Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Happy Birthday, Katharine Holabird

Born on this date in 1948 in Chicago, Katharine Holabird has been delighting readers with her Angelina books since 1983.  She loved to dress up with her three sisters and pretend to be ballerinas.  Her grandmother took her to see ballets each years.

After graduating from college, she took a job as a literary editor.  A vacation to Italy sparked a desire to learn the language, so she lived in Rome for a while.  After she married in 1974, she and her husband moved to London where she worked as a school teacher.  


Katharine and her husband had two little girls, who began taking ballet when they were old enough.  Her girls' excitement about dancing gave Katharine the idea for a book about children who loved to dance.  She grabbed bits of writing time while the girls were in school and after they had gone to bed at night.  In the original story she wrote, Angelina was a little girl.  However, when the illustrator, Helen Craig, read the manuscript, she transformed the little girl into the ballerina mouse we read in the Angelina series.

Katherine now writes about Twinkle, a fairy whose wings change colors with her moods.  She still lives in London with her husband.

Here's is Katharine's informative website:  http://katharineholabird.com/ .

Check out these videos by the author: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjxGymTNhmk  and  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQAp4jO99jo

How many of her Angelina books have you read?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bully or Bestie, A Follow-Up



On this National Day of Acceptance I wanted to share a cool link.  You may remember my blog post about the book, Colorblind, by author and lawyer, Leah Harper Bowron.  This coming-of-age story gives a snapshot of life in the south in the late 60s.  It's a good starting point for a discussion of the topics of friendship and bullying.


The author has developed a quick online quiz to see what kind of friend or bully you are.  Upon submission of the completed quiz, the results are sent to the taker.  If you are doing this as a pre-reading activity for your class, you could have the students put their first name, last initial and your (teacher) school email address for privacy. (You may have to check on your school's online policy first.)  


Each participant will receive a response based on their answers to the questions.  It will tell the characteristics of, for instance, the "loner" or "everyone's buddy" and relate that to the particular character in Colorblind who displays them.  The information received can be the basis for some deeper conversations about, not only the book, but about the issue of bullying. Here's the link:


Please let us know if you use this quiz with your class of middle schoolers or your own child following the reading of  Colorblind.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.

#Bully/BestieQuiz #teensfortolerance #Colorblind 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Welcome Wagon

Hope you're wearing your woolies, Wagoneers!!  The wind's howling, and it's bitterly cold here in Oklahoma.  Silvia didn't let that stop her from joining our wagon train, though.  We welcome you, Silvia!  Peruse my posts and find some good ideas to use.