Saturday, March 31, 2012

something interesting

Penny Grey lives a rather privileged though somewhat isolated life in New York City with her parents. One day Penny is feeling rather bored and writes a wish to throw into the fountain in her back yard: 

“I wish something interesting would happen when I least expect it, just like in a book.”

The next thing she knows, her dad has quit his lucrative job and the family is rapidly falling into financial disaster. It’s not exactly what Penny had in mind when she wished for something interesting. When Penny’s mom inherits a crazy house in Tennessee, the family decides to move from the city and get a fresh start in the country.
So begins Penny's interesting adventure.
Penny Dreadful by Laurel Snyder is a great book about friendship, adventure, family, and community.
(and Laurel Snyder wrote Bigger Than a Breadbox too)

Friday, March 30, 2012

packed in a metal crate

What would happen if an engineer decided to write a children's book?

She would probably start it something like this:
On a foggy Monday in 1986, the universe suddenly, without warning, bifurcated.

Regarding Ducks and Universes by engineer-turned-writer Neve Maslakovic is a fun book with great characters. The universe splits in two: Universe A and Universe B. Anyone born before the bifurcation has an alter identity in the other universe.

This book asks a lot of "what ifs".
What if you could travel to an alternate universe. 
What if you could meet your alternate self.
Would you?

I read this book a while ago, but it came back into my mind after traveling internationally. I remembered when Felix, the main character, travels to Universe B from Universe A. Travelers go through a vortex together... packed in a metal crate. Crossing (from one universe to another) was like unraveling a sweater and then re-knitting it elsewhere. Luckily for Felix time doesn't run inside the vortex. He closed his eyes when he heard the loud speaker announce, "Citizens, we have commenced the crossing procedure. Enjoy your stay in San Francisco B." Then he opened his eyes to find that he had arrived.

What if you could 'cross' through a vortex in no time.
Would you? 
What if your molecules were unravelled and then knitted back together elsewhere.
After traveling this spring break... it's a great question to consider.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


The birth of a book...

A short video of a book being created using traditional printing methods. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

words with friends

Do you play Scrabble? 
Do you have a Scrabble Club at school?

Well, Duncan Dorfman does and he has made it to the National School Scrabble Championship. But Duncan Dorfman has a special power: he can "read" printed text by running the fingers of his left hand over the words. This is a great advantage when picking tiles from the Scrabble bag.

V has been telling me to read this book for quite some time. Yesterday she and I downloaded the game Words With Friends and I lost so many games it made my head spin. 

"Now will you read Duncan Dorfman?" she asked.

So I did... and I learned my twos, and "Betsy's Feet", and "bingo stem".

If you think it's cool that Maraschino is an anagram of Harmonicas... then this is the book for you!

So, be sure to get a Scrabble Club started at your school and you can turn Migraine into Imaginer.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

and sometimes an angel needs a people...

Read the first few chapters at Browse Inside

Do you believe in angels? What about angels with insecurities and pet peeves? Well, this angel is funny and not quite grammatically correct. 

This clever book is a quick read that will lift your spirits and help you to see the magic in small acts of kindness.

Sharon's advice for writers... 
read, read, read & write, write, write

What? You're not following Sharon's Blog... you should start.


UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not.

Have you gone to see the movie version of The Lorax?
I know, kind of disappointing, right?

Friday, March 16, 2012

 an ode to the “4Cs”:
  • communication
  • collaboration
  • critical thinking
  • creativity

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I just pre-ordered Justin Case, Book 2
Rachel Vail has written Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip Flops of Doom.
I can not wait to see how Justin survives summer camp, a swim test, and a game called knuckles.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

don't call them fairies

Small Persons with Wings by Ellen Booraem is as much about bullying as it is about magic.

Mellie has been called "Fairy Fat" at school ever since kindergarten when she said she had a fairy. Hoping to escape her 'runaway imagination', Mellie collects facts about science and art... but the teasing continues through seventh grade. 

When she's 13, her family moves to a new town and Mellie hopes for a fresh start. Then she discovers a drunk fairy in the crystal chandelier and thinks she's going crazy... again.

This is a great book for preteens. Mellie is a strong character who is "growing into her grandeur".

Sunday, March 11, 2012


dedicated to Gianna... 

Chloe, Instead ... read it aloud to all sisters.

Monday, March 5, 2012

read to someone...

Imagine a world where everyone can read.

World Read Aloud Day is a day to celebrate the power of words. It's a day to remember and support everyone's right to learn to read and write and have access to books.

Take action: On Wednesday, March 7th be sure to read aloud, read together, read to someone.

Some of my favorite books to read aloud: