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Trailblazing Illustrator, Elizabeth Shippen Green

Elizabeth Shippen Green

Elizabeth Shippen Green

Younger readers may not fully appreciate how difficult it was for women to break into the highly competitive field of illustration. For many years, men were routinely hired for advertising art, newspaper and magazine illustration, and children’s book illustration. 

Elizabeth Shippen Green, born in 1871 and dying in 1954, was one of the earliest female illustrators to win high regard, helping to open the door a little wider for the women who followed her,

Her father was an artist-correspondent during the Civil War. He encouraged her to study art, supporting her as she attended various art schools.

Elizabeth Shippen GreenShe studied with Thomas Anshutz, Robert Vonnoh, Thomas Eakins, and Howard Pyle. “She credited Pyle with teaching her the importance of visualizing, then realizing, the dramatic moment key to illustrating a narrative text.” (Library of Congress)

While studying with Pyle at the Brandywine School, Elizabeth met Jessie Willcox Smith and Violet Oakley. The three of them became fast friends, supportive of each other’s careers in illustration. They moved into The Red Rose Inn in Villanova, Pennsylvania, with Henrietta Cozens as their housekeeper.

The Five Little PigsLater, they moved to Cogslea in the Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. Because of their residence together, they were referred to ever after as The Red Rose Girls. These three and several other women formed The Plastic Club, meant to encourage one another professionally. 

Elizabeth was one of the most recognized illustrators in the country because of her assignments for St. Nicholas Magazine, Woman’s Home Companion, The Saturday Evening Post, and a 23-year exclusive contract with Harper’s Magazine. In 1922, she illustrated a beautiful edition of Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb.


Read more about Elizabeth Shippen Green:

The Red Rose Girls: an Uncommon Story of Art and Love, by Alice A. Carter

By a Woman’s Hand: Illustrators of the Golden Age, ed. by Mary Carolyn Waldrep, Dover Fine Art

National Museum of American Illustration

Library of Congress, “A Petal from the Rose” exhibit

Some of her work in the Library of Congress’ collection

American Art Archives, showing some of her advertising art


A Story for the Ages

For the past two years my husband and I have had the good fortune to spend the waning days of summer in Door County, Wisconsin. There we have discovered a vibrant arts community. A bounty of theatre, music, and fine arts is there for the picking.

The Rabbits Wedding by Garth WilliamsThis year, as I scanned the possibilities for our visit, I was particularly interested in the Peninsula Players’ Midwest premiere of a new play by Kenneth Jones called Alabama Story. The play comes from actual events which occurred in Alabama in 1959. Based on the American Library Association’s recommendation, State Librarian Emily Wheelock Reed purchased copies of the picture book, The Rabbits’ Wedding by Garth Williams, for state libraries. The Rabbits’ Wedding concerns a black rabbit and a white rabbit who marry. Though Williams, an artist, chose the colors of the rabbits for the contrast they would provide in his illustrations, they became symbolic of much more when segregationist Senator E.O. Eddins demanded that the book be removed from all state library shelves. Eddins believed that the book promoted the mixing of races. Alabama Story tells this story of censorship, juxtaposed with the story of a biracial relationship.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellMy husband and I both had tears in our eyes several times throughout the August 31st performance of Alabama Story. Censorship was something we know intimately. Though Alabama Story takes place in 1959, it could have taken place in 2013 in Anoka, Minnesota, with a teen book entitled Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. My high school Library Media Specialist colleagues and I had planned a district-wide community read for the summer of 2013. Based on our own reading of the book, and based on the fact that the book had received starred reviews across the board and was on many “best” lists for 2013, we chose Eleanor & Park as the book for the summer program. All students who volunteered to participate received a free copy of the book. Rainbow Rowell agreed to visit in the fall for a day of follow-up with the participants. Shortly after the books were handed out, just prior to our summer break, parents of one of the participants, along with the Parents’ Action League (deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center) registered a challenge against the book. Their complaint had to do with the language that they deemed inappropriate in the book and with the sexual content in the book. They demanded that the parents of all participants be informed that their child had been “exposed” to the book (they were not), that Rainbow Rowell’s visit be cancelled (it was), that copies of the book be removed from the shelves of all district schools (they were not), that our selection policy be rewritten (it was), and that the Library Media Specialists be disciplined (we received a letter). The story gained national attention in the late summer and fall of 2013. 

Emily Wheelock ReadOne of the most striking aspects of Emily Wheelock Reed’s story was the sense of isolation she felt. She received no support, particularly from the American Library Association who had published the list of recommendations which she used to purchase new books for Alabama state libraries. These feelings of isolation were familiar to me. Though my colleagues turned to each other for support, we received no support from the district school board or the district administration. This was the most difficult time in my thirty-six career as a high school educator. Though I had won the district’s Teacher Outstanding Performance award, was a finalist for Minnesota Teacher of the Year, and won the Lars Steltzner Intellectual Freedom award, choosing Eleanor & Park as the selection for a voluntary summer reading program felt like a threat to my career and to my job. As Toby Graham, University of Georgia’s University Librarian, asks in a video for the Freedom to Read Organization, “Who are the Emily Reeds of today, and who will stand up with them in their pursuit to insure our right to read?” Thankfully, the media, the Southern Poverty Law Center, our local teachers’ union, and others were supportive in many ways. In addition, the American Library Association, the Freedom to Read Organization, and other organizations now offer tools dedicated to Library Media Specialists who find themselves in similar situations.

Eleanor & Park went on to be named a Michael J. Printz Honor book—the gold standard for young adult literature. It is the moving story of two outcast teens who meet on the school bus. Eleanor is red-headed, poor, white, bullied, and the victim of abuse. Park is a biracial boy who survives by flying under the radar. The two eventually develop trust in each other as the world swirls around them. They themselves don’t use foul language. They use music as a way to hold the rest of the world at bay. They fall in love and consider having an intimate relationship but decide, very maturely, that they are not ready for sex. As a Library Media Specialist, there were “Eleanors” and “Parks” who walked into my media center each and every day. Their story needed to be on the shelf in my library, so that they could see themselves reflected in its pages, to know that the world saw them and valued them, even if their lives were messy. For those more fortunate than these Eleanors and Parks, the story was important as well. By looking into the lives of others via books, we develop empathy and understanding, even when the viewpoints reflected there are not our own.

Carmen Roman as librarian Emily Wheelock Reed, a librarian who stood her ground for the right to read during the onset of the civil rights movement and refused to remove "The Rabbit's Wedding" from the shelves. Photo by Len Villano for The Peninsula Players

Carmen Roman as librarian Emily Wheelock Reed, a librarian who stood her ground for the right to read during the onset of the civil rights movement and refused to remove The Rabbit’s Wedding from the shelves. Photo by Len Villano for The Peninsula Players

As artists—teachers, writers, actors, musicians, painters, dancers, and sculptors—it is our job to tell and preserve stories, the stories of all individuals, even when they represent beliefs different from our own. Knowledge truly is power. When we censor stories, we take away power. One need only look at history, and the burning of books and the destruction of libraries by those in power, for examples of the dangers of censorship. As we celebrate Banned Books Week (September 25th–October 1st), it is important to reflect on the value of artistic freedom and on the value of our freedom to read.

Though Garth Williams did not intend for The Rabbits’ Wedding to be a story about race and, thus, become a symbol of the Civil Rights Movement, it did. Though Rainbow Rowell did not intend for Eleanor & Park to become a symbol of censorship, it did. Alabama Story took place in 1959 but could just have easily taken place in 2001 with a book called Harry Potter, or in 2006 with a book called And Tango Makes Three, or … in 2013 with a book called Eleanor & Park. Censorship still occurs in 2016.

Peninsula Players, Door County

Peninsula Players Theatre hosted Door County library staff to a dress rehearsal of the Midwest premiere of “Alabama Story” by Kenneth Jones. Jones was inspired by librarian Emily Wheelock Reed’s defense of a children’s book in 1959, Montgomery, Alabama. From left are cast members and librarians Byron Glenn Willis, actor; Tracy Vreeke, Sturgeon Bay Library; Pat Strom, Fish Creek Library; Holly Somerhalder, Fish Creek Library; Greg Vinkler, Peninsula Players Artistic Director; Kathy White, Sturgeon Bay Library; Harter Clingman, actor; Holly Cole, Egg Harbor Library; James Leaming, actor; Carmen Roman, actor and Katherine Keberlein, actor. Visit Photo by Len Villano.

As the audience stood that evening, my husband and I applauded the Peninsula Players’ artistic staff, cast, and crew for telling Emily Wheelock Reed’s story. It is a story that needs to be told over and over again—for every “Eleanor” and every “Park” among us.


