Monday, March 30, 2009

Fantasy Artist Ed Beard, Jr.

Calling all Young Adult Readers

interested in Fantasy!

Ed has illustrated for Tolkien Lord of the Rings products
and other fantasy novel authors.

"Art is far more than just the end result of a visual image,

it's the journey one takes to get there along with

the unique tangible product made from hand Craftsmanship

that is produced that completes the task!"~ Ed Beard Jr.

At the Renaissance Faire in Wake Forest, NC
on Saturday, March 28, 2009,
I had the pleasure of meeting Ed and his lovely wife Kelly.

Ed had always been inspired by the masters of the Renaissance Period,

madonnachild.jpg (58372 bytes)
and he created this image at age 11. He studied
anatomical physiology and other medical anatomical applications
to better understand the human body.

Ed is an accomplished fantasy artist who has been creating
dragons, monsters, and just about every image of a creature
you could imagine, for over 25 years.

Ed Beard Jr. is the most successfully licensed
Dragon and Wizard fantasy artist with the most diverse selection
of products using his art in the world.
With over 1000 licensed images manufactured by
over 100 companies world wide,
Ed is a household name in fantasy.

Have you downloaded the Fantasy Art Dragons and Wizards
content or wallpaper from
Do you own a Dragon calendar from TideMark
from the past five years or have a Mountain Corporation
fantasy T-Shirt from the past 9 years?

Or maybe you've seen a Heaven and Earth
Designs and Essentials fantasy cross stitch pattern?

Ed has agreed to an interview with me
about the role of art in literacy and
his experiences in speaking with
students in schools. We'll also chat about
creativity and the creative process,
dragon skeletal structure
and wing musculature.

Visit his website!

Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences

Source of Diagram above.

Sing, dance, listen, and respond to music.
Develop musical abilities and talents and learn
to distinguish tone, mood, melody, and rhythm.
Rhyme, rap, chanting, dance, songs, & jump-rope rhymes.

Touch and Movement.
Field trips, using manipulatives (dolls, dress-up,
build models, prepare food),
pantomime, role-playing, sign language.
Artistic and physical expression.

Develop empathy and connection with other humans.
Co-operative learning, interviews, partner-reading,
inferences based on oral and body language,
discussions and group problem solving.

Awareness of abilities, interests, & strengths.
Metacognition, self-awareness, self-esteem,
pride, & self-evaluation of performance.

Perceive three dimensional reality.
Visualization, architectural planning,
orienting to maps and directional cues,
planning and executing mazes,
imagining story maps, and planning
three-dimensional projects.

Reasoning and logic.
Cause and effect awareness,
mathematical reasoning, number sense,
scientific thinking, and sequencing.

Reading, oral speech, phonics, spelling, persuasion,
and composition skills of writing in poetry and prose.

The human ability to discriminate among
living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to
other features of the natural world
(clouds, rock configurations, etc.).

Individuals who exhibit the proclivity to pose (and ponder)
questions about life, death, and ultimate realities.
Socratic questioning

Multiple Intelligences - TechTools & Software

The University of Rhode Island and

The Rhode Island Foundation

Teachers in Technology Initiative

RITTI-Fellows Research
November, 1999
Jane Carlson-Pickering
Coordinator/Teacher Multiple Intelligences & Technology
M.I. Smart! Program
Chariho Regional School District

The following list provides examples of specific tools of the trade that are geared to activate different intelligence areas. Please keep in mind that this is merely a sampling of the thousands of software programs available for today's classrooms.

Verbal/Linguistic Intelligence - The capacity to use language, your native language, and perhaps other languages, to express what's on you mind and to understand other people. Poets really specialize in linguistic intelligence, but any kind of writer, orator, speaker, lawyer, or a person for whom language is an important stock in trade, highlights linguistic intelligence.

