This blog is my effort to share children’s books, insights and processes of authors and illustrators, ideas for educators and parents, and a range of writing related topics. Today I offer a PSA for a learning opportunity for aspiring, beginning, and “on their way” authors—a free seminar which answers many of the big questions about … More The Writing Journey: Opportunity!
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
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
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!
With the Fourth of July around the corner, I thought it’d be a perfect time for a sneak peek and cover reveal for REVOLUTIONARY PRUDENCE WRIGHT: LEADING THE MINUTE WOMEN IN THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE. We all learn about Paul Revere’s ride and the battles at Lexington and Concord where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were … More Cover Reveal! Revolutionary Prudence Wright
What a special treat I have for you today! Where does writing begin? With a voice. With ideas. With lines or letters. AND usually, with an encourager. How many of us trace our love of writing back to a teacher or multiple teachers? I know I do! In the beginning of February, Tina Barrett sent … More Special Feature: “Where Writing Begins” with Tina Barrett, Kindergarten Teacher!
166 years ago today, Elizabeth Jennings boarded a streetcar in New York City. She was in a hurry to get to church. But, when the conductor ejected her because of her race, too-late-for-church took a backseat to too-late-for-equality. Seven months later, the young school teacher sat in a Brooklyn courtroom, waiting for the white judge … More 166 years ago today, Elizabeth Jennings boarded a streetcar…
My two 2020 picture books are both set in New York City, both feature transportation, and both highlight heroes. But the stories are very different. Lizzie Demands a Seat, released in January, is the story of how Elizabeth Jennings won the first courtroom victory against segregation on transportation in 1855. She was bold and brave, … More James “Smelly” Kelly, Everyday Hero
Here’s an essential picture book for everyone—black and brown and white, young and old, now and forever. A beautiful and powerful collection. Title: We Are the Change, Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders Written by: Harry Belafonte (introduction) Illustrated by: Selina Alko, Alina Chau, Lisa Congdon, Emily Hughes, Molly Idle, Juana Medina, Innosanto Nagara, … More We Are the Change
I’ve found that I really enjoy exploring structure as a writer. Readers experience all kinds of text structures, but they seldom have a chance to learn all the planning and puzzling involved in the process of writing. Here, author Keely Parrack gives us a peek behind the scenes at how MORNING, SUNSHINE came to be. … More Behind the Scenes: “Puzzling Out a Picture Book” with Keely Parrack