Monday, June 27, 2016

Have You Tried?

"You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."
Stephen McCranie*

Bookplate by Adrian Teal
Courtesy My Home Library

*Via Sam Guay

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Summer Reading Goals

"When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else."
Zadie Smith*

Bookplate courtesy Laura Lestrade

*Via Brainpickings

Monday, June 6, 2016

Literacy Grants Wings

"So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky.”

-William James*

Bookplate by S. Halligan of Ex Libris Studio

*Via ReadFaster

Friday, June 3, 2016

PPBF: Jackrabbit McCabe and the Electric Telegraph

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Jackrabbit McCabe & the Electric Telegraph
A tall tale by Lucy Rozier and Leo Espinoza
Jackrabbit McCabe & the Electric Telegraph
Written Lucy Margaret Rozier
Illustrated by Leo Espinoza

Schwartz & Wade, 2015
Ages 4-8, 40 pp, AD 930L

Tall Tale, Inventions

"This here's the story of Jackrabbit McCabe who was born to run.
At birth, his legs were so long, they looped like a pretzel and his father had to add an extra axel to the baby carriage."

From the author's website:
Jackrabbit McCabe & the Electric Telegraph is a tall tale. With his extra-long legs, Jackrabbit McCabe can outrun anything on the American frontier: horses, trains, and even twisters. So of course, everyone in the town of Windy Flats always counts on his speed when a message has to get out pronto.
Then something new comes to town: the telegraph, which can send Morse code messages with the speed of electricity. At first, no one believes the newfangled contraption can deliver a message quicker than Jackrabbit. . . But in a race between man and machine, who will be left in the dust?

What I Love:
 I loved tall tales as a kid. I guess I still do. The twang of the text kept me turning pages. The humor in the illustrations made even the stretchiest truths seem plausible.

The story of Jackrabbit McCabe is intended for elementary kids, but I think there's definitely room in a slightly older classroom for a modern folktale. I love how this book will likely entice readers to want to learn more about the 19th century, the invention of the telegraph, and the history of communication without actually presenting much fact.

1. Lucy Rozier recommends the History Channel feature on the telegraph.
2. For more tall tales from around the country, check out American Folklore.
3. Visit the Morse Code exhibit at the White River Valley Museum. Can't travel to Washington? Visit
the virtual Crypto Museum.
4. Have fun sending code to your friends courtesy S. C. Phillips website.
5. Crayola offers a quick morse code puzzle worksheet.
6. For older readers, Prof. Tom Perera offers step-by-step instructions for building a simple telegraph.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Jarm

Reviewed by Julie

Reviewed by Joanne
Reviewed by Amy

Reviewed by Joanna

Reviewed by Stacy

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, June 3, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Monday, May 30, 2016

No Matter What

"… if you really love to write and you really love to tell stories and you really love to draw,
you just have to keep doing it no matter what anybody says."

- William Joyce*

Bookplate by Martin Ursell for My Home Library

<*Via Muddy Colors

Friday, May 27, 2016

PPBF: Lady Liberty's Holiday

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Lady Liberty's Holiday,
fun fiction with informational backmatter
Lady Liberty's Holiday
Written by Jen Arena
Illustrated by Matt Hunt

Knopf Books For Young Readers, 2016
Ages 5-8, 40 pp.

Educational, America, Vacation, Humor

"Not long before the Fourth of July, Lady Liberty woke up feeling a little blue . . . despite being green.
"Year after year, she stood by New York Harbor, a torch in one hand, a tablet in the other."

The Statue of Liberty is tired of the same scenery. When she confides her boredom to her pigeon friend, Moe, he convinces her to take a vacation. Just like that, Lady Liberty lays down her torch and walks off to travel the vast United States. She sends postcards to Moe about all the wonders of America. When the Independence Day fireworks celebration is cancelled because she is missing. Lady Liberty must rush home before the holiday is ruined.
The book includes an afterword of fun facts and a page of the real Statue of Liberty's history.

What I Love:
Come on, you aren't in love with this concept already? Both author and illustrator pull it off with flair. I love the use of postcards as a storytelling device. And Lady Liberty's adventures are hilarious. She travels to the Jersey Shore, but has to rinse off the sand in Niagra falls. You'll see her head among the presidents at Mount Rushmore and when she visits Yellowstone . . . well, you'll have to be surprised along with her. Lady Liberty realizes how much she loves America, and how nice it is to return to home sweet.


Fabulous Stutue of Liberty craft from Buggy and Buddy
1. Joanna Marple has written a wonderful and informative blog post on the Statue of Liberty.

2. Draw a kid-friendly version of the famous landmark on DrawWithRich. Combine it with salt painting fireworks, instructions from BusyMommyMedia.

3. ElementalBlogging has compiled some great homeschool ideas for studying the United States, including a state-by-state scrapbook.

4. I'd love to buy all 50 of the state cookie cutters from CheapCookieCutters and assemble a giant cookie map. Who's with me?

5. Follow the lesson plans on ReadWriteThink or benefit Leukemia patients on SendKidsTheWorld, by teaching about writing postcards. Then grab some American pen pals with the links and tips on RealClassRoomIdeas.

6. Visit the real Statue of Liberty in New York or take a virtual visit via The History Channel.

7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Julie
Reviewed by Carrie
Reviewed by Erik
Reviewed by Jarm


Reviewed by Joanne

Reviewed by Clara

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for Friday, May 27, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.