  • Word processing programs
  • E-mail programs
  • Web Page Composers
  • Multimedia Presentation tools
  • Foreign Language programs
  • Storybook CD's
  • Typing tutors
  • Desktop
  • Electronic libraries
  • Word games/programs
Logical/Mathematical- People with highly developed logical/mathematical intelligence understand the underlying principles of some kind of a causal system, the way a scientist or a logician does; or can manipulate numbers, quantities, and operations, the way a Mathematician does.
  • Math skills tutorials
  • Computer programming tutors
  • Spreadsheets
  • Map Making tools
  • Data Bases
  • Logic games
  • Science programs
  • Critical thinking programs
  • Problem Solving programs
Visual/Spatial Intelligence- The ability to represent the spatial world internally in your mind – the way a sailor or airplane pilot navigates the large spatial world, or the way a chess player or sculptor represents a more circumscribed spatial world. Spatial intelligence can be used in the arts or in the sciences. If you are spatially intelligent and oriented toward the arts, you are more likely to become a painter or sculptor or architect than, say a musician or a writer. Similarly, certain sciences like anatomy or topology emphasize spatial intelligence.
  • Animation programs
  • 3D modeling languages
  • Clip Art programs
  • Computer-aided visualizations
  • Digital Cameras and Microscopes
  • Draw & Paint programs
  • Electronic chess games
  • Modeling tools
  • Research Group)
  • Spatial problem solving games
  • Electronic puzzle kits
  • Geometry programs
  • Digital Imagery/Graphics Programs
  • Virtual Courseware
Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence- the capacity to use your whole body or parts of your body (your hands, your fingers, your arms), to solve a problem, make something, or put on some kind of production. The most evident examples are people in athletics or the performing arts, particularly when dancing or acting.
  • Hands-on construction kits that interface with computers
  • Motion-simulation games
  • Virtual reality system software
  • Eye-Hand coordination games
  • Tools that plug into computers
  • Haptic Tools
Note: Voice recognition programs may help the bodily/kinesthetic student create his "written" report while he paces back and forth across the floor. (Over the years I have observed that pacing commonly helps students with strong proclivities in this area, process information and think more clearly).

Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence- The capacity to think in music, to be able to hear patterns, recognize them, and perhaps manipulate them. People who have strong musical intelligence don't just remember music easily - they can't get it out of their minds, it's so omnipresent.

  • Music literature tutors
  • Singing software (voice synthesizer)
  • Tone recognition and melody enhancers
  • Musical instrument digital interfaces
  • Create Your Own Music Programs
Interpersonal Intelligence- Interpersonal intelligence, is understanding other people. It's an ability we all need, but is at a premium if you are a teacher, clinician, salesperson, or a politician. Anybody who deals with other people has to be skilled in the interpersonal sphere.
  • Electronic bulletin boards
  • Simulation games
  • E-mail programs
Intrapersonal Intelligence - Having an understanding of yourself, of knowing who you are, what you can do, what you want to do, how you react to things, which things to avoid, and which things to gravitate toward.
  • Personal choice software
  • Career counseling software
  • Any self-paced program
  • Downloadable multi-media applets
Naturalist Intelligence- The human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations, etc.).
  • Scientific plug-ins
  • Nature sound and/or image files
  • Classification of Flora/Fauna software
  • Animal sounds identification programs
  • Earth Science programs
Existential Intelligence- Individuals who exhibit the proclivity to pose (and ponder) questions about life, death, and ultimate realities. (Gardner only recently disclosed the existence of this intelligence area. I am unfamiliar with any software at this time that would focus primarily on this intelligence. Perhaps if there were programs that deal with Socratic questioning, they would fall into this category).


  • Software such as the "Dr. Brain" series incorporates many of the above intelligences a
  • Web sites that incorporate any/all of the above
  • Videodiscs in any discipline can draw students into a topic in which they may not otherwise be interested.

Love-Songs of Childhood

Book cover of Love-Songs of Childhood by Eugene Field

Love-Songs of Childhood
By Eugene Field

The Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street
Comes stealing; comes creeping;
The poppies they hang from her head to her feet,
And each hath a dream that is tiny and fleet
- She bringeth her poppies to you, my sweet,
When she findeth you sleeping!

There is one little dream of a beautiful drum
- Rub-a-dub! it goeth;
There is one little dream of a big sugar-plum,
And lo! thick and fast the other dreams come
Of popguns that bang, and tin tops that hum,
And a trumpet that bloweth!

And dollies peep out of those wee little dreams
With laughter and singing;
And boats go a-floating on silvery streams,
And the stars peek-a-boo with their own misty gleams,
And up, up, and up, where the Mother Moon beams,
The fairies go winging!

Would you dream all these dreams that are tiny and fleet?

They'll come to you sleeping;
So shut the two eyes that are weary, my sweet,
For the Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby street,
With poppies that hang from her head to her feet,

Comes stealing; comes creeping.

Original Book Cover Art & Free Books

Book cover of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Book cover of Enchanted Castle, The by E. (Edith) Nesbit

Book cover of Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Book cover of Story of the Treasure Seekers, The by E. (Edith) Nesbit

Book cover of Wonderwings and other Fairy Stories by Edith Howes

A FEAST for the Eyes

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973)
In searching for sources of free audio books, I found
Books Should Be Free and rushed to the Children's Category.

Here I found a Treasure Chest of not only free text
(to continue reading on the screen or download as a plain text file)
and free audio MP3 files for downloading,
but also the original (perhaps) book cover art,
some of which are sampled here.
On the page, click on each for a larger view.

If nothing else, with your child compare (contrast)
the covers of Peter Pan or Anne of Green Gables
with the current ones
and talk about which s/he likes better and why.
MI: Interpersonal and Intrapersonal

Without having technical knowledge, we each know what appeals to us.
Explore the art in your library (MI:Kinesthesic, Visual) or online (MI: Visual).
And, no matter how you value Picasso,
at least for me, I agree with him -
art washes away from my soul

the dust of everyday life and fills it with beauty.
Give yourself and another this gift, won't you?

Book cover of Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, The by Hugh Lofting

Book cover of Burgess Animal Book for Children, The by Thornton W Burgess

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

Cover Art of The Read-Aloud Handbook 2006-2007 Edition by Jim Trelease

The Read-Aloud Handbook 2006-2007 Edition

by Jim Trelease

This is an exciting book in that it provides simple tools for helping your children, at home and in the classroom, to learn to enjoy reading and to become lifelong readers. It will also help you to better evaluate the reading environment in your child's classroom, library, and home.
  1. There are reliable studies that confirm the importance of reading aloud and of SSR (Sustained Silent Reading).
  2. As little as fifteen minutes a day in reading aloud to your children can have a significant effect on their becoming lifelong readers.
  3. When you read aloud to your children, they gain both "background knowledge" and a richer vocabulary.
  4. Your child's listening level is not the same as his/her reading level.
  5. It's important to read aloud to your children individually, as their interests and maturity levels may vary.
  6. You children will benefit from your reading aloud to them from the time they are babies up into their teens.
  7. To help your children become readers, supply books, a book basket in the location where it is most likely to be used, and a bed lamp.
  8. Far more boys than girls end up in remedial reading; fathers pay a key role in encouraging reading through reading for pleasure themselves and reading aloud to their children.
  9. Studies show children benefit from recreational "lite" reading of series and comic books.
  10. Libraries can learn from the mega-bookstores and Oprah how to "sell" books and reading to students.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Bad Case of Bullying

Front Cover


The National Council of Teachers of English
at the website ReadWriteThink has a fun unit using
A Bad Case of Stripes
First Grade King
Ira Sleeps Over
Oliver Button is a Sissy

interactive web pages
an interactive unit, Out on a Limb - Conflict Resolution
and literature response techniques
to address bullying.

Round these out with
Katie Couric's The Brand New Kid
Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell's
I'm Gonna Like Me:
Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem
Front Cover
Aliki's A Play's the Thing

How a Book is Made

Front Cover

by Aliki

Themes: books; authors; illustrators; color; creativity;
writing; patience; reading

Gr 2-5 In response to the question, ``Who made this book?,'' the eight cats pictured on the back jacket answer in unison, ``We all did!'' In only 32 pages, Aliki explains their participation in this venture, from the author's inspiration through the presentation of a copy of the completed book to a grateful child. Aliki's publishing company is in a world populated by cats, cats in fancy dress whose individual looks and personalities are representative of a wide spectrum of people. Her lucid explanation of the bookmaking process is clearer than, but every bit as accurate as, many explanations written for adults. Younger children will be satisfied with the charming pictures and the basic picture book text, which identifies the various stages in the business of publishing books. Older or better readers, and those doing research, will find the more detailed explanations, set in smaller type within the frames of the illustrations, to be particularly worthwhile. All ages will be captivated by the dialogue balloons within the softly colored mixed media illustrations (colored pencil and watercolor), which add some humor and give the book personality. A calendar, unobtrusively placed in many of the illustrations, supplies a time frame for each step. No other author has explained the complicated process of creating a book to such a young audience. Even those readers for whom the technical aspects of book production are too difficult to grasp will appreciate the love and hard work that go into the creation of a book. Bound to please, this book marks a high spot in informational writing for children. David Gale, ``School Library Journal''

Copyright 1986 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

With thoroughness, Aliki shows how the author gets the idea,
the idea gets written down, the publisher decides to publish,
and the book gets made as well as sold, allowing the reader
to follow the process every step of the way.
The information is conveyed in a two-level method,
with the main story in larger type
and the more detailed nuts and bolts in smaller type,
but what nuts and bolts they are!
You can learn all you want to know
about the mechanics of publishing a book here,
making this an excellent book to use with writers, young and old.

Valerie & Walter's
Best Books for Children, 2004

By Aliki, her nonfiction

Communication, Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians,
Digging Up Dinosaurs, Milk from Cow to Carton,
My Visit to the Aquarium, How a Book is Made

Kate and the Beanstalk

Kate and the Beanstalk by Mary Pope Osborne: Book Cover

by Mary Pope Osborne, Giselle Potter (Illustrator)


Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum'un,

I smell the blood of an Englishwoman.

Be she alive or be she dead,

I'll grind her bones to make my bread.

Mary Pope Osborne's funny, magical retelling of the favorite tale and Giselle Potter's enchanting illustrations feature a new and inspiring heroine named Kate for today's audience. Readers will cheer on this resourceful, gutsy girl as she outsmarts the famously greedy giant.


In this version of the classic tale, a girl climbs to the top of a giant beanstalk, where she uses her quick wits to outsmart a giant and make her and her mother's fortune.

