Wednesday, January 07, 2009

THREE: the third of three

THREE years ago (in 2006) on January 2, this blog was born.

To celebrate our third blog birthday, we have prepared for you a THREE day festival of THREEs from our third year of blogging. Let DAY THREE of the triads begin!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THREE great graphic novels (ML)
The Savage by David Almond
Into the Volcano by Don Wood
Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

THREE reviews of a TRIO of books (ML)
Back to School Fears
Cardboard Genius
Stories that Dovetail in the Middle

THREE reviews of a TRIO of books (Franki)
Great Characters
Better Than Leveled Books
Airplane Reading

THREE new books to give at baby showers
If Animals Kissed Goodnight by Ann Whitford Paul
In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck
10 Little Fingers and 10 Little Toes by Mem Fox

THREE times we were interviewed in 2008
At 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast
At Tales From the Rushmore Kid
At James Preller's Blog (okay, that's not an interview of us, but Karen and Bill mentioned us...)

THREE favorite memes we did
THREE Wordles we made
The NCTE Framework for 21st Century Learning and Assessment
Our blog (okay, that's a graphic, not a Wordle. Deal with it.)

THREE favorite videos we shared
And, just in case you want one more from the past...
MOM'S OVERTURE (even though we shared this in 2007, I would repost it every day if I could!)

THREE favorite Poetry Friday posts
THREE elves dancing
This link will eventually expire, as the ones from December of 2006 and December of 2007 have, but ElfYourself will always be one of our favorite times of the year.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Thank you, thank you, thank you
1. for joining us for our THREE-day THREE-year celebration
2. for your kind wishes and comments
3. in advance for A (great fourth) Year of Reading!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

THREE: the second of three

THREE years ago (in 2006) on January 2, this blog was born.

To celebrate our third blog birthday, we have prepared for you a THREE day festival of THREEs from our third year of blogging. Let DAY TWO of the triads begin!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THREE favorite wordless picture books (Franki)
SOUTH by Patrick McDonnell
WAVE by Suzy Lee

THREE favorite middle grade novels (ML)
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff
Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve

THREE favorite middle grade novels (Franki)

THREE new favorite versions of old favorites

THREE favorite Kidlitosphere events we initiated
Trading (our favorite) Spaces
Summer Goals (setting and reflecting and reflecting)
Central Ohio Blogger get-togethers (summer, fall)

THREE favorite Kidlitosphere events we took part in
Mother Reader's 48 Hour Book Challenge
21 Day Comment Challenge
Cybils (we're just cheerleaders this year)

THREE authors we discovered in 2008

THREE other sites that use our name
2008 was The National Year of Reading in the UK (a blog that is open to invited readers only)
(My) Year of Reading (Dangerously)

THREE author/illustrator interviews at A Year of Reading
Melissa Sweet
Sarah Prineas
Amjed Qamar

THREE professional author interviews at A Year of Reading
Terry Thompson
Shelley Harwayne
(oops, we only had two)

Monday, January 05, 2009


So, what are the chances that I would discover new favorite book characters that star in THREE books during our 3rd Blog Birthday Celebration!? What a lucky week!

Browsing blogs over break, I came across some posts of Maxwell Eaton's Blog Tour here, and here.  Somehow or other, I totally missed discovering his amazing books--The Adventures of Max and Pinky. I am always looking for books in a series for young readers. I think it is so important that kids fall in love with characters who they can read about in more than one book.  As much as I am totally annoyed at myself for missing Max and Pinky, I am so happy that I found them now. As soon as I read the blog tour and visited Eaton's site, I ordered all 3 books.  They are even better than I expected!

Max (a boy) and Pinky (a pig) are best friends who have lots of adventures.  They are great fun. Two of the best friends I have seen in books. There are lots to love about these books.  First of all, the illustrations are great. Bright and simple. Clear and amusing.  The text is simple and the words are large enough for new readers.  There is text on the page that tells the story and there are talking bubbles on nearly every page.  The talking bubbles provide an added layer of fun--the kind of humor that makes these books so lovable.  There is quite a bit of sarcasm in the talking bubbles--a fun, adorable kind--that both kids and adults will enjoy.

Usually, when there are three books about the same characters, there is one that I like better than the others. Not with these book. I LOVE them all. If you teach K-2, I would suggest buying all 3 at one time. I can't wait to introduce these characters in the library.  They might make my list of "Books I Could Read a Million Times" list. I'll keep you posted.

THREE: the first of three

THREE years ago (in 2006) on January 2 (that was THREE days ago), this blog was born.

To celebrate our third blog birthday, we have prepared for you a THREE day festival of THREEs from our third year of blogging. Let the triads begin!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

THREE new book characters (Franki)
Roscoe Riley
The Trucktown Characters
Amy Hodgepodge

THREE new book characters (ML)
Sassy (Sharon Draper)
Percy Jackson (Rick Riordan) [He's new to me, doesn't that count???]
Julia Gillian (Alison McGhee)

THREE new books about characters we already love

THREE new books about characters we already love (ML)
Chester in Chester's Back by Mélanie Watt
Connie Lionheart in Mines of the Minotaur by Julia Golding
Clementine in Clementine's Letter by Sara Pennypacker

THREE new blogs we follow (local--our district)
Literate Lives (born 2/12/08)
Talkworthy (born 5/17/08)
Authentic Learner (born 3/12/08)

THREE new blogs we follow (local--our city, a nearby city, a poet)
Bestbookihavenotread (born 8/8/08)
My World-Mi Mundo (born 4/11/08)
Florian Cafe (born 9/23/08) [okay, he's not local, but it would sure be fun if he was!]

THREE new blogs we follow (local--our profession)
on the learn (born June, 2008)
Open Wide, Look Inside (born Feb., 2008)
The Stenhouse Blog (born May, 2008)

THREE 2008 picture books we LOVE! (Franki)
DRUMMER BOY by Loren Long
THE DOGHOUSE by Jan Thomas
OFF TO FIRST GRADE by Louise Borden

THREE 2008 picture books we LOVE! (ML)
Little Mouse's Big Book of Fears by Emily Gravett
THREE great new nonfiction books (Franki)
KNUCKLEHEAD by Jon Scieszka
GO GO AMERICA by Dan Yaccarino

THREE great new nonfiction books (ML)
One Hen by Katie Smith Milway
Wish: Wishing Traditions Around the World by Roseanne Thong
Wangari's Trees of Peace by Jeannette Winter

THREE great new professional books (plus one more for the obvious reasons)
Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop by Franki Sibberson and Karen Szymusiak

THREE favorite adult reads (ML)
The Moon by Whale Light by Diane Ackerman
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Sunday, January 04, 2009


We have been part of English Companion NING for a few weeks. No, we really don't know what a NING is but we played on it for a while and now we get it.  (Remember, we didn't know what a blog was for a while either.)  There have been some great conversations going on at the NING and it has grown like crazy since Jim Burke started it. Lots of smart people sharing their thinking. 

We thought it would be nice to have a group that discussed issues specific to elementary. So, we started one! And we started a discussion there about read aloud just because it's what we've been thinking about lately.  

Anyway, we hope you all join us over at English Companion ( Here's the thing. Don't not join because you don't know what a NING is. We'll all figure it out together. And it is one of those things that you can put as little or as much time into it as you like--when the conversations interest you. Once you get on, you'll probably find 5-6 groups you'll want to join.  Definitely check it out. Then, sign in and find the elementary group and then find others.  Hope to see you there!

2009 Diet Plan

So, last year I committed to daily Boot Camp and did okay for a few months. Summer was hard with the travel and I ended up quitting in October. I am planning on starting again tomorrow although I am thinking up any excuse possible to not get up at 5AM. I found this great new diet from a Twitter friend that I might try instead. What do you think?

Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

So, of course I will buy any book that Jan Thomas writes from here on out. I loved WHAT WILL FAT CAT SIT ON and I loved THE DOGHOUSE even more. This new 2009 book, is not about the usual characters that Thomas writes about. This new book, RHYMING DUST BUNNIES is about 4 character who are dust bunnies...rhyming dust bunnies. They rhyme.

The illustrations in the book are clearly Jan Thomas's. Bright colors, black borders and great facial expressions. The book is square and easily recognizable as one of Thomas's. And as much as I was hoping for another story about Duck, Cow, Dog and Mouse, I loved reading about these dust bunnies.

First of all, who thinks of these things--dust bunnies as characters. And these dust bunnies are rhyming dust bunnies--well, kind of. Their names are Ed, Ned, Ted and Bob! And they rhyme ALL THE TIME! On each page, the dust bunnies are shouting out words that rhyme but Bob seems to be having trouble--he just isn't rhyming. But, don't worry. We find out at the end the reason for his unrhyming words.

Jan Thomas totally gets young children. She gets their humor. And she understands their needs as readers--she creates great books with pretty sophisticated humor. And she does it with great predictable text so that kids are quickly and easily engaged.

A fun book and another great one for early readers. The kid will be excited to hear this one read aloud and I am sure it will be a popular one in the library.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Great 2008 Read Alouds

I wrote an article for Choice Literacy that was posted there today. 10 of my favorite 2008 novels for reading aloud to middle grade/middle school.  In case you are interested.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Thinking About 21st Century Literacies

We visited today to create the visual that you see to the left. We were thinking that it would be great to tag all of our posts dealing with our thinking about 21st Century Literacies with something that would make it obvious to readers.  We figure that we have lots of threads going on on the blog--lots about books, the Newbery and teaching in general.  But we'll put this visual next to all of the posts that deal specifically with this 21st Century thinking. We imagine that the conversations will become more connected as time goes on, but for now, this is a way for us to organize the threads of our thinking and to highlight these posts for readers.  

For those of you who are also thinking about these issues, please feel free to copy this image and use it on your blog. Or you can put it in your sidebar to indicate that this is an area you are interested in thinking about.  We created it to share so that anyone interested could use it to tag related posts or whatever.  That way, we can connect our thinking between blogs and continue the conversation.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Poetry Friday Roundup Is Here!

