Tag Archives: reading

A Reader’s Resolution

30 Dec

Happy New Year, everyone! In honor of 2011, we thought we’d do a quick “Reader’s Resolution.” These are books I am resolving to read this year. Leave a comment with some of yours!

In 2011, I plan to finally read The Brothers Karamazov and Boneshaker.

How about you?

Happy Hanukkah, Everyone…and Happy Reading!

3 Dec

I love Hanukkah. I love the latkes (potato pancakes), the applesauce, the jelly doughnuts, the dreidels (spinning tops), and the gelt (chocolate candy coins). I love lighting the shamash on my menorah and the way my windowsill looks with the soft lights from the candles.

It’s really important to learn about the reasons we all partake in these traditions, as the holiday is about a really important time in Jewish History, one that can be shared by some of my favorite (yes, you guessed it) books.

Here are a few wonderful titles that can help you teach your class or family about these eight candle-latke-dreidel-filled nights:

Eight Wild Nights: A Family Hanukkah Tale. This Lucky November title by Brian P. Cleary showcases the wonders and traditions of the Hanukkah season in an amusing rhythmic text and brought to life with rich, colorful illustrations. This funny holiday read is sure to get each and every member of the family laughing! It even includes a paragraph summarizing the holiday.

Dreidel, Dreidel, Driedel, with pictures by Amy Cartwright, will help young kids sing and read the familiar words to the Hanukkah song. Featuring sparkly (and sturdy) pages and a pop-up dreidel that really spins, this book is an excellent Honeybee November choice for holiday celebrations that is sure to delight!

Hoppy Hanukkah is my new favorite title Hanukkah title. November Firefly showcases the talent of Linda Glaser, who has crafted as story about two little bunnies want to light all the candles and blow them out! But Mama and Papa explain to them how the candles are lit each night and the menorah is placed in the window for all to see. Grandpa and Grandma come over, too, and there are latkes (potato pancakes) to eat, presents to open, and a dreidel (spinning top) to play with.

What’s your favorite part about the holiday season?

Teachable Moments: Footprints in the Snow

29 Nov

Wolves get a bad rap! At least, that’s what Wolf thinks in Mei Matsuoka’s Footprints in the Snow. He’s tired of reading about “nasty, scary, and greedy” wolves! So he decides to write his own story about a character named Mr. Nice Wolf. All Mr. Nice Wolf wants to do is make friends with whomever left footprints in the snow, so he sets off to follow the prints. As the story continues, Wolf surprises himself by slipping into the same trap as other storytellers (I’d say more, but then I’d give away the ending!). Is he really so different after all?

This is a great book for teaching the importance of writing and storytelling. The way the text interacts with the artwork will keep kids engaged, and the twist ending will have them asking all sorts of questions! Matsuoka’s text will open up discussion about how to tell a story. Footprints in the Snow is a great read-aloud as well as an excellent tool for the classroom.

You can find Footprints in the Snow on SeeSaw this November, both as a stand-alone and in the SeeSaw Picture Book & CD Library!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Awesome Truth

23 Nov

Well, it’s been two weeks. I’m sure some of us have read and re-read the fifth installment in the Wimpy Kid series. One thing is for sure, kids love these books! On the publication date (November 9, 2010) Scholastic Book Clubs sent out copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth to 300,000 classrooms (see map below). I thought we at the office were excited for this book. That was nothing compared to the reaction I saw from flipcams we sent to various classrooms around the country. Check it out:

Map Key

  • Each spot is a U.S. City

White point: 1000 to 9999 shipments in city

Yellow point: 100 to 999 shipments in city

Red point: 10 to 99 shipments in city

Black point: 1 to 9 shipments in city

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Scholastic Special: Reach Out and Read!

18 Nov

Did you know that every November, Scholastic offers a very special catalog specifically aimed at providing great reading materials for the youngest readers? It’s true! We’ve partnered with Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing young children to succeed in schools by working with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.  With our special Reach Out and Read! offer, we hope to not only provide your child with the best literature for the season, but also for children in need as well. With every item you order from this catalog, Scholastic will donate one book to Reach Out and Read’s worthy organization.  It’s that simple!

Some very special titles that we’re excited about are:

Let’s Get a Checkup!

 

Pascal Lemaitre (of Firefighter Ted fame) is fast becoming one of our favorite illustrators, and this collaboration with author Alan Katz makes for a funny and informative animal story about going to the doctor!

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse

One of my all-time favorite stories about a little mouse and his wish for a real friend. We love author/illustrator Leo Lionni!

Christmas with You

This is a very sweet holiday story that’s great for introducing family traditions during the season—a fantastic read-aloud!

Disney Classic Pooh: Mind Your Manners

Winnie-the-Pooh has been invited to a party, but can he use good manners to get along with others? A sweet manners lesson featuring classic Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations.

Knees and Toes!

Follow the teddy bears as they teach you about your head, shoulders, knees, and toes! Includes tabbed pages for easy turn-the-page fun for the littlest of learners.

For more reading tips and information about this great organization, visit www.reachoutandread.org. What do you and your child do as part of your reading routine?

Are you what you read?

17 Nov

What classic children’s story shaped the lives of an NFL star, a skateboarding legend, a world-renowned artist, a popular TV weatherman, and an Emmy-winning actor?

 Well…did you guess correctly? Continue reading

Happy Wimpy Kid Day!

9 Nov

It has finally arrived! The day everyone has been waiting for…when the newest diary of a certain wimpy kid comes in that Scholastic book box and kids can hold the books in their hands and go off and read. These books have made readers out of thousands and thousands of kids and we’re thrilled that we could be a part of that excitement. Scholastic Book Clubs has sent out over 300,000 shipments containing close to 800,000 copies of Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth. We needed 34 truck trailers to ensure that we could ship the books to classrooms across America—and that is just for those who pre-ordered the books. Check out our crew in our warehouse in Jefferson City packing the books! They even had a “packathon” for it.


If you are interested in joining Wimpy Kid mania, you can find the new book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth in November’s Arrow! Also, be sure to check out Scholastic’s Jeff Kinney author page which has awesome interviews and more!

Comics in the Classroom

13 Oct

Call them what you will—comic books, graphic novels, illustrated guides—but these formats are permeating the mainstream. On Monday, we posted a mini picture post from our adventures at New York Comic Con this past weekend, and you guys had plenty to say! The comments covered everything from comic books being just like TV and video games to comic books being a great gateway into reading. Just like any other medium, comics are both these things and many others.

We were lucky enough to attend a lecture given by Scott Westerfeld on Sunday. He spent a few minutes talking about how he decided to write a series of novels (the Leviathan trilogy) with illustrations, and reminded us that, historically, most novels were once illustrated. On the right, you’ll see illustrations from a late 18thcentury edition of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. He noted an edition of The War of the Worlds that heralded the illustrator’s name far larger than that of H.G. Wells! Illustrations are beginning to regain the reputation they lost for being just as legitimate as the words themselves.

Comic books aren’t comic books because of their content—they are comic books because of the heavy use of illustrations to denote action that interacts with the text. They can contain any type of story or information: Comic books can be about superheroes or space aliens, but they can also be about history (as with the Maus graphic novels) or science (as with The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook)! For some children, sequential art makes difficult concepts easier to grasp.

Elephant & Piggie, a series of beginning readers by award-winning illustrator Mo Willems, feature common comic-book styles while still using the repetitive text and illustrations classically used in the genre. Compare these illustrations below: On the top, you have Elephant & Piggie and underneath, you have a strip from Scholastic’s own middle-grade graphic novel series, Amulet. Both use sequential art and speech balloons while also containing positive themes that students can relate to…but one is a reader and one is a comic.

Books for older children are also embracing traditional comic-book characteristics. Did you know that Jeff Kinney actually started the ever-successful Diary of a Wimpy Kid as a Web comic? Now the very same series has kids thrilled about reading! It also deals with issues kids face every day: bullying, growing up, friendship—look how excited these kids were to get their copies of the fourth book, Dog Days.

Graphic novels, illustrated guides, comic books—however you want to refer to them—have evolved into an excellent reading tool. Many of them cover complex issues and concepts in an accessible design. Some of you noted that this format has aided students with learning disabilities, others mentioned that these books were a great way to get kids interested in reading. After reading your comments, we decided to put together a list of classroom-appropriate graphic novels that cover a variety of subjects. If you have any suggestions, definitely leave a comment! We’d love to see what books you use!

Ghostopolis | Tab October
Bone | October
Amulet | Teens September
Resistance | Teens September
Maus | Teens September
Diary of a Wimpy Kid | Pre-order #5
Calvin and Hobbes | Fall
Dork Diaries | Arrow October
Popularity Papers | Arrow September
Adventures of Ook and Gluk | Lucky September
Elephant & Piggie Pack | SeeSaw October

Reading at Home. Discuss.

10 Aug

Life these days is a whirlwind. You wake up, scramble to get everyone out the door for school, eat breakfast on your commute to work, make it through the work-day, pick up the kids, take them to their after-school activities, pick them up, make dinner, check your email, help the kids with their homework, and collapse into bed only to start the day all over again. Are we forgetting anything? Probably.

You may ask, during a day like this, who has time to read?

We all do.

Read Skippyjon Jones when you’re waiting for dinner to finish cooking. Ask your child to read Junie B. Jones at the counter with you as you all prep for the next day ahead. Snuggle in bed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  Make family time reading time, and you’ll all win.

Research has shown that reading at home for just 20 minutes every day can make a difference in your child’s life…so get on the reading train if you aren’t on it already.

What are your tips to make reading at home part of your family’s daily routine?

Happy 10th Birthday, Honeybee!

5 Aug

Put on your party clothes and take out the apple juice!  It’s time to celebrate Honeybee’s 10th anniversary!  Since 2000, this Book Club catalog for toddlers to fours has really grown up.

Back in 2000, Scholastic introduced Honeybee as a once-a-year catalog that would cater to the youngest children.  It was designed for caregivers who needed the perfect potty training book or the latest Karen Katz lift-the-flap.  We soon learned that these books are exactly what people were looking for; each time Honeybee was offered, its books would fly out of our warehouse.  It was all too clear that parents and teachers still wanted more… Continue reading