The Wash Rag, The Reading Tub Newsletter, Fall 2008

This is the digest version of The Wash Rag, the Reading Tub’s quarterly newsletter. If you prefer, you can read the newsletter edition. It has a lot more links and tidbits, like this one …

Rolie Polie Olie Meet William Shakespeare
~ an article by author/educator J.H. Everett about ways to ham it up when you read aloud with kids.

CHAPTER ONE … General Tub Stuff
Happy Anniversary! It has been five years since I launched the Reading Tub® website as a “hobby.” Wow! It seems like yesterday, yet we have come so far. First things first … Thank You!

Without your support, your time, and your passion for reading, we would not be here. Whether you sent a book, reviewed a book, spread the word, sent us a donation, or volunteered to help us with the daily routine, you gave us what we need to encourage families to read and to help a child become a successful reader. For that, we will be forever grateful.

The Soap Dish … Stuff We’re Bubbly About
We delayed publication of the Wash Rag so we could talk about the new Reading Tub website. And it is oh-so-worth it! We have been working all summer (mostly Beth from to upgrade the Website. In a nutshell …

  • We simplified the home page and added dynamic content. Every time you visit you’ll see a different set of books and a fact about reading and literacy.
  • We created easier-to-use Navigation. The new tabs make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
  • We reformatted the profile. It is even easier to borrow a book at your library, because the button is at the top, right next to the book cover.
  • We expanded the Learning to Read Space. With more space for links, articles, and direct content, it’s easier to find what you need to help kids learn to read.

We are still moving a few things and catching the errant book cover, but early returns suggest that folks are very happy with the new look and the simplified presentation. Looking back is great, but looking ahead is even more fun. In the coming year, we hope to get a couple initiatives off the ground.

  • Launch Read it Together. Thanks to a Community Grant (see sidebar) we are closer to getting this project off the ground. We will work on getting a sponsor for the remaining funding to write that Reading Guide.
  • Add multi-media content. This one is in “pre-production” mode. We may have podcasts, videocasts, or a combination of both. It’s too soon to tell.
  • Create a Wiki. This one is already on the drawing board. The goal is to create a place that complements what we do on the website and add more literacy tools.
  • Expand collaborative efforts. There are lots of good ideas and some wonderful initiatives to promote family reading. I’d like to find ways for like-minded folks to come together to help each other promote their good works.

Author Showcase ~ Fall2008
The Author Showcase somehow seems to design itself each quarter. There is no process for picking themes or finding things in common. We fill slots one at a time, as authors express their interest. This month we have four first-time children’s book authors. What’s neat is that they not only wrote about kids, but their own children play a role in bringing the book to life, whether as inspiration, models for characters, or editors. Very cool!

Dr. Vicki Ebeling is a counselor and educator. She works one-on-one with kids and understands their needs, their frustrations, and their goals, for themselves and as readers. Her new book, The Winner’s Group is a middle-grade novel specifically designed for reluctant readers. Jump in the Reading Tub to meet Vicki Ebeling.

Lily Guzman has always found stories to be an effective way to help kids understand the world around them. Her bilingual children’s picture book The Caterpillar Story ~ La Historia de la Oruga is a poem she wrote to help her friends and family understand a tough decision in her life. Take a moment to visit with Lily Guzman.

Julia Rose believes that as an author it is best to write what you know. For Julia, that is her family. Her life experiences, particularly adventures with her children and grandchildren are central to her stories. Julia’s first novel, a middle-grade chapter book won Best Children’s Book of the Year by Christian Storyteller. Meet Julia Rose, author of The Gift Keepers.

Given the current state of the economy, Candi Sparks couldn’t have timed her debut children’s book series any better. What’s it about? MONEY! Candi knows that families want help in making smart money. She created the Can I Have Some Money book series (which includes picture and chapter books) as a way to help parents raise money-savvy kids. I know you’re going to want to hear what Candi has to say in this interview.

The Final Rinse
It is always fun to put together a Wash Rag, because it gives me a chance to stop and think about what’s been happening in the Reading Tub these past 90 days. Now, as we head toward the last two, event-filled months of the year, I expect things will get even busier. Since we won’t publish again until 2009, let me be the first to wish you happy holidays!

4 responses to “The Wash Rag, The Reading Tub Newsletter, Fall 2008

  1. Hello Terry – the new site looks wonderful, congratulations! It’s in our “sites we love” list at Hopefully you’ve received our new fall titles, if not, please let me know. And if you’d like to connect with any of our authors for an interview, we’d be delighted set something up!

  2. Thanks for letting us know about the article. It pulls together a lot of good ideas. Ironically, I’ve tagged a news item about reading with pets as part of our Reading Round-up for next week.

  3. Thanks for the updates! Too Shy to Stop writer Ken Ward actually just wrote a piece about unique ways to teach children how to read. You can read the article here.

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