We celebrate these books, published during Spring 2021! Click on a book cover to watch a short video by one of the book’s creators. We’ve enjoyed learning more about each book — we know you will, too! If you’re inspired to buy one or more of these books, please click on the title to purchase the book from Bookshop.org, an online
Big Green Pocketbook
It had been years since I last visited the home of my heart, the only place where I can breathe freely. Conicville is in Shenandoah County in the Valley of Virginia, bordered by the Allegheny Mountains. It consists of a church, a cemetery, and a scattering of houses and farms. In 2012, I traveled to [...]
So, another little lesson I've learned ... start right away.
In which we interview Brian Weisfeld, one of the authors of The Startup Squad series, featuring a reluctant team of four girls who start their own business. I found them to be charming … and I mean that in both senses of the word: being appealing and casting a spell.
Why We Love Nonfiction
Why do I love this book so much? Because Wind does a phenomenal job of weaving together excerpts from a diverse array of primary source materials to reassess the sexual and gender identities of a dozen famous and lesser-known figures from the past.
Caldecott Lines of Connection
In Part 2 of Geography, we take a look at Caldecott winning and honored books with settings in Europe. Recognizable landmarks are among the illustrations in these books, giving a strong connection to location.
Two for the Show
Julius Lester loved language and he loved story. Language, Lester wrote, is not just words and what they mean; music and rhythm are also part of the meaning. Just reading his books for children makes us want to read them out loud to hear that music and rhythm along with his gift for putting words [...]
Raising Star Readers
It’s been a month since I’ve seen my grandchildren, who live five hours away—a month since we’ve snuggled up with our favorite books. For me, a month is a long time.
Quirky Book Lists
Daylight savings time makes me grumble at having to get up earlier. But, it also means that spring is coming. I start thinking about what seeds I will plant for my garden, and which books I will read to my students, to give them hope when they still see snow on the ground. To encourage [...]
By featuring both nonfiction and fiction during storytime, you provide children an opportunity to experience the contrast between what is real and what is imaginative. Both are important for a successful reading experience. Here are 18 of my favorite nonfiction books to use in storytime programs.
Today, writing about nature and outdoor play just feels as natural and right to me as breathing. All my happy memories of chasing frogs, climbing trees, and splashing in summer lakes easily inform the stories I write.
When I was doing lots and lots of author visits, many schools were focusing professional development—and writing instruction—on Six Traits: Voice, Ideas, Presentation, Conventions, Organization, Word Choice, and Sentence Fluency. I liked to show ways that I, a professional writer, also dance and wrestle with those traits. In particular, I liked to focus on ideas [...]
Quirky Book Lists
Patience and perseverance are among the hardest things for children to learn. How can we make pressing on in the face of discouragement interesting to kids? By reading them amazing stories of creativity and resilience! Picture book biographies show the satisfying results of persevering over a lifetime. All ages will be inspired by the true [...]
Why We Love Nonfiction
The fiftieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 2019 inspired many new books along with some updates and reissues of existing titles. For those who haven’t had the chance to look at all the possibilities, let me introduce you to a few.
Self on the Shelf
As a child, I was shy and scared—of other kids, dogs, almost anything outside my fence. My parents enrolled me in preschool, hoping I’d blossom. I refused to get out of the car. I had everything I needed at home, including a mom who loved reading to me. My first book memory is Three Bedtime [...]
When We Reach Them
Imagine the joy of a child who never had the privilege of owning a book being able to choose new hardcover or paperback editions for free out of hundreds displayed in front of him. The Children’s Literacy Foundation doesn’t have to imagine. Staff have seen the excited smiles on these young faces for the past [...]
Curiouser and Curiouser
I've known Mike Wohnoutka for many years, from his first SCBWI meeting when he introduced himself and showed samples from his portfolio. His adorable character in Cowboy Sam and Those Confounded Secrets (Kitty Griffin, Kathy Combs), an early book, captured my attention. Here was an illustrator who infused humor into the visual story. Hannukah Bear [...]
When Marsha Qualey began this column six years ago, she had us all on the lookout for books about children’s literature. What would add to our understanding of this very particular community of educators, students, collector, and creators? This book about Helen Oxenbury by Leonard Marcus is a gem, filled with the wisdom of a [...]