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Category Archives: Commitment to Literacy

January’s Picture Book of the Month

As part of my Commitment to Literacy: Picture Book It challenge, I wanted to spotlight one book that I’m completely in love with. Throughout the month, I’ll do multiple posts based on the book. I hope you will end up picking up the book and joining in on the conversation.

I’m excited to announce that the first Picture Book of the Month is…

love

Love
Text by Matt de la Peña
Illustrations by Loren Long
(Hardcover, Ebook, Audio Book)
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
January 9, 2018

Summary
From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.

“In the beginning there is light
and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed
and the sound of their voices is love.

A cab driver plays love softly on his radio
while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city
and everything smells new, and it smells like life.”

In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.

Review
Love is a poetic picture book that will warm every reader’s hearts with its positive and reaffirming message. Perfect for gift giving. Perfect for reading aloud with those you love.

Ever since I heard about this book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. And seeing other people’s early reviews of it made me even more excited- if not a bit jealous. Not only did it live up to the high expectations I had for it but Love surpassed them all.

And when I read Love again recently, it was still as special. I let a few select people sneak a peek and I loved their reactions and what they got from it. I know they’ll be sharing the book with others as well!

Not only is this a celebration of different types of love but also of diversity and of experiences. Loren Long’s artwork managed to be both complementary and of itself creating different emotions.

Add Love as your first must read of 2018!

Discussion
I’d love to hear where you’ll be getting your copy of Love from when it comes out Tuesday, January 9th. What’s your favorite independent bookstore and library you go to?

And, if you’ve read it, please share your thoughts!

— — — — — — — THANK YOU FOR READING! — — — — — — —

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

starbucksgiftcard

My blogging is fueled by YOU taking the time to read my words. It is also fueled by caffeine. If you’re so inclined, my email is EARLDIZON [at] GMAIL.COM if you want to send a Starbucks gift card my way. Thanks!

— — — — — — — HAPPY READING! — — — — — — —

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Celebrate This Week- December 5, 2014

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating literacy and festive moments.

storytimelogo

On Tuesday, I volunteered to help out Story Time Oregon (stORytime)– “a new early learning initiative [that] brings together parents, educators, Early Learning Hubs, Regional Achievement Collaboratives, libraries, local businesses, and culturally specific community partners to build awareness and shared responsibility for ensuring our youngest Oregonians are on track to read by third grade.”

They had a launch event at a middle school where three different kindergarten classes and interested parties were invited to learn about the importance of literacy. Each kid also left with a shirt, a placemat, a goodie bag, and a book of their choosing! They also got lunch and ice cream.

I helped hand out the freebies. Some of my favorite moments were:
-In the auditorium, the speaker asked the kindergarteners what they wanted to be when they grew up. Some responses were a firefighter, police, and a teacher. A little girl said, “teenager.”
-After picking out their books, the kids were partnered up with a middle school buddy who read to them!

EveryChild_POSTER_ALL_Final_0

On Thursday, my work was invited to talk to people and agencies involved with kids. We talked about new and favorite books perfect for kids 0-5 years old. There’s nothing I love more than sharing the book joy with other readers. I also focused on books with diverse characters and nonfiction titles.

The last few months have seem to be a time of great new different opportunities but still along the lines of the things that are close to my heart!

I don't know what's going on here but I am NOT that short! Maybe I am but THAT is not the point!

I don’t know what’s going on here but I am NOT that short! Maybe I am but THAT is not the point!

For the festive moment, my roommate and I went to the zoo where they put up a dazzling display of lights. We had hot chocolate and rode the train to view more of the lit up grounds. I really didn’t take much pictures because it was too cold!

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Celebrate This Week- October 11, 2014

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating a bunch of random things.

During my San Francisco vacation, I visited lots of bookstores, but my most favorite is the one I get to come home to- Green Bean Books! I work with wonderful people. I enjoy interacting with our regular customers- some of whom are published authors and illustrators.

lu1

Of course, there are books! I’m also celebrating the CYBILS Awards for allowing me to participate as a First Round Judge in the Middle Grade Fiction category. Already, I’m reading more great books I’ve been putting off.

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Nominations are going on through October 15th so there’s still time to advocate for your favorite books!

I’m so glad I work at a great bookstore to help me have access to books. Then, there’s the equally great Multnomah County Library that also helps! While I was at Central’s Collins Gallery, I got to see The William Stafford Calligraphy Project exhibit. As if his words weren’t beautiful enough, it was wonderful to see them represented in various fonts, styles, and ways.

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To support such a great institution is why I am a board member of our local Friends of the Library! We are gearing up for our Fall Used Book Sale- Oregon’s largest one!

Speaking of libraries, I discovered another Little Free Library in my neighborhood!

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To bring this rather mishmash of a post together, I’m also celebrating that not only through this blog do I get to talk about all the things I love but also while celebrating at The Children’s Book Bank. On this blog’s Facebook page, I posted: “Another great night cleaning donated books to give to kids from low-income households. There was even an impromptu read aloud of one of the volunteer’s favorite books to read to her kids- Sandra Boynton’s “Moo, Baa, La La La!” Of course, there were also great conversations about books read that we loved and hated!”

What are you celebrating this week?

 

What Are You Reading? (113) #IMWAYR – September 21, 2014

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks to Book Journey for starting this whole thing!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Thanks also to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for their focus on Children’s Literature of this meme!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children's Book Writer Facebook page!

Please like The Chronicles Of A Children’s Book Writer Facebook page!

If you’re on Twitter, don’t forget to use the hashtag #IMWAYR when sharing your link!

I helped set up for the library’s Children’s Book Fair yesterday morning and got to see a wonderful performance to kick-off the event. It was a very interactive interpretation of Anansi and the Moss-Colored Rock. I was really impressed and I hoped it got the kids-and their parents- excited for some literary fun!

Tables were set up to do all kinds of crafts. A reading area promoted all kinds of books in different languages. Plus, there were a couple of caped crusaders going by the names of Bookman and Bookwoman! And,every child got to take home a free book!

This week, I posted:

New Releases: September 16, 2014– Read my reviews for:

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge Wednesday– Read my reviews for:

Celebrate This Week– I’m celebrating the happy moments that transpired during the past week.


A delightful new series (Mini Myths) that introduces the youngest of readers to mythology in fun relatable ways! Information about the actual myths are included. I love how playful the illustrations are. For example, in the Hercules book, the blocks depict the different tasks he undertook!

Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke [***]

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke [***]


Sweet story about a very independent resourceful girl who opens up her home to wayward creatures. Cute illustrations, very expressive. I really wanted more from this- perhaps it can crossover to a graphic novel?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien [****]

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien [****]


Expect a review of this on Monday for Hobbit Day!

The Flat Rabbit by Barour Oskarsson [**]

The Flat Rabbit by Barour Oskarsson [**]


Delightfully dark picture book about a dog and a rat that stumble upon a “flat” rabbit. Think Weekend of Bernie’s for kids.

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo [***]

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo [***]


I decided to read this because we were having a Grandparents Day Celebration at work. This was a super touching story about a boy visiting his grandmother in the city. The illustrations are superb.

Guess What? by Mem Fox, Illustrated by Vivienne Goodman [**]

Guess What? by Mem Fox, Illustrated by Vivienne Goodman [**]


A retired elementary school teacher was so excited to find a copy of this book that she made me read it before buying it. A fun picture book that will have readers guessing along! This would be a hit during a Halloween themed story time. The illustrations were something else!

I read these two titles for our upcoming Family Book Club:


Expect reviews for them later this week!

Expect reviews for these books during my New Releases post on Tuesday:

Expect reviews for these books during Wednesday’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge post:

Rating Scale
*= It was OK
**= Liked it
***= Recommended
****= Highly Recommended
*****= Favorite

I’m still reading Michelle Knudsen’s Evil Librarian.

Have a great reading week!

 

Celebrate This Week- May 10, 2014

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating connections made through books.

Tuesday was a good day volunteering at Start Making a Reader Today (SMART)! I used a giant teddy bear in the room as someone the kid can read to. I was surprised by how much more confident and interested he seemed during and after! He even hugged the bear afterwards! Book buddies!

