Review of Smick!

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Smick! by Doreen Cronin; illus. by Juana Medina Preschool, Primary   Viking   32 pp. 2/15   978-0-670-78578-0   $16.99   g With minimal text, a clever use of sight words and word families, and a bounty of playfulness, Cronin introduces preschoolers (and early readers) to their new best friend: good-natured, tail-wagging, droopy-eared dog Smick. A game of fetch between […]

SO gay.

March/April 2015 Horn Book Magazine

The March cover of the Horn Book, that is. Gertrude and the boys should be in your mailbox soonish–we lost a couple of days due to the weather. But dePaola’s springtime palette gives me hope!

Children’s lit class begins again

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     The first day of my children’s lit class at Harvard Ed School will be this Thursday, Feb. 26. Once again, we are hoping you will all help us discuss our readings here on the blog. The students will be required to post comments (short ones, I hope!) and the more comments we can get […]

Using wordless books in the classroom

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It is easy to underestimate wordless (or nearly wordless) picture books. At first glance, they can seem simplistic and their educational value can seem limited since so much focus is placed on reading in the classroom, but if used in the right way they can contribute to a number of learning objectives across a wide […]

Picture books measure up

How tall short

When I was a young student, I don’t recall learning about math concepts from picture books. Of course, I could simply have forgotten, but I do think it may be fair to say that there are more high-quality math picture books today than there were when I was a student. Nowadays, whenever I begin a […]

Review of Finding Spring

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Finding Spring by Carin Berger; illus. by the author Preschool   Greenwillow   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-06-225019-3   $16.99   g As the forest grows cold and most bears start to think about hibernating, a little bear named Maurice can only think about experiencing his first spring. His mother tries to settle him down (“‘Maybe you will dream about […]

Empathy spells understanding

Yang the Youngest

If there’s one thing my students have come to know about their teacher, Ms. Tell, it’s that I have an extreme passion for, and knowledge of, the Harry Potter series. I won’t get too much into it (I’ll save that for another blog post), but it’s true. It’s not just the magical characters and enchanting […]

Review of Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep!

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Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! by Lucy Cousins; illus. by the author Preschool   Candlewick   32 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-7643-8   $15.99   g Maisy helps Mommy Hen track down her ten little chicks in time for bed. Starting at the stable, they make their way around the farm (“Are there any chicks in the trailer? Or in […]

Review of Home

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Home by Carson Ellis; illus by the author Preschool, Primary   Candlewick   40 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-6529-6   g Ellis presents a dreamy, painterly meditation on the diversity and range of dwellings around the world and across time and imagination. “Home is a house in the country,” the text begins, and the illustration shows a simple-looking house with […]

Review of A Fine Dessert

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A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Sophie Blackall Primary   Schwartz & Wade/Random   40 pp. 1/15   978-0-375-86832-0   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96832-7   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-375-98771-7   $10.99 In four vignettes, set a hundred years apart from each other, parents and children make delicious blackberry fool from blackberries, […]