This is my archive

JoEllen McCarthy’s Bookshelf

We can make our read-alouds do double— even triple—work, inspiring lessons in reading, writing and life. When we layer our academic and affective standards, books can plant the seeds for conversations that grow over time. Such powerful picture books can become our co-teachers for literacy and life lessons, and as “Heartprint books" they can have the potential to leave footprints on our hearts and lasting impressions on our learning communities.  The following selection includes books that invite conversations to nurture caring learning communities, opening hearts and minds with stories that affirm who we are and who we may become. Consider texts and the ways sharing stories can promote a love of oneself, a love of learning, and reflect limitless possibilities for both! Please enjoy a special discount of 15% off the titles of your choice using the code JoEllen15. Read More

Trick? Or Treat?

Each year, lots of families carve jack-o’-lanterns to celebrate Halloween. But did you know that the first jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips, not pumpkins? In Ireland and Scotland people hollowed out turnips and gave them creepy faces to celebrate the feast of All Hallows’ Eve. Many years later, when immigrants from the UK arrived in North America, they discovered that the native pumpkin made a much better jack-o’-lantern, because it was larger and softer than a turnip.  Trick-or-treating would look quite different today, without those familiar orange faces glowing in the dark! Here are some wonderful, Halloween-themed books that will help get you ready to trick or treat: Read More

Franki Sibberson’s Bookshelf

Years ago, Karen Szymusiak coined the term “talkworthy” when we were choosing books to share with our middle grade students. We know that all books are worthy of talk but there are some books that we read that seem perfect for read alouds or student book clubs. They are talkworthy because they are incredible books that invite lots of talk about issues that are accessible to a middle grade reader. I am always reading with my eye toward these talkworthy books as I am always looking for new books to add to my menu of read alouds and book club choices. This list is a set of new books that I am confident would invite fabulous conversations in middle grade classrooms.  Please enjoy a special discount of 15% off the titles of your choice using the code Franki15. Read More

National Cat Day

Cats sleep a lot. In fact, some cats sleep as much as 20 hours per day! But that doesn’t mean that cats spend all that time sound asleep. Most of the time, cats are just dozing and ready to jump up at a moment’s notice. Which is why we say that a person enjoying a quick, light sleep is taking a “cat nap.” :) To Celebrate National Cat Day, learn more about cats and spend time with some of your favorite cat characters, by exploring these great cat books, below. Read More

Stella Villalba’s Bookshelf

Some families have deep rooted traditions around food and breaking bread together. Some other families have their own ways of spending time outdoors, and some families try to figure out who they are in between places. These are just some of the topics that are explored in this list of picture books that honor the little details that make families’ experiences unique. Read More