Dear Poet: Notes to a Young Writer

Charles Gigna

Charles Ghigna (photo: Scott Pierce)

This month Charles Ghigna, well-known as the poet Father Goose, offers “Dear Poet: Notes to a Young Writer.” There is much to ponder here, no matter what your age might be, but young writers especially will find these words of encouragement to be useful and inspirational. For example:

your instincts
to write.

your reasons
not to.

How many times do you tell yourself you shouldn’t be writing poetry? When that’s what you really want to do?

Enjoy these poems and take them to heart: you, too, are a poet.

Do you teach children to write poetry? The stanzas of “Dear Poet” are short gems that will give you and your students good ideas for discussions.

Charles is a prolific poet, publishing books for children, teens, and adults, who lives and writes in Alabama. Here are some of his recent titles.

Charles Ghigna Books



Theater: “The Story of Crow Boy”


Story of Crow Boy Bruce Silcox Minneapolis Star Tribune

In the Heart of the Beast play In the Heart of the Beast, photo credit: Bruce Silcox, Minneapolis StarTribune

There are several excellent, insightful reviews of The Story of Crow Boy, on stage February 18-28, 2016, at Minneapolis’ (MN) In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. Links to these reviews are below, and I won’t restate their content here except to reiterate that the work tells the story of the Caldecott Honor (1956) book Crow Boy‘s author and illustrator, Taro Yashima (the pen name of Atsushi Iwamatsu).

Crow Boy, Taro YashimaWhat I do wish to remark upon in this literary venue is the genesis of this show, a seed planted decades ago through the pages of a picture book into the creative, brilliant, inspired mind and spirit of a teenaged Sandy Spieler (one of the founders of In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, and its artistic director since 1976). The book eventually brought Spieler to the larger story of its author/illustrator, which she and her amazing collaborators bring to joyful, painful, piercing, and ultimately hopeful life on the stage.

Take heed and take heart, those of you who are makers of books for the young. Your stories matter, these works of first Art you create for children through text and through pictures. Write and draw truth and joy and friendship and power and overcoming and the exquisite natural world and human experience. Your stories burrow and blossom in still-malleable young minds; they are busy nurturing roots of strength and purpose and hope and transformation long after you have turned your own attention toward other tales.97

If you are able to attend the Heart of the Beast show, please know that there are some extremely intense and soul searing segments in the work, documenting portions of this world’s evil history that must be remembered. The staging expands our understanding of atrocities as they affect individuals and families, even though we can’t possibly comprehend the true magnitude of loss and devastation behind those flashes with which we are presented. The show is definitely not for children. (The theatre’s publicity states that the “show is recommended for age 11 and older.”)

The intricate interplay of puppetry, projections, masks, human actors, and music in the show is seamless, inspired and often magical. Small moments such as the book-loving boy puppet Taro snuggling to sleep literally between the covers of a book, and later launching into a brief moment of flight from his perch on the pages will transfix any bibliophile’s heart.

The Story of Crow BoyThe program notes cite Taro Yashima’s dedication “against all odds, to a tenacious belief in the ability of art to transform the world.” Certainly Art that is made especially for children—and actually for children—does have this capacity, since children are the ones who may be able to ultimately transform this world. Thank you, children’s book makers, for giving them seeds of inspiration and strength through your books.

At Heart of the Beast, a Children’s Book Grows Up” by Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio News

Crow Boy Takes Flight at Heart of the Beast,” by Graydon Roye, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater Takes Flight with Crow Boy,” by Chris Hewitt, St. Paul Pioneer Press

HOBT’s Much Anticipated The Story of Crow Boy on Stage Feb 18-28,” press release, Phillips West News

A description of the play from In the Heart of the Beast’s website:

The Story of Crow Boy explores the intriguing life story of Taro Yashima who wrestled with human brutality, racial discrimination, and the ravages of WWII to build work of social conscience, compassionate insight, poetic visual form, and ultimately—of joy. Yashima reminds us what it means to be human, and offers understanding into the complexities of cultural survival. This production draws on his autobiographical and fictional books including the Caldecott Honor Award-winning Crow Boy (1956) about a young boy who learns to sing the “voices of crows” in defiance of his years of being bullied.


In Memoriam

2015 saw the passing of several authors and illustrators of English-language children’s books. We share this in their honor and to say “thank-you” once again.


