It’s almost time for Pencils and Books

August is here, and the first day of school is approaching fast! Some kids get very anxious about heading back to school others are excited to go to class for the first time; so, we asked authors and illustrators for tips to make the transition easy. Here’s what they had to say…

“The best way to get ready for school is to play school! Someone can be Teacher, and friends, family (or pets) can be Students (with pretend names!). Make a “classroom” and decorate it with pictures about What You Did During Your Summer Vacation. Read books out loud together. Do a science experiment. Go to lunch in the “lunchroom” and recess on the “playground.” Have fun playing school!” – Carrie A Pearson

Carrie A. Pearson is a former early elementary teacher and the winner of a SCBWI-Michigan Picture Book Mentorship Award and a Work of Outstanding Promise grant. A Cool Summer Tail, and the companion, A Warm Winter Tail (2013-2014 Great Lakes Great Books Literature Program and a Gelett Burgess Award) follow many of the same animals to describe how they manage the hot summer and cold winter weather. Carrie and her family live in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Visit her website at www.carriepearsonbooks.com.

“The start of a new school year can be a real stresser for kids. One way to help cope is for parents to share some of the things they enjoyed about going back to school when they were young. For instance, I shared with my daughter that I loved the smell of brand-new magic markers, and the feel of my new school shoes, and the cartoon designs on my metal lunch box (yes, I’m old enough to have had a metal lunch box – and a Hong Kong Fuey one at that!) Then I asked my daughter to share some things she is looking forward to for the new school year. Once we had a list of things to look forward to, it helped offset the list of things to be nervous about.” – Brian Rock

Brian Rock (The Deductive Detective), received a master’s degree in Children’s Literature/Creative Writing from Hollins University. Brian’s short stories for children appear regularly in the regional magazine “Kid’s world” and his poems for children have appeared in Highlights for Children, Poetry Train, and various regional publications. His short story, The Frog Dad, was selected as one of the inaugural titles for iPulpFiction’s “Don’t Read This in the Dark” series. For six years Brian worked in the Chesterfield County public school system teaching at-risk students. Visit Brian’s website for more information. 

“For kids going to new schools, if the child (and parent!) touring the school and finding the child’s classroom before the first day eases anxiety.”

“Start a new journal the day before school begins!”

“For my girls, we also have our favorite first day tradition – With backpack on, they wave from the same spot. We love looking at these pictures and are always amazed at how much difference a year makes.” – Jennifer Keats Curtis

Award-winning author Jennifer Keats Curtis has penned numerous stories about animals, including Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue(Children’s Choice Book Award Winner); After A While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children) with co-author Dr. Brady Barr of Nat Geo Wild’s Dangerous Encounter; Baby Bear’s Adoption with wildlife biologists at Michigan’s DNR; and Moonlight Crab Count with co-author Dr. Neeti Bathala. The long-time writer’s other recent books include The Lizard Lady, with co-author Dr. Nicole Angeli, Maggie: Alaska’s Last Elephant and the Animal Helpers Series. When not writing, Jennifer can be found among students and teachers, talking about literacy and conservation. Visit her website at www.jenniferkeatscurtis.com.

When your back to school shopping is finished, take a moment to relax and admire the starry sky or watch the International Space Station soaring overhead. To find out when the ISS passes over your town, visit NASA’s Spot the Station website. – Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of over 80 books for children including The Great Divide, Multiply on the FlyWhat’s the Difference?, What’s New at the Zoo?, and Animals are Sleeping for Arbordale. Her works include picture books, biographies, and many non-fiction titles about animals, sports, and nature. One of her favorite parts of the writing process is researching and learning new things. Suzanne lives near Chicago with her husband Mike, two children, and their tiny dog Corduroy. She enjoys visiting schools in-person or during her live virtual author visits. Visit Suzanne’s Website

Designate a homework spot where your child will always study. Keep work there so it doesn’t get lost. If the spot is by a computer, make sure you (the parent) check in frequently to see the computer is being used ONLY for homework.  – Terri Fields

Terri Fields has written nineteen books which have garnered a number of awards including the Maud Hart Lovelace Award for Middle Grades Fiction, the Georgia Children’s Choice Award, being named to the Recommended Reading List for Chicago Public Schools, the TAYSHAS (Texas) Reading List, the Southwest Books of the Year List, and as one of the 100 Top Kid Picks in Children’s Books in Arizona. In addition to Tornado Tamer, she has written Burro’s Tortillas and The Most Dangerous for Arbordale. A long time desert-dweller, Ms Fields has enjoyed sharing her books with children all over the world. In addition to writing, Ms. Fields is also a educator who has been named Arizona Teacher of the Year, ING Education Innovator for Arizona, and been selected as one of the twenty teachers on the All-USA Teacher Team of the nation’s top educators. Terri Fields has worked with students in first through twelfth grades. Ms. Fields sees the world around her in terms of the wonderful stories it reveals. Visit Terri’s website.

We hope your transition back to school is easy and fun! And, learn more about these author’s books on arbordalepublishing.com!

Reading Tips and Tricks for a New School Year

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Are you sprinting to finish summer reading? Did you have fun with Arbordale’s summer activities? And the big question, are you ready for school to start again?

If summer reading didn’t go as planned, here are a few tips and tricks to make reading fun in the new school year.

  • Always have books available. Make trips to the library a regular part of your weekly routine. Discover new books and classic favorites.
  • Continue reading daily and listen to your child read. For shy children, have them read to a sibling, the dog, the cat, the goldfish, or their favorite toy.
  • Literacy is not just reading but writing too! Have crayons, pencils, markers and paper available. Write letters and help them to mimic your writing. Have your child draw and tell you a story as they illustrate it.
  • Ask your child questions about the stories. Get them to think about what they are reading in fun and different ways.
  • Be a reader! Let your child see you reading or have quiet family reading time.
  • Let children read for enjoyment.
  • Talk to kids about what they are reading.
  • Read the book before watching the movie

Zoo_187Test out these tips with Arbordale’s free Summer Reading ebooks that will be available through September 15th. And don’t forget we always have one free ebook of the month. In August we are going to the zoo with ‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day!

Back-to-School Non-Fiction Reading List

Now that we’re all set with our fiction reading list, it’s time to get into some of our favorite non-fiction books, too!

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Ready, Set…WAIT! | A Day in the Deep | Dino Tracks

Ready, Set…WAIT!: Hurricane season lasts until the end of November. Although we humans are aware of oncoming storms by watching the news, how do animals know when they need to prepare for a storm? Read this story about how various types of animals are able to sense, react, and prepare for a hurricane.

A Day in the Deep: We learn about all of the animals on land all of the time. But what about some of the creatures that live thousands of feet below the sea? Read this book to learn about some of the crazy sea creatures that live underwater!

Dino Tracks: Impress all of your friends on the first day of school with your knowledge of fossils and dinosaur tracks after reading this dino book!

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Carolina’s Story | Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators | Prairie Storms

Carolina’s Story: Humans get sick often, but did you know that sea turtles can also get sick? Read all about Carolina and how she was treated at a Sea Turtle Hospital.

Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators: Do you love animals? Want to learn how you can help animals out? Check out our Animal Helpers series and learn the many facilities that you can work with to help animals!

Prairie Storms: This book tells you all about how prairie storms change over the months and how different animals are able to adapt to the climate changes.

Find out more about these books and all the others that Arbordale has to offer here!

Back-to-School Fiction Reading List

Now that back-to-school season is upon us, it’s time to get the kids back into reading so that they will be 100% prepared for the first day of school! Check out these great books to add to your back-to-school reading list.

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Count Down to Fall | ‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day | My Even Day

Count Down to Fall: The first day of Fall is September 23 this year! Celebrate the upcoming season with a countdown of all of the different kinds of falling tree leaves.

‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day: There are only a couple of weeks of summer left! Make time for one more trip to the zoo–but don’t forget to read this fun story about zoo preparation first!

My Even Day: Get back into the swing of things when school comes back around by refreshing your memory of all of the even numbers with this quirky story!

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The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights | Sort it Out! | Deductive Detective

The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights: Are we a little anxious for the first day of school? Read how the giraffe overcame his fear of heights so that you can figure out how to overcome your own fear of going to school!

Sort it Out!: Now that it’s almost time to go back to school, it’s about time to start getting all of our new back to school supplies sorted and organized! Read about the different ways that Packy Packrat was able to sort out his collection!

Deductive Detective: Help Detective Duck deduce who the cake-eater could be from all of the clues left behind in this fun mystery story.

Books to get ready for Back-to-School

Back-to-school is here! Summer is coming to a close and classrooms are prepping to welcome new students to take the long journey through the next grade. The first day of school can be scary for many children, especially as they enter a new school, or are beginning school for the first time. So, in honor of the first day of school we have compiled a list of Sylvan Dell books that are great reads to prepare for that first day.

Giraffe_187The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights – Imagine if the one thing that keeps you safe is what you fear the most. This enchanting story tells of a giraffe who suffers from the fear of heights. His parents worry about his safety and send him to the village doctor for treatment. Along the way he befriends a monkey who is afraid of climbing trees and a hippo that is afraid of water. A life-threatening event causes the three friends to face and overcome each of their fears.

HomeCaveHome in the Cave – Baby Bat loves his cave home and never wants to leave it. While practicing flapping his wings one night, he falls, and Pluribus Packrat rescues him. They then explore the deepest, darkest corners of the cave where they meet amazing animals—animals that don’t need eyes to see or colors to hide from enemies. Baby Bat learns how important bats are to the cave habitat and how other cave-living critters rely on them for their food. Will Baby Bat finally venture out of the cave to help the other animals?

Henry Impatient Heron_COVER 2Henry the Impatient Heron – Henry the Heron couldn’t stand still! He was always moving, and it drove everyone crazy! His brother and sister yelled at him for stepping on their heads, and Mom and Dad could barely get food into his little baby mouth. But herons have to stand still to catch their food, so how would Henry ever be able to eat on his own? In Henry, the Impatient Heron, Donna Love takes readers along with Henry as he learns a valuable lesson from the King of Camouflage! Hilarious and lighthearted illustrations by Christina Wald complement the important lesson in the text. It is a meaningful lesson for both herons and kids alike, which teaches the importance of just being still!

Moon_187How the Moon Regained Her Shape – This fascinating story influenced by Native American folktales explains why the moon changes shape and helps children deal with bullies. After the sun insults and bullies her, the moon feels so badly hurt that she shrinks and leaves the sky. The moon turns to a comet and her many friends on earth to comfort her. Her friends include rabbits and Native Americans. Then she regains her full shape, happiness, and self-esteem. The moon also returns to her orbit.

And for the younger siblings just beginning counting and ABC’s

SafariCOVER [Converted]ABC Safari – Let’s search for adventure above in the sky. We’ll scout through the mountains and hills, and then try exploring the forests, the meadows and plains, across the dry desert and through jungle rains. We’ll trek through a swamp, a puddle, a pond, in lakes and the river, the ocean beyond. But, what are we looking for? Who will we see? Find animals on this Safari with me! Once you’ve discovered all the animals, turn to the “For Creative Minds” educational section for sorting cards and animal fun facts.

Count Down to Fall_COVER_3Count Down to Fall – The summer days get a little colder; the leaves turn from green to orange and red. Fall must be on the way, and while you unpack sweaters and scarves, the animals frolic outside in the crisp autumn air beneath a wide blue sky. In Fran Hawk’s Count Down to Fall, watch the falling leaves tumble all around. The vibrant and detailed illustrations of Sherry Neidigh capture the majesty of the maple, the oak, the linden, and more. Critters play in the time of changing seasons, and remind us that the changes of the earth affect us all-animals and humans alike!

We hope that you have a wonderful first day of school!

Back to School

It seems like yesterday we were buzzing about summer reading programs, and now the time has come to go back to school for new teachers, new tests and new challenges.

Before we jump into the everyday grind that back to school brings, Sylvan Dell has one last summer fun reading event. The winner will receive a prize package with one of our educational books and stuffed animal.

For Kids only:

What is your favorite book?

What did you learn this summer through reading?

What is your favorite animal story?

Why?

Rules For Parents: The answers have to come from children.

You can submit by putting commenting here
send us a message on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/SylvanDell
Or by mail at 612 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Suite A2 Charleston, SC 29464

Thank you for participating!