A Pocketful of Posies

What a pleasure it was to meet Salley Mavor on Saturday at Petunia’s Place in Fresno. I love her new book, A Pocketful of Posies.  Her fabric artwork is exquisite.  I not only purchased three of her books, I decided to try my hand at making ‘wee folk,’ using her book, Felt Wee Folk, as a...

Book Bytes: Yum! Yes, It’s a Piece of Cake!

May Pare, author of Body Idioms and More for Learners of English, recently published a new book of idioms called Yum! Yes, It’s A Piece of Cake! Food-related Idioms and Expressions for English Learners.  “I heard it through the grapevine.” “If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” “Cut the cheese.” “A few sandwiches short of a picnic.” ‘He could sell ice to an Eskimo.” “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” “Life is just a bowl of cherries.” Expressions like these can confound those who are learning English.  They are also a challenge for people with autism and Asperger’s.  As an immigrant from Thailand, May Pare realized just how difficult idioms can be while working as a waitress.  She had many customers and friends who were stumped by these common expressions. Pare attended UCLA and received her M.A. in Teaching English As a Second Language and went on to write two books of idioms. Yum! contains more than 1000 terms, which Pare has organized into thirteen topics.  The chapters include About Fruits and Nuts, Eat Your Vegetables, Dairy and Eggspressions, Our Daily Bread, Meals of the Day, Talking About ‘Eating’ and several more.  Ms. Pare provides examples that illustrate how each term is used. She includes the origins of some expressions and notes on usage.  The idioms within the chapters are arranged in alphabetical order. There is also an index listing the idioms.  As an extra aid to understanding, Ms. Pare provides definitions of various linguistic terms, such as cliche, catch phrase, euphemism, metaphor, and rhetorical question.  When necessary, chapters include notes especially for English Learners regarding terminology. Ms. Pare...

Who is your favorite picture book author?

I have several favorites.  First, is Jane Yolen (Owl Moon, The Sea of Grass) She is also one of my favorite authors of books for young adults (Briar Rose) and old adults (like me; Touch Magic, Sister Emily’s Lightship).  You might like reading her Commander Toad series–a take-off on the movie Star Wars. I also enjoy books by Cynthia Rylant and Eve Bunting. Robert Munsch is one of my favorite funny authors (Good Families Don’t Fart), as is David Shannon (No,...

Jane Yolen wrote the class musical in first grade!!

This is what Jane Yolen has to say about the beginning of her writing life: “I love writing and have always been good at it. I started as a poet and a writer of songs. I still do both. My first big success as a writer was in first grade where I wrote the class musical. It was all about vegetables and I played the chief carrot. We all ended up in a salad together! In junior high I wrote my big class essay about New York State manufacturing in verse, with a rhyme for Otis Elevators I have–thankfully–forgotten. In college I wrote my final exam in American Intellectual History in rhyme and got an A+ from a very surprised teacher.” Read more about Jane Yolen, one of my favorite authors for kids AND...

Book Bytes: Helping Students Remember

I’m reading a new book by Milton J. Dehn, called Helping Students Remember.  He has other books that address short-term memory, long-term memory, and working memory in more detail.  This book is a workbook for individual use, with a lower level for grades 3-6, and an upper level for older students. It consists of detailed strategies and practice exercises to improve memory.  I’m planning to implement this with tutoring students who would benefit. It looks like something I’m going to be able to highly...

The Magic Quest is Available!! Get Your Copy Now!

The Magic Quest is available for purchase as an eBook on several sites, including Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble.  It is also available as a paperback book on Amazon.  Check it out!!  You’ll be glad you got one of the first copies! Indie publishing your first book is always exciting, but in this case it is quite special, as Matthew is a young adult with autism. He wrote this book during our tutoring sessions last summer.  With the help of Christine Myers, of Lady Myers Wordsmithing, it is now available as an ebook or paperback. The Magic Quest tells the tale of a young man who must stop the Evil Wizard from getting his hands on a certain spell book and thus destroying the world. Magic spells, people-turned-animals-turned-people, detestable bad guys, humor, suspense; this book has it all and more. It is not only a gripping story, but a window into the mind of someone with autism. Ten Percent of the proceeds from the sale of this book are to be donated to the Easter Seals Central California Autism Intervention...