Welcome to Anastasia Suen’s Booktalking #kidlit blog archives. This site has blog posts from 2011-2015. Use the search box, the archives menu, or the categories menu to find a post. The July 9, 2015 Teach Stem Now webcast links are also archived on this site.
Booktalk: In 1957 in Liverpool, England, a young lad named John Lennon and his band played music at a local church fair. In the audience was Paul McCartney, who liked what he heard and soon joined the group. Paul’s friend George Harrison kept showing up at rehearsals until the older boys finally let him in. Eventually they found the perfect drummer, Ringo Starr, and the perfect name: The Beatles. Four ordinary boys growing up amid the rubble of postwar England found music to be a powerful, even life-saving, force and became the bestselling band in history.
Snippet: John attacked the guitar, strumming as fast as he could. He didn’t give a fig about wrong notes. With some of his mates, he organized a skiffle group called the Quarrymen, pounding out souped-up folk songs and some rock and ‘n’ roll. They had no idea how to play, but they loved making noise–lots of noise! Rehearsing in Mum’s bathroom, the sound bounced off the tiles. Bam, BOOM, bam, BOOM!
Get Drawing! (Dream It, Do It!)
by Charlotte Guillain (Author)
Booktalk: Stop dreaming about becoming an artist—and take steps to make your dream come true! These helpful tips for finding inspiration, keeping a sketchbook, and always thinking creatively will help you open your own gallery in no time!
Snippet: Ideas come when you don’t expect them. Carry a sketchpad with you and keep all of your drawing and doodles. You could also cut out any pictures that you like in magazines and stick them in your sketchbook.
Use the tips at the end of the book to stage your own gallery show!
Booktalk: It is easy to spend money when you have a credit card or a loan. But it is also easy to spend or borrow more than you can afford. How can you use credit responsibly? How can you avoid going into debt? Read this book to understand how credit works.
Snippet: A credit card lets you use debt to pay for something. When you use a credit card, you borrow money from a credit card company. You must pay back this money. Credit card companies also charge interest. Interest increases over time. The longer you take to pay back the money, the more you must pay.
It’s back to school shopping time–a teachable moment for a lesson on spending and credit! Try the Take the Spending Challenge and play a game to see how paying with cash or credit affects how much you owe.
by Todd Oldham (Author), Caleb Neelon (Author), and Ed Emberley (Illustrator)
Booktalk: Ed Emberley is a Caldecott award-winning children’s book illustrator and writer who has been creating original books since the 1960s. He has written and illustrated more than 100 books. Contemporary working artists today often cite Ed Emberley as a beloved early inspiration in their development as artists. By encouraging kids to draw using just a few simple shapes, Emberley has made drawing and creating accessible to everyone.
Snippet: Early Work
As Ed Emberley began his children’s bookmaking career in the 1960s, he had a young family and a new home to support. He found that working in several different styles of drawing (and soon after, printmaking) would allow him the freedom to work on enough book projects to make ends meet. He quickly realized that this variety of style was a key part of who he was as an artist and not simply an approach to launching a career.
Try it yourself! Make art in these different styles…