Posted in Book Review

Muffy & the Dog Catcher

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By Devra Robitaille

This the story about a dog getting lost. Muffy is a good dog who just wants to get home. The story is her adventure of trying to get home and meet the dog catcher. The dog catcher is nice and brings her home at the end of her adventure.

I liked the dog catcher wasn’t scary. He was helpful. I like hearing about helpful people. There was also two nice people that had a bunch of dogs that let her live with them until she finds her home. I liked that Muffy was a girl.

I recommend this book to kids. I read it on my tablet instead of in a book form. It would travel well and won’t get lost. I still prefer books.

There is another Muffy story that I plan to read.

Posted in Ask the Librarian, Book Review

Ask the Literary Festival Director, Dylan Teut!

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Website: readingwithmrteut.wordpress.com

Twitter @dylanteut

Tell me a little about you I am currently the director of the Plum Creek Children’s Literacy Festival in Seward, NE. Prior to that, I taught first grade for several years. I also teach literacy courses to pre-service teachers at Concordia University, where the festival is based.

How did you become the director of a literary festival? I volunteered with it one year while I was a student at Concordia University. I was so inspired by the speeches from the authors and the children’s excitement, that I became heavily involved the next three years. After I graduated and moved to IL, I came back for the festival each fall. I started a mini version of it at my school in IL, and when the director of Plum Creek retired in 2015, I applied for the job to take over. I got the job and moved back to Nebraska, and couldn’t be happier.

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What is easiest part? Getting up and going to work every day – it’s so easy to get up and go to a job you love at a place you love doing what you love.

What is hardest? The hardest part is winnowing down the line up each year! We are a unique festival in that we have a very small number (12-15) authors that we are able to invite each year. I have hundreds on my list who I would love to invite and I know would be such a good fit for the festival, but so many factors go into play- we try to have a balance for all ages, authors, illustrators, author/illustrators, male, female, diversity, and so much more. It’s never an easy task to find just the right line up, but we do our very best!

What do you hope comes from the festival? Children who are inspired to read, write, and draw and follow their dreams.

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You have a book coming out soon. How did you become an author too? No books officially for me yet, but I may have some news to share soon. I never imagined I would become an author, or really thought I could do it. I have to give credit to Candace Fleming for getting me started- she saw something I wrote and told me it would make for a good picture book. With the help and guidance of a few other friends, I turned the text into a manuscript. From there, I got my agent, and we have just recently sent my first text out for submission! Now we wait! Stay tuned for news. 🙂

Who are your favorite children’s authors right now? This is a difficult question! There are so many individuals who I respect and admire so much. Though I’ve never met them, I would love to have a cup of coffee with Eve Bunting and Cynthia Rylant- they’ve both been so influential in the field over the years. I have great respect for Brendan Wenzel- he is a fantastic author, illustrator, and just one heck of a human being. I do look up to him, along with Ryan Higgins, Loren Long, Judy Schachner, Elizabeth Rose Stanton, Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann, Denise Fleming, Julie Fogliano, Matthew Cordell, Evan Turk, Ben Clanton, Ben Hatke… gosh, and so many more, it would be impossible to name them all! Be sure to check out all of their books.

Any favorite children’s books? Another hard question! How about I share a few of my recent favorites- Rabbit Magic by Meg McLaren, Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell, The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy.

Friday was Multicultural Children’s Book Day. Why do you think multicultural books matter? Multicultural books matter because it’s so necessary for every child to see themselves, and know that they matter; and to see many people different from themselves, and know that they matter, too.

What advice do you have for kids? Read, write, draw, and be kind. Reading and kindness can lift you up to so many places you never would have imagined possible- and in doing so, you have the opportunity to lift others up with you.

 

Posted in Book Review

I am a Rapper and I know it

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By Monica Mathis-Stowe

Illustrated by Nada Serafimovic

This is the second Trey Jones book. In this book, Trey raps every word like a rap song. It is kind of silly annoying. I think my parents would be annoyed if I did that.

Trey raps about everything from school to his sisters. He is being creative in how he uses his words. He also dresses like a rapper with rings and jewelry.

I liked this book because I like it when people are creative with their words. I recommend to my classmates too. The boys will find it funny.

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Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.  

