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Celebrations

Inspiration for lifetime learning

This September continues to be an interesting month. It started with a solemn occasion which included new memorials and remembrances for those lost on 9/11. But additionally, there are less serious celebrations and goings-on during the month.

One of my favorites is the National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress. It will be held on the National Mall on September 24 and the 25th — a two-day event this year.

Notable August birthdays

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.

Teacher appreciation

A very happy teacher appreciation week to all educators! Teachers deserve far more than a week's celebration, but setting aside this designated week gives parents and PTOs an opportunity to pool resources and volunteers and recognize teachers for all they do.

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."

Signs of spring

Winter doesn't seem to want to end. March came in with a roar and seems to be leaving with one, too.

Unlike the month that we're having, Marion Dane Bauer's In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb (Holiday) with Emily Arnold McCully's effervescent wash and line illustrations provides a lively and quite literal look at March's changing weather. You can see the book here.

Hearts & flowers

It's right around the corner — that lovely touch of color in an otherwise drab winter month: Valentine's Day.

And it's a good excuse for a class party or an extra special reason for a celebration at home.

Making valentines for classmates and family is a fine activity; it can be easy but creative and memorable. (I still have some of the homemade cards that my son gave me over the years and memories of making them with doilies and red construction paper.)

Thankful for many things

One day every year is set aside to give thanks and to remember our history. History and family often come together. Sometimes it's through family stories shared around a dinner table or even books shared aloud. These are often times worth remembering as well as worthy of thanksgiving.

Celebrate fall!

I love the change of season. And fall's a favorite. There's a lot to celebrate in autumn.

Grace Lin introduced me to a celebration that I'd not come across before. The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is presented in a new book, Thanking the Moon (Knopf) that follows a Chinese American family as they enjoy a moonlit picnic sharing mooncakes and moon legends while giving thanks.

Teacher appreciation

teacher appreciation

My Mom was a teacher. That's her standing on the left in the picture. That picture, one of my personal favorites, was taken at St. Mary's School for the Deaf in Buffalo, NY where she started her teaching career.

Goodbye poetry month

What fun we had with poetry month this year! At home we resurrected our copy of Joyful Noise and had fun sharing poems about insects. Anna loved the Grasshoppers one the best, mostly because we had a long talk about autumn-laid eggs and the interesting words and images within the poem, including grasshoppers 'vaulting from leaf to leaf and stem to stem' and being grass bounders and grass soarers. I doubt she'll ever look at a grasshopper the same way again!

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"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo