Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuck Everlasting Author Natalie Babbitt Writes Episode Eight of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure!! –live tomorrow on!!

Best praise ever! PBS Reading Rockets received the following message from one of many teachers using The Exquisite Corpse Adventure to excite kids about reading and writing-

“By the way, my second grade students were very disappointed they wouldn't be in school the day episode 8 arrives!  Thank you for all of this!  My students are very motivated and we are enjoying the Exquisite Corpse very much.  Happy Holidays!”

For all those kids, here is a sneak peek at Episode Eight, and kids you don’t have to wait—you can read it tomorrow at home on

From “A Possible Solution" by Natalie Babbitt:

“‘Who are you, you with the warning?’ cried the pig. ‘Let us see you!’
And so, from behind a bush, a crooked, bent old woman stepped out. She was wearing a cloak of black, and her hair was frizzy white around her creased and wrinkled face. “I am the voice,” she croaked, “but I don’t deserve the credit. I am only a reporter of possible things to come. I am Sybil Hunch, the local misfortune-teller. I was reading my crystal ball,” she told them, holding out a sphere of misty glass, “and it let me know there was trouble waiting . . . .”

“A Possible Solution” is illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering!  How cool is this crop from his eerie illustration!

To read all The Exquisite Corpse Adventure episodes, go to: 

To find out what The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is all about, and to find fun reading and writing activities and educational support materials to help you expand your children’s and teens’ literacy and literary experience, go to:

To read more about PBS's Reading Rockets Exquisite Corpse Adventure Prompts contest, go to:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In Case You Missed It! Read "The Beast Pit" by Shannon Hale

Kids Going Stir Crazy on Holiday Break? Read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Episode Seven: The Beast Pit by Shannon Hale illustrated by Calef Brown 

Are your kids bored with board games? Are they zombied-out from  zeroing in on electronic screens? Or are you traveling with no books in tow? Well, have we got a great way keep them from driving you crazy--keep them entertained and laughing reading The Exquisite Corpse Adventure, free online at!!

And when they are done reading the latest hilarious episode by Shannon Hale get them guessing, and writing about what will happen next when Episode Eight-- written by none other than the fabulous author Natalie Babbit-- of TUCK EVERLASTING fame, goes live this Friday!!!!

And to keep the kids busy until Friday, stop by your local library or bookstore and find these great books by Shannon Hale and Calef Brown! Your kids will not be able to put them down and you can sit down and have a cup of coffee and read the paper undisturbed!

Find Shannon Hale's Forest Born, River Secrets, and The Goose Girl at your neighborhood library or bookstore! 

And make sure you get Calef Brown's books--Soup for Breakfast, Flamingoes on the Roof, and Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks--too!!!

Important web links!
Author Shannon Hale's website: 

Illustrator Calef Brown's website: 
Read The Exquisite Corpse Adventure at: 

For great actvities related to The Exquisite Corpse Adventure go to:

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Literary Treat for the Holiday Season!

PBS American Masters Features Louisa May Alcott

“I am happy, very happy tonight for my five years work is done, and whether it succeeds or not, I shall be the richer and better for it, because the labor, love, disappointment, hope and purpose, that have gone into it, are a useful experience that I shall never forget. Now if it makes a little money and opens the way for more, I shall be satisfied, and you in some measure repaid for all the sympathy help and love that have done so much for me in these hard years. I hope Success will sweeten me and make me what I long to become more than a great writer—a good daughter. And so God bless you, dear mother, and send us all a Happy New Year.”

~Louisa May Alcott in a letter to her mother accompanying a copy of her new book Moods.

Check your local PBS television schedule to find out when American Masters: Louisa May Alcott, the Woman Behind Little Women airs in your community.
More information at: 

And if you live in or are visiting New England, a visit to the Alcott family home, Orchard House makes for fascinating family field trip for all ages!
For more information go to: 

For more information about Louisa May Alcott, visit the Library of Congress website at: 

Louisa May Alcott's book Little Women is an extraordinary book to read to your kids aloud chapter by chapter.  Read it together before you see a movie version of the story. And after reading the book and viewing a Little W0men movie, have a conversation with your kids comparing and contrasting the story to the movie, and comparing and contrasting the experience of reading a book to  watching a movie inspired by a book. 

You can readily find copies of Little Women at your local neighborhood library, or you can read it online at:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Read "The Christmas Carol" Online!

"God Bless Us Everyone!" 

The Board and Staff of The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance 
Wish You All a Delight-filled Holiday Season and Joyous New Year!

