Teresa of the New World

Teresa.of.the.NewWorld

Teresa of the New World
by Sharman Apt Russell (Author)

Booktalk: In 1528, the real-life conquistador Cabeza de Vaca shipwrecked in the New World where he lived for eight years as a slave, trader, and shaman. In this lyrical weaving of history and myth, the adventurer takes his young daughter Teresa from her home in Texas to walk westward into the setting sun, their travels accompanied by miracles–visions and prophecies. But when Teresa reaches the outposts of New Spain, life is not what her father had promised. When a new epidemic of measles devastates the area, the sixteen-year-old sets off on her own journey. Now Teresa moves through a land stalked by Plague: smallpox as well as measles, typhus, and scarlet fever.

Snippet:
She could still hear the wise woman’s voice. She hadn’t understood then, when she was a child. She hadn’t realized that the wise woman had been talking to her, and not to her father. What you have lost will be restored to you. Now Teresa had to return back to that village, back to that hill and crumbling adobe house. Now she had someplace to go.

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Watch the Spanish Explorers: Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca video.
Then make your own animated video at PowToon.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter

Party In A Book: Spots, Dots, and Stripes

Party.in.a.Book

Party In A Book: Spots, Dots, and Stripes
by Rebecca Emberley (Author, Illustrator)

Booktalk: Everything you need to throw a party! DIY: Hundreds of perforated paper pieces, easy to assemble in dozens of ways to create your perfect party. Simply punch out the shapes desired, add some glue and string and you can make garlands, cupcake toppers, tray covers, chains, gift wrap, invitations, labels, tags, boxes, and much more.

Snippet:

party.int.1

party.int.2

party.int.3

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter

Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse

RandomBodyParts

Random Body Parts: Gross Anatomy Riddles in Verse
by Leslie Bulion (Author) and Mike Lowery (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Witty and nimble verse about body parts pairs with whimsical drawings in this informative, fun collection. Sidebars further educate readers about the anatomical subject in question, while appended notes offer a crash course on poetic form and a few facts about the Shakespearean works that inspired the verses. A glossary for science terms is included in the back matter.

RBP page 29

Snippet:
RIDDLE ME THIS
Of course you have a body,
But do you have a clue,
Where all the body parts you’ve got are found
And what they do?

RBP page7

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Use this printable to Write Your Own Riddle.

poetry friday

This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by The Logonauts.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter

Air Show

Air_Show_600x800

Air Show
by Anastasia Suen (Author) and Cecco Mariniello (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Cougars, Panthers, Camels, and Mosquitos. What do these animals have in common? Their names identify the historic airplanes that take flight at this spectacular air show event. In simple, poetic words and skillfully rendered illustrations, Anastasia Suen and Cecco Mariniello introduce the world of flight to children.

Snippet:
as.in1
as.in2

Author’s Note:
Thanks to StarWalk KidsMedia, my picture book Air Show is now an e-book and it has come out just in time for the July PopUp Library! Hooray! (During the the month of July all children can read as many books as they want for free!) Later in the year, narration will be added to the e-book.

Air Show was my first book and although it has been out of print for many years, it is a book that is close to my heart. My father’s parents built P-51 Mustangs during World War II. Yes, my grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter lady! (When you read the book, look for my grandparent’s plane on page 11. Mustangs leap . . .)

See P-51 Mustangs in the air.

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Design and test your own plane with the online Paper Airplane Creator.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter

Avis Dolphin

AvisDolphin

Avis Dolphin
by Frieda Wishinsky (Author) and Willow Dawson (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Avis Dolphin doesn’t want to sail to England on the Lusitania. War is raging in Europe, and the Germans threaten to sink the ship. Avis is lonely and afraid until she meets a kindly professor whose stories of a magical island help her face an uncertain future. (The stories the professor tells Avis are illustrated in a graphic-novel form, creating a story-within-a-story.)

AvisDolphin_interior

Snippet:
I know about U-boats. They’re submarines hiding under the sea, waiting for ships, like foxes hiding in the bushes, waiting to pounce on rabbits or deer. When U-boats spy a warship, they launch a torpedo! And if a ship is hit, that’s it. The ship sinks. But until today I thought U-boats were only after warships.

I tap Hilda on the shoulder, “Maybe the warning is real. Maybe . . .”

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

See a primary document, the 27-page SUPPLEMENTARY cargo manifest for the Lusitania’s last voyage.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter

Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage As the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History

BennyGoodmanTeddyWilson

Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage As the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History
by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Author) and James E. Ransome (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Brought together by the love of jazz, Teddy Wilson and Benny Goodman broke the color barrier in entertainment when they formed the Benny Goodman Trio with Gene Krupa and helped create the style of music known as swing.

Snippet:
Chicago’s West Side Colt’s Electric Park, 1922:

Pop boom pop boom
Above Benny,
the Fourth of July exploded
One hundred colors, loud,
live and hot
In front of him, the jazz band
clarinet, piano, drums
pop boom pop boom
Benny sat, toe tapping,
fingers snapping,
listening

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Click on a date on the Interactive Timeline to journey back in time and discover how jazz became America’s music.

Nonfiction Monday

It’s Nonfiction Monday!

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light

Red Light, Green Light e-book
by Anastasia Suen (Author) and Ken Wilson-Max (Illustrator)

Booktalk: Roll into one little boy’s make-believe traffic world, filled with flashing lights, zooming cars, whirring helicopters, and racing fire engines. He’s turned records into rotaries, shoe boxes and books into highway ramps, crayons into lane markers, and dandelions into trees. It’s a world where imagination rules and creativity abounds.

Snippet:
Red light, stop.
Green light, go.

Cars and trucks
drive to and fro.

Author’s Note:
It’s the 10th anniversary of my picture book, Red Light, Green Light and the e-book has just been updated! Hooray!

Here’s the short version of the long story…

I sold this book in 1999 and it came out in 2005. It was on the final Gulliver Books list and then that imprint of Harcourt was closed. A few years later, Harcourt was sold and then the company that bought them, Houghton Mifflin, went into bankruptcy. After the new Houghton Mifflin Harcourt came out on the other side, they re-organized several times.

In the middle of all this change, Red Light, Green Light was converted to an e-book. It was still the early days of e-books and I’m sorry to say that the conversion was not a success. There were extra words on top of the art and the art itself moved up and down as you “turned” the pages. But all of the people that I worked with on this book were long gone, so my efforts to get the e-book fixed went nowhere for a long time. In May I tried again and a very friendly customer service representative said she would talk to her manager…and it worked! On June 1st an email came saying that the book was being remade. Three weeks later, the e-book files were updated on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes!

For me, this is a summer book because of driver’s ed. That’s when my two teens took it (and so did I, lo-o-o-o-ng ago.) I wrote this book because of the 100 hours of required driving practice. I was sitting on the passenger’s side of the car pressing my foot on that imaginary brake at each intersection…making my new drivers crazy! (Mom!!!) The book dedication reads: “For my two new drivers, it feels like just minutes ago that you were driving toy cars.”

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Make my Traffic Light Necklace Craft.

rlgl.necklace.small

Materials:
red, green, and yellow yarn
black construction paper
red, green, and yellow dots (I used 3/4″ dots from Office Depot)
scissors
glue stick

Directions (before the kids arrive):

1) Cut the yarn in to 36″ lengths.

2) Gather the yarn into triple strands (one red, one yellow and one green for each child.)

3) Cut the black construction paper in strips. (I used 9×12″ paper so I cut the 12″ side into 2″ strips. Each strip was the 2″ wide and 9″ long.

4) Fold each black strip in half to make a tent. (Now it’s 2″ wide and 4 1/2″ tall.)

Directions (after the kids arrive):

5) Put the yarn inside the black paper “tent” and center it so approximately 18″ of yarn extends out on each side.

6) Rub glue on the inside of the tent. Then press the paper tight so the glue holds.

7) Place a green dot, a yellow dot, and a green dot on the black paper. Green is Go! Yellow is Slow! Red is Stop! Now you have a traffic light!

8) Tie the ends of the yarn into a bow. Now put the bow over the child’s head. It’s a traffic light necklace!

poetry friday

This week’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by Mainely Write.

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter

How Does My Garden Grow?

How Does My Garden Grow

How Does My Garden Grow?
by Gerda Muller (Author, Illustrator)

Booktalk: Sophie lives in the city, and her vegetables come from the supermarket. When she goes to visit her grandparents in the countryside — she discovers how things grow!

Snippet:
After breakfast, Grandad John took her out into the garden and gave her lots of tools, all just the right size.

“Oh, thank you!” said Sophie.

Grandad John showed Sophie a small patch of garden where she could grow her own vegetables.

“Before sowing the seeds, you need to rake the ground.”

STEM + the Arts = STEAM

STEAM DIY Activity

Plant an Easy and Tasty 4 x 4-foot Kids’ Garden.

kids-4x4-Gardens_web

Copyright © 2015 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.
Site Meter