Posts Tagged ‘video clip’

Making Motherhood Fun… Mommy Really Can Be Amazing!

Posted on August 25th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at an enjoyable motherhood resource: Mama's Book of Tricks by Lynn Brunelle Mama’s Book of Tricks by Lynn Brunelle
Motherhood book published by Chronicle Books





When my two boys were very young, I often told them that I was amazing! I always said it in a laughing way. I was not trying to be arrogant but rather thought that sooner or later they would both decide I was an idiot so perhaps if I referred to myself as ‘amazing‘ I could delay the almost inevitable ‘my mom is an idiot‘ phase for a month or two.

Actually, so far, my strategy has worked quite well. Now, I rarely have to remind my family that I’m amazing. Instead, when I find something that was assumed lost or if I manage to do something notable, it is not at all unusual to have one of the boys or my husband refer to me as, Mommy Amazing. Not bad, eh? My devious plan appears to be working.

Imagine my surprise last night when I discovered, Mama’s Little Book of Tricks by Lynn Brunelle. She’s put together, ‘fun games, cool feats, & nifty knowledge’ to ‘keep the kids entertained’ and make motherhood fun.

The publisher thinks it will work for kids ages 2-7 but I’m pretty sure there is more than one idea that will impress preteens.

At midnight last night, much to my husband’s chagrin, I was quoting the Nine Cool Bug Facts and contemplating the Four Impossible Kid Challenges. This book is great fun and might just lengthen my ‘Mommy Amazing’ status for awhile longer. Who could ask for more than that?

Lynn Brunelle’s Website: Tabletop Science

Mama’s Little Book of Tricks at Amazon.com

Mama’s Little Book of Tricks at Amazon.ca



Read Alouds for 7-10 year olds, approved by a difficult-to-please 8 year old boy

Posted on August 19th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts Suggests Read  Alouds for 7-10 Year Olds



Finding great books for 7 – 10 year olds to enjoy can be enormously rewarding. The initial learn–to-read phase is complete and we hope our children will chose to read for pleasure. When, as parents, we check to see why things are so quiet and discover our children with a book, it is indeed a special ‘a-ha’ moment.

Just as reading picture books aloud is important to very young children, it is vital that mom and/or dad continues to read aloud to emergent readers. Long after your child reads independently there are books worth exploring together. Sharing wonderful chapter books with your child will motivate him to read more challenging books. There are marvelous fantasies, legends, and mysteries for you and your child to discover.Charlotte's Web

A grade two teacher recently wrote to me, hoping for some read aloud recommendations. She had already shared James and the Giant Peach
by Roald Dahl, Freckle Juice by Judy Blume and Charlotte’s Web
by E.B. White with her class. I replied to her and shared these suggestions – I have personally tested each and every one with a difficult-to-please eight year old boy.

Here are my suggested read alouds for 7-10 year olds

Follow this link for many more chapter book suggestions for 7-10 year olds

image of cover art for A Mouse Called WolfA Mouse Called Wolf written by Dick King Smith
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Yearling, an imprint of Random House

When looking for books to share with this age group, I would encourage you to take a look at Dick King-Smith’s books. King-Smith wrote Babe: The Gallant Pig and Ace: A Very Important Pig and numerous other wonderful animal stories. A Mouse Called Wolf is one of my favourites. It explores the love of music and also the loneliness that sometimes accompanies old age.

Reading one of Dick King-Smith’s books might launch a reader into his entire booklist.

A Mouse Called Wolf at Amazon.com

A Mouse Called Wolf at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for The Legend of Spud MurphyThe Legend of Spud Murphy written by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by Glenn McCoy
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Miramax

My 8 year old and I enjoyed Eoin Colfer’s Legend of Spud Murphy and Eoin Colfer’s Captain Crow’s Teeth together. Both were good fun and will be enjoyed by 7-10 year olds. The Legend of Spud Murphy has a very good message about reading and books therefore, I chose it as my favourite. Eoin Colfer is the author of the Artemis Fowl series (for older children).

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

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

image of cover art for The Seven Wonders of Sassafras SpringsThe Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs written by Betty G. Birney and illustrated by Matt Phelan
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

For something completely different, I like The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs . Here we have a young boy who reads about the Seven Wonders of the World and longs to explore the world outside his hometown. His dad agrees to send him on a trip but first he must find The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs.
There are all sorts of opportunities for extention activities, possibly building an entire unit around this book. Perhaps your students could be encouraged to find a ‘wonder’ all their own.

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs at Amazon.com

The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Truly Winnie Truly Winnie – written by Jennifer Richard Jacobson and illustrated by Alissa Imre Geis
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Sandpiper

Winnie, Vanessa and Zoe are off to their first overnight camp! They’ll be away from home for two weeks – swimming, climbing, boating and making new friends. Winnie, whose mother died after she was born, knows all too well that she is different from other girls. When she is assigned to a tent away from her closest friends, she is forced to make new friends. When getting to know her fellow campers, Winnie tells of her mother’s many accomplishments and before long is caught in a web of deception.

I read Truly Winnie aloud to my eight-year-old son. When I suggested we give it a try, I thought he might resist because the main characters are all girls (imagine!) In fact, the camp theme and compelling story made the Truly Winnie a good choice for both boys and girls. Nominated for the 2004 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award and chosen by the School Library Journal for their annual Children’s Curriculum, Truly Winnie offers many opportunities for discussion including

How it feels to a be a ‘third wheel”
How being away from home changes the campers and
Why Winnie feels she must invent a mother

Truly Winnie at Amazon.com

Truly Winnie at Amazon.ca

The Boy with Lightning Feet – written by Sally Gardner and illustrated by Lydia Corry
Chapter book for 7-10 year olds published by Orion Children’s Books

Timmy Twinkle has lived with his grandfather since his mom left the family and moved to Spain. The loss of his mom leaves Timmy feeling empty. He tries to fill the void with food and before long he is chubby, friendless and a target for bullies.

Timmy dreams of playing football (soccer), but his weight problem renders him clumsy at sports.

When a friend comes to stay with Timmy and his grandfather, she shares her passion for physical fitness. Before long Timmy is lean and ready to discover the magic in his toes.

Part of Ms. Gardner’s Magical Children series, The Boy with Lightning Feet will hold a special appeal for football (soccer) players and children who lack confidence in their own magical qualities. It was a definite winner in our household.

The Boy with the Lightning Feet at Amazon.com

The Boy with the Lightning Feet at Amazon.ca

Sir Gadabout Goes Barking Mad – written by Martyn Beardsley and illustrated by Tony Ross

Sir Gadabout holds the dubious title of Worst Knight in the World. When King Arthur dispatches him to collect Merlin and deliver him in time for the Magic World Cup, Gadabout and company encounter Demelza and Morag, two decidedly wicked witches. Before long, Gadabout is convinced that the witches have turned Merlin – reining world champion wizard – into a talking dog.

Great fun here for young readers and their parents to enjoy together. Read it aloud and enjoy the inside jokes.

Sir Gadabout Goes Barking Mad at Amazon.com

Sir Gadabout Goes Barking Mad at Amazon.ca


Beginning to Read – Day 3

Posted on August 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

The children who attended Beginning to Read today thoroughly enjoyed today’s story by William Steig, Pete’s a Pizza

When a sudden rainstorm spoil’s Pete’s plans, he is grumpy and sad. His dad decides that he ought to be made into a pizza! He kneeds Pete and stretches him, covers him with oil and adds tomatoes and cheese. Before long, the pizza is hot and ready to be sliced.

During today’s Beginning to Read class we talked quite alot about opposites. We began with ‘easy’ opposites (hot/cold, wet/dry/ big/small, happy/sad, inside/outside), moved onto slightly more challenging opposites (push/pull, empty/full, night/day, tall/short, true/false) and, finally, tried some ‘difficult’ opposites (warm/cool, always/never, man/woman).

Today’s Word Family was “ed” (Ed, Bed, fed, led, red, Ted). The tricky words were fled, newlywed and shred. We have many word family printables on this website, follow the link for more information.

We also looked for some easy Sight Words. Sight Words are also known as “Instant Word” and sometimes referred to as “Dolch Words.” They are high frequency words that beginning readers are encouraged to memorize (we, my, see, go, and, etc.) For the children who are already reading sight words, this was a reading activity. For the children who are not yet reading sight words, it was a matching activity. If you are interested, you can download sight word lists from our download page.

We played a mixed up alphabet game . Each child had two, three or four cards. Each card read, “I have ___. Who has ___?” The child with “I have A. Who has L?” started us off. The child with “I have L. Who has U?” read his/her card next. Basically, the children were listening for the letter names, checking to see if they had the letter and reading aloud when it was their turn. Very good fun – many of the children would like to play the game again.

Finally, we used Elkonin boxes. The children listened to words and decided whether a letter sound was at the beginning, middle or end of a word. As an example, I asked the children to listen for the /S/ sound. When I said, “Snake,” they should have identified that the /S/ sound was at the beginning of the word. When I said, “Pigs,” they should have noticed that the /S/ sound was at the end of the word. When I said, “Icicle,” they should have noticed that the /S/ sound was in the middle of the word. Note: this is a listening activity – whether the /S/ is made by a “S” or a “C” is unimportant. Children will normally hear the beginning sounds most easily, the middle sounds are the most difficult to hear. Children who learn to hear the sounds and notice when they occur will use this skill when spelling, writing and reading. This is a skill you can work on anytime, anywhere.

Beginning to Read – Day 2

Posted on August 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Today was our second Beginning to Read class and our theme today was “Shoes.” During our storytime, I used felt pieces to tell the story of The Elves and the Shoemaker. This is a traditional story and it has been retold many times. The version that I used was written by Paul Galdone. I explained to the children that, if they visit the library, they might find as many as ten different versions of this story (filed in the Fairy Tale section, J398). If you have a chance, it would be great to find the story at the library and share it with your children. If you can find two different versions, ask them which they prefer. The illustrations and the storytelling will vary. Reading different versions of a familiar story is a great way to encourage your children to think about and compare authors and illustrators.

By the way, in each of the classes, the children responded very enthusiastically to the felt story format. They love watching the story unfold and touching the pieces of felt. Using felt pieces is a great way to encourage children to be creative and invent their own stories.

Today’s word family was the “it” family – bit, fit, hit, pit, sit, split and quit. In today’s class, we made a word family flip book. These easily made books are very helpful for young readers. They help children to notice that “bit”, “fit” and “hit” are related and, once you manage to decode/read “bit”, it is quite easy to decode/read “fit” and “hit”. Today our tricky words were split and quit. Here is a picture of a Dairy Queen Banana Split.

We have many word family printables on this website, follow the link for more information.

Today we also did a page about colours. Some of the children are able to read the words, some are not. Just as a gentle reminder, some of early ‘reading’ is actually memorizing. When children offer to ‘read’ a story that they have heard many time, we may be tempted to dismiss their ‘reading’ as ‘memorizing.’ Keep in mind that we want to encourage reading behaviours (holding a book, turning the pages, etc.) and picture clues are very helpful to young readers. Be sure to celebrate your young reader’s success – even when you suspect that s/he has memorized a story.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Elves and Shoemaker

Elves and Shoemaker theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

Just for fun, here is The Muppet’s version of The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Elves and the Shoemaker at Amazon.com

The Elves and the Shoemaker Book & Cassette at Amazon.ca


This was one creepy book and I loved it – Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Posted on July 28th, 2011 by Teen contributor

Storytime Standouts' Teen Contributor Looks at Darkness Becomes HerDarkness Becomes Her – written by Kelly Keaton
Gods and Monsters Young Adult Series published by Simon and Schuster





Ari feels lost and alone. With strange teal eyes and silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, she has always stood out. And, after growing up in foster care, she longs to have a sense of who she is.  But, after uncovering a message from her long dead mother and an ominous attack, Ari knows only one thing: she must travel to the rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving in New Orleans she discovers that New 2 is very… different. Here, Ari is normal. But every creature she encounters here seems to be afraid of her. Ari won’t stop until she finds out who she really is. But some truths are too horrifying to be revealed…

This was one creepy book and I loved it. This book is mysterious, keeping you always guessing, as well as being well written. It took mythology and urban legends and turned them into something very different. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes creepy books, fantasy, and urban legends of Greek mythology.

