Celebrating National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month! Welcome April and a celebration of all things poetic! This is one of my favorite literary months, because poetry is a writing form that can be such fun and ignite a love of reading. Yes, I know there are plenty of “stuffy” poems out there, but in the world of children’s poetry, the writing is a rainbow. The imagery is lyrical, fantastic, and at times poignant, too.  But all of it is accessible to kids “where they are” and a great hook for reading, writing, and creative expression. This year I’m going to do something a little bit different for National Poetry Month. I’m going to share some of my own poetry – written, I am certain, … Read more

Celebrating a Reading Life

Three years ago today, we lost my dad to the cruelty that calls itself Lewy-Body Dementia. Each year, my Mom and I commemorate this day with a community service project. As only a reader can understand, my Dad wanted his books donated to our local library. It took us almost two years to catalog the thousands of books in my dad’s personal library. Today, Mom and I are honoring that request by delivering more than 400 books (only about 15 percent of the full collection) to the branch in my my folks’ neighborhood. In tribute, I’m also republishing a post I wrote the day Dad left us.   Today my family is closing a chapter of an incredible story: my … Read more

Book Buddies: Summer Reading Possibilities

Many of us are familiar with book buddies, buddy-reading programs that are in many of our schools. For whatever reason, I have looked at book buddies as more of a “school thing.” But they aren’t! Book Buddies can be a great tool for summer, too. Whether it is siblings reading with one another, a reading play date, or even a neighbor’s child interested in spending a little time with younger kids … book buddies can help ward off the Summer Slide. As we continue through the summer, I will be pulling a number of posts I wrote for the Big Universe Learning blog to add to the Family Bookshelf. Here is the next post in our summer series. Book Buddies: … Read more