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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!

Let the games begin! (2010 Winter Olympics)

The opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver (BC) will begin later today. It's an exciting time for the young athletes and a wonderful opportunity for all children to see what can result from not only talent but lots of hard work.

It's also a chance for parents and teachers to introduce children to sports that they may not otherwise be exposed to as well as history (where, why, and when did the Olympics begin?), math (who skis down the hill in the shortest time?), stories (how do you train for these games?), and more.

New Ambassador for Young People's Literature

I've been scooped!

The New York Times reported earlier today that the new ambassador was to be appointed today — at the Library of Congress. I'm not sour grapes, though. One of the reasons this posting is so late is that I got to attend the program at which Ambassador Jon Scieszka became emeritus and Katherine Paterson began her two-year term.

Excitement builds!

December is an exciting month. Children of all ages are getting ready for the holidays and a break from school and classes. (I know my son is in countdown mode.)

It also signals the end of a year and the start of a new one.

A week to celebrate: Children's Book Week

It's Children's Book Week, a longtime celebration of books and reading now celebrated in May. Even though it's almost over, the festivities should continue beyond this week.

A day for moms

This weekend is Mother's Day. I always thought of it as a holiday created by, well, by Hallmark.

But it's not. I learned that it has roots in a feisty woman named Anna Jarvis who wanted to honor her mother. And apparently mothers were celebrated even farther back in history.

I admit that I have a particular point of view; that any day and any celebration is better with a book.

Earth Day

Earth Day was celebrated again this week as it has been since 1970. There's a site hosted by the U.S. government with lots of information on it for parents, teachers, and children.

There's the history of Earth Day, information from various agencies ranging from the Energy Department ot the Environmental Protection Agency.

But the one thing that I could't find on it was a list of books — so here are a few books with a green theme that I like.

A birthday of note

Forty is a milestone for anyone, but it's especially impressive for a something that started out small, grew with each morsel consumed, went away for a while, and emerged to fly.

As you've probably guessed, it's the small green, very hungry, and ever-popular caterpillar, of course.

Fabulous February

February is a marvelous month. It's chockfull of all kinds of celebrations and holidays. And happily, there are lots of books for young readers to enhance and extend them.

There's African American History Month which can be celebrated by reading about distinguished leaders like Coretta Scott King. Stunning illustrations by award-winning Kadir Nelson add even more drama to the poetry of Ntozake Shange in Coretta Scott (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins).

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"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase