treat, there is a fold-out at the end, where children can search for more opposites and check their finds by reading the butterfly's trail on the endpapers.  

The Twelve Days of Springtime: A School Counting Book
Any teacher who reads this book is going to immediately recognize that the creators have done their homework. The tank of tadpoles, easel board displays, craft projects, and writing on the chalk board are all familiar scenes to anyone who has spent in an elementary classroom. Combine this attention to detail with the humorous goings-on of the students and the teacher trying to hold it all together and you have one heck of a fun read aloud.

Using construction paper, students can create a set of opposites to be featured on a class bulletin board. Choose a theme like gardens, the ocean, or space and list the opposites on the side.

Nonfiction Monday: Earth Day

Prepare for Earth Day next week with these books, one for K-2 and one for grades 3-9.

Nonfiction.monday Facts First

9780824968243_big Keeping our Earth Green
by Nancy Castaldo

Reading level: Grades 3-9
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Williamson Books

The subtitle says it all: "Over 100 Hands-On Ways to Help Save the Earth."

Pair With

9780805082906 What Can You Do with an Old Red Shoe?
by Anna Alter

Reading level: Grades K-2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt

This "Green Activity Book About Reuse" has 12 activities for young readers.


Celebrate Earth Day with Scholastic's activities for K-8.

Stop by EarthDay.gov's kid's pages for games and activities.

Visit Larry Ferlazzo's blog for The Best Earth Day Sites for ELL, ESL, AND EFL.

If you're blogging about nonfiction books on this Nonfiction Monday, go to Abby (the) Librarian and add your blog to this week's Round-up!

Friday Kid Lit Round-Up

Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up is just one of the good books Angela Bunyi suggests on her blog. A big fan of Ralph Fletcher, Angela shares some of his (and her) tips on how to encourage boys to enjoy reading and writing.

More and more I'm hearing about Three Cups of Tea activist Greg Mortenson. With his picture book, Listen to the Wind, recently released, more students will be encouraged to hold their own fundraisers to help support those less fortunate than themselves. My class is currently raising funds to build floors in the mountain schools of India.

Readers of Collecting Children's Book were the first to see, "Graveyard Book to be Stripped of Newbery?" What followed was an in-depth and humorous article. Astute readers noticed it was posted on April 1.

The week of April 13th is on its way and School Library Journal's Battle of the Books is about to begin.  With matches like The Graveyard Book vs. The Trouble Begins at 8 and The Hunger Games vs. The Porcupine Year, this is one smack-down you're going to want to follow.

If you're hoping for a chance to win a trip to Disney World, you need to visit RIF and learn about their Read with Kids Challenge. Every participant who logs time reading will be eligible to win prizes from Candlewick and LC Creations. It's well worth a look.

So while you go log in to win a sunny vacation, I'm off to read a book or two. (I'm always looking for leads, so send me a title or two I may have missed.) Have a super weekend and we'll see you back here next week.

Picture Book Thursday: Hey Batta Batta Swing!

RulesoftheGame Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems

Written by Marjorie Maddox
Illustrated by John Sandford
Ages 9-14

ChangeUpBaseballPoems Change-up: Baseball Poems
Written by Gene Fehler
Illustrated by Donald Wu
Ages 6-11

YouNeverHeardofSandyKoufax You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!
Written by Jonah Winter
Illustrated by Andre Carrilho
Ages 4-10

Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems
National Poetry Month is the perfect time to celebrate the opening of the season with baseball poetry. Marjorie Maddox, grandniece of former Brooklyn Dodgers manager, has written a compilation that includes Choking Up on the Bat, Beanball, and my favorite, The Line Drive.  This is a book of baseball prose that all student sports enthusiasts will want in their classroom library.

Change-up: Baseball Poems
Wow!  Another comprehensive book of baseball poetry.  Gene Fehler sets forth a series of poems that flow from February, through baseball season, and back to February, covering topics like parents playing ball, superstitions and bench warming.  The combination of picture and poem for Snow Baseball had me feeling like I was in Cooperstown. Fellow Kid Lit Kit blogger Hannah Trierweiler also featured this book in her New Review Tuesday post.

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!
If you can stop playing with the lenticular cover of Sandy pitching, you'll learn everything you ever wanted to about this talented ball player.  By the end of 1961, "Sandy had broken the National League record, with 269 strikeouts."  His repeated pitching led to his elbow swelling to the size of a grapefruit after each game.  Readers will enjoy reading about his carer in baseball, as well as the facts sprinkled throughout the work.  This book is a home run.

Compare "Bench View" from Change-up and "The View from the Dugout" from Rules of the Game.  Have students illustrate the poems, without having seen the original illustrations.  Mount the pictures as a bulletin board display, being sure to include copies of the poems and accompanying artwork.

Nonfiction Monday: Eggs

Eggs are on the menu for both Passover and Easter this coming week, so here's a fiction/nonfiction book pair and activities about eggs for K-2.

Nonfiction.monday Facts First

9780811844284_lg An Egg is Quiet
by Dianna Hutts Aston (Author)
and Sylvia Long (Illustrator)

Reading level: Grades K-2
Hardcover: 36 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Explore the world of eggs as you see how they are alike..and different...in many ways.

Pair With

9781596432727_lg First the Egg
by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Reading level: Grades PreK-2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

This die-cut book cleverly shows the life cycle of several creatures, and ends with a creative process kids can participate in...making a book! 


This Passover for Kids guide has games, activities, recipes and multimedia stories.

Decorate eggs online.

Find out why eggs and rabbits are an Easter tradition.

If you're blogging about nonfiction books on this Nonfiction Monday, go to Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, a Reading Tub Blog and add your blog to this week's Round-up!

Friday Blog Round Up

Tshare If you haven't checked out TeacherShare lately, now would be a good time. If you type "lesson plan" into the search box above "resources" on the left, you'll find a treasure trove of picture book related lesson plans. While not all of the hits will be picture books, the majority of them will. They should pop up with the picture book title, followed by lesson plan.
One of my favorite publishing folks, Karen Walsh at HMH, clued me into this fun online resource. The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Poetry Kit offers classroom activities, downloadable stickers, a Poem-A-Day calendar and a letter from award-winning poet Joyce Sidman. Rhyme on folks!
Our own Anastasia Suen is putting her poetry powers to great use, showcasing a poem a day, from K-12 students.  Keep an eye on PencilTalk this month and you'll be treated to a variety of poems. 
All this poetry talk is making me hungry and I can't help but look back to March, being National Noodle Month and all. Jama Rattigan's AlphabetSoup  serves up a host of pasta related books. Nora Dooley's Everybody Eats Noodles is just the tip of the iceberg.  
By now you're probably rubbing your growling tummy and asking yourself how I could have forgotten to mention Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs?  Well don't despair!  If your "appetite for adventure" is in full swing, you're going to want to check out the movie trailer over on Sony's site. (My favorite is the ratbirds.)
Now that I'm ready for Prince Spaghetti Day, I'll bid you all a super weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday. Oh, and send me a note people!  Let me know what interests you in the Kid Lit World.

Picture Book Thursday: April Poems

Soup Soup for Breakfast
Written and illustrated by Calef Brown
Ages 5-12

Hands Steady Hands: Poems About Work
Illustrated by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy
Ages 8-12

Stampede Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School
Illustrated by Steven Salerno
Ages 4-9

Soup for Breakfast

According to the book jacket on Soup for Breakfast, Calef Brown tries to write a poem a day. "Believe it or not, I was once very averse to verse, but now all my nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs go forwards and backwards, riffing and rhyming. It's all about the timing." And that they do. With fun poems like "Painting on Toast" where butter is used as a primer and "T.P.L.T.T.F." (The Parking Lot That Time Forgot) that imagines "rumble seats and window fans, classic coupes and vintage vans," students are sure to find some new favorites.

Steady Hands: Poems About Work

Who would have thought that a welder, retail clerk, and programmer would make for good poetry? But they do, along with a host of others. Tracie Vaughn Zimmer does a wonderful job of capturing the nuances of these careers. With descriptive prose found in poems like "Camp Counselor," she holds a magnifying glass to the sensory experiences that might easily be overlooked. "They roll out sleeping bags and -- too tired to speak -- point out shooting stars and listen to the tink tink tink of the flag hook against the empty pole, the restless crickets, the bullfrog by the riverbank."

Not to be forgotten are the collages Sean Addy has created to accompany the poems. His artwork adds a whole new layer to the poems.

Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School
One look at the frenetic, animal and alphabet infused endpapers lets readers know they
are in for some fun. Laura Purdie Salas and Steven Salerno make a super team as they romp through a series of school inspired poems like "Tomorrow Is Picture Day," "Printer Problems" and my personal favorite, "Turtleneck."  Laura does a super job of connecting with students and their school day experiences, while Steven offers up a retro series of illustrations that are just plain fun. Great job guys!

Based on Soup for Breakfast, cut paper in the size of a soup labels and have students write poems on them. Don't forget to add some illustrations. Wrap the poems around cans and create a display to share the poems.

Nonfiction Monday: World Health Day

Prepare for World Health Day on April 7 with this fiction/nonfiction book pair and activities for grades 3-5.

Nonfiction.monday Facts First

Cv_0822575558 Keep Your Cool! What You Should Know about Stress
by Sandy Donovan (Author)
and Jack Desrocher (Illustrator)

Reading level: Grades 3-5
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Lerner

In this new Health Zone book, students will learn what causes stress and how to reduce it.

Pair With

Londoneye2 The London Eye Mystery
by Siobhan Dowd (Author)

Reading level: Grades 3-5
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: David Fickling Books

Talk about stress...Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim board the London Eye, but when the ride is over, Salim is no where to be found! 


The theme of this year's World Health Day is "Save lives. Make hospitals safe in emergencies."

Use the CDC's Body and Mind classroom activities.

Have your students take the health quiz at the UN's CyberSchoolBus page.

If you're blogging about nonfiction books on this Nonfiction Monday, go to Tales from the Rushmore Kid and add your blog to this week's Round-up!

Friday Blog Round Up

RiverFlow 'Tis the season of book awards and prizes and I was interested to find that on American Indians in Children's Literature there is mention of the "First Nation Communities Read" program, complete with annual award. Previous winners include Ancient Thunder, As Long as the River Flows, and SkySisters.  

While I'm not a big snake fan, Sonja is a big Nic Bishop fan, so this link is for her. The Jean Little Library offers a review of The Snake Scientist and with lines like, "They portray the fascinating world of snakes without being too frightening or icky, if you're a non-snakes lover," I might be tempted to actually check out the book!

Last week I challenged you all to donate a book to your local library and it turns out that Support Our Shelves is a campaign to do just that. The Brooklyn Public Library is just one of the systems participating along with others in Arlington, Kensington, and Red Hook. What a super cause.

I thought I was doing well to plan ahead and have some new poetry books out to review for April, National Poetry Month. GottaBook's Gregory has gone above and beyond with a poet a day for the month of April. Jane Yolen, Nikki Giovanni, and Jack Prelutsky are just the tip of the iceberg.

Are you in the mood to create a character scrapbook? Well you will be after you check out the Character Scrapbook tool, complete with a pick-the-facial-features feature.  It reminds me of a high-tech and educational Mr. Potato Head.

All righty folks. My work here is done. Have a fantastic weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday.  

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