Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Read & Romp Roundup -- March 2012

Welcome to our third Read & Romp Roundup, which happens to be all about picture books. Because we don't have as many posts as usual this month, we'll have some extra room to expand on the posts and learn more about the bloggers who submitted them. Here we go!

Alexandra Morrill from Laughing Giraffe Books submitted a dream post for any librarian who wants to add some movement to story time or for any dance teacher who is looking for more children's literature to incorporate into class. The post is a list of 12 picture books that encourage movement, including classics like Giles Andreae's Giraffes Can't Dance and Eric Carle's From Head to Toe. There are also a few books on the list that are new to me, like Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas.

With a background as a special education teacher and a reading specialist, Alexandra started Laughing Giraffe Books to help get themed book bundles into the hands of children who would love them. In addition to writing her blog, she offers more than 80 book bundles for children up to age eight, free shipping and gift wrapping, and a book of the month club. Four of her book bundles are movement-themed, each containing several books plus a special search-and-find game to go along with the collection. What a great idea!

Over at Maria's Movers, dance educator Maria Hanley is sharing her suggestions for using the picture book How to Be by Lisa Brown for creative movement. After trying the book out with several age groups, Maria found that it worked best with her five-year-olds, although it was also great for exploring new movement and non-movement words with her four-year-olds.

I've been so fortunate to have gotten to know Maria over the last year and am happy to call her my friend. She's an amazing dance educator who teaches tap, ballet, creative movement, and grown-up and me classes throughout New York City. She's also a contributor to the popular dance resource Dance Advantage, where she writes a monthly column called Kid Concepts.

And last but not least, Beth Stilborn from By Word of Beth shares a synopsis of and activities to go along with the picture book Dragon Dancing by Carole Schaefer and Pierr Morgan. Incorporating movement words in the text, the book tells the story of a group of young school children who make a dragon birthday costume and then create an imaginative dragon dance to go along with it. A great book for celebrating a birthday and also for introducing children to Chinese New Year!

I'm so glad I met Beth online a few months ago, and I enjoy reading her posts about reading, writing, the arts, and life. On her blog, she says "The arts, in all forms, add immeasurably to our lives, and I believe it is important to encourage and facilitate children's artistic and creative expression as early as possible, and in as many ways as possible." What a beautiful statement. I couldn't agree more!

How are you liking the roundups so far? Would you prefer short monthly roundups or slightly longer ones less often? I'm trying to figure out whether to continue to have a roundup every month or to switch to one every two months. I'd love to hear your thoughts!


  1. This is a great roundup, thank you for including Laughing Giraffe Books! I really enjoyed reading the other contributors ideas as well.

    1. Thanks, Alexandra! I really enjoyed learning about your company and think it is such a great idea. I have a daughter in preschool, and she is always doing themed weeks at school. I can imagine a lot of teachers especially love your products. Thanks so much for contributing to the roundup!

  2. Great roundup, I'll look out for these. Happy Easter Kerry!

  3. Thanks so much, Angela. So glad you liked it! And so happy you'll be joining us again next month :)


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