Thursday, November 1, 2012

Author Forums - Wisconsin and Illinois

Wisconsin in February - Illinois in March - 2013

Wisconsin State Reading Association Conference - Feb. 7-9, 2013
Thursday, February 7, 2013 - 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Authors Speak: Common Core State Standards and an Author's Role
Presentation: Literature and a knowledge of the author that created the literature plays an important role in meeting the Common Core State Standards — "Through reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature, as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives." "Authors Speak" will focus on how meeting an author, in person or through author studies, will enhance the ability to achieve targeted outcomes and promote students' successful growth toward meeting the standards.
Presenters: Sharron McElmeel, Dori Hillestad Butler, Michelle Edwards, Carol Gorman, Jeni Reeves.

Book Signing will be held at 
3:30 p.m.—4:30 p.m. in Exhibit Hall C.
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Illinois State Reading Association Conference -
March 14-16, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013 - 9:30 to 11:00 a.m.
Research Fuels the Authors' Fire--Curiosity fuels reading and writing. Award winning authors and illustrators will be discussed and a myriad of curriculum suggestions for stimulating curiosity and research. Intended for those working with students grades 3-8.
Presenters: Sharron McElmeel, Dori Hillestad Butler, Carol Gorman, Jeni Reeves, Jacqueline Briggs Martin

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Saturday, March 16, 2013 - 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Authors Speak: Common Core State Standards and an Author's Role
--Curiosity fuels reading and writing. Award winning authors and illustrators will discuss a myriad of curriculum suggestions for stimulating curiosity and research. Intended for those working with students grades 3-8.   Center B-4E (K-9)
Presenters: Sharron McElmeel, Dori Hillestad Butler, Carol Gorman, Jeni Reeves, Jacqueline Briggs Martin
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Anyone planning a major children's literature conference or just wanting to have an inspiring author visit your school/community for a day with readers might wish to invite any one of these authors to make an appearance.  Each of the five children's book authors is a popular speaker in schools and libraries and brings much inspiration for reading and writing.  Check out our author visit website at McBookwords. If you are interested in inviting any of these authors to your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords. Each one often speaks in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and books.
 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc





Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thirty Years Later there is "Room for the Baby"

 Michelle Edwards - Author of Room for the Baby
On Saturday, September 29, 2012, an audience of 50-75 attentive listeners, from young readers to older adults, were present on the second floor of Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, Iowa to hear the first public reading of Room for the Baby by Michelle Edwards.  The delightful story centers on a young family: Mom, Dad, and young son, who find that a new baby is to join their family.  But where will the baby sleep?  The sewing room is filled with scraps of cloth, thread, and other unwanted items that neighbors and friends have given the mom.  They knew she would make good use of the unwanted items.  But now the sewing room was needed for the baby.  As the family waits from Passover to Hanukkah, the room slowly empties.  Jana Christy's pastel drawings amplify the book's themes of recycle, reuse, reduce; a timeline of Jewish holidays; and love and friendship within a family and within the neighborhood.
Thirty years earlier Michelle Edwards had sketched out a story "Yetta, the Scrap Saver.
Yetta lived on Mermaid Avenue because that is the avenue her own Grandmother Yetta lived on.  The black and white sketches show a busy streetscape and a grandmother who saved scraps given her by her Brooklyn neighbors as they knew she would put them to good use.
When Edwards returned to the story, the location had moved to 18th Avenue, the scrap saver had become much younger and more modern, and so Room for the Baby emerged.
In the story the family moves through the year marked by Jewish holidays all the while mother takes the bits of fabric, bolts of flannel, and other stashes of cloth and makes diapers, and sleepers, and little shirts for the baby and for children of her neighbors.  She unraveled mismatched mittens and used the yarn to create new warm ones with stripes.  And when the neighbors came by for "free stuff" they transformed their found treasures into gifts for the baby. There was a soft animal made from the socks, a mobile created from the wooden spools, many knitted items, and a name collage created from the magazines.
At the end of the reading, Michelle answered questions, signed books (both new and old), and those who were in attendance enjoyed cake sent by Michelle Edwards' writing pals - The Tallgrass Writers.
A lovely day in celebration of a book that is sure to delight many readers - young and old.
 
