Search Results for “chapter book series” – Storytime Standouts http://www.storytimestandouts.com Raising Children Who Love to Read Sat, 17 Feb 2018 20:27:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.5 Super Series Books for Grade Four Boys http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/06/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/super-books-for-grade-four-boys/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/06/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/super-books-for-grade-four-boys/#respond Tue, 06 Sep 2011 11:49:41 +0000 /?p=67 Super Series Books for Grade Four Boys | Storytime Standouts

...Adventures of Captain Underpants– written by Dav Pilkey Have you ever met a boy who didn’t enjoy the ‘Action, Thrills, and Laffs of a Captain Underpants book? With rude humor and tons of illustrations, this series is great for even the most reluctant reader. Just don’t tell your boys that the series is mom approved – that would spoil the fun! The Adventures Of Captain Underpants Collectors’ Edition at...

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Super Series Books for Grade Four Boys | Storytime Standouts

Super Series Books for Grade 4 Boys




ABC Canada Literacy Foundation has identified ‘three potential reading slump times that can hinder a child’s reading development. ‘ Grade four is one of those times. Grade four is just about the time that readers encounter longer chapters, smaller print and more complex vocabulary.

We lose some readers in the transition. My two boys are nine and twelve – one loves to read and one loves to “do” so I know that finding engaging books is critical for this age group. As well, I probably read more kids’ books than most moms so I’m often asked for book recommendations for grade four boys. Many of the best series for this age group are funny (occasionally rude), action-packed, irreverent and very generously illustrated. The books often feature boys who find themselves in trouble – at school, at home, sometimes even in the library.

With nine, ten and eleven year old reluctant readers, we need to keep our goal in mind: get books (almost any books!) into their hands and encourage them to read.

Concurrently, in an ideal world, parents will continue to read aloud more challenging and diverse books – but that is for another day.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School is an excellent series for grade four boys
Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Written by Louis Sachar (author of Holes)
I have had great success with this book. The wacky humor and very short chapters are very appealing to boys. Each chapter tells about one student at Wayside School – you don’t have to read them in order so kids can jump around the book if they wish.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School at Amazon.com

Sideways Stories From Wayside School at Amazon.ca

Books in the Wayside School Series
Sideways Stories From Wayside School
Wayside School is Falling Down
Wayside School Gets A Little Stranger

The Adventures of Captain Underpants an excellent series for grade four boys

The Adventures of Captain Underpants– written by Dav Pilkey
Have you ever met a boy who didn’t enjoy the ‘Action, Thrills, and Laffs of a Captain Underpants book? With rude humor and tons of illustrations, this series is great for even the most reluctant reader. Just don’t tell your boys that the series is mom approved – that would spoil the fun!

The Adventures Of Captain Underpants Collectors’ Edition at Amazon.com

Captain Underpants Boxed Set: Books 1-4 at Amazon.ca

Books in the Captain Underpants Series silliness and rudeness are perfect for grade four boys
The Adventures of Captain Underpants
Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets
Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds)
Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants
Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman
Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 1: The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets
Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, Part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers
Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People
Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers
Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers
Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000


Legend of Spud Murphy an excellent series for grade four boys

The Legend of Spud Murphy – written by Eoin Colfer (author of the Artemis Fowl series)
When Will and Marty Woodman are told they must spend the summer in Spud Murphy’s Library, they know it will be a dangerous assignment. They’ve heard about the ‘gas-powered spud gun she keeps under her desk.’ Really good fun and a positive message about books and reading!

Eoin Colfer’s The Legend of Spud Murphy at Amazon.com

Eoin Colfer’s The Legend of Spud Murphy at Amazon.ca

Books in the Legends of Series – popular with grade four boys
Eoin Colfer’s Legend of Spud Murphy
Eoin Colfer’s Legend of Captain Crow’s Teeth
Eoin Colfer’s Legend of the Worst Boy in the World

Horrid Henry is an excellent series for grade four boys
Horrid Henry’s Wicked Ways – written by Francesca Simon
One of my nine year old’s favorites, Horrid Henry really is ‘awesomely wicked.’ It is the perfect antidote when you’ve had a rough day and you long to hear about someone who can relate to your troubles.

Horrid Henry at Amazon.com

Horrid Henry at Amazon.ca

Books in the Horrid Henry Series – great fun for grade four boys
Horrid Henry
Horrid Henry and the Secret Club
Horrid Henry Tricks the Tooth Fairy
Horrid Henry’s Nits
Horrid Henry Gets Rich Quick
Horrid Henry’s Haunted House
Horrid Henry and the Mummy’s Curse
Horrid Henry’s Revenge
Horrid Henry and the Bogey Babysitter
Horrid Henry’s Stinkbomb
Horrid Henry’s Underpants
Horrid Henry Meets the Queen
Horrid Henry and the Mega-Mean Time Machine
Horrid Henry and the Football Fiend
Horrid Henry’s Christmas Cracker
Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman
Horrid Henry Robs the Bank
Horrid Henry Wakes the Dead
Horrid Henry Rocks
Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire
Horrid Henry’s Monster Movie
Horrid Henry’s Nighmare
Horrid Henry Krazy Ketchup


Time Warp Trio is an excellent series for grade four boys
The Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka
Featuring time travel, adventure, humor and a touch of fantasy, The Time Warp Trio is a great pick for grade four boys. Sam, Fred and Joe use The Book to travel through time from one exciting adventure to another. I’ve had very good success drawing boys into this series. There is something for everyone: pirates, knights, neanderthals and Egyptians.

Time Warp Trio #1 The Knights of the Kitchen Table at Amazon.com

Time Warp Trio #1 Knights Of The The Kitchen Table at Amazon.ca

Books in the Time Warp Trio Series – excellent for grade four boys
Knights of the Kitchen Table
The Not-So-Jolly Roger
The Good, the Bad, and the Goofy
Your Mother Was a Neanderthal
2095
Tut Tut
Summer Reading Is Killing Me
It’s All Greek to Me
See You Later Gladiator
Sam Samurai
Hey Kid, Want to Buy a Bridge?
Viking It and Liking It
Me Oh Maya
Da Wild, Da Crazy, Da Vinci
Oh Say, I Can’t See
Marco? Polo!

Be sure to check out…

35 Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers from Storytime Standouts

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Canadian Flyer Adventures Time Travel Series for Grade Two http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/13/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/new-series-books-will-transport-children-through-time/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/13/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/new-series-books-will-transport-children-through-time/#respond Tue, 13 Sep 2011 23:47:53 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=457 Canadian Flyer Adventures Time Travel Series for Grade Two | Storytime Standouts

...ildren who are reading at about a grade two to three level, the series is generously illustrated and quite exciting. Extra features include additional facts, an interview with the author and a preview of the next book in the series for grade two. It is great to see a series like this. The Canadian Flyer Adventure series will be enjoyed by young readers everywhere but will have a special appeal for Canadian children and those who gravitate toward...

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Canadian Flyer Adventures Time Travel Series for Grade Two | Storytime Standouts

image of cover art for Canadian Flyer Adentures Beware, Pirates

The exciting Canadian Flyer Adventures time travel series for grade two has all the elements needed for success – action, adventure and fun. Generously illustrated, readers will be captivated while learning history






Canadian Flyer Adventures series written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Dean Griffiths
Time Travel Series published by Owlkids Books



When young friends Emily and Matt climb a rickety spiral staircase, they discover an intriguing room filled with wonderful treasures. They are excited to imagine where and when each originated. When they sit on an old red Canadian Flyer sled, their time travel adventures begin.

In Book One of the Canadian Flyer Adventure series, they are transported to the Far North circa 1577. They find themselves aboard Martin Frobisher’s pirate ship and later help to rescue an Inuit man.

In Book Two, they face dangers during the time of dinosaurs.

image of cover art for Canadian Flyer Adventures Danger, DinorsaursI read and enjoyed both books. Likely intended for children who are reading at about a grade two to three level, the series is generously illustrated and quite exciting. Extra features include additional facts, an interview with the author and a preview of the next book in the series for grade two. It is great to see a series like this. The Canadian Flyer Adventure series will be enjoyed by young readers everywhere but will have a special appeal for Canadian children and those who gravitate toward history or time travel.

OwlKids Books’ Canadian Flyer Adventures website includes teacher resources and a map

Beware, Pirates! at Amazon.com

Danger, Dinosaurs! at Amazon.com

Beware, Pirates! at Amazon.ca

Danger, Dinosaurs! at Amazon.ca


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Terrific Series For Middle Grade Readers – Chronicles of Ancient Darkness http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/09/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/terrific-series-for-middle-grade-readers-chronicles-of-ancient-darkness/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/09/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/terrific-series-for-middle-grade-readers-chronicles-of-ancient-darkness/#respond Fri, 09 Sep 2011 11:47:23 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=447 Terrific Series For Middle Grade Readers – Chronicles of Ancient Darkness | Storytime Standouts

...e grade readers? Michelle Paver’s books: Wolf Brother , Spirit Walker and Soul Eater sat unread on my bookshelf for far too long. These days, they are rarely in my office. These are the first three titles in a terrific series for middle grade readers. I have loaned each of them to many, many kids and, without exception, the books are devoured and the series is completed. Wolf Brother is captivating, it has the perfect combination of...

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Terrific Series For Middle Grade Readers – Chronicles of Ancient Darkness | Storytime Standouts

Need to find a new series for middle grade readers?

Storytime Standouts looks at a Terrific Series For Middle Grade Readers - Chronicles of Ancient Darkness







Michelle Paver’s books: Wolf Brother, Spirit Walker and Soul Eater sat unread on my bookshelf for far too long. These days, they are rarely in my office. These are the first three titles in a terrific series for middle grade readers. I have loaned each of them to many, many kids and, without exception, the books are devoured and the series is completed.

Wolf Brother is captivating, it has the perfect combination of tension and excitement. Set in primitive times, Wolf Brother begins when young Torak’s father is killed by a terrible demon – a huge bear that has been possessed by a creature from the Other World. Now, orphaned, Torak adopts a wolf cub and discovers he can communicate with this new ally. Together, they begin a seemingly impossible quest; to reach the Mountain of the World Spirit.

The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness is a terrific series for middle grade readers. I strongly recommend it – especially for boys. Relatively short chapters, a fascinating setting and terrific tension make for a series that appeals to many reluctant readers.

Web Resource: The Clan

Wolf Brother at Amazon.com

Wolf Brother at Amazon.ca



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Remembering Harry Potter’s Magic http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2012/08/13/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/remembering-harry-potters-magic/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2012/08/13/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/remembering-harry-potters-magic/#comments Mon, 13 Aug 2012 20:34:34 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=12887 Remembering Harry Potter’s Magic | Storytime Standouts

...ne of my students was reading Harry Potter this year. This could be because the kids have read it when they were younger, but it seems unlikely that they have read all seven books by grade four or five. I am hoping that with series such as Twilight, The Hunger Games, Warriors, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter is not being forgotten in this age group. I think grade four is a great age for the first book. I think I will have to poll my class...

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Remembering Harry Potter’s Magic | Storytime Standouts

Remembering Harry Potters Magic A Guest Post by @1prncs

Storytime Standouts’ guest contributor takes another look at Harry Potter and the magic delivered in J.K. Rowling’s wonderful series.





I am reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to my oldest daughter this summer. I have read the series once after a friend, who has read it, literally, dozens of times, insisted that I could not put it off any longer; I had to read it. So I did. And I absolutely loved it. I’m not sure why I didn’t read it when it originally came out. I remember listening to how much everyone loved it and the movies are among my favourites. Waiting did have one advantage, however; by the time I read the books, they were all published so I could read them all back to back.

Now, as I reread Harry Potter with my daughter, I’m remembering all of the things I loved about the books. I am completely absorbed in the story once again and so is she. Lately, all of her playing is geared around wizards and wizardry. All of their dolls are currently attending Hogwarts. As I’ve watched her get wrapped up in the story of Harry and his friends, I realized that only one of my students was reading Harry Potter this year. This could be because the kids have read it when they were younger, but it seems unlikely that they have read all seven books by grade four or five. I am hoping that with series such as Twilight, The Hunger Games, Warriors, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter is not being forgotten in this age group. I think grade four is a great age for the first book. I think I will have to poll my class in September to see how many have read the series or at least some of them.

Harry Potter came out 12 years ago. The Deathly Hallows came out in 2007. It’s entirely possible that with the hype of so many new books over the years, that Harry is not the most sought after character at the library. It would be a shame to forget how magical and amazing JK Rowling’s books are. Unlike the Twilight series or The Hunger Games, children get to grow and mature with Harry. As he becomes older, the conflicts and challenges he faces become more involved and difficult. The intensity builds with each book. Not that the intensity doesn’t increase with each of the books in the other series, but the intensity is there from the beginning. Katniss* is fighting for her life from chapter one. Bella and Edward** are drawn to each other immediately.

In Harry Potter, we meet a young boy poorly treated by relatives that do not want him. The first story captures our hearts and interest by letting us connect to him and feel the same amazement that he does as he learns about his wizarding background and accepts his future at Hogwarts. Harry has an innocence that Bella and Katniss do not. Of course, they are entirely different books, but I know that they were the central focus of my grade five classroom not that many years ago. Now, based on what I’ve seen my students borrowing from the library, that focus has shifted.

I don’t actually read Harry Potter in the classroom. But this year, I think I will make an effort to see how many kids have read it on their own or with their families. It will be interesting to see how many of this year’s class, who would have been born in between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Pheonix, are familiar with the novels. Since they became readers, the “Harry Potter Hype” has lessened, as all hype does. Regardless of which books are grabbing the most attention today, we need to remember that there are some books (many) that should always be on a person’s “Must Read” or “Have Read” list. The Harry Potter series should definitely on those lists.

*The Hunger Games
**Twilight


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Mysteries, Humor and School Life for Reluctant Readers http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/26/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/mysteries-humor-and-school-life-for-reluctant-readers/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/26/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/mysteries-humor-and-school-life-for-reluctant-readers/#respond Wed, 26 Oct 2011 11:51:42 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=469 Mysteries, Humor and School Life for Reluctant Readers | Storytime Standouts

...iana Gregory Chapter book series for grade two/three readers published by Scholastic Let’s begin with The Clue At The Bottom Of The Lake (Cabin Creek Mysteries). This is the second book in the new Cabin Creek Mysteries series. Appropriate for seven to ten year olds, it has a grade 3 Reading Level. I enjoyed the book and am confident that this is a series both boys and girls will enjoy. Set in a small, lakeside town, we follow three cousins...

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Mysteries, Humor and School Life for Reluctant Readers | Storytime Standouts

Chapter Books for Reluctant Readers Mysteries Humor School Life




Almost every time I make a Parent Ed presentation, someone asks for recommendations for the preteen crowd. Sometimes the request is very specific, “My daughter loves skating. Could you suggest a chapter book she might like?” Very often the request is for something, anything that a reluctant reader will enjoy. Lately, I’ve been kept busy by Ready Set, Learn presentations. I’ve not had much time for reading. When the calendar is full to the brim, I often turn to short chapter books, looking for a new gem that will appeal to young readers.

Here are some of the books I’ve been reading…

The Clue At The Bottom Of The Lake written by Kristiana Gregory
Chapter book series for grade two/three readers published by Scholastic



Let’s begin with The Clue At The Bottom Of The Lake (Cabin Creek Mysteries). This is the second book in the new Cabin Creek Mysteries series. Appropriate for seven to ten year olds, it has a grade 3 Reading Level. I enjoyed the book and am confident that this is a series both boys and girls will enjoy. Set in a small, lakeside town, we follow three cousins as they investigate the dumping of a large and mysterious bundle into the lake near Lost Island. Young detectives will enjoy the twists and turns as Claire, David and Jeff work to discover the contents of the bundle and who is responsible for dumping it in ‘their’ lake.

The Clue at the Bottom of the Lake (Cabin Creek Mysteries) at Amazon.com

The Clue at the Bottom of the Lake (Cabin Creek Mysteries) at Amazon.ca

Sir Gadabout Out of Time written by Martyn Beardsley
Chapter book series for grade two/three readers published by Orion Children’s Books




Sir Gadabout is the ‘Worst Knight in the World.’ A creation of Martyn Beardsley, the series is illustrated by Tony Ross so we know that we are in for some fun. In Sir Gadabout Out of Time, disaster strikes when King Arthur allows Sir Gadabout to cut his hair. Before long, Merlin is enlisted to turn back time. Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) the spell goes wrong and Sir Gadabout finds himself in a futuristic world with cell phones and cars. Good fun for nine to twelve year olds.

Sir Gadabout Out of Time at Amazon.com

Sir Gadabout Out of Time at Amazon.ca


Ivan the Terrible written by Anne Fine
Chapter book series for grade two/three readers published by Egmont Books Ltd


Poor Boris, he is in a real ‘pickle.’ He’s been asked to be a ‘chum’ and translate for a new classmate. They both speak Russian and Boris is asked to help the new boy adjust to life at St. Edmund’s, the civilized school. Before long, Boris realizes that Ivan is really quite nasty and the job of translating is going to be trickier than he had expected. A fine choice for nine to twelve year olds,
Ivan the Terrible won the silver medal in the 2007 Nestlé Children’s Book awards.

Ivan the Terrible at Amazon.com

Ivan the Terrible at Amazon.ca

Visit our page about reluctant readers for more information. You will find our posts about chapter book series here.

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The Wave Walkers – This Series Will Draw Middle Grade Readers Like Pirates to Treasure http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/21/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/this-series-will-draw-middle-grade-readers-like-pirates-to-treasure/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/21/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/this-series-will-draw-middle-grade-readers-like-pirates-to-treasure/#respond Fri, 21 Oct 2011 23:47:51 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=465 The Wave Walkers – This Series Will Draw Middle Grade Readers Like Pirates to Treasure | Storytime Standouts

The Wave Runners by Kai Meyer Teen fiction published by Egmont UK Ltd. The Wave Runner is the first book in an exciting, fantasy-adventure trilogy for middle grade readers. Mr. Meyer meshes an exotic Caribbean setting, dangerous, swash-buckling pirates and intriguing fantastical creatures to create an exciting tale. We follow the story of Jolly, a 14 year old polliwiggle (someone who can walk on water). Jolly could be the last surviving...

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The Wave Walkers – This Series Will Draw Middle Grade Readers Like Pirates to Treasure | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts Recommends Middle Grade Fiction The Wave Runners, book one of the Wave Walkers seriesThe Wave Runners by Kai Meyer
Teen fiction published by Egmont UK Ltd.





The Wave Runner is the first book in an exciting, fantasy-adventure trilogy for middle grade readers. Mr. Meyer meshes an exotic Caribbean setting, dangerous, swash-buckling pirates and intriguing fantastical creatures to create an exciting tale.

We follow the story of Jolly, a 14 year old polliwiggle (someone who can walk on water). Jolly could be the last surviving polliwiggle and is certainly a key to to defeating evil forces that threaten the Caribbean.

Be warned, the ending of this book leaves many questions unanswered and will draw readers to (Part 2) The Shell Magicians like pirates to treasure.

Pirate Curse (The Wave Walkers Book One)
The Wave Runners at Amazon.ca



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Grade Two Chapter Books – Mermaids Everywhere http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/09/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/grade-two-chapter-books-mermaids-everywhere/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/09/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/grade-two-chapter-books-mermaids-everywhere/#respond Fri, 09 Sep 2011 23:47:12 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=449 Grade Two Chapter Books – Mermaids Everywhere | Storytime Standouts

...en who are between the ages of six and nine and are reading grade two chapter books. At this reading level, we find many series for newly independent readers to enjoy. Most grade two chapter books are generously illustrated. Series like Mermaid Rock and Mermaid S.O.S. are great because they draw children into reading multiple books. Keep in mind, at this stage, our priority is to have children to gain confidence and experience reading...

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Grade Two Chapter Books – Mermaids Everywhere | Storytime Standouts



Mermaids Make a Splash Storytime Standouts Shares Grade Two Chapter BooksThe long weekend meant travel for our family. It was a perfect opportunity for me to check out a number of new titles for young readers. I chose to read six books intended for children who are between the ages of six and nine and are reading grade two chapter books. At this reading level, we find many series for newly independent readers to enjoy. Most grade two chapter books are generously illustrated. Series like Mermaid Rock and Mermaid S.O.S. are great because they draw children into reading multiple books. Keep in mind, at this stage, our priority is to have children to gain confidence and experience reading independently and to want to read.





Grade Two Chapter Books - Mermaids Everywhere including Spooky Shipwreck Mermaid RockMermaid Rock Spooky Shipwreck is one of four Mermaid Rock undersea adventures that will appeal to young, female readers. Generously illustrated (in colour) the book is divided into three chapters. Most of the text is easily decodable. There are a few challenging words. ‘Skulked‘, ‘chiselling‘ & ‘daydreaming‘ add to a pleasant adventure tale.

Mermaid Rock at Amazon.com

Mermaid Rock at Amazon.ca

Grade Two Chapter Books - Mermaids Everywhere including Misty to the RescueS.O.S. Misty to the Rescue is part of a six-book grade two chapter book series. Beautiful Coral Kingdom is protected by magic crystals. Six courageous young mermaids have taken on an important challenge; they must locate six replacement crystals and deliver them to Queen Neptuna before the Merfolk loose strength.

The Mermaid S.O.S. website includes downloads and other extras for fans to enjoy.

Mermaid S.O.S. – Misty to the Rescue at Amazon.com

Mermaid S.O.S. – Misty to the Rescue at Amazon.ca



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Emergent Readers Captivated by Drama and Mystery http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/08/24/picture-books-best/captivating-young-readers-with-drama-and-mystery/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/08/24/picture-books-best/captivating-young-readers-with-drama-and-mystery/#respond Wed, 24 Aug 2011 23:47:21 +0000 /?p=26 Emergent Readers Captivated by Drama and Mystery | Storytime Standouts

...– he likened it to the kind of books his older brothers read. He felt competent, confident and intrigued. If only all books for young readers could replicate this winning combination. The Oxford University Press Read at Home series is excellent from beginning to end and includes dozens of great titles for emergent readers. Read at Home: More Level 4c: Trapped! at Amazon.com Read at Home: More Level 4c Trapped! at Amazon.ca Read at Home: Level 4,...

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Emergent Readers Captivated by Drama and Mystery | Storytime Standouts

Check out this series for emergent readers

I spent a fair amount of time in a dentist’s chair today and was reflecting on my recent experience with a grade one student. I’ve been working with him for a while. His older brothers have had some difficulty with reading so I spend half an hour, once a week with this youngster. Yesterday he read from the Oxford University Press Read at Home series. He is familiar with these books and knows the characters; Floppy, Chip, Kipper and Biff.

During our session, I suggested he try one of the Level 4 stories. He eagerly selected, Trapped! text by Cynthia Rider, illustrations by Alex Brychta. It was delightful to hear him read confidently but what was even more special was his reaction to the book. Clearly, he saw this story as different from others he has read independently. There was more text – about three sentences per page. There were letters and hidden keys to locate within the illustrations. But, most surprising, there was drama – when Grandma was briefly trapped in a castle – and mystery – why was there face at the castle window?

My emergent reader was thrilled to read Trapped – he likened it to the kind of books his older brothers read. He felt competent, confident and intrigued. If only all books for young readers could replicate this winning combination.

The Oxford University Press Read at Home series is excellent from beginning to end and includes dozens of great titles for emergent readers.

Read at Home: More Level 4c: Trapped! at Amazon.com

Read at Home: More Level 4c Trapped! at Amazon.ca

Read at Home: Level 4, Pack of 6 at Amazon.ca

What is your favourite series for readers at this level? Please share your ideas and suggestions.


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Meet Author Lisa Manzione http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2014/09/18/beyond-the-dust-jacket-author-and-illustrator-interviews/lisa-manzione/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2014/09/18/beyond-the-dust-jacket-author-and-illustrator-interviews/lisa-manzione/#respond Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:12:07 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=21039 Meet Author Lisa Manzione | Storytime Standouts

...arryGo Author Facebook page Book Series Website Tell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of? The latest book published is Let’s Visit Maui!. The book series is perfectly suited for ages 5-10. I am most proud of the fact the series has been very well received by parents, librarians, teachers, but most of all, children! Let’s Visit Maui!: Adventures of Bella &...

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Meet Author Lisa Manzione | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts interviews author Lisa Manzione





Author Website

Author Twitter account @BellaAndHarryGo

Author Facebook page

Book Series Website

The Adventures of Bella and Harry Lets Visit Maui by Lisa ManzioneTell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of?

The latest book published is Let’s Visit Maui!. The book series is perfectly suited for ages 5-10. I am most proud of the fact the series has been very well received by parents, librarians, teachers, but most of all, children!

Let’s Visit Maui!: Adventures of Bella & Harry (The Adventures of Bella & Harry) at Amazon.com

Was it difficult for you to get your first book published? What suggestions/words of encouragement do you have for aspiring authors/illustrators?

It was extremely difficult to get the first book in the series published. As a matter of fact, I had one publisher tell me the books were “too educational” for US children. Once I heard that comment, I was even more determined! I found a small publisher in South Florida and the first book was published. After attending Book Expo America, I realized I could publish the books on my own. I created my own company, hired a staff, and 14 books later, we are very pleased with our success.

As far as words of encouragement…Don’t give up! If you truly believe in our product, the right opportunity will come along. It just takes time and persistence.Bella and Harry Lets Visit Athens by Lisa Manzione

What are the joys of being an author / illustrator? What do you derive your greatest pleasure from?

I think the greatest joy is seeing how much children enjoy reading and learning about the world. I am just thrilled every time I speak to a youngster and they can tell me what Bella & Harry have taught them. I really love it when the child tells me they know even MORE about the cities/countries than Bella and Harry because they have done research on their own or with their classroom.

What are the biggest challenges of being an author / illustrator?

I believe the biggest challenge is keeping a child’s interest in a story. In the Bella and Harry series, the stories are educational. I think it is necessary to keep the story fun (which holds their attention), but to also have a significant amount of educational content which can be a huge challenge because I don’t want the book to feel like a history book.

Have any of your books been published electronically? If so, what was that process like? What sort of feedback have you had from readers?

Yes, the books have been published electronically through Reading Rainbow Kidz. There is an option with RRKidz…the book can be read aloud to you or you can turn that option off and read the book yourself.

The process with RR Kidz was a lot of fun! We have received tremendous feedback from readers, especially early readers who enjoy the narration option initially.

We plan to have additional e-books available in the fall, 2014.

If you could dine with any author/illustrator (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

If I could dine with anyone it would be James Patterson. I love his “women’s murder club”series!

Additionally, James Patterson lives in South FL and is very active in children’s literacy programs, which I just LOVE!

Do you do school or library presentations? If so, please briefly describe topics/ geographical limitations.

I love to do library and school presentations! Generally, I read one book during the presentation, followed by a question and answer session. Those that answer the questions correctly are given a prize…sometimes another book, a Bella plush stuffed animal, back pack, etc. At the end of the presentation I give each child a book from the series that we did not read. Depending on the age of the children, sometimes I autograph the books individually as well.

As far as limitations, if I have advanced notice, there really are no limitations. If advance notice is limited, I can always Skype. In this instance, I would send the book ahead, so we can still do most of the above.

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Barnstormers’ Baseball, Will this Author Hit a Home Run Yet? http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/12/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/barnstormers-baseball/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/12/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/barnstormers-baseball/#comments Mon, 12 Sep 2011 23:47:27 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=455 Barnstormers’ Baseball, Will this Author Hit a Home Run Yet? | Storytime Standouts

...t. We also hear their uncle’s warning that great danger lies ahead but so far have only encountered mysterious visions and sounds. For children who are fascinated with baseball and how it was played 100+ years ago,this series may yet prove very appealing. Personally, I was frustrated that the author left me stranded on second base – with many, many unanswered questions. Game 1 (Barnstormers) at Amazon.com Game 1: #1 in The...

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Barnstormers’ Baseball, Will this Author Hit a Home Run Yet? | Storytime Standouts

Game 1 Barnstormers written by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Loren Long

A while back, I had an opportunity to read and listen to the first book in a new historical fiction series for 7 -10 year olds. Game 1 (Barnstormers) introduces three siblings who travel with a barnstorming baseball team, The Travelin’ Nine.

Set in 1899, the first book in the series leaves us with more questions than answers: we know the children’s father died in the war and that he possessed a mysterious baseball but it unclear why the ball is significant. We also hear their uncle’s warning that great danger lies ahead but so far have only encountered mysterious visions and sounds.

For children who are fascinated with baseball and how it was played 100+ years ago,this series may yet prove very appealing. Personally, I was frustrated that the author left me stranded on second base – with many, many unanswered questions.

Game 1 (Barnstormers) at Amazon.com

Game 1: #1 in The Barnstormers: Tales of the Travelin’ Nine Series at Amazon.ca


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Fiction / Chapter Books http://www.storytimestandouts.com/directory/chapter-books-and-fiction/ Sat, 06 Nov 2010 23:45:30 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?page_id=1554 Fiction / Chapter Books | Storytime Standouts

...eries Scieszka, Jon Jon Scieszka’s web-based literacy program Scrimger, Richard Author of The Nose from Jupiter and more Smith, Jeff Author of the Bone series of graphic novels Snicket, Lemony “Author” of A Series of Unfortunate Events Stanton, Andy Author of Mr. Gum series Stilton, Geronimo Watts, Irene Canadian author of No Pets Allowed, Clay Man, When the Bough Breaks Weinman Sharmat, Marjorie Author of Nate the Great and...

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Fiction / Chapter Books | Storytime Standouts

We are happy to provide an extensive directory of links to

This group of links introduces authors of junior fiction, middle years’ fiction and young adult fiction, commonly referred to as “chapter books.”

Fiction, Chapter Books

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Anti Bullying http://www.storytimestandouts.com/anti-bullying-picture-books/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/anti-bullying-picture-books/#comments Mon, 11 Jul 2011 18:47:39 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/ Anti Bullying | Storytime Standouts

...nor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser and Ted Enik Book about bullying for beginning readers published by Harper Collins Children’s Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl is part of Harper Collins Children’s I Can Read series. Ranked by Harper Collins as “Beginning Reading Level 1,” it is generously illustrated and includes words such as appetite, splendid, speechless and canceled. Field Day is just around the corner. Most of...

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Anti Bullying | Storytime Standouts




Storytime Standouts shares an outstanding selection of anti bullying picture books.


Picture books, chapter books and novels can be a wonderful resource when parents and teachers want to explore bullying and conflct resolution themes with children. Whether a child is being bullied or is bullying another child, the involvement of an adult will help.
We invite you to visit our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels.
Index of all Anti-Bullying Posts on the Storytime Standouts website






Interlined paper for beginning writers

Also on this page

Pink Shirt Day writing paper for kids and our Antibullying Pinterest Board







When presenting our Celebrating Diversity with Picture Books workshop at conferences, we always include a selection of picture books that effectively convey an anti bullying message. These are some of our favourites…

Highlighting anti bullying picture books

Bad Astrid antibullying picture bookBad Astrid written by Eileen Brennan and illustrated by Regan Dunnick
Antibullying picture book published by Random House

She came into town like five tons of bad luck.
She came into town in a big moving truck.

From the moment Astrid and her family move into a new neighborhood, she is unpleasant. She chases, teases and is destructive. Ignoring her and keeping busy seems to be the best solution until one day Astrid has a bad accident while riding her bike. She needs help. Her victim hesitates to step forward. She asks, “Why are you mean to me?”. Astrid’s explanation surprises her remarkably forgiving neighbor and the two girls discover a way to be friends.

When reviewing antibullying picture books, we prefer stories that resolve the bullying problem realistically. Although Astrid’s bike crash and her victim’s willingness to forgive her past deeds provide a somewhat’magical’ solution to a serious bullying problem, we think there is lots to appreciate about Bad Astrid. Fun cartoon-like illustrations, playful word art and rhyming text will have special appeal for older readers and may make this an excellent discussion-starter about bullying for primary-grade classrooms.

Bad Astrid at Amazon.com

Bad Astrid at Amazon.ca

Bad Astrid at Book Depository


anti bullying picture book cover Billy BullyBilly Bully A school-yard counting tale – written by Alvaro and Ana Galan, illustrated by Steve Simpson
Counting book about bullying and friendship published by Scholastic

When Billy Bully arrives at the school playground, his animal friends are already there. Cow is enjoying a swing, horse is on the teeter totter and duck is on the slide. Within moments, Billy Bully has taken charge. He chases the others off the slide, grabs toys and he won’t wait his turn. One by one, he upsets each of his classmates and loses friends.

Eventually Billy Bully discovers that every one of his classmates has run away from him. There is no one to play with.

Now Billy Bully’s feeling blue,
Until – he figures out just what to do.

After counting down his friends, Billy sets to work repairing the harm he has done.

When Billy Bull learns how to play,
all his friends come back to stay.

Best suited to preschool or kindergarten age children, Billy Bully is a rhyming counting book with an important message about bullying and friendship. It includes an Afterword for parents and teachers by Ellen Jacobs, Ph.D., Clinical Social Work

Billy Bully at Amazon.com

Billy Bully at Amazon.ca

Billy Bully at Book Depository


cover art for Bullies Never Win, an anti bullying picture book
Bullies Never Win written by Margery Cuyler and illustrated by Arthur Howard
Anti bullying picture book published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Jessia and Brenda are in the same first-grade class. In Jessica’s eyes, Brenda is perfect. Her hair is perfect, her homework is perfect and her clothes are perfect. Jessica is a worrier. She is frustrated by her clothing, her knees, her barrettes and making mistakes at school but mostly she is frustrated by Brenda’s bullying.

If Jessica got all her homework right, Brenda would say, “I bet you cheated.” So Jessica hid her homework.
If Jessica wore a new skirt to school, Brenda would say, “Your legs look like toothpicks.” So Jessica started wearing pants.
If Jessica scored at kickball, Brenda would say, “You were just lucky.” So Jessica stopped playing kickball.

Finally Jessica reaches the breaking point and she tells her mom about the bullying she is enduring at school. Mom encourages Jessica to tell her teacher about the bullying. Jessica is not sure that is the solution. She spends a sleepless night, trying to decide on the best strategy. Finally, Jessica decides to tell Brenda that Bullies Never Win!”

At last, Jessica can stop worrying and relax. She has spoken her mind and silenced her bully.

Mr. Howard’s illustrations, especially those of the characters’ facial expressions are a highlight of this excellent anti bullying picture book.

Written from the perspective of the victim, this resource is recommended for kindergarten and older children.

Bullies Never Win at Amazon.com

Bullies Never Win at Amazon.ca

Bullies Never Win at Book Depository


image of Bully cover art an anti bullying picture book for older readersBully – written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
anti bullying picture book for older readers published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons An Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

When Lyla’s family moves house, she and her brother each switch to new schools. Lyla feels anxious about the transition but soon meets a new friend and is very happy to discover that he is in her homeroom class. Jamie and Lyla get along well so Lyla is not isolated but before long she discovers the many cliques at her new school: Geeks and Nerds, Toughs, Skateboarders, Athletes and the Celebrities.

As Lyla gains confidence at her new school, she starts to earn some very good grades and a spot on the cheerleading team. Jamie warns her, “That’s Gage, Maeve and Kenyon’s territory, Lyla. Be careful!”

Lyla settles in to her new class and appears content but she does notice that almost all of her classmates have cell phones. Jamie urges her to get a cell phone, a laptop and a Facebook account. Soon Lyla and her brother are trying to convince their parents to allow them to have phones. Their parents agree but warn that, if not used properly, the online privileges will be lost.

Jamie helps Lyla and her brother to set up their Facebook accounts and Lyla takes pride in their friendship and his position of trust at school.

Gage, Maeve and Kenyon were actually starting to be nice to me. I wasn’t good enough to sit at the celebrity table, though, until the Mid-Year Awards Assembly…Gage usually got this award, but she seemed really happy that I got it. That’s when she invited me to sit with them at the celebrity table at lunch..

Initially, Lyla finds the attention from the coolest girls exciting – she so wants to enjoy their popularity. The friendship sours, however, when the girls spend time surfing Facebook and commenting on classmates’ pages. They call this “scum dumping.” Lyla knows the bullying behavior is wrong and is especially upset when horrible comments are made on Jamie’s Facebook page. Lyla’s friendship with the Celebrities ends when she stands up for Jamie but the girls warn her, “No one dumps us, Lyla. We do the dumping.”

Sadly for Lyla the bullying does not end there. When an important test is compromised at school, Lyla is wrongly accused of stealing it and she becomes a victim of cyberbullying.

Bully is an excellent anti bullying picture book for older readers and a valuable resource for middle grade classrooms. Ms. Polacco’s depicts a racially diverse student population. As well, she presents a realistic and complex social situation without lecturing. She invites her readers to consider the question, “What would you do?”

Bully at Amazon.com

Bully at Amazon.ca

Bully at Book Depository


antibullying picture book Bully by Laura Vaccaro SeegerBully written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Antibullying picture book published by Roaring Brook Press

Before we reach the title page of Bully, we witness a large bull speaking harshly to a young bull. He tells him to, “GO AWAY”

The young bull does go away. He goes to a different part of the pen where three friends invite him to play. Rabbit, Chicken and Turtle are stunned when he loudly shouts, “NO. Their shock and disappointment is only made worse when the young bull starts name-calling.

Finally a brave billy goat speaks up and correctly labels the young bull a “Bully.” Bull is shocked to realize that he has been bullying the other farm animals. After pausing to reflect, he apologizes to his friends and asks if they will play with him.

There is much to notice and enjoy in Bully. Young readers will certainly note the young bull’s body language and size when bullying the other animals as opposed to when he realizes his mistakes. Ms. Vaccaro Seeger has depicted his blazing eyes and set jaw beautifully. His anger and frustration is clear.

We also see Bull’s remorse when he realizes his mistakes.

Bully invites discussion about what might cause bullying behavior as well as how the decision to speak up can make a difference. highly recommended for children aged four and up.

Bully at Amazon.com

Bully at Amazon.ca

anti bullying picture book cover The Bully Blockers ClubThe Bully Blockers Club written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic
Anti bullying picture book published by Albert Whitman & Company

Lotty Raccoon is excited to begin a new school year. She leaves her house with new shoes, new backpack and a positive outlook. Moments after she sits at her new desk, Grant Grizzly begins his taunting, “I’m Grant Grizzly and I say there’s a smell, and it’s coming from around you.”

Lotty does not react immediately. She talks with her siblings after school. Lotty’s younger brother suggests a karate chop could be the answer and her older sister suggests ignoring him. Lotty is not interested in the “karate chop” solution but she thinks ignoring Grant Grizzly might work.

The following day, Lotty ignores Grant Grizzly but unfortunately, the abuse continues. After further discussion at home, Lotty’s sister suggests that Lotty try to be Grant’s friend while her brother suggests joking about it. She tries both approaches without success. The next step is to get Lotty’s mom and dad involved. They contact Lotty’s teacher and she promises to be watchful but, whenever her back is turned, Grant continues his bullying.

Finally, after noticing that Grant only bullies when adults are not watching, Lotty arrives at a creative and very empowering solution to her problem. She enlists the help of her friends whenever Grant picks on someone.

That afternoon, when Grant grabbed Lotty’s crayons, Barney said, “Hey, what are you doing?”

“Yeah,” said Laurie. “Those aren’t yours.”

By now everyone, including Mrs. Kallberg was watching.”

Grant turned red, and handed the crayons back.

The Bully Blockers Club’s bold illustrations are well-suited to sharing in a group setting. The facial expressions effectively depict the emotions of the bully, the bullied and the bystanders.

After Notes include suggestions for parents and teachers including a description of the “TELL IT system.” This anti bullying system suggests children should

  • Think before they react
  • Express themselves by stating how they feel
  • Leave the situation
  • Laugh
  • Ignore
  • Tell an adult

The After Notes also suggest that Lotty’s decision to create a supportive group can be an effective way to curtail bullying.

The Bully Blockers Club is best suited to children aged five and up.

The Bully Blockers Club at Amazon.com

The Bully Blockers Club at Amazon.ca



image of cover art for Bully 101Bully 101 written and illustrated by Doretta Groenendyk
Anti bullying picture book published by Acorn Press

Want to ensure you get your way?
Just mess up another kid’s day.
Push them and shove them and give them a scare.
Our bullies love fear and thrive on a dare.

Students who attend a class called Bully 101 learn that the best solution to feeling poorly about themselves is to make another child feel terrible. Bullies steal notebooks on the school bus, damage clothing, ostracize good students, spread rumors and make jokes. Sometimes they even resort to physical violence. For those who feel badly about their ‘course selection,’ there is an alternative class: Kindness 202.

Suited to primary and middle grade students, Bully 101 includes rich language: demoralize, humiliate, thrive and striking collage illustrations that will appeal to older readers.

Best at identifying bullying behaviors, Bully 101 implies that Kindness 202 is a happier, more inclusive choice. It does not problem-solve suggestions for victims or bystanders. Essentially the story suggests that choosing kindness will have a happier outcome for all – including those who are currently making poor choices.

Bully 101 takes a simplistic approach to the terrible problem of bullying that will not be appropriate in every circumstance but there are good reasons to use it as a discussion-starter in a primary or middle grade classroom. As well, Ms. Groenendyk’s fascinating illustrations could be used as a jumping off point for exploring this timely theme with young artists.

Bully 101 at Amazon.com

Bully 101 at Amazon.ca

anti bullying picture book Chick O Saurus Rex by Lenore and Daniel JenneweinChick-O-Saurus Rex written by Lenore Appelhans and illustrated by Daniel Jennewein
Anti bullying picture book published by Simon and Schuster

Donkey, Pig and Sheep have formed an elite group and, to the disappointment of the smaller farm animals, they exclude all others from the tree house.

“This is a club for the brave and mighty. First you have to prove you belong.”

Little Chick does his best to gain entrance to the tree house but the bullies refuse to allow him inside. Little Chick asks his father for advice. He learns that his relatives “invented the chicken-dance craze and even… crossed the road.” Being seen as brave and mighty appears hopeless until Little Chick notices a picture of Grandpa Rooster studying a fossil. He is keen to leave the farmyard in search of evidence of his heritage.

Before long, Little Chick is shocked to discover that Tyrannosaurus Rex is his distant relative and he rushes to share the news with the bullies. When he arrives at the clubhouse, he discovers a wolf is attacking Little Donkey, Little Sheep and Little Pig. Little Chick is quick to dispatch the wolf and, shortly thereafter, all of the farm animals are allowed to climb the ladder and enjoy the treehouse.

An author’s note explains that the chicken is the Tyrannosaurus’ closest living relative and explains how the determination was made by scientists.

Chick-O-Saurus Rex could be used to prompt a discussion about excluding children in social situations and other forms of bullying, it will be enjoyed by children aged four and up.

Chick-o-Saurus Rex at Amazon.com

Chick-o-Saurus Rex at Amazon.ca

anti bullying picture book cover Clara and the BossyClara and the Bossy – written and illustrated by Ruth Ohi
Anti bullying picture book published by Annick Press

Clara and the Bossy is one of three picture books about a guinea pig called Clara. She loves purple and triangles and tuna sandwiches. She is thrilled when another girls suggests that they should be best friends. Clara admires Madison and is excited to go to her house but when it is time to clean up Madison’s bedroom, Clara is disappointed when Madison directs Clara to take care of putting the toys away. The following day, Madison points out that Clara wears her favourite purple dress every day. Later in the week she comments on her tuna sandwiches and is unimpressed when they are cut into triangles rather than more exotic shapes.

When Madison turns her attention to one of Clara’s classmates and makes an unfriendly comment, Clara is prompted to take stock of the “friendship.” The following day, Clara returns to school and decides to be herself despite Madison’s scornful remarks. Clara discovers there many children at school who share her enthusiasm for tuna and triangles. Before long, Madison decides to join the fun.

An enjoyable story with a worthwhile message, Clara and the Bossy has a gentle anti-bullying theme. It could be used effectively with young children to explore themes of friendship, conflict resolution and bullying.

Clara and the Bossy at Amazon.com

Clara and the Bossy at Amazon.ca


anti bullying picture book cover Eddie LongpantsEddie Longpants written by Mireille Levert
Anti bullying picture book published by House of Anansi Press Inc. | Groundwood Books

Eddie is much, much taller than his classmates and his teacher. He is far too big for his school. At recess time, he endures endless name-calling and teasing. He deals with the abuse by isolating himself, he stands near a tall tree and is visited by happy, chirping birds.

When Eddie’s mom arrives for a visit with the teacher, Miss Snowpear promptly climbs onto the roof.

Miss Snowpea and Mrs. Longpants talk. They look each other straight in the eye. They say nice things. They smile big smiles. They shake hands.”

