Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Is National Poetry Month

Share a POEM
with the Young People in Your Life! 
Invite Kids to Write Their Own Poems!

In honor of National Poetry Month, we share with you below one of nineteenth century, American poet Emily Dickinson's poems, "'Hope' is the thing with feathers." Why not take a moment and share it with the young people in your life?  
 
Take turns reciting each stanza. Print copies of the poem and put them in your pocket. Ask young people to write their own poems inspired by hope, faith, nature, family, friends, or something else they cherish!

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
By Emily Dickinson 1830–1886

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.


MORE Fun with Poetry!
To hear and watch actress Claire Danes reading Dickinson's poem, click here.
 
To learn more about poet Emily Dickinson, visit the Emily Dickinson Museum website. Here you will find poetry activities, a Dickinson poem of the week, teacher resources, and information for visiting the Dickinson Museum and properties in Amherst, Massachusetts.
 
To find more poems by Dickinson and other poets, visit your local library or bookstore!
 
To discover more ways you can celebrate National Poetry Month, visit Poets.org

To see a list of recommended poetry books for kids ages 0-9, visit ReadingRockets.org.

To see a list of recommended poetry books for older kids, visit AdLit.org.

Monday, March 25, 2013

More Spring Teaching Ideas!

Check Out 10 Creative Ways
to Teach the Joy of Spring 

Even if it doesn’t yet feel like spring where you live, the seasons changed last week, and everyone is ready to celebrate. Parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians---take a look at "10 Ways to Teach the Joys of Spring" by Katherine Schulten in the New York Times. Included are fun, engaging ideas for teaching 10 seasonal subjects, from poetry and baseball to Earth Day and April Fools’ Day, all via Times articles, essays and multimedia. Older kids will certainly get a kick out of learning the cultural history of spring break.

To check out all 10 ideas, click here

And be sure to check out the Poetic Spring, March Magic, and April Delights recommended reading booklists on ReadingRockets. org.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dig In! Learning Opportunities Abound This Spring!

Plant a Garden with Your Kids and
Reap the Rewards

Copyright (c) 2008 by S. D. Schindler
Celebrate this first day of Spring by making plans to plant a garden with your kids. No matter how big--or small--the garden, you and your family can benefit not only from the garden's bounty but also from the experience itself. 
 
In the NCBLA article "Growing a Spring Garden: Cultivating Plants and Your Child's Literacy Skills," author and educator Mary Brigid Barrett explains the interdisciplinary opportunities inherent in gardening with your children.

Make Connections!
Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert, March 26, 2012
To get your kids excited about gardening, make connections with the gardening work of other kids, including the work of the First Family. You can learn more about the Obama's experiences in planting, harvesting, and eating healthy recipes made from the bounty of the White House kitchen garden by searching kitchen garden on WhiteHouse.gov. For information on taking students on a free tour of the White House kitchen garden, click here. To discover White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford's grilled garden pizza recipe, click here.  
 
Dig into the Past!
Help young people make connections to the past in the article "White House Colonial Kitchen Gardens" by Stephanie Loer in the NCBLA's literature and art anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out. S. D. Schindler's coordinating illustration of Thomas Jefferson enjoying the bounty of his own White House kitchen garden is featured above.

And be sure to check out the online article "A Taste of the Past: White House Kitchens, Menus, and Recipes" by Mary Brigid Barrett. This article is included in the educational companion website to Our White House and features a glimpse into the days before modern appliances eased the burdens of the White House cook. Also included in "A Taste of the Past" is President Dwight Eisenhower's not-to-be-missed recipe for Green Turtle Soup!

The National Children's
Book and Literacy Alliance's award-winning book Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out is filled with stunning art, poetry, stories, and personal accounts that celebrate our Presidents and First Ladies, and the history and culture of America! All proceeds go to help the NCBLA continue its work.
Our White House is available in both hardcover and paperback from Candlewick Press.  
 
Learn more at OurWhiteHouse.org.

Ask for Our White House
at a library or bookstore near you! 

Friday, March 15, 2013

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS ANNOUNCES 2013 LITERATURE AWARD WINNERS

Natalie Babbitt Awarded the Academy's Inaugural E. B. White Award

The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the names of 19 writers who will receive its 2013 awards in literature. The awards will be presented in New York in May at the Academy's annual Ceremonial. The literature prizes, totaling $175,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The Academy's 250 members nominate candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners. This year's committee members were Louis Begley, Louise Gl├╝ck, A. R. Gurney, Alison Lurie, Francine Prose, Mark Strand and Charles Wright. 