Darkness Becomes Her at Amazon.com

Darkness Becomes Her at Amazon.ca


Noni Says No – picture book gem explores friendship and gaining the confidence to be assertive

Posted on June 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Noni Says No, a picture book about friendship and assertiveness.Noni Says No written by Heather Hartt-Sussman and illustrated by Genevieve Cote
Picture book about friendship published by Tundra Books



Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

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 in a friendship. 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

If Rocks Could Sing by Leslie McGuirk

Posted on May 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

I consider myself fortunate to live not far from the Pacific Ocean. Every summer we camp on the shore of Howe Sound and, even while at home, I am close to fresh salt air and pounding surf.

It is almost impossible to walk along an oceanside beach without noticing something special. We’ve seen all sorts of shells, crabs, barnacles, mussels and the occasional tiny fish. When we venture further afield, we’ve been excited to spot starfish, sand dollars, jellyfish and more. I love beachcombing – especially with young children.

In If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet , Leslie McGuirk shows us treats that many of us could completely overlook when exploring a shoreline. Ms. McGuirk is an avid observer and, over many years, has amassed an exciting collection. She has gathered together all sorts of eye-catching and intriguing rocks. She has one for every letter of the alphabet as well as a bird, a couch potato, a dog, an elephant…



Young children will thoroughly enjoy exploring If Rocks Could Sing and are certain to want their own collection of intriguing rocks. Share this with children aged three and up and you’re sure to be setting off on your own quest for rocks that sing.
If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet at Amazon.com

If Rocks Could Sing: A Discovered Alphabet at Amazon.ca

Note – photo was taken (by me) at Porteau Cove campground on the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia.


6 ways for a beginning reader to read an unfamiliar word

Posted on April 9th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

6 Ways to help a child read an unfamiliar word from Storytime Standouts



When your beginning reader is faced with a new word to read, here are six ways she can approach it

(1) Sound it out. Have the beginning reader say each letter sound and “mush” the letter sounds together until they make a word.

/c/ — /a/ — /t/
/c/ – /a/ – /t/
/c/ /a/ /t/

(2) Use the first letters as hints and then guess. The farmer drove the /t/. Your child might guess ‘truck’ or ‘tractor’ – either of these words will probably fit within the context of the story. If your child guesses ‘tiger’ or ‘trampoline,’ we would want to ask if the word really makes sense.

(3) Look at the pictures for clues. This approach might mean a child substitutes “kitten” for “cat” or “bike” for “bicycle.” A mistake like this does not change the meaning significantly. The word the child ‘reads’ still works within the context of the story.

(4) Read the sentence again. Sometimes backing up will help a child gain momentum and get over the hurdles.

(5) Skip the mystery word and continue reading. Once your child has read further, the mystery word may become obvious

(6) Ask someone for help. Usually when a young reader asks me for help, I simply provide the word. I really do not want to ruin a great story for the sake of one or two words.

If you are a parent who is working with a beginning reader, it may be tempting to correct every mistake he or she makes. However, especially with a beginning reader, as parents, we need to be cautious about our demands. We need to take a non judgemental, supportive approach and avoid having our child embarrassed by his or her mistakes. Our role is to be cheerleaders. Our job is to applaud and encourage success and to provide assistance when needed. In fact, one might say that our job is to be like a family pet. We should sit happily with the child and wag our tails from time to time. If we can resist correcting our child, our child will reap the benefits provided by Reading Education Assistance Dogs.


This is great! – Lane Smith’s “It’s a Book”

Posted on April 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Can’t resist sharing Lane Smith’s “It’s a Book.” Hope you enjoy it is much as I did…


Family Diversity, Anticipating the Weekend – Monday is One Day

Posted on March 29th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at Monday is One Day, a picture book about families and family diversityMonday is One Day – written by Arthur A. Levine and illustrated by Julian Hector
Picture book published by Scholastic Press





Monday through Sunday,
the whole week through,
each day I count the ways
I love to be with you!

Monday is One Day shows young readers that it is not easy to go to work especially when earning a living means spending time away from those we love. Illustrations depict family diversity including one parent, two parent, young parents and old, living in rural, city and suburban homes. The message of unconditional love flows beautifully throughout Monday is One Day and it is lovely to see all the families enjoy leisure time together on Saturday and Sunday.

Printable T Rex as seen in the story

Monday is One Day at Amazon.com

Monday is One Day at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.


Cornelius P. Mud – Ready for Anything

Posted on March 25th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at a fun picture book,  Cornelius P. Mud Are You Ready for Bed?Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? written by and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
Picture book about getting ready for bed published by Candlewick Press



It is time to put toys away, brush teeth, enjoy a story and head off to bed. For Cornelius P. Mud however, these steps toward bedtime aren’t quite what moms and dads envision. Cornelius stores his toys in the fridge, feeds chocolate chip cookies to his goldfish and selects a huge stack of piggy bedtime stories.

Big, bold illustrations help to tell a story that is perfect for circle time or bedtime. Readers who enjoy Cornelius P. Mud, are You Ready for Bed? will want to watch for the companion books: Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for School? and Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Baby?

Fun for ages 2-5, in board book and hardcover formats

Cornelius P. Mud, are You Ready for Bed? at Amazon.com

Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? at Amazon.ca


Highlighting Young Adult Fiction: Paper Towns by John Green

Posted on March 18th, 2011 by Teen contributor

Storytime Standouts' teen contributor writes about Paper Towns by John GreenPaper Towns by John Green
Young Adult Fiction published by Dutton Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.





Quentin Jacobsen has spent his life loving the adventurous Margo Roth Spieglman from afar. So when she cracks open his window and summons him for an all night campaign of revenge- he follows. The next day, at school Q discovers that Margo, always an enigma, has become a mystery. But there are clues, and they’re for him. urged down the disconnected path, the closer he gets the less he sees the girl he thought he knew…

This was the first of John Green‘s books that I have read and I am very impressed. The story is intriguing and well crafted, the characters interesting. Paper Towns involves the reader, you will find yourself puzzling at night as you try to unravel the mystery for yourself. And you will be laughing frequently for John Green writes with brilliant wit.

Paper Towns is Young Adult fiction that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. I defiantly recommend it as one of my favourites.

Anthony Award Nominee for Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel (2009)
Corine – International Book Prize for Young Adult Novel (2010)
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2008)
Edgar Award for Best Young Adult (2009)
YALSA Teens’ Top Ten (Young Adult Library Services, American Library Association) (2009)

Paper Towns at Amazon.com

Paper Towns at Amazon.ca

A Picture Book About Friendship: You by Stephen Michael King

Posted on March 7th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

image of cover art for You by Stephen Michael KingYou written and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book about friendship published by Greenwillow Books

Light and breezy, You: A Story of Love and Friendship has got it right. The world is more colourful, more musical and more exciting when shared with a true friend.

In this picture book about friendship, Happy and engaging illustrations invite us to watch as a friends work together to transform a drab birdhouse into a bright and inviting home. When the work is done, they joyfully play music together and manage to endure the highs and lows that life brings.

The world is an exciting place, with ups, downs, around and arounds, and far-far-aways. But the most exciting place in my world is with… you.

Well-suited to very young children, You is a picture book about friendship and love. It would be a a great story to share before a parent or friend leaves on a trip.

Be sure to visit the author’s website (link above) and read about Stephen Michael King’s experience as a hearing impaired child and his path to becoming an author-illustrator.

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.com

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.ca



You may also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board

Zookeeper Wonders ‘Where’s Walrus?’

Posted on February 28th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Where’s Walrus? – written and illustrated by Stephen Savage
Wordless picture book published by Scholastic

Well-crafted wordless picture books are terrific for young readers. They provide opportunities for children to ‘read’ the illustrations and retell the story. They are also super for multilingual families – a grandparent who does not speak English can enjoy the story-sharing experience in any language.

Where’s Walrus? is a stylish, bold look at a daring escape from the city zoo. While most of the zoo animals and their keeper nap, a walrus decides it is time for fun. His first destination is just outside the zoo gates. He jumps into a large fountain and reclines next to a stone mermaid. With the keeper in hot pursuit, he shifts to a coffee shop, a store window and a construction site. Later, he helps a crew of firefighters and joins a dance team. Each time the walrus moves, he changes his head covering and manages to evade detection. Young children will enjoy “finding” the walrus while the zookeeper searches in vain. For older children, the absurdity of the premis will add to the humor.

Where’s Walrus? will be an excellent addition to a classroom zoo theme. Extension activities could include choosing new a head covering and ‘hiding’ Walrus somewhere new.

Where’s Walrus? at Amazon.com

Where’s Walrus? at Amazon.ca

Our page about Wordless and Almost Wordless Picture Books


Celebrating Diversity and Acceptance in Vancouver, Canada

Posted on February 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

And Tango Makes Three – Celebrate Family Diversity with Roy and Silo

Posted on February 23rd, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at picture book, And Tango Makes ThreeAnd Tango Makes Three
Written by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry Cole





Roy and Silo are male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo. They love each other very much and make a nest together. Sadly, Roy and Silo do not have an egg to keep warm. One day their keeper decides to give them an egg that needs protection. Many days pass, Roy and Silo attend conscientiously to the precious egg. At long last the shell cracks and baby Tango arrives. Together, Roy and Silo become fathers. Based on true events, And Tango Makes Three is charming and thoughtful. Highly recommended.

Best for ages 4-8

New York Times article about Roy and Silo from 2004

New York’s Central Park Zoo

And Tango Makes Three at Amazon.com

And Tango Makes Three at Amazon.ca

You may also be interested in our page titled “Diversity.” We highlight picture books and chapter books that celebrate and inform us about human diversity including learning disabilities, physical disabilities, allergies, single parent families, interracial families, same sex parents, aging, death and more.

Don’t miss our page of quotes about diversity.


Some Friendships Aren’t Friendships at All – Clara and the Bossy Shares an Anti Bullying Message

Posted on February 20th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts writes about Clara and the BossyClara and the Bossy written and illustrated by Ruth Ohi
Picture book about social situations, friendship and bullying published by Annick Press

Read our interview with Ruth OhiBe sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

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 anti bullying message, Clara and the Bossy could be used to encourage children to discuss friendship, conflict resolution and bullying.

Clara and the Bossy at Amazon.com

Clara and the Bossy at Amazon.ca



Henry has a Big Problem – Dealing with Bullying in the Schoolyard

Posted on February 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Meet Nancy Carlson, author and illustrator of Henry and the Bully

Henry and the Bully written by Nancy Carlson
A picture book about bullying in the schoolyard

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

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board



Disabling bullying is so important

Posted on February 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

For further information, visit Ability Path – Support for Parents of Children with Special Needs

We all have a responsibility to be part of this campaign. Please share this message and be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

You’re Mean, Lily Jean – Transforming a Bully Into a Friend

Posted on February 16th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

You’re Mean, Lily Jean written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton
Picture book about a social situations published by North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

Be sure to check out our page about anti-bullying picture books for children, our page about anti bullying chapter books, graphic novels and novels for children , and our Pinterest anti bullying board

I recently received an email from a mom. She was concerned about playground dynamics and she went on to explain that her daughter was having a tough time with another girl. Her daughter’s “friend” was dictating the play experience – deciding which children could be involved and each child’s “role.” I was absolutely delighted to have a book recommendation for her: You’re Mean, Lily Jean. 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 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



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