Why read? The School Story

janetpamelanoble:

Back to work in my primary school library in 2 weeks so delighted to discover this blog post from 2012.

Originally posted on Did you ever stop to think and forget to start again?:

There are a whole world of genres in children’s literature, and there are new ones being created each and every day. In these posts, I’ll be focusing  on some of the key genres and both introduce them and offer some top hints on where to begin.

My first in this occasional series is very close to my heart. Behold the school story genre!

Image: theirhistory (Flickr)

The appeal of school stories can come from both the mimicking and distancing of real life. Education is something nearly everybody experiences, albeit in different forms. Reflecting this common experience onto literature allows the reader to both empathise with characters and also allow a sense of wish fulfilment to occur. In the book the mean girl might get her comeuppance, the awkward kid save the day, or the school is racked by a series of pranks. In the real world, it might be a…

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Only 17% of Parents Say Reading is a Top Summer Activity!

Reblogged from http://rifblog.org/2014/07/02/survey-says/

Survey says…

RIFSummerReading-blog

When summer rolls around, we’re all ready for a break. Whether that’s romping about outside, spending time with friends, or catching up on sleep, everyone has an idea of what it means to relax and recharge. But it seems like reading is getting left off the list.

In a new survey from RIF and our partner Macy’s, we asked over 1,000 parents of children ages 5-11 to talk about their kids’ summer reading habits. What we found was not all sunshine:during the summer, children spend nearly three times as many hours weekly watching TV or playing video games as they do reading.

Despite research that shows the importance of summer reading in preventing kids from losing literacy skills, only 17% of parents think reading is a top priority over the summer. 60% of parents surveyed didn’t believe their child loses reading skills over the summer, although existing research highlights summer learning loss as a major problem, especially for children from low-income families.

Here’s what else we learned:

  • On average, parents say their child spends about 17 hours a week watching TV or playing video games, another 17 hours a week playing outside and only about 6 hours a week reading.
  • Parents who consider reading to be extremely or very important are twice as likely to have a child who reads every day.
  • Children who were involved in a reading program last summer were up to two times more likely to read every day — but over half of parents said their child did not participate in a reading program at all last summer.
  • Last summer, children who read because they wanted to were twice as likely to read than children who read because they had to.
  • Despite the proliferation of e-books and digital formats, 83% of parents said their child preferred print books for summer reading, compared to 7% preferring tablets and 4% preferring e-readers.

While summer is the best time for all those experiences that make childhood so sweet — ice cream, camping, fireworks — it’s also a special time when children can choose to read exactly the books that interest them. Remember to let kids pick the books they want to read, and dig in to our special summer materials to work reading into all kinds of activities.

Download these goodies today!

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Sad but not surprising statistics from Reading is Fundamental. It was sooo wonderful to see the pupils enthusiastic response when our  local children’s librarian visited  my school to the promote the Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge 2014 this week. For more information on prizes, competitions, games and activities to get ( and keep!) children reading over the summer holidays go to http://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/

I am signing off for the summer but rest assured – I will be reading avidly too!

See you all in September.

You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! Review by TaleTrove

Reblogged from http://www.taletrove.com/youre-a-pest-betsy-thumbslurp/

 empty

What are little girls made of?

Sugar and spice, and all that’s nice.

Well, not always.

Our girl, Coco in ‘You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp!’ is mischievous, naughty, and a stereotype-breaker of sorts.

The Kindle chapter book, written by Janet Pamela Noble and illustrated by Jacob Turner nicely handles the topic of sibling rivalry between Coco and her newly arrived, younger sister, Betsy and how Coco begins to accept Betsy. This is a topic that relates to children with expecting parents and would interest them. Some kids might even see themselves in Coco.
No matter what the initial rivalry may be, Coco cannot stand seeing her sister upset because of something she did. She does the right thing to make Betsy happy. It is good that a child is the main character in the story and she fixes the problem she creates, on her own. There is no preaching but showing by example of how the older one should be and perhaps something for the parents to learn as well; how to meet the older one’s needs even when there is a demanding younger one around.