Anyone planning a major children's literature conference or just wanting to have an inspiring author visit your school/community for a day with readers might wish to investigate inviting an author or illustrator to share their experience with writing. With the common core standards being implemented the background of a book and research becomes an important element in the way readers read. Thanks to Flory Gessner for the photos from the reading. smc

 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Room for the Baby by Michelle Edwards - Book Signing

At a tea and conversation event hosted by Claudia McGehee I saw Michelle Edwards - the author of the newly released Room for the Baby (Random House, 2012) and found out that on September 29th at Prairie Lights  Michelle will read from her book and sign copies of Room for the Baby.  Prairie Lights • 15 South Dubuque St. • Iowa City, IA 52240 • 319-337-2681 • 800-295-BOOK.  The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the upstairs room at Prairie Lights.

Room for the Baby A delightful book that follows the tradition of the Caldecott Award winning Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Talback (Viking, 1999); Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman (Scholastic, 1993); and Jim Aylesworth's My Grandfather's Coat (Scholastic, 2014).  In Edwards's Room for the Baby (Illustrated by Jana Christy; Random House, 2012), Mom - a seamstress who has collected many garments, cloth and so forth to create new garments, is faced with the task of finding room for the new baby.  How will she transform this room full of things into a room for the baby?

A reviewer in the School Library Journal says: "From the endpapers featuring quilt squares with menorahs, apples and honey, onesies, yarn and knitting needles, teddy bears, and spools of red thread with needles, readers will know they are in for a multi-layered story."  The story follows the family from Passover (when the impending birth of the baby is announced) to the the third night of Hanukkah, when Lily is born "and big brother and the neighbors bring Lily gifts created from hand-me-downs and leftover materials. Brightly colored, collage-like illustrations with detailed patterns accompany the lively text, delivering the reuse, recycle, repurpose theme. That the family is Jewish and the neighborhood diverse add texture to the story in a completely natural fashion."

This book is sure to be a winner.

If you are not able to get to Prairie Lights I know they would take orders for autographed copies and mail your copy to you.

Author appearances are very effective in promoting interest in reading and writing -- and can inspire many literacy related activities.  Anyone planning a major children's literature conference or just wanting to have an inspiring author visit your school/community for a day with readers might wish to invite check out other authors in the Midwest that are available to visit your school or library.
 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Meet the Author - a summer visit with Jim Aylesworth

This summer (2012) Jim Aylesworth came to the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.  He first appeared at the Iowa City Summer Book Festival (see a few pictures here) and then traveled to Cedar Rapids where he appeared at the Barnes and Noble store in the Lindale Mall area in Cedar Rapids.  Four of his best fans were there to meet him for the first time.  Although for the most part E.J. has moved  beyond picture books as core reading material he has memories of receiving autographed books written by Aylesworth.  Kylie, Kaydence, and Marissa still enjoy picture books, Marissa more consistently than the older two who are transitioning into early chapter books and full fledged novels.  (Kylie read Man of War this summer and went to the movie with her father.)  But today all four were in attendance and listened intently as Jim Aylesworth shared information about his writing career and read parts of several of his books.

Meeting Jim Aylesworth
Jim Aylesworth - A former first grade teacher started his career by reading books to his first graders who encouraged him to write some more -- and to do his best.
Kylie listens.
E. J. is thoughtfully listening -most of the books Aylesworth is talking about are very familiar to this voracious reader.
The important message today is "never give up" and "always do your best" and read and read and read.
Marissa has chosen Naughty Little Monkeys.

Kylie gets asked, "Who is your favorite author?"  And she, of course had THE answer: "You." 
From LtoR: Marissa, Kylie, E.J. (with a smile this time - thanks to Kylie for making him laugh), Kaydence - and Jim Aylesworth in front.
He wrote more books and his students often provided him with ideas and inspiration for more books.  One of the audiences' favorites this day was The Completed Hickory Dickory Dock.
What the author has to say seems to be serious business as he discusses the importance of reading and engaging readers.
Marissa (middle) and Kaydence (top of picture) are learning about some of the books for the first time.  Others their older brother and sister (and mom and dad) have read to them.
Kaydence gets her book autographed.  Her choice is Aylesworth's newest title Cock-a-doodle-Doo, Pop, Pop, Moo!
And of course, she wanted her book autographed too.
From LtoR: Marissa, Kylie, E.J. (without a smile), Kaydence - and Jim Aylesworth in front.
When Kaydence was asked who her favorite author was, she had THE answer too.  But then quickly added, "and my grandmother."  She knew who was going to pay for the books they had chosen.
Anyone planning a major children's literature conference or just wanting to have an inspiring author visit your school/community for a day with young readers might wish to invite Jim.
Jim Aylesworth is a popular speaker in schools and libraries and brings much inspiration for reading and writing.

