Saturday, August 30, 2008
We're so proud of our local authors!
Pittsburgher Many Ly has a new book out.
Roots and Wings is the story of fourteen-year-old Grace. Grace has always longed to visit the Cambodian community in St. Petersburg, FL where her mother grew up. Now she is flying in an airplane with her grandmother's ashes in her lap. Grace and her mom are traveling from Pennsylvania to Florida so that they can give Grace's grandmother a proper Cambodian funeral.
This trip gives Grace the chance to get to know the people who meant so much to her mother and grandmother--friends who were so close they were more like family. But even as Grace is welcomed into the community, she learns some harsh truths about her own family history. Along with Grace, we grieve for her grandmother and feel hopeful for the possibility of renewing family ties. Loving descriptions of Camboidan food and ceremonies add to the appeal of this moving and meaningful book.
Click here to request a copy of Roots and Wings.
Click here to visit Many Ly's website.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The "Good Books In Your Neighborhood" event at the Fred M. Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College features local authors and illustrators, and it is a chance to see the new center honoring our beloved neighbor, Mister Rogers.
It's on Saturday, Septeber 6, 10:00-2:00. Click here for the brochure.
And click here and here for more books by and about Mister Rogers.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
If you haven't discovered Presto Felt, run right out to your local Joann Fabrics and pick up a 9" x 12" sheet, each individually packaged, in a variety of colors! Each piece of felt has a strong adhesive under the peel-away slick paper backing. With Presto Felt you can turn any paper image into an instant felt board piece. Take a simple color image of a duck, perhaps from a clipart collection, cut around the picture leaving a half-inch or so margin, position the picture on the sticky Presto Felt and then cover the duck with laminate. Once you have your 3 layer sandwich (i.e. Presto Felt on the bottom, the picture in the middle and the laminate on top), cut through all layers with good, sharp scissors. I like to use stainless steel nail scissors for the curves and good sewing scissors (like Gingher) for the straight away. Quick, easy and you won't mind having the little ones handle the pieces or put them in their mouths when they help you retell the story! You can easily make replacements.
If you look at the two video clips posted on Story Pockets (The Enormous Turnip and the jataka tale of the Monkey and the Crocodile) you will see more elaborate story pieces, some with embroidered features or beads for eyes. The Presto Felt covers any knots or loose threads on the back and also gives each piece a nice solid feel. If you look carefully at the crocodile, you'll see that he has a wonderful, bumpy reptilian skin. Presto Felt makes embossed felt that was perfect for this project.
I'd be happy to answer any questions and would love to hear about your favorite felt board techniques.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The audio book format is popular here at Main Children’s, especially during summer vacation and holiday time. I often recommend audio books to parents who have children who are reluctant or struggling readers. Listening to a fluent reader helps the child develop his or her own fluency and vocabulary. Listening assists in pronunciation, too. I’m a fan of Alexander McCall Smith’s Number One Ladies Detective Agency series and had read quite a few of the books before listening to an audio version. The narrator, a native South African, set me straight on the pronunciation of personal and place names.
The narrator can make a huge difference in how well the story translates to this format. They’re not all Jim Dale, the gifted narrator of the Harry Potter audio books, but so far there have only been one or two narrators who turned me off to the audio version.
Currently I’m listening to Home to Holly Springs by Jan Karon (adult title) and have the second in the Bartimaeus Trilogy: The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud (children’s book) lined up to listen to next.
Now it’s your turn. What audio books (children’s or adult titles) do you recommend I listen to while driving across the Great Plains?
Monday, August 18, 2008
Everyone did a great job over the summer, and now it looks like kids are bringing in their required reading lists to get ready for school. We're really proud of everyone for all their great reading! I hope that your kids had a fun time. I only heard one complaint: "They never did tell us who the Reading Bug was!"
In Four Feet, Two Sandals, ten-year-old Lina has not worn shoes in two years. Clothing and shoes are in short supply at the refugee camp where she lives. When relief workers bring a truck of clothing, Lina finds a sandal that fits her just right. Then she finds the other sandal, and it is on the foot of Feroza, whose feet are cracked and swollen from her long trek to the refugee camp. "What good is one sandal for two feet?" asks Feroza in the story. Read this book to find out.
Click here to request your copy of Four Feet, Two Sandals.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"I was checking out Oprah’s new kids reading list, developed with the help of ALA, and Katherine Ayres’ picture book Up, Down and Around is the featured book for Ages 3-5. "
Katherine Ayres' book was the 2008 selection for Pennsylvania's One Book, Every Young Child program. And she's from Pittsburgh!
Click here to check out the Kid's Reading List on Oprah's Book Club.