The PUP 681 Curriculum and Storytime Guide is here! And it’s FREE!

Dear Teachers and Librarians,

My latest book PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY is based on the true story of Luna, a rescued sea otter who now lives at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. It’s a heart-filled and hopeful tale about family and love which Kirkus – in their STARRED review – calls “unabashedly adorable.”

Whether for a unit on sea otters or mammals or simply as a new addition to your literacy curriculum, my PUP 681 Curriculum and Storytime Guide offers 26 pages of ideas and activities to bring the book to life across a variety of subjects. Developed by an educator and tied to core learning standards, this free resource is my way of saying thank you for all you do. Click here to view it, download it and share it with your fellow teachers and librarians.

And while you’re at it, check out my TIME OUT FOR TEACHERS program offering FREE virtual visits for your classroom. Or how about a school visit? Let’s schedule one today!

Happy reading and thank you for your support!
Jean

Today is the Day! PUP 681 is HERE!

I’m thrilled to introduce you to my latest book PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY

Here’s where you can buy your copy: AmazonBarnes & Noble, and IndieBound or request it at your library.

 I’ll be celebrating and signing books at (click for more information):

3/16/19  Colorado Book & Arts Festival, Arvada, CO
3/22-23/19   Children’s Festival of Stories, Denver, CO
4/9/19  The BookBar Bookstore Happier Hour Storytime, 4:30, Denver, CO
4/27/19    Independent Bookstore Day at The Bookies, Denver, CO

And here’s my full schedule of appearances – updated daily.

Would you like Autographed Book Stickers? E-mail me.

Teachers and Librarians, see my FREE resources including Virtual Visits and the PUP 681 Curriculum Guide and Storytime Kit. Or how about a school visit? Just e-mail me.

If you’re as excited about PUP 681 as I am, please help me spread the word. Here are some sample tweets to get you started:

Do you know a young reader with enough love to fill an ocean? Then they might love PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY from author @jeanreidy and illustrator @ashleycrowley and @MacKidsBooks. https://tinyurl.com/y66q2vus

For the young animal lover in your life, PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY is a hopeful tale about family and love. It’s available now from author @jeanreidy and illustrator @ashleycrowley and @MacKidsBooks. https://tinyurl.com/y66q2vus

PUP 681: A SEA OTTER RESCUE STORY is “unabashedly adorable” (Kirkus STARRED review) and it’s available now from author @jeanreidy and illustrator @ashleycrowley and @MacKidsBooks. https://tinyurl.com/y66q2vus

With oceans of gratitude,

Jean

Engaging the Picture Book Crowd

Here’s a short piece I wrote a couple of years ago. But it seems even more appropriate on the eve of World Read Aloud Day. Enjoy your reading, everyone!

Engaging the Picture Book Crowd

Whether it’s through quiet, cuddle time, conversation or comic relief, engaging the picture book crowd is a delightful task. I like to tell young readers that when we read a picture book, we don’t just decipher the words. We talk about it. We explore it. We discover it. We relate to it. We might move to it. We might even make a little noise. Because picture books aren’t just about words on a page. They’re about sounds and rhythms and poetry and language and voice and life and … pictures!

I love to stress, with kids, the importance of reading the pictures. After all, the illustrations in a picture book tell over half of the story. It’s a skill that very young children can master and feel proud of. It’s also art appreciation 101. When you ask a group of young kids, “How many of you are artists?” almost every hand goes up.  So when they see picture book illustration as art, they’re introduced to the stories – including their own – that art can tell. I explore with kids the details of an illustration that might tell us more about the central story or a side story or, perhaps, even a different story, than the text reveals.

I rarely read a picture book straight through. I ask a lot of questions. I ask kids to predict what comes after a page turn. I ask them to look for clues as to how the story might end. And, most importantly, I ask them questions that might help them connect a book, in a personal way, to what they know, what they’ve experienced and the world they live in.

Young readers can feel empowered when they contribute to the conversation about a book. By showing them that I value their discoveries, they not only learn that reading a picture book is rewarding, but that they are valued as well.

Appearances 2019

1/29/19           North Jackson Elementary, Talmo, GA, School Virtual Visit

1/31/19            Martha Reid Leadership Academy, Mansfield, TX, School Virtual Visit

2/1/19             New Interdisciplinary School, Medford, NY, School Virtual Visit

2/1/19              Chamberlin Elementary School, Stephensville, TX, School Virtual Visit

2/1/19              Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Turnersville, NJ, School Virtual Visit

2/1/19              Antoinette Reading Junior High, Richmond, TX, School Virtual Visit

2/22/19           Jefferson Elementary, Anaheim, CA, School Virtual Visit

2/28/19          Desert Spirit Elementary, Glendale, AZ School Virtual Visit

3/1/19             Bethune Elementary, Detroit, MI, School Virtual Visit

3/8/19             Boston Bookstores Drive-By Signings

3/16/19           Colorado Book & Arts Festival, Arvada, CO, Featured Author

3/22-23/19     Children’s Festival of Stories, Denver, CO, Featured Author

4/9/19              The BookBar Bookstore, Denver, CO, Storytime

4/27/19            Independent Bookstore Day at The Bookies, Denver, CO

5/23/19            Lois Lenski Elementary, Centennial, CO, School Visit

Fall 2019          Pittsburgh Public Schools

10/12-13/19     Rocky Mountain SCBWI Letters & Lines Conference

11/21-24/19      NCTE Annual Conference

To find out more about Jean’s School and Virtual Visits.

To inquire about other appearances or to schedule Jean for an appearance.

A Bright, Shiny Starred Review for PUP 681!

On the heels of a weekend stuffed full of gratitude, comes an extra dollop of good news … a bright, shiny starred review for PUP 681. “Unabashedly adorable.” Thank you, Kirkus!

“An abandoned baby sea otter is rescued and sent to live out her life in an aquarium—where she learns the deepest meaning of “family,” in this tale inspired by a real-life rescued otter pup.

‘When the moon slipped under the mist and the sun began to burn through, a tiny one opened her eyes.’ These poetic words are on the recto of a double-page spread of a pale, watercolor seascape. At the left, an immediately appealing, dazed-looking brown sea otter sits draped in seaweed. Over the next two pages, there are four more depictions of the baby, in equally adorable positions, lessening the sting of her plaintive situation. She appears near death when, in driving rain, a young woman shows up and gently bundles her into a blanket, calling the otter Pup 681. The tale is told in third person, but most of it is through the supposed thoughts and even dreams of the otter, who at one point feels so lonely she sickens. Her unnamed, sweet-faced rescuer, a woman of color, again revives her, and a fascinating otter fact is cleverly revealed. The gentle humor of the artwork and the descriptive, sometimes-rhyming text combines with excellent layout to create a compelling tale. If the ending words were describing a human’s lesson learned, they would seem mawkishly sentimental; because the lesson applies to Pup 681’s “tiny otter heart,” they simply provide appropriate closure. An author’s note and a smattering of otter facts follow.

Unabashedly adorable. (Picture book. 4-7)

All materials © 2019 Jean Reidy. Author website by Websy Daisy. Shelly the Turtle designed by Genevieve Leloup.