Saturday, April 15, 2017

#ProjectReadathon Million Minutes Campaign

Want to rack up some book donations for kids...just by reading? 

Visit April 17-23, 2017 and read free, timed excerpts from Penguin Random House books and authors to score book donations for children in the United States, Mexico and Canada! The books will be donated to Save the Children, to be distributed to children who have few, if any, books in their homes. 

And the best news? It doesn't even require much time! Read a 20-minute book excerpt to "earn" five book donations; read 120 minutes to "earn" a whopping 60 BOOKS! 

Check back here, after the campaign officially begins on Monday, for more information. I hope you'll join me in racking up minutes towards the MILLION MINUTE goal! 

For more Penguin Random House Children's New Release titles like these beauties, go here!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Hidden Talents (3 Word Challenge)

3 Word Challenge: Pink, Dance, Gymnastics
Challenge words selected by Jude (JUDE! I hope you see this - your email was returned!)

I'm not going to lie - this one was tough for me (which you'll see in my imperfect meter). BUT! I really, really wanted to incorporate some fun YouTube videos I found for Jude, who is a 2nd grade teacher! goes (accompanying video links below)!



Though everybody listens
when alligator croons,
bring along a tuba
to really hear his tunes.

And if you’ve never seen
an armadillo dance,
without a doubt it’s time
to give those guys a chance!

I bet you never knew
that SLOTHS adore gymnastics
just like jungle monkeys
they really are fantastic!

When it comes to magic,  
octopus is tough to beat,
but when it comes to balance,
pink flamingo has the feet.

Everyone has talent –
sloth to alligator…
as long as you are you,
there’s really nothing greater.

The world is mystifying,
its beauty unexpected,
but that surprising splendor
keeps us all connected.

About 3 Word Challenges
I encourage every reader to submit three words to me which I will then craft into a poem, short story or story snippet. Please keep the words clean - this is a site about books and writing for kids, after all! Please also keep in mind that since the goal with these pieces is to connect the words in fresh and creative ways (quickly), I won't always meet your expectations completely. With only three words to go on, we might have a very different vision. I hope that you like what I write, but if you don't, feel free to contact me, or give it another go with three different words!

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Super Fun New Read-Alouds

Although every picture book is meant to be read aloud, some books beg to be read aloud - or at least their tiny human counterparts beg to read them aloud, again and again and again. But with these books, you won't mind ( of them you might. But that's not because it isn't fun, it's just...tricky!)

Ross Burach

This one made me laugh out loud in the middle of the bookstore. A snort laugh, too. Maybe that's not a selling point for some people, but for me that is a BIG thumbs up. When Giraffe is repeatedly mistaken for a chair by all the jungle animals, he realizes he needs to speak up. But just when he is ready to stand up for himself, a lion decides Giraffe is a chair. How can Giraffe speak up for himself to a LION? 

Emily Jenkins (Author) and Chris Appelhans (Illustrator)

When a greyhound and a groundhog become friends, they become a crazy whirling dervish of a tongue-twister: "A groundhog, a greyhound, a grey little round hound. A greyhound, a groundhog, a found little roundhog." This one is guaranteed to get the littles chuckling...just remember to laugh yourself as you read it!

Tim McCanna (Author) and Richard Smythe (Illustrator)

I'm a fan of both Tim McCanna (BITTY BOT) and Richard Smythe (THE MESSY BOOK), so a McCanna-Smythe combo, of course, grabbed my attention. It did not disappoint. This is the story of a fox seeking shelter from a storm told only through onomatopoeia and (beautiful) illustration: "Drip drop / plip plop / pitter patter / pat." While it will probably be requested to be read multiple times by younger picture book readers because of the fun sounds and rhythm, older kiddos will still take delight with the words that they'll likely memorize to make themselves sound like a storm.

Just look at those book covers! How can they not make you happy?!

Don't forget to nominate your favorite teacher to give them a chance to win a set of Kelly Barnhill's THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON (perfect for 9-14 year olds) or a picture book pack featuring three picture books for kiddos ages 3-8! (THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED)

Happy reading!

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