TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Joe Hayes

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome nationally recognized storyteller and author Joe Hayes as our featured guest blogger.

Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft. Enjoy!

Joe Hayes

Sharing Stories 

by Joe Hayes

The most important thing I tell children when I visit schools is this: writing is sharing. I explain to them that an author isn’t someone special. An author is just someone who wants to share something, and decides to write about it. “If you become interested in something,” I tell students, “you should write about it.”

Joe Hayes reading from Pajaro Verde/ The Green Bird (Cinco Puntos Press, 2002)

I like old, traditional stories—especially those from the American Southwest. When I run across a tale that excites my imagination, I start re-imagining it and developing a version that I think will entertain children and suit my style of storytelling.

For years, I just told stories. Before long, people began to ask me why I didn’t write them down. They commented, “You could share your stories with more people if they were in print.”

They were right. When I started publishing my stories, I soon realized that my audience was much larger. From the letters, and later emails, that arrived, it was clear that I was reaching people in places I’d never even visited.

I like to tell children about an email I received from a librarian in Buenos Aires, Argentina. First, I tell them to find a globe and look way down below the United States and Mexico and the skinny thread of Central America—clear down to the tip of South America. “That’s where Argentina is,” I point out. “It’s really far.”

The librarian wrote to me to tell me that there was a child in her school—a homeless boy—who she could never interest in reading. One day she shared with him the story of ¡El Cucuy! from my book of that title (Cinco Puntos Press, 2003). The boy’s response? “¡Ah! Quiero aprender a leer esa historia!” He wanted to learn to read that story.

I tell children that I share this story because it will help them understand the beautiful things that can happen when you start to write about what interests you—that they can make a difference in someone else’s life, and there’s nothing more important than that.

Joe Hayes telling stories in Holguin, Cuba

 

Hear Joe Hayes introduce and pronounce his name.

See all available resources for Joe Hayes.

 

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Joe Hayes. All images courtesy of Joe Hayes.

 


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | April 2014

Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways!

We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net.

 

WIN A FREE COPY of It’s Catching: The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes (Middle School)

Microbiologist Jennifer Gardy, who calls herself a “disease detective,” picks up her microscope to bring expert insight to the microbes that are all around us but are too small to see. Irreverent, playful, and contagious in all the best ways, It’s Catching discusses a range of germs and the diseases they cause, from the common cold, to food poisoning, to the Ebola virus.

Owlkids is giving away 10 copies of It’s Catching. To enter to win, send an email to allison.maclachlan@owlkids.com with the subject line “It’s Catching giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: April 20, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Watch Jennifer demonstrate how fast double-dipping can spread germs in this interview!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake (Elementary School)

Eleanor does a mean thing to a new girl at school and must learn how to say—and show—she’s sorry in this charming new chapter book from the team who created Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie and Like Bug Juice on a Burger.

Abrams is giving away 5 copies of Like Carrot Juice on a Cupcake. To enter to win, send an email to CarrotJuiceGiveaway@gmail.com with the subject line “Pick me!” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: April 23, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Navigate the themes of growing pains and friendship with this curriculum guide!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice (High School)

Norwood House Press is celebrating National Poetry Month by giving away 5 copies of Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice. This collection of poems by 20th century writers on issues related to social justice has been selected as a best of the year book by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center.

To enter to win a free copy of Indivisible: Poems for Social Justice, send an email to info@norwoodhousepress.com with the subject line “Indivisible Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: April 25, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Explore poetic devices and American culture. Get inspired with these teacher’s notes!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of A Great Day for Pup Book App (Elementary School)

Come along with the Cat in the Hat in this interactive book app as he travels all around the globe in search of wild animal babies! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Kids will love exploring everywhere from Australia to Antarctica, learning about wildlife with the familiar characters of the Cat in the Hat!

Oceanhouse Media is giving away 3 copies of A Great Day for Pup book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “A Great Day for Pup Giveaway.”

Deadline: April 30, 2013 (Open to all addresses)

Join the Cat in the Hat on this grand adventure, preview the book app!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic (Elementary School)

Celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Eleanor Roosevelt’s picnic in Hyde Park! In June of 1939 the United States played host to two very special guests, the King and Queen of England! It was an opportunity for the U.S. to strengthen its relationship with the British during very challenging times, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw the visit as a time to set cares aside for just a while and extend a warm welcome.

