Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book of the Month: Journey of the Sea Glass Illustrated by Nicole Fazio

 I've been holding on to this gem for about a year now and with summer in full swing, the time seems right to share it with you! Last summer while on a weekend getaway to beautiful St. Michaels, Maryland, I wandered into a little shop called Ophiuroidea. I was only momentarily distracted by the many interesting baubles, trinkets, and sea-themed items; I soon found myself tucked away in the back of the store mesmerized by this book that didn't have words. I've posted about my love of wordless books before but this one took my breath away; Nicole Fazio's illustrations are simply captivating. The story begins as a bottle falls into the ocean. Page after page follows the journey of the bottle and the images get more colorful and vivid as the story progresses. Nature, the ocean, and sea creatures all do their part to create a beautiful, polished, and shiny piece of sea glass. I left the store that day with the book, two pieces of sea glass, and the excitement of knowing that I'd share this book with you all one day soon. Today is that day! I hope you fall in love with this book the way I did.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Book Giveaway: Mack and Missy

Missy and her brother Mack go crabbing with their Grandpa. The rhythmic text and collage illustrations are likely to warm your heart. Many of us who grew up on the East Coast have many fond memories of the sights, smells, and sounds of crab season. Tweet me @LiteracyCounts to win a copy. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Great Balancing Act

I started this little blog in 2009 because I wanted to share my passion for early literacy and early learning with parents and educators. I'd spend  hours reading books in the library, scouring the shelves of my local book store, and writing blog posts. In December of 2010 our family suffered a devastating lost and I took a little break from blogging. Since that time, I really have been learning to live a new normal. 

I'm still learning to balance life as Auntie and to top it off, I've been blessed with a new, and pretty amazing, job. So my poor little blog has suffered from my lack of time. But I'm back and I've decided to rededicate myself to the mission I began five years ago.

Stay tuned for more posts!

If you'd like to be a guest blogger, leave a comment or find me on twitter @LiteracyCounts

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book of the Month: Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten


In a few short weeks everyone will be busy buying backpacks and new lunch boxes. But before you do, ask yourself, "Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?" This is  hilarious little story that I found during a visit to my local library.
"Some people say kindergarten is no place for a buffalo.
How crazy is that?
Does your buffalo have a backpack?
Well then. He's definitely ready for kindergarten!"
Back to School is my favorite time of year. Here are several other posts filled with activities to get your school year off on the right foot!

These two posts include several Back To School Books and many fun-filled activities!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

BOOK OF THE MONTH: "Fire! Fire! Said Mrs. Mcguire

By Bill Martin Jr with updated illustrations by Vladimir Radunsky
What treasures I find at my local library! When I saw Bill Martin Jr.'s name on this book, I knew I had to read it and I was not disappointed. I tested the story on my niece (age 5), who asked me to read it twice and the next day, she was proud to read it all on her own. She was able to use her memory of the story, context clues, and her knowledge of letter sounds, rhymes, and sight words to read this one all on her own.
"Fire! Fire!" said Mrs. McGuire.
"Where? Where?" said Mrs. Bear.
"Downtown!" said Mrs. Brown.
The story features a group of female mice who are very concerned about a "fire" but there's a bit of a surprise at the end. This is a short and simple story but a very humorous way to introduce or reinforce rhyming words.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Book of the Month: Down by the Cool of the Pool

It's April! According to the calendar and the daffodils in my front yard, spring is here. There are so many fun things in this tale. The photos are bright and hilarious. The text is not only catchy, but is written in a way that reminds you of ripples in the water.
"Down by the pool
in the cool of the day.
Frog cried, "Wheeeee!
Can you dance like me?"
Duck came to see.
I can dance too.
But not like you.
I can flap."
"So Duck went "flap"
and Frog cried, "Wheeeee!
Can you dance like me?"
Down by the cool of the pool.
And you can only imagine the fun that ensues as Pig, Sheep, Cat, Dog, and many more animals join in the dance. I'm not sure I can even read this one sitting still! It seems perfect for busy toddlers, active preschoolers, and curious kindergartners!
Just like Why Mosquitoes Buzz in Peoples Ears and The Lion and the Mouse, this is a fun way to learn about onomatopoeia; the examples are endless: whooop, wheeeee, plop, splash, and many more!
What is your favorite silly story?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You

One day in late January, I was in my local bookstore. I wandered over to the children's section, as I often do, to see what book would capture my eye...but instead, I found one that captured by heart. I picked up the book, read it cover to cover, knew I had found the book for my next post, and I knew that today would be the day I'd share it.

Those who read this blog on a regular basis, may remember that I have a very special bond with my niece (now 5) and my nephew (now 2). You see, today, would have been their Mommy's birthday.  And as I stood in the book store that day reading this story, tears flowing rather freely, I felt like this story was sent from heaven just for my family. It reads like a letter from my sister-in-law to her children.
"And if someday you’re lonely,
or someday you’re sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or think you’ve been bad...

just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.

In the green of the grass... in the smell of
the sea... in the clouds floating by...
at the top of a tree... in the sound
crickets make at the end of the day...

“You are loved. You are loved. You are
It's a wonderfully sweet story that any Mom, Dad, Grandparent or Loved One can read to the little ones in their lives to remind them of all the people who love them - those that are here on Earth and those that are not.
 Other Books by Nancy Tillman:

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