Reading News and Children’s Literacy Roundup – February Recap

Happy Read Across America day! When I cloned the January Recap I thought “wow, there’s a lot going on.” My partners in crime for the Reading News and Children’s Literacy Roundup – Carol Rasco of Rasco from RIF and Jen Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page – always find great stuff.


You would think I’d know by now that Carol Rasco & Jen would out-do themselves in February, too! Enjoy this Suess-pendous collection of literacy and reading news.


The one-and-only Dr. Seuss deserves a day of celebration, and it is TODAY! Read Across America is an annual event that reminds us all of just how special – and fun – Green Eggs and Ham, a certain Cat can be, and most importantly (IMHO) just how important Dr. Seuss has been to generations of developing readers. Here are a few of the extra goodies we’ve spotted …


  • In honor of Read Across America Day, Sylvan Dell Publishing will be offering all seventy of their children’s picture book titles as free eBooks for you to read on their website this Friday, March 2, 2012.
  • NBC/Universal’s new movie The Lorax opens nationwide today. Thanks to the NEA website for the link to the latest trailer. Worth noting: Universal, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and Random House have joined NEA’s Read Across America, creating new posters and classroom guides for the campaign. (Image credit: Amazon)
  • has opened a contest where you can win a set of Dr. Seuss books just by taking pictures of your lesson/activity/theme/food for your Dr. Seuss or Read Across America Celebration and entering their contest.
  • The Houston Chronicle Blog incorporates a slideshow with 25 Words Your Toddler Should Know as part of its Dr. Seuss and Read Across America Day post. [Be sure to click “show caption” so you see the words.]

Right up there with Dr. Seuss are the accomplishments of Jan Berenstain and her husband Stain. Brother, Sister, Mother, and Father have been a part of our childhoods for fifty years! As a memorial to her contributions to literacy, the Berenstain family designated Reading is Fundamental as their designated recipient. You may access the memorial site at We can think of no worthier way to continue paying forward a love of children and literacy by making sure every child has access to these and other wonderful books.

I’m not as big a fan of the Oscars as I am children’s books … but like Carol, I was T-H-R-I-L-L-E-D to see such wonderful success for The Invention of Hugo Cabret and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Do visit Carol’s post and read more about the winners. You can’t miss it. There’s a great picture of William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg celebrating their Oscar for Morris Lessmore. (image credit: Wikipedia)

Here are a couple of tidbits that came in too late for Carol’s recap …

Via @EducationWeek on Twitter … Guest blogger Hanna Rose Sachs summarizes the findings of a new study on kids and sleep done at Brigham Young.  The bottom line: kids’ need for sleep is a “sliding scale.” Here’s an excerpt from Hannah’s article.

The study found the optimal sleep amount for 10-year-olds ranges between 9 and 9.5 hours, while for 18-year-olds it is slightly less than 7 hours. At ages 12 and 16, children need between 8.34 to 8.43 hours and 7.02 to 7.35 hours, respectively, the study found.

Here is another Education Week “dish.” Creating a Menu for Reading Instruction. Doesn’t that title just evoke great imagery? The piece is an interview with Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, authors of [amazon_link id=”1571107282″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literacy Assessment and Instruction[/amazon_link]. Liana Heitin‘s article allows Gail and Joan to explain how CAFE works, but she also asks the questions that many over-worked teachers would ask: how can I possibly do this and make it work with my [district/system’s] standards?

Last but not least, we hope you’ll join us for Share a Story – Shape a Future starting on Monday. Our fourth (!) annual blog tour for literacy will celebrate the Culture of Reading with ideas, recommendations, and PLENTY of personal stories. In years’ past, folks have thought this was an event for the “elementary reader” crowd. All week long, we’ll be sharing stories for readers of all ages and abilities  [image credit: Elizabeth Dulemba]

Jen shared a recent School Library Journal article on the link between literacy and the imagination written by Sven Birkerts. This quote sums up and sets a great tone for Share a Story, so I’ll close with it.

I had learned that I could do it. This was something very different than hearing stories from my mother at bedtime or from Miss Carnahan when we made a circle. This was suddenly power and control, and I knew, maybe for the first time, that I had something that couldn’t be undone or taken away. It was as if I had all at once, in the space of a long breath, doubled what I was. I could read.

And I read. Not heroically or precociously. But once I started, I never stopped … My greatest joy, then, as now, was to find a place away from others, to be alone and have it happen again, the renewable miracle: to feel the world I live in start to slowly recede while at the same time another, different world builds itself more and more distinctly around me.

Happy Friday y’all!



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