If you are interested in inviting Jim Aylesworth to your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Jim often speaks  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Starting the Discussion - Anti-Bullying

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This is my promised blog entry that includes anti-bullying curriculum components utilizing Carol Gorman's Games: The Tale of Two Bullies and Dori Hillestad Butler's The Truth About Truman School.  The ideas involve all school reads, author visits, and much discussion.  But first a little background.

Forty-seven states of the fifty states are reported to have passed school anti-bullying legislation requiring a plan to deal with bullying.  Curriculum components aimed at curbing bullying, in some form or another, are mandated in these states.  As of now there are no federal laws dealing directly with school bullying.  However, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have unveiled a revitalized Stop Bullying website– www.stopbullying.gov, — “to encourage children, parents, educators, and communities to take action to stop and prevent bullying.”But it seems clear that this is a problem that can not be ignored.  Sadly sometimes adults do not deal with the situation in the most effective manner.  Here are cases -- you decide.

CASE #1: Several bullies harass an overweight female (high school) student in the classroom.  Instead of dealing directly with the harassment, the teacher moves the female student to the other side of the room to separate her from the bullies.  This does nothing to stop the bullying behavior in the hallways and tends to perpetuate the idea that it is the fault of the person being bullied rather than putting the blame where it should land – on the bullies.

CASE #2: An intermediate student does not deal well with loud unexpected noises.  They frighten and cause her great discomfort and she visibly reacts to loud unexpected noises.  Fellow classmates delight in coming up behind her and make loud noises.  The teacher’s efforts to curb this is to have the girl work with a mentor who will regularly surprise her with noises and thus, eventually “condition” her to the loud noises.  While this might be a compassionate conditioning for other situations; the students maliciously making the loud sounds were not dealt with.  That should be a FIRST step.  Meeting the situation head on should be the norm not the afterthought.

CASE #3:  A sixth grade class had two female students in the class.  One had a congenital eye deformity and the other had a very scarred face and arm caused by a kerosene fire when she was a toddler.  The student with the scarred face never smiled nor was she a pleasant student to have in class.  The girl with the eye deformity smiled a lot (but it seemed to be a "put on a brave face" defensive move) –  neither girl was treated well by their classmates.  They teased, ignored, did not include them in playground games, did not choose them for games, in general they mostly showed that each of them was a big bother and too insignificant to be part of their “circle.”   The teacher in this case arranged to send the girls to the library (with instructions that they not be allowed to return until the all clear signal was sent).  Then she proceed to “read the riot act” to the remaining students. Of course, the one girl was not pleasant to be around – would you be if no one was ever nice to you?  How would you feel if you were ignored and teased and shunned throughout every day?  Once it was clear, that future incidents of the negative behavior was NOT going to be tolerated the class settled down to create a list of actions that they could take to include the girls positively.  When the girls returned the classroom, the teacher explained forthrightly that the class had been discussing their collective bullying behavior and that collectively they wished to apologize and hoped each of them (the girls) would accept the apology and allow each of the members of the class to begin to show their friendship as the days went on.  This forthcoming approach embarrassed the girls for a moment but even that day other members of the class were quick to extend a new welcome to each of them.  Students vied for the girls to be in their group.  By the end of the semester both were smiling daily and by the end of the school year each of the girls had made some lasting friendships.  And new students and students in other classes took their cue from these girls’ immediate classmates.  There was no bullying, no exclusion, no ignoring — each was treated as a valued member of the class and the school community.

Case #3 exemplifies the type of progress we can make if we just discuss and talk about the effect bullying has on those that are being bullied and if the group as a whole shows that bullying will NOT be tolerated within their learning community.
As a teacher you may not be able to pinpoint the subject as clearly as in Case #3 – the bullying was so concentrated on these two girls that the discussion focus was pretty clear.  However, there are other successful methods of starting a conversation about bullying.
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A common experience can bring a discussion into focus.  Award winning authors have written books that deals with incidents of bullying.  These incidents, the personality of the bully, the vulnerability of those being bullied, the background of all of the incidents, and so forth can all play into the discussions that come about because of the focus on bullying.  