The two adults model good behavior despite their differences in stature.

At recess time the following day, the teasing resumes but this time Pete makes comments about Eddie’s mom and this time Miss Snowpea overhears the insults,

She feels anger rising inside her, It makes her insides growl and her toes curl up. All this because Eddie is big!

Pete knows that he is in trouble. He wants to escape so he climbs up, up, up into a very tall tree. Suddenly, he realizes what he has done and he is frightened. He needs help to get back down from the tree.

Eddie Longpants is an anti bullying picture book that is best suited to children four and up. It delivers a lovely message about acceptance and is sure to prompt a discussion about teasing and ways to deal with it.

Ms. Levert’s illustrations are warm and engaging. She makes great use of each two-page spread to show us just how tall Eddie, his mom and his dad are.

Eddie Longpants at Amazon.com

Eddie Longpants at Amazon.ca


Top of Anti Bullying Page

anti bullying picture book cover Enemy PieEnemy Pie written by Derek Munson and illustrated by Tara Calahan King
Anti bullying picture book published by Chronicle Books, LLG

When Jeremy Ross moves into the neighbourhood, it spoils an otherwise perfect summer. He joins the baseball team and laughs when another baseball player strikes out. He has a party but doesn’t invite everyone to enjoy his trampoline. Perhaps without realizing what he has done, Jeremy creates an enemy.

Fortunately, Dad knows exactly how to deal with enemies. He has special recipe for Enemy Pie. The recipe is secret “Enemy Pie is the fastest known way to get rid of enemies.”

Listening to Dad prepare the recipe is almost thrilling… “Enemy Pie was going to be awful. I tried to imagine how horrible it must smell, or worse yet, what it would look like.”

While the pie cools and anticipation mounts, it is time to take the next step: the enemies must spend a day together. They ride bikes, jump on a trampoline, eat lunch and play basketball together. As time passes, something rather unexpected happens: Jeremy Ross undergoes a transformation. Spending time with him is not really a bad experience! As their day together comes to an end, the two boys enjoy a macaroni and cheese dinner and then it is time to serve up Enemy Pie.

It was at this point that I panicked. I didn’t want Jeremy to eat Enemy Pie! He was my friend! I couldn’t let him eat it!

Enemy Pie is very well suited to a group setting. It invites extension activities and encourages discussion about becoming friends and how first impressions may not be accurate. The cheery illustrations enhance the story nicely.

The Enemy Pie website includes anti-bullying lesson plans and writing activities.

Enemy Pie at Amazon.com

Enemy Pie at Amazon.ca


anti bullying beginning reader book cover Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl
Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl written by Jane O’Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser and Ted Enik
Book about bullying for beginning readers published by Harper Collins Children’s

Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl is part of Harper Collins Children’s I Can Read series. Ranked by Harper Collins as “Beginning Reading Level 1,” it is generously illustrated and includes words such as appetite, splendid, speechless and canceled.

Field Day is just around the corner. Most of Nancy’s classmates are excited about the upcoming races but Nancy is not. She is dreading Field Day because she is not good at running and last year, when her team lost, she was teased. When Nancy discovers that Grace is on her team, she is doubly concerned. Grace is sometimes mean.

Nancy trains hard for the relay race but her training is too little. too late. She decides a different tactic might work. She pretends she has injured her foot and she begins limping. Nancy’s dad is not convinced by her limp and he questions her about it. Finally, Nancy confides and explains why she is upset.

After a conversation with her dad, Nancy feels better and she approaches Field Day and Grace with a plan. She speaks to Grace

“I will run as fast as I can.
But if we lose,
don’t say mean stuff.
You are a good runner.
But you are not a good sport.”

Fans of the Fancy Nancy series are sure to enjoy this anti bullying book for beginning readers. The story is engaging. Both Nancy’s problem and the outcome are realistic. Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl could lead to discussions of teasing and bullying as well as sportsmanship and doing one’s best in a difficult situtation.

Recommended for children aged six and up.

Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl at Amazon.com

Fancy Nancy And The Mean Girl at Amazon.ca



anti bullying picture book cover Henry and the BullyHenry and the Bully written and illustrated by Nancy Carlson
Anti bullying picture book published by Penguin Group – Viking Children’s Books

Henry is in grade one and loves to play soccer during recess break. Unfortunately, Sam, who is older and considerably bigger spoils the game by teasing and stealing the soccer ball. In Henry and the Bully, Henry seeks help from Mr. McCarthy but his teacher is busy with other playground problems and does not help the grade one children. Soon, Henry feels terrible and thinks he is too sick to go to school.

A chance meeting at a department store provides Henry with an opportunity to surprise the bully and recruit a new soccer player.

Read the entire story online and give a book to a child who doesn’t have one by visiting We Give Books

Henry and the Bully at Amazon.com

Henry And The Bully at Amazon.ca


anti bullying picture book cover Is it Because?Is It Because? written and illustrated by Tony Ross
Anti bullying picture book published by Andersen Press

Is it Because? provides a refreshing and altogether different take on the anti bullying picture book. Peregrine Ffrog is a nasty bully. He leaves his victim stretched out in a mud puddle with a black eye. Peregrine’s target is a boy with a fabulous imagination. He can envision all sorts of serious and not-so-serious reasons for Peregrine’s horrid bullying behavior.

He asks

Is it because he’s friendless, you see?
Is it because he lives in a tree?
It is because of the size of his head?
It is because he wees in his bed?

Happily, after posing questions and imagining what has led Peregrine to this behavior, his victim is left with a healthy sense of self worth, the loyalty of a pet dog and a couple of good friends.

Encouraging the reader to view the perpetrator through a different lens, Tony Ross imagines and, with humour, illustrates all sorts of reasons someone might bully. He does not make excuses for the bullying nor does he “solve” the problem. His approach, which encourages readers to ask questions and rethink assumptions, is empowering.

Fans of Tony Ross will not be disappointed with this anti bullying picture book. As well as considering the “why” of bullying, readers may gain some sympathy for the bully and may even decide the bully is a victim of sorts.

Great for kingergarten and older children.

Is it Because? at Amazon.com

Is It Because? at Amazon.ca


anti bullying picture book cover JoJo the GiantJoJo the Giant written by Jane Barclay and illustrated by Esperanca Melo
Picture book published by Tundra Books

JoJo and his mother live in an urban apartment. She works as a mail carrier and, each day after school, they walk home together. JoJo is small for his age and he would like nothing better than to grow. Once home and after his mom has had a chance to sip her tea, he asks her “How much did I grow today?”

Despite assurances from his mom, JoJo is sure that bigger is better and he longs to be taller. He drinks his milk and eats his broccoli, hoping that one or the other will do the trick.

One Saturday, while running an errand, JoJo notices a poster about an upcoming race. Wanting to win a pair of Red Rocket Racers – the ones with the silver stars on the sides, JoJo promptly signs up for the event. Before returning home, JoJo encounters the dreaded neighbourhood bullies. They refer to him as ‘Yo!Yo!’ and ‘shrimp.’ Without responding,JoJo quickly runs from the kids.

When Race Day arrives, JoJo is ready. He races well but Big Tony is faster than he is. It is not until JoJo hears the bullies shout, “Go shrimp, go! Go shrimp, go!”. that he is able to overtake the larger boy and win the coveted shoes.

While JoJo the Giant does not specifically address bullying or how best to deal with bullies, reading the book could certainly lead to discussions about self image, bullying and harrasment.

JoJo the Giant at Amazon.com

JoJo the Giant at Amazon.ca


picture book cover art for Jungle BulliesJungle Bullies written by Steven Kroll and illustrated by Vincent Nguyen
Anti bullying picture book published by Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books

One morning Elephant went down to the pond for his bath. But who was there first? Hippo, and he was taking up a lot of space.
Elephant glared at Hippo.
“Get out of the water, Hippo,” he said. “I want to bathe in peace.”

Hippo leaves the pond, only to find Lion on the path. Since Hippo is bigger than Lion, he nudges Lion. The bullying behavior moves from animal to animal until it finally reaches Monkey. Monkey complains to his mama and she replies, “Son, you have to stand up to bullies. You go back to Leopard, and you tell him there’s enough room for two on that branch.” Mama accompanies Monkey as he nervously approaches Leopard. Monkey reminds Leopard to share and to stop being mean. Leopard is taken aback, he is suddently much less comfortable on his branch. He decides Monkey can stay on the branch and then he gets an idea. As Monkey’s message moves from animal to animal, friendships are restored and the former bullies discover it is much more fun to share.

An ideal introduction to the topics of bullying and sharing, Jungle Bullies features predictable recurring text. It is a beautifully illustrated anti bullying picture book and will be enjoyed by preschool age children.

Lesson plan from Teacher Think Tank

Jungle Bullies at Amazon.com

Jungle Bullies at Amazon.ca


cover art for antibullying picture book King of the PlaygroundKing of the Playground written by Phyllis Renolds Naylor and illustrated by Nola Langner Malone
Antibullying picture book published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers an imprint of Simon and Schuster

Kevin is hopeful. Each day he heads to the playground, wanting to go down the slide but knowing that if Sammy is there, he won’t be allowed to do so.

“You can’t come!” Sammy said. “I’m King of the Playground!” And he told Kevin what he would do if he saw him on the slide.

Disappointed, Kevin returns home and confides in his dad. His dad listens to the threat that Sammy has made and he encourages Kevin to ask himself, “And what would you be doing while Sammy was tying you up? Just sitting there?”

The following day, Kevin tries again and, again, Sammy is at the playground. When Kevin wants to use one of the swings, Sammy announces,

“You can’t play here!” yelled Sammy, running over. “I’m King of the Swings.” And he told Kevin what he would do if he saw him on the swings.

Once again Kevin shares his problem with his dad and once again his dad challenges him to problem solve.

Kevin’s dad’s approach to bullying is perfect. He remains calm, he doesn’t intervene, he encourages Kevin to think logically and he empowers Kevin to solve the bullying problem himself.

With Dad’s guidance, Kevin realizes that there may be a different way to deal with Sammy and his threats. On his next visit to the playground, Kevin is just a little bit braver. He uses his imagination to counter Sammy’s threats and together the boys find middle ground.

Recommended for children aged four years and up.

King of the Playground at Amazon.com

King of the Playground at Amazon.ca




image of cover art for Lion's Lunch?Lion’s Lunch? written by Fiona Tierney and illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain
Anti bullying picture book published by Chicken House, an imprint of Scholastic

When Sarah goes for a walk in the jungle, she sings a happy song. Before long, a ferocious lion jumps from behind a bush and demands to know why she is in his jungle. When Sarah explains that she is walking, the lion asserts that jungle creatures “Run, sprint, prowl, creep, swing, lumber, slither, swoop, gallop and scuttle.”

When Sarah says that she was singing, the lion states that jungle creatures “Roar, yowl, grunt, chatter, buzz, trumpet, hiss, growl, pant, and harrumph.”

Lion decides that Sarah would make a tasty lunch especially since she can’t stalk like Tiger or leap like Gazelle.

Sarah suggests that she can do something that no jungle creature can do. She can draw. When, at last, she shows Lion her picture, he is not impressed with the angry lion face he sees and, when the other animals agree that he is a bully, Lion decides to change his ways.

Wonderful descriptive language and bright, bold drawn and computer-generated illustrations enhance this examination of bullying behavior and leave readers with a sense of optimism about one’s ability to speak up, enlist help and ultimately encourage a bully to change for the better.

Lion’s Lunch is best suited to children aged four and up.

Lion’s Lunch? at Amazon.com

Lion’s Lunch? at Amazon.ca


anti bullying picture book cover art for My Secret BullyMy Secret Bully – written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Abigail Marble
Anti bullying picture book published by Tricycle Press – The Crown Publishing Group Random House

“It all started a few months ago, during school recess. I noticed Katie whispering to a group of girls and looking at me. I went up to them and asked Katie what they were talking about. She said, “Oh nothing, Mon-ICK-a. I’ll tell you later.” then some of the other girls giggled like it really was something, and that made me feel bad.”….

“Things didn’t get any better after a while. in fact, they got worse. Much worse. It got to the point where no one would play with me at recess.”

My Secret Bully explores “relational aggression” or “emotional bullying.” In this instance, the relational aggression includes exclusion, humiliation and manipulation. Katie bullies Monica until no one is willing to play with her at recess. Monica is bewildered by her ‘friend’s’ behaviour and worries that something is wrong with her. When she finally confides to her mom, she says, “She’s really nice to me when we’re playing alone, but really mean to me when we’re around other people.”

Monica’s mom is a great listener. She acknowledges that this will be a difficult problem to overcome and then she suggests some role-playing. Monica practices some ways to respond to Katie and is ready when faced with Katie’s whispers. Resisting a fairy tale ending, My Secret Bully provides a reasonable resolution that empowers Monica to find new friends and to enjoy her time with them.

Suitable for children five and up, My Secret Bully offers all sorts of extra anti-bullying materials including a forward by Susan Wellman, founder of The Ophelia Project, notes for parents and teachers, suggestions for what to do if you are a target, discussion points, additional resources, websites, recommended readings and a list of ten ways to be a better friend.

My Secret Bully at Amazon.com

My Secret Bully at Amazon.ca


anti bullying picture book cover art for Noni Says NoNoni Says No – written by Heather Hartt-Sussman and illustrated by Genevieve Cote
Anti bullying picture book published by Tundra Books

Noni is a capable, confident young girl most of the time. She knows the alphabet forwards and back, she helps with her baby brother and she is fine when she walks to her friend’s house. “But now, if her friend Susie asks to sleep over, Noni says yes, even though she sometimes wants to say no. If Susie asks to play with Noni’s special doll, Noni says yes. If Susie asks to borrow her favorite dress, Noni says yes. Noni absolutely, positively cannot say no.”

Noni Says No is a thoughtful examination of friendship and how, in some cases, one child’s desire to please another can come at too great a cost. Noni manages well in most situations but, for some reason, she has great difficulty saying “no” to Susie. Readers will infer that Noni is afraid to say “no” because to do so might jeopardize the friendship.

When Susie’s demands finally push Noni too far, Noni arms herself for an anticipated battle and manages to find her voice.

Genevieve Cote’s powerful illustrations depict Noni’s emotions beautifully. Without a doubt, Noni Says No readers will feel compelled to consider what it means to be a friend and how to assert one’s ideas and opinions respectfully. The story will be enjoyed by all children four and up and will have a special resonance for those who lack confidence in social situations.

Noni Says No at Amazon.com

Noni Says No at Amazon.ca


cover art for anti bullying picture book OneOne – written and illustrated by Kathryn Otashi
Anti bullying picture book published by KO Kids Books

“Red was a hot head. He liked to pick on Blue, “Red is a great color,” he’d say. “Red is hot. Blue is not.” Then Blue would feel bad about being Blue.”

Red is a loud, brash bully while Blue is a quiet, introspective color. When Red relentlessly picks on him, Yellow, Green, Purple and Orange witness the unkind words and are sympathetic to Blue but they fail to act. The don’t tell Red to stop the abuse. When none of the colors speak up for their friend, Red is emboldened. He grows larger and larger until all of the colors are afraid of him. Thankfully, a newcomer appears, “with bold strokes and squared corners…One stood up straight like an arrow and said, “No.”