Sleeping Bear Press is giving away 10 copies of Hot Dog! Enter to win a free copy by emailing sarah.miller@sleepingbearpress.com  with the subject line of “Hot Dog!” and please include your mailing address. Activity pages will be emailed to all who enter!

Deadline: April 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

How did Victor Juhasz illustrate Hot Dog!? Find out at Victor’s blog!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Priority List (High School)

Enter to win a free copy of The Priority List by David Menasche, a poignant and inspiring memoir about a beloved high school English teacher with terminal brain cancer that undertakes a cross-country journey to reunite with his former students and discovers along the way what is truly important in life. Steve Carell has just been cast to star in a feature film based on the book!

Simon & Schuster is giving away 25 copies of The Priority List. To enter, send an email to Education.Library@simonandschuster.com with the subject line “THE PRIORITY LIST Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: April 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Delve deeper into the book with discussion questions and an interview with David Menasche!

 

Seven The Series BoxsetENTER TO WIN a Seven Series Bundle (High School)

Seven grandsons, seven journeys, seven authors, one amazing series!

In anticipation of the Seven Sequels (available Fall 2014), Orca Book Publishers is giving away 3 bundles of 7 books in the original Seven Series. To enter to win, send an email to orca@orcabook.com with the subject line “Seven (the series) contest” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: May 15, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Get pumped for the Seven Sequels series: watch the book trailer!

 

 


TeachingBooks.net

Launching Today: Our Author Morph App

TeachingBooks.net is proud to announce its Author Morph app! Watch an Author Morph demonstration in this 90-second video:


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Eric Walters

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning author       Eric Walters as our featured guest blogger.

Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft. Enjoy!

Eric Walters

What it Takes to Survive

by Eric Walters

Eric Walters in his place of work, which is wherever he happens to be

An airborne computer virus simultaneously infects and disables every computer in the world. In a split second everything operated by computers is unable to function. No cars, trucks, or airplanes. No phones, radios, television, or Internet. No electricity to power lights or water pumps. The veneer of society and civilization is quickly peeled away and the rules that we all live by and allow us to co-exist are immediately thrown into question.

How do people react when they are frightened? When they don’t have the necessities of life? How do they act when there is nothing to hold them back? Or to provide safeguards? What would it be like to walk down the street not knowing what’s out there, but understanding that there are people who want what you have—need what you have—in order to survive?

The Rule of Three (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014) is titled after a survival maxim—you can go three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. At the root of who we are is the basic instinct to survive. The question is: What would you do to survive?

The novel starts in a computer lab at a high school. The main character, Adam, is suddenly part of the power outage that hits his school. As the story evolves, so does the teen’s knowledge of the situation. Helping guide Adam is his mother, the captain of the local police station, and his next door neighbor, Herb, a retired government employee. Their neighborhood soon becomes more than the place where they live; it becomes a place they must re-create if they hope to survive.

The setting for The Rule of Three

Adam’s neighborhood is familiar to me because it’s my neighborhood. The streets, houses, schools, stores, streams, and bridges are those that are outside my door. When I was writing the scene where Adam wanders the streets at 3:00 in the morning, I went out and walked the streets. It made the story very real—and very unsettling.

wave-jpgshakenThe Rule of Three is the first of a trilogy that will run just over 1,200 pages. If a journey of a thousand miles starts with a step, then a trilogy that length begins with an inkling of an idea. I think that, in part, this story arc started forming when I was writing Shaken (Doubleday Canada, 2011), about a Haitian earthquake, and Wave (Doubleday Canada, 2009), about a tsunami, in which a part of the world is suddenly destroyed in a matter of seconds.

Eric Walters in Kenya

Later, in my experiences in Kenya over the years running a children’s program (www.creationofhope.com), I witnessed the ways people reacted when resources were so limited that not everyone could survive. I saw at those times the worst, and the best, in people.

The story begins with the spark of science-fiction—the air borne virus. After that the actions, reactions, feelings, and fears of the people are what I believe would really happen. The question for you is: what would you do if this became your world. Could you survive?

