Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reading For Research

What better way to get kids excited about books and research, than by celebrating research all month!  Using picture books to help students become better writers and writers to become better researchers using mentor texts.  Reading for Research Month provides a month long intensive with guest bloggers to help you do just that!  The daily presenters are librarians, teachers, and authors or illustrators. The calendar and more information is provided in the link above.  

The super fantastic line-up? 

Matthew Winner @MatthewWinner, Marcie Flinchum Atkins @MarcieFAtkins, Heidi Stemple @heidieys, Susannah Richards @sussingoutbooks, Bridget Heos @bridgetheos, Nancy Churnin @nchurnin, Wendi Silvano @WendiSilvano, Tricia Lawrence @authorblogger, Caron Levis @caronlevis, Kelly DiPucchio @kellydipucchio, Katey Howes @kateywrites, Keila Dawson @keila_dawson, Danielle Smith @the1stDaughter @LupineGrove, Vivian Kirkfield @viviankirkfield, Jessixa Bagley @jessixabagley, Yolanda Scott @yoscottbooks, Janie Reinart @smile73777, Mira Reisberg @MiraReisberg @childrensbookac, Jodell Sadler @kidlitwriting @kidlitcollege, Kirsti Call @kirsticall, Carrie Charley Brown @carriebrowntx)

I hope you join in the fun. I know I'll be there!

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Artist and Me

The Artist and Me
by Shane Peacock
Illustrated by Sophie Casson
published by Owlkids
April 2016

Funny that I should pick up this book on the same day as The Tree in the Courtyard.  As I mentioned in that post, I was very blessed and got to visit Amsterdam.  Amsterdam not only has the Anne Frank House, but also the Van Gogh museum.  It is a marvelous tribute to Van Gogh.  As you explore each floor of the museum, you make your way through his life and can clearly see his painting style evolve.  

The Artist and Me is written from the unique perspective of a young boy who lives during Van Gogh's lifetime.  He watches as others bully Van Gogh, the crazy man, and even joins in.  I'm very impressed with illustrator Sophie Casson. The color palette she chose for the pages of this book, and how they match the actual painting of Van Gogh is mesmerizing.   Another wonderful nonfiction picture book for kids!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Tree in the Courtyard

The Tree in the Courtyard
Looking Through Anne Frank's Window
by Jeff Gottesfeld
illustrated by Peter McCarty
published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
March 2016

I absolutely adore this book.  I love how illustrator Peter McCarty used the sepia tones to match the heavy subject matter. I read the Diary of Anne Frank as a young girl more than once.  As an adult, I got to visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.  It was an experience I will never forget.  I started to reread her diary on the flight over and recall the tree.  This change in perspective for Anne's story is touching and perfect for a picture book.  I happen to love trees and what they represent in nature; their cyclical nature, their growth, their refusal to die even after a forest fire (saplings).  After reading the afterword, I wanted to know more about these chestnut tree seedpods which live on.  I found the The Sapling Project and read about the locations where the saplings grow to represent freedom and tolerance around the US.   The Tree in the Courtyard is a winner for me!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Gratitude List

Day 7 of 12 Days of Christmas
From Flicker Google Open Stock Images

 I am grateful for my writing life blessings.

1. was able to participate in Chapter Book Blueprint
2. was able to participate in Picture Book Summit
3. am able to write from wherever I am, therefore can travel with husband
4. have good draft starts
5. have growing idea bank
6. finding these writerly groups
7. finding 12 Days of Christmas was perfect timing - thanks so much Julie!
8. and, of course, my supportive family

and I'm currently participating in StoryStorm, and am super excited to sign up for 12x12 this year! Hope to see you over there.

Sunday, January 1, 2017