IN THIS ISSUE:
– Welcome: “Reading – A life skill that’s always in style!”
– Feature: “A book speaks”
– Teacher/Parent Book Pick – “Teaching Kids to Care & Cooperate”
– K-3 Book Pick – “Lucky the Golden Goose”
– 4-6 Book Pick – “Harriet the Spy”
– Web Discoveries; “Best reading & book sites”
– Words of Wisdom – “Three cures for kid’s boredom – 1988”
– Life Skills Resources – Quick Links
WELCOME: “Reading – A Life Skill That’s Always In Style!”
Winter’s here and the nights are longer.
What a great time to curl up with a good book! Reading is one of my greatest passions. Just the thought of getting on an airplane or being stuck in a waiting room without a book makes me uncomfortable!
I’m grateful that my parents read to me as a child and encouraged me to read as a hobby. Strong reading skills are the foundation for strong writing skills. Moreover, both are essential to learning and communicating in our world.
In this age of television, movies and interactive video games, reading has serious competition. Kids just don’t have as much time to read, and that’s a shame. Parents and teachers should encourage their students to read whenever and whatever they can.
They’ll soon realize that there’s nothing like getting a little knowledge “the old fashioned way.” The first feature below is for my adult readers. It’s a reminder of how magical books really are.
I wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season!
Kent Davis – Editor
FEATURE: “A Book Speaks” – Anonymous
By day and night I am ever at your side, waiting for you to listen to my voice. At an instant, I am ready to amuse, entertain and guide you.
Between my covers, you will find the heartaches, passions, dreams, struggles and aspirations of mankind. I bring you laughter and tears, amusement and learning, gaiety and the wisdom of the race. I can make your heart throb with sympathy or leap with joy.
Neither time nor space exist for me. The ancient past, the fleeting present, the marvels of the future – all are inscribed upon my leaves. At your will, I transport you to great cities which time has destroyed, or project you into the vastness of the future. With me as a guide, you can range the world at will, travel polar regions, traverse deep jungles, penetrate the depths of the earth, cross burning deserts, walk lonely prairies.
I am both the bright lamp of knowledge for the little child and the understanding companion of the aged. What men prize above all else is written within me. The ideas for which wise men risk their lives, the discoveries achieved by scientists with toil and years of struggle, the splendid lines written with heart’s blood of unrecognized poets, the revelations of the prophets – all are my vast treasures.
I am a reflection of the moods of men. Sometimes I endure for a century; again, I may fade in a single year. Yet though I live for generations or brighten but a tiny moment of time, I add value to the lives of all men. To king and emperor, statesman and sage, outcast and pariah I speak the same accents. It is all one to me, be a man a success or failure, a rich man or beggar. The keys of hope, curiosity and ambition unlock my vault – and all are welcome to the hoard therein.
Many have feared and hated, loved and honored me through the centuries. I have incited revolutions and shaken the foundations of societies. At times men have sought to destroy me forever – but all such essays end in failure.
I live. I will live forever. For it is not given to man to efface me. I am a book – your friend, guide, entertainer, counselor, always your servant. I wait upon your pleasure. I am yours to command.
TEACHER/PARENT BOOK PICKS
“Teaching Kids to Care & Cooperate: 50 Easy Writing, Discussion & Art Activities That Help Develop Self-Esteem, Responsibility, & Respect for Others”
by Kathy Pike, Jean Mumper, Alice Fiske (Illustrator)
Like most solid life skills, the activities and ideas this book presents are timeless and ageless. You can adapt most of them for any grade level. The focus is on care and cooperation. The book includes full sized reproducible pages, patterns and illustrations that make it easy to visualize the completed projects. It also offers an extensive bibliography. This easy to read book is a great addition to any teacher’s “idea bank”.
GRADE K-3 BOOK PICK
“Lucky the Golden Goose” by John Wrenn
X-investment advisor John Wrenn crafts a simple tale with great lessons on the benefits of saving. The book teaches children that using money wisely is far better than instant gratification. USA Today summed the book up in one sentence; “Lucky the Golden Goose is sort of Ben Franklin meets Forrest Gump at the intersection of Sesame Street and Wall Street”.
GRADE 4-6 BOOK PICK
“Harriet the Spy” by Louise Fitzhugh
32 years before it became a hit movie, Harriet the Spy was a ground-breaking book! Harriet (the Spy) is an 11-year-old aspiring author who lives in exciting Manhattan, giving her plenty to write about. Our heroine follows a strict spy route each day to carefully watch and record people’s lives. She writes down everything she sees in her very private notebook, which is always at her side. That is until one day, when it ends up in the hands of her classmates and her life turns upside-down! Harriet the Spy is witty and it teaches important lessons about honesty, friendship, and growing up.
WEB DISCOVERIES: For Teachers, Parents & Kids
American Library Association: Resources for Parents, Teens & Kids http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/initiatives/kidscampaign/goodideas.cfm
This is the *best* site on the web for book ideas. It offers wonderful links for children. It also has direct links to a variety of award winning books. Here are a few sample links:
Caldecott Medal — best picture books. http://www.ala.org/alsc/caldecott.html
Coretta Scott King Award –– books for children about the black experience. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/emiert/corettascottkingbookaward/corettascott.cfm
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award — outstanding children’s books. http://www.ala.org/alsc/wilder.html
Newbery Medal — best children’s books. http://www.ala.org/alsc/newbery.html
Pura Belpré Award — best books for children about the Latino experience. http://www.ala.org/alsc/belpre.html
Looking for a used book? These two sites will deliver hours of adventure. For booklovers, they’re more fun than Ebay!
More than 20 million used and rare books, periodicals and ephemera offered for sale by thousands of booksellers around the world make this the most interesting book-selling site on the Web
Advance Book Exchange http://www.abe.com/
ABE prides itself on offering a huge collection of rare, antiquarian, used and out-of-print books. It’s unique network includes over 6800 booksellers from around the globe with 23 million books listed.
WORDS OF WISDOM: “Three Ancient Cures for Boredom”
by Punchy D. Robot – Celebrity Teacher
NOTE: In 1986, our robot teacher Punchy began traveling the US presenting the Million Dollar Machine life skills assembly program. He also appeared on CNN, the Today Show and hundreds of local broadcasts giving him celebrity status among kids. Soon, letters started pouring in with questions for Punchy.
With a corporate grant, we created a special life skills newsletter for children and distributed more than 1,200,000 copies. One of Punchy’s original articles follows. His life skills advice is as true in 2009 as it was twenty-one years ago in 1988!
A bunch of my students asked me what I think is cool. Here are three things from the top of my list!
- Read more! Reading is about the coolest thing ever! Remember how your Million Dollar Machine can take you anywhere in the world? Well, with a great book or magazine, you don’t even have to leave your house! Reading a book can take you anywhere and tell you anything you want to know. Anything! And that’s about as cool as it gets.
- Learn to work a computer! You already know that your Million Dollar Machine is better than any computer. But computers can make your MDM even more powerful! Just like a jet is a tool that makes your MDM travel faster, a computer is a tool that allows your MDM to think, write and create faster. You’re really lucky to be able to learn about computers while you’re young. In the future, computers will do most of your work for you if you start learning about them now!
- Create something! Anything! Humans are the only living creatures that create things from the imagination. Draw something in crayon or pencil or finger paints (!) or water colors. Sculpt something out of clay. It’s fun just playing with that stuff. Write a story. Or a letter. Or a poem. Or build something. Like a robot! Next time you’re listening to music, make up your own words to go with the song. Whatever you do, have fun! P.S. If you spill paint on the carpet in the living room . . . none of this stuff was my idea!!!
Punchy D. Robot