Children’s picture book, middle grade, and young adult authors and illustrators are rallying to help during a time when schools are closing and students are challenged to study remotely due to COVID-19. We know parents will be challenged, too.
In addition to what schools are providing, here are some additional resources and homeschooling help.
I hope you find something useful!
Check back for updates!
Story Seeds kids use their own story ideas and pair up with real authors. Together they collaborate and “grow” their ideas into original short stories.
Picture book and middle grade author Kate Messner created Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite Authors & Illustrators Share Resources for Learning Anywhere are videos featuring picture book and middle grade authors and illustrators on her website. And it’s growing daily.
Authors Everywhere! is a YouTube Channel focused on providing content for kids like read alouds, writing prompts and writing exercises.
Author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka created “Draw with JJK” that will air every weekday at 1:00pm Central or catch the videos on his YouTube channel.
Picture book and chapter book author Grace Lin created Ask Authors podcast, that launches March 17th. She plans to have a weekly 5-10 minute podcast featuring a guest author who will answer one question from a child reader. Episodes will end with a book review or a joke. Read more about the podcast in this article from the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Nonfiction science Picture book author Melissa Stewart created mini-lessons on her website addressing content from her nonfiction picture books.
Musician Emily Arrow creates fun songs for many popular picture books.
#StoryMarch includes illustration prompts by The Greater Boston Illustrators Group.
Explore the world of children’s literature on KidLitTV. Read alouds, author and illustrators interviews, crafts and cooking.
Picture book author Mac Barnett will begin reading his picture books on InstagramLive out loud at noon Pacific Time on March 15, 2020. The recording will be up for 24 hours.
Picture book author-illustrator Oliver Jeffers will read one of his picture books online starting this Monday, 2pm EST. Details coming!
Picture book author-illustrator Arree Chung will offer a month long Creativity Camp and focus on writing, drawing and storytelling if he gets enough interest. Find the details on his Facebook post here.
Picture book Author Tara Lazar will broadcast LIVE from her YouTube channel daily at noon Eastern time reading her books and giving writing tips.
Author/illustrator Mo Willems hosts LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems on his YouTube channel. Go check out Mo’s Studio!
Author/illustrator Katy Kelly is hosting virtual author visits to 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade classes reading one of her books every day until it’s finished. Connect with her at http://www.katykellyauthor.com/.
Picture book author and dance instructor Connie Dow has ideas for learning through movement activities, built around picture books for young children on her blog.
Picture book author/illustrator and former homeschool mom Danna York’s blog has ideas that incorporate books, nature, classic movies, art and more.
Find MORE resources on this Google Doc with of other creatives helping out. And check out the hashtag #kidlitquarantine on Twitter.
Other children’s book resources:
Storyline Online has picture books being read by celebrities. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.
I am so excited to announce my latest book deal! And I am thrilled to be working with my agent Dawn Frederick at Red Sofa Literary, Beaming Books, editor Naomi Krueger and the talented illustrator Alleanna Harris to bring the story of Victor Hugo Green and his Green Book to young children. Stay tuned.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2020 (1/31/20)
is in its 7th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative
was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who
saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors
on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young
readers and educators.
Seven years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. All kids should have access to diverse books like the one I reviewed this year.
FREEDOM SOUP by Tami Charles and illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara was sent to me Candlewick Press at no cost in exchange for an honest review. Published December 10, 2019, the book has earned four starred reviews! Read those reviews from Kirkus, SLJ (School Library Journal), Shelf Awareness, and Publishers Weekly.
Food is a wonderful way to celebrate culture and history. That’s exactly what Charles does in her story about the Haitian dish, Soup Joumou, also known as Freedom Soup. An intergenerational story, readers follow along as a young child and her grandmother cook together.
Every New Year’s Day Ti Gran makes
Freedom Soup but on this day she is teaching Belle how to make the soup, just
like she was taught when she was a little girl.
Readers can sway to the rhythm of Charles’ lyrical language and Alcántara’s colorful, expressive illustrations filled with movement. Both text and art will entice children to dance like Belle and tap their toes like Ti Gran while imagining the sounds of the Haitian kompa music.
As they cook, Ti Gran teaches Belle the history of Haiti, the place where she was born.
why they call it Freedom Soup” Ti Gran asks.
the same answer I always give. Ti Gran laughs her loud, belly-deep laugh.
Belle. Nothing in this world is free, not even freedom.”
Charles recounts the country’s history of slavery so children understand what it meant to be enslaved. Ti Gran explains, “Freedom Soup was only for the free.”
As the soup cooks Belle and Ti Gran dance their way through the rebellion that lead to the revolution and cheer for Haiti’s independence. Charles provides a recipe for Freedom Soup and an author’s note with background information on Haiti and her personal family connection to the story. FREEDOM SOUP is a fun and engaging story but it also introduces young children to the true history of a country and the people who resisted slavery and won their freedom.
FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
If you want to host an Easy Peasy King Cake Party for Carnival… Get together with some kids and say.. We’re making a king cake! See my earlier post for the recipe. Who’d like to help? You’ll need three Pillsbury Crescent Dough Sheets. Roll out each dough sheet into a rectangle Mix cinnamon and sugar […]
Newbery Honor–winning author-illustrator Cece Bell is well known for her graphic novel El Deafo, the autobiographical book about living with her hearing loss from childhood. In this post, I look at Bell’s picture books and how she uses imagination and more to connect with a younger audience.
Head over to PBSpotlight and enter their 2019 Picture Book Critique Fest for a chance to win a picture book critique. Check out all the participating authors, illustrator and agents, oh my! Deadline to enter is October 25th.
A good critique must take into account the
structure of your story. For example, in a classic story structure a character
has a problem they attempt to solve, faces obstacles, has a dark moment where failure
looks inevitable, but ultimately they figure out how to solve the problem and
in the end has grown or changed in some way.
A critique of a manuscript like this may address:
The opening/ first line(s).
The first 50 words.
The problem and if clearly stated.
The inciting incident.
The main character’s traits.
The words that indicate the story’s tone and voice.
This month’s Reading for Research author study takes a look at books by Susan Verde. Read how she connects with kids and invites them to learn and grow. Her books address compassion, empathy, mindfulness and community.
The #kidlitforchristchurch auction is live until March 27th at 11:59 pm! My donation is one copy of the middle-grade novel AMINA’S VOICE by Hena Khan, two Abo el Ela Co. Abu Ghazala Egyptian shawls made in Cairo, Egypt, one Navy Blue, one Burgundy, approximately 7ft x 3ft, all items are new. Bid on my items, #035 here!
What is this fundraiser about? Organizers wrote:
On Friday, March 15, a gunman opened fire in two Christchurch Mosques, Masjid Al Noor and Linwood Masjid Mosque. During this terrorist attack, 50 people lost their lives and 48 people were injured.
As members of the kidlit community, we want to make a stand against hatred and Islamophobia, and show our solidarity with the victims and affected Muslim communities. The auctions and raffles on this page will support the United for Christchurch Mosque Shootings fundraiser, which aims to “help with the immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families.”
The auctions and raffles will be open March 24th at 12:01 AM EST and close March 27th at 11:59 PM.