Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Free Money!

Last year, James Patterson, author of numerous books for adults and children gave one million dollars in grants to independent bookstores. This year he has pledged 1.25 million for school libraries. You can find the details and application here. Scholastic will match each dollar of the grant with bonus points for the classroom. James Paterson grant

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Mattie Washburn Students Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ Birthday

Yesterday, Windsor’s Mattie Washburn students and teachers celebrated the birth of Dr. Seuss by reading. It was part of the annual Read Across America Day.

read across america

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

March 2 is the 111th anniversary of the birth of Theodor Seuss Geisel. For 18 years the National Education Association has celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss  as Read Across America Day, with the purpose of motivating children and teens to read.


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Nana in the City

As a young child, I was much like the narrator of this story. A young boy goes to visit his Nana in the big city. He loves his Nana but not the noisy, busy and scary city. I grew up in suburbia. When I was six my grandmother moved to the city. Even though it was only a half hour bus ride away, it was a whole different world. Like our young protagonist, my grandmother introduced me to the wonders of the city.

Nana in the city

While our young hero was sleeping, his Nana knitted him a red cape to wear on their walk. It made him feel brave. This time though the city was busy and loud, it was not scary. Lauren Castillo wrote and illustrated Nana in the City. She was awarded a 2015 Caldecott Honor. The Sonoma County Library has several copies.

The Importance of Parents Reading Aloud to Big Kids

Most parents recognize the importance of reading to preschoolers and emerging readers, but when kids start to read on their own the read-a-louds stop. kids. Scholastic published a survey of kids 6-17 (Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report), 83% of those kids love(d) or like(d) to be read to at home. Only 17% of parents with kids aged 9-11 are still reading aloud at home. My son-in-law is part of that 17%. His experience reading nightly with his older kids is very similar to the benefits Melissa Taylor outlines in this article in Brightly.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Easy Readers That are Actually Easy

As the grandmother of four book-obsessed girls aged 4-5 1/2 (that 1/2 is VERY important to the two girls who are that age), I have been on the lookout for really easy readers. The youngest, who just turned four, has decided that she will learn to read this winter. I gave her some of the books mentioned in this blog post by Erica at the What Do We Do All Day blog. Kids like humor and get a great sense of accomplishment being able to read a book by themselves. The Five Finger Rule will be easy to obey with a few of the books because they have less than five words. Perfect for emerging readers!

I have used Ball by Mary Sullivan to teach reading with expression.


Up, Tall and High
by Ethan Long was awarded the Theodor Seuss Gisele Medal in 2013.


Our good friend, Mo Willems, appears a couple of times on this list, as well. One new book with very few words that is not on Erica’s list is the 2015 Theodor Seuss Gisele Medal winner, You Are (Not) Small, by Anna Kang illustrated by Christopher Weyant.

You Are Not Small

The author uses fewer than twenty different words to tell a funny story about size: it is all relative.