Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Children's Literature Workshop

In October 2010, I had the privilege of attending a Children's Literature Workshop run by the Highlights Foundation.

About fifteen writers from all over the United States assembled together to hear from executives, editors, and authors that work with Highlights for Kids Magazine or with the Boyds Mills Press.  It was a busy weekend full of encouragement and specific knowledge on how to thrive in children's literature within today's unique environment.

A special thanks to editors Kim Griswell, Larry Rosler, and Joelle DuJardin; and to the President of Boyds Mills Press, Clay Winters; and also a very special thank you to authors Lindsay Barrett George and Jan Cheripko.

Highlights Foundation Workshop

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Love New York!

New York - such a vibrant, exciting city!  After being away for over 10 years, I took a week long trip there last month.

For pictures of my trip, please see my mystery blog at:  C. T. Martin's Trip to NY City

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Great Non-Fiction From the Discovery Kids Series

Last week, we broached the importance of including good non-fiction books in your child's monthly reading routine at home.  Doing so can help foster a love of learning in your child about such topics, apart from the classroom.  Now, let's highlight two non-fiction books from the Discovery Kids Series.  

The book, The Human Body (2009), is divided into seven parts.  It covers skin, bones, lungs, the heart, food and digestion, the brain, and the senses.  The sentence structure is simple, the explanations are brief and clear.  As you would expect, the book has plenty of pictures that should capture a child's interest, but they are well chosen and pertinent to each topic.

An effective feature in the book is the Discovery Facts box.  It contains facts that even adults may not be aware of.  Here's an example under the section on Bones, "There are about 5 1/2 pounds of marrow in an adult's body.  The bone marrow produces more than 3 million new blood cells every second!"

In Ocean World (2008), a similar format is followed.  The topics include beaches and shores, coral reefs, open oceans, and polar waters.  The pictures in this book are spectacular, not only within the pages of the book, but also on the stickers inside.  There are many breathtaking images of various ocean life.  You can really make things fun with your child by having them draw pictures of the sea life and posting them on the refrigerator or your own blog!

Sea Butterfly
If you think that this book covers only the ordinary sea life that you are accustomed to, think again.  It goes far beyond seals, orcas, and polar bears.  One fascinating creature discussed is the Sea Butterfly - ever heard of it?  Me neither.  They are beautiful and is just one of the very exotic creatures discussed in Ocean World.

An interesting tidbit from one of the Did you know? boxes in this book is about the walrus.  When it becomes overheated it turns pink in color.  This is because its hot blood flows close to the surface of the skin so as to cool the body down.

Other very useful features in both books are a full color pull out poster, a set of stickers, several short quizzes, and an easy to use index for kids too.  Even in our 21st century world of electronics and video, stickers are still fun for kids and a great way to validate your child's success in learning.  As a reward for finishing all of the activities in this book, you could take your child to visit your local aquarium.

Do yourself a favor and place these two books on your shelf or check them out from your library.  I promise, they will fire your child's imagination and yours too!

Friday, September 3, 2010

From Odds and Ends...

A Poem

This year my parents celebrated 32 years of marriage.  I wrote a simple, short poem in honor of those two beautiful people.  I hope that you enjoy the poem as much as they did.


is passionate and much more than romance,

it is a treasure when you stick loyally together,

surrounded by your loving family,

that will never forget your importance.

Love repairs you when you break down,

and makes your heart whole.

It will be especially beautiful when blessings overtake you,

and your love lasts forever.