The inaugural E.B. White Award of $10,000 recognizes a writer for achievement in children's literature and was given to NCBLA board member Natalie Babbitt! Congratulations!

Eight Arts and Letters Awards in Literature honor exceptional accomplishment in any genre. This year, the awards of $7500 each will be presented to Katherine Boo, Joanna Klink, Neil Labute, Bill McKibben, Bruce Norris, Darryl Pinckney, D.A. Powell, and Brad Watson.

Read the complete list of awards here.

Check Out This New Book!

New Anthology WHO DONE IT? 
by Jon Scieszka Pulls Together
Talents of 80 Authors!

A star-studded anthology with a devilish hook, whose proceeds benefit 826nyc: the fabulous literacy non-profit founded by Dave Eggers.

Can you imagine the most cantankerous book editor alive? Mr. Burns meets Stalin, but worse (appearance and odor-wise) than a gluttonous farm pig? A man who makes no secret of his love of cheese or his disdain of unworthy authors? That man is Herman Mildew.


The anthology opens with an invitation to a party, care of this insufferable monster, where over eighty of the most talented, bestselling, and recognizable names in children's and YA fiction learn that they are suspects in his murder. All must provide alibis in brief first-person entries. The problem is that all of them are liars; all of them are fabulists; and all have something to hide.


NCBLA Executive Director Mary Brigid Barrett says, "Go buy this book for your kids. Every kid on the planet needs this book. And the extra bonus is that proceeds from WHO DONE IT? benefit 826nyc, the literacy non-profit founded by Dave Eggers!"


Monday, March 11, 2013

Save the Dates!

Library of Congress National Book Festival
Scheduled for September 21-23
on the National Mall in Washington, DC

Book lovers of all ages are invited to attend the 13th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are honorary chairs for the event. The festival is free and open to the public.

The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance presented a
Readers Theater Production of THE EXQUISITE CORPSE ADVENTURE
at the 2011 National Book Festival.
This year's festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite poets and authors, get books signed, hear special entertainment, have photos taken with storybook characters and participate in a variety of activities.

Festival fans and other lovers of the printed word are invited to take a "Books That Shaped the World" survey on the Library of Congress National Book Festival website, loc.gov/bookfest. The Library, which invited public comment on "Books That Shaped America" in 2012, will continue its multi-year Celebration of the Book with a look at Books That Shaped the World in 2013.

"Last year’s festival drew more authors and more readers than ever before" said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "The excitement is building once again as we invite a public conversation about the power of books to change the world."

Learn more at loc.gov/bookfest.

To watch videos of authors and illustrators presenting at previous book festivals, click here.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Get Kids Reading This Spring!

Check Out Great Reading Resources for Spring!

If you are looking for ways to engage even the most reluctant reader to enjoy a few great books this spring, be sure to check out RIF's free and easy-to-print activity guide, filled with fun ideas like "Books for Breakfast" and the "1,2 Buckle My Shoe" rhyming game. To print RIF's Spring Ahead with Reading Fun Guide, click here

Another excellent resource for getting kids excited about reading is "Growing a Spring Garden: Cultivating Plants and Your Child's Literacy Skills" by Mary Brigid Barrett, on the NCBLA's website thencbla.org. This extensive article provides some great ideas for getting kids reading AND active, such as looking at seed and garden catalogs with your child, planning a spring garden, and creating a garden sketchbook and journal.

And don't forget your local library! Your library's children's and YA librarians can help you sort the stacks for the best books for your kids!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

NCBLA Announces Winners in the OUR WHITE HOUSE BOOK GIVEAWAY

Three Winners to Receive
a Classroom Full of Books
in the NCBLA's
Our White House
Book Giveaway!
Thank You to Candlewick Press for Donating All Copies of Our White House for the Winners!

Last month the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance invited adults who live and work with young people to submit their creative ideas for engaging kids during Presidents Month. Three winners were chosen at random from all entries received to be awarded 40 copies of the award-winning, interdisciplinary anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, enough for all the students in a class or group! The NCBLA thanks everyone who took the time to write and send their entries. 