Eric Walters

Listen to Eric Walters introduce and pronounce his name.

See all available resources for Eric Walters.

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of Eric Walters. All images courtesy of Eric Walters.


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | March 2014

Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways!

We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net.

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Shaping Up Summer (Elementary)

Shaping Up Summer is the new, final book in the Math in Nature series—four picture books that help kids engage with primary math concepts, one for each season. The cross-curricular series is illustrated with paper collage artwork throughout, and teacher’s guides are available for each book.

Owlkids Books is giving away 10 copies of Shaping Up Summer. To enter to win, send an email to allison.maclachlan@owlkids.com with the subject line “Shaping Up Summer giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: March 20, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian Addresses)

Enjoy the lesson plan for Shaping Up Summer!

 

ENTER TO WIN the Charlie Bumpers Series (Elementary)

Peachtree Publishers is giving away 10 Charlie Bumpers prize packs! Nine winners will receive one hardcover copy of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year, and one galley of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Really Nice Gnome (April, 2014). One Grand Prize winner will receive one hardcover copy of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year, one hardcover copy of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Really Nice Gnome, and one audio book CD of Charlie Bumpers vs. The Teacher of the Year (performed by author and Grammy Award-winning recording artist, Bill Harley).

To enter to win students must write a story about a time they faced some sort of obstacle like Charlie. Teachers may send the stories in to Peachtree Publishers via email or mail. Stories can be silly or serious; true or fictional; about school, home, or extra-curriculars! Email: niki@peachtree-online.com. Mailing address: Peachtree Publishers/ Publicity Dept./ 1700 Chattahoochee Ave./ Atlanta, GA 30318

Deadline: March 26, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Check out the Charlie Bumpers series website!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Mermaid and the Shoe (Elementary)

From K.G. Campbell, illustrator of this year’s Newbery award-winning Flora and Ulysses comes The Mermaid and the Shoe: a gorgeously illustrated story about finding one’s purpose.

Kids Can Press is giving away 10 copies of The Mermaid and the Shoe. To enter to win, send an email to libraries@kidscan.com with the subject line of “Mermaid” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: March 28, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Listen to an audio name pronunciation with K.G. Campbell!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of Flora and the Flamingo (Elementary)

Win a free copy of Caldecott Honor Book Flora and the Flamingo! In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance (and splashy ending!) will have readers clapping for more!

Chronicle Books is giving away one signed copy of Flora and the Flamingo, plus a poster and bookmarks! Enter here: http://budurl.com/TBFlora

Deadline: March 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian Addresses)

Enjoy this Meet-the-Author Book Reading with Molly Idle!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex! Book App (Elementary)

Join Tyrannosaurus Rex, the fiercest predator in all the land, as she shatters the stillness of the prehistoric forest with a loud, pounding sound! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Come along and see what Tyrannosaurus Rex finds to eat in this exciting storybook app!

Oceanhouse Media is giving away three copies of It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex – Smithsonian’s Prehistoric Pals book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “It’s Tyrannosaurus Rex Giveaway.”

Deadline: March 31, 2014 (Open to all addresses)

Preview the book app!

 

WIN A FREE COPY of The Little Moose Who Couldn’t Go to Sleep (Elementary)

If you love Maynard Moose tales then be forewarned, this book might just be the funniest yet. The fourth installment in the Maynard Moose series provides the back-story about Little Moose’s struggle with going to sleep each night. She is Maynard’s youngest cousin and his favorite kin. This whimsically illustrated story also includes a CD along with a Moose to English glossary.

August House is giving away seven free copies of The Little Moose Who Couldn’t Go to Sleep. To enter to win, send an email to steve@augusthouse.com with the subject line “TeachingBooks Little Moose” and please include how you plan to use this picture book in your school as well as your mailing address.

Deadline: April 14, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Listen to an audio name pronunciation with Willy Claflin!

 

ENTER TO WIN a Trip for Two to the Movie Premiere of The Giver

Coming this August from Walden Media and The Weinstein Company: the feature film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s revered dystopian novel The Giver.

In celebration of The Giver’s silver screen debut, Walden Media is giving away a trip for two to The Giver Movie Premiere in New York City. Airfare, hotel, ground transportation, and meals are all covered.

