Author Spotlight Series · illustrations · multilingual · picture book

The Smile Shop: A Tribute to Language and London

Award-winning author-illustrator Satoshi Kitamura details the inspiration for his picture book The Smile Shop. He explains how his introduction to the Spanish language planted the idea in his head and how the book is a tribute to the London he knew and loved when he was living there and developing his career as an artist.

community · illustrations · illustrators · poetry · writer's notebook

Food Writing, Community Building, and a Book Giveaway

Writing workshop thrives when a community of children come together as writers who know each other. The first six weeks of school is when we build community. Here's one way to build relationships and encourage kids to write about one of their favorite things simultaneously. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a copy of Eric Carle and Friends' newest book, What's Your Favorite Food?

early childhood · illustrations · illustrators

Let Them Color, Because…

How often do your students get to color? How often do your students get to illustrate their books in color? Do your students color with meaning and purpose? This post shares research and tips for making writing workshop more colorful (in any grade!).

art · biography · illustrations · mentor texts · writers

Step into a biography with an author-illustrator team + a giveaway

Every now and then a book comes along I want to tell everyone about. When I say everyone, I mean blog readers, my family, friends, teachers with whom I consult, and other parents. Today I'm sharing one of those books with you because this is as close as I can get to shouting out how… Continue reading Step into a biography with an author-illustrator team + a giveaway

books · craft · illustrations · narrative · noticings

The Book Stack

An eclectic little stack today. Click on the images to go to a link about the book. I've been enjoying books I can read a little here and a little there. This book, however, is one I found myself engulfing. Even though there are 21 conversations with different illustrators, and even though I started with… Continue reading The Book Stack

illustrations · mentor texts · mentoring · minilesson · modeling · persuasive writing · student work

Opinion Writing in Kindergarten

In one of the kindergarten classrooms I've been working in, we've been learning: Writers share their opinions. This has been a unit of study inspired by the Common Core State Standards, which place a heavy emphasis on opinion writing. What does that look like in kindergarten, I wondered. So I've been trying out a few… Continue reading Opinion Writing in Kindergarten

illustrations · primary grades · research · resource · video


Words + pictures have always intrigued me. As a scrapbooker I use words + pictures to document life. As a blogger, I know when an image is included it always impacts me more. (I've been thinking of making this a goal --- to include more images in my posts.) As a teacher I'm well aware… Continue reading Infographics

choice · conferring · elaboration · illustrations · narrative · writing workshop

How to Write

This past week I've had several conversations with young writers about how to write something. Not the logistics of making letters or spelling words, but how to craft their writing in order to make the reader feel or know something. With our youngest writers this conversation has centered around illustrations. With intermediate writers it has… Continue reading How to Write

fiction · illustrations · picture book · publishing

They’re publishing their books! They’re publishing their books!

My room was essentially controlled chaos today since my students began publishing their picture books. Paper cuttings were everywhere by the end of the day, as were markers, pens, pencils, and a myriad of other art supplies. I'm still at work (5:55 p.m.) since it took me awhile to straighten-up for tomorrow since there's two… Continue reading They’re publishing their books! They’re publishing their books!