Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Workshop for Your Church or Library

In the central Oklahoma region...
This workshop is useful in training volunteers, staff, parents, or caregivers.  Schedule this short workshop for your next volunteer training or continuing education event.

HOW TO SHARE A PICTURE BOOK WITH YOUNG CHILDREN:Skills for Guest Readers and All Who Share Books / Marilyn A. Hudson, M.L.I.S.
Perfect for parents and volunteers. Learn how to share a picture book with a group of children and make their book time fun! Conducted by library professional, Marilyn A. Hudson. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013


"Children's Picture Books with Purpose" begins an annotated list of books with storylines supporting positive character development, issues of faith and values as well as moral development.  This list will be of interest to those who home school, those who teach in religious schools and programs, and to parents who are interested in addressing certain topics or issues.  The focus is on books found easily in local school or public libary collections.  Most can also be readily found for purchase, however, some may be harder to find and require the use of a local library.  Many of these books are long standing classics and many have won awards for content, writing, or illustrations.  Picture books, although designed for younger children, can be used up through middle school ages.  The visual imagery and quality, coupled with excellent writing and story content can make them a good choice for short, impactful additions to lessons addressing the themes noted.

Title: The Rainbow Fish (1992)

Author: Marcus Phister, a Swiss author

Synopsis: A small fish is so proud of his unique looks he alienates the other fish and sets out to learn how to have friends. He discovers a valuable lesson. Many versions feature the addition of sparkling 'scales' to visually highlight how the fish stands out from his fellow fish.

Themes: Pride, Friendship, Sharing, Personal Sacrifice, Ego

Applications:  discuss what might be the 'shiny scales' in life (nice clothes, electronic gadgets, trips, toys, food, house, cars, etc.).  Explore the page where the fish shares his shining scales and how it brightens the entire page as a way to illustrate the influence of good deeds and kindness to others.

Links: Author page
Craft Idea:  Make a fish (Paper plate)
Teaching Activity: Phonemic Awareness ; Count the scales/fish for mathematical activity

---(c) Marilyn A. Hudson, MLIS, 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Have You Read These? Top Picture and Award Books

One of the questions parents often have is what should they read to and with their children?  The good news
is that a lot of lists exists to guide you locating classic and quality works.  In addition, various professionals are available to guide a parent or child in locating the best book for them.

These professionals include the classroom teacher (whose area of expertise is related to the teaching and learning of how to read and comprehend what is read), the children's librarian (whose area of expertise may include the learning of reading but also encompasses fostering a love of reading, a hunger to explore through books and learning resources. In addition, for introduction to research they teach skills about locating, accessing and using various information tools to answer questions).

Children's books with many pictures are often called "Picture Books" and sometimes "Easy" or "Everybody" books.  The formal definition of a picture book is one where the illustrations are crucial to the understanding and telling of the story. The term is sometimes used to identify those books where no reading is needed or a book that it is expected will be read to a child. These books are often no more than 32 or 48 pages in length. "Easy" or "Picture" book sections sometimes includes the "Transition" or "Chapter Books" of less than 100 pages and a few chapters. This opposed to a book with illustrations that merely show a scene or a character periodically through the book.  Picture books can be very simple but also surprisingly sophisticated. The art work is often quite stunning and innovative.  Some picture books straddle the line between fine fiction and early childhood book and are sometimes labeled as "Illustrated Books."

"Picture Books" of longer length and great visual beauty are often shared with youth into Middle School. They are appealing to interest students who do not normally read by combining reading skills with visual literacy.

Winners for outstanding use of illustrations in a children's book (Caldecott) provide additional lists and any award lists are good selection tools. Other wellknown awards include the Newbery for chapter books for older children, the Hornbook Award, the Coretta Scott King Award and others Steer clear of too heavy dependence on reader's pick lists, Amazon lists, etc. These are often created to promote a specific publisher, author, or point of view.  The awards criteria involve standards of writing and literary quality, artistic merit and quality, a d production quality in binding/packaging, etc. 