Several lists of books exist which contain ideas for starting discussions about bullying -- The Pirate Tree.  The blog is maintained by a collective of children's and young adult writers interested in children's literature and social justice issues.  Two posts by Ann Angel concentrate on bullying:

Annangel.  (5 April 2012) "We Can Learn About Ways to Stop Bullying from Teens in the Civil Rights Movement." The Pirate Tree. (WEB) http://www.thepiratetree.com/2012/04/05/we-can-learn-about-ways-to-stop-bullying-from-teens-in-the-civil-rights-movement/

Annangel.  (4 May 2012) "More Thoughts on Books, Bullying and Standing Up." The Pirate Tree.  (WEB).
http://www.thepiratetree.com/2012/05/04/more-thoughts-on-books-bullying-and-standing-up/ 

To find the other posts about bullying, use the search function on The Pirate Tree's blog.

Penguin Young Readers Group has published a booklet authored by Jerry Michel, titled Think Twice Play Nice.  The booklet is available from the Penguin Group teacher/librarians website at http://penguin.com/teachersandlibrarians or from this archival depository.
 
To start that process one successful method is to hold an “all school” read.  Each child would read, or have read to them--the same book as each of the other students in the school.  After the book has been read or throughout the reading discussions for the events in the book can be shared and solutions/ideas sought.  

One of the most effective culminations to an all school read is arrange for students to have the perspective of the author who wrote each book.  One author, Dori Hillestad Butler often uses a previsit bullying survey to elicit what is going on in their schools in regard to bullying.  These comments/facts are then incorporated into her presentation/discussions with those who have read her book.  Carol Gorman elicits discussion about the “games” that were being played in her book about two bullies.  Games played by all bullies as well as those who merely stand by and provide passive approval/encouragement to the bully are also discussed. 
An author appearance by either Carol Gorman or Dori Hillestad Butler is a powerful element in focusing on anti-bullying efforts.

Carol Gorman — Games: The Tale of Two Bullies
The story of Mick Sullivan and Boot Quinn is written from two perspectives in alternating chapters — From the publisher: "Mick Sullivan likes reading thrillers, daydreaming about Tabitha Slater, and teasing his archenemy, Boot Quinn.  Boot Quinn likes playing his guitar, daydreaming about Tabitha Slater, and punching his adversary, Mick Sullivan.  The two eighth graders are rivals in every way, and with two fights in the first week of school, they've set the stage for a yearlong showdown. That is, until a new principal arrives on the scene and forces Mick and Boot to spend an hour and a half each day playing games together. Two enemies, one small room, and no adult supervision--battle lines are bound to be crossed. As the wins and losses are tallied, the boys find themselves fighting for their classmates' attention, a cute girl's affection, and their own fathers' respect.  But how far are they willing to go to win? And who are they really fighting? There's only one way to find out.
Game on."
Carol Gorman is an exciting and accomplished author presenters who engages students in active and involved conversations.  Invite Carol to your school to be part of the anti-bullying discussions as part of your all-school reads and your anti-bullying curriculum.  Plan an all-school read, schedule a date for the author's appearance, and begin now to promote a no-bullying tolerance in your school community.

 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc



Friday, May 4, 2012

Jim Aylesworth at the 8th Annual Bill Martin Jr. Symposium


 May 1, 2012 International Reading Association, Chicago Illinois.

After signing at the International Reading Association in Chicago, Jim headed off for Texas where he was scheduled to Keynote the 8th annual Bill Martin Jr. Memorial Symposium.


