After reading a nonfiction book, select new and important words in the text and write them on index cards or sticky notes.
Ask your child as he or she reads to place a sticky note on a page in the book where he or she learned something new or found something he or she would like to know more about. Make sure that you have at least one nonfiction book in your stack when you read with your child.
If you use these tips together with your child, he or she will be better equipped to problem-solve nonfiction books on his or her own. The students catch on very quickly and begin to make signpost observations and ask these questions right away, thanks to this simplicity.
My 5th graders and I have been going through the introductory lessons so far and I'm looking forward to sharing much more as we learn to read closely together.
Award winners and Gold-Starred covers also win the right to display our badges on their websites, so don’t forget to get your badge to get a little more attention for the work you’ve put into your book. Also please note that we are now linking winning covers to their sales page on Amazon or Smashwords. Now, without any further ado, here are the winners of this month’s e-Book Cover Design Awards.
Christopher Lascelles submitted The Strange Case of Dr Terry and Mr Chimes designed by Milan Jovanovic. JF: I like the typography and noir-ish palette, although I was confused by the perhaps too obscure shapes in the foreground. JF: I love these notes that authors write, extolling the virtues of their chosen cover designer. JF: I usually object to overwrought type effects, but this designer knows exactly who her audience is and delivers. JF: A tough job putting those images together, but I love the lacy texture the designer added at the bottom of the cover. JF: Love the title, but the type is extremely weak and out of balance with the illustration. Andy Fielding submitted Magic Lantern: Part 3 of the Triskell Story designed by Andy Fielding. JF: I agree, and I like the simplicity and strength of this cover, despite the title, emblem and illustration having a bit of a competition for preeminence.
Annie Harrower-Gray submitted Midgie MacAlpin and the Stone of Destiny designed by Annie Harrower-Gray. JF: Please compare the size of the titles on most of the better books in this post to your own. Christine Jordan submitted Indigo and the Strange Animal Menagerie designed by Christine Jordan. JF: A beautiful and apt piece of artwork that needs the title to be just a bit stronger for balance.
JF: Love the illustration, although the map is completely disposable, and the cover would be stronger without it. Heidi Willard submitted The Unwilling Adventurer (The Unwilling #1) designed by Heidi Willard.
JF: The title treatment is terrific, and combines perfectly with the simple layout and rich textures of this cover.
JF: I like it, but stronger title type and deleting that Christmas tree ornament would probably help.
JF: The whole thing, from the illustration to the typography, gives the feeling of a cartoon. Kori Miller submitted Deadly Sins: A Dezeray Jackson Mini-Series designed by Christopher Brown. JF: Although this cover is nicely balanced, doesn’t that seem a bit lighthearted for a holocaust survivor? Renee Barratt submitted The Breaker Boys designed by Renee Barratt – The Cover Counts. JF: By far the better of these two (see immediately above), the focus and simplicity really serve this cover well.
Robin Wiesneth submitted Tails of Imagination: Ordinary Pets, Extraordinary Adventures designed by Robin Wiesneth.
JF: I love the illustration and composition of this cover, and the treatment of the author name is quite lovely.