On Thursday, not only did I end up visiting a new bookstore…

crookedhouse

… but I also ended up adding my 42nd title to my most favorite favorites– John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath! It’s on my Must Read in 2014 and Off the Shelf reading challenges lists. I’ve had it for awhile now and the Classic Literature Book Club was just what I needed to actually read it! And, I didn’t finish until the last minute!

The Grapes of Wrath is the kind if book I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed if I had been required to in high school. But I can’t believe I’ve missed out for so long! Even though I knew about the book, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started on it.

I liked how the chapters alternated between the stories of the people as a whole suffering through this difficult time and the stories of one family, the Joads. The characters were relatable and you could feel for them. There was a dignity and nobility about Tom and Ma that makes them stick with you even after the book is over.

The writing was beautiful despite all the ugliness of the subject matter. It is sadly as relevant then as it now.

If for some reason, you try and avoid classics as I do, do yourself a favor and give them a chance. You’ll be surprised at what you discover!

Recently, two separate people lent me books that they thought I might enjoy. I can’t wait to read them. I have to ask them if this is their One Book!

books

What are you celebrating this week?

 

Celebrate This Week- April 19, 2014

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating happiness.

I am visiting family and friends in Las Vegas. It’s always nice to see them. Enjoy the pics!

My BFF at the Fremont Street Experience!

My BFF at the Fremont Street Experience!

One of Vegas' newest attraction is the High Roller- a beautiful but expensive observation wheel!

One of Vegas’ newest attraction is the High Roller- a beautiful but expensive observation wheel!

It's a tradition to take my nephews and younger brothers to buy books whenever I go here! I found a Scholastic Book Fair going on at a library!

It’s a tradition to take my nephews and younger brothers to buy books whenever I go here! I found a Scholastic Book Fair going on at a library!

Not only is this a gutter ball but it's actually rolling back to me since I overestimated the time for the pin-setter to go up!

Not only is this a gutter ball but it’s actually rolling back to me since I overestimated the time for the pin-setter to go up!

My brother and sister-in-law surprised me at Chevy's when the staff sang Happy Birthday! The best kind of hats are birthday hats!

My brother and sister-in-law surprised me at Chevy’s when the staff sang Happy Birthday! The best kind of hats are birthday hats!

Downtown Las Vegas is undergoing a renovation. One of the coolest thing is Container Park. Here I am about to go down one of their slides!

Downtown Las Vegas is undergoing a renovation. One of the coolest thing is Container Park. Here I am about to go down one of their slides!

The Bellagio Botanical Garden's theme is Spring but I like to think of it as Butterfly Garden.

The Bellagio Botanical Garden’s theme is Spring but I like to think of it as Butterfly Garden.

This is a fully functioning Cupcake ATM at The LINQ's Sprinkles Cupcakes location.

This is a fully functioning Cupcake ATM at The LINQ’s Sprinkles Cupcakes location.

I love visiting libraries and bookstores. This is Zappos' Lending Library.

I love visiting libraries and bookstores. This is Zappos’ Lending Library.

My brother, sister-in-law, and I took a tour of Zappos' new headquarters. If you're in Vegas, be sure to check it out. Always inspiring!

My brother, sister-in-law, and I took a tour of Zappos’ new headquarters. If you’re in Vegas, be sure to check it out. Always inspiring!

My Vegas family- except my uncle who was at work.

My Vegas family- except my uncle who was at work.

But whatever sights I saw or food I ate or things I did, the highlights are always the ones when I bond with the people I love!

 

Commitment to Literacy: One Book

Last year, my Commitment to Literacy to donate a book for every comment on this blog- and every like of the Facebook page- spiraled out of control when I realized I was going to have to buy those books! Still I managed to donate 232 books to The Children’s Book Bank.

I wanted to do something a little different this time around.

This year’s Commitment to Literacy’s theme is One Book.

I‘m inviting everyone to think about:

What one book do you think everyone should read- and why?
(or)
What one book has influenced your life- and how?

Go to your library or bookstore and take a picture of yourself with the book.

Send your response to the question(s) and your picture to earldizon [at] gmail.com.

For each one I receive, I will donate a book to The Children’s Book Bank.

I will post these entries on this blog throughout the year.

I’ll think about mine and post it sometime next week!