Here are some good lists, some annotated, to guide parents and others in selecting quallity reading material to read to or with a small child.

For a more formal discussion and some historic images and sources check out the article on Children's Picture Books at Gutenberg.

Some Titles for Christian Parents

A good list is here in "7 Children's Books to Spark Discussions on Faith" at the blog Under God's Mighty Hand.   Another good entry covers "5 Favorite Picture Books to Start the Day."

Some Resources for Quality Christian Children's Work

Child Sized Stories seeks to provide useful resources for a variety of settings. A great resource for those working with children in Christian faith based settings. To anyone who has worked with children's work in church or groups there is a need for quality resources.
One good starting place is at Children's Ministry.

Free sample resources allow a leader to test various resources.  Thought provoking articles encourage skill building and continuing education among workers and staff. 

The site also links to youth and adult resources by the proven experts in ministry resources, GROUP.

Look for an up coming article on traditional childrens's books that lend themselves to faith based and values lessons. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Growing Up with Princess Lizzy

It is always a pleasure to be able to alert parents and child care professionals with resources that not only entertain but also help them share valuable life skills.  Here is a new series taking flight that should meet that need for books kids will enjoy but books that will also be useful in conveying values and for enriching the curriculum.

Princess Lizzy provides a wonderful venue for children to learn, think and grow. Such basic life lessons and common situations as "How do you handle a situation when you know someone hasn’t told the truth? What do you do when you see a little girl without a coat in the cold of winter? Where do flowers go when they disappear? What do you do when your feet don’t reach the floor?"

Author Dr. Mary Adkinson, "Gma Mary",  lives in the heart of Oklahoma on one and a half acres with her husband, Bob. Lots of birds, squirrels, and occasionally coyotes or skunks keep them company.  Their kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids are scattered across Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

The authors readers and parents to "Follow Princess Lizzy on Twitter or Facebook so your child won’t miss a single adventure. I relish your input as to what you like or dislike about the stories. If you have ideas for other life lessons, I would love to hear from you. Perhaps, your idea will become a new adventure for Princess Lizzy."

Ask for them by name at your local bookstore and library. Visit the website for special deals and resources :

Mary Adkinson “Gma Mary”
Author of “Growing Up With Princess Lizzy Series”
tiny book 1 cover    tiny book 2 cover

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Children's Picture Books and Fiction Submissions Sought

Tall Tails Publishing House is now accepting submissions for picture books and children's fiction.  Submission guidelines can be found a

Founded in 2008, Tall Tails Publishing House is a small press dedicated to providing entertaining and beautifully illustrated children's books that inspire young people to explore the world around them. We are located in Oklahoma, and are always ready to support local authors and illustrators.

Friday, January 25, 2013


LiNiyah Bailey sent this message:  "Thanks so much for your continued support as I am traveling along this journey to banish bullying and to create acceptance for all.   I'm so excited to share some great news with you. On Saturday, January 26th, 2013 I will be the featured Inspirational Luminary on, sharing my wisdom with the world. This FREE website is one to bookmark!"

Inspire Me Today features the 'Brilliance' of a new Luminary every day. To help you stay inspired, you can sign up to receive this 3 minute 'Today's Brilliance' pick-me-up each day by email, by RSS feed or as an iPhone app. You can even subscribe to it on the new Google Currents.  You can start your day with the wisdom of Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Neale Donald Walsch, Marci Shimoff, or one of hundreds more, now including Bailey who noted, "I'm so honored to be with such esteemed company!"

Please visit the site on January 26th, 2013 and help LaNiyah Bailey inspire the world.  "If my traffic and comments break records, will share my content with millions of additional people too! I hope you'll check it out, leave a comment and share it with your friends."

From the folks at Inspire Me Today and from me, thank you in advance for your kind support.   "I know you're going to love InspireMeToday.comTogether we really can inspire the world."

The Author
LaNiyah Bailey
Award-Winning Youth Author & Anti-Bullying Advocate