Monday, November 29, 2010

Fill Holiday Vacations with Family Field Trips

Art Exhibits Feature Picture Book Art at Museums Across the Country
The enchanting illustrations of a picture book are often a child’s very first glimpse into the art world. If you are traveling or taking time off to spend time with the young people in your life this holiday season, why not expand your child's world by sharing the magic of picture books, illustrated texts, and other works of art at traveling and ongoing exhibits in museums across the country.

At the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts
Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books
Through January 23, 2011
A collaboration with the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and the Yiddish Book Center, this ambitious exhibition showcases more than 100 illustrations and texts from time-honored classics and popular favorites, from the sixteenth century to the present.

Eric Carle: A Feast for the Eyes
Through March 20, 2011
Join us for a smorgasbord of picture book art that explores the unique role food plays throughout children’s literature. In collaboration with Museums 10 joint venture, A Table for Ten, The Carle brings you this recipe for good eating.

At the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City
November 30 through January 9, 2011
Greeted with universal acclaim at the time of publication, A Christmas Carol might rightfully be called an "instant masterpiece." When the manuscript was returned after printing, Dickens arranged for it to be finely bound in red morocco leather and presented it as a gift to his solicitor. It was purchased by Pierpont Morgan in the 1890s. The original manuscript by Dickens is on view in a special presentation in the museum's newly restored McKim Building.

At the African Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
Works of Art by Haitian Children After the Earthquake
Through January 16, 2011
Soon after the devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake, First Lady of Haiti Elisabeth D. Preval called on Haitian artist Philippe Dodard and his fellow artists, as well as psychologists, educators, and politicians, to create a safe place for children to express their feelings through art. Featured are nearly 100 paintings and drawings created by Haiti's young people at Plas Timoun (The Children's Place), arts centers housed in converted buses at two locations in Port-au-Prince.

At the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas
Through January 29, 2011
Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, and while in school, he resisted the suggestions of many who thought he should write and illustrate children’s books. However, after completing undergraduate study and taking time to travel and explore, he knew that he wanted to create children’s books. Selznick received a 2002 Caldecott Honor for The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, written by Barbara Kerley. He won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for his innovative, cinematic The Invention of Hugo Cabret

At the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
The N.C. Wyeth Gallery features approximately 40 paintings and illustrations by N.C. Wyeth, including works for Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Last of the Mohicans.

Every Picture Tells a Story in Santa Monica, California
Every Picture Tells a Story is a gallery dedicated to the art of illustration and children's literature, a place where the original works from books are recognized as fine art and where one can appreciate a finished book as a work of art in itself. There's something for everyone: children's book art, fantasy art, cartoon art and editorial cartoons.

For even more suggestions of art museums with kid-friendly exhibits and events, read the NCBLA's article "A Literacy Field Trip" and check out Parents Magazine "Top Ten Best Art Museums for Kids."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Read About Eleanor Roosevelts's White House Kitchen at WWW.OURWHITEHOUSE.ORG and in this week's New Yorker

Cooking in the White House Kitchen 

Thanksgiving week is filled with food talk. Use that interest in food and kitchens as a segue to introducing your kids toWhite House history. Read Laura Shapiro's fascinating article about Eleanor Roosevelt's food philosophy in this week's New Yorker and also read A Taste of the Past: White House Kitchens, Menus, and Recipes by Mary Brigid Barrett on the companion education website, Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out --- and informally share the information you find with the young people in your house and classroom. You might like to try out one of the many White House recipes as part of your Thanksgiving feast this year! (The painting at right was done by Irish artist P. J. Lynch to illustrate Patricia MacLachlan's charming short story "Hands," featured in the award winning NCBLA anthology, Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, now out in paperback!

All proceeds from Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out go to supporting the work and projects of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance, a not-for-profit nonpartisan organizations that believes universal literacy is essential to keeping a democracy healthy and thriving.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November Is National Literacy Month

Literacy Resources and Activities from the NCBLA and Beyond!

A great place to start looking for literacy resources is your local library. Almost every public library sponsors special programs, reading contests, book clubs, and family events to help make family reading and learning a life-long pleasure. Librarians are also a rich resource. They can suggest books and offer expert advice to parents, guardians, and other adults looking to create life-long readers. 

Read  "Parent Tips for Encouraging Reading and Literacy Development.
Read and think about "Why Kids Need Books." 
Learn how you can tackle censorship in your community in the "NCBLA's Young People's Right to Read."  
Check out the vast literacy resources available at and You won't want to miss "Helping Struggling Readers" and "For Middle Schoolers: Activities to Build College-Level Reading Skills."