May 4, 2012  Texas A & M University, Commerce, TX:  Bill Martin Jr. was a respected educator and writer.  He was an editor at Holt, and then a full-time writer.  Among his best known works are his books illustrated by Eric Carle: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; and the other titles in the series.  His final collaboration with Carle was Baby Bear, Baby Bear What Do You See?  His title Bill Martin Jr.'s Big Book of Poetry was one of his final titles, and a glorious collection of wonderful poems.  Bill Martin, Jr. was born in Kansas, the Kansas State Reading Association honors him by awarding the Bill Martin Jr. award each year.  And his adopted state of Texas (he spent his last 11 years at Woodfrost, near Commerce, Texas) honors him at  Texas A & M University with the Bill Martin Jr. Memorial Symposium.  In 2012, the university sponsored the 8th annual symposium and the keynote speaker was Jim Aylesworth, author of more than 30 children's books.
Just like the books written by Bill Martin Jr., Aylesworth's books were written to be read aloud. They are filled with the things that Jim has learned that children like -- especially rhythm, rhyme and repetition. Some are ABC books, some are fantasies, some are based on folk tales or Mother Goose rhymes, and some are bedtime stories. He was joined by two other outstanding authors who were featured speakers: Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Campoy.

Obviously it is too late to register for the 2012 symposium but their website offers information on the symposium so checking back to http://www.tamu-commerce.edu/ or conducting an Internet search for "Bill Martin Jr. Symposium" will yield information for 2013.  The Ninth Annual BMJ Symposium is scheduled for Friday, May 3, 2013.  For more information visit www.tamuc.edu/BillMartinJrOr contact BMj_Symposium@tamuc.edu
 (903-886-5537)

Jim Aylesworth at the Texas A & M Library, Commerce Texas --
During the 8th Annual Bill Martin, Jr. Memorial Symposium, May 4, 2012--
Jim is holding a photograph of Bill Martin, Jr.

Anyone planning a major children's literature conference or just wanting to have an inspiring author visit your school/community for a day with young readers might wish to invite Jim.
Jim Aylesworth is a popular speaker in schools and libraries and brings much inspiration for reading and writing.

If you are interested in inviting Jim Aylesworth to your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Jim often speaks  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Frankenboy: An Original Opera

In the spring of 2012, author Jacqueline Briggs Martin met with a group of fifth graders in a writing  workshop.  The group discussed the topic of bullying.  They talked, they wrote, and talked some more.  The outcome of their discussions and writing when to a gifted and talented composer, Robert Lindsay Nassif.  He was commissioned to write an original opera for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theater.  On Thursday April 18, 2012 Rob Nassif presented excerpts from "Frankenboy!" A Monsteropera.  Nassif's one-act, anti-bullying work was showcased in a "Meet the Composer" event onstage at CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The inspiration provided by the children led Rob to develop a story line featuring Frankenboy who, because he is "different" is bullied by the students at Transylvania Middle School.  As expected, there is an epiphany and in the end all see the error of their ways.  It is a very entertaining and informative opera.  But I particularly enjoyed Rob's story of the story.  
And I can not wait to see the opera when it premiers.
The opera will premier for the general public on June 22-24 at the CSPS hall.   

The opera will include a cast of talented actors/singers: Brian J. Kuhl as Frankenboy, Michael Penick as his nemesis Butch, as well as Jessica Mallow and Meredith Taylor DuBon.

Rob shared a few of the songs from the opera and explained the narrative that threaded through the production.  It is sure to be a smash hit.  The public will be invited to production in June:   

Ticket prices for the June performances at CSPS are $50 for the opening night gala performance, and $20 for adults and $10 for children for the remaining performances. “Frankenboy!” is sponsored by a gift from Nan Riley and the late Tom Riley -- long time patrons of the arts in Cedar Rapids, and supporters and patrons of the work of Rob Nassif.
Rob Nassif met Jacqueline Briggs Martin during the pre-"Meet the Composer" moments.  Both talented authors had a part in what promises to be a fantastic experience for young people.  In January of 2013, this opera is scheduled to tour middle schools as an entry into the initiative to curb bullying in our schools.

This is a fantastic opportunity for schools to tap into resources in the community to augment their efforts to create an anti-bullying curriculum.

Meanwhile Jackie and I (and dozens of others) enjoyed the evening immensely.  After the formal presentation there was wine and cheese and conversation.  I was able to meet Virginia Michalicek --
the Development Director of Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre who worked hard to get Jackie's visit to Johnson School of the Arts and those fifth graders arranged, and with the efforts of Melissa Summers this all came off wonderfully.  Author, Carol Gorman and a fellow teacher from Coe College (Laura) were in attendance.   Nan Riley was able to be there along with many other patrons of the arts.  A fun evening.  
Shoes are always a sign of the fun moments.  Here's a pair of shoes that was most fun.
And of course they belong to the lady with the red hat.  Jacqueline Briggs Martin has her own perspective of this "Meet the Composer" event -- you can read her thoughts on her blog at:  http://chirujournal.blogspot.com/2012/05/frankenboy-boy-with-heart.html
After the evening drew to a close we both walked to our cars but could not resist taking a picture of this statue in the entrance lobby of the CSPS hall.  (See below).
If any one knows what this is or has any story about it please let me know.  I think it is lovely.
Statue location: CSPS Hall,
1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

If you are interested in inviting Jacqueline Briggs Martin to your school for a presentation about being an author, her books, or for a writing/reading workshop she would welcome your invitation.  Jackie is a sought after speaker and easily speaks about her career as a writer and about her children's books.  Her latest book The Chiru of High Tibet, is a picture book that readers of all ages will enjoy (and learn from).
For an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

And don't miss my May 13, 2012 blog entry featuring more ideas for anti-bullying curriculum components utilizing Carol Gorman's Games: The Tale of Two Bullies.  The ideas involve all school reads, author visits, and much discussion.
 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Monarch 2012 Book List features Butler and Aylesworth

Many states have state award lists -- children choose their top favorites from among a predetermined list.  (Access a list of state awards by state.) Illinois has the Monarch award list.  On the Illinois School Library Media Association's Monarch site are lists (current and past) and many resources for the books on the reading list.  In 2012, the list included Jim Aylesworth's The Mitten and  Dori Hillestad Butler's Edgar winning mystery book for older primary - intermediate readers, The Case of the Lost Boy.   The Case of the Lost Boy is a favorite of two young readers from Indian Prairie Library in Darien, Illinois.  This booktalk is precious -- and right on target:

A great model for sharing with students and inviting them to create their own videos of booktalks for a favorite book of theirs.
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The Authors:
Jim Aylesworth is a popular speaker in schools and libraries and brings much inspiration for reading and writing.

If you are interested in inviting  Jim Aylesworth  to your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords. Aylesworth often speaks  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.


 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Color Your Winter - Bring on the Yarn

Michelle Edwards is a writer - she knits and she loves books.  Earlier this year she was featured on the McBookwords blog which featured her newest title (for adults) but you'd be surprised how much there is for those of us who love children's books.  Take a look at that blog entry .

Recently Michelle made a book recommendation of her own.  She writes articles for the Lion Brand Yarn newsletter and a recent essay features a children's book, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, about a magic box that refills itself with yarn, colorful yarn that Annabelle uses to knit her way into the hearts of her classmates. 

Connections after connection swirl through my head.  I have a very good friend, a third grade teacher, who utilized those frequent "inside recess" days here in Iowa to teach her students to knit and crochet during noon time recess.  Boys and girls alike loved learning the new skill.  She created a whole generation of knitting/crocheting boys and girls — some of which are now adults who knit and crochet.  Then there is the basket of balls of yarn that my aunt always kept by her rocking chair.  The balls of "extra yarn" was left over from other projects.  Those colorful balls of yarn were used to make hot pads, mittens for small hands, and rainbow scarves.  I'm thinking that basket of yarn is much like Annabelle's box of "extra yarn." 

While Michelle - the knitter, is making connections to all sorts of things knitterly, I am making connections with this book's theme - the never ending supply of yarn.  What a great book to connect to all of those books about a magic soup pot, Strega Nona and her pot of spaghetti, and more.  The majority of other "magic pot" stories are porridge or soup pots - so this story of a box that magically produces "extra yarn" will be a unique title for theme comparison.


Magic Pot/Box Stories

Ziefert, Harriet.  The Magic Porridge Pot.  (Easy-to-Read).  Puffin, 1997.
Stimson, Joan and Rosie Dickins.  The Magic Porridge Pot.  (Usborne First Reading: Level 3) Usborne, 2008.
De Paola, Tomie.  Strega Nona, Little Simon, 1997.
Galone, Paul.  The Magic Porridge Pot.  Clarion, 1979.
Mbanze, Dinah M. , reteller. The Magic Pot: Three African Tales. Illustrations by Niki Daly.  Kwela Books, 2002.


Preview the book if you would like -- from the HarperCollins site.  And then enjoy a good read.







Enjoy your reading and your knitting --

 
McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.

 smc