Enter to win here: www.walden.com/giversweepstakes. For further details, please visit: http://www.walden.com/official-rules-the-giver-sweepstakes.

Deadline: June 30, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Watch the video book trailer!

 


TeachingBooks.net

Congratulations, Megan Schliesman!

Megan SchliesmanMegan Schliesman, a long-time librarian at the Cooperative Children’s Books Center (CCBC) of the School of Education at UW-Madison and manager of its intellectual freedom services for the past eleven years, is the winner of the 2014 Intellectual Freedom Award. The award is given jointly by the Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA).

Besides managing the CCBC Intellectual Freedom Information Services, Schliesman also manages its online forum, “What IF . . . Questions and Answers on Intellectual Freedom.” She currently serves on the American Library Association/Association for Library Service to Children Board, and is a past member of the ALA/ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee. She is past chair of the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association’s Intellectual Freedom Special Interest Group, and a past member of the Wisconsin Library Association Intellectual Freedom Roundtable board.

The authors of the nomination letter recommending Schliesman note, “Megan exemplifies the spirit of intellectual freedom through her unflagging support for those defending against censorship and her outreach to inform others about intellectual freedom. Being a librarian at the CCBC is more than a job for Megan, it is a calling that she takes seriously. Wisconsin is fortunate to have Megan as an intellectual freedom advocate and defender of minors’ First Amendment right to read.”

Schliesman will be honored at the WEMTA Awards Luncheon on Monday, March 24, 2014 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Recognition will also be given during the WLA Conference in the Fall, 2014.

Since 2010, WLA and WEMTA have collaborated to give the annual intellectual freedom award. This award recognizes the contribution of an individual or group who has actively promoted intellectual freedom in Wisconsin.

The award is given based on the following criteria:

  • Role in actively promoting intellectual freedom in their sphere of influence and beyond;
  • Degree to which an individual or group exemplifies the spirit of intellectual freedom; and
  • Efforts to promote intellectual freedom and challenge censorship.

Funding for the award is generously provided by TeachingBooks.net and the Center for Information Policy Research and the School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Recipients are selected by a joint WLA/WEMTA Intellectual Freedom Award Committee. Members of 2014 Committee were: Carin Bringelson, chair (Director of Online Content & Collections, TeachingBooks.net, Madison, Wisconsin); Nell Fleming (Librarian, Wisconsin School of the Deaf Library, Delavan, Wisconsin); Kristina Gómez (Librarian/Business & Technology, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, Wisconsin); Kristin Pekoll (Young Adult/Reference Librarian, West Bend Community Memorial Library, West Bend, Wisconsin); Susan Siel (Library Media Teacher, Bradford High School, Kenosha, Wisconsin); and Rachel Muchin Young (Director, Franklin Public Library, Franklin, Wisconsin).

 


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: David Macaulay

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning illustrator David Macaulay as our featured guest blogger.

Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft. Enjoy!

Putting Together Jet Plane

by David Macaulay

David Macaulay

 

When I start a book I know what it’s going to be about, but I almost never know the best way to tell the story. With Jet Plane: How It Works (David Macaulay Studio, 2012), I started with elephants. I was thinking about how remarkable it is that heavy things can fly. Granted, elephants may not know much about flying, but they’ve got the weight thing pretty well covered. And that’s why one of my first sketches for the book (1) depicts elephants in an airport terminal waiting to board. (One of them is probably still stuck in the metal detector. I guess I didn’t draw it, so you’ll have to imagine it.) The animals missed the flight in the end, but that’s not unusual.

 

(1)

(2)

 

 

 

 

(2) Here I’ve made a square for each of the 32 pages in the book. That’s the easy part. Filling them in is where it gets complicated. As I sketch, I also make notes. These are usually ideas that pop into my head while I’m drawing that might help me fill in those squares.

 

 

 

(3)

 

 

 

 

This is a sketch (3) of the some of the sections of an airplane that I thought I should discuss. Each part consists of smaller pieces, so I had to start thinking about those, too. In the end, the important thing is to know what really matters and what doesn’t. With a limited number of pages to play with, lots of things have to go. You just have to be sure that they aren’t the important things.

