Happy Anniversary

It’s always a nice surprise when a
WP anniversary is announced.

  1. 9 Year Anniversary Achievement
    Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
    You registered on WordPress.com 9 years ago.
    Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.
Posted in Writing | Tagged | 55 Comments

Reading Aloud Heals Just About Everything

PRINCESS BRIDE, THE, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, 1987, TM and Copyright (c) 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. All Rights Reserved

My favorite ‘reading aloud movie’ is “The Princess Bride.”  Yes, it’s a wonderful movie about a fairy tale…but more importantly it’s a grandfather reading aloud the book to his sick grandson, a reluctant listener.  Eventually the grandson is fully engrossed in the book and his grandfather’s reading aloud.

Even when you’re sick, your ears hear the words, and your brain makes wonderful connections, often to the heart.  Sick people smile when they are read aloud to.  Yes, they do.

I have been sick.  Staying home for a week has been sometimes blurry, yet I was able to read aloud to the children at school on Zoom.  What a treat!  I read a Todd Parr book, The Thankful Book.

It was perfect.  We talked about all the things we’re thankful for.

Yet, the tables were turned, I was the sick one.  Reading aloud was healing for me, too.  Yes, reading aloud heals just about everything.


Posted in children's books, Expressing words and feelings, picture books, reading aloud, Teaching young children | Tagged , , | 72 Comments

My Mini Love Note

Big things come in little packages,
and my mini love note
couldn’t have made my heart any bigger.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Some people care too much, I think it’s called love.”
~Winnie the Pooh~


Posted in Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, Kindness, Love, preschool, wonder, young children | Tagged , , , | 63 Comments

Kelly the Reader – Her Story

Kelly has learned to read.  She is so proud!  Most children are happy to just keep reading, once they have crossed that threshold.  Not Kelly.  She wanted to show her skills to the world, to read aloud on YouTube, but Mom and Dad said no.  She wanted to show her stuffies on YouTube.  No again.  After thinking long and hard, she wanted a ‘cozy corner’ a place to read, just like Jennie’s Cozy Corner at school.

My goodness.  Yes, I have a cozy corner in the library.  It was a gift when I celebrated 35 years of teaching.

It’s a lovely spot, a place to just be, a place to read.

Mom and Dad thought this was a wonderful idea.  For Christmas Santa brought Kelly a giant wall hanging.  It is stunning, stairs that are books leading up to a castle and bright sun.

She named her special place, Kelly’s World of Wonder.

I was invited to Kelly’s World of Wonder as the first guest.  First!  I was so excited.  She wanted to read an Elephant and Piggie book.  I was Gerald the elephant, and she was Piggie.

Then, Kelly wanted to read aloud on her own to me.  The book was tricky, as I had to guess different animals.  Clearly, Kelly was confident and a terrific reader-aloud.

Here’s to Kelly, and the readers of the world.  More importantly, here’s to Kelly’s creativity and imagination.  In the words of Albert Einstein,
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

I am proud of you, Kelly.  Thank you for inviting me to be your first guest.


Posted in children's books, Early Education, Imagination, Inspiration, literacy, reading, reading aloud, wonder | Tagged , , | 76 Comments

Quotations On Libraries

A library is the brass ring to the Merry-Go-Round of Life. It holds wisdom, history, stories, and opens the mind. These quotations on libraries from Charles French are brilliant. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

charles french words reading and writing



“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

                                                                              Jose Luis Borges



“The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

                                                                                  Albert Einstein



“A library is a place where you can live a thousand lives. So why are you waiting when you could be living? Visit your library today.”

                                                                                 Stephen King


“Libraries are the democratization of knowledge. With only the need for a library card, anyone can access the information of the world.”

                                                                         Charles F. French

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Posted in Uncategorized | 43 Comments

Pen Pal Valentines

Valentines for our pen pals
who live far away
in England and Michigan,
love and friendship
made by hand.


Posted in art, Expressing words and feelings, Giving thanks, Inspiration, Kindness, Love, Writing | Tagged , , | 37 Comments

Winter Sunset

At last, there was a winter sunset on the drive home from work at my favorite Sunset Farm intersection.  That means the days are getting longer.  At school we can now watch sunsets on the playground at the end of the day.  Sunsets are beautiful; their colors are magical, and just what we need to see at the end of a long day.  Looking at the sky with children is opening a window, because their wonder reminds us to stop and look.  The world is beautiful.


Posted in Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, Nature, wonder | Tagged , , | 72 Comments

We’re Still Pen-Pals

Last summer a child who had moved on from my class was missing me.  His mom emailed:

He said, “Mumma, I miss Jennie.”  I said, “I’m sure you do.  What is it you miss about her? ” He said, “I love to play with her.  I miss that.”

That was a lightbulb moment for me to write a letter and become pen-pals.  We have written back and forth a few times.  It is always a thrill.  Always.

Over Christmas break he went to the Science Museum in Boston and…. there was Spot, the Boston Dynamics robot.  He was so excited!  What a surprise.

Last year we learned about their robots, thanks to their YouTube video.

We even Zoomed with their engineers, and Spot became everyone’s best buddy.

It was now my turn to write a pen-pal letter.  It’s the dark ages in New England, and cold, and hard to find things to talk about.  Still, I needed to write to my pen-pal.  We both needed sunshine and smiles.

My card to my pen pal.

Hi Pen Pal!

I saw this card and it reminded me of your big, happy smile.  Do you know that a smile can change the world?  It always makes others feel better.  I know that when you smile at me, I feel warm and happy inside.

Happy fifth birthday (a little late.)  Doesn’t it feel great to be five years old?  Was the trip to the Science Museum a treat for your birthday?

I can’t believe you saw Spot the robot dog- how exciting!  Did you jump up and down?  I bet you gave the biggest smile, ever!

Your friend and pen-pal,


It’s the little things that are really the big things.  A smile certainly is.  So is a letter to a pen-pal.  You never know the difference it might make for someone else.  That smile across the classroom to a child at rest time years ago changed my teaching; pay attention to children first.  They matter more than the curriculum.  What follows is the best learning, and a close bond with children.

I’m so glad to be a teacher.


Posted in Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, Teaching young children, wonder | Tagged , , | 91 Comments

E.B. White

E.B. White’s thoughts always go through me like a Fourth of July sparkler.  He has a way with words, and he ‘knows’.  His wisdom is as remarkable as his writing.  He was the observer, the one who paid attention and noticed everything.  He never wanted to be in the limelight.  When I heard his voice recording of Charlotte’s Web, I was shocked.  I said to his grandniece, “I don’t read the book that way at all.”  She smiled and understood, then she told me a story:

“Uncle Andy (that was E.B.’s nickname) adored his wife.  She was a strong woman,” said Lindsay.  “She was older than he was, eleven years older.  He adored her.  His mother was a strong woman, too.  She was much older when Andy was born.”

“Do you know it took him seventeen takes to read the final chapter, The Last Day?  Seventeen.  He couldn’t stop crying.  You see, in Charlotte’s Web, Wilbur was actually Andy, and Charlotte was his wife Katherine.  He was devoted to her and adored her.  She was his best friend, as Charlotte was to Wilbur.  Reading that chapter aloud brought back all the memories of his wife.”

I will never forget that.  She lifted him up, because she knew he was a good person and a writer.  She adored him, as Charlotte adored Wilbur.

Andy must have been thinking of Katherine when he wrote this:

One of the best books I have read is Melissa Sweet’s story of E.B. White, Some Writer.  Highly recommended!

If you want to know everything about E.B. White, it is the book.  Far from a typical biography, it tells the reader as much about the books he wrote as it does about his life.  It is terrific.  Charlotte the spider would applaud that word.


Posted in Book Review, books, chapter reading, children's books, E.B. White, Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, literacy, reading aloud, reading aloud, Teaching young children | Tagged , , , | 74 Comments

The Morning After

The morning after the snowstorm, winter wonderland

Posted in Uncategorized | 57 Comments