Publishers Weekly

Kate (instead of Jack) trades her family's cow for magic beans and climbs the beanstalk to find a kingdom in the clouds. PW's starred review said it "puts a fresh face on an old favorite." All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

More Reviews and Recommendations


Mary Pope Osborne has channeled a lifelong love of exploration and travel into one of the most popular children's book series of the past two decades. With her fantastic Magic Tree House series, Mary Pope Osborne keeps the good times rolling for kids all over the world.

More About the Author

Kate mentioned in:
Using Picture Books to Teach Language Arts Standards in Grades 3-5
By Brenda S. Copeland, Patricia A. Messner, pgs. 41, 150, 156

Published 2000,
Wake County Public Library
J398.2 OSBOR

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Theis Raven: Book Cover
by Margot Theis Raven,

Gijsbert Van Frankenhuyzen (Illustrator)

A true story about a little girl in the late 1940's who waited for candy drops from the Chocolate Pilot.


The true story of a young German girl, Mercedes Simon, and of the American pilot, Gail Halvorsen, who shared hope and joy with the children of West Berlin by dropping candy-filled parachutes during the Airlift.

Publishers Weekly

Van Frankenbuyzen's (L Is for Lincoln) opening spread of a bombed-out West Berlin speaks volumes about the necessity of the 1948-1949 Berlin Airlift, the setting for this somewhat overwritten tale. During this time, the British and American forces flew food and basic supplies into the city after the Russian blockade cut off all access to it. After a historical note, Raven (Angels in the Dust) introduces Mercedes, a likable young West Berliner who tends the white chickens in her yard. One morning, her mother reads her a newspaper article about an American pilot, Lt. Gail Halvorsen, who, when delivering supplies to the city, "rained down sweets" on children waiting by the runway ("They carried flour and clothing and coal too. And something else!" reads the narrative). At the airfield, an older, taller boy snags the chocolate bar headed her way, and Mercedes sends Halvorsen a letter ("When you fly over the garden and see the white chickens, please drop some candy there and all will be ok"). He then mails her a package of treats ("The memory of this day would stay with her for the rest of her life"). Unfortunately, the epilogue is more compelling than the narrative: readers learn that Mercedes met Halvorsen in 1972, and the two remain friends. The close-up portraits may be static, but the artist's lifelike depictions of the devastated city are chilling; bullet and shrapnel holes mar even the girl's garden walls. Despite the cumbersome text, a sketch of an uncommonly giving man and a rare friendship emerges. Ages 5-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

More Reviews and Recommendations

The Chocolate Touch

Preview this book
By Patrick Skene Catling, Margot Apple
Illustrated by Margot Apple
Edition: illustrated
Published by HarperCollins, 1979
ISBN 0688321879, 9780688321871
128 pages


John Midas is a very greedy young boy who only loves to eat candy, especially chocolate. His parents keep trying to get him to eat healthy meals, but all he wants to eat is chocolate, to the point where he must take nightly doses of a vitamin elixir to keep nourished. John's doctor orders that John not eat any more chocolate, which is enforced by his parents, much to John's chagrin who has to find a way to clandestinely continue eating chocolate. One day, John happens across an unusual coin, lying on the sidewalk. About the size of a quarter, one face depicts an overweight boy, and the other is inscribed with his initials, "J.M." Shortly thereafter, he encounters a candy store he has never seen before, which is further mysterious considering the owner knows John's name immediately and claims that the strange coin is the only kind of money he accepts. John uses the coin to purchase a large box of chocolates. That night, in bed, John opens the box to dejectedly discover that it contains only one small chocolate ball, with an exquisite flavor. The next morning, John discovers that anything he touches magically transforms into chocolate!

What starts out as a dream come true quickly becomes uncomfortable, as John becomes thirstier and thirstier, sicker and sicker, and begins longing for the good, wholesome foods his parents always wanted him to eat. His condition also causes problems in other ways, as his mouth transforms a trumpet into chocolate, and a party game of apple bobbing results in all the children being awash in chocolate syrup. Eventually John complains of the condition to his father, who take him to the family doctor, where his condition is revealed, although the doctor thinks it is some rare disease. Discomfort turns to nightmare, as John tries to console his weeping mother with a kiss, only to turn her into a chocolate statue. Finally considering someone else's good above his own, John tracks down the candy shop owner, and selflessly tries to set things right. The store owner reveals that the coin John used can only be seen by greedy men, and if John is truly repentant of his greed and gluttony then everything he transformed into chocolate will be reverted to their original forms, and nobody will have any memory of John's chocolate transforming ability, which will also be reversed. The mystery of the shop is unexplained that in the ending, when John as part of his reformed self, feels he should be grateful to the store owner for undoing all of John's damage, runs back to the candy shop only to find an empty lot where the store once stood, though it is highly possible that he cannot see it due to him overcoming his greediness.