USBBY Reflections

by Nancy Bo Flood 

Books can help readers heal. Stories can create compassion. Every one needs to find “their story” in books.

flood_USBBY_Logo_1The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) is part of The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a world-wide organization that works to build bridges of understanding through children’s and young adult books.  “A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.”

USBBY/IBBY brings together authors and illustrators, editors, librarians, teachers, and readers who support the creation of books that speak to children and their parents whatever their home country or language. IBBY’s Hans Christian Andersen Medal celebrates the best world-wide author and illustrator whose words and images excite imagination, and its Astrid Lindgren Memorial award is given to authors, illustrators, storytellers, and persons and organizations that work to promote literacy. Each award is selected from the nominations of over a 100 participating regional units, such as USBBY.


Kate DiCamillo (r) speaking at the opening USBBY session.

This year’s USBBY conference was held in New York City, lower Manhattan. The conference is kept small, under 300 attendees, so the atmosphere is friendly, like old friends coming together to share new ideas, new trends, and new award-winning books from around the world. What a celebration of books! This year the opening speaker was our very own National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Kate DiCamillo. She spoke about her journey from writer to published author.


Kate DiCamillo signed books and took the time to chat with each person, even me.

Persistence! Kate affirmed that within each of us we have stories to tell. But to successfully move from that first page to a published book, one needs to believe in oneself, write and re-write, and stubbornly pursue the quest of finding the right editor. With humor Kate described her initial ten years of first thinking about writing before actually having the courage to put pen to paper and write. Then came 470 rejection letters. Now Kate has 22 million books in print world-wide, translated into 41 languages. She calls herself a “late-bloomer.” Her first book was published a few years before she turned forty. Even today, Kate is “still surprised that I ever got published.” When asked why her books are read by all ages of readers in countries on every continent, she imagines that somehow the stories she writes have universal appeal because she writes honestly of experiences and emotions we all share – fears and hopes, disappointments and sorrows. Kate asserts, that “the love of story is in the core of humankind.” Through story we step into the heart of another and walk within their journey. Kate also affirms that “every child has the right to learn to read.”


Susan Cooper signing at USBBY.

This universal love of story was reiterated in a later talk by Susan Cooper, one of England’s greatest storytellers (The Dark is Rising), a creator of many worlds, a writer of fantasy. Susan asked, “is it possible for storytelling, this basic love of story that all cultures share, to be a way to heal the divisions of our world? Through the magic of entering another place, another culture, can we increase compassion and come to accept differences, erase prejudices based on ignorance?” Yes, both Susan and Kate contend, books can build bridges. They can tell universal truths. They can let us walk within the heart and skin of another person and feel “both joy and sorrow as sharp as stones.”


(l-r) Holly Thompson, Margarita Engle, Padma Venkatraman presented a panel on verse novels.

A child might sit in a classroom, on a park bench, or snuggled under bed covers with a flashlight, and become lost in a book. Or a child might sit in front of a tent in a refugee camp or a detention center near a border crossing. Books let us enter new worlds, consider new ideas, rethink old hates. Both Kate DiCamillo and Susan Cooper agree that stories help us laugh and give us hope.

Flood_war panel

(l-r) The war panel: me, Lyn Miller-Lachman, and Terry Farish.


This year at the conference I was part of a “war panel.” The smiling trio in the photo, “the war panel,” presented different perspectives about war and the effects on children. Today over forty million children live as refugees. Here in the United States, more veterans—mothers and fathers of children—die from suicide than from combat. How do their children make sense of war? We need well-written books about war so children can find their stories and begin to heal.

Thank you, Colorado Author’s League, for supporting me with a travel grant to attend this USBBY conference. I encourage writers and illustrators to become a member of this international organization. Throughout the year USBBY is involved in a variety of projects that bring appropriate books to children and parents. As Kate DiCamillo stated: “Every child has the right to read.”


Slideshow: Block Print Illustration

Eric Rohmann’s wonderful illustrations for Bulldozer’s Big Day were made using block prints, also called relief prints.  This technique has long been used to illustrate children’s books, especially early ABC books such as the The Ladder to Learning by Miss Lovechild, published in 1852 by the New York firm R.H. Pease.


The Bookologist has put together a slide show of some of our more recent print-illustrated books. Many of these are Caldecott medal or honor books. You can find an interesting discussion of Caldecott books illustrated with printmaking techniques here.


