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June, 2023 Is National Zoo and Aquarium Month

When we think about cheetahs, the idea of these wild cats forming friendships with dogs seems extremely unlikely. But cheetahs can become anxious, particularly when interacting with humans in a zoo environment. The San Diego Zoo solved this problem by introducing one of their cheetah cubs, Arusha, to a Golden Retriever named Anna, and the animals became best friends. Arusha and Anna eventually became animal ambassadors, meeting thousands of visitors at the San Diego Zoo, and other cheetah/dog friendships soon followed. Here are some great books about unusual animal friendships to help celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month 2023: Read More

JoEllen McCarthy’s Favorite Books

JoEllen McCarthy champions the power of read alouds and explores her vision for this work for teachers, families, and students in her book, Layers of Learning: Using Read Alouds to Connect Literacy and Caring Conversations. JoEllen believes there is no tool more powerful than a picture book and sharing stories can promote a love of oneself, a love of learning, and through a heartprint framework reflect limitless possibilities for both! She demonstrates the ways we can layer our academic and affective standards using books as our coteachers for lessons in reading, writing, and life! To invite conversations to do this work, you can check out her ever changing “unlist of books.” This will help to shift your thinking from that book… to books that….” because beyond the books, some of the most important lessons we can teach are often those led by children, stirred by a read aloud. Read More

World Turtle Day is May 23, 2023!

All tortoises are turtles. But not all turtles are tortoises! Tortoises like to live on land, while most turtles like to live in water as well as on land. Tortoises are shaped a little differently than most turtles, because they have thicker back legs and shells that are dome-shaped. And tortoises are herbivores (vegetarians) while most turtles are omnivores – they eat both plants and animals.  Celebrate World Turtle Day 2023 with these wonderful nonfiction books about turtles (including tortoises)! Read More