Featuring bold, dramatic illustrations and a deceptively simple storyline, One delivers a terrific anti-bullying message. A great read aloud, One offers many opportunities for discussion and the inspiring illustrations will encourage artists young and old.

One at Amazon.com

One at Amazon.ca


cover art for anti bullying picture book The Only Boy in Ballet ClassThe Only Boy in Ballet Class written by Denise Gruska and illustrated by Amy Wummer
Anti bullying picture book published by Gibbs Smith, Publisher

Tucker loves to dance and especially likes ballet. “It feels right to him. Like breathing.” His unconventional passion means that his classmates view him as weird and he is generally the last person chosen for team sports. Rather than joining other boys for football practice, he rushes to a dance class. Enroute, he endures teasing but, once he arrives at the studio, his heart swells and he feels pride in accomplishment.

At home, Tucker’s mom is very supportive of his involvement in ballet, “I don’t like that you love to dance. I love that you love to dance!” A visiting uncle is not nearly as compassionate. He thinks Tucker ought to play football.

An afternoon ballet recital is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his love of ballet, as Tucker takes on the role of a prince during a performance. Tucker’s mom and sisters are delighted with the show. Unconvinced, Uncle Frank remains committed to the merits of playing a sport.

While walking home from the recitial with his family, a member of the neighbourhood football team spots Tucker and asks, “Hey, Twinkle Toes, wanna play football?” With Uncle Frank at his side, Tucker is hard-pressed to say, ‘no.’ Before long he is wearing a football jersey and helmet and suddenly finds himself involved in an important play during a championship game.

“In the point of a toe, he was on the shoulders of every boy who had ever made fun of him, and they were carrying him across the field chanting, “Tuck-er! Tuck-er! Tuck-er” Even Uncle Frank was dancing.”

Although adept at using his dance steps to avoid being tackled, ballet remains Tucker’s joy and he is shocked but pleased when a group of football players decides to join his class.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class website

Best suited for children aged five and up.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class at Amazon.com

The Only Boy in Ballet Class at Amazon.ca



cover art for anti bullying picture book The Recess QueenThe Recess Queen written by Alexis O’Neill and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
Anti bullying picture book published by Scholastic

MEAN JEAN was Recess Queen and nobody said any different.
Nobody swung until Mean Jean swung.
Nobody kicked until Mean Jean kicked.
Nobody bounced until Mean Jean bounced.

Mean Jean is a playground bully. At recess, she commands all those around her. She controls the swings, the soccer ball and the basketball.

One day, a new girl arrives at school. Tiny Katie Sue is completely unaware of Mean Jean’s position of authority at the playground. Katie Sue does not wait to be told what to do. She swings and she kicks and she bounces. When challenged by Mean Jean, Katie Sue asks, “How DID you get so bossy?”

Before long, there is a showdown between Mean Jean and Katie Sue. When Katie Sue pulls a jump rope from her pocket, she invites Mean Jean to skip with her.

Repetitious text, delicious wordplay and bright, energetic illustrations highlight a terrific anti bullying book that begs to be read aloud. Recommended for children aged four and up.

The Recess Queen at Amazon.com

The Recess Queen at Amazon.ca


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anti bullying picture book cover art for Simon with Two Left FeetSimon with Two Left Feet – written by Angela K. Narth and illustrated by Heidi Vincent
Anti bullying picture book published by GWEV Publishing

Young Simon is the brunt of relentless teasing. He wants desperately to be accepted as part of his flock but he is clumsy. His awkwardness is humiliating and he worries that he won’t be able to pull his weight when the flock flies south in formation. When training begins, Simon arrives early and faces further teasing by some young geese. He retreats from the group, convinced that he has two left feet.

Simon watches the other young geese learn how to fly information and then sets off by himself. By the time he returns home, the entire flock has departed for the south. Simon is devastated, the squirrels and red-winged blackbirds are preparing for winter and the weather becomes increasingly cold. He is in a very dangerous situation especially if his pond freezes.

It is a happy reunion when one of the elder members of the flock returns to look for Simon. Old Blue is already tired from leading the flock partway and returning for him. She will not be able to lead Simon to the warmer breezes in the marshland to the south. Encouraged to take responsibility and to help Old Blue, Simon flies in the lead position, gaining confidence and eventually saving her life.

Simon with Two Left Feet offers many opportunities for discussion including the impact of teasing and bullying, the importance of finding a way to contribute to your community and how labelling can effect one’s self esteem (and assumptions).

Purchase the anti-bullying book and DVD directly from the publisher: GWEV Publishing

Simon With Two Left Feet DVD (Home Use) at Amazon.com


cover art for anti bullying picture book Small SaulSmall Saul – written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
Anti bullying picture book published by Kids Can Press

Saul knows that he is meant to sail the seven seas but he’s not quite tall enough to be a sailor. The next best alternative is to become a pirate. Saul completes his pirate training and earns his diploma but is hard-pressed to find a crew to join. “Even though Saul was small, it looked like no one had room for him…”

When he is finally invited to join a pirate ship calledThe Rusty Squid, he is excited to find ways to contribute. Unfortunately, it is not long before the captain and crew understand that he is not a typical pirate. “It didn’t take long for the other pirates to notice that something was different about Small Saul.” He knows how to garden and bake and is rather good at decorating. He decides to get a tattoo but bunny tattoos don’t intimidate anyone.

Great for children who love pirates and also for children who will benefit from a boost of self acceptance. Small Saul is a treasure.

Kids Can Press’ Storytime Activities for Small Saul

Small Saul at Amazon.com

Small Saul at Amazon.ca


cover art for anti bullying picture book Stop Picking On MeStop Picking On Me – written by Pat Thomas and illustrated by Lesley Harker
Anti bullying picture book published by Barron’s Educational Series, Inc

Bullying doesn’t happen by accident, it is a deliberate, repeated act. Bullying can take many forms. It can be physical and/or emotional. Emotional bullying happens directly (verbally) and indirectly (for example, doing something behind the victim’s back).

Stop Picking On Me is part of a series that looks at difficult issues. Other titles in the A First Look At series examine death, disability, health and fitness, sibling rivalry and family break-up.

Stop Picking On Me begins by explaining that bullies may look the same as other people but they behave differently, they hurt other people with their words and/or actions. The book goes on to explain that bullies sometimes victimize people they perceive to be different and that bullies have often experienced bullying themselves. The need for each of us to feel loved is explored and bullying’s impact on the victim is looked at. Suggested ways to cope with bullying include talking with someone about the problem and feeling good about oneself.

Endnotes include suggestions for using the book with a child, additional resources and a referral to Parents Anonymous

This anti-bullying book will be most effective if the various observations and suggestions are discussed and explored thoroughly. It could be used together with a role playing activity or an examination of a situation from different points of view.

Good for kindergarten and older

Stop Picking On Me at Amazon.com

Stop Picking on Me! at Amazon.ca


cover art for anti bullying picture book The Tale of Sir DragonThe Tale of Sir Dragon: Dealing with Bullies for Kids (and Dragons) – written by Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrated by Martine Gourbault
Anti bullying picture book published by Kids Can Press

The Tale of Sir Dragon: Dealing with Bullies for Kids (and Dragons) is part of the Dragon Safety Series. Other books in the series provide suggestions regarding fire safety, water safety and stranger safety.

Best suited for children aged five and up, this is a thoughtful, thorough treatment of a difficult problem. Dragon and his young friend get together for an enjoyable day of imaginative play. When they meet up with other children, the dragon is told he is not welcome:

“A dragon!” He smirked. “We’ve told you before,
You’re too big, tall and green to play knights anymore!”

“Let’s chase him away!” he cried, raising his shield.
“We’ll vanquish that dragon! We’ll make that beast yield!”

The dragon’s friend responds by standing up for his buddy and, when that does not solve the problem, seeking help from nearby adults. The adults respond promptly and effectively: while one adult talks quietly with the bully’s victim, the other adult chats with the bully and his friends.

The King asked us, “What does it mean to belong?
Was treating the dragon that way right or wrong?”

“Have you ever felt picked on?” I asked. “Have you felt small?
Have you felt like there’s no one who likes you at all?”

Endnotes for the book provide information for children who are being bullied as well as ways we can all help to stop bullying.

A highly-recommended anti-bullying resource

Printable Stickers for The Tale of Sir Dragon

Tale of Sir Dragon, The: Dealing with Bullies for Kids (and Dragons) at Amazon.com

Tale of Sir Dragon, The: Dealing with Bullies for Kids (and Dragons) at Amazon.ca


cover art for anti bullying picture book Two Dumb DucksTwo Dumb Ducks Written and illustrated by Maxwell Eaton III
Picture book about bullying and teasing published by Alfred A. Knopf

Steve and Carl are contented ducks. Steve is happy to build castles with empty tin cans. Carl amuses himself playing with socks. Steve and Carl are not stupid and they do not like being called names. When some seagulls insist upon calling them, “Two dumb ducks,” they ask themselves, “Why?” and they suppose it could be “Jealousy” or “Troubles at home.” The ducks ask the seagulls to stop their bullying and, when that doesn’t work, they try to appear smarter.

The nasty name calling continues and eventually Steve and Carl decide to get even with the gulls. An ill-advised plan has unexpected consequences and, as a result, is spectacularly successful. Steve and Carl achieve their goal: the seagulls are silenced and the two friends are free to enjoy building with cans and playing with socks.

Pencil illustrations have been coloured digitally in this cartoon-like picture book. Best suited to preschool age children, Two Dumb Ducks could be used to explore teasing, name calling and bullying themes.

Two Dumb Ducks at Amazon.com

Two Dumb Ducks at Amazon.ca


cover art for anti bullying picture book Two of a KindTwo of a Kind written by Jacqui Robbins and illustrated by Matt Phelan
Anti bullying picture book published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon and Schuster

Kayla and Melanie love to work together on school projects. They are very much alike and sometimes they dress the same way. At recess, they sit together on the jungle gym. They don’t want anyone else to join them.

Anna and Julisa also like to be partners at school. They both wear glasses and sometimes they laugh so hard that their glasses fall off. At recess, Anna and Julisa sit together. They are friendly and would be happy to have any of their classmates join them.

In class, Kayla and Melanie sometimes make fun of the other children and, one day, they make fun of Julisa and her glasses. When Anna is unexpectedly partnered with Melanie for a science project, she is able to share her knowledge.

Melanie says I am so smart. She says maybe I am cool after all…
“Hey,” she says, pulling my arm away from the mess. “Do you want to play with us?”

Like magic, Anna is invited to sit with Kayla and Melanie at recess. Anna’s two new companions laugh at Julisa and continue to exclude her.

Fortunately, Anna pauses to consider her relationship with Julisa and before long she realizes where true friendship and her loyalty lies.

Two of a Kind is a thought-provoking depiction of how easily children can be lured by the desire to be popular and how difficult it is to be outcast. Sure to prompt discussions about friendship, loyalty and standing up for what is right, it is best suited to readers aged five and up.

Two of a Kind at Amazon.com

Two of a Kind at Amazon.ca


cover art for anti bullying picture book You're Mean Lily Jean You’re Mean, Lily Jean – written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Anti bullying picture book published by Scholastic Canada

Selected: First and Best by Toronto Public Libraries in 2009 and nominated for a Blue Spruce Award, You’re Mean, Lily Jean tells the story of a new girl who moves into the neighbourhood. Lily Jean is the same age as Sandy and is domineering and a braggart. She joins Sandy and her younger sister Carly for a couple of playdates. Lily Jean does not want Carly to be a part of their imaginary games and each time the three girls play together, Lily Jean dictates what they will play and how they will play. She gives the younger sister, Carly, the less desirable “parts” in their imaginary world. Lily Jean and Sandy are the king and queen, Carly is told to be the dog. Lily and Sandy are cowgirls, Carly is told to be the cow. “She did not want to moo or eat grass, but Lily Jean said she had to if she wanted to play. So she did.”

Lily Jean’s smug appearance and Carly’s bitter disappointment are depicted beautifully by Ms. Denton. Readers will cheer for Carly when Sandy decides she would prefer to play with her younger sister than with an overbearing bully.

You’re Mean Lily Jean is an anti-bullying book that is best suited to children four and up. It offers many opportunities for children to consider each girl’s perspective and ways to resolve difficult social situations.

You’re Mean, Lily Jean at Amazon.com

You’re Mean, Lily Jean at Amazon.ca


cover art for anti bullying picture book Walrus's GiftWalrus’s Gift written and illustrated by H.E. Stewart
Anti bullying picture book published by Tudor House

When a young walrus notices a sad child sitting and looking out at the ocean, the walrus wonders why the boy is unhappy. He turns, first to his mother and then to his grandfather, for help. His grandfather gives the little walrus an important and unusual present… The gift allows the curious walrus to discover why the human boy is alone and unhappy.

The young walrus discovers that the boy is not like his peers; his hair is different and he is not interested in their games. The boy is being teased and bullied by the children around him. Armed with information about the problem facing the boy, Grandfather Walrus calls many sea creatures together, seeking their assistance and suggestions. Before long, a plan is made and the young walrus steps forward to help the boy. Over time, the young walrus suggests four possible ways the young boy could deal with bullying.

The Walrus’s Gift anti bullying suggestions match those recommended by the WITS program: Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, Seek Help.

It is important to note that the young walrus’s actions to help the boy are not only successful, they are celebrated by the sea creatures. This exploration of what it means to notice a problem with another person, be concerned and to take action should encourage young readers to consider how, in a similar situation, they might help child in difficulty.

Gentle, soothing illustrations match the thoughtful, caring tone of Walrus’s Gift.

Best suited to children aged five and up, additional content outlines ways Walrus’s Gift is a story that echos the animal characters and wisdom typical of native legends.

Walrus’s Gift at Amazon.com

Walrus’s Gift at Amazon.ca


cover art for When Randolph Turned Rotten
When Randolph Turned Rotten – written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper
Anti bullying picture book published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, Random House

Ivy, who is a goose, and Randolph, who is a beaver, find their friendship put to the test when Ivy is invited to an all-girl sleepover and Randolph is not. He feels left out. Ivy’s excitement about the upcoming party is too much for Randolph. Suddenly he feels sad and jealous and he decides to make Ivy feel just as horrible as he does.

Amusing illustrations and a charming storyline will help young children understand that not-so-nice feelings are a part of life and good friendships will endure.

Especially great for sharing one-on-one or with a small group, the format (which includes thought clouds and conversations) may be somewhat awkward in a large group setting.

Suggested prereading and postreading activities and questions from WITS

When Randolph Turned Rotten at Amazon.com

When Randolph Turned Rotten at Amazon.ca


Willow Finds a Way anti bullying picture bookWillow Finds a Way written by Lana Button and illustrated by Tania Howells
Anti-bullying Picture Book published by Kids Can Press

We originally met Willow in Willow’s Whispers. She is a soft spoken young girl and, in her first picture book, she finds a way to make herself heard.

