over and under the snow November 22

Ten Ways to Get Primary Readers to Read by Kimberley Moran

As he sounds out the word painfully slowly, he looks desperately to the illustration for assistance. He looks at me. I look back blankly. He says each sound separately, but blends it incorrectly. He shakes his head. He looks at me. I look back with my gentle smile.  He glances over at the boys reading […]

Pendergrass_RAPS-Group November 21

It Takes a Village by Emily Pendergrass

Reading is a social practice. Reading could be viewed as something that people do in private – like the iconic image of curling up with a good book. However, for others, and me curling up with a good book, while solitary in that particular moment, is embedded in social purposes. I curl up in a […]

the storm whale November 20

How The Storm Whale Came To Be by Benji Davies

It was late 2009 and I had been working on new samples to show publishers. I already had several picture books under my belt as illustrator but writing was not something I had ventured into. It was something that appealed to me, but I hadn’t had the time to really get on, to actually write […]

I Kill the Mockingbird November 19

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora – Review by Emily D. Rietz

Confession: I love Atticus Finch.  Rationally, I know he’s only a character in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.  I know that he will never walk through my front door and talk to me about crawling into someone’s skin to practice empathy.  I know that I will never share a cocktail with him on an […]

Sketch113194837 November 18

It’s Okay to Write Terrible Stories by Julie Falatko

You should be writing terrible stories. Some writers love what they write and don’t want to revise. Some writers want their first drafts to be perfect and are afraid to write anything at all. Some writers write a perfect first draft that, the next day, has mystically turned into something horrible. Most writers are a […]

Are you there God It's Me Margaret November 17

Breaking Away from Conventions by Michele L. Haiken

I have clear memories of my early teen years sleeping at my grandparents’ house with my cousins and younger sister. I remember staying up late and reading aloud passages from the then, popular (and what some might refer to as taboo) Forever by Judy Blume. The secrets, giggles, and conversations extending the text we shared […]

Hippopotamister_Graphic November 16

What I Wanted to Be When I Grew Up by John Patrick Green

Hippopotamister, the graphic novel I’m in the midst of illustrating, stars a hippopotamus who leaves his home at the zoo, following his friend the red panda, and together they integrate themselves into human society by getting jobs at a variety of establishments. Working on this story, drawing Hippo and Red Panda wearing little hats and […]

where the stars still shine November 15

Top Ten High School Favorites from Former Students by Sarah Krajewski and some of her former students

Reading is an enormous part of my 9th grade classroom. Students cannot get around it. Thousands of books circle them on all sides, with the newest and most popular displayed proudly. I’m thrilled with how much I can encourage my students to read, but I am in my glory when former students—10th, 11th, 12th graders, […]

junie b jones November 14

Hot and Cold: Coping with Children’s Changing Tastes and Attitudes by Terry Coffey

As a children’s author, I feel a heavy weight on my shoulders. Not only do I want to make sure my stories are enjoyed by children, I also feel a responsibility that I don’t in some way create an experience so bad that it turns a young person away from reading. I say that in […]

photo 2 November 13

PADDINGTON by Michael Bond and R.W. Alley – Retro Review by Stacey Shubitz

I recently read Michael Bond and R.W. Alley’s Paddington for what I thought was the first time.  I called my mom after reading it and said, “How come you never read the Paddington books to me when I was a kid?” “Of course, I did,” my mother vowed. And while I do believe her, since […]