Did you know that 15 of every 100 people in Alabama reach adulthood without ever learning how to read? Illiteracy is widespread, a problem in every community,not limited to race, religion or socioeconomic class. Encouraging our youth to become better Readers and Writers is my passion, and with this blog I hope to give parents and educators ideas on how to help their children become efficient in literacy.
but they are the only thing in between me and my future plans.
I also love to read, all of this is true.
And since April is Poem Month,
I'm the opposite of blue.
Join me this week celebrating the occasion,
If you share your poems, you just might be a sensation!
This week is Exam week for me. My thoughts are so full of Mass Media Law notes and Public Relations techniques I can't seem to fit any other reading into them. What a wonderful time for me to celebrate a shorter reading, like a poem! Now not all poems are short, of course, but here are a few of my favorite short poems.
First off, one of my personal favorite Poets: Shel Silverstein.
by: Shel Silverstein
Summary: A collection of fun and silly poems, a must read. Ages 3-8
Here are some of the poems in this great book:
by: Mother Goose
Jack Sprat Could eat no fat, His wife could eat no lean;
And so, Betwixt them both,They licked the platter clean.
For more fun with the classic poems of Mother Goose, visit this website:
Someone once said that behind every strong woman is a stronger one. I don't know if you would exactly call me a "strong woman" but I am definitely head-strong! :) One thing that is certain is that my Mom IS a strong woman. Tomorrow is her Birthday, and to celebrate I decided to dedicate this week's blog post to here. And, In order to keep my life, I won't disclose the number.
When I was little, and Dad would go hunting on the weekends, I got to spend the nights with Mom. We would do our nails and watch movies, cook, and finally cuddle up in Mom and Dad's huge bed to sleep. Before bed I would always beg her to tell me stories about when she was a little girl. I still to this day remember begging her for "just one more story!" until I fell asleep, usually with her still talking. Her stories have stuck with me to this day, but more so her love has made me the woman I am today. Love you Mom!! Happy Birthday!
Here are some great Mom books for you to read with your children, or even with your own Mom.
This classic book has been read to me so many times I can almost recite it. Its message so poignant and true in every parent/child relationship, if you haven't read this book to your child, you should!
Love You Forever
by: Robert N. Munsch
Summary: The mother sings to her sleeping baby: "I'll love you forever / I'll love you for always / As long as I'm living / My baby you'll be." She still sings the same song when her baby has turned into a fractious 2-year-old, a slovenly 9-year-old, and then a raucous teen. So far so ordinary--but this is one persistent lady. When her son grows up and leaves home, she takes to driving across town with a ladder on the car roof, climbing through her grown son's window, and rocking the sleeping man in the same way. Then, inevitably, the day comes when she's too old and sick to hold him, and the roles are at last reversed. Ages 4-8
Are You My Mother?
Summary:A baby bird is hatched while his mother is away. Fallen from his nest, he sets out to look for her and asks everyone he meets -- including a dog, a cow, and a plane -- "Are you my mother?" In the end he is happily reunited with his maternal parent in a glorious moment of recognition.
Before I Was Your Mother
by Kathryn Lask
Summary: To Katie, it seems as if her mother has always been her mother, with her grocery lists, her purse full of bills to pay, and her boring, sensible shoes. But when her mother reveals that she once was a girl who bossed her little brother, wore firefighter boots to bed, and dreamed grand ballerina dreams, Katie realizes that she and her mother might be alike after all. Ages 4-8
I am absolutely in love with this time of year. The flowers blooming, the birds chirping...the allergies... Just kidding on the last one! Spring is the time when I like to think that the earth is rejoicing after a long rest during winter. Another great reason why I love spring? Because this is the time of year that I celebrate three of the people that I love the most in the world. My Mom, my Brother, and my Boyfriend. All three of them have birthdays in April, and today I am going to focus on one in particular. 18 years ago, God gave me the best present a girl could ask for, a little brother. I was four years old, and as the only girl in my family in over 64 years, pretty happy as the "Pickle Princess." When my Mom first let me know that my rule was about to be over, I was very nervous, but excited. I wanted to know just how long it would take for my little brother to get here. In true Elementary school teacher form, my Nanie came up with the perfect way for me to know when Hunter would be here.
She wrote a book about it.
The book was called "After the Daffodils Bloom" and it was the perfect way for me to understand how long it would take before my Little Brother could be here. It started out with the beginning, me, finding out about Hunter, and asking the question, "BUT WHEN??"
After Thanksgiving, when all of the turkey is gone.
After Halloween, and all of its goodies are enjoyed.
After Christmas, and all of the presents are opened.
After your Fifth birthday, it is coming soon!
After Valentines day, once you are reminded that everyone loves you.
In March, the flowers will begin to bloom, but there is a certain flower that must bloom before your little brother gets here.
After the daffodils bloomed, and the spring continued on, one day I was told, Today is the day!
Hunter is here!
I am paraphrasing the book of course, because it is safely tucked away at my house. The point to this post though is that reading isn't just about statistics. It's about relationships. It's about families coming together with a love of stories, of adventures, and books. What I want to challenge all of you to do this week is to find something that pertains to your family, and read about it. Then write about it. Most importantly, share it. Just like memories, books can be beautiful moments when we remember how precious our lives and the people in them truly are.
Dedicated to my 18 year old ( sad face!) little brother, Hunter Pickle. I love you Bubba, I hope your birthday was wonderful. And, the daffodils this year were beautiful! :)
So far, we are in week three of our "WondLa" adventure. I am loving this book!! Along with WondLa, I am also reading two other books, so hopefully I am not too far behind all of you. I am on Chapter 10, and am wanting to reach 15 before next Wednesday. If you are reading with me, just comment below on your progress, and what you think about the book.
Here is a great interview with the author! (From Time for Kids)
A Chat with Tony DiTerlizzi
TFK catches up with the fantasy author at Books of Wonder in New York City
BY TFK KID REPORTER SAHIL ABBI
Tony DiTerlizzi, author of the popular series The Spiderwick Chronicles, is bringing readers a new fantasy novel called The Search for WondLa. The book hit stores on September 21. In the story, 12-year-old Eva Nine lives in an underground world where she is raised by a robot named Muthr. She has never seen another living person. When an intruder destroys her underground home, she escapes to a strange new world above ground. There she begins a search to find someone like her. A single clue gives her hope—a crumbling picture of a girl, a robot, an adult and the word WondLa. TFK Kid Reporter Sahil Abbi spoke to DiTerlizzi about WondLa and the power of imagination.
ANDREW H. WALKER—GETTY IMAGES
Kids gather at Books of Wonder in New York City on September 22 for the launch of Tony DiTerlizzi's latest book, The Search for WondLa.
Where did you get the idea for The Search for WondLa?
WondLa was inspired by some of my favorite childhood heroines. I think back to stories that I loved as a kid and that I still love to this day, like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.I loved Wendy Darling, the character who goes with Peter Pan to Neverland. I also love Dorothy Gale from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In all these stories, a lone person enters a magical place and gains knowledge before she returns home. In the end, these characters learn to cherish the power of home. I'm glad that kids still love these stories, but I make them a little more modern with lots of cool technology.
What do you like about fantasy?
I love books with imagination. Imagination is why Christopher Columbus sailed across the ocean to find America and it is why we went to the moon. I think that imagination is so important and it should be instilled in kids as early as possible.
Did the books you read as a child influence The Search for WondLa?
A book that I kept thinking about while I worked on The Search for WondLa was Charlotte's Web. It highlights these unlikely friendships. There's the friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider. Then there's the friendship between Wilbur and a rat. That's not unlike my character Eva who is being taken care of by a robot, but is also friends with Rovender, an angry alien.
How do you feel about The Search for WondLa being made into a movie?
I'm really excited. Paramount Pictures read an early version ofWondLa. They totally loved the story and decided to make it into a movie. I'll probably act as an adviser, which was what my role was for The Spiderwick Chronicles. I helped with the stories and with the visuals. I'm kind of the go-to guy for the world of the story.
Your character Kenny, from the book Kenny and the Dragon,reminded me of myself. Did you base any of your characters on you or someone close to you?
That's awesome! Kenny is kind of like me, too. I was very much a kid who was living in my own world. If I wasn't reading, I was drawing or outside catching bugs. I think that all the characters I've created have little fragments or pieces of me. It's like you take your personality and throw it at the ground and it breaks into pieces. Then you have to put the pieces together to create different characters, so they've always got a little piece of you in them. My characters also have elements of friends and people I know. I'm a lot like Eva [from WondLa]. Yes, she's a 12-year-old girl, but she's not really girly. She's just a kid who is trying to find her place in the world.
ANDREW H. WALKER—GETTY IMAGES
Tony Diterlizzi draws Eva Nine, the main character from The Search for WondLa.
Are any parts of your books based on your experiences?
When I make my books, I tap into a younger version of myself. I go back and think, "What would the 10-year-old version of Tony want to read that the 40-year-old version of Tony can create?" So I think back to the things that I liked. Even though my generation and your generation are different, there are some things that we have in common. For example, I loved videogames when I was your age.
Is there a message that you want to send young readers through your books?
Yes, never abandon imagination. It's all about imagination.
What did you read when you were younger?
I read all kinds of stuff as a kid. I loved books on astronomy, paleontology and insects. I love nature. I am kind of an armchair naturalist. I have field guides on birds and I enjoy copying the drawings.
What advice do you have for aspiring young authors?
Keep writing, keep imagining and keep drawing. I am a product of two parents who saw that I was an imaginative kid. They encouraged me and so did my teachers. My advice for adults? If you see a youngster who is really good at making up stories, encourage him or her. We need more of that in the world.