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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal


I almost missed this book while I was in such a hurry to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and 65 degree temps in Tennessee. Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal has appealing illustrations created using charcoal on paper and digital collage. Unusually for me, I didn’t care as much about the story as I […]

Nonfiction Monday on Tuesday iScience


I’m so fortunate to have some of Norwood House new iScience titles in our collection. They demonstrate the scientific inquiry method in complex ways but are easily understood by students. In fact, I find the students understand the titles better than the teachers and are willing to listen to each read aloud. The students don’t […]

EARACHES and Head-to-Toe Health by Elaine Landau


“Mommy, my ear hurts!” I swear as a parent and having been a child that those are the worst words to hear or utter. My poor parents dealt with my 7 ear surgeries and procedures since it was discovered I could barely hear in second grade. My poor mother had to put in ear drops […]

Authors and Librarians who craft


There are librarians and authors at conferences who sew. Before ALA Midwinter I read an interview of one of my favorite local Nashville authors – Tracy Barrett on DestiKNITions: The First-Ever Edition of Authors Who Knit. I followed the conversation on Midsouth_Authors of “Authors, Fiber Arts and PBs”. Tracy Barrett had mentioned her favorite store […]

Would you be the 25,000th signature on the petition?

A week ago I was feeling frustrated at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Everywhere I went information was shared about the White House petition for school libraries begun by AASL president Carl Harvey. With nearly 10,000 librarians and vendors at the Meeting signing, we were still short of the 25,000 needed. With 60,000 members of ALA, […]

Creativity, Illustrations, and Fibers


I love yarn and craft projects. I love to crochet most of all but have also knitted, latch-hooked, done macrame, basket-weaved, huckweaved, stained glass, copper-foiled, paper-folded, popped-up, and more. Dinah Zike and Robert Sabuda are my paper idols. Each year during winter, I find a way to integrate my love of crafts with students. My […]

Looking forward to the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour


I’m tickled pink! Tickled that Practically Paradise will be part of the 2012 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. I (with your help) will be interviewing Robert Sabuda for his work illustrating Chanukah Lights on Wednesday February 8th. You readers know that I have been a long-time fan of Robert Sabuda. I’d like to ask […]

Consider adding The Inside Story of Track and Field for spring sports & the summer Olympics


Rosen Publishing has a series of Sports World titles that appeal to my students and me. We particularly like The Inside Story of Track and Field by Clive Gifford. One of my fourth grade girls reminded me that we will use this title when we study the Olympics. The  beauty of this title is the […]

How do you change your name?

If you are a teacher, changing your name is very difficult during the school year. I can recall every teacher I ever had who changed their name after they married. Can you? I have many friends who seem to maintain two identities: their professional name pre marriage and their married name. Unfortunately in our district […]

Are you ready for this summer’s Olympics yet?


My physical education teachers asked me earlier this school year to start gathering materials so they could do a major Olympics unit right before summer break. Since budgets disappear long before then, I needed to start searching early. Fortunately Heinemann-Raintree (part of the Capstone Publishing group) came to my rescue with some titles I thought […]