M.T. Anderson
Natalie Babbitt
Mary Brigid Barrett
Susan Cooper
Geri Eddins
Carol Greenwald
Nikki Grimes
Steven Kellogg
Mary Kemper
Stephanie Loer
Louis Laste
David Macaulay
Patricia MacLachlan
Patricia and Fredrick McKissack
Gregory Maguire
Grant Oliphant
Linda Sue Park
Katherine Paterson
Elizabeth Rock
and Sarah T.Truslow

We invite you read aloud and share books and family stories 
with your loved ones this holiday season! 
You can find a great version of The Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens on the Library of Congress website, as well as many family classics!

Go to:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Minute Gift Suggestion!

 Our White House: 
Looking In, Looking Out

The Perfect Gift Book for Young and Old!
all proceeds benefit the advocacy 
and education work of 
The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance!

Check out the NCBLA's Our White House companion educational website at: 

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out Awards
  • 2009-2010 National Endowment for the Humanities We the People “Picturing America” Bookshelf Award
  • 2009 American Library Association Notable Children’s Book for All Ages
  • 2009 National Council for Social Studies and the Children’s Book Council Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
  • 2009 International Reading Association Teachers’ Choices Booklist Selection
  • Best Books of 2008 Top 10 Editors’ Pick for Middle Readers
  • Parents’ Choice Foundation Recommended Book Award, Fall 2008
  • School Library Journal Best Books of the Year 2008
  • The Horn Book Fanfare, Best Books of 2008
  • Publisher’s Weekly 2008 Best Books of the Year, Children’s Nonfiction
  • Publishers Weekly 2008 Cuffie Award, Best Nonfiction Treatment of a Subject, Honorable Mention
  • Scripps-Howard News Service Favorite Children's Book of 2008
  • named a 2009 American Library Association “Great Websites for Kids”

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Read All About It!

Exquisite Corpse Adventure
Online Resource Center

Features Specialized Reading Lists
...and MORE!

Have you been reading The Exquisite Corpse Adventure with the young people in your life? Each episode of this progressive online story game--being written and illustrated by a dream team of eighteen award-winning authors and illustrators--is published on Read.Gov every two weeks. Episode Seven, written by Shannon Hale and illustrated by Calef Brown, is available NOW!

Maximizing the educational impact of this zany story is the NCBLA's coordinating Educational Resource Center--available free and online. Parents, teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers--we have designed this site for you!

Educational Resource Center includes a series of materials and activities designed specifically to help you make the most of each episode. One key component of the episodic resources is the annotated reading list being created by Butler Children’s Literature Center at Dominican University.

Our lists of suggested read aloud books and books to read independently are created based on a key thematic element of each episode. The
reading list for Episode Seven finds its inspiration in the forest setting and recommends Lois Ehlert's Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf as a read aloud book and Gennifer Choldenko's If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period for independent readers. Mistaken identities provides the theme for the Episode Five reading list and includes Hyun Young Lee's Something For School as a recommendation for younger readers and Debbie Dadey's Cherokee Sister as a recommendation for independent readers.

We find these lively, annotated reading lists to be not only informative but also great fun! The NCBLA hopes these reading lists inspire you and your young readers to read even more! If you are looking for last-minute holiday gifts, you may just find the perfect book in our reading lists.

In addition to the annotated reading lists, the Educational Resource Center includes a series of classroom activities, art appreciation activities, and discussion questions. Be sure to check out these innovative classroom activities, also developed by the talented folks at Butler:

"Little Words from Big Words" for Episode Seven
"Would You Rather?" for Episode Six
"Riddles and Knock-Knocks" for Episode Five.

Click here to read all seven episodes of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure.

Click here to check out the NCBLA's Exquisite Corpse Adventure Educational Resource Center.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sneak Preview!! The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Episode Seven!!!

Forest Born, Princess Academy educated YA Author Shannon Hale
Writes Episode Seven of
The Exquisite Corpse Adventure!!
with a very creepy illustration by Calef Brown!

Loyal readers, hold onto your hats, mittens, gloves, purses, your cat Widgeon, and all you hold dear! We now give you a taste of the Episode Seven: THE BEAST PIT!

“Joe held the baby tighter. Nancy raised her hands in karate pose and turned slowly, daring the villains to attack.

‘Now don’t be foolish,’ said the unfamiliar and unfriendly voice behind them.

Into the circle of shadowy figures strode a man so large, so horrifying, so disquieting that I tremble to describe him. Let me simply say that his rear was where his face should be and his rear . . . spoke.”

excerpt from The Exquisite Corpse Adventure: Episode Seven by Shannon Hale

And who are these guys???

Tune in TOMORROW at
The Exquisite Corpse Adventure to find out!

To read all The Exquisite Corpse Adventure Episodes, go to:

To find out what The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is all about, and to find educational support materials to help you expand your children’s and teens’ literacy and literary experience, go to: