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Posts by Gina


Show and Tale: Are You My Mother?

Posted by Gina on October 6, 2009 at 7:57 AM in ClassicsPicture BooksRecommendationsShow and Tale
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are_you_my_mother.JPGJyl from Mom it Forward picks P.D. Eastman's classic picture book "Are You My Mother?" This 50-year-old tale follows a newly hatched baby bird as he tries to find his mother, asking several different animals.

Jyl says, "When my oldest was a baby, I read him Are You My Mother? every day. I focused on intonation. He loved how I'd raise and lower my voice and make interesting sounds. It's still one of his favorite books six years later."

What books have been your children's favorites year after year?


Show and Tale: Harriet the Spy

Posted by Gina on September 29, 2009 at 8:45 AM in ClassicsShow and Tale
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For a book that was originally published in 1964, Harriet the Spy, written by Louise Fitzhugh, remains remarkably relevant and readable. Nate Eagle, a designer for PBS KIDS Interactive and unabashed book (and movie and philosophy) aficionado, says this about his favorite children's book:

harriet_the_spy.JPGHarriet is one of the greatest characters in young fiction. She's a spy: insatiably curious and brutally honest. And she writes down everything she sees and thinks. When her notebook gets discovered by classmates, they banish her. Harriet has to wrestle with how and when to be honest, and how and when to compromise that honesty for the sake of friendship. Seeing Harriet pass through this gauntlet is heartbreaking in many ways -- the compromises of relationships are frequently painful -- but it's also movingly human. Above all, the story's a reminder of what tremendously complicated, fascinating inner lives all children lead, inner lives that adults sometimes forget or dismiss.

What is your favorite character from children's books? Or does Harriet take the cake?


Show and Tale: This Jazz Man

Posted by Gina on September 22, 2009 at 7:23 AM in Picture BooksShow and Tale
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Stay-at-home dad Charlie, a former library assistant, shares his love of books and music with his toddler daughter. His pick is This Jazz Man, written by Karen Ehrhardt and illustrated by R.G. Roth.

jazz_man.JPGCharlie says, "My soon-to-be three year old and I have fallen for This Jazz Man, a clever riff on the "This Old Man" nursery rhyme (you know, "This old man he played one...") Karen Ehrhardt's lively text offers great opportunities for kid participation, and R.G Roth's beautiful collages, in a cool, "Mad Men"-era style, feature portraits of real jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Little capsule biographies of each of the musicians portrayed close out what is surely the grooviest counting book out there!"

Do you have a favorite book about music, or even one where the words just sound musical?


Show and Tale: The Little House

Posted by Gina on September 15, 2009 at 8:55 AM in ClassicsShow and Tale
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little_house.JPGWe have an artist to thank for this week's Show and Tale pick. Chris Bishop, painter and PBS KIDS Interactive Creative Director, is a long-time fan of the 1943 classic The Little House, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton and winner of the Caldecott Medal.

Chris says, "My mother, Carol, was a teacher so we had many great books growing up. As I kid I loved the colors and fine detail of the illustrations of the changing world around the house. I think it's what made me become an artist."

What books have inspired you, either by the illustrations or the colors or style of the work?


Show and Tale: I Stink!

Posted by Gina on September 8, 2009 at 10:24 AM in Board BooksShow and Tale
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i_stink.JPGIf a garbage truck could talk, what would it say? Make friends with a smelly, sassy garbage truck with I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullan.

Mom-blogger Laura's a fan: "A night in the life of an NYC garbage truck, including an alphabet of gross trash ('P is for puppy poop!'). My boy loves it. Also an eco message. Best book for an urban mom like me!"

What books with unexpected main characters do you love? Any other truck books to recommend?


Show and Tale: The Giving Tree

Posted by Gina on September 1, 2009 at 11:14 AM in ClassicsPoetryShow and Tale
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giving_tree.jpgAnything by Shel Silverstein is pure magic, but his classic The Giving Tree holds a special place on a lot of bookshelves. Today's pick comes from mom Leigh:

"I love the message of the book and sharing it with my own kids," Leigh said.

Is The Giving Tree a favorite of yours? What Shel Silverstein gems have stuck with you over the years? My favorite of his is Where the Sidewalk Ends, and I always think of the girl who wanted the pancake in the middle of a huge stack, and the wonderful welcome to the book: "If you are a dreamer, come in ..."


Show and Tale: The Runaway Bunny

Posted by Gina on August 25, 2009 at 9:54 AM in Board BooksClassicsShow and Tale
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runawaybunny.gifToday's Show and Tale comes from Kathleen, a mom who picked Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny. Brown and illustrator Clement Hurd, well loved for Goodnight Moon, created another classic with this sweet tale.

"It's a wonderful way to let your child know that you'd search to the ends of the earth for her," Kathleen said.

Have you read The Runaway Bunny? What are some other comforting books that you and your child love?


Show and Tale!

Posted by Gina on August 18, 2009 at 9:22 AM in Picture BooksRecommendationsShow and Tale
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Welcome to Show and Tale, a new Tuesday feature from Booklights. Each week, we'll be asking a quick question about books: your all-time favorite, your current read, the bedtime story your kids ask for every night.

We're starting out with a simple but hard-to-pick-just-one question: What's your favorite children's book and why?

Brown Bear Brown Bear.jpgHere's what the winners of our recent book giveaway at the BlogHer conference said:

Esther picked Brown Bear, Brown Bear from Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carl. "I've got great memories of my third-grade teacher reading it to our class."

Cindy picked Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus from Mo Willems. "My 2.5 year old loves it because she gets to say 'NO, PIGEON' on every page."

Susan picked Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day?. "It shows moms and dads working in and out of the home."

And Miss Lori, a familiar face to preschool fans of PBS KIDS, named her favorite, The Giving Tree, in this chat with Supersister Kristen:

So what's your favorite and why do you love it? Tell us below for a chance to win free books from Booklights.


Reading Rainbow Winners

Posted by Gina on July 31, 2009 at 10:40 AM in Authors and IllustratorsAwardsShow and Tale
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RRContestWinners.JPGSharing a story with a child is a true pleasure. But here's something even better: having a child share a story with you.

Reading Rainbow -- a longtime favorite of bookworms -- announced the winners of its 15th annual Young Writers & Illustrators Contest. Nearly 40,000 kids participated, with first, second, and third place winners being named for each of the participating grades (kindergarten through third).

The stories are just as much fun to read as published books. There's Michaela's tale of a nearsighted caterpillar (I can relate, at least to the bad vision), Rachel's industrious spider, Ethan's brave exploration of his mother's purse, and Abigail's tear-jerker "Finding Grandpa." And that's only a sampling. All the stories are well worth your time, and I bet you'll be as blown away as I was by the creativity and imagination of the kids.

This is also a great excuse to have your own child start writing and drawing their own tales. The Reading Rainbow winners narrated their stories. With a tape-recorder or a computer mic, you can do the same. If you're looking for a good story starter, try Dot's Story Factory on PBS KIDS. This month's theme is Carnivals.


Booklights on Twitter!

Posted by Gina on May 5, 2009 at 4:54 PM in KidlitsosphereLiteracy News
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booklights_twittericon.pngCheck out our updates at -- we'll be posting blog updates and fun reading activities to do with your kids.

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