 

 

 

 

(4) As the ideas start to develop with more sketching, reading, and rereading of the text, I slowly fill in the squares. This becomes my plan—the order and sequence of the entire book. Seeing all the pages at the same time lets me know how the story will flow and tells me if I’ve left something essential out.

(4)

In this sketch are some of the ideas for the title page, which helps introduce the story. (5)

(5)

(6)

 

 

 I tried a couple of different things before deciding to put the reader inside the terminal looking out at the plane. I moved the plane around looking for the best view before I attempted the larger drawing. (6)

 

 

 

That sketch didn’t work for me, so I started over, this time adding a boy. (7)

(7)

(8)

 

I thought it would add interest. Maybe he’s me. Eventually, I was ready to work on the finished drawing. You’ll notice the addition of words. (8) They’re everywhere. It’s not easy to incorporate them without messing up the illustration—and one reason why it’s crucial to think about them while designing the page.

 

 

Some of the illustrations have to help explain scientific things—like the movement of invisible air over and under the wings. (9,10)

(10)

(9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other illustrations, like this one of the passengers in their seats, are just for fun. Can you see Leonardo da Vinci in the window seat? He started thinking about flying about 500 years ago. I decided he should experience flying next to screaming kids to see if he still thought it was a good idea. (11,12)

(11)

(12)

(13)

(14)

 

 

 

 

One last thing. I make my sketches with my Lamy Safari fountain pen or my Prismacolor pencils. The final sketches and drawings are on tracing paper. I then scan the drawings and add color on the computer. I’m always a little nervous about color because it takes me a while to get it right. The great thing about working on the computer is that if I don’t like the colors I’ve chosen, I just press command Z and away they go. I have to start all over, but at least I don’t have to draw new lines. (13,14)

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to David Macaulay introduce and pronounce his name.

See all available resources for David Macaulay.

This text may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of David Macaulay. All images © David Macaulay.

 


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & Giveaways | February 2014

Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways! We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net.

WIN A FREE COPY of Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Middle School)

Plastic: It’s used to make everything from drink bottles and bags to toys and toothbrushes. But what happens when it ends up where it doesn’t belong—like in the Pacific Ocean? Follow along on a scientific expedition to find out how scientists studied the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and what alarming discoveries they made.

Lerner Publishing Group is giving away 5 copies of Plastic, Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. To enter to win, send an email to publicityinfo@lernerbooks.com with the subject line of “Plastic, Ahoy Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: February 14, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Watch the book trailer!

WIN A FREE COPY of Ice Dogs (Middle School)

Champion musher Victoria Secord is an expert in surviving the unforgiving Alaskan bush. But when an injured “city boy” and a freak snowstorm catch Victoria and her beloved dog team by surprise, a routine trip becomes a life-or-death trek through the frozen wilderness. Readers will be spellbound by this high-stakes adventure novel of endurance and hope.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is giving away 5 copies of Ice Dogs! To enter to win, send an email to IceDogsGiveaway@gmail.com with the subject line of “Mush!” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline: February 21, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Watch the book trailer!

WIN A FREE COPY of The Berenstain Bears Collection #1 Book App! (Elementary)

Dive into 6 exciting Berenstain Bears interactive book apps for young readers! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize each story with your own narration. Enjoy The Berenstain Bears’ Bedtime Battle, The Berenstain Bears and the Big Spelling Bee, The Berenstain Bears Go on a Ghost Walk, The Berenstain Bears Hug and Make Up, The Berenstain Bears’ Really Big Pet Show, and The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores, all in one convenient place.

Oceanhouse Media is giving away 3 copies of The Berenstain Bears Collection #1 book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “The Berenstain Bears Collection #1 Giveaway.”

Deadline: February 28, 2014 (Open to all addresses)

Preview the book app!

WIN A FREE COPY of The Bully Goat Grim: A Maynard Moose Tale (Elementary) 

From the wacky world of Maynard Moose comes a Bully Goat who has a case of “Random Hostility Syndrome.” But he meets his match in Baby Troll who has a pure heart, a sharp mind, and she knows how to handle a bully! This picture book has flying bunnies, rude noises, and a CD along with a Moose to English glossary.

August House is giving away 5 copies of The Bully Goat Grim. To enter to win, send an email to steve@augusthouse.com with the subject line of “Teachingbooks Bully Goat,” and please include how you plan to use this picture book in your school and your mailing address.