In Willow Finds a Way she is facing a different challenge. Willow and her classmates are excited when Kristabelle invites them to her birthday party but the invitation has ‘strings attached.’

At snack time, Kristabelle waved the birthday list in the air and said, “If you want to stay on my birthday list, come sit at my table!”

Initially, complying with Kristabelle’s demands seems okay but before long Kristabelle is dictating outdoor play and who gets to stand at the front of the line. Eventually one of the party invitees dares to contradict Kristabelle. His name is crossed off the list of party guests. Willow thinks about standing up for her friend but she can’t quite bring herself to say the words. Before long she is worrying that her name will be crossed off the list too.

It is clear that Kristabelle’s threats and controlling behavior are a problem for Willow. She knows that Kristabells is treating her classmates badly. Eventually Willow finds a way to make her opinion known. She is no longer a bystander – she has taken a stand. When Willow’s classmates decide to take the same approach, Kristabelle rethinks her position.

Ms. Button’s depictions of Kristabelle, Willow and their classmates are pitch-perfect. We know children like these – those who make friendship conditional and who threaten exclusion (both forms of ‘relational bullying’) and those who know what is right but have difficulty speaking up. Simple, colorful illustrations are an excellent match for the text and feature a racially diverse classroom.

An excellent discussion-starter for preschool and kindergarten classrooms, highly recommended for children aged four and up.

Willow Finds a Way at Amazon.com

Willow Finds a Way at Amazon.ca


cover art for YokoYoko– written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells
Picture book about teasing and acceptance published by Hyperion Books for Children

When Yoko’s mom packs her favourite things for lunch, Yoko happily boards the school bus and enjoys the morning with her classmates. At lunchtime,

Yoko opened the willow-covered cooler. Inside was her favourite sushi. Tucked in the rice rolls were the crispiest cucumber, the pinkest shrimp, the greenest seaweed, and the tastiest tuna.

When a classmate notices Yoko’s lunch, he remarks, “What’s in your lunch? … Ick! It’s green! It’s seaweed!”

Poor Yoko, before long all of her classmates are laughing about the food in her lunch and she is heartbroken. Fortunately, her teacher, Mrs. Jenkins is alert to the problem and she devises a solution. She announces there will be an International Food Day at Yoko’s school.

Sadly, on the day of the special event, all her classmates avoid Yoko’s sushi. Finally, Timothy gives it a try. He loves the delicious sushi and he’d like to eat it again the following day. Yoko has found a friend. The following day, they push their desks together and enjoy a lovely lunch.

Yoko is a heartwarming picture book about teasing and acceptance. It lends itself well to discussions about tolerance and celebrating our differences. Yoko will appeal to children in preschool and kindergarten.

Yoko at Amazon.com

Yoko at Amazon.ca

Anti bullying children’s books at Amazon.com

Anti bullying children’s books at Amazon.ca


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Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride – Delightful Reading for 6 to 8 Year olds http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/04/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/oh-mercy-what-a-treat/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/04/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/oh-mercy-what-a-treat/#respond Sun, 04 Sep 2011 23:47:12 +0000 /?p=60 Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride – Delightful Reading for 6 to 8 Year olds | Storytime Standouts

...buttered toast? Not much, especially if you are Mercy Watson. She loves hot buttered toast almost as much as she enjoys adventure. Author, Kate DiCamillo and illustrator, Chris Van Dusen have teamed up to create a delightful series of blue ribbon pig tales. Perfect for boys and girls, aged 6 to 8, each book is generously illustrated with bold and humorous depictions of Mercy’s hilarious escapades. Whether attempting to drive a car or...

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Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride – Delightful Reading for 6 to 8 Year olds | Storytime Standouts

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride - Delightful Reading for 6 to 8 Year oldsMercy Watson Goes for a Ride written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Chapter Book Series for Kindergarten to Grade 3 published by Candlewick Press





What could be better than expertly buttered toast? Not much, especially if you are Mercy Watson. She loves hot buttered toast almost as much as she enjoys adventure.

Author, Kate DiCamillo and illustrator, Chris Van Dusen have teamed up to create a delightful series of blue ribbon pig tales. Perfect for boys and girls, aged 6 to 8, each book is generously illustrated with bold and humorous depictions of Mercy’s hilarious escapades.

Whether attempting to drive a car or capturing a thief, Mercy is one very special pig. Read aloud or independently, this series is definitely one you’ll ‘toast.’

The delightful Mercy Watson website

Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride was a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book in 2007

Ms. DiCamillo has written several notable chapter books for older readers Because of Winn-Dixie (a Newbery Honor book), The Tiger Rising (a National Book Award finalist), and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. She won The Newbery Award for The Tale of Despereaux. I can’t pick a favorite, I’ll just look forward to the next.

Picture Book A Camping Spree With Mr. MageeMr. Van Dusen wrote and illustrated two picture books I frequently recommend; A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee and Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee.

Chris Van Dusen’s website

Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride at Amazon.com

Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride at Amazon.ca

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee at Amazon.com

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee at Amazon.ca


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Tea, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Reading Aloud to Preteens http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/15/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/reading-aloud-to-preteens/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/09/15/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/reading-aloud-to-preteens/#respond Thu, 15 Sep 2011 23:47:15 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=460 Tea, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Reading Aloud to Preteens | Storytime Standouts

...articularly good series to share with reluctant readers. The chapters are short and exciting. Since sharing this with my own sons, I have recommended to several other moms and some middle grade teachers. Read more about this series here. Wolf Brother at Amazon.com Wolf Brother at Amazon.ca The Silverwing Trilogy by Kenneth Oppel – simply magical! I will never forget sharing this fantasy-adventure series with our boys. Highly recommended...

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Tea, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Reading Aloud to Preteens | Storytime Standouts

Storytime Standouts shares ideas about reading aloud to preteens and a great chocolate chip cookie recipe.Summer holidays have come to an end. This morning I am reflecting on how we spent our summers in the past and especially the years we spent reading aloud to preteens.





Often my summer days were filled with work, household chores and trying to keep my two sons reasonably happy. (Somehow the order of that list came out totally backwards!) My eldest boy has always been quite content reading and rereading books like Harry Potter. During the summer, he also enjoys swimming (with some computer time thrown in here and there). He’s an easy-going guy and always enjoys summer vacation. Basically, he is relaxed and happy in almost any situation.

My younger boy prefers activity. In past summers he has done woodworking, painted a birdhouse, worked on a crazy quilt, perfected his slap shot, gone to a basketball camp, gone to soccer camp, taken tennis lessons and played Wii games. He wants to be with his friends and to be kept busy with fun stuff ALL DAY LONG. Some days, it is enough to drive me up the wall. Storytime Standouts bakes chocolate chip books to enjoy while reading aloud to preteens

Anyhow, during our summers, we went to the library every week end exchanged one week’s books for new ones. When choosing books, I often selected books with a movie tie-in. These are perfect for reading aloud to preteens.

Sometimes we were in a situation where each of us was reading a book independently and my husband and I were each reading a book aloud. It doesn’t bother any of us to have so many different books on the go at the same time. As long as the books are engaging, we love it! Books are a huge part of our family life and we often talk about the fun of snuggling into our sleeping bags and sharing a story while in our tent.

Storytime Standouts bakes chocolate chip books to enjoy while reading aloud to preteensIt is wonderful to think back to previous summers and the pleasure of sharing a shaded picnic blanket and a huge stack of picture books or sitting under the stars and listening to spooky ghost stories. We enjoy good books together and the boys still love to hear us read aloud.



Some favorite titles for reading aloud to preteens

  • Michelle Paver‘s series: Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. This is a particularly good series to share with reluctant readers. The chapters are short and exciting. Since sharing this with my own sons, I have recommended to several other moms and some middle grade teachers. Read more about this series here.
  • Wolf Brother at Amazon.com

    Wolf Brother at Amazon.ca

    Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel, an excellent read aloud for preteens

  • The Silverwing Trilogy by Kenneth Oppel – simply magical! I will never forget sharing this fantasy-adventure series with our boys. Highly recommended
  • The Silverwing Trilogy (Boxed Set): Silverwing; Sunwing; Firewing at Amazon.com

    The Silverwing Trilogy (Boxed Set): Silverwing; Sunwing; Firewing at Amazon.ca

    Artemis Fowl - good fun for preteen readers

  • The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer, a science fiction fantasy that has great appeal for this age group.
  • Artemis Fowl at Amazon.com

    Artemis Fowl at Amazon.ca

    Do not miss the opportunity to read Harry Potter to your children

  • Do not miss the experience of sharing Harry Potter‘s magic with your children. Both of my sons have read the entire series. My husband and I read the first two or three books to them and they did the rest.
  • Harry Potter at Amazon.com

    Harry Potter at Amazon.ca


    Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies

    – makes about four dozen cookies

    1 C softened butter or margarine
    1 C golden sugar
    1/2 C white sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 Tsp vanilla
    2 1/2 C (all purpose) flour
    1/2 Tsp baking soda
    2 C semi sweet (or other) chocolate chips

    Using an electric mixer, cream together (both) sugars, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add the flour and the baking soda. Mix again. Add chocolate chips and stir by hand. Use a large spoon to drop unto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 or 325 (if convection) for about 12 minutes.

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    Journey of a Reluctant Reader…Small Steps http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/12/10/news-commentary-early-literacy/journey-of-a-reluctant-reader/journey-of-a-reluctant-reader-small-steps/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/12/10/news-commentary-early-literacy/journey-of-a-reluctant-reader/journey-of-a-reluctant-reader-small-steps/#respond Sat, 10 Dec 2011 13:47:11 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=9406 Journey of a Reluctant Reader…Small Steps | Storytime Standouts

    ...hich allows us to follow much beloved characters for years, it’s wonderful when there’s at least a second. Lemonade War offered this with Lemonade Crime. Holes is followed by Small Steps. Then there’s other series, such as Ramona, which is followed by many books about her family, adventures, and friends. Series of Unfortunate Events, Fudge, Warriors; there are too many to list. I think for “reluctant readers”, like...

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    Journey of a Reluctant Reader…Small Steps | Storytime Standouts

    We found another book this week and once again, I found myself being thankful for sequels. My reluctant reader, Johnny decided to give Small Steps by Louios Sachar a try this week. Knowing that he loved Holes enough to read it twice made it an easy suggestion. He easily agreed to give it a try. I find that even as an adult, I love books that connect and carry on. When you really love a book, chances are you really love the characters. When you love the characters, you want more. You want to know what happens to them and to their friends. Sequels make this possible. There’s a comfort, for me at least, knowing that even if the end of a book is coming (which always makes me a little sad if I’m really enjoying it) there is another one to follow that will update me on what’s happened to those characters.

    Though every series can’t be Harry Potter, which allows us to follow much beloved characters for years, it’s wonderful when there’s at least a second. Lemonade War offered this with Lemonade Crime. Holes is followed by Small Steps. Then there’s other series, such as Ramona, which is followed by many books about her family, adventures, and friends. Series of Unfortunate Events, Fudge, Warriors; there are too many to list.

    I think for “reluctant readers”, like Johnny, sequels are a critical component of ‘keeping them hooked’. His willingness to read allows for him to get attached to a character and the sequel keeps him coming back and keeps him reading. Often, it’s what keeps me reading.

    So for now, I’m really happy with how Johnny’s journey is going.  He may be reluctant to choose the activity (although this is becoming less true), but he’s reading. In the end, whether it’s sequels, Harry Potter, comic books, or the newspaper, we just want them reading.

    We’ll see where Johnny’s journey takes us in the new year.

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    Grade Two Chapter Book – Why Nate is Really Great http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/08/28/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/the-shift-to-chapter-books-why-is-nate-really-great/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/08/28/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/the-shift-to-chapter-books-why-is-nate-really-great/#respond Sun, 28 Aug 2011 23:47:19 +0000 /?p=36 Grade Two Chapter Book – Why Nate is Really Great | Storytime Standouts

    ...ance that is often reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, Nate is all business – except if pancakes are on the menu. Along with with Annie and Rosamond, our hero cracks each case with solid detective work. Nate the Great is a series that has been delighting young readers for more than thirty years. Suitable for children who are reading at about a grade two level, some of the stories are divided into chapters. Generously illustrated, the text is...

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    Grade Two Chapter Book – Why Nate is Really Great | Storytime Standouts

    When looking for a special grade two chapter book, you can’t go wrong with Nate the Great

    Grade Two Chapter Book – Why Nate is Really GreatNate the Great written by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and illustrated by Marc Simont
    Published by Yearling





    Nate likes pancakes and syrup almost as much as he enjoys solving a perplexing mystery. Nate and his canine sidekick, Sludge, are called upon to solve all sorts of cases; locating lost paintings, disappearing dogs and, in one case, a missing key.

    With an appearance that is often reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, Nate is all business – except if pancakes are on the menu. Along with with Annie and Rosamond, our hero cracks each case with solid detective work.

    Nate the Great is a series that has been delighting young readers for more than thirty years. Suitable for children who are reading at about a grade two level, some of the stories are divided into chapters. Generously illustrated, the text is perfect for young readers who are ready to take on a meatier story (than typically found in easy readers).

    Series like these are great because beginning readers often decide they want to read every single one of the Nate the Great books. This is just what we want, a child who is motivated to read by fun stories and a delightful cast of characters.

    Nate the Great at Random House includes printable activities plus author information.

    TeacherVision Nate the Great summarizing activity

    Nate the Great at Amazon.com

    Nate the Great at Amazon.ca



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    Grade One Chapter Book: Being friends is better than being famous http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/08/31/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/grade-one-chapter-book-houndsley-catina/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/08/31/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/grade-one-chapter-book-houndsley-catina/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2011 11:47:54 +0000 /?p=44 Grade One Chapter Book: Being friends is better than being famous | Storytime Standouts

    ...ng a wonderful friendship and many happy adventures, the Frog and Toad series has been a favourite with young readers for decades. James Howe’s latest book, Houndlsey and Catina is very reminiscent of the Frog and Toad series. Howe is famous for Bunnicula (Today Vegetables… Tomorrow the World). Houndlsey and Catina will appeal to younger readers who prefer shorter, generously illustrated chapters and less text. It will likely suit a...

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    Grade One Chapter Book: Being friends is better than being famous | Storytime Standouts

    When my boys first ventured into reading grade one chapter books, they were delighted to discover Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. Featuring a wonderful friendship and many happy adventures, the Frog and Toad series has been a favourite with young readers for decades.

    James Howe’s latest book, Houndlsey and Catina is very reminiscent of the Frog and Toad series. Howe is famous for Bunnicula (Today Vegetables… Tomorrow the World). Houndlsey and Catina will appeal to younger readers who prefer shorter, generously illustrated chapters and less text. It will likely suit a child reading at a mid to late grade one level.

    Grade One Chapter Book: Being friends is better than being famous Houndsley and CatinaHoundlsey and Catina written by James Howe and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
    Chapter book series for kindergarten – grade three published by Candlewick Press





    Illustrated beautifully by Marie-Louis Gay, Houndlsey and Catina tells of Catina’s desire to write a prize-winning book and Houndleys’ wish to win a cooking contest. Together, they help us see that being friends “is better than being famous..” This is a lovely tribute to friendship.

