Welcoming Spring with Froggy Books and Wild Experiences

Frogness
This much-anticipated froggy season and this week's World Frog Day mark a time of increased appreciation for our amphibian neighbors. It's the perfect time to study frogs

Books about the Night

The Tinaja Tonight
Night­time is a mag­i­cal time for kids. It’s a time for explor­ing the night skies. It’s a time for dream­ing cozy dreams.  It’s a time of mis­chief when it comes with the thrill of being allowed to stay up late. Night­time pic­ture books have always had an allure for me because of the top­ics they explore and the amaz­ing and var­ied art by illus­tra­tors chal­lenged with the task of draw­ing the dark.
more

Poetry Teatime

On Halloween morning, Pooh Bear came for a visit on our porch. There was coffee for her parents and hot chocolate with whipped cream and sprinkles for her, as well as a round of pastries for all. A lovely morning, however distanced and masked we had to remain.

Aimée Bissonette

A few days ago, I scanned my many book­shelves in antic­i­pa­tion of writ­ing this piece. My charge was to assem­ble a small stack of books that had sig­nif­i­cance to me.  Per­haps, I thought, I’ll write about my love for mys­ter­ies. After all, I spent count­less hours as a young girl devour­ing the Hardy Boys and Nan­cy Drew mys­ter­ies before mov­ing on to Agatha Christie, Tony Hiller­man, and Sara Paret­sky.… more

Sense of Wonder

Wild Berries
In her book A Sense of Won­der, Rachel Car­son wrote: If I had influ­ence with the good fairy who is sup­posed to pre­side over the chris­ten­ing of all chil­dren, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of won­der so inde­struc­tible that it would last through­out life, as an unfail­ing anti­dote against the bore­dom and dis­en­chant­ments of lat­er years, the ster­ile pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with things that are arti­fi­cial, the alien­ation from the sources of our strength.… more

Connecting Kids to Nonfiction:
Personal Experience Matters

Aimee Bissonette
Per­son­al pref­er­ences and expe­ri­ences guide our life choic­es. They impact what we wear, eat, do, even the peo­ple we spend time with. It should come as no sur­prise, then, that per­son­al pref­er­ences also affect what we read— maybe even whether we read. Stud­ies show that young read­ers who feel a per­son­al con­nec­tion to what they are read­ing demon­strate bet­ter com­pre­hen­sion and derive greater enjoy­ment from their read­ing.… more

Skinny Dip with Joyce Sidman

Joyce Sidman
From the first time, many years ago, that I heard Joyce Sid­man read aloud from her poet­ry, when Eure­ka! Poems about Inven­tors was about to be released, I knew this woman car­ried mag­ic in her soul. Work­ing mag­ic with words, writ­ing about sci­ence and our very human emo­tions … Joyce has become a favorite author for many readers. Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why?more

This Is Just To Say

April is Nation­al Poet­ry Month, which is as good an excuse as any to take some poet­ry books off the shelf and have a read. I’m quite method­i­cal in April — it’s the hint of spring in the air, I sup­pose. I clean my office and then I build a stack of won­der­ful poet­ry books — some Bil­ly Collins, a lit­tle Emi­ly Dick­in­son, a tome of Robert Frost, Shakespeare’s son­nets, Mary Oliv­er, naturally…..… more

March Shorts

If You Were the Moon
Oooo! Here in Min­neso­ta, shorts in March mean chills. These books will give you chills – in a good way! Cat Goes Fiddle-I-Fee
Adapt­ed and illus­trat­ed by Paul Galdone
Houghton Mif­flin Har­court, 1985 
(reis­sued in April 2017) I rec­og­nized the title imme­di­ate­ly as I song I know well, sung as “I Had a Roost­er” by Pete Seeger on Birds, Beasts, Bugs & Lit­tle Fish­es in 1968.… more

Bookstorm: Scaly Spotted …

Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled
In this Bookstorm™: Scaly Spotted
Feathered Frilled:
how do we know what dinosaurs really looked like?
writ­ten by Cather­ine Thimmesh
HMH Books for Young Read­ers, 2013
No human being has ever seen a tricer­atops or veloci­rap­tor or even the mighty Tyran­nosaurus rex. They left behind only their impres­sive bones. So how can sci­en­tists know what col­or dinosaurs were? Or if their flesh was scaly or feath­ered?… more

Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled Companion Booktalks

How the Dinosaur Got to the Musuem
To get you start­ed on the Book­storm™ books … Age of Rep­tiles and Age of Rep­tiles: the Hunt, Richard Del­ga­do, Dark Horse Books, 2011. Ages 12 and up. Word­less sto­ry­telling through beau­ti­ful (some­times gory) art What hap­pens when you steal the T‑rex eggs? What hap­pens when an Allosaurus takes revenge on the Cer­atosaurs that killed his mother? The author-artist has worked on movies such as Men in Black, The Incred­i­bles, WALL‑E Cap­tain Rap­tor series, writ­ten by Kevin O’Mal­ley, illus­trat­ed by Patrick O’Brien, Walk­er Books, 2005.… more