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Authors & illustrators

Harry and Henry: forever friends

As the last Harry Potter movie opens today, the media is filled with examinations of the impact of Harry Potter on a generation of children and adults. I know my son has grown up with the boy wizard and his friends and he continues to revisit them in books and film.

Free online children's books

I recently came across a very long (600+!) list of free children's books online, compiled by Gizmo's Freeware. I'm frequently asked about resources like this, so I decided to take a closer look at a few of the offerings.

Making meaning

Sometimes books come with separate pieces that can be manipulated, adding a special dimension. Books are turned into games, mysteries, or some other kind of activity. Some are successful, others not so, but each of these books tries to engage, entertain, educate, and stimulate readers' interest.

Slowing down to remember

The world is fast-paced and speeding up every day. Young children are growing up with technology in every aspect of their daily lives, quite literally.

But there were times before television, cell phones and computers became ubiquitous.

The dog days are here

We've gone from a lovely spring to brutal heat yet it's not even summer officially. The heat, however, reminds me that the dog days of summer are indeed close; that is, if they're not here already.

It's a great time to lay back with a good book to beat the heat and read about what else? Dogs.

An award for the world of children's books

Three of my very favorite illustrators have been nominated for a very prestigious award, the Hans Christian Andersen.

Every other year, the names of an author and an illustrator are put forward for consideration for this international honor, selected by the National Sections of the International Board on Books for Young People (better known as IBBY). The award is given for their lasting contribution to the field of children's literature.

Danger if history is forgotten?

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders, buses of young adults who went south to challenge a racially segregated interstate bus system which reflected a great deal of what was going on throughout the country. You can learn more about the Freedom Riders from the PBS series "The American Experience."

Many of the freedom riders are now grandparents; their stories continue to be important. Especially for children.

Celebrate Children's Book Week May 2-8, 2011

There are celebrations for virtually everything these days but few have the staying power of Children's Book Week. It was established in 1919 and is still going strong!

April is a notable month

April has been called the "cruelest month" (what else might one expect from a T.S. Eliot poem entitled "The Waste Land"?) but it is filled with wonderful surprises.

Not only is it month to celebrate poetry (even Eliot would be pleased). Poet Marilyn Singer has a lot to say about poetry and her new form called the "reverso."

Making the world a better place one tree at a time

I get to meet lots of people, travel to distant places, and often learn things I never even thought could be in the least bit interesting. I've just met another intriguing man in a place I've only heard of, and found out about an idea that's working to improve the lives of people who live in arid climates.

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"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges