Raindrops Roll , which has received two starred reviews, one in Kirkus, one in School Library Journal, comes out with Beach Lane/S&S on Jan 5, 2015. Each photo I took has a special meaning to me and some have hidden creatures in them. So this blog covers the behind-the-scenes secrets and science. For instance, the droplet-covered leaves on the cover are lupine. That’s the same kind of plant made famous by the children’s book, Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney. The plant produces a tall spike of bluish/purplish flowers. In Indiana, my husband planted several native lupine plants in small flower beds he created. Each year the plants flowered and formed pods. The pods dry and fling seed out of the flower beds. Those plants sprouted in our lawn. My husband mowed around them so the flower bed became bigger and bigger. So, now we, too, have plenty of lupine and the seed pods. To see one of seed pods, look through the book. Hint…it’s not just seeds that “fly.” (By the way, there’s a tiny fly in the front cover photo. Can you find it?)
Raising my bowl of blueberries this morning to illustrator Steve Jenkins. Our book, Eat Like a Bear, which received three starred reviews, was named an ALA (American Library Association) Notable Book for 2014! It is a huge honor to be chosen for recognition by the ALA Notables Committee—especially in a year with such a great crop of books. By tradition, the list also includes winners from ALA award categories, too. Steve and I have three more projects in the works. Next up is Woodpecker Wham.
See my interview with Kirkus Reviews.com Julie Danielson of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.
Preschool teachers rock! This teacher’s joy lifts my spirits every time I watch the video. While signing Rah, Rah, Radishes and Go, Go, Grapes last year in Atlanta, I met this fabulous teacher who agreed to share how she gets the 4-year olds in her class to try foods. The video is on my youtube channel. Jeff and I have also posted some of our nature clips on our Sayre Nature Youtube Channel.
I’m honored to be a Picture Book Champion this year. See the calendar, essays, and activities this robust group has planned for November, 2013: www.picturebookmonth.com
Among my books, the most widely used one worldwide is ONE IS A SNAIL, TEN IS A CRAB. It’s been adapted for curricula from Australia to Canada. This book is classified as nonfiction although the text is nonfiction and the illustrations are actually fictional. (At least in my experience, crabs do not ride inner tubes.) It introduces a way of thinking that leads, apparently into algebra. It counts from 1-100. So, when I looked at the Common Core, I could see why this book has been embraced by the math community. Here are the standards that I could see immediately related to the book. A trained math teacher would likely find many more.
Yet there are ways math teachers can use lots of children’s books to complete Common Core.
- CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.1 Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
- CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.2 Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
- CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.3 Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.1 Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
- CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2a 10 can be thought of as a bundle of ten ones — called a “ten.”
- CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2b The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.
- CCSS.Math.Content.1.NBT.B.2c The numbers 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 refer to one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine tens (and 0 ones).
CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.A.1 Use addition and subtraction within 100 to solve one- and two-step word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.1
- CCSS.Math.Content.2.NBT.A.1a 100 can be thought of as a bundle of ten tens — called a “hundred.”
Studying seeds and plant life? Working on nutrition or ecology in preschool through second grade? I hope this will help. My newest book, Let’s Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat was released this week by my marvelous publisher, Beach Lane, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. It’s a chant but with lots of, should we say, chewy endmatter. Once I started working on this book even I was amazed by just how many foods we eat are made from seeds. Just check out the pantry. Corn. Wheat. Lentils. Almonds. Soy milk. Popcorn. Pumpkin seeds. I’m still eating some of the dried beans that made up the photos in the book. It was photographed at the South Bend Farmer’s Market, Bamber’s Superette, Saigon Market, and other local food spots, including Notre Dame University’s South Dining Hall!
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Let’s Go Nuts! Seeds We Eat is a chant which introduces children to beans, nuts, grains, and spice seeds. Endmatter explains why seeds don’t grow inside our stomachs, why seeds are such great food, and how seeds fit into biology, ecology, and culture. This book completes the trio of books that includes Rah, Rah, Radishes: A Vegetable Chant and Go, Go, Grapes: a Fruit Chant.