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

cousins_count with maisy cheep cheep cheep

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, […]

Metacognitive books: How early should they be introduced?

monster end of book

During the last few months I’ve encountered a number of children’s picture books with a self-reflective or metacognitive approach. The texts encourage readers not just to reflect or think (cognitive) but to think about their thinking (metacognitive). Since the books’ illustrations were eye-catching and the topics were relatable, I read them to some three-year old […]

Review of The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

sarcone-roach_bear ate your sandwich

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary   Knopf   40 pp. 1/15   978-0-375-85860-4   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-307-98242-1   $10.99 “By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich. But you may not know how it happened.” An offstage narrator spins this entertaining tale about the fate of […]

“Rabid Rabbit Readers” —- try saying that five times fast

country bunny golden

I’ve often heard the expression “teaching is a marathon, not a sprint,” an indication that teachers must allow time to pace themselves throughout the school year. But based on my experiences, that’s a whole lot easier said then done. First-year teachers are often thrown into a developed, engrained curriculum plan for a school’s reading program […]

Snowy days

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Winter in New England (and in picture books) usually means one thing: snow. Here are a few stories to put readers in the mood for sledding, snowmen, and hot chocolate. While the city’s “brave trucks” perform flashy tasks such as fixing power lines and fighting fires, our unassuming, bespectacled hero — star of Stephen Savage’s […]

Review of Once Upon an Alphabet

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Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate   Philomel   112 pp. 10/14   978-0-399-16791-1   $26.99 Each letter of the alphabet gets its own little story in this picture book that is much more than a simple set of ABCs. Whimsical, funny, occasionally tragic, and highly entertaining, this collection of (sometimes) interlocking […]

Review of Star Stuff

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Star Stuff: Carl Sagan and the Mysteries of the Cosmos by Stephanie Roth Sisson; illus. by the author Primary   Roaring Brook   32 pp. 10/14   978-1-59643-960-3   $17.99 Beginning with the first page, Sisson showcases the magnitude of the universe, visually presenting the Milky Way and our sun’s place in it. Turn the page, and readers move […]

Thinking about school as a privilege

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys

As our year in second grade began last fall, my students and I spent some time thinking about why we go to school. In our first few weeks together, I tried to help my students understand that going to school is a privilege that has not always been (and is still not) available to everyone. […]