    Houndsley and Catina at Amazon.com

    Houndsley and Catina at Amazon.ca

    The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set (I Can Read Book 2) at Amazon.com

    The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set at Amazon.ca



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    Three Cheers for Rick Riordan and The Lightning Thief http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/22/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/chapter-book-three-cheers-for-rick-riordan-and-the-lightning-thief/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/22/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/chapter-book-three-cheers-for-rick-riordan-and-the-lightning-thief/#respond Sat, 22 Oct 2011 23:47:14 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=466 Three Cheers for Rick Riordan and The Lightning Thief | Storytime Standouts

    ...of their beds engrossed in chapter books. For my eldest, this is not at all unusual but for my ten year old it was momentous. Truly, I can’t recall it ever happening before. My eldest son is rereading the Harry Potter series and enjoying every minute. He is fascinated by the small, seemingly insignificant details that are mentioned in one book, “forgotten” for awhile and then resurface two books later. I laughed when a casual...

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    Three Cheers for Rick Riordan and The Lightning Thief | Storytime Standouts

    A while back, I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of about 60 enthusiastic parents. Their children attend North Delta Parent Participation Preschool and I talked to them about ways to promote phonemic awareness, alphabet recognition and reading in general. One of the things I said was that even when we do everything “right” and lay a solid foundation for reading success, sometimes children just aren’t keen to read. Some children are much more enthusiastic about “doing.” As I said those words, I thought about my ten year old. He loves good books, is a good reader and has heard many fine books but we almost never catch him reading. He prefers non fiction to fiction and has a shelf full of books about animals.


    When I arrived home last night, the house was awfully quiet. My husband was sitting at the computer and I had to ask him where the boys were. I was stunned to discover that they were both on top of their beds engrossed in chapter books. For my eldest, this is not at all unusual but for my ten year old it was momentous. Truly, I can’t recall it ever happening before.

    My eldest son is rereading the Harry Potter series and enjoying every minute. He is fascinated by the small, seemingly insignificant details that are mentioned in one book, “forgotten” for awhile and then resurface two books later. I laughed when a casual acquaintance remarked on the fact that he was only reading the fifth book because I know he has devoured alll the books at least once and most of them two or three times.

    But, back to the shocking events of last night. It just goes to show the importance of finding the “right” book. Our house is jammed with books but not one of them has captivated my ten year old like The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. It is the first book in a series about Percy Jackson & The Olympians My son started reading it at school, used holiday money to buy Book One and Book Two and now can’t put it down. He tells me I will have to wait until he finishes before I can read The Lightning Thief. Trust me, I can’t wait to discover the magic.

    Percy Jackson and the Olympians Paperback Boxed Set (Books 1-3) at Amazon.com

    The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Boxed Set at Amazon.ca



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    A Special Gem – Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/30/winter-picture-books/two-gems-for-newly-independent-readers/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/30/winter-picture-books/two-gems-for-newly-independent-readers/#respond Sun, 30 Oct 2011 23:47:14 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=4 A Special Gem – Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time | Storytime Standouts

    Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time written by James Howe and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay Chapter book series for kindergarten – grade three published by Candlewick Press When Houndsley and Catina are unexpectedly snowed in, Houndsley is quite happy to relax and enjoy The Quiet Time. Catina is not nearly as content. She has things to do and places to go. Eventually the two settle in and spend an enjoyable day playing board games,...

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    A Special Gem – Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time | Storytime Standouts

    A Special Gem for Newly Independent Readers Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet TimeHoundsley and Catina and the Quiet Time written by James Howe and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay
    Chapter book series for kindergarten – grade three published by Candlewick Press





    When Houndsley and Catina are unexpectedly snowed in, Houndsley is quite happy to relax and enjoy The Quiet Time. Catina is not nearly as content. She has things to do and places to go. Eventually the two settle in and spend an enjoyable day playing board games, baking cookies and writing poetry. In the evening, they join their friends for a snowy outdoor concert. The musicians

    began to play so softly that the notes fell on the listening ears like snowflakes on waiting tongues, gently, softly, there for a flicker before melting away.

    Beautiful language and equally special illustrations are terrific for newly independent readers, the Houndsley and Catina books are also a very good choice for younger children who are ready to enjoy a longer read-aloud book.

    Highly recommended.

    Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time at Amazon.com

    Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time on Amazon.ca


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    Good Things Come In Threes; The Ascendance Trilogy http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2014/04/22/news-commentary-early-literacy/ascendance-trilogy/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2014/04/22/news-commentary-early-literacy/ascendance-trilogy/#respond Wed, 23 Apr 2014 04:54:53 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=18833 Good Things Come In Threes; The Ascendance Trilogy | Storytime Standouts

    ...w important I think sequels and trilogies are for reluctant readers. If you can find something they can latch onto, get immersed in, then you want to know there’s more waiting for them. Though there are no more in this series we loved, the students are now looking around the library differently. They’re looking for the next book that they will fall for the way we did these three. And while they’re looking, they’re...

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    Good Things Come In Threes; The Ascendance Trilogy | Storytime Standouts

    Good Things Come In Threes; The Ascendance Trilogy





    The False Prince,  Book One of the Ascendance TrilogyThis isn’t a scientific fact but it is a completely accurate statement when applied to Jennifer Nielson’s Ascendance trilogy. After Carolyn recommended The False Prince, I wrote a post (okay, gushed shamelessly) about the book. I have never, in thirteen years of teaching, read an entire trilogy or series of books to a class. For one thing, there’s the time factor. I tend to read, at least, one book per term for read aloud. I try to do a selection of books, based on student interest. This year, we started the year with One for the Murphy’s and I planned another book for after The False Prince. I didn’t plan to finish four full novels before Spring Break. I also didn’t plan to fall head over heels for Jaron or for my class to be so captivated by his story that even my most reluctant reader, the one who claimed he would rather do anything before read, that we couldn’t focus until we knew how it all played out.
    The Runaway King,   Book Two of the Ascendance TrilogyWe read through the second book, The Runaway King, even more engaged. More action unfolded and we knew Jaron now, cared about him. We read every single day, without fail. If I had a substitute teacher in for me, I wouldn’t let them read to my class. I would tuck the books away so the kids didn’t say, “Oh, she reads that to us every day.” I’ve never done that. I also made a promise to my class because they love that I hadn’t already read the books- I told them I would not read ahead. I would learn Jaron’s story along with them. Perhaps that is part of what made them connect to the story. My reactions were real and in the moment and the kids like that- they like seeing their teacher as a real person- one who gets outraged when the main character is suffering or maybe sheds a few tears when something heartbreaking happens. It gives them the freedom to attach strongly to the books as well. While we are reading, we are part of that world. Which is why, when Runaway King finished with a cliff hanger, we had no other option. We had to know. So we moved on to Shadow Throne and as much as I loved the first two, this one was my favorite. I loved watching who Jaron became, how my students reacted to what was happening, learning how it all unfolded and came together. My reluctant reader? He bought all three books and told me that he “didn’t make the same silly promise to not read ahead”. He brought them in to show me. As much as I loved these books, connected with them, the fact that they reached so many students, even the ones that did not want to be reached, made me love them more.
    The Shadow Throne, Book Three of the Ascendance TrilogyI have posted before about how important I think sequels and trilogies are for reluctant readers. If you can find something they can latch onto, get immersed in, then you want to know there’s more waiting for them. Though there are no more in this series we loved, the students are now looking around the library differently. They’re looking for the next book that they will fall for the way we did these three. And while they’re looking, they’re reading. Reading is a gift. No matter how many times I tell my students this, the ones who just haven’t found the book that pulls them all the way in will never fully believe it without proof. This trilogy was proof for some of the students in my class. It spurred discussions, connections, and debates. Each book made us want more and the most important thing is, they delivered. There are many series where you read the first, love it, and then move on and the second one just doesn’t have the same draw as the original. One of the things that continuously got to me during the readings, was how far Ms. Nielsen pushed her characters and her readers. These stories are amazing tales of courage and redemption. Of making something out of nothing and of finding the way out of even the most harrowing situations. When the students look back, when I look back, these three books will be a large piece of what made this year special.

    The False Prince at Amazon.com

    The Runaway King at Amazon.com

    The Shadow Throne at Amazon.com

    The False Prince at Amazon.ca

    The Runaway King at Amazon.ca

    The Shadow Throne at Amazon.ca

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    Meet, Jack He’s a Wordless Picture Book Star http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2012/06/05/picture-books-best/meet-jack-hes-a-wordless-picture-book-star/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2012/06/05/picture-books-best/meet-jack-hes-a-wordless-picture-book-star/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2012 17:55:57 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=12087 Meet, Jack He’s a Wordless Picture Book Star | Storytime Standouts

    Storytime Standouts looks at a wordless picture book series about a terrier named Jack Breakfast For Jack created by Pat Schories Wordless picture book (first in a series) published by Front Street, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press Jack is an adorable orange and white terrier, brimming with personality. One busy morning, his family gets up, feeds the cat, eats breakfast and rushes off to school and work. Sadly, no one remembers to feed Jack. He...

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    Meet, Jack He’s a Wordless Picture Book Star | Storytime Standouts

    Storytime Standouts looks at a wordless picture book series about a terrier named Jack

    Storytime Standouts looks at a wordless picture book series about a terrier named Jack Breakfast for JackBreakfast For Jack created by Pat Schories
    Wordless picture book (first in a series) published by Front Street, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press



    Jack is an adorable orange and white terrier, brimming with personality. One busy morning, his family gets up, feeds the cat, eats breakfast and rushes off to school and work. Sadly, no one remembers to feed Jack. He is completely bewildered by the situation and he does his best to remind them that he is hungry. It is not until they are all out the door that his best pal remembers to feed him.

    The Jack series is a great introduction to the wordless picture book genre. Relatively simple storylines will be easy for youngsters to understand. As well, the size of the books (7″ wide X 8 1/2″ high) makes them well-suited to small hands. Best for children aged three years and up.

    Breakfast for Jack at Amazon.com

    Breakfast for Jack at Amazon.ca


    Jack and the Night Visitors at Amazon.com
    Jack and the Night Visitors at Amazon.ca







    Jack Wants a Snack at Amazon.com
    Jack Wants A Snack at Amazon.ca







    Jack and the Missing Piece at Amazon.com
    Jack and the Missing Piece at Amazon.ca







    When Jack Goes Out at Amazon.com
    When Jack Goes Out at Amazon.ca

    Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books





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    Meet Author Elizabeth MacLeod http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2014/07/03/beyond-the-dust-jacket-author-and-illustrator-interviews/meet-author-elizabeth-macleod/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2014/07/03/beyond-the-dust-jacket-author-and-illustrator-interviews/meet-author-elizabeth-macleod/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:11:46 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=20024 Meet Author Elizabeth MacLeod | Storytime Standouts

    ...ud thinks of all the books written about her and how she feels about Anne’s incredible fame in Japan. Do you do school or library presentations? If so, please briefly describe topics/ geographical limitations. I’ve written a series of biographies for first readers as well as a series for 8 to 12 year olds . So I can bring some of the world’s most incredible people to life for kids of many different ages. Kids are drawn into the wonderful stories...

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    Meet Author Elizabeth MacLeod | Storytime Standouts

    Author Elizabeth MacLeodElizabeth MacLeod is one nosy author, which is why she loves writing non-fiction. She’s very curious about why people do what they do, and she likes sharing with kids the amazing facts and secrets she uncovers.





    As a kid in Thornhill, Ontario, the idea of being a writer never crossed her mind — she figured most authors were already dead and they definitely weren’t Canadian. Besides, it was science that interested her.

    But writing was already part of her life. After dinner on school nights, she and her two brothers would trudge up to their rooms, close their doors and start to do their homework — or so their parents thought. A few minutes later, a piece of paper would come sliding under her door. One of her brothers had drawn a picture, usually of some weird creature.

    She really couldn’t draw (she still can’t!), so the only way she could respond was to write a short story, often about a mad scientist or space alien. she’d slip the story under her brother’s door and — well, not a lot of homework got done.

    At university, she studied sciences — there was hardly any writing involved at all. After she graduated she had a number of jobs, but none of them had anything to do with writing. She wanted to be an author but she was too scared to admit it to anyone, especially herself. However, one day she gathered up her courage, phoned a newspaper and sold an article she’d written. Wow!

    Soon after this she attended a publishing workshop in Banff, Alberta, which led her to a job as an editor at OWL magazine. After a few years she switched to book publishing and became an editor at Kids Can Press. Meanwhile, in her spare time she began writing non-fiction books for kids. Then she became a part-time editor and writer. Now she’s a full-time writer, working for a number of different publishers.

    One of the things she especially likes about writing for kids is that she gets to investigate so many interesting topics. She’s written articles or books on subjects such as weird breeds of dogs, Marie Curie, hoaxes, the northern lights and many, many more. Did you know that some dinosaurs were as small as chickens? Or that Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, got tired of having his work interrupted by his invention?

    She’s written many biographies about such people as Helen Keller, Albert Einstein and Samuel de Champlain. One of her favourite things is discovering how inventors and writers come up with their ideas. She’s written a series of biographies for readers ages 6 to 8, and one for kids aged 8 to 12.

    More recently she’s written about royalty, and the mysteries and crimes that surround them. Monarchy has always fascinated her. She loves going behind the scenes with monarchs from Cleopatra to Dracula to find out just what they would do to hold onto power or protect their families. These books have also let her research forensic techniques, ranging from DNA testing to crime-scene procedures.

    Secrets Underground North Americas Buried Past written by Elizabeth MacLeodTell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of?

    Secrets Underground: North America’s Buried Past is for readers age 10 and up. This is a great book for anyone who likes spine-tingling mysteries and eerie surprises! I think kids will be amazed to read about these buried secrets, including the top-secret equipment that lies deep below Grand Central Terminal in New York City and the network of abandoned tunnels below Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

    The book also tells about the ships that were abandoned in San Francisco harbor during the Gold Rush. I travelled to the city and found numerous plaques and displays about the forgotten, buried ships. Many people who lived in San Francisco knew nothing about the ships but I’m proud of the fact that I was able to track them down.

    Secrets Underground: North America’s Buried Past at Amazon,com

    Secrets Underground: North America’s Buried Past at Amazon.ca

    Was it difficult for you to get your first book published? What suggestions/words of encouragement do you have for aspiring authors/illustrators?

    I’ve had a different writing career from most other writers. I started as an editor at OWL Magazine, so I was on the inside of the publishing world from the beginning. The first few books I published were books that publishers asked me to write.

    It can be really tough to get a publisher to accept a book proposal so I’d suggest aspiring authors prepare themselves as much as possible. Colleges and universities offer great writing courses, and so do organizations such as CANSCAIP and SCBWI. These are wonderful opportunities to meet other writers, have your proposal assessed by an expert and improve your writing.

