Tag Archives: Professional Development

November Literacy Links & Events

Each month, I’ll update “what’s happening” for  literacy advocates.  You’ll discover upcoming  author events, book sales, reading council meetings and even how to swap your books for free!


Let’s start with those free books.  Check out PaperBackSwap.com for the easiest way to swap the books you don’t need or read any more (cookbooks, craft books, even Cliff notes, anything with an ISBN!)  You list the books and when someone requests one, you print the mailing label (and postage if you want) and mail it media rate.  You’ll receive a credit when it’s received and you can then go swapping.  You receive credit just for signing up and if you use my name as a referral, I even earn a credit.pbs_logo-V2

Another great place to get bargain books is the Friends of the Phoenix Public Library warehouse book sale.  Check their website, www.plfriends.org, for dates of sales.  Regular prices are $1 for paperbacks and $2 for hard-bound books and they’re organized just like in a library!  Easy to find and easy to buy.  Become a “friend” and you even get a discount.  You can also purchase books online at their Books for Good site that benefits local charitable nonprofit groups.

November is a busy month for book lovers.  

It’s National Picture Book Month. 

Check out www.picturebookmonth.com for ideas on how to celebrate and to read essays by famous children’s authors and illustrators on why picture books are important.

Mark your calendar for these special literacy events.

Newbery medalist Cynthia Kadohata will be signing at the new Changing Hands Book Store, 300 W. Camelback Rd., on Saturday, November 1 at 2pm.ckadohata pic

thing about luckYou may know her for Kira-Kira, Weedflower and The Thing About Luck, recipient of the 2013 National Book Award.  Her latest book released in September is Half a World Away.


Mark your calendar for the Teachers Open House and Annual Sale (40% discount to teachers!) at Gardner’s Book Service on Saturday, November 8 from 9am-2pm.  Free gifts, food, door prizes and more so get your list and head to Gardner’s to shop.  Don’t forget to sign up for their free professional development workshops.  I presented the Power of the Picture Book in October and upcoming workshops include the Grand Canyon Reader Award.  Librarians Kerrlita Westrick and Shirley Berow will book talk the nominees for the GCRA on Saturday, November 22, 10 – noon.  Please register for this free workshop by calling 602.863.6000.

gcra featured image


There is no meeting for the Greater Paradise Valley Reading Council in November but mark your calendar for Thursday, December 11, 4-6pm at the Paradise Valley Unified School District office, 15002 N. 32 Street, Phoenix.  Free to GPVRC members, $5 for guests.

Best of the Best – Footprints from the States   Join us for a walk around the states as we share books and good eats representing each of our home states. Bring a book and a food dish representing your home state. “Name That State,” state “literary mystery” activities and a state-themed white elephant sale will be featured to help fund community service projects. Come join us for some “state of the state” food and holiday fun!logo read

Power of the Picture Book workshop


Floyd Cooper and Barbara Gowan

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your knowledge of picture books.  I participated in an intensive literacy workshop this summer at the Highlights Foundation in Boyds Mill, PA.  At the helm was Rosemary Agoglia, the Senior Museum Educator at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, along with special guest illustrators Floyd Cooper and Vera B. Williams.

We experienced how to evaluate art using Visual Thinking Strategies, the Whole Book Approach as a story-time model and discussed elements and principles of book design in a session called Picturing Stories.

Rosemary Agoglia of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Rosemary Agoglia of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Whole Book Approach
Whole Book Approach

Vera B. Williams

Vera B. Williams, the Caldecott Medalist, is the author/illustrator of many children’s books including A Chair for My Mother.  If you are familiar with the book, you may recognize a similarity between the chair’s cover and Vera’s blouse.

Floyd Cooper

Floyd Cooper uses an eraser to create his unusual illustrations.  He takes away color and the results are amazing.

 We tried his technique using chalk and gum erasers.  IMGP2991I was so thrilled with all the new ideas that I learned at this workshop and want to share them to you.  I presented the Power of the Picture Book at Gardner’s Book Service in October and will update this post with new dates and locations of future Power of the Picture Book workshops.  Participants in my Power of the Picture Book workshop look at art with a fresh approach that will help link literacy and learning to picture books.  Discover the power of picture books by exploring the illustrations and the messages they share with readers.  I bring over 100 picture books for participants to explore in this hands-on workshop.  Schedule this professional development workshop at your school for your staff.

“Everyone who reads with students should immerse themselves in this workshop.”  Librarian, SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral School