No Boring Stories!

I didn’t know what to expect when I pulled it off the shelf. But I immediately was glad I had paused to take a look. Here’s a creative Perfect Picture Book that has a bonus layer for reading teachers and lots for writers to enjoy. And kids? They’ll love it, too, because they have certainly … More No Boring Stories!

Some Writer!

Some Fridays, I share middle grade titles. Others, I share picture books. Today, I offer a special combo – a middle grade biography filled with pictures. Check it out! Title: Some Writer! The Story of E.B.White Written and Illustrated by: Melissa Sweet Hougton Miflin Harcourt, biography 2016, 176 pp. Suitable for ages: 7-10 Lexile: 1030 … More Some Writer!

Teeny Tiny Toady and other Esbaum favorites

Today on PPBF I’m featuring another author participating in the WOW retreat. Jill Esbaum, a rhymer, hits age-old childhood themes in new and creative ways. Title: Teeny Tiny Toady Written by: Jill Esbaum Illustrated by: Keika Yamaguchi Sterling, 2016, fiction, 40 pages Suitable for ages: 4-7 Lexile: AD520 Themes/topics: problem solving, siblings, rescue Opening: (Opening … More Teeny Tiny Toady and other Esbaum favorites


The title alone is enough to give any parent visions of a giant crayon wreaking havoc on freshly painted walls….. Title: Frankencrayon Written and Illustrated by: Michael Hall Greenwillow, Harper Collins, 2016, fiction Suitable for ages: 4-8 Themes/topics: crayons, monsters, writing, fourth wall Opening: (Title page shows crayons lamenting the cancellation of the book.) Help! … More Frankencrayon

Hokey Pokey

So many books, so little time. I’ll be posting recommendations for picture books as a part of Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Fridays (resuming in September), but also want to share some great middle grade books as well.

Because I loved my years with those irresistible middle schoolers, let’s start off with a special middle grade novel – Jerry Spinelli’s Hokey Pokey. It might stretch the joys of summer break juuuust a little bit longer. Spinelli creates a world that is pure fun, populated with a cast of characters that will touch the heart.

For writers, it’s a great example of “world building” and full of lessons on craft.

In the classroom, the rich language offers opportunities to explore literary skills, and multiple themes invite critical thinking. Readers will easily connect the text to themselves and the world. With its high interest level, struggling readers and English Language Learners (ELLs) who may need a more accessible reading level will find it enjoyable and relevant.

And…. As a thank you for coming along with me as I start this online reading and writing journey, I’d like to offer a FREE LITERATURE UNIT for this novel on my TEACHER/PARENT RESOURCE PAGE. Please share this with anyone who might be interested.
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