The Chocolate Touch covers roughly the same narrative arc as the myth of King Midas, but in changing the object of its protagonist's desire, modifies its target in significant ways. The myth of King Midas, who loved gold above all things, targets greed as its main theme, while The Chocolate Touch highlights another of the Seven Deadly Sins, gluttony. Both stories deal with self-centeredness vs. compassion, though The Chocolate Touch does so in a manner accessible to children. Although John's self-centeredness is unlike most other cases of self-centerdness that put other people at a disadvantage; in John's case he wants his family to stop telling him what he can and cannot eat. Towards the end of the story John comes to realize that his parents' and doctor's demand for healthy eating was for his own good. While people reading the myth of King Midas may not all have daughters of their own, almost all have mothers. In recasting the Midas story with a younger protagonist, author Catling hits on some of children's worst fears, albeit with a light touch.


The Chocolate Touch is still in print, and is often used in grade school curricula throughout the United States.[1][2] It won the Massachusetts Children's Book Award[3] in 1989, the Utah Children's Choice Honors Award in 1983[4], and the Beehive Award[5] from the Children's Literature Association of Utah in 1983.

B. J. Pinchbeck's Homework Helper

"B.J. Pinchbeck's site is hard to resist" -- New York Times
Photo of B.J. Pinchbeck from 2007

BJ Pinchbeck - Age 22
Senior at Drexel University

Film and Video Production Major

  • "... no site comes out on top more often than B.J. Pinchbeck
  • ...B.J.'s links have dead-on accuracy..." -- Consumer
  • "Move over, Bill Gates and Steve Case, here comes B.J. Pinchbeck." -- Newsweek Magazine
  • "B.J. Pinchbeck's Homework Helper has grown into one of the most comprehensive research sites maintained by a kid..." -- Family PC Magazine
  • "...a wonderful guide to encyclopedias, dictionaries, reference works, and other resources on a great variety of subjects..." -- Parents Guide to the Internet, U.S. Department of Education
  • "His popular English hub site caters to an audience far beyond his years." -- Yahoo Internet Life
  • "This site is the best homework helper ever." -- U.S. Kids Magazine
  • "Someone has done a lot of research and linked together some great Web sites." -- The Teaching Home Magazine
  • "...B.J. Pinchbeck and his dad have amassed one of the Web's best known and comprehensive sites." -- Web Guide Magazine

Butterfly Alphabet

Butterfly Alphabet


I've had one version of this poster on my wall for years.

Its creator, a maniacal Swedish photographer,

spent years uncovering letters hidden in butterfly wings

and collected more than one full alphabet from his quest.

To make the challenge more difficult, all his snapshots

are from live butterflies (better color).

He now has a small cottage business selling posters of his work,

including alphabets and numbers found in other realms of nature.

They are beautiful yes, but for me the enduring attraction

of his work is his fanatic amateur over-the-top enthusiasm,

which this poster emblemizes.

-- KK

Butterfly Alphabet #2
Available from
Butterfly Alphabet


The Arts

This site has information on
Visual Elements and Principles
Videos of Artists in Action
Encyclopedias of Examples of the
Velsual Elements and Principles



Winnie-the-Pooh Audio Book

Come with us to an enchanted place,

a forest where Winnie-the-Pooh lived with Piglet,

Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Little Roo.

The stories are about Christopher Robin and these good companions

having wonderful times getting in and out of trouble.

It is all very exciting and, really, quite thrilling

no matter how young or old you may be.

Blackstone Audiobooks presents, from the unabridged collection

"A.A. Milne's Pooh Classics," the ten stories of

Winnie-the-Pooh performed by Peter Dennis.

This reading has earned the prestigious Audie Award,

Parents' Choice Gold Award,

Ohio State Award of Merit,

and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Silver Award.

Author: A.A. Milne
Illustrator: n/a
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
TumbleTime: 2 hours 46 minutes

To LISTEN online,
Go to The Los Angeles Public Library
Click TumbleBook Library
Click Audio Books
Click S-W
Click on Winnie-the-Pooh

Review other AUDIO BOOKS there.

Children's Books About Fire

Los Angeles Public Library

Children have many questions when faced

with a disaster like fire.

How does a fire burn?

How do the firefighters prepare for the job?

How are people rescued?

The following books can provide information

and reassurance in a time of need.

Preview this book

I Drive a Fire Engine
by Sarah Bridges; illustrated by Amy Bailey Muehlenhardt
Ages 3-4
When a very young child wants to know what a fireman does

this book fills the bill. More than just a picture book this title

gives preschoolers an introductory lesson in fire fighting.

Filled with colorful pictures of firemen and trucks

we discover the pumper truck, the clothes that firemen wear,

and the equipment they need to put out a fire.

