read * write * play

for kids and kid lit lovers of all ages

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hey … have you heard?

(photo by Jane Walsh)

Water Buffalo: Hey, so this blog is kinda boring. Didya notice?

Zebra: Um … yeah. Everyone noticed.

Water Buffalo: It’s like it hasn’t been updated in, you know, ever. 

Zebra: Well, I think she’s kind of busy.

Water Buffalo: Who’s busy?

Zebra: The writer. She’s working on a new blog that will replace this one. 

Water Buffalo: Somebody actually writes this stuff? 

Zebra: Um … yeah.

Water Buffalo: I hope she doesn’t get paid for that. 

Zebra: Writing is a job. It’s not a job, job. But it’s a job.

Water Buffalo: Whatever. 

Zebra: So, check back for news of the new blog, which will be much, much more exciting. Now drink your smoothie and shut up. 

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Cupcake (by Megan)

Cupcake

     by Megan (and Lori)

Let’s start with the frosting, 

pink and fluffy,

has a splendid taste

Sprinkles next, 

Sprinkles the color of sky

with a little shine

Now to the wrapper, 

blue, with pink flowers

Peel back the wrapper and you

have chocolate swirls, 

marbled and tasty, 

Let’s end with my tummy

feeling awesome!

.

.

.

*Poetry Please: Write about your favorite food. Describe every detail imaginable in just a few poetic lines. Now go eat whatever treat you want. Feed your inner poet. 

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Only one in three parents of children ages eight and under reads stories to their kids each night, according to a new survey by the literacy organization Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s. Overall, 87 percent of the parents who participated in the online poll read to their kids at bedtime—but not every night. Half the parents said that their children spend more time watching TV and playing video games than reading.
Two Thirds of Parents Don’t Read to Their Kids Every Night, Reveals Poll” (via schoollibraryjournal)

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We must strike down the insidious lie that a book is the creation of an individual soul laboring in isolation …
John Green, author of “The Fault in Our Stars” (and others) in his Indie Champion Award Acceptance Video. In other words … behind every great author is a great editor. And book designer. And and a chorus of booksellers. And librarians. And warehouse employees. You get the idea …

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thank you mr. waber

Yes, I know that is not a picture of Bernard Waber. It is a picture of Mr. Waber’s friend—Lyle. 

Mr. Waber died on May 16 at the age of 91. Here is a quote from School Library Journal: 

“In one way or another, I seem to find myself thinking of children’s books most of the time,” Waber once said. “I even enjoy the period when I am between books, for it is then that I am (I hope) susceptible to all manner of adventurous thought….I seem to write best when in motion. Trains, subways, even elevators seem to shake ideas loose from my head. Although I write and illustrate, I believe if forced to choose between the two, I would choose writing. There is a freedom about writing that appeals to me. You can do it almost anywhere—and I have.”

Yes, you can write almost anywhere. And you can read Lyle books almost anywhere, because we did, my brother and I. We read in our tent in the backyard, we read in the trees. And I love Lyle because he makes me happy. I know, I know, I’m supposed to have something more sophisticated to say because I’m all grown up and can look at an author’s body of work and put it into perspective.

And yet … at the passing of Mr. Waber, I am returned to childhood and those moments when the dappled sunlight caught Lyle’s green-ness and made him seem all the more crocodile-y, and only the language of my eight-year-old self remains.  

Lyle makes me happy. 

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schoollibraryjournal:

The creation of Winnie-the-Pooh will be the subject of a new film.According to The Daily News’s Page Views blog, Goodbye Christopher Robin, “will explore A.A. Milne’s life between 1918 and 1930 and will disclose details of his relationship with his son, their bond over ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and how fame affected their lives.”
Shooting is planned for the summer of 2014.
Read more here!

please do not mess up this movie please do not mess up this movie please do not mess up this movie please do not mess up this movie please

schoollibraryjournal:

The creation of Winnie-the-Pooh will be the subject of a new film.
According to The Daily News’s Page Views blog, Goodbye Christopher Robin, “will explore A.A. Milne’s life between 1918 and 1930 and will disclose details of his relationship with his son, their bond over ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and how fame affected their lives.”

Shooting is planned for the summer of 2014.

Read more here!

please do not mess up this movie please do not mess up this movie please do not mess up this movie please do not mess up this movie please

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Come Play a Game

The Siouxland Libraries Main Branch is hosting a game party for International Game Day this Saturday, November 3rd, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the children’s area. The library is partnering with the ALA to celebrate the “educational, recreational, and social value” of games by promoting hundreds of game events at libraries across the country. 

My family’s new favorite board game is Sketch It! All of us can play it, it can be as simple as you want it to be, and we end up with some fairy adorable sketches for the refrigerator. Here’s our other current fav: 

Tenzi is a speed dice game where everyone rolls a gob of ten dice and tries to be the first to get ten of a kind. Variations abound, including the ever-popular “Steal-zi” where you snatch your opponents die and replace it with your own. The perk of this game is that it can take 30 seconds to play a round, so it’s perfect to keep on the kitchen table to play as you wait for your hot chocolate to cool. My daughter brought two packs of Tenzi to a birthday party, and a few girls were so taken by it that they skipped the movie to keep playing. Big fun indeed. 

What do board games have to do with reading? Good things take time, my friends. Good things come without batteries or cords. And, of course, good things happen in libraries. 

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Why Every Child Needs This Book (Every Adult for that Matter)

"Nightsong" by Ari Berk

Illustrated by Loren Long

Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

September 25, 2012

$17.99

Ages 4 to 8

"The sun had set, and the shadows clinging to the walls of the cave began to wake and whisper." 

It’s a lovely, lyrical beginning to a powerful picture book. Children need to hear language like that every day, don’t they? And here it is, in a children’s book, paired with just about the most engaging illustrations possible, courtesy of artist Loren Long. All you have to do is go to the library and open the pages and the world of the night is yours. 

Chiro, the little bat who swoops in wide-eyed wonder across the cover of “Nightsong” must fly out into the world and then return to his home and his mother. On his journey, he will not always be able to see in the sacred darkness. So, his mother tells him, he must use his sense. 

"Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you. Sing, and the world will answer. That is how you see."

Chiro flies away with her words lifting his wings. Long illustrates the gentle darkness eloquently. Chiro’s fur is textured and ready for petting. His nose is sweetly puppy-like and his eyes hold all the curiosity of childhood doubt and courage. Even the book design is remarkable with its uncluttered dust jacket and shadowy moon. You can feel the illustrations on the cover, using one more sense to engage in the reading. 

Author Ari Berk is, not incidentally, a professor of mythology and folklore. He writes on his blog that “Nightsong” is about “how by listening to the world around us, we can see the truth in all things.”

"Nightsong" reads like a classic journey of there and back again—a rare and wonderful offering that encourages and comforts while wrapping the reader in a world of poetic prose and gorgeous art.