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Maria Salvadore

Reading Rockets' children's literature expert, Maria Salvadore, brings you into her world as she explores the best ways to use kids' books both inside — and outside — of the classroom.

Notable August birthdays

August 12, 2011

Lots of fine authors and illustrators of books for children have birthdays in August. If you're reading this, then chances are you've come across their books on Reading Rockets.

Among the August birthdays are notable children's book creators such as: Walter Dean Myers who has too many honors to list here; Joanna Cole, popular and prolific writer though perhaps best known for her Magic School Bus; the ever fresh, Caldecott Honor winning Lane Smith; and Patricia McKissack, author of numerous award-winning books.

They all come together on Reading Rockets — which also has an August birthday of note. This year, Reading Rockets celebrates its 10th year.

Even before I met the people who were responsible for Reading Rockets, I was impressed that the site not only introduced the "how" of reading but imbedded the "what" of reading. The site still provides research-based information for teachers and parents in various forms (programs, webcasts, etc.), and much more.

Reading Rockets acknowledges the power of content and helps adults build on children's interests through its recommended booklists and by providing insight into the authors and illustrators whose life work is to create books for young readers. It also offers tools to help bring it all together.

So happy birthday Walter Dean Myers, Pat McKissack, Joanna Cole, Lane Smith, Ian Falconer, Matt Christopher, Steven Kroll, Seymour Simon and all of those who celebrate in August.

And a special happy birthday to Reading Rockets! Here's hoping that the next decade brings even more information and inspiration and just plain fun — because we all know that with the right book, reading rocks!

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"The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who'll get me a book I [haven't] read." — Abraham Lincoln