Noble isn’t afraid to break stereotypes herself. To quote from the book, “This book is full of YUCKS, GGRRRRAAHHHS and SNNOOSSEEFFUUPPs.”
The illustrations are energetic and depict the multicultural aspect well. Coco’s emotions are captured accurately. Colors used are vibrant.

Other Details:
First published 2014 by Lemon Tree
Edition copyright © Lemon Tree 2014
Text copyright © Janet Noble 2014
Illustrations copyright © Jacob Turner 2014

Thanks for the lovely review, Lakshmi.

You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! , a first chapter book for children ages 6 – 8 years old is  now in the  Amazon Kindle Store at http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=you%27re++pest+betsy+Thumbslurp

Buy You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp!

 

cover3

 

 

It had to happen…

After 20 years of being a children’s librarian and reading other people’s books – yep, I’ve gone and written one of my own!  You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! , a first chapter book for children ages 6 – 8 years old, with fab illustrations by Jacob Turner, is  now in the  Amazon Kindle Store at http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=you%27re++pest+betsy+Thumbslurp for the colossal price of £2.63!

I wrote you’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! because I seemed to be surrounded by  books all about naughty boys! Where do you find funny stories about misbehaving girls? It seems that in the 21st century girls are still not expected to behave truly badly.

And so You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp was born. I tried to create a sassy, feisty (and, occasionally, not very nice) girl character in a story that combines lashings of laugh-out-loud humour with huge helpings of ‘girl power’   and salami-size sluggettes of sibling rivalry. (Note to self: must cut down on alliteration!)

Enjoy – and if you can get round to posting a positive review, even better!

 

 

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant: David McKee’s colourful character turns 25

janetpamelanoble:

Read Elmer’s Special Day to a class of entranced 4 year olds in celebration today – Elmer still rocks!

Originally posted on Metro:

Elmersunglasses

Cool customer… Elmer the Patchwork Elephant tries on some shades (Picture: David McKee)

They say elephants never forget. But anyone who has read a children’s book in the past quarter of a century is unlikely to forget one particular elephant.

There are colourful characters, and then there is Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, who is this summer celebrating his 25th anniversary with Andersen Press publishers. A friendly beast whose skin is splashed with red, green, yellow, blue, white, black, orange, pink and purple squares, Elmer isn’t your typical elephant. But he is a very successful one.

The Elmer books, written and illustrated by British author David McKee, have sold more than seven million copies worldwide. And when you sell that many books, some people get picky about colour continuity. So has McKee kept Elmer’s rainbow palette accurate from page to page?

‘I try to. I make mistakes sometimes,’ he told…

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Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech and Their Troublesome Transformation! by Polly Walker

SlugPic2

Keep on going when things get tough,

Trying your best is always enough.

Remember every single day

To be yourself, you’ll be ok!

Love yourself, value your worth,

You’re like no-one else on Earth!

Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech and Their Troublesome Transformation! is set in a beautiful garden but deftly imparts the message that  “the grass is not always greener on the other side.”

Debut author and illustrator, Polly Walker, has created a lovely picture book in which her dazzling portraits of nature contrast humorously with the dull appearances of Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech.

There are plenty of giggles and guffaws to be had as the four friends declare:

Shimmering beetles, dainty bugs,

It’s awful being worms and slugs!

Slimy, sticky, colourless blobs,

We wannabe GORGEOUS HEART-THROBS!!

However, once the grumbling grubs are given a makeover by Miss Stick Insect the story sweetly conveys that, although it might seem like others have special qualities that are of greater importance than your own, you should always love yourself the way you are.

Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech and Their Troublesome Transformation! is a light, bright read which introduces children to the concepts of self-acceptance, self-esteem and the importance of loving themselves for who they are in a charming and memorable story.

Worm, Slug, Maggot and Leech and Their Troublesome Transformation! by Polly Walker

Price: £7.99

Publisher: Britain’s Next Bestseller

Published in July 2014. Pre order a copy at https://britainsnextbestseller.co.uk//projects/pre_orders/89

First Reviews for You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp!

Here are the first reviews I have received for You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! which is now on sale in the Amazon Kindle Store at http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=you%27re++pest+betsy+Thumbslurp

‘Brilliant! Can’t wait for this to come out as hardback or paperback.’ 