Deadline: February 28, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Read James Stimson’s blog!

WIN A FREE COPY of Josephine (Elementary)

Josephine is an extraordinary portrait of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world. Her powerful story of struggle and triumph is an inspiration and a spectacle, just like the legend herself.

Chronicle Books is giving away 3 copies of Josephine, the illustrated biography of legendary performer and civil rights leader, Josephine Baker. Enter to win here: http://budurl.com/TBJosephine

Deadline: February 28, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Watch the book trailer!

WIN A FREE COPY of The Tweedles Go Electric (Elementary)

Meet the Tweedles: Papa, Mama, daughter Frances and her brother, Francis. It’s the dawn of a new century—the twentieth century!—and the Tweedles have decided to buy a car. But no gas guzzler for this modern family. Only an electric car will do for them.

Groundwood Books is giving away 10 copies of The Tweedles Go Electric by Monica Kulling and illustrated by Marie Lafrance. To enter to win, send an email to marketing@groundwoodbooks.com with the subject line of “Tweedles Contest” and please include your mailing address.

Deadline February 28, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

Visit Monica Kullig’s personal website!

ENTER TO WIN the Great Lemonade War! 

Schools across the United States can now partner with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to raise money for childhood cancer research by competing in the Great Lemonade War! This contest, inspired by the book The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies, challenges schools to compete against each other to determine who can raise the most money through a lemonade stand project or other event.

For contest details and prizes visit: http://www.alexslemonade.org/campaign/great-lemonade-war

For contest registration please visit: https://www.alexslemonade.org/campaign/great-lemonade-war/register

Deadline: April 11, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

Visit the Lemonade War Series website!


TeachingBooks.net

Guest Blogger: Sy Montgomery

TeachingBooks.net is delighted to welcome award-winning author      Sy Montgomery as our featured guest blogger.

Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft. Enjoy!

“Chasing Cheetahs”

by Sy Montgomery

Sy Montgomery

Photos © Nic Bishop

Working with Nic Bishop on a “Scientists in the Field” book always entails thrilling moments. Together, with the men and women whose work we chronicle, we’ve handled wild tarantulas in French Guiana, walked among 18,000 slithering snakes in Canada, and traveled on Bactrian camels in Mongolia in search of snow leopards.

But our last expedition was one of the most dramatic. Researching Chasing Cheetahs (HMH, 2014), we ventured into the thorny bush and golden savannah of Namibia, following young cheetahs on the hunt.

“Watch out for warthog holes!” researcher Ryan Sucaet warned us. “And thorns!” cautioned Laurie Marker, the founder of Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF). “And snakes!” added Rachel Shairp, another of Laurie’s assistants. 

From left to right: Rachel Shairp, Laurie Marker and Ryan Sucaet

Ryan swinging the radio telemetry antenna

Along with warthogs, cheetahs, and a number of other animals, 12 species of poisonous snakes live in the area; in fact, Nic and I met a puff adder the day before—a handsome creature that can inject prey with potent venom from its hinged fangs.

As we walked, Ryan swung the radio telemetry antenna in a wide arc. He was tuned to the frequency of the radio collar worn by Bella, a five-year-old cheetah. “We’re definitely getting closer,” he told us. “This is near where she caught the steenbok on her fourth day out,” Rachel noted. “Maybe she’s caught something—all of her kills were made near this road.”

Laurie Marker

We hoped so. Bella, like the other felines at CCF Namibia compound, was captured by a local farmer. After killing the cub’s mother, the farmer confined Bella to a chicken coop. CCF staff rescued the animal, as they have hundreds of other orphans. “Most of our cheetahs witnessed their mothers being shot and have spent their most of their lives in captivity,” Rachel explained. “To be out in the wild again can be an adjustment.”

For this reason, Laurie and her team were out checking on the animal. The Namibia compound offers cheetahs an opportunity to learn the skills that their mothers would have taught—lessons cut short by a gun. These orphaned creatures hone their hunting skills under the watchful eyes of animal rescuers in an enormous enclosure that CCF has set up.