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

 

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawDelores Connors, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i

Posted in Book Review

I am Trey Jones and I know it

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By Monica Mathis-Stowe

Illustrated by Nada Serafimovic

This is the first book in the Trey Jones series. Trey Jones is  a first grade boy. He looks like my classmates with his dark skin. Some of the boys are nice and some are not. My parents say that is just kids.

Trey has a lot of fun in first grade. The book is all about him introducing himself on the first day. He falls on his face but he is okay. It doesn’t ruin his day. That would be a memorable way to meet a kid.

I liked that it was a book about first days of school. He was not scared at all. I liked that he looks like my classmates. They should have more books about kids who look like them. It makes you feel important to see themselves as a character in a book.

I recommend this book to my classmates. In fact, I think I will give these to my school library. Then my classmates can borrow these books.

All about Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.  

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

 

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawDelores Connors, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

 

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i

Posted in Meet the authors

Meet the author: Monica Mathis-Stowe

I  read the Trey Jones series for Multicultural Children’s Book Day! Today meet the author of the series in my 200th blog post!

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Website/social media: http://www.treyjonesbooks.com
https://www.facebook.com/TreyJonesBooks/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Tell me a little about yourself: I was born and raised in Washington, D.C. Currently, I live in Maryland with my firefighter husband and high school-age son. I work in Washington, D.C. as a contract investigator for the federal government but often dream about becoming a full-time author. Writing is my passion. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing or dreaming about the next story to write. Being a writer never leaves me, and I’m okay with that.

When you were my age, did you like to read?  YES! I would read anything I could get my hands on, including my parents’ newspapers (comics) and Highlights magazines. My pediatrician gave a free subscription to any of his patients who wanted one. Of course, I did. To this day, I still get a funny fuzzy feeling when I see a Highlights magazine.

What was your favorite story? My mom used to read me a book about a little girl and her teddy bear. They traveled all over the world because her father was in the Army. The girl told about her experiences visiting and living in different places. I LOVED THOSE BOOKS! I think my love of travel began when my mother started reading me that series when I was about four years old.

How do you get your ideas? When my son was younger, I would search for books with an African-American boy as the lead character. Since I couldn’t find one, I created the confident and know-it-all Trey Jones. Many of the stories focus on real-life experiences children can relate to. I worked on the premise and stories for ten years before deciding to publish them.

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Trey Jones
Is it hard to write a book? For me, it’s hard to get started. Looking at a blank screen and wondering what to write is a little scary at times. But, once I get started and the characters start speaking to me, I can’t stop.

Why do you think multi-cultural books for kids are important? Multi-cultural books are important for kids because they build self-confidence. Books with diverse characters represent the world we live in and allows us to see that we may look different, but we’re all the same. Reading about someone from a different culture, race, or religion gives us a better understand of other people. Multi-cultural books teach us to RESPECT and UNDERSTAND one another.

What author do you really like right now? I will always LOVE Ezra Jack Keats’ books. The Snowy Day was the first time I read with characters who looked like me and the people in my family. Today, I have all of his books on my bookshelf.

And, I will always really like, Barbara Parks’ Junie B. Jones series. When my son was younger, he read the whole series to me. We used to laugh so hard and loud, people would’ve thought we were CRAZY.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Read everything. Study the text on the pages. Learn from it. Take notes of what passages make you feel something. Emotions are what keep readers engaged. We like a book that makes us laugh, cry, or question something. Before you sit down to write, THINK. And most of all, enjoy the process. It won’t always be easy, but the final product is all worth it.

Posted in Awesome Kids, guest kid reviewer

The Lorax

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Author: Dr. Seuss

Reviewer:  Briar

Summary of the story : There’s  a boy that on a foggy August night goes to the Onceler that tell’s him the story of the Lorax. Once upon a time the Onceler family starts a factory.  They cut down all the truffula trees to make thneeds, but the lorax speaks for the trees.  He has to send away the brown barbaloots, the swomee swans, and the humming fish. Soon the Lorax himself  has to leave.   

What did I like? I Iike that the lorax appeared through a stump and a flash of light.

Overall review: It’s a great book because I think it is cool that the lorax appeared through a flash of light. I like mysteries that can’t be explained.

Who else might enjoy this story?  kids with imagination.