For the Right to Learn by Rebecca Langston-George (Capstone, September 2015) is a picture book biography of Malala Yousafzai that gives younger readers a background of just what she was able to accomplish. I’ve said before that her story is inspiring, and I think this book did a great job of also making it accessible to young
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a poetic autobiographical reflection on the author’s childhood. The writing is sparse, written in free verse, and yet each poem packs a punch of emotion. Ms Woodson recalls her earliest of memories (fictionalizing events as necessary). Her early childhood is spent with her grandmother and grandfather in South
It’s so much fun to read picture books with my toddler. She simply loves reading, and although here books of choice often revolve around The Berenstain Bears and Clifford or Dora (none of which I enjoy all that much), sometimes I can get in some great books that I love too. Help! We Need a
Fireflies: A Writer’s Notebook by Coleen Murtagh Paratore (Little Pickle Press, July 2014) is a delightful full-color journal for the aspiring writer. Filled with writing prompts and ideas, Fireflies is compared to a jar full of fireflies for you to watch for “sparks.” I loved this analogy. Although I am primarily a nonfiction writer (i.e., educational
When I was young, I wanted to write. I wish I’d found a book like Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out by Ralph Fletcher (HarperCollins, 2002). In this book, Fletcher writes for kids, directly focusing on what poetry is and what young writers can do to learn to write it. I loved
I have been struggling to write this post for a week now. I really like reading poetry but I feel a little clueless as to how to talk about it! Here is my attempt. I love Billy Collins’ poetry, so I can honestly say I was delighted to receive a digital copy for review consideration.
Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd (Random House, January 2013) is a volume about what makes nonfiction great. Using their own experiences as a writer of nonfiction (Tracy Kidder, bestselling author) and an editor of creative nonfiction (Richard Todd, Atlantic editor), the two friends provide a compelling tale of
Raisin and I are only done with a little more than 40 of the lessons for the Kindergarten language arts program Logic of English Foundations. However, he enjoys it so much that I feel it is time I discussed it briefly on this blog. LoE Foundations is an “all in one” language arts for 4-6
This week’s Cybils batch includes some fantastic books. I’ve decided to focus on some that are (more or less) based on the concepts of Friends and Telling Stories. These are common themes for picture books, and these books I list below are some fantastic examples.
Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hill (Schwartz and Wade, 2012) is the sequel to the best-seller How Rocket Learned to Read (2010), a delightful story about a yellow bird helping a curious dog develop the ability to read. Rocket Writes a Story brings us the same adorable and talented dog, who now really wants help in creating a story,
I mentioned last year that my son is a very creative child. He is regularly having imaginary adventures with his imaginary friends, and he constantly comes up with stories for me, stories he tells as if he’s surely experienced them. Given his intense interest in creative writing, I was seeking further instruction on how to
I decided to start my son on a formal spelling program this year (his K4 year). Although my son is quite young (almost 5), he is constantly asking me “how do I spell _____?” so he can write notes or type on the computer. (I opened a private blog for him to post his pictures
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