Sunday, May 1, 2016

Screen-Free Week 2016

Celebrate Screen-Free Week
May 2-8, 2016
Elephants never forget
 It's Children's Book Week

What will you do with your free time?

Here are some bookish crafts to get you started.

Frog and Toad paper bag puppet, from Bright Hub Education

  First Grade and Fabulous


Animal Corner Bookmarks, from Living and Learning at Home

Living and Learning at Home

Fabric Sketchbook Cover, From Sew DIY

Courtesy Sew DIY

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Read, Write, Celebrate

Follow the link to participating stores

Support your local bookseller. Go book shopping today!
And advertise your preference with swag featuring the Indie Bookstore Day 2016 logo

No need to sign up, just have to show up.
Follow @paulayoo  for updates
Join me and other Kidlit authors during NaPiBoWriWee, May 1-7, 2016.
Founder Paula Yoo encourages with informational posts as we nail down seven picture book drafts in seven days. Isn't your writing life worth the effort?
Be warned, NaPi has a new location on the web. If you're new to the event, you may want to scour the archives from previous years for inspiration.

Follow @CBCBook
'Hope you voted for your favorite reads because May 2-8 is Children's Book Week. Turn out to see which books made the cut, how to promote literacy in your community, and be sure to pick up plenty of swag.

Friday, April 29, 2016

PPBF: Float

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Wordless masterpiece Float, by David Miyares
Written and illustrated by Daniel Miyares
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, 2015
Ages 4-8, 48 pages

wordless, outdoor, exploration

This book is wordless, but the story opens with a dad making a newspaper boat for his son on a rainy day.

From the Amazon description:
"A little boy takes a boat made of newspaper out for a rainy-day adventure. The boy and his boat dance in the downpour and play in the puddles, but when the boy sends his boat floating down a gutter stream, it quickly gets away from him...the little boy goes on the hunt for his beloved boat—and when the rain lets up, he finds himself on a new adventure altogether."

What I Love:
It's difficult to put into words the power of pictures. Simon & Schuster has posted a selection of spreads from the book which convey some of the magic of Float.

The graphic style and use of the bright yellow raincoat to define the character are an homage to Snowy Day, and yet so much more.

Plus-endpapers! Daniel uses his brilliantly, as an invitation to participate in the story, instructions for your own newspaper boat and...well, that would be giving the ending away.


1. Origami Instructions gives step-by-step photos as well as a video for folding your own paper boat or look on OrigamiPie for a printable chart.
2. You'll find an in depth interview with the author/illustrator on Seven Impossible Things, a radio interview on KCUR, and a podcast on All The Wonders.
3. Reading Rockets features a great post on how to share a wordless picture book with children.
4. Why stay inside? Try splatter painting with raindrops from LittlePageTurner or an outdoor mud pie kitchen from WilderChild.
5. Prefer indoor board games? Mr.Printables invented a Chutes and Ladders spin-off called Rain and Rainbows.
6. This is the perfect time to introduce kids to Gene Kelly: Watch Singin' In The Rain, or at least show them this clip of the famous musical number. While you're at it, why not memorize the steps and act it out during your next downpour?
7. Study the weather with a homemade rain gage from Imagination Tree.
8. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.


Reviewed by Clarike

Reviewed by Beth

Reviewed by Kerry

Reviewed by Joanne

Reviewed by Sue
Reviewed by Mary

Link to NPR
Link to Goodreads

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, April 29, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


I have so many books, I've started using cats as bookends.

Excerpt from "Catalog" by Rosalie Moore

Cats sleep fat and walk thin.
Cats, when they sleep, slump;
When they wake, pull in—
And where the plump's been
There's skin.
Cats walk thin.


A cat condenses.
He pulls in his tail to go under bridges,
And himself to go under fences.
Cats fit
In any size box or kit;
And if a large pumpkin grew under one,
He could arch over it.

from Cat Poems, selected by Myra Cohn Livingston

Cat Poems,
by Myra Cohn Livingston and Trina Schart Hyman
Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Friday, April 22, 2016

PPBF: A Tree For Me

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

A Tree For Me, a rhyming concept book
by Nancy Von Laan and Sheila White Samton
A Tree For Me

Written by  Nancy Van Laan
IIllustrated by Sheila White Samton
Alfred A. Knopf, 2000
Grades Kindergarten-3, Lexile 250L

Concept,  Counting, Poetry, Nature

"All around the hill where the brook runs free, I look, look, look for a tree for me. Big one, small one, skinny one, tall one, old one, fat one, I chose that one!"

A child rambles through the woods looking for the perfect tree to climb. He stumbles across wildlife, counting from one to five. It seems every place he wants to perch is already occupied. When he finally finds the perfect tree, the last verse of the story brings a satisfying circular ending with all the creatures he has encountered.

What I Love:
The concept may seem too simple, but the author pulls it off beautifully. Her rhymes are fun to read aloud and move the story, rather than bogging it down. The text captures a child's exuberance and wonder at the outdoors. Need more examples?
"Up I go to the tippy tip top. Uh-oh! Oh, no! Wait a minute. STOP! I'm mistaken. This one's taken."

Lots of white space surround the bright mixed media style. The illustrations are perfect for little fingers to point and squeal. They energize the already bouncy language and keep the reader turning pages. Perfect for National Poetry Month, Earth Day, or any day.


Pretzel and grape tree snack courtesy TheSeasonedMom
1. Teaching Books has teacher resources for A Tree For Me and other books by the author and illustrator.

2. Art imitates life! Art teacher Candace Ashment has a beautiful example of a collage project using the tracings of the students' hands. The Missing Piece uses quilts in the same way. Use her idea as a springboard kids can use to create woodland landscapes of their own.
3. Climb a tree. Take a nap. Trace the leaves. Start an acorn or pinecone collection.
4. HowtToNestForLess offers fun scavenger hunt printables to find outdoors or try the nature treasure hunt from TwinRocksOutdoorSchool.
5. HomeSchoolGiveawaysandFreebies offers a counting worksheet and other free resources focused on birds and their nests.
6. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Joanna
Reviewed by Susanna

Reviewed by Laura
Reviewed by GradeOnderful
Reviewed by Julie
Reviewed by Joanne

Join Mei Mei and Gong Gong
in their new book!
And please don't miss my review of Sylvia Liu's debut picture book,
A Morning With Grandpa. It's worth the look!

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, April 22, 2016 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Pickety Fence

Courtesy Things I Like

"The Pickety Fence" by David McCord*

The pickety fence
The pickety fence
Give it a lick it's
The picket fence
Give it a lick it's
A clickety fence
Give it a lick it's
A lickety fence
Give it a lick
Give it a lick
Give it a lick
With a rickety stick

*Reprinted in A New Treasury of Children's Poetry, selected and introduced by Joanna Cole, Doubleday 1984
Celebrate National Poetry Month!