Preview this book

Fire Storm
by Jean Craighead George; illustrated by Wendell Minor
Ages 4-6
While kayaking down the Salmon River,

Axel and his aunt and uncle are caught in the middle

of a fire raging alongside the mountains. Based on a true story

this picture book concentrates on cool-headed logic

to triumph over the looming disaster. Awash in golds

and orange the pictures reflect the seething heat.

The story ends with a promise that the forest

will grow again to be beautiful and lush.

Front Cover

by Katie Daynes
Ages 6-8
For children just learning to read this nonfiction title explains

how a firefighter goes to school, lives in the firehouse and

is called upon to put out fires and rescue people.

A mixture of cartoon style illustrations and photographs

make this an easy book for beginning readers. This introduction

to nonfiction includes a glossary and a reference to a website

that includes more information.

Front Cover

by Claire Watts
Ages 7-11
All kinds of rescue attempts are highlighted in this DK Eyewitness Book.

Chock full of action photographs children can read how lives

are saved in fires, in space, on the ocean and in wartime.

Discussions include emergency medicine, natural disasters,

equipment and technology, and stories of animals that

have rescued people. Because of the nature of the DK format

readers can browse through the book,

picking and choosing what adventures to pursue.

Preview this book

Fire in Their Eyes
by Karen Magnuson Beil
Ages 9-11
This is a serious book about the nature and science of wildfires,

concentrating on the people who put them out.

We learn that smokejumpers parachute from an airplane

into remote areas to help contain a fire. Dangerous fires employ

experts called "hotshot crews" to attack rapidly growing conflagrations.

A chapter describing brushfires in dense communities concentrates

on the Old Topanga Fire of 1993

where the Santa Ana winds made a deep impact.

Children's Podcasts LAPL

Children's Podcasts

LAPL Children's Podcasts - Stories

Los Angeles Public Library

Click 'play' to listen to the podcast

I Must Go Down to the Beach Again and Other Poems
By:Karen Jo Shapiro PLAY
The Terrible Hodag and the Animal Catchers
By:Caroline Arnold PLAY
Princess Justina Albertina
By:Ellen Dee Davidson PLAY
The Spider and the Fly
By:Ilene Abramson PLAY
Stories for You
By:Irene Smalls PLAY
A Mothers Journey
By:Sandra Markel PLAY
Animal Families, Animal Friends
By:Gretchen Woelfle PLAY
Readings by Iza Trapani
By:Iza Trapani PLAY
The Grand Old Tree | The Nutcracker Doll | The Strange Egg
By:Mary Newell DePalma PLAY

Read To Me LA - Booklist 6 Pre-Reading Skills

Read To Me LA - Booklist

Read T Me L.A. Image

Books that highlight the six pre-reading skills

Letter Knowledge

ABC, I Like Me! by Nancy Carlson
Quilt Alphabet by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Miss Spiders' ABC by David Kirk
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault

Vocabulary Skills

Owen by Kevin Henkes
Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.
Career Day by Anne Rockwell
The Napping House by Audrey Wood

Phonics Awareness

In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
Across the Stream by Mirra Ginsburg
Miss Mary Mack by Mary Ann Hoberman
Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough

Narrative Skills

All by Myself! by Aliki
What Did You Do Today?: The First Day of School by Toby Forward
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Fairy Tales by Mary Ann Hoberman
We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss

Print Awareness

Little Rabbit's First Word Book by Alan Baker
School Bus by Donald Crews
Truck by Donald Crews
I Read Symbols by Tana Hoban

Print Motivation

If You're Happy and You Know It! by Jane Cabrera
The Secret Birthday Message by Eric Carle
Pie in the Sky by Lois Ehlert
Drat That Fat Cat! by Pat Thomson

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear Peter Rabbit

Front Cover

By Alma Flor Ada, Leslie Tryon
Illustrated by Leslie Tryon
When Peter Rabbit is invited to a housewarming party
by one of the Three Little Pigs, a behind-the-scenes adventure
begins to unfold. This collection of previously unseen letters
from the land of make-believe offers us a rare and fresh glimpse
into the lives of well-loved characters. Along the way,
Goldilocks makes a much happier return visit to the Bears' house,
finds Peter Rabbit's lost jacket, and befriends Little Red Riding Hood.
This delightful tale of interconnecting friendships,
written by Alma Flor Ada and enhanced by Leslie Tryon's detailed
and engaging pictures, is sure to warm the hearts
of young and old alike.

View and hear
this online at the Los Angeles Public Library: Click TumbleBook Library,
Storybooks, P, and click on the Book or View Online.