Happy New Year!

Leave your link in the comments and I'll round up throughout the day.

I was the earliest early bird of all this week -- I posted on Wednesday about the most amazing gift of poetry ever.

Jules at 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast treats us to "Burning the Old Year" by Naomi Shihab Nye.

Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect has wild bells ("The Way of the Soul" by Alfred Lord Tennyson) ringing in the new year.

John Mutford at The Book Mine Set is wondering whether poetry must only be heard, or whether it's okay if it's read, too.

Douglas Florian at Florian Cafe gives us a sneak peek, "Baryonyx," from his newest book DINOTHESAURUS, which will be out in March.

Gregory K. at GottaBook shares a New Year's poem, "Resolutions," about...guess what?!?!


Lorie Ann Grover at On Point has an original haiku, written to thank a friend for her care and time.

At Readertotz, Lori Ann Grover shares "The Golden An" from Sesame Street. Check it out and see if you understan'!

At The Drift Record, Julie has an original sonnet, "A Sonnet for the New Year," and her favorite quote by a poet in 2008, taken from a September interview of Billy Collins.

Laura at Author Amok was inspired by a New Year's Eve drum line, which reminded her of "The Drum" by Nikki Giovanni.

Janet at Across the Page has a birthday poem for her mother, "A Fable," by Louise Gluck.

At laurasalas, Laura has a poem that will ring true for dog and cat owners alike -- "The (Almost) Perfect Host" by Linda Ashman.

Also at laurasalas, check out the 15 Words or Less poems for this week, inspired by a photo of a chain.


Cloudscome at a wrung sponge is in the mood for Rumi today.

Andrea at Just One More Book! has a podcast review of a rhyming book for toddlers, MY PUP.

Stacey at Two Writing Teachers has a delicious photo and a text message poem to go with it.

Ruth at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town has a poem to go with her word for the year: look.

Welcome to Lulu at Lulu's Library! For her first Poetry Friday she shares some Robert Frost and her dream that goes with it.

Sara Lewis Holmes at Read Write Believe shares an original, "The Bones of January."


Bookworm at The Bookworm's Booklist is thinking about fresh starts with "My Year Book" by G. Welker.

Bill Varner at The Stenhouse Blog has a poem about fathers and sons this week, "Proud Son of an Honor Roll Student" by Timothy Cook.

Little Willow at Bildungsroman shares a bit of "Hope for the Hopeless" by A Fine Frenzy.

David at Writing Workshop shares two originals today, "Winter Sun" on his website, and another that is steaming up the comments here.

shelburns at Write for a Reader has a New Year poem, "Life I am the New Year," in which the blank book of a new year theme continues from "My Year Book" at The Bookworm's List.

MsMac at Check it Out reminds us to hold onto our dreams in the new year.


Linda at Write Time found a perfect poem from Robert Service to share today.

Kelly at Kelly Polark has an original poem this week.

One of The Write Sisters, Mur, has some advice for improving the quality of your life.

Tiel Aisha Ansari at Knocking from Inside has an original villanelle today, "Holiday Debris."

Jennifer Knoblock at Ink for Lit found a poem that speaks to her about writing poems.

Karen Edmisten forgoes the ease of Billy Collins for some (surprisingly satisfying) T.S. Eliot. Good advice, Atticus! Great post, Karen!

At The Poetry University of Kelly Fineman this week, we have "Jabberwocky," by Lewis Carroll, complete with discussion and a performance by the Muppets.

Tadmack at Finding Wonderland shares a fabulous poem for the new year that will remind you to live in the moment.

Susan at Susan Writes gives us another poem to tack to the wall above our desks and remind us to live in the moment.

Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children gives us a glimpse into the future with a list of 2009 poetry books that are scheduled for publication, and she has a birthday poem for Jean Little.

Jill at Jill Corcoran Books writes, "in my post of EVEN MORE WRITING TIPS I have included Marilyn Singer's fantastic compilation of Authors, Editors and other Book People's answers to the question: WHAT MAKES A GOOD POEM."

Jennie at Biblio File is in with a song about Julian of Norwich.

Erin at Miss Erin has a New Year haiku for Billy Collins! Why did I not know that he wrote haiku?

Cuileann at the holly and the ivy has a stunning portion of the poem "Käthe Kollwitz" by Muriel Rukeyser. I love this line: "and death holding my lifetime between great hands." Go read the poem, then go to Wickipedia and read about the life and work of Käthe Kollwitz.

Kim at Page After Page ends our New Year Edition of Poetry Friday with "The First Snowfall,"
by James Russell Lowell.

Thank you all for your submissions and your New Year greetings and wishes. I had fun creating the round up and I hope you had as much fun reading and viewing. Cheers!

Wait! Wait! Don't go yet! There's one more. Teach People Not Books did not ask to be rounded up, but I'm going to anyway. If you don't yet read this blog (on the learn) of a very smart (brains AND fashion) first year high school teacher, then you need to. She's in with an ode to Walt Whitman by Neruda.

This just in...Suzanne at Adventures in Daily Living is sharing "The Collector" by Luci Shaw.