‘Cool that it’s a girl for a change. Go Betsy and hope to see more of you soon, you pest.’

‘Downloaded & loved it – such a great idea!’

‘I loved the book. It brought back so many memories for me. But I was the thumb sucker and my brother was the baby I was jealous of!’ 

Keep them coming!

 

Buy You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp!

 

cover3

 

 

It had to happen…

After 20 years of being a children’s librarian and reading other people’s books – yep, I’ve gone and written one of my own!  You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! , a first chapter book for children ages 6 – 8 years old, with fab illustrations by Jacob Turner, is  now in the  Amazon Kindle Store at http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=you%27re++pest+betsy+Thumbslurp for the colossal price of £2.63!

I wrote you’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! because I seemed to be surrounded by  books all about naughty boys! Where do you find funny stories about misbehaving girls? It seems that in the 21st century girls are still not expected to behave truly badly.

And so You’re a Pest, Betsy Thumbslurp was born. I tried to create a sassy, feisty (and, occasionally, not very nice) girl character in a story that combines lashings of laugh-out-loud humour with huge helpings of ‘girl power’   and salami-size sluggettes of sibling rivalry. (Note to self: must cut down on alliteration!)

Enjoy – and if you can get round to posting a positive review, even better!

 

 

Guest Review and Interview with Lakshmi Thamizhmani

Today I have a double treat for you. A repost of my first guest review by Lakshmi Thamizhmani and an interview with Lakshmi herself!

Mommies Say Shhh! by Patricia Polacco

This interactive board book is made up of a bunch of animal sounds wrapped in a story that weaves around life on a farm.

There is so much movement and action in the pictures that you really feel like you are in a farm-the various angles used in the illustrations contribute to this. The pictures and the close-ups do more than just enhance the text. They bring the text alive.

Animals and people are realistically illustrated and all the objects in the illustrations are of equal salience. Although the active children are busy running around with the animals, the overall mood is relaxed and laid back.
The pictures depict how everyone coexists with nature-girls knit scarves and ask the boys to try them on which the goats play with.

There is also a sequence to the illustrations which lead the reader on and provides continuity.

Similar continuity is also expressed in the illustrations that show a man driving to the farm to pick up eggs, picks them, and leaves.

The text is straight forward, nothing complex. It is also repetitive which makes it easy for kids to learn and remember.
The words, “Bunnies say nothing at all” is interspersed giving a break between animal sounds that could have otherwise been monotonous.

Though I liked the beautiful, light, mild, double-spread watercolor illustrations with the free flowing pencil lines that show underneath the colors, I would have preferred the darker and more striking color scheme that the same author/illustrator has used in her book, ‘G is for Goat’.

Also, on the “Dogs say buff buff” page, I would have preferred the dogs to dominate the page rather than the squirrels.

That said, I definitely recommend the book.

It is great to introduce and teach animal sounds to the young reader in a fun and engaging way . My toddler and I have enjoyed this book and have read it numerous times and I bet we will read it many more times in future.

Mommies Say Shhh by Patricia Polacco

Price: £10.26

Publisher: Philomel Books

ISBN: 978-0399243417

Lakshmi! It’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?

Hi Janet! Thanks for having me. I am the founder of Taletrove, a site that’s all about children’s books. My love for children’s books kickstarted me into creating Taletrove. I also love to write stories for children and review books.

What made you start your children’s book blog, TaleTrove?

I wanted to let others know what a wonderful experience reading a book with your child can be and the wealth of learning and bonding opportunities it can provide. It is important for the reader to pick out the good books that are most meaningful and useful-so I decided to publish my reviews online. Even before I began reading with my daughter, I wanted to write stories for children and introduce them to today’s multicultural world through folk tales and art from around the world. Thus Taletrove was born. In the process of exploring the children’s book publication industry, I also found that there were many authors and illustrators waiting to be published (traditional or the self-route), but faced the challenges any new author or illustrator faces-lack of publicity and reader base, and most importantly, the unknown factor of whether the book will sell. I decided to find a way to solve this through Taletrove by offering a platform where authors and illustrators can post their works in progress and improve based on reader feedback. When readers help create a book they like, I believe that it is more probable that it will sell. The idea is that if ‘prospective’ readers like a story, the book has a good chance of being successful.

What do you think makes a good children’s story?

I think a good children’s story is one that appeals most to children and makes them ask you to read it to them over and over again, every night. It could be a silly story, a song, a story with a repetitive, catchy phrase, one with bright illustrations, or one with characters the child can relate to.

I also think the story and illustrations should offer point and tell and other learning exercises for children to be actively engaged and interact with the book.

What are your favourite genres?

The gamut is huge-multicultural stories, folk tales, tall tales, trickster stories, humor, adventure, poetry, and fantasy to name some.

What genres can you never see yourself reviewing?

I don’t think there is a genre I would never review. It may not be my favorite, but that’s another point.

What keeps you motivated/inspired as a children’s book blogger?

Discovering new worlds through books, exploring the variety in children’s literature, and checking out what new books have to offer to children that can build an excitement about learning in their young minds are some of the factors that motivate me.

I felt that other parents and readers needed to know about the books out there and read with their children. That is what I hope to achieve through Taletrove’s rating criteria and reviews.

Who are your favourite writers and why?

Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, and Uma Krishnaswami to name a few.

Eric Carle for breaking away from stereotypes and realizing that there are no bounds to creativity and imagination as depicted by his illustrations.

Dr. Seuss for his weirdly amusing stories and thought-provoking rhyme.

Uma Krishnaswami for her lovely multicultural books that introduce young readers to a new country and culture.

How can readers get into contact with you?

We love feedback! Readers can reach us through the contact form on http://www.Taletrove.com or using social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Blog: http://www.taletrove.com/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/taletrove

Facbook: https://www.facebook.com/taletrove

Thank you so much, Lakshmi, for joining us here today. If you have any questions for Lakshmi, I’m pretty sure she can be prevailed upon to answer them in the comments so ask away.

 

Guest Review by Lakshmi Thamizhmani

I have always wanted to post reviews of other people’s favourite  books on The Wish List. So, after careful consideration of the submissions, I am pleased to introduce you to Lakshmi Thamizhmani, my first guest reviewer. If you want a review to be featured, simply visit the Contact & Contribute page on this website.

Mommies Say Shhh! by Patricia Polacco

This interactive board book is made up of a bunch of animal sounds wrapped in a story that weaves around life on a farm.

There is so much movement and action in the pictures that you really feel like you are in a farm-the various angles used in the illustrations contribute to this. The pictures and the close-ups do more than just enhance the text. They bring the text alive.

Animals and people are realistically illustrated and all the objects in the illustrations are of equal salience. Although the active children are busy running around with the animals, the overall mood is relaxed and laid back.
The pictures depict how everyone coexists with nature-girls knit scarves and ask the boys to try them on which the goats play with.

There is also a sequence to the illustrations which lead the reader on and provides continuity.

Similar continuity is also expressed in the illustrations that show a man driving to the farm to pick up eggs, picks them, and leaves.

The text is straight forward, nothing complex. It is also repetitive which makes it easy for kids to learn and remember.
The words, “Bunnies say nothing at all” is interspersed giving a break between animal sounds that could have otherwise been monotonous.

Though I liked the beautiful, light, mild, double-spread watercolor illustrations with the free flowing pencil lines that show underneath the colors, I would have preferred the darker and more striking color scheme that the same author/illustrator has used in her book, ‘G is for Goat’.

Also, on the “Dogs say buff buff” page, I would have preferred the dogs to dominate the page rather than the squirrels.

That said, I definitely recommend the book.

It is great to introduce and teach animal sounds to the young reader in a fun and engaging way . My toddler and I have enjoyed this book and have read it numerous times and I bet we will read it many more times in future.

Mommies Say Shhh by Patricia Polacco

Price: £10.26

Publisher: Philomel Books

ISBN: 978-0399243417

Thank you for your lovely review, Lakshmi. You can read more of Lakshmi’s book reviews, accompanied by learning tools and storytelling tips, on her website TaleTrove at http://www.taletrove.com

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