The events in four familiar tales are cleverly intertwined and reported
in a dozen letters. ""Pig One"" invites Peter Rabbit to a
housewarming, but he can't go because he's in bed
sipping chamomile; Baby Bear wants his new friend

Goldilocks McGregor to visit;
Pigs One and Two report that they're now safely with Pig Three;
Peter gets an unexpected invitation from Goldilocks
and compliments the three pigs on the wolf's-tail soup served
at the housewarming they finally managed to celebrate;
the wolf orders a new tail and swears off pigs and little girls.
Red Riding Hood wraps up events in a letter to her grandmother,
while Tryon (Albert's Alphabet, 1991, ALA Notable) visualizes them
in an inviting fairy-tale world, gently recalling both Gustave DorÉ
and Beatrix Potter with entrancing, delicately colored crosshatched
detail. In addition to more obvious uses, try a dramatic reading
of these pleasingly childlike letters.
Also available in Spanish (ISBN: 0-689-31915-0).

Kirkus Reviews Copyright (c) VNU Business Media, Inc.


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Pecorino's First Concert

Front Cover

By Alan Madison, AnnaLaura Cantone

If you think you know the silliest boy in the world,
you're wrong. Pecorino Sasquatch is the silliest boy in the world.
Just watch him as he heads off to the first concert he's ever seen,
conducted by the world-famous Vittorio Pimplelini.
Before the day is out, Pecorino will furmuzzle a man
with a long mustache, wamboodle himself down into a tuba,
and cause the most Brobdingnagian blast of a note
that anyone has ever heard. It's all in a day's work for Pecorino.

This delectably silly musical adventure, written

by Alan Madison, the second-silliest boy in the world,

features pictures by AnnaLaura Cantone,

the silliest illustrator in the world

(unless Pecorino decides to take up drawing).

View and hear this online at the Los Angeles Public Library: Click on TumbleBook Library,
StoryBooks, P, then the Book
or ViewOnline.
11 minutes, 41 second of pure fun!
eBooks for eKids!

From School Library Journal Kindergarten-Grade 2–Young Pecorino
makes his first trip to a city concert with his mother
and is fascinated with instruments of the orchestra.
Entranced by the siren call of unmanned instruments
on the empty stage, Pecorino explores the workings
of the tuba a bit too deeply. Despite his attempts to
wiggle, wossle, and wamboodle himself out, he is trapped.
This entertainingly silly tale is further enhanced by a
larger-than-life guest conductor and a perplexed and
furmuzzled tubist–capable of a Brobdingnagian blow on his
instrument. Cantone's mixed-media pen-and-paint illustrations
of large-nosed, expansive cartoon figures add whimsy to
descriptive text filled with nonsensical words and the thoughtful
logic of a child. This quirky musical adventure will be
a hit with young audiences.
–Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information,
a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Charlotte Mecklenburg County Public Library Source
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The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship

File:CM fool ship.jpg
Author Arthur Ransome
Illustrator Uri Shulevitz
Country United States
Genre(s) Children's picture book
Publisher Farrar
Publication date 1968
ISBN ISBN 0374424381
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship
 is a retelling of a Russian fairy tale illustrated
by Uri Shulevitz. It is based on Arthur Ransome's
version of the story in Old Peter's Russian Tales.
 The book was released in 1968 by Farrar
and won a Caldecott Medal for illustration in 1969. [1]


  1. American Library Association: 
  2. Caldecott Medal Winners, 1938 - Present.
  3. URL accessed 10 May 2007.
His mother couldn't take time to see him on his way,
but the Fool of the World found the flying ship and the
companions whose powers would gain him the Czar's daughter.
 Made visible in the rather raw colors of peasant decoration and

with an air of good-humored raffishness, this boasts
Brueghel-like panoramas of old Russia from the flying ship,
laconic closeups of the Swift-goer, the Eater, the Drinker, etc.
 doing his thing. There's no show-off about Uri Shulevitz's illustrations;
 they serve the story and serve it up in character. Altogether
one of the most pungent of Old Peter's Russian Tales done to a turn.

Kirkus Reviews Copyright (c) VNU Business Media, Inc.

Butterfly Eyes

Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow
by: Joyce Sidman; Beth Krommes (Illustrated by)

ISBN-13/EAN: 9780618563135; $16.00
ISBN-10: 061856313X
Hardcover, Reinforced Binding;
48 pages
Publication Date: 09/15/2006
Illustrations: full color
Trim Size: 9.00 x 10.50
Carton Quantity: 26
Age Range: 7-10 years
Grade Range: Grades 3-5


Discover the hidden world of the meadow in this unique
combination of poetry riddles and science wisdom.
Beginning with the rising sun and ending with twilight,
this book takes us on a tour through the fields,
encouraging us to watch for a nest of rabbits,
a foamy spittlebug, a leaping grasshopper,
bright milkweed, a quick fox, and a cruising hawk.

From Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Combining striking illustrations, evocative poems
that do double duty as riddles and lucid prose commentary, this venture into the natural world stands out for both its beauty and its unusual approach."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Hello, Goodbye Window

Front Cover
The Hello, Goodbye Window
By Norton Juster, Chris Raschka, Christopher Raschka
Illustrated by Chris Raschka, Christopher Raschka
Edition: illustrated
Published by Hyperion Books for Children, 2005
ISBN 0786809140, 9780786809141
32 pages
2006 Caldecott Medal Winner
School Library Journal

*Starred Review*

PreSchool-Grade 1 The window in Nanna and Poppy's kitchen is no ordinary window. It is the place where love and magic happens. It's where the girl and her doting grandparents watch stars, play games, and, most importantly, say hello and goodbye. The first-person text is both simple and sophisticated, conjuring a perfectly child-centered world. Sentences such as "When I get tired I come in and take my nap and nothing happens until I get up" typify the girl's happy, imaginative world. While the language is bouncy and fun, it is the visual interpretation of this sweet story that sings. Using a bright rainbow palette of saturated color, Raschka's impressionistic, mixed-media illustrations portray a loving, mixed-race family. The artwork is at once lively and energetic, without crowding the story or the words on the page; the simple lines and squiggles of color suggest a child's own drawings, but this is the art of a masterful hand. Perfect for lap-sharing, this book will find favor with children and adults alike.
- Angela J. Reynolds. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


From BookList, March 15, 2005, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review"

PreS-Gr. 2. Two well-known names come together in a book that speaks to the real lives of children and their experiences. The young narrator visits her grandparents, Nanna and Poppy, in their big house. They explore Nanna's garden, and Poppy plays his harmonica. The narrator rides her bike and takes a nap, "and nothing happens till I get up." Looking out the picture window, the "hello, goodbye window," she sees the pizza guy, and, more fancifully, a dinosaur. She also spots her parents coming to pick her up. The curly-haired girl is happy to see them, but sad because it means the end of the visit. The window imagery is less important than the title would make it seem. More intrinsic is Juster's honest portrayal of a child's perceptions (a striped cat in the yard is a tiger) and emotions (being happy and sad at the same time "just happens that way sometimes"). Raschka's swirling lines, swaths, and dabs of fruity colors seem especially vibrant, particularly in the double-page spreads, which have ample room to capture both the tender moments between members of the interracial family and the exuberance of spending time in the pulsating outdoors, all flowers, grass, and sky. IleneCooper.
Preview this book

The Red Thread: An Adoption Fairy Tale
By Grace Lin
Edition: reprint, illustrated
Published by Albert Whitman and Company, 2007
ISBN 0807569224, 9780807569221
32 pages
There is an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together. A king and queen rule a beautiful and peaceful land. They should be full of joy and contentment, but they both feel a strange pain that worsens every day. Then a peddler's magic spectacles reveal a red thread pulling at each of their hearts. The king and queen know they must follow the thread-wherever it may lead. Grace Lin's lovely adoption fairy tale is for all children-and the parents who would search the world to find them.

Two of Everything

Two of Everything

Front Cover

A poor old Chinese farmer finds a magic brass pot
that doubles or duplicates whatever is placed inside it,
but his efforts to make himself wealthy lead to unexpected complications.

More details

Two of Everything: A Chinese Folktale
By Lily Toy Hong
Published by Paw Prints, 2007
ISBN 1435208668, 9781435208667

One Potato, Two Potato

One Potato, Two Potato


by Cynthia DeFelice
illustrated by Andrea U'Ren
© 2006

The Story
Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady's lives are changed when they discover

a magic pot buried in their potato patch.

They have always longed for enough food to eat,

sufficient candles to light the darkness,

and some friends with whom to share their lives.

In this touching and comical story, they get all that - and more!

2007 Honor Book - Wanda Gag Book Award

(best picture book to read aloud to young children)
Winner of the 2006 Parent's Choice Gold Award
CCBC in Bank St. College of Education "Best Books of the Year 2007

"DeFelice's reshaping of this familiar theme is comically succinct,

with an unobtrusive undercurrent of desperate poverty.

U'Ren's cartoon-style drafting is wonderfully funny and energetic,

her muted palette appropriately rich in earth tones,

her characterizations warmly affectionate.

And how wonderful to have so fine a tale,

one where greed never figures at all,

and enough is as good as a feast."

- Horn Book, Sept/Oct 2006 *starred review

"DeFelice employs her considerable storytelling skills

to give an old Chinese folktale an Irish twist.

U'Ren's large pen-and-gouache illustrations

infuse the couple's grim situation with humor.

The two are so tall and thin that they seem to be elastic.

And the scene in which skinny legs are sticking out

of the pot and then pulled out is hilarious.

Their walls are full of cracks, their blankets are full of holes,

but their hearts are full of love and generosity.

An entertaining tale that pairs well with Lily Toy Hong's

Two of Everything (Alfred Whitman, 1993.)"

- School Library Journal, Sept 2006