The winners are:
  • Alamance Christian School in Graham, North Carolina
  • Resurrection Saint Paul School in Ellicott City, Maryland
  • West Prairie South Elementary in Colchester, Illinois

The NCBLA will be publishing a list of some of the most creative activity ideas we received on OurWhiteHouse.org in the coming weeks! 

This giveaway was made possible by the very generous donation of all prize books by Candlewick Press. THANK YOU!

A perfect companion for Common Core classroom activities, Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out is the interdisciplinary anthology created by over 100 of America’s most gifted storytellers and artists as a project of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance. An incomparable collection of essays, personal accounts, historical fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and a stunning array of original art, Our White House offers a multifaceted look at America’s history through the prism of the White House. 

To learn more about Our White House, visit the companion educational website OurWhiteHouse.org, which overflows with additional exclusive articles, classroom activities, resources, and MORE!

Ask for Our White House at a library or bookstore near you!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Women's Suffrage: Connect Kids to the Past with Contemporary Events

Washington Celebrates 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage Parade

Inez Milholland in the 1913 Parade.
Photograph (c) Library of Congress.
Yesterday participants marched in Washington, DC to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women's suffrage parade in the tradition of suffragettes like Inez Milholland, who at age 27, paraded on horseback in flowing white robes to support the right of women to vote--an image that has become iconic of the 1913 march. Yesterday's march retraced the original 5,000-person march down Pennsylvania Avenue and focused on women’s equality.

Anniversaries of critical historical events are an ideal time to connect young people to the past. Why not share the story of Inez Miholland and other suffragettes who worked so hard to gain the vote for women with the young people in your life this week? You can read about Inez in the Washington Post here, as well as in the Library of Congress American Memory website article "Marching for the Vote: Remembering the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913." 

Another excellent resource for digging into the past is the NCBLA's award-winning, interdisciplinary anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out (Candlewick Press). Included among the poetry, prose, and art selections is an imaginative piece titled “Eyewitness to History,” in which author Stephanie S. Tolan imagines a dialogue between a journalist and suffragists who are picketing outside the White House in 1917 demanding the right to vote. The journalist is working for a program that “travels through time to let you witness the major events of the past.” Emily Arnold McCully's coordinating illustration is featured here.

And on the companion website OurWhiteHouse.org, you can share the history of voting rights in America using the information in "Who Gets to Vote?" 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Family Outing!

Work of Beloved Author and Illustrator Maurice Sendak to Tour the Country

The first touring exhibition of Maurice Sendak's illustrations since his death at 83 last May is making its debut at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. It's called "Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons," but a more apt title might have been "Where the Wild Cards Are."

The official title alludes to the fact that this is the 50th anniversary of Sendak's landmark children's book, "Where the Wild Things Are."

Read the entire article at:
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-maurice-sendak-bowers-20130227,0,7719278.story

Friday, March 1, 2013

Don't Miss Out on the OUR WHITE HOUSE Book Giveaway! A Perfect Book for Implementing Common Core Standards in Your Classroom!


TODAY Is the LAST DAY to Send Your Entry
to Win up to 40 Copies of the
Award-Winning, Interdisciplinary Anthology
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out
Send Your Entry Before 11:00 PM EST TONIGHT!

To enter to win copies of the award-winning, interdisciplinary anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out  for all the students in your class or group, simply send a short description of an activity idea for engaging kids during Presidents Month by email or Facebook message to the NCBLA TODAY before 11:00 PM EST.

A perfect companion for Common Core classroom activities, Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out is the interdisciplinary anthology created by over 100 of America’s most gifted storytellers and artists as a project of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance. An incomparable collection of essays, personal accounts, historical fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and a stunning array of original art, Our White House offers a multifaceted look at America’s history through the prism of the White House.  The retail value of Our White House is $29.99 per copy.

THREE WINNERS will be chosen at random from all entries received. Each winner will receive up to 40 copies of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.

Winners will be announced Wednesday, March 6.

Send your one- to three-paragraph summary or lesson plan that describes your idea to the NCBLA by email (info@thencbla.org) or by Facebook message (facebook.com/TheNCBLA) before 11:00 PM EST tonight, March 1, 2013. Be sure to include complete contact information (name, title, address, email address, phone number, and school,  library, or organization name as applicable).

For more contest information and rules, go to: http://thencbla.org/OWH_Book_Giveaway.html

Ask for Our White House at your local library or bookstore!

This giveaway is made possible by the generous donation of all books by Candlewick Press. THANK YOU!