    I think it’s important for all authors, aspiring and published, to remember to never give up. If you really believe in a book idea but a publisher turns it down, revise the proposal as necessary, then send it out to another publisher. From being on the inside of the publishing world, I know there are lots of reasons why one publisher will turn down a book idea that will work very well for another publisher.

    If we were watching over your shoulder as you work on a book, what would we see? Where do you work? What does your writing / illustrating process look like?

    I work at a large desk with a keyboard and good-sized computer monitor. I’ve got piles of papers and books, as well as a ceramic vase full of pens, a pewter pot holding paper clips, a grapefruit-scented candle (I read somewhere it helps with creativity) and a few other bits and pieces.

    But you probably wouldn’t notice any of these things because you’d likely be focusing on our cat Cosimo. While I work, he’s usually stretched out under my desk lamp. Even on the hottest summer day, he seems to like the warmth!

    Tell us about your experiences sharing your book with children. Has anything unusual / endearing / funny / unexpected happened?

    In my presentations, I ask a lot of questions, so you’d think I’d be used to receiving some amazing answers, but kids always surprise me. I was talking once about the biographies I’ve written and telling kids about magician Harry Houdini. One boy shot up his hand and offered to share a magic trick with the group. How could I say no?The Kids Book of Canada at War by Elizabeth MacLeod

    I also wrote The Kids Book of Canada at War, so I talk to students about John McCrae (author of the poem In Flanders Fields) and other brave Canadians who served in World War I and II (including my dad). I often get teary-eyed when I think of their courage and kids usually notice this. I wish I weren’t quite so emotional, but then the kids always want to share their stories about relatives who served in wartime. I guess I help them form a connection that makes them proud.

    How do you stay connected with your readers? Have you gone on book tours? Do you engage on social media or through a website? Do you visit classrooms, libraries or bookstores?

    I’ve taken part in a number of book tours, in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and throughout the Maritimes. I write about such interesting people and topics, so I love sharing the incredible facts I’ve uncovered. I visit classrooms, libraries and bookstores and have also done interviews on radio and television.

    If you could dine with any author/illustrator (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

    I’d choose Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables books. I still re-read those books and I’ve written two biographies about her. Maud (as she liked to be called) had a tough life, so I’d ask her where she found her inspiration. I’d also like to know if she’s surprised that Anne is still so popular, what Maud thinks of all the books written about her and how she feels about Anne’s incredible fame in Japan.

    Do you do school or library presentations? If so, please briefly describe topics/ geographical limitations.

    I’ve written a series of biographies for first readers as well as a series for 8 to 12 year olds. So I can bring some of the world’s most incredible people to life for kids of many different ages. Kids are drawn into the wonderful stories about these well-known personalities with the many photos and artifacts that I use to illustrate my talks. I ask questions, request opinions, involve students in activities, etc.

    Bunny the Brave War Horse by Elizabeth MacLeodFor students up to grade 2 or 3, I can also speak about my latest picture book, Bunny the Brave War Horse (Kids Can Press). This is a World War I story and is based on a real horse and rider. I can talk about the war as well as about horses; I also discuss World War II and show artifacts that belong to my father, who was a navigator with Bomber Command in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

    As well, for older students I can look at the mysteries of history and how we’ve used modern technology to solve many of them. Using images and artifacts from my books Secrets Underground, Bones Never Lie and Royal Murder, I look at historic events and show why they matter, how they affect us today and how we can learn more about them. I also explore the forensic techniques used to solve crimes and mysteries and encourage kids to consider how to use deductive reasoning and other investigative methods in their own lives.

    I’ve worked as an in-house editor, so as part of my presentation, I can also talk about the publishing process, from initial idea to final book. I discuss the team of people needed to produce a book, and again show artifacts to illustrate the various steps and to involve the audience.

    As well, I have given many presentations to adults. One of my most popular talks is about how to get your children’s book published, including writing the best query letters, avoiding first-timers’ mistakes, etc. Since I have worked as an in-house editor, I can provide the view point of both an insider and a freelancer. I’ve also given presentations to many teachers and librarians about why biographies are important (for instance, they’re fun, they make history come alive, they can boost self-esteem and more) and how to interest children in biographies. I can provide handouts to participants for both of these talks.

    I live in Toronto and I’m very willing to discuss travelling with anyone who would like me to speak in their classroom or library.

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    Meet Author Kelly Santana-Banks http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2016/10/27/beyond-the-dust-jacket-author-and-illustrator-interviews/meet-author-kelly-santana-banks/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2016/10/27/beyond-the-dust-jacket-author-and-illustrator-interviews/meet-author-kelly-santana-banks/#respond Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:58:46 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=23005 Meet Author Kelly Santana-Banks | Storytime Standouts

    ...nd Pinterest. Tell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of? My latest release is called Dinosaur Adventure: A Field Trip to Remember, the second book in the series Let’s Learn while Playing. Different from my first book, which was a short nursery rhyme geared towards two, threes, and fours, Dinosaur Adventure targets more the older group of children (3–7)—given its amount of...

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    Meet Author Kelly Santana-Banks | Storytime Standouts

    Kelly Santana-BanksKelly Santana-Banks is a writer of nonfiction and children’s books, and a former early childhood teacher and caregiver. When she was young, she loved to play teacher with her sister, cousins, and neighbors. As a young adult, she never considered teaching as a career, but little did she know that her childhood make-believe would pave the way to what would become her passion. With more than ten years of experience working with children—five of those years were dedicated to research in the area of child development as well as implementing best practices inside and outside of the classroom and a strong background in child development, she is an advocate for education, especially in early childhood. She writes fun stories to entertain and teach children as well as help parents find simple solutions for their little ones’ lives.

    You can find more about her or connect on her website

    You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter @ksantanabanks, Instagram and Pinterest.

    Tell us about your latest published children’s book. Who do you think should read it? What are you most proud of?Dinosaur Adventure a Field Trip to Remember by Kelly Santana Banks

    My latest release is called Dinosaur Adventure: A Field Trip to Remember, the second book in the series Let’s Learn while Playing. Different from my first book, which was a short nursery rhyme geared towards two, threes, and fours, Dinosaur Adventure targets more the older group of children (3–7)—given its amount of text and the vocabulary explored. This book is a product of my working experiences with children inside and outside of the classroom, including fun field trips. And I’m happy to bring to life a subject that children love (dinosaurs) in an entertaining and educational way.

    Dinosaur Adventure: A Field Trip to Remember at Amazon.com

    Dinosaur Adventure: A Field Trip to Remember at Amazon.ca

    Thinking back to your own childhood, is there a particular author or illustrator who was a favorite? Why do you suppose that person’s work resonated with you?

    Growing up, I loved the stories of Mauricio de Souza, a famous Brazilian cartoonist and creator of the children’s comic series, Turma da Monica. But at that point, writing or even thinking of becoming an author was never on my radar. Throughout my teenage years, I became an avid reader, devouring my mom’s library of books, including Sidney Sheldon’s novel, of whom I became a big fan. And later on, I also added Danielle Steele and Jenifer Weiner to my list. Every one of those authors left an impression on me. Either it is in the way I create the characters in my mind and get them to paper or how I develop the plot. This is only my second children’s book, so I cannot measure precisely their impact on my writing, but I can tell for sure that their work let me see my characters with more of a critical eye.

    When did you realize that you would be a writer/illustrator? Is there a particular person who has inspired and/or supported your work along the way?

    I have worked with children for more than ten years now. Here in the US, I started as a caregiver, but not too long, I realized my love and enjoyment working with the little ones. I went back to graduate school for early childhood education (I previously received a graduate degree in hospitality) and started working as a teacher. My desire for writing started to naturally blossom. The more engaged with children, their experiences, and teaching I became, the idea of writing children’s books emerged. But at that point, it seemed far fetched to me. Life went on with many surprises and changes of scenario, including professional ones. Three years ago, I saw an opportunity to help authors with their craft, at the same time learning about it myself, and I started writing reviews for Reader’s Favorite. From reviews, I moved to resume writing, content writing, and now, books. I need to add, though, that I’m thankful for the support from my parents, dear sister, and husband, as well as some close friends, who have been strong supporters of my work.

    How do you stay connected with your readers? Have you gone on book tours? Do you engage on social media or through a website? Do you visit classrooms, libraries, or bookstores?

    I connect with my readers through social media, especially Twitter and Instagram, and my website. I have been planning some book tours, but I haven’t started that yet. As you know, it requires a lot of preparation with book release dates, websites logistics, and the readers’ needs as well. But I’m excited to start with this one. The same goes with libraries, schools, and bookstores. I haven’t explored those venues yet, but I would sure consider a children’s read aloud session.

    What are the joys of being an author/illustrator? What do you derive your greatest pleasure from?

    There is no better satisfaction than to really bring your character to life. The creating process is one of my favorites. Besides having the pleasure of getting the character onto the paper, I love the back and forth with the illustrator, the discussion of ideas and experimenting with colors, materials, and senses to make the character relatable and loved by children.

    What are the biggest challenges of being an author/illustrator?

    To me, as an indie author—and I imagine that some fellow indies might relate—the real challenge comes with the marketing. In order for us to reach a broader readership, we need to put a lot of effort into marketing.

    I constantly see myself on a tightrope trying to balance out writing with the marketing aspect. And for the most part, this is not easy.

    If you could dine with any author/illustrator (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?

    This is a no-brainer: Sidney Sheldon. As I mentioned previously, I grew up reading his novels and became a super fan. I would love to learn about the thought process for his plots, his writing habits, and where he gets inspiration for his characters.

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    Might I Suggest Graphic Novels for your Reluctant Reader? http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/24/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/might-i-suggest-graphic-novels-for-your-reluctant-reader/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2011/10/24/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/might-i-suggest-graphic-novels-for-your-reluctant-reader/#respond Mon, 24 Oct 2011 11:48:02 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=468 Might I Suggest Graphic Novels for your Reluctant Reader? | Storytime Standouts

    ...ic novel series for children. Babymouse is clearly intended primarily for girls and is good fun. Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at Amazon.com Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at Amazon.ca Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi is a new series. My ten year old son and I each read Book One, The Stonekeeper. I read the book first and then he picked it up and devoured it shortly thereafter. The story begins with a dramatic and tragic car accident that...

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    Might I Suggest Graphic Novels for your Reluctant Reader? | Storytime Standouts

    Graphic novels are similar to comic books in that they rely heavily on illustrations to tell much of the story. Graphic novels often appeal to reluctant readers but they are equally enjoyed by those who are fluent.




    Bone and Babymouse are both currently very popular graphic novel series for children. Babymouse is clearly intended primarily for girls and is good fun.

    Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at Amazon.com

    Babymouse #1: Queen of the World! at Amazon.ca



    Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi is a new series. My ten year old son and I each read Book One, The Stonekeeper. I read the book first and then he picked it up and devoured it shortly thereafter. The story begins with a dramatic and tragic car accident that apparently kills Emily and Navin’s father. Two years later, depleted finances force the family to move into a home that has been empty ever since Great Grandpa mysteriously disappeared. It is not long before the children find themselves on a desperate quest to save their mother from a tentacled creature she encounters in the basement.

    My son and I both enjoyed the book – he more than I. The author/illustrator does a terrific job of setting up further adventures. He leaves many questions unanswered and will undoubtably draw readers to subsequent books in the series.

    I feel I would be remiss if I did not comment on the death scene midway through the book. Neither of my sons (aged 10 and 12) found the illustrations of a dying and then dead man remarkable. I’m not sure what that says about their de-sensitization thanks to movies and video games. Anyhow, I was surprised to see the man, eyes wide open, followed by another frame wherein a character closed his eyes and a third frame where his dead body was covered with a sheet (pages 110 – 112 in my copy). My boys were very matter of fact about the illustrations. Take a look for yourself and post your thoughts.

    The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) at Amazon.com

    The Stonekeeper (Amulet, Book 1) at Amazon.ca

    Bone at Amazon.com

    Bone at Amazon.ca

    You may be interested in our page about reluctant readers.


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    Summer Reading List – for middle grade students and adults http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/06/30/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/summer-reading-list/ http://www.storytimestandouts.com/2013/06/30/chapter-books-to-enjoy-with-children/summer-reading-list/#respond Sun, 30 Jun 2013 23:41:57 +0000 http://www.storytimestandouts.com/?p=16380 Summer Reading List – for middle grade students and adults | Storytime Standouts

    ...phy family even harder when her real mom decides she wants her back. A story of struggle, fitting in, and family, this one is probably going to make me cry. The Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling The beginning of the end in a series of seven, I’m reading this one because I promised my ten year old daughter we could read it together this summer. I’m worried though because I know the darkness that it reveals and the sadness. Are we ever...

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    Summer Reading List – for middle grade students and adults | Storytime Standouts

    As usual, I have piles of books waiting to be read in my house. I have too many to count on my Kindle, along with a stack of paperbacks and hardcovers. Being a writer and reader of various genres is both a blessing and a curse. My brain gets a little overwhelmed with all of the different things I want to read and write. So, it’s good to have a goal or a focus. Along with visiting the new library in my city, I have some books that are on my To Be Read Summer Reading list:

    As Simple As it Seems by Sarah Weeks

    When Verbie discovers some harsh truths about her parents, she wonders who she really is inside. She meets a boy, Pooch, who thinks she is a ghost. Since she’s uncertain of her real self anyway, she goes along with his belief. This book looks and sounds fantastic. It deals with coming of age, friendship, and finding yourself.

    Pie by Sarah Weeks

    Alice inherits a secret pie recipe which puts her in the middle of a tug of war between people who covet the world-famous recipe. A story about friendship and discovery, I look forward to getting into this one.

    One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

    I’m drawn to stories about attachment and when I read the back of this one at the book fair, I couldn’t put it down. Carly is used to foster homes and moving on, which makes becoming attached to the Murphy family even harder when her real mom decides she wants her back. A story of struggle, fitting in, and family, this one is probably going to make me cry.

    image of cover art for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceThe Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

    The beginning of the end in a series of seven, I’m reading this one because I promised my ten year old daughter we could read it together this summer. I’m worried though because I know the darkness that it reveals and the sadness. Are we ever really ready to say goodbye to our favourite characters? We’ll wait until closer to the end of the summer.

    Persephone the Daring by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams (not out until August 10th)

    If I haven’t done a post on the Goddess Girl series, I should. I love it. Yes, it’s meant for children and I read it with my ten year old, but I think they’re adorable. They incorporate the mythical with the real. Real friendship and boy struggles mixed into life at Mount Olympus Academy, where Athena’s father, Zeus, is principal. I look forward to this one.

    I read a quote by C.S. Lewis the other day:

    C.S. Lewis

    A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

    And it’s true. Picture books, children’s books, and middle to youth books are extremely enjoyable and as an avid reader, should be part of your list. All of the themes that we relate to in life: friendship, relationships, fitting in, and acceptance play huge roles. These things never stop mattering to us, so to not read these books because they are meant for children is a shame. Some of the best books I’ve read this year have been aimed at an audience in the 9-14 age range. Maybe that says something about me, but I think that if a book hooks you and pulls you in, makes you connect to the characters and the story, it actually says more about the book.

    What are you reading this summer?

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