All things literacy — Authors, Books, Connections . . .

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Celebrating books - and T'was the Night Before Christmas

A few images to inspire for the holidays -

Series of ornaments --

Christmas Remembered
by Tomie dePaola (G.P. Putnam, 2006)

Search for The Night Before Christmas or
T'was the Night Before Christmas

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Books and Gifts #3

Gingerbread Mug Mats, and Books

A favorite for the holiday season includes any of a number of books featuring Gingerbread Cookies and Gingerbread itself.  Bake up a batch of gingerbread and share with these books.
    Brett, Jan. Gingerbread Baby. Putnam, 1999.
    Brett, Jan. Gingerbread Friends.  Putnam, 2008
    Galdone, Paul. The Gingerbread Boy.. Clarion, 1979
    Aylesworth, Jim. The Gingerbread Man. Illustrated by Barbara McClintock. Scholastic Press, 1998; Cartwheel Books (Storyplay) edition.

Find a pair of holiday cups - add a packet for gourmet latte or hot chocolate.  Include a jar of homemade jam or jelly.  Add a gingerbread boy cookie or a simple cloth ornament. A mug mat or two.

For a great gingerbread recipe go to Green Frog Gifts - Gingerbread: Just in Time for the Holidays --


Monday, November 06, 2017

Books and Gifts #2

Baby Loves Science 

YES they do.
If you have a toddler in your life these books are a must.  They are in board book format and absolutely engaging.  The four year old that hangs around my house LOVES these books - and makes up his own quizzes about the objects depicted in the books - just so he can look some more.
Don't settle for imitations - they are out there, but these are the real thing.  Look for those authored by Ruth Spiro from Charlesbridge. 
In 2018 four more titles in this series will be released and I can not wait.  Meet Ruth through an interview online at Writer's Rumpus -- and if you catch the new titles, send along a comment so we can add them here.  Meanwhile, for this holiday please include these books on your holiday list - in fact, even adults might learn some basic facts about these topics.  Writer's Rumpus - Authors and Illustrators Wild About Kidlit: Meet Ruth Spiro, #kidlit author of Baby Loves Science series, plus giveaway.  Online at

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Books and Gifts - #1

Books and Gifts - #1

This year create literacy gifts by including a book with every gift you give -

This book is by Peter H. Reynolds and is a book celebrating creativity.  More information about the book can be found on the website of Reynolds' book store -  Blue Bunny Books.

Include as a family gift with a poster and mugs filled with hot cocoa mix or coffee packets.  These items are available from the Blue Bunny Books site as well. 

Create a table topper or an apron using polka dot fabric.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sharing the Birthday Pie

Peach & blueberry pie ready for my friend who shared my birthdate and is a pie guy. He also compiles our winning stats for our monthly 5 Crowns card games. So much fun.

The pie is an adaptation of one my mother always made with rings of cherries, apples, and raisin as filling.  This one is a combination of peach filling and blueberry filling.
After making the bottom pie crust I filled the edges with the peach filling (ringing the edges but keeping it from spilling over into the center) - only a small layer.  Then I  filled the center with the blueberry filling.  Finally I filled up the peach layer on the edges.

The top was made with cut out pie crust shapes - small circles around the edge and card symbols in the center.  Note in the 5 Crowns game that we play the suits are hearts, diamond, clubs, spades, and stars - hence the stars her in this assemblage of shapes.
Ideas for creating other pie crust toppings can be found here: 
How To Make a Decorative Pie Crust - Topless Baker.  Youtube at
Six Easy Decorative Pie Crusts: Howdini Baking.  Youtube at
3 Amazing Pie Crusts Designs! (Braided, Leaves, and Floral Crusts). Youtube at

Using these ideas - get creative and make your own designs.  Check out the basics: How to Pretty Up Your Pie with Pastry Cutouts.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Whose Birthday is September 13? #3

Whose Birthday is September 13? #3

Ten Things we know:
  1. Her series of books about Little Bear was illustrated by Maurice Sendak. 
  2. Born on September 13 in 1920, she died on 12 July 2012.
  3. She was born in Fredericia, Denmark.
  4. Moved to the United States at the age of four.
  5. She was widowed at the age of 43.
  6. She was a first-grade teacher in New York City and later moved to New Hampshire.
  7. She remarried (1970) and after the death of her second husband, Pulitzer-winning journalist Homer Bigart (1991) she moved to North Carolina.
  8. She wrote her books in longhand.
  9. Her last book was Little Bear and the Marco Polo.
  10. She died of complications of a heart attack, at the age of 91.

    Author #3 is Else Holmelund Minarik.  Her first husband who she married at age 20 was Walter Minarik. Before she wasa a first-grade teacher she was a journalist writing for the Daily Sentinel - a newspaper of rome, New York (curing World War II).

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Whose Birthday is September 13? #2

What author is our #2 author to share our September 13 birthday?

Ten things about this author:

  1. Born in Jackson, Mississippi on September 13, 1943.
  2. Grew up in Toledo, Ohio.
  3. Currently lives in Colorado.
  4. Has one daughter.
  5. She graduated from the University of Toledo (Ohio) in 1965.
  6. Authored several books about the struggle of the African American in the deep South.
  7. Stories based on her own and her family experiences.
  8. Won the Newbery Award in 1977 for Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
  9. In 1987 she wrote The Gold Cadillac.
  10. Other titles include Song of the Trees (Book 1 of the Logan series, 1975) and Let the Circle be Unbroken (Book 3 of the Logan series, 1981).

    By now you should know that the author is Mildred D. Taylor.  Learn more about Taylor on her publisher's site at