Paying homage

When we learned earlier this fall that Louisiana author Coleen Salley had suddenly passed away, we were humbly privileged to realize what a gift she’d given when she called our author name pronunciation line.  Listening to Coleen Salley’s Author Name Pronunciation gives one a distinct sense of her story-telling capabilities and the ease with which […]

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Mouse tales

A new movie released this month is based on Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery-winning book The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread. Explore Kate DiCamillo’s Original Author Program and learn more about her thoughts on mice being heroes.  You can even get a glimpse into […]

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Sample and savor

Every year around this time my grandfather would give my grandmother a box of chocolates.  I quickly learned that not every chocolate in the sampler box thrilled me.  One year, my sister taught me the trick of picking out a chocolate and ever-so-slightly cracking open the underside to reveal the filling.  When I found an […]

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Diaries — er, I mean, journals — and kids

When I visited my 11-year-old niece during last week’s holiday, I learned that she had recently purchased and donated a copy of Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid to her previous 5th grade classroom.  My niece’s former teacher had written her a nice thank you note saying that the students were lining up to […]

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On tollbooths, kitchen windows, and inspiration

You, educators and users of TeachingBooks.net, often inspire the new resources on the site.  For example, educators we met at a conference in Portland, Oregon mentioned how much they would love to see us create new original resources for the author Norton Juster. Last Friday, I spoke with Norton Juster and now I’m happy to […]

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The sound of poetry

A few weeks ago I spoke with the author and poet, Naomi Shihab Nye, to record her introducing and reading from some of her poems and her novel Habibi.  It was fascinating and exciting to hear Naomi read her poems and share the sources of inspiration for her poetry.  I think I enjoyed it so […]

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Playing in the garden

I love it when customers ask questions.  Sometimes it’s about the content of (i.e., resources within) the database.  Other times, it’s about how to find the content. Alyssa, one of our Educational Outreach Coordinators, came back from a conference the other day sharing the observation of a user: when doing a SUBJECT search for “GARDEN”, […]

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And you thought Chrysanthemum was hard!

If you’ve ever read Kevin Henkes’ book Chrysanthemum, then you know about the importance of names. The power and pride that comes with names is part of what motivated TeachingBooks to create a collection of brief recordings of author and illustrators saying their names.  We call it the Author Name Pronunciation Guide. Author/illustrator Kevin Henkes […]

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See the real Keeping Quilt…

When I was in elementary school, my mom (a K-12 art teacher) came home from a conference with new picture books for my sister and me.  At the conference my mom met Patricia Polacco and received signed copies of The Keeping Quilt and Rechenka’s Eggs.  My sister and I loved these books for their stories […]

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Celebrate all year round

Chief Joseph Medicine Crow, aka High Bird, is an amazing man.  His book, Counting Coup: Becoming a Crow Chief on the Reservation and Beyond, shares the stories of his life traversing two cultures: that of his traditional Crow grandparents, and that of the White society he experienced growing up on the reservation and serving in […]

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