More from the 1950s: Polio

Another threat besides communism terrified people in the 1950s, especially because it primarily affected children: polio. 1952 saw the largest epidemic in US history: 57,879 people contracted polio that summer, and more than 3000 of died. By the end of the decade the disease was nearly eradicated in the US thanks to two forms of vaccines developed by Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin. Here are a few titles that help us understand this part of the recent past.



Chasing Orion

Kathryn Lasky
Candlewick 2012 

From the Newbery Honor author (Sugaring Time). 11 year old Georgie and her family have just moved into a new house. It’s the summer of 1952 and pools, parks, and other gathering spots are closed due to the polio epidemic. Georgie makes friends with the teenage girl next door, Phyllis, who is now in an iron lung as a result of the disease.  Kirkus star.


Epidemic: The Battle Against Polio

Stephanie Draper
Benchmark Books, 2005

Photo illustrated survey of the history of the disease, including a section on the debate over whether FDR’s paralysis was caused by polio or some other disease. Includes timeline of polio-related events.


Fleabrain Loves Franny

Joanne Rocklin
Amulet Books, 2015

Pittsburgh, 1952. 11-year-old Franny has polio and is undergoing extensive therapy. She befriends a genius flea and falls in love with a brand new book, Charlotte’s Web. Includes author’s note, bibliography, and discussion guide. Bank Street College of Education’s “The Best Children’s Books of the Year,” Ages 9-12.


Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

Katherine Krohn and Al Milgrom (illus.)
Capstone Press, 2007

A graphic novel that focuses on the efforts to find a vaccine. Back matter includes a condensed history of the disease and biography of Salk. Extensive bibliography. Part of the Inventions and Discoveries Graphic Library series.


King of the Mound (My Summer with Satchel Paige)

Wes Tooke
Simon and Schuster, 2012

When Nick is released from the hospital after suffering from polio, he is sure that his father will never look at him in the same way again. Once the best pitcher in youth league, Nick now walks with a limp and is dependent on a heavy leg brace.  Things look up when he gets to hang out at the local semi-pro ball park, where he meets the great Satchel Paige.


Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio

Peg Kehret
Albert Whitman, 2006 anniversary edition

The author of numerous state-award-winning children’s books (including Nightmare Mountain, The Ghost’s Grave, Stolen Children) describes her battle against polio when she was thirteen and her efforts to overcome its debilitating effects. Small Steps has also won many state reader’s choice awards.


Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR’s Polio Haven

Susan Richards Shreve
Houghton Mifflin, 2007 

Just after her eleventh birthday, at the height of the frightening childhood polio epidemic, the future best-selling author of many books for adults and children (The Flunking of Joshua T. Bates, Ghost Cat) was sent as a patient to the sanitarium at Warm Springs, Georgia. It was a place famously founded by FDR, “a perfect setting in time and place and strangeness for a hospital of crippled children.” For older readers and adults.


Teaching K-2 Science with Confidence

Perfect Pairs: Using Fiction and Nonfiction Books to Teach Life Science, K-2
Melissa Stewart and Nancy Chesley
Stenhouse Books, 2014

Authentic science always begins with a question, with a fleeting thought, with a curious person. That curious person has an idea, wonders if it is valid, and then tries to find out. Because wondering is at the heart of discovery, each Perfect Pairs lesson starts with a Wonder Statement that we’ve carefully crafted to address one Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectation. It is followed by a Learning Goal, which clearly specifies the new knowledge and essential understanding students will gain from the lesson. Together, the Wonder Statement, Learning Goal, and fiction-nonfiction book pair launch students into a fun and meaningful investigative process. (Perfect Pairs, pg. 8)

Perfect PairsMelissa Stewart, you and educator Nancy Chesley created Perfect Pairs for teachers because you felt that children’s literature could be a fun and effective starting point for teaching life science to students in grades K-2.

In your introduction, you state that “many elementary teachers do not have a strong science background. Some even report being intimidated by their school’s science curriculum and feel ill-equipped to teach basic science concepts. Building science lessons around children’s books enables many elementary educators to approach science instruction with greater confidence.”

Why does this matter to you?

Because students can tell when their teachers are comfortable and confident, and when they’re having fun. If a teacher has a positive attitude, his or her students are more likely to stay engaged and embrace the content.

