Get ready. This is going to blow your whiskers back!
APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS! IS HERE!!! Woo-hoo! *Cheers and throws confetti with reckless abandon!*
(Although, I don't actually have a copy yet... :))
AND, it gets even better! The exceptionally knowledgeable and qualified Shannon Morgan has just completed Classroom Guides for April Fool, Phyllis! and they will be up on my website (for anyone who would like to download) hopefully by the end of today. The timing couldn't be better because, as of this weekend, the book is available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble and it should reach Indie bookstores of discerning taste this week :) (Holiday House, publisher of April Fool, Phyllis!, markets primarily to schools and libraries, so not all bookstores will carry it... unless you ask :))
What need have I of a classroom guide? you may ask. Well, if you're not a teacher, a homeschooler, or possibly a daycare provider, you probably won't have much use for it - unless you have a hamster who likes educational bedding.
But if you ARE a teacher, a homeschooler, or a day care provider, what could be more fun than using picture books as a source of learning in your classroom? And how better to do that than with a handy dandy guide that gives you a whole slew of ideas and resources on how you can incorporate the story into language arts, social studies, science, math, art etc. for your specific grade level? Including content standards!
Some books lend themselves to curricula more readily than others. April Fool, Phyllis! should be one of them. There aren't that many picture books about April Fools' Day, and it's a fun holiday to explore with young readers. In addition, it opens the gateway for discussions of weather, maps, and making maple syrup :) among other things.
Not to toot the horn of my own book (er, or something along those lines) but the classroom guides are really awesome. (I'm allowed to say that because I didn't write them :)) I hope you'll all check them out and pass the word along to any teachers you may know. It's like a gift - whole lessons already planned! - they may shower you with gratitude and offers to take you to dinner :)
For any of you who might be interested in creating classroom guides for your own picture (or other) books, I highly recommend Shannon! She is a woman of many interests, so if you click on her link and see pictures of cute cats in cups, or recipes for amazing homemade bread, be assured you have not gone to the wrong place :) Once the guides for April Fool, Phyllis! are up on my website, you'll be able to see examples of her fine work.
And now, as if all this wasn't exciting enough, Phyllis and I are off to the Big Apple - right this second! - to visit my niece's school and perform the debut reading of April Fool, Phyllis! (from the F&G because, like I said, I don't have an actual copy yet!) There is a special surprise for my niece - the book is dedicated in part to her, because April First is her birthday :)
If we remember to take any pictures, I'll share them tomorrow :) Wish us luck!