Behind the Scenes: “Connecting to Characters” by Kirsti Call

Today I welcome back author Kirsti Call to share a bit about creating COLD TURKEY, her latest picture book. I truly think authors put a bit of themselves in the characters they create. In my case, working with historical figures, I always find a bit of myself in them. That author connection can serve a … More Behind the Scenes: “Connecting to Characters” by Kirsti Call

“Not Just for Little Kids: Five Reasons to Use Picture Books with Older Students” by Carolee Dean

I firmly believe that picture books aren’t just for little kids. And also that they’re not just for Language Arts classrooms. As a teacher, I LOVED using picture books with a wide range of ages for a wide range of skills. Picture books are magical in so many ways and open the door to a … More “Not Just for Little Kids: Five Reasons to Use Picture Books with Older Students” by Carolee Dean

Cover Reveal! Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine

I was a kid blessed with a father who had a workshop—a section of the basement with work benches, tools, hardware, and LOTS of scraps! I could go down there to create, experiment, and “invent” (crude versions of things that had already been invented). I distinctly remember a stirring device I built with a crank … More Cover Reveal! Franz’s Phantasmagorical Machine

Behind the Scenes: “Finding the Focus in Big Picture History” by Jennifer Thermes

My sister was the one who loved horses in my family. A pair of disgruntled ponies instilled a wariness in me, but as an adult, I appreciate the beauty and power of horses. Jennifer Thermes’ new picture book HORSE POWER: HOW HORSES CHANGED THE WORLD caught my eye after I had spent time thoroughly enjoying … More Behind the Scenes: “Finding the Focus in Big Picture History” by Jennifer Thermes

Behind the Scenes: “Letting Math Tell the Story” by Ann Marie Stephens

As an educator, I’ve always favored engaging stories that support curricular areas. So, math stories? YES! A series with chickens AND math? FUN! And math illustrated by the phenomenal Jenn Harney who did “Smelly” Kelly and His Super Senses? OH, YEAH! Thanks to author Ann Marie Stephens for sharing a bit from “behind the scenes” … More Behind the Scenes: “Letting Math Tell the Story” by Ann Marie Stephens

Mining for Heart: “Embracing and Learning from Your Cultural Heritage” by Songju Ma Daemicke

Today, we get to celebrate a book birthday with this post! Congratulations to author Songju Ma Daemicke and illustrator Lin on the release of TU YOUYOU’S DISCOVERY. Thank you for sharing the cultural heart of the story, Songju, and also, thank you for offering a GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment below for a chance to win … More Mining for Heart: “Embracing and Learning from Your Cultural Heritage” by Songju Ma Daemicke

Behind the Scenes: “Beyond Biographies of People” by Kirsten Larson

Even the nonliving can have a life of their own! So why not a biography of Wonder Woman?! I can’t wait to explore Kirsten Larson’s A TRUE WONDER! Thanks for sharing your process, Kirsten!  Kirsten is offering a GIVEAWAY, too! A copy of A TRUE WONDER! Just leave a comment below to enter.  “Beyond Biographies of People” … More Behind the Scenes: “Beyond Biographies of People” by Kirsten Larson

Behind the Scenes: “Subverting Expectations with a Nonfiction Narrator” by Henry Herz

Bringing nonfiction topics to kids can entail challenges but also can invite creative approaches. Henry Herz took on an unlikely topic—smoke—and made it a character. Read on to learn how he used a narrator as a fictional element to share science, culture, and more. After reading I AM SMOKE, you’ll probably never think of smoke … More Behind the Scenes: “Subverting Expectations with a Nonfiction Narrator” by Henry Herz

Mining for Heart: “A Difference of Color” by Larry Dane Brimner

Sometimes, a story idea won’t let go, but, like Larry Dane Brimner, until I connect on an emotional or experiential level that hits me in the heart, it won’t become a story. Here, Larry shares how he found his way into his latest book: Without Separation: Prejudice, Segregation, and the Case of Roberto Alvarez, releasing Sept. … More Mining for Heart: “A Difference of Color” by Larry Dane Brimner

Countdown to the RESTLESS WRIGGLE!

One month until TAD LINCOLN’S RESTLESS WRIGGLE gets loose! Expect PANDEMONIUM. Hope for PATIENCE.   Discover 1863 IN THE PRESIDENT’S HOUSE! School is starting, and kids everywhere are getting to know each other. So let’s get to know Tad Lincoln.  To view the BOOK TRAILER, download an EDUCATOR’S GUIDE, and learn more about TAD LINCOLN’S RESTLESS … More Countdown to the RESTLESS WRIGGLE!