Writing crazy sentences

I recently spoke with Ingrid Law to record her reading from her fantastically creative book, Savvy.  When recording a Book Reading, I ask authors to share a little extra special information about how they came to write the book — the inspiration behind the story. In a quiet and gentle voice, Ingrid Law shared with […]

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Caldecott star

In anticipation of the American Library Association’s announcements later this month, we invite you to bring Caldecott-winning illustrator, David Wiesner, into your classroom.  Here are some ideas: 1) Most importantly, learn how to say “Wiesner” correctly. 2) Enjoy (and share) this Original Author Program that we made with David. 3) Explore all of the online […]

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Colorful folktales

When I was a kid, my dad was involved in a project to help retain and transmit Anansi the Spider stories of Liberia, where my parents had served in the Peace Corps.  I remember him having a pile of type-written pages with a single, drawn spider at the top. With today’s technology, we can now […]

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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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