Children’s Literature

Lower Grades, Higher Concepts: These Picture Books Are Packed with Classroom Potential

Lower Grades, Higher Concepts: These Picture Books Are Packed with Classroom Potential

Lynn and Cindy: Concept picture books are practically their own genre as a seemingly endless number of them appear each year—so many that sometimes it’s hard to get excited when a new one arrives at our doors. Fortunately, there are oodles of creative people who continue to see and think in different ways. (Take THAT, blasé […]

Classrooms Are Full of Struggling Students Like Albie

Classrooms Are Full of Struggling Students Like Albie

Lynn: Early in Absolutely Almost (2014) Albie confides, “Emails from school are never about good stuff.” Sadly, for Albie, there rarely is much news from school that makes his parents or his teachers happy. In fact, his private school has just kicked him out and he is starting fifth grade in a public school, leaving […]

By November 6, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Book Trailer Thursday: Maple & Willow Together

Sisters Maple and Willow, named for the trees planted by their parents before each of their births, are in a terrible fight. Toys were walloped, shoves were shoved… can the two tots figure out how to have fun again? In her starred review, Ilene Cooper writes, “The story is delightfully recognizable,” and ” Children will […]

Webcomics Wednesday: Drew Weing’s The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo
By November 5, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Webcomics Wednesday: Drew Weing’s The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo

I’ll admit it, this week’s Webcomics Wednesday pick, Drew Weing’s delightfully eerie The Creepy Casefiles of Margo Maloo, is about a week late. Lurking monsters in haunted, abandoned buildings is perfect Halloween fare, after all, but in my book, as long as there’s trick-or-treat candy in my desk drawer (there is, and there’s a lot of it), spooky stories are […]

Read These Picture Books about Trees – So Much Better Than Raking!

Read These Picture Books about Trees – So Much Better Than Raking!

Lynn and Cindy: We know it’s fall and the leaves are blanketing our lawns. But we’d much rather stay inside with this trio of picture books than waste all that time raking. If we wait, maybe the winter winds will blow the leaves into our neighbor’s yards and save our aching backs. Besides, what would the […]

True Stories Will Turn Boys and Girls into Eager Readers

True Stories Will Turn Boys and Girls into Eager Readers

Cindy: I’ll drink my own urine and eat my peeling, sun-burned skin if anyone can name a more solid nonfiction collection of informational short works! Okay, I highly doubt I would ever really agree to do that, but I think you’ll find it hard to ante up a nonfiction short “story” collection to rival True […]

Return to Oz for a Fantastic Book-Group Theme
By October 28, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Return to Oz for a Fantastic Book-Group Theme

My fantasy and science fiction group discussed the theme of “Fantasy before Tolkien” last week, and I decided to use the opportunity to go somewhere I hadn’t been in over thirty years: Frank Baum’s Oz. More than any other series of books, these titles are connected to my development as a reader. I remember loving them, […]

New Out of the Box: Using Book Swag to Get Kids Reading

New Out of the Box: Using Book Swag to Get Kids Reading

Cindy: I so enjoy coming home to new boxes of books but sometimes I don’t know what to make of the occasional extra special promotional book shipments I receive from publishers. Lots of packaging, cool gimmicks, a bit of a hard sell . . . they sometimes make me feel guilty. But last spring I […]

By October 17, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Book Trailer Friday: The Book with No Pictures

If a Book Trailer Friday is the very thing you expected least today, it’s only in keeping with a trailer for a book you’d expect even least-er. Because it’s a picture book! With no pictures! B.J. Novak’s The Book with No Pictures (Dial) indeed contains zero pictures. Instead, it has a whole bunch of silly words and sounds […]

Better Babysitting through Ghost Stories: Spooky Fun for Halloween

Better Babysitting through Ghost Stories: Spooky Fun for Halloween

Cindy: The Brothers Grimm knew that storytelling was good for teaching children to behave—if only they had also whipped up treats like granghoula bars, or peppermint bone rattlers, they’d have really had a captive audience. In Glen Huser’s The Elevator Ghost (2014), Caroline Giddle is a new resident at Blatchford Arms who offers her babysitting services […]