Ten Great Places to Read a Book.

While it’s true you can read a book just about anywhere, there are SOME places where the whole reading experience takes on a new level of interaction and excitement. The next time you decide to read a good book try it…

  1. In a tent at night with a flashlight and your best friend.
  2. At the beach while sharing a sandwich with a seagull.
  3. Sitting under – or in – a tree at the park.
  4. On a train…preferably the POLAR EXPRESS.
  5. In a hot air balloon.
  6. While waiting in line to get a book signed by a famous author.
  7. In a time machine set for your favorite period in history.
  8. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
  9. In a car wearing your favorite hat while driving through the PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH.
  10. In a castle dressed as a prince or princess while sitting atop a horse.

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What is YOUR favorite place to read a book?

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Host a Movie Night…Outdoors!

Even though summer is fading fast and kids are going back to school, there are still a lot of great evenings with pleasant weather for hosting an outdoor MOVIE NIGHT.  And you don’t have to make yourself crazy organizing one.  Here are a few simple ideas to keep in mind.

  • Be sure to select a good movie that appeals to everyone and doesn’t have a lot of quiet dialogue or dark scenes.  There are plenty of “family” films that appeal to kids of all ages as well as adults.  You might want to buy a few glow necklaces for the little ones – to keep track of them in the dark.
  • Have a test run of the equipment BEFORE the event to make sure it all runs smoothly.  This goes for sound as well as video.  Loud enough for guests to enjoy without disrupting the neighborhood.
  • Secure and cover any cords so folks don’t trip over them in the dark.
  • Have bug spray to ward off unwelcome guests.
  • Set up a table of drinks and snacks with a light on it so everyone can help themselves to treats during the show.
  • Have guests bring blankets.  As fall approaches, evenings can get cool. So much fun to snuggle under a blanket while watching the movie.

How simple is that?  Movie night doesn’t have to be complicated. And, as dusk arrives earlier in the fall, you can even enjoy a light supper of hotdogs or burgers while watching the latest blockbuster.  Happy Movie Watching!

Books Have the Power to Change Lives: How You Can Help.

Those of us in the Kid Lit Community know how powerful and trans formative books can be and we do everything we can to get good books into the hands of children.  We also know that many children do not have access to books.  You can change that by supporting the BRIDGE OF BOOKS FOUNDATION. The organization’s goal is to collect, sort, and distribute a MILLION books by 2020.

To learn more about how you can donate your books to the organization visit: http://www.bridgeofbooksfoundation.org

Give a book to a child and open up her world!

PB Author/Illustrator Barbara DiLorenzo Presents – QUINCY:The Chameleon Who Couldn’t Blend In.

I recently had the pleasure of reading a new PB by one of my favorite author/illustrators Barbara DiLorenzo, QUINCY:The Chameleon Who Couldn’t Blend In.

Here’s my review of this delightful story that makes a perfect read aloud for young children worrying about how they’ll do on their first day of school:

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QUINCY THE CHAMELEON WHO COULDN’T BLEND IN by Barbara DiLorenzo (Little Bee Books 2018) is a sweet and delightful picture book about a chameleon who wants to like school and tries hard to blend in.  But, unlike other chameleons, Quincy can’t hide his thoughts or feelings. Everything he thinks about or gets excited about shows up on his skin.  It isn’t until he discovers art class, where self-expression is expected, that he realizes he can be happy just being himself.

The illustrations add whimsy and humor to a story that readers of all ages will find themselves reading over and over again. Quincy is destined to become a new classroom favorite.

     Barbara DiLorenzo is the author/illustrator of RENATO AND THE LION (2017) and QUINCY THE CHAMELEON WHO COULDN’T BLEND IN (2018).  She is an art teacher at the Arts Council in Princeton, NJ and lives in New Jersey with her family and her active imagination.

RENATO AND THE LION (Viking Children’s Books)
QUINCY: The Chameleon Who Couldn’t Blend In (Little Bee Books)

Represented by Rachel Orr of the Prospect Agency 
Co-President of the Children’s Book Illustrators Group (CBIG)
Instructor & Outreach Program Coordinator for the Arts Council of Princeton
Co-Assistant Regional Manager for New Jersey SCBWI

Starry, Starry Night: Stargazing 101

For a unique and fun-filled family evening, pack up a thermos of your favorite beverage, some cookies or other snacks, flashlights, and a few blankets.  Then head out to an open field or playground where you can view the stars.  The best viewing sites are those where there is little interference from ground lighting.

Kids will enjoy using binoculars as well or a portable telescope if you have one.  Leave electronic devices in the car.  All you really need is your eyes and  a willingness to relax, lie down on the blanket and watch the sky.  Play a game of “connect the stars” to make figures like ancient astronomers did with the constellations.

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For serious star gazers, the best spots to view them around the country can be found at http://www.wholeliving.com/starstruck.