In preparation for an upcoming CLiF presenter gathering, I stocked up on their books for vacation reading.
My six year old and I particularly loved The Tapir Scientist by Sy Montgomery. My daughter truly loves animal facts (thank you Wild Kratts), and this in-depth look at the animals and the research process lit a spark. She started seeing tapirs everywhere — even while snowshoeing on the VAST trail.
Attend any CLiF presentation and watch the kids digest this: these authors and illustrators who
1. travel the world
2. win awards
3. visit schools
and 4. get to write, make art, research things they love, and tell stories for a living,
5. actually live in the same small state, sometimes just a few miles away. You can see the kids get inspired. And it amazes me too.
Here are new books from CLiF presenters, all based in Vermont and New Hampshire:
- Erin Moulton’s first YA adventure novel Keepers of the Labyrinth comes out in August.
- Michael J. Daley‘s latest book Beach Socks from Star Bright Books celebrates the experience of a beach walk (dare to dream!).
- Jessie Haas‘ latest book Bramble and Maggie: Spooky Season from Candlewick Press (the third in the series) describes the sort of scary adventures of a girl who needs a horse and a horse who thinks maybe a girl is a good thing to have.
- Terry Farish’s The Good Braider is available by Recorded Books on audio.
- Michael Caduto’s two storytelling CD’s, The Wisdom of Nature and The Rainbow Garden, recently received the prestigious Storytelling World Award from the National Storytelling Network.
- Peep and Ducky, beloved characters by David Martin, will appear in board book format at the same time as Peep and Ducky Rainy Day hits stores.
- Maryann Cocca-Leffler celebrates the release of her new book Janine on March 28.
- In May Sy Montgomery’s octopus research will appear in kids’ book The Octopus Scientists: Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk (who does not want to know more about an octopus psychologist?) and adult book The Soul of an Octopus.
- David Budbill’s new book of poems After Buson comes out this spring, and in September his opera A Fleeting Animal will tour Vermont.
- Ted Scheu’s new collection of poems Someday I’ll be a Teacher–60 Kid-Voiced Verses That Celebrate Teachers and School (the “kid-voice” is, of course, his own) comes out this spring.
Not only do they write books but also they contribute to their communities:
- Jessie Haas and Michael J. Daley are completing their 15th year as writing mentors to the Maple Leaf Writing Contest in the Brattleboro, Vermont schools. The contest challenges fifth and sixth graders to produce a polished manuscript in about 5 months, out of school.
- Verandah Porche is collaborating with local painter on a traveling visual art and poetry exhibition called Shedding Light on the Working Forest while also working on a poetry residency with cancer patients undergoing treatment at Springfield Medical Center.
- Terry Farish worked with many Bhutanese children and families relocated to New Hampshire from refugee camps in Nepal. She will travel to Nepal this month to visit schools.
- Jan Reynolds created a Skype component to her guided reading books for PK-second grade.
- Geof Hewitt will host Read Like A Spoken Word Poetry Champion and Open Mic Poetry Reading April 6 and 15 at Norwich University.
Wow! How lucky are we to have such diverse writers, poets, illustrators, storytellers, explorers, and researchers living in our communities and inspiring kids and adults to see different things (tapirs?) in their everyday lives!