CCF ambassadors

Rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing the most vulnerable big cats in Africa is only part of the story Nic and I came to tell in our book; it’s a multilayered story with surprising twists and turns. Living with the CCF staff, we discovered that cheetah conservation means working with more than one species, in more than one country, and in touch with local residents and scientists from a range of disciplines. It’s about chemistry and genetics, veterinary medicine, and ecology. It’s about changing the farming system in Africa. It’s about working to educate kids in schools. Thanks to dedicated staff of the CCF, there’s hope that the world’s fastest land mammals will survive in the wild.

But the moment that perhaps best illustrated the hopes and challenges of CCF’s work came the day Nic and I were walking with Laurie and her assistants in the bush. Suddenly Laurie stopped short. “Oh—there she is!” And just 20 yards ahead, we saw Bella, sitting beneath a camel thorn acacia.

Bella

The beautiful, 70-pound cat rose to her feet. She stared into our faces with her high-set, enormous eyes. Bella’s intense, orange gaze seemed to sweep over the savannah like light from a sunset. And surely, I thought, that gaze is taking it all in; no other land mammal’s vision is so sharp.

Only then did we spot the three-inch wound in Bella’s left shoulder. Ryan explained this was probably from the tusks of an angry warthog, whose baby the cheetah had been hunting the week before. The wound was healing nicely. For Bella, says Ryan, “it was a lesson learned.”

After checking in on Bella, we were off to find Padme. That cheetah, another female, had made fewer kills than Bella, and Laurie was worried about her. We drove north along the track. Padme’s signal was strong. “She’s got to be right in here…” said Laurie. We got out of the car and made our way through the holes and the thorns. Then, there was Padme, sitting, peering out at us from behind a termite mound, about 25 feet away.

Padme

She stood, moaned, and came toward us. She didn’t appreciate that Nic and I, two strangers, were with the group. Padme peeled back her lips to hiss and snarl. She stopped 10 feet from us. We backed away—and allowed this magnificent feline to continue her hunt. If she was going to eat meat that day, she was going to have to capture it. “Not every one of these cheetahs will be able to survive on their own in the wild,” noted Laurie. Those who can’t survive on their own become ambassadors for wild cheetahs, and these ambassadors are able to live long, healthy lives in the large pens at CCF. “But at least,” adds Rachel, “they’re getting a chance to give the wild a try.”

CCF ambassador

 

 

 

Listen to Sy Montgomery introduce and pronounce her name.

See all available resources for Sy Montgomery 

Listen to Nic Bishop introduce and pronounce his name.

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This material may not be used without the express written consent of Sy Montgomery. 

All photos © Nic Bishop.


TeachingBooks.net

Contests & giveaways | January 2014

Each month we feature free and enjoyable book contests and giveaways! We hope you will enjoy the following opportunities as well as the author and book resources available via TeachingBooks.net.

WIN A FREE COPY of Mi Familia Calaca/My Skeleton Family (Elementary)

Welcome to the family! It’s just like yours: father, mother, sister, brother, abuelita, gato. Well, there’s something just a little bit different about this family. Maybe it’s those clothes they wear … just a little bit fashion backward. And the colors! So vibrant and … lively. Maybe that’s what it is. They are just so full of life. Familia-life.

Cinco Puntos Press is giving away five copies of Mi Familia Calaca/My Skeleton Family by Cynthia Weill and illustrated by Jesus Zarate. To enter to win, send an email to jessicapowers@cincopuntos.com with the subject line of “Mi Familia Calaca TeachingBooks.net giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Visit Cynthia Weill’s personal website.

Deadline: January 19, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

WIN A FREE COPY of Parrots Over Puerto Rico! (Elementary)

This award-winning picture book tells the intertwined histories of the Puerto Rican parrot and the island of Puerto Rico, culminating with current efforts to save the parrots from extinction.

Lee & Low Books is giving away three copies of Parrots Over Puerto Rico! To enter to win, send an email to general@leeandlow.com with the subject line of “PoP Giveaway” and please include your mailing address.

Check out this interview with co-authors Susan L. Roth  and Cynthia Trumbore.

Deadline: January 24, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

ENTER TO WIN a Set of Four Books Celebrating Friendship! (Elementary)

Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes! Celebrate friendship with these four fabulous picture books from Disney-Hyperion. The set includes Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play with Your Food! written and illustrated by Bob Shea; Duck, Duck, Moose! written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones; Freddie & Gingersnap written and illustrated by Vincent X. Kirsch; and When Elephant Met Giraffe written and illustrated by Paul Gude.

