I’m Going to Catch My Tail

I’m a laughs-on-the-inside kind of girl, but this one had me laughing aloud. If Kitty hadn’t been an illustrated cat, I would have thought that Jimbo Matison’s book was about me. (You’ve met Cat.)

I’m Going to Catch My Tail was released in the fall, but the video was just published.

Social media is full of cat posts, so you know your audience will have an appreciation for Kitty’s antics. Jimbo Matison is on Twitter: @jimbomatison

Eoin Colfer & Oliver Jeffers Collaborate on “Imaginary Fred”

Eoin Colfer has a new picture book coming this fall, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. In this “interview” Colfer explains why this Colfer/Jeffers collaboration was a good fit. “He’s Irish… and I’m Irish.”

And a bonus… now you’ll finally know how to pronounce “Eoin”.

The Book of Languages

The folks at Owlkids Books speak lots of different languages. In honor of their recently published The Book of Languages by Mick Webb, they created this video to share some words and phases from the languages we speak.

Review (Plus): “Rude Cakes” by Rowboat Watkins

Rude Cakes

My eight-year-old son approached and asked what I was doing. I told him I was reviewing/reading a book for Ms. Beth at Books & Whatnot. He informed me he would like to read it as well because it looks amazing. He is right. The cover does hook an eight-year-old, especially with the word “Rude” in large letters on it. So I let him read it.

From the eight-year-old after finishing Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins:

“This book does a great job of explaining how people can be rude and not have any manners. The cake doesn’t even listen to his mom and argues with her at bed time. It has a one-eyed monster who does listen and is very nice. I really liked the one-eyed monster. He looks friendly. Mom, the cake learns to be nice to the crumbs because of the monster’s example. Some of the people in my class need to read this book.”

I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks, Mr. Watkins. I will be sharing Rude Cakes with my son’s classroom.

In the store:

As we leave the classroom for a summer break, it is the ideal time to display books for summer time “growth.” Place together books which teach morals, values, math, grammar and things to do with your children. Children need to continue to be held accountable for their behavior throughout the summer months. Some parents are seeking educational materials to keep their children’s mind sharp through the break. Make it easy for parents to find and easy for them to purchase.

In the classroom:

Headstart, along with Common Core State Standards, has aligned the early childhood development into nine major domains. One of them is the Social-Emotional Domain of childhood development. Rude Cakes illustrates multiple social settings where he is rude, domineering and abrasive. Watkins has used the crumbs to show their emotions with simple words and actions. The relationship between all characters in this books provide an opportunity to discuss behavior and attitudes with appropriate behavior. This is a wonderful story to read and a great follow-up discussion.

Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins (Chronicle Books | 9781452138510 | June 2, 2015

Review (Plus): “Stella Brings the Family” by Miriam B. Schiffer, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown

Stella Brings the FamilyWhat a conundrum little Stella faces when her class is having a Mother’s Day celebration and she doesn’t have a mother. Stella has two wonderful parents who tuck her in every night, pack her school lunch and bring her kisses when she hurts herself. When trying to figure out this dilemma, her friend tells her a simple answer, bring them both! Stella decides this is a wonderful idea. She will bring both her Papa and her Daddy to the Mother’s Day celebration!

In our evolving societal roles for children, Miriam Schiffer allows her reader to see the dilemma children face with upcoming holidays which are gender specific. Little Stella doesn’t have to chose; she gets to bring the whole family. The illustrations by Holly Clifton-Brown enhance the story as well by depicting different ethnicities, genders and settings in Stella’s life.

In the store:

A display of children’s books for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day would be a great tie-in to this book. With Father’s Day approaching it is a great segue for both gay parents and parents who have adopted children. Often times we think we have explained our roles to children, but what they experience through school and their peers are far from what we think they are understanding. Reading books provides opportunities for discussions about questions our children may have. It is a big and confusing world. Roles are becoming more fluid and we need to be adaptable to the ever present changes. Schiffer touches on Mother’s Day, but shows a child who has two mothers as well and gives a lead to the upcoming Father’s Day.

In the classroom:

I love Mother’s Day being in May. I have received a plethora of hand-print hot pads, painted pots and beautiful construction paper cards in this month. I have never thought of how awkward this holiday could be to a child with two fathers. It is a brilliantly crafted book and has me saying “Duh!” to myself. This is the perfect classroom read when you start crafting for the upcoming gender specific holidays. Encourage your student to craft for whomever they see as the role of “Mother.” Be open minded and ready for discussion with your students in the classroom. The illustrations make it easy for your students to understand.

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam  B. Schiffer, illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown (Chronicle Books | 9781452111902 | May 5, 2015)