Thanksgiving 365 !

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday because it it just that–time to give thanks!

With small children, ideas that are frequently reinforced are those most likely to last a lifetime.

So …maybe parents should think about putting a little Thanksgiving into every day!  Think of it as Thanksgiving 365!

One way to turn up the volume of gratefulness is to set aside a time every day to give thanks.  In our family, we use dinner time to talk about the things (big or small) that we are grateful for!

I asked a few kindergarten children what they are thankful for.  Their answers were thoughtful!   Annaya is grateful to be able to play outdoors, Romyn is grateful for having toys,  Arturo is grateful for his teacher, Max is thankful for his mom, Brian is thankful for planting flowers, Lailah is grateful for her friends at school, Kristen is grateful for her parents, Yanira is thankful for having good behavior, Michael is thankful for his pets, and AJ is thankful for restaurants!

The list is endless!


Children’s Literature Quiz


                          Here’s a little challenge for the fun of it!  

                       Post your score on Facebook!  10/10 is a WIN!  

A history challenge:

  1.  When was “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by Frank Baum first published?  It quickly became a best-seller!

A.  1880

B.  1900

C.  1930

2.  What was the first year the Newberry Award was given?

A.  1922

B.  1942

C.  1952



A statistical challenge:

3.  Approximately how many copies of this book have sold?

A. 107 million

B.   88 million

C.  60 million



A Medal /Award challenge:

4.  How many books are awarded the Caldecott Medal each year?

A.  one

B.  two

C.  four


5.  Which of the following was awarded a Newberry Award in 1961?

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

B.  The Giver by Lois Lowry

C.  The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill


A character challenge:

6.  What name did the girls give to the dog in the book, Madeline’s Rescue?

A.  Quinten

B.  Anastacia

C.  Genevive


7.  What is the name of the pig in Charlotte’s Web by American author E. B. White?

A.  Wilbur

B.   Weston

C.   Sander


A name challenge:

8.  What is Dr.Seuss’ real name?

A.   Jonathan D. Conner

B.   Theodor S. Geisel

C.  Charles A. Goodwin, III



9.  Who do you see in this drawing?

A.  Aladdin

B.  The Wizard of Oz

C.  Pinocchio





10.  Which of the following is NOT a character in The Jungle Book by English author Rudyard Kipling?

     A.  Mowgli

B.  Roo

C.  Kaa


Okay—here are the answers!  How did you do?


Save the Date!





The Great American Teach-in is just around the corner!

 With busy schedules around Thanksgiving, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead! Remember to mark you calendar with a big circle around the date of  Thursday, November 16, 2017.


WHO?  Anyone who enjoys being an important part of a child’s education!

WHAT?  The Great American Teach-In!  This is an annual event to bring the community together with our school-aged children.  It is an opportunity for adults to visit classrooms for the purpose of sharing their careers, experiences, and adventures with our children.

WHEN?  Thursday, November 16, 2017

WHERE?  Choose a school.  Call ahead to schedule your talk or presentation!

WHY?  Children need role models!  We need to show our local students that we care enough about them to share our own experiences.  Last year’s visitors included firemen, police officers, doctors, tennis pros, authors, salesmen, tv personalities, CPA’s, baseball stars, illustrators, veterinarians, swim coaches, horse trainers,  and farmers—-just to name a few!


 CHALLENGE:  How many people will you encourage to join us in The Great American Teach-in?  It’s a small gesture with a big impact! 





Thank you for sending your favorites!


Well, as it turns out, I’m not the only one who has a childhood reading favorite!
Here are some of the fun responses I received via email and personal chats!

Daryl from Long Island loved The Story of Samson from the Children’s Bible.

Miss Alex from New Hampshire said that Sesame Street A-Z must have been her
favorite because she “chewed up all the edges when she was teething!” Then, after
her teeth came in, she enjoyed Finding Nemo. Alex is proud to say that she memorized
the book and even acted it out!

Luke from Seattle said that Doctor Dog by Babette Cole was his all-time favorite!

Sam, (Luke’s brother from Seattle) liked Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig. Apparently,
Sam’s parents took it to another level by acting out the book with him! Such fun!

Katherine, a dental assistant in NH, also remembers a William Steig book, Doctor
De Soto. She said everyone will get a big laugh from this one!

Jacoby from Boston loved hearing the Corduroy books by Don Freeman.

Andy from Seattle said, “Hands down, Paddington Bear was my favorite!” His father
was a pilot who took his stuffed Paddington Bear with him on trips to pose for photos
in well-known settings. He brought the pics back to teach Andy a bit of history. Imagine
a Paddington Bear traveling to London and Paris! It’s quite clear that Andy’s father
was on the right track for literacy!

Heather from Lynn, Massachusetts remembers Goodnight Moon as her favorite.

Nick from Adams, Massachusetts liked Green Eggs and Ham!

Drew from Connecticut said that his first favorite memory was Peter Cottontail. When he
got a little older, he was “kind of sucked in by The Giver which started my love for reading!”

Juliana and Jenna from East Boston liked Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems.

More favorites:
The Giving Tree
Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

What was your very favorite book when you were young?

What is your all-time favorite children’s book?  Mine is Madeline’s Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans.  I loved this book because I admired the main character, Madeline.  It was amazing to me that a little girl who did not have the guidance of parents could have such wonderful courage and enthusiasm for life.  She was bold and brave and stood up for herself in the orphanage.  This book had a big impact on my life! would like to learn about your favorite children’s book.  Please email us and share your top choice!  HAPPY READING!

Just Read!

Every book you read with your child opens a new door of imagination!


The Importance of Summer Reading

by Jane Brandi Johnson

Okay, Be honest! Did your kids do a “COUNTDOWN” for the last 10 days
of school?

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1- SUMMER!!!!!!

Well, Now it’s time for your kids to do a “COUNTUP!”

What’s that?
Just count up the number of books your child can read this summer!
Tell them that “READERS ARE LEADERS!”
1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 …. infinity!
* Motivate them—find colorful, fun, inspiring books to spark
* Set achievable goals—use reading charts, graphs, or visuals. Be
creative! It’s fun to see charted progress!
* Explore online sites
* Visit the library. This opens the door (literally) to more excitement!
* Make up personal stories! Fun!

If your child reads 12 or more books this summer, please contact Jane
Brandi Johnson at for the chance of a free door
hanger and/or an autographed book!

Help Your Child

Suggestions to help build your child’s reading skills*:

• Read to your baby for short periods several times a day. As you read, point out things in the pictures. Name them as you point to them. Cardboard or cloth books with large simple pictures of things with which babies are familiar are the best books to begin with.

Children Ages 1-4
• Talk with your child as you read together. Point to pictures and name what is in them. When he is ready, ask him to do the same. Ask him about his favorite parts of the story, and answer his questions about events or characters.
• Wherever you are with your child, point out individual letters in signs, billboards, posters and books. When she is 3 to 4 years old, ask her to begin finding and naming some letters.

Children, Kindergarten
• Read predictable books to your child. Teach him to hear and say repeating words, such as names for colors, numbers, letters and animals. Predictable books help children to understand how stories progress. A child easily learns familiar phrases and repeats them, pretending to read.
• Practice the sounds of language by reading books with rhymes and playing simple word games (i.e. How many words can you make up that sound like the word “bat”?)

Children, First Grade
• Point out the letter-sound relationships your child is learning on labels, boxes, newspapers and magazines.
• Listen to your child read words and books from school. Be patient and listen as he practices. Let him know you are proud of his reading.

Children, Second & Third Grade
• Build reading accuracy by having your child read aloud and point out words she missed and help her read words correctly. If you stop to focus on a word, have your child reread the whole sentence to be sure she understands the meaning.

*Taken from the U.S. Department of Education “Helping Your Child Become A Reader” and The Partnership for Reading “Put Reading First” publications.