Discover tips and articles about motivating kids to read on

 Activities to Share                                                                             
Take turns reading each episode of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure on Read.Gov, and check out the coordinating education materials.

Learn about and play a progressive story game!

For another digital reading adventure, share the electronic pages of some fabulous Classic Books on Read.Gov, such as The Story of the Three Little Pigs, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Secret Garden, all of which feature the complete texts and illustrations of the originals.

Before you head to the theatre to watch another book transformed to the silver screen, read "Books to Movies: A Literacy Link" for tips on connecting the two media and enhancing the reading experience.

Go to the library  for "An Affordable Family Night Out." For book suggestions, check out the NCBLA's reading lists in "The Parent and Guardian Handbook."

Monday, November 8, 2010

White House on the Waterfront Event THIS Weekend, Nov. 13-14

 National Children's Museum
to Celebrate Children's Literature at

White House on the Waterfront Event
November 13-14
Advance Registration Is Required!
The National Children's Museum will host A Celebration of Children's Literature: The White House on the Waterfront at the Launch Zone to promote literacy and education among children and families in the Washington, DC region. During this weekend-long event, children’s book authors will present readings from the anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out and facilitate discussion and activities related to our government and the White House, past and present.

NCM is pleased to welcome three Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out contributors and National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance (NCBLA) board members:

Steven Kellogg, Regina Medal recipient, author, and illustrator of over 100 children’s books.

Katherine Paterson, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and Newbery Medal award winner for Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved.

Patricia MacLachlan, Newbery Medal award winner for Sarah, Plain and Tall.

Participating authors will engage families with an interactive discussion, a questions and answer session, and a book signing. The Launch Zone will further involve children by offering a make-and-take craft.

Paperback copies of Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out will be available for sale both days of the event. Hooray for Books (Alexandria, Va.) will facilitate book sales. NCM will also offer its Family Literacy Projects on a Budget® Trainers’ Toolkit for sale. This NCM publication provides educators, family childcare providers, and parents with affordable and creative techniques to engage adults and children in conversation and learning using children’s literature.

Advance registration is required. Families must register for individual authors’ sessions online through the Launch Zone online events calendar. More details and a full schedule of each author’s activities can be found  at The White House on the Waterfront is free to attend and most appropriate for ages 6 to 12.

Saturday, November 13
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Steven Kellogg
2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Katherine Paterson
Sunday, November 14
1 – 3 p.m. Patricia MacLachlan

The NCM Launch Zone
112 Waterfront St.
National Harbor, MD 20745 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 Updated with NEW Web Exclusive Articles

Our White House Educational Website: Now Even Better! 

As an Internet companion to the award-winning anthology Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, the NCBLA's educational website seeks to provide informative and exclusive articles that expand the rich content of the book. Also included on are activities for the home and classroom, research resources, and discussion questions to help parents, teachers, and librarians excite and engage young people about American history, politics, and civic life.

Four New Articles Added!
The NCBLA is thrilled to announce the publication of the following four new articles on Each article comes complete with activities, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading.

Presidents Are People Too!
In this article written for young people in grades 4 through 6, writer Heather Lang provides descriptive anecdotes of the quirks and flaws of many of America's presidents, providing crisp snapshots of our chief executives' humanity. Discover what you and the young people in your life might have in common with our presidents!

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Wild Animals at the White House

The White House isn’t just the home of our president and his family. Going all the way back to George Washington, the White House has been the home for many animals too. Guest writer Heather Lang invites you to read about some of our presidents' favorite pets, as well as a few that "earned their keep."

Discover how the Christmas tree became a White House tradition and how farmers across America compete to grow the “Grand Champion” selected to adorn the White House each year in this informative article by guest writer Renee’ Critcher Lyons.
Written by staff writer Helen Kampion, this comprehensive classroom kit provides everything teachers, librarians, and parents need to discuss and help young people learn about the steps involved in becoming an American citizen---from the application process to the test and Oath of Allegiance ceremony. The classroom kit also includes several classroom activities, two sample citizenship tests (with answer keys), the complete text of the Oath of Allegiance, and resources for additional information.

What Other Resources Are Available on
You won't want to miss the American history resource and literacy center, a guide to presidential field trip destinations, an extensive young people’s bibliography, and information and resources dedicated to civic education. This substantive educational website has been named one of the American Library Association's Great Web Sites for Kids.

Our White House Now Available in Paperback
Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out---an outstanding collection of essays, personal accounts, historical fiction, poetry, and a stunning array of original art---is now available in paperback at a teacher and family friendly price. This new edition features a NEW poem by Nikki Grimes about President Obama's Inauguration, as well as a coordinating illustration by A. G. Ford.

Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out continues to be sold in hardcover and is also available in libraries across the country.