Since, as I've already said, I'll be preoccupied on Sunday watching the Patriots in the Superbowl, I thought I would share some news today. And there is plenty of it!
- First and foremost (to me), is that Becky from Farm School has warmed my heart by awarding my blog an "E for Excellent" rating. What amazes me is that she has the strength to do anything, let alone spreading good cheer, when it's nearly -50 degrees where she lives (by either scale). How is that even possible? And yet, she found the energy to brighten my day.
- Next up, please go and read Donalyn Miller's latest Book Whisperer column: Have You Praised a Reader Today? Donalyn recounts several incidents in which other people have been critical of seeing kids reading books outside of class (on field trips, on the playground, in the cafeteria, etc.). Her concern is with the message that this sends - that reading is something that one is only supposed to do at a desk. She concludes: "So, have you praised a reader today? One outside of a classroom? They are out there-- I promise. Scope out those buses, lunchrooms, and lines; find yourself a reader, and praise them loud and clear. You might be doing more for that child, and everyone within earshot, than anything else you planned to do today." So how about you? Have you praised a reader today? See also the Reading Zone's response to this post, a rousing defense of reading in the classroom and the fact that it isn't a waste of time.
- Not content with only encouraging readers, author Cynthia Lord encourages young writers, too. She shares part of a letter sent to her by a boy named Brandon, suggesting possible plotlines for a RULES sequel, and proposes that "imagining book characters beyond their pages" is a first step to becoming a writer.
- Via Confessions of a Bibliovore, I learned that Anne Shirley turns 100 this year. Well, not really, but the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables is on June 13th.
- And in other birthday news, I learned from Jason's blog at Escape Adulthood that Monday was the 50th anniversary of the Lego. Jason has an excellent picture of a Lego birthday cake constructed by Lego artist Sean Kenney.
- I've heard a lot of good things about Shannon Hale and Libba Bray's joint book tour, but my favorite post about it is by Miss Erin, who got to meet her hero. Her joy is infectious, and a pleasure to see.
- Book lists abound: Jama Rattigan highlights soup picture books; Wild Rose Reader and the Kiddosphere both suggest books for Black History Month; and Librarian Mom Els Kushner features books in which "the big city" plays an important part. Also, in her first podcast, Tricia discusses counting books at Open Wide, Look Inside.
- The NCTE recently announced the Orbis Pictus Awards for excellence in children's nonfiction books. Susan Thomsen has a nice recap at Chicken Spaghetti.
- Over at the PaperTigers blog, Janet writes about the importance of books at bedtime for kids. She notes that "babies whose parents read to them rapidly associate books with love and closeness. They become bibliophiles long before they can walk, with favorite books firmly established by the time they celebrate their first birthdays." She also asks for comments and suggestions by readers for Marjorie Coughlan's "books at bedtime" efforts.
- Boys Blogging Books shares 12-year-old David's Top Five Books of 2007. I think he made some great choices. His comments provide a window into what types of books please a 12-year-old boy, and why.
- At Educating Alice, Monica Edinger defends the rights of a reader to read the end first, if he or she wants to. She concludes: "please, don’t think I’m being bad, rude, unethical, or something else when I chose in my private act of reading to not read a book the way you did... The democracy of reading rules!" Now, I personally never read the end first - I hate spoilers. But I defend each person's write to read books in exactly the manner that please him.
- 7-Imp interviews Letters from Rapunzel author Sara Lewis Holmes. Her baby picture is adorable, and it's great to learn a little more about her.
And that's it for tonight. Happy reading to all! And Go Pats!