Newsletter, July 2021

The summer reading theme in New Hampshire is “Tales and Tails.” It’s a beautiful theme for any season or state if you love animals and stories. Here’s a writing workshop for children I offer that connects to both. Programs are virtual or, in some cases, outside in person.

The Pig’s Tale, the Dog’s Tale, the Cat’s Tale, A Storymaking Workshop

Me and my dog. Her name’s Clara.

Description: We’ll read aloud from The Cat Who Liked Potato Soup, looking for clues to understand the characters. We’ll look at word and gesture to help us infer meaning and practice reading between the lines. This is a very fun workshop about cats and dogs and longing and patience and rewards. After we read about ways characters handle their feelings, a pig (he’s large but stuffed) will come to visit. The pig has a range of emotions about missing his friends and I’ll invite everyone to become the storyteller of an animal’s tale. Resources for you: “Stellar Mentor Picture Books from many Cultures,” a handout for teachers and librarians.
Goals: Build skills in interpretation of stories and exploring the emotional world of characters; identify ways that characters solve problems; practice writing or telling using elements of narrative. Details at

Writing a Picture Book” a workshop for adults

Terry’s presentation style is lyrical, engaging and her love of the medium was infectious.” Laura Horwood-Benton, Public Programming & Community Relations Librarian, Portsmouth Public Library.

I’m offering this Online workshop especially for libraries. Thank you, librarians, for doing essential work this past year and a half to keep kids and all of us connected with the books we need. The workshop fee is negotiable.

Description: Picture books for children are poems with pictures. They can be funny. They can bring a family memory to life. Maria Popova describes picture books as “stories that tackle with elegant simplicity such complexities as uncertainty, loneliness, loss, and the cycle of life.” What makes a story one that children will love?  What are the components that blend and form the structure and beauty of a picture book story?  I’ll offer prompts and guidelines for participants to write their own picture book. This can be a one or two part workshop. Here’s a link to a full description of the workshop and testimonials:

Outstanding International Books

I’ve been reviewing Outstanding International Books for USBBY, the U.S. Board of Books for Young People. These books from many countries have been published in the U.S. and offer a way for children to read the world through stories. Here is the full list of the 2021 Outstanding International Books. I wrote a post about some of my favorites over the past years

Read for Refugees

The UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, has developed a program called Read for Refugees. Here’s a pdf with a list of young adult books to help readers meet refugees through stories. I’m glad to tell you that The Good Braider is here in the company of extraordinary books.

Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival

The work of Ken Daley, illustrator of Joseph’s Big Ride, is vibrant in color and energy. Because of the power of his work, Joseph’s Big Ride was selected to be one of the books featured in the 2021 Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival, a celebration of black writers and illustrators. The festival is named in honor of Ashley Bryan‘s book, Beautiful Blackbird and of Mr. Bryan who is beloved in Maine. News of the 2021 event is coming soon.

Coming soon!

We can’t wait to tell you more. Ken Daley, OD Bonny, and I have something new coming from Groundwood Books.

To book a program or ask a question, contact me at The standard workshop fee is $200, but I’m open to negotiation this year especially for libraries with small budgets. Welcome to my site to read about more programs and books.

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