Disney-Hyperion is giving away ten sets of these four titles. To enter to win, send an email to childrens.marketing@disney.com with the subject line of “Friendship Book Contest” and please include your mailing address.

Listen to author Bob Shea’s Audio Name Pronunciation.

Deadline: January 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

ENTER TO WIN Writing Builders and Poetry Builders! (Elementary)

Help young students become better writers with Writing Builders and Poetry Builders! These series allow readers to jump in on the fun as friends in the story learn the basics of writing and poetry and follow the steps needed to finish their own writing.

Norwood House Press is giving away one complete set of Writing Builders and Poetry Builders – twenty books! To enter to win, send an email to info@norwoodhousepress.com with the subject line of “WB/PB Set” and please include your mailing address.

Explore the lesson plan for Poetry Builders.

Deadline: January 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)

 WIN A FREE COPY of the Clam-I-Am!: All About the Beach Book App! (Elementary)

Meet Clam-I-Am and other creatures of the beach in this interactive book app for young readers! Explore pictures, learn new vocabulary, and personalize the story with your own narration. Learn all about beach wildlife and habitats with the familiar characters of the Cat in the Hat!

Oceanhouse Media is giving away three copies of the Clam-I-Am! (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat) book app for iOS devices! To enter to win, send an email to press@oceanhousemedia.com with the subject line of “Clam-I-Am Giveaway.”

Preview the Clam-I-Am! book app.

Deadline: January 31, 2014 (Open to all addresses)

WIN A FREE COPY of Lifetime (Elementary)

In one lifetime, a caribou will shed 10 sets of antlers, a woodpecker will drill 30 roosting holes, a giraffe will wear 200 spots, a seahorse will birth 1,000 babies. This extraordinary book collects animal information not available anywhere else – and shows all 30 roosting holes, all 200 spots, and, yes!, all 1,000 baby seahorses in eye-catching illustrations.

Chronicle Books is giving away three copies of Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives. Enter to win here: http://budurl.com/TBLifetime

Read the blog of illustrator Christopher Silas Neal.

Deadline: January 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

WIN A FREE COPY of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (Middle School)

A luminous retelling of the Snow Queen, this is the story of unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard who doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. On her very first day in the museum, where her father has taken a new job, Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help. A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

Random House Children’s Books is giving away 100 copies of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee. To enter to win, send an email to Schoolandlibrarymarketing@randomhouse.com with the subject line of “Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy” and please include your mailing address. 

Check out this interview with author Karen Foxlee.

Deadline: January 31, 2014 (Open to U.S. addresses)


WIN A FREE COPY of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moon (Middle School)

In Frank Cottrell Boyce’s third sequel to Ian Fleming’s classic, the Tootings must find the Potts – the family that originally built their remarkable car – to rescue Little Harry from his kidnappers and foil the evil plot of an intergalactic car thief.

Candlewick Press is giving away four advanced reading copies of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Over the Moowith a parking sign that announces “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Parks Here.” Six runners-up will each receive an advance reading copy and a bookmark. All ten winners will receive a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang key chain! To enter to win, send an email to Anne.Irza-Leggat@candlewick.com with the subject line “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and please include your mailing address.

Watch this interview with author Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Deadline: February 7, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)

WIN A FREE COPY of Teaching with Story (Elementary)

Margaret Read MacDonald and her co-authors have created the definitive resource book for using storytelling and folktales in the classroom. This new book covers a range of topics known as the 7Cs including recommendations for using storytelling to enliven the curriculum, ready to tell tales with useful tips for “tellers” along with valuable references for teachers to use in correlating these learning activities with the Common Core Standards.

August House is giving away fourteen free copies of Teaching with Story. To enter to win, send an email to steve@augusthouse.com with the subject line of “Teaching with Story and CCS” and please include your mailing address, contact information, and share how you plan to use this new resource book in your classroom with the Common Core Standards.

Listen to author Margaret Read MacDonald’s Audio Name Pronunciation.

Deadline: February 14, 2014 (Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses)