Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Let's Get Busy with author Mac Barnett

Mac Barnett (@MacBarnett), author of Telephone (@ChronicleKids) and other bestsellers including Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World), Extra Yarn, Battle Bunny, and the Brixton Brothers series, stops by to talk about how picture book writing is like playwriting, his time on the TEDx stage, and how his time as a summer camp counselor to a group of 4-yr-olds informed his skill at storytelling.

Episode Notes
Mac Barnett's homepage
Jen Corace's homepage
Echo Park Time Travel Mart
Purchase Mac Barnett's books from your local independent bookstore

Purchase locally whenever possible.
Mac's TEDxSonoma County talk:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet (Chronicle Books)

From Herve Tullet, the creator of Press Here, comes a picture book about mixing colors that breathes life into the printed word and reminds us of the importance of play and discovery.

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet (September 16, 2014)
Mix It Up! opens with an invitation for readers to once again tap a dot to set the story in motion. After a collection of color swatches is tapped onto the page, Tullet affirms the reader's "magic touch" and together Tullet and readers journey through an exploration of colors and experiments in mixing paints. 
The book starts out exploring the results of mixing the three primary colors, blue, red, and yellow. This is where the text starts to feel personal, as though Tullet is alongside you, a companion artist guiding you through some playful learning.

And then...
Notice that the text is conversational. Tullet checks up on the reader, encouraging him or her, rooting her on, sharing surprise and wonder with her. When the exploration proceeds, his voice becomes even more that of a teacher, a shared experience.
An aside here: I love the power with which Tullet's approach draws readers in. Every reader, from the pre-reading to grown up, I shared this with all followed the directions to a tee as if not one person could resist playing along.
One of my favorite qualities to Mix It Up! is that Tullet left his paint drips, his fingerprints, his speckles, all of those little imperfections, right on the page. Not only is the book itself a celebration of play and exploration, it's also a reminder that being messy is sometimes the very best way to discover and learn new things. Tullet's inventiveness in the ways he has the reader mix different colors (tilt the book, shake the book, press down on the closed book, etc.) as well as his excited and encouraging voice throughout the story is a celebration of what books can reveal to us as much as it is a shared experience between Tullet and every child who picks up the book. 

Additional Resources:Herve Tullet's homepage
Herve Tullet introducing Mix It Up!
Purchase Mix It Up! from an independent bookstore near you.

Note: Review copies sent from the publisher.

Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet
On Sale Date: September 16, 2014
Ages 3 to 5, Grades P to K
Chronicle Books
56 pages

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sharing our Dot Day Work with You!

We're spending the week connecting with classrooms throughout the country in celebration of International Dot Day. Here's a quick peak at some of the classes who we'll get to meet this week.

In case I don't get to see you, here's what we'll be sharing:

Kindergarten practiced writing letters and then decorated with some very colorful dots.

1st Grade made dots by sharing fractions of their own creations with their classmates in order to create something totally new.
(Sample shown above. Student work on the way!)

2nd Grade took inspiration from Herve Tullet's Press Here to interact with readers through dots.

3rd Grade created and named all new paint colors thanks to inspiration from Peter H. Reynold's Ish.

...and then they created special secret messages to share with our connecting classes based on an image we saw in Peter H. Reynold's I'm Here.

4th Grade loved playing DOTS, the popular iOS game, so much that they created class awards with their own dot designs.

And 5th Grade made sets of trading cards to trade with the students in the classes we see throughout the week.

Happy International Dot Day, everybody!

- Matthew

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Nominate for SLJ's Buzz Award

Nominations close on September 15th for School Library Journal's inaugural Buzz Award, "recognizing K–12 school library programs that are developing innovative new ways to raise awareness of reading by bringing students digital learning activities that increase reading, improve engagement, spark social interaction, and inspire a lifelong love of reading to help kids reach their full potential."

Reblogged from a May 14, 2014 post on SLJ.com, accompanying recognition among the school library  committee are the following awards:

"Winning programs will demonstrate a library program’s use of digital content to increase reading engagement in digital and print formats and improve literacy and learning. 
The winning library program will receive a $1,000 cash award, plus $1,500 in Brain Hive Bucks® for use during the 2014–15 school year. The head school librarian, or other lead librarian, will also receive a trip to the 2014 SLJ Leadership Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota, as a guest of Brain Hive, and the winning program will be profiled in the December 2014 issue of School Library Journal. 
Two finalists will each receive $500 in Brain Hive Bucks® for use during the 2014–15 school year and be mentioned in the December issue of School Library Journal."
Consider nominating yourself or someone from the community for this awesome award.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Let's Get Busy with author Edith Cohn

Edith Cohn (@EdithCohn), author of Spirit's Key (@MacKidsBooks), stops by to talk about her debut middle grade novel, the stories items hold, and becoming a more confident revisor.

Episode Notes

Edith Cohn's homepage
"How to Enrich Your Character's ARC with Magic or Talents" (KidLit Summer School blog post)
KidLit Summer School
Laurel Snyder (author)
Purchase Spirit's Key from your local independent bookstore

Purchase locally whenever possible.

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