JF: Maybe the doctor is deranged, but he knows how to check the boxes and deliver a cover aimed at your audience. Bridget McKenna submitted Resilience: A Journey From Fear to Freedom designed by Bridget McKenna for Zone 1 Design.
JF: I like most everything about this cover, particularly the title and the overall color scheme.
Filip Palda submitted The Apprentice Economist: Seven Steps to Mastery designed by Filip Palda. JF: Me too, love the pulp look and illustration, just wish I never had to see that dark red type on a black background once more. Russell Phillips submitted A Damn Close-Run Thing: A Brief History of the Falklands Conflict designed by Kit Foster. Use the share buttons below to Tweet it, Share it on Facebook, Plus-1 it on Google+, Link to it! There’s bound to be a recent Wimpy Kid on this list, and Cabin Fever is the book to do it. I expected to see a bit more Bone on this list (a series that also has been inducted into The Checkout Hall of Fame), but Crown of Horns is the lone Top 10-er.
Whoa – whoever laid their bet down that this book would be #1 can now come to the window and collect one million card catalog cards. Filed Under: Articles About Travis JonkerTravis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan.
After every child has been included and multiple surfaces have been touched, have the children look at their hands and around the room to see if they can find glitter. Tell your children that germs are kind of like the glitter on your hands…except germs are invisible. Read Germs Are Not for Sharing:  This is a great book for teaching young kids about the importance of proper hand hygiene. One thing to mention to your kids after trying this demonstration and reading this book is that washing your hands with soap and water is always the best way to clean your hands and get rid of germs. In a study conducted by the makers of PURELL Hand Sanitizer, absenteeism caused by illness was 51 percent lower in classrooms that used PURELL Hand Sanitizer regularly and implemented a hand hygiene educational program, versus classrooms that did not. Since not all classrooms have easy access to soap and water, pick up an extra PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer pump for your child’s classroom while you’re shopping for back-to-school supplies – their teacher will thank you! Subscribe below for regular updates and a FREE copy of Seasonal Kids Activities and more great freebies! Unless otherwise stated, each of the activities shared on this blog require adult supervision at ALL times.
If you review the books you read with your child, you may find that fiction dominates your young reader’s library. Either the topic is so well-known that there are no new concepts, or you are faced with having to help your child learn and understand complex new vocabulary. Now ask him or her to use those words and write several sentences about the topic of the book. Getting him or her in the habit of using nonfiction books, and understanding how they are organized (many have glossaries and indexes, for instance) will prepare him or her for prime-time school reading.
Have you ever read a book where you find yourself constantly nodding your head and agreeing?
These questions are designed to help students make inferences, determine theme, discover the conflict, and so much more. And it makes it so easy to start "creating a habit of mind" as the authors say, to help students notice and read closely in all texts they encounter. Remember that the aim of these posts is educational, and by submitting you are inviting comments, commendations, and constructive criticism. Maybe they were wondering what it was about, since you haven’t communicated any information about the subject of the book. Wonder why you didn’t run the bloodstains right past the border and off the edge though? I would have liked to see the bottom images in more of a montage to defeat the strong left-right, binary, 2-column look the cover has taken on.
Despite the light streaming in, I find it a bit alienating, and the title could stand out more.
Indistinct, inscrutable, without a serious attempt to communicate the nature or content of the book it’s supposed to represent.

I would have been tempted to make the title larger within its frame, but a great job overall.
I hope you found it interesting, and that you’ll share with other people interested in self-publishing. That’s the gist of this look back at the most popular books in our school libraries this year. Anyway, World Record books seem to do the thing you wish every book could do – maintain popularity regardless of when it was published. This is not uncommon – when a series catches on in a big way, it always seems like the most demand is for #1. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. Combine one part kid's books, one part school librarianship, a splash of absurdity and you get 100 Scope Notes. If you wish to share any posts or photographs from this site on your blog or website, you may use one picture with a link to the original post. If that’s true, then it’s time to introduce some nonfiction to your reading list!
From "Words of the Wiser" (where an older character offers advice to the main character) to "Aha Moments" (where the main character suddenly realizes something important)--all of those key moments in a text that our students tend to breeze right past while reading. Please leave a comment to let me know which are your favorites or, if you disagree, let me know why. It’s the autobiography of Terry Chimes, the original drummer of The Clash and shows how he turned from drummer to doctor! The dark skyline with the red background gives the image of a city dripping with blood, hinting at the trail of murders in the tale.
He’s a fantastic designer and, after providing him some simple suggestions, he came up with this magnificent cover. If I point out what seem to me to be weaknesses, I’ll come across as petty, or in opposition to the prevailing opinion (that of the author). Elise is famous for her en pointe work, and the mask represents Angel literally and figuratively. It’s about a girl who is chosen to make the stone of destiny talk again so that it can advise Scotland on gaining its independence. The cover design combines a photograph of the towers of San Gimignano in Tuscany with a detail from a medieval wall fresco. Slightly unstructured, busy background, horrible shadowing, and I couldn’t love it more. The cover was designed to show the derelict nature of the planet, but with the character as a bright spot.
My only complaint is that the central figure really ought to be a bit more visible for an ebook cover, but that’s a quibble.
Fantastic illustration but no attempt and composition and type that’s pretty much a failure. Also, I wanted my characters present ( especially Hero & his mohawk) , but not faces clearly visible.
Not everyone will like the simplicity, but I love the way the portulacca flowers (scan by me from nature, not photo or from web) glow against the black background, sparse discreet text, as in interior. The guy (along with the sizable artistic contribution of Stephen Gammell) created a book that sits in the School Library Checkout Hall of Fame. They will be tested on them as they get to school and move up the grades, so it’s best to have them start early reading nonfiction with your help now. I love the typographyconnection with the first two novels, and a different pic of the same model from book one. I think this one is to be commended for keeping it all together, and for the lovely treatment of the title, which is doing part of the job.

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