Posts Tagged 'Charlesbridge'

Move over, Oprah: Martha’s Read-Aloud Book Club

We're in the "Martha Speaks" book club!

Who needs Oprah to tell us what to read?! Just got news that Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound is one of the six books selected for the Martha Speaks Read-Aloud Book Club! From the PBS Kids web site:

At the core of the Martha Speaks Read- Aloud Book Club are six culturally diverse children’s books representing a range of genres and styles:

Once I Ate a Pie ( Poetry)
By Patricia MacLachlan and
Emily MacLachlan Charest

HarperCollins, 2006
A Kid’s Best Friend ( Nonfiction)
By Maya Ajmera and Alex Fisher
Charlesbridge, 2002

Not Afraid of Dogs ( Picture book)
By Susanna Pitzer
Walker & Company, 2006

Now Hiring: White House Dog (Picture book)
By Gina Bazer and Renanah Lehner
Walker & Company, 2009

Martha and Skits (Picture book)
By Susan Meddaugh
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000

Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound (Picture book)
By Beth Finke
Blue Marlin Publications, Ltd., 2007

The site outlines read-aloud sessions for each book, ideal for story hours at schools, libraries, scout meetings and book store events. During each one-hour session, children watch a Martha Speaks episode, listen to a book read aloud, engage in conversation about the book (using new vocabulary), and participate in a hands-on activity. You can download a bunch of very cool stuff to use during the read-aloud sessions at the PBS Kids web site:

  • Resource guide (with discussion questions, vocabulary
    words and definitions, a hands-on activity, and activity extension ideas)
  • Supporting materials (character cards, sticker template, children’s take-home book list, librarian book list, and M- A- R- T- H- A song lyrics), and
  • Promotional materials ( poster, flyer, participant sign- up sheet,
    and customizable stationery)

Each of the six books selected for Martha’s Book Club coordinates with a Martha Speaks episode on PBS. For Hanni and Beth: Safe & Sound, they suggest kids watch an episode where Martha wants to pursue her dream of becoming a real firehouse dog, but then realizes the job is not as easy as it seems. You can download this episode from the PBS Kids site, too. Is this cool or what?

The Martha Speaks Read-Aloud Book Club resource guide is three pages long so I can’t go into all the details here. It does suggest inviting a special guest to read-aloud sessions, so if any of you teachers or librarians are interested: Hanni and I would love to come.

You Can’t Judge a Librarian by Her (or His) Cover

Hanni and I are signing copies of Safe & Sound at the American Library (ALA) convention in Chicago this week. I swim at a lap pool in a Chicago hotel, and when I went to swim laps today I figured my eavesdropping along the way would tell me that the librarians had arrived. No talk in the lobby about which bobbie pins were best at holding hair back in buns, though. And nothing said in the elevator about which rubber stamp vendor to go to for stamping books at the check-out line. The people in the elevators didn’t all sound old and mousy –- a lot of them were young, and hey –- some of them were men!

From the conversations I heard, there could easily be a technology conference in town this week. Or a business convention. An academic conference. An arts convention. Because, if you think of it, libraries can be all of these things – a place to go for technology, a place of business, somewhere to find books, videos, music. And the professionals who work at these places? They’re as diverse as the libraries, all dedicated to providing information for others.

This is the second ALA convention Hanni and I are privileged enough to attend. Last year my sisters Marilee and Cheryl joined me at the ALA convention in Anaheim. Every day we went to author presentations, visited the exhibit hall, signed up for contests, picked up free pencils, post-it notes, books and catalogs. Book CoverWe made sure Safe & Sound was displayed front and center at any booth that carried this award-winning book. We knew librarians would love our book if they noticed it among the thousands of others featured at the convention! Cheryl couldn’t make it to the convention this year, but Marilee is coming in from Orlando — she’ll be with Hanni and me at our signings, making sure the lines flow quickly and I remember to include author visit descriptions and bookmarks with each book. We’ll be signing at three different locations Sunday, Monday and Tuesday:

  • Sunday, July 12, 11 am to noon at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) booth in McCormick Place.
  • Monday, July 13, 5:30 to 7:30, ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award Ceremony in the St. Gallen Room at the Swissotel on E. Wacker Drive in Chicago. This one is a cocktail reception, and it’s free and open to the public.
  • Tuesday, July 14, 11 am to 1 pm, in booth #1626,the Illinois Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators booth, sandwiched right between Scholastic and Charlesbridge – they get lots of traffic, so it’s a great location!

For more details on these signings, check out the schedule on my Web site. Hope to see (okay, hear) you at the convention!


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