Are You Reading Aloud Tomorrow?

Tomorrow is the first Wednesday in March, which means it is World Read Aloud Day (March 4, 2015).

litworldWRAD15logo-webThe website has plenty of suggestions for participating in the classroom and in the community. Also, there is a free picture book to download.

I’m heading off to the library soon…

Do you think you will participate?

Loving Libraries and Giving Books on February 14

The store displays and ads are continually reminding us that February 14 is Valentine’s Day. Did you know Friday is also designated as a day to show your love of libraries and children’s books? Check out these wonderful opportunities:


February 14 has been designated International Book Giving Day. The idea is a simple one, celebrate by giving a child a new, used, or borrowed book. Leave a book in a waiting room, donate to your local library, take a child to a library, anything that will get books into the hands of children. The website has ideas, as well bookmarks and bookplates to print.


Library-ps(Photograph by Raysonho@Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine in public domain at Wikimedia)

This celebration dovetails nicely with Library Lover’s Day, which is also February 14. In fact, in some areas February is Library Lover’s Month. says

Libraries are private, non-profit organizations that depend on the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to help ensure that libraries remain free to the millions of people who visit in person or via the web each year.

What can you do to appreciate your local library? Of course you can donate books, your time and even money.

See How to Love Your Library for more ideas. You might also want to check if your local library has an special events planned for this month.

child-and-books(Photograph by George Hodan at Public Domain Pictures)

Many libraries have mini-bookstores inside that sell used and discarded books to support various projects. Combine both days by buying some of the books and giving them to children!

I’m so jazzed about all this book love that I’m preparing a series of posts about some unusual, unique and special ways people are distributing books to their communities, coming up next week.

Will you join me on Friday by giving books and/or supporting your local library?  If you chose to, leave a comment to share your plans.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library

Have you ever wondered why the main Library of Congress building in Washington, D.C. is named for Thomas Jefferson?


If you pick up the picture book Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by John O’Brien you will find out. It is a whirlwind tour of Thomas Jefferson’s life through the lens of his obsession with books.


Thomas Jefferson started reading at an early age. According to the book, people say he had read his father’s entire very grownup library of 49 books before he went to school, probably around six years old. He spent the rest of his life reading and collecting books on a wide variety of topics and from a wide variety of sources.

During his presidency, Thomas Jefferson supported the Library of Congress, which was in its infancy. He supplied it with a number of books from his own collection. When it was burned down by the British in 1814, he went back into his personal collection at Monticello and sent some 6,500 books to restore the library. He was given some money for this, but not what the books were worth.

To honor his contribution, in 1980 the main building that houses the Library of Congress was renamed the Thomas Jefferson Building. Inside on the second floor is a room filled with more than 2000 of Thomas Jefferson’s original books. Personal note:  Have you ever been there? I thought it was a bibliophile’s dream and well worth a visit.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library is a fast-paced book, fun to read to young children. It contains many interesting sidebars, which will entice the reader to learn more with each reading. There is also a useful author’s note and bibliography with source notes in the back matter. Because of course, you will want to read more after hearing about Thomas Jefferson’s books!

In addition to being ideal for a history lesson about Thomas Jefferson, this book also celebrates reading and literacy. It is a must if you are going to visit Washington, especially the Library of Congress. The bottom line is you will definitely want a copy for your own library.

Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library  book trailer:

Doesn’t the fife and drum music suit the fast paced text of the book?

Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Calkins Creek (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1590789326
ISBN-13: 978-1590789322

Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.


Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. Join us at the new Nonfiction Monday blog.

Self-Esteem and Friendship: Toodles Books Are Informative and Fun

Today we are featuring two instructive picture books from Magination Press that help children learn more about themselves and their relationships with others.


I Want Your Moo: A Story for Children About Self-Esteem (2010) by Marcella Bakur Weiner, Jill Neimark and illustrated by Joann Adinolfi explores how lack of confidence is tied with not liking parts of oneself. Toodles the turkey doesn’t like her feathers or her legs, but most of all she doesn’t like her voice. As she tells her problem to other animals at the farm, they all have something to say, but they don’t want to exchange voices. The rooster compromises and lets her have half his song, with hilarious results. Finally, when a crisis occurs, Toodles learns her own voice is important after all.

I Want Your Moo is an absolutely wonderful read-aloud book, especially because all the farm animals make sounds. You will be mooing and neighing away in no time. The text also has a lively pace, with the occasional rhyme thrown in to add interest. It’s no wonder it won a Teacher’s Choice Award in 2010.



Friendship can be a tricky business, even for adults. The newest title, Toodles and Teeny: A Story About Friendship by Jill Neimark, Marcella Bakur Weiner and illustrated by Joann Adinolfi (2013) centers around the problems Toodles encounters when she finds a new best friend. Her old friends are all out of sorts because they feel she has been ignoring them. Can Toodles keep both her new best friend and remain in good standing with her old friends?

The inside flap of the book jacket has one of the warmest descriptions of why friendships are important that I’ve ever encountered. It reads in part:

“Friends are part of who we are, and they often reflect who we wish to become. Friends add to the joy of being alive. “

Both books are illustrated with cartoons that have a deceptively simple, colorful look, almost like they were drawn by children, yet they are also gently expressive. Some of the illustrations contain collage elements. Both books also have a “Note to Parents” in the backmatter that helps explain how to use the book and gives helpful advice to parents whose children are struggling with these issues.

Children can often detect books that are “educational” a mile away and avoid them. These two Toodles books, however, are both so fun and informative that children will be sure to enjoy them. Parents and educators will find them valuable tools for helping children who need just a little extra boost to deal with their self-esteem or friendship issues. It’s a win-win combination!

I Want Your Moo

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Magination Press
ISBN-10: 1433805421
ISBN-13: 978-1433805421



Toodles and Teeny

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Magination Press
ISBN-10: 1433811987
ISBN-13: 978-1433811982



Both these books were provided by the publisher for review purposes.