So many adults are turned off by or even afraid of science. They say, “Oh, that’s hard. That’s not for me.” But science is just the study of how our wonderful world works. It affects everything we do every day. I hope that Perfect Pairs will help teachers and students to see that.

What type of science education did you receive that propels you to provide this aid to educators?

I do have a degree in biology, but my science education really began at home with my parents. My dad was an engineer and my mom worked in a medical laboratory. From a very young age, they helped me see that science is part of our lives every day.

As a children’s book author, my goal is to share the beauty and wonder of the natural world with young readers. Perfect Pairs is an extension of that mission. Nancy and I have created a resource to help teachers bring that message to their students.

For each lesson, where did you start making your choices, with the topic, the fiction book, or the nonfiction book?

We began with the NGSS Performance Expectations, which outline the concepts and skills students are expected to master at each grade level.  Each PE has three parts—a disciplinary core idea (the content), a practice (behaviors young scientists should engage in, such as asking questions, developing models, planning and carrying out investigations, constructing explanations, etc.), and a cross-cutting concept (pattern, cause and effect, structure and function, etc.) that bridges all areas of science and engineering. Here’s a sample PE for kindergarten: “Use observations to describe [practice] patterns [crosscutting concept] of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive. [DCI]

Just Like My Papa and Bluebirds Do ItNext, we searched for fiction and nonfiction books that could be used to help students gain an understanding of the target PE. The books became the heart of a carefully scaffolded lesson that fully addressed the PE.

In Lesson 1.7,How Young Animals Are Like Their Parents,” you paired Toni Buzzeo’s fiction title Just Like My Papa with Pamela F. Kirby’s nonfiction title, What Bluebirds Do. For this lesson, the Wonder Statement is “I wonder how young animals are like their parents.” Your lesson focuses on Inheritance of Traits and Variation of Traits, looking at similarities and differences.

With each lesson, you provide tips for lesson preparation, engaging students, exploring with students, and encouraging students to draw conclusions. What process is this establishing for teachers?

We hope that our three-step investigative process (engaging students, exploring with students, and encouraging students to draw conclusions) is something that teachers will internalize and adopt as they develop more science lessons in the future. The first step focuses on whetting students’ appetites with a fun activity or game. During the second step, teachers read the books aloud and work with students to extract and organize key content from the fiction and nonfiction texts. Then, during the final step, students synthesize the information from the books and     do a fun minds-on activity that involves the NGSS practice associated with the PE. The practices are important because research shows that children learn better when they actually “do” science.

This Wonder Journal entry shows what a student thinks a young bluebird might look like, pg 149.

This Wonder Journal entry shows what a student thinks a young bluebird might look like, pg 149.

In many cases, you’ve not only provided questions that teachers can ask their students, but you’ve included the answers.  Is this the only possible answer to the question?  

In many cases, we’ve included answers to help the teacher learn the science before working with his or her class. Many elementary teachers have a limited science background and need the support we’ve provided.

Our answers may not be the only ones that students suggest, but they are the ones teachers should guide their class to consider because they develop student thinking in the right direction for the concepts we are targeting in that particular lesson.

Establishing a STEM bookshelf in your classroom is one way to promote reading these books as a special experience.

Establishing a STEM bookshelf in your classroom is one way to promote reading these books as a special experience.

I appreciate the photos and examples and kids’ drawings you’ve included throughout the book. How did you go about collecting these visuals?

Nancy tested all the lessons in the book at Pownal Elementary School in Maine. She took the photographs as she was working with the students, and the student work in the book was created by those children. I love the photos because you can tell that the children are really enjoying themselves.

Students play the seed-plant Concentration game, pg. 225

Students play the seed-plant Concentration game, pg. 225

You provide more than 70 reproducibles to accompany the lessons in your book, from Wonder Journal Labels to Readers’ Theater Script to sample Data Tables to drawing templates. How did you decide which items to provide to teachers using your book?

Writing can be a challenge for K-2 students. We created the Wonder Journal Labels to minimize the amount of writing the children would have to do. The goal of the other reproducibles was to help teachers as much as possible and reduce their prep time. It was important to us to create lessons that were easy and inexpensive to implement.

Lesson 1.7 Wonder Journal Labels, pg. 299

Lesson 1.7 Wonder Journal Labels, pg. 299

To Melissa and Nancy, I express my gratitude for thoughtfully preparing this guide, Perfect Pairs, that will make science lessons an approachable part of lesson planning. Thank you!