More Great Books for Maine Kids – June 2011 Newsletter

June 23, 2011

Learn about the developmental milestones of early literacy in this edition of our newsletter. And don’t miss the opportunity to suggest a book we might use in the program. We’re looking for our 165th different title.


A Treasury of Tales from Maine

June 22, 2011

Children’s books by Maine authors and illustrators for Maine kids. Doesn’t get any better that that! Raising Readers has been fortunate indeed to work with some terrific authors/illustrators and their publishers to create six special anthologies to give to five year olds at their well child visits.

While the collections are only available through the program, a special arrangement allows for a copy of each collection to be sent to all public libraries in Maine. The latest anthology, A Treasury of Tales from Maine, hit libraries in May.

This year’s collection features five incredible stories:

Dance with Me by Charles R. Smith, Jr. Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.
One Frog Sang by Shirley Parenteau. Illustrated by Cynthia Jabar
The Bugliest Bug by Carol Diggory Shields. Illustrated by Scott Nash
In the Wild by David Elliottt. Illustrated by Holly Meade
The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen. Illustrations by Chris Van Dusen, too.

While you’re at the library, look for the other Raising Readers collections:

Raising Readers: A Collection of Stories from Maine
Raising Readers: 5 Stories from Maine
Raising Readers: Stories for Maine Children
Raising Readers: Five Stories for Maine Children
Books from Maine: A Raising Readers Collection

We’re hard at work on the seventh anthology. Watch this blog for an opportunity to help us name #7. Titles for the fifth and sixth came from blog and Facebook suggestions.

Special thanks to the authors and illustrators and publishers that help make these unique  collections possible.

Family Literacy: Parents and Children Learning Together

February 28, 2011

At Raising Readers we work with many other organizations that help Maine families get the most out of reading. This month’s newsletter features one of them — the Maine Family Literacy Initiative (MEFLI).

Did you know that your own reading level has a big impact on your child’s success in school? Have you ever wondered if you could do more to help your child be prepared for school? The Maine Family Literacy Initiative  is a program funded by the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Mrs. Bush and the Foundation believe that “the home is the child’s first school, that the parent is the child’s first teacher and reading is the child’s first subject,” so they support programs where parents and children learn together.

Family literacy programs can be found around the state, in communities of all shapes and size. They offer adult education classes so parents can improve their reading, writing and math skills and prepare for college and jobs. There are classes to help children learn the skills they need to enter kindergarten and succeed in school. And family literacy programs provide times for parents and their child to explore reading together in fun and engaging ways and around topics that are of interest to them. Find out if a family literacy program is available in your community by calling your local adult education program or visiting

Image from Maine Family Literacy Initiative website.

No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed!

January 14, 2011

Raising Readers is often asked, “How do you choose your books?”  Each year we look at over 1000 board books and picture books looking for just the right one.  What makes us turn a book away?  One disqualifier is characters in books jumping on their beds.

Jumping on beds?? Yes, we have all done it.  And, yes, we tell our kids not to do it (when we catch them).

With several excellent pediatricians and other healthcare providers on the Raising Readers selection committee who have all seen children with hematomas and lacerations from bed jumping, no books with monkeys, bears, or good old humans will make the cut (no pun intended).

In a New York Times article entitled “Household Injuries, and How Kids Get Them,“Dr. Alan Nager, director of the division of emergency and transport medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles says the three words he uses most in the ER when it comes to children are, “falling, climbing, and jumping.”

So for Raising Readers, there are certainly ‘no more monkeys jumping on the bed.’

And a Very Happy Birthday in Portland

November 16, 2010

500 readers and readers-to-be came through the front doors of the Children’s Museum and Theater of Maine in Portland to celebrate Raising Readers 10th Birthday.  They were greeted at the door by Raising Readers and MaineHealth staff and given birthday crowns and birthday books.

The birthday books were signed or stamped at each Raising Readers station in the museum.   The stations featured the books, authors, and illustrators that make up the Raising Readers’ latest anthology for 5-year-olds in their program, Books from Maine: A Raising Readers Collection.

Here picture book author Amy MacDonald signs a reader’s birthday book…

…and reads for her book, Little Beaver & the Echo.

Here Scott Nash signs a child’s Raising Readers anthology…

…and illustrates a child’s birthday book.

Here dinosaur footprints and red raptors lead the way to Lynn Plourde’s picture book Dino Pets

…where readers meet author Lynn Plourde herself.

Here children meet Miss Rumphius from Barbara Cooney’s book…

…and toss blueberries into Blueberries for Sal’s bucket.

And finally readers went to visit the Raising Readers’ doctors who talked with families about the importance of reading aloud EVERY day and modeled the Raising Readers program by giving each child a picture book.

A grand celebration and a very Happy Birthday for Raising Readers.  Thanks to everyone that helped out and everyone that came to celebrate!

A Very Happy Birthday in Bangor

October 13, 2010

With over 1.3 million books given to Maine children, Raising Readers celebrated their 10th Birthday at the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, Maine.

Almost 300 readers and readers-to-be turned out to tumble through the museum looking for the books, authors, and illustrators that make up the Raising Readers’ latest anthology for 5-year-olds in their program, Books from Maine: A Raising Readers Collection.

The Maine Discovery Museum staff were wonderful hosts  for the event.  As their incredible museum is designed for exploration, we built our birthday celebration around that theme.  Each child was given a birthday book encouraging them to go find five stations featuring the five books.

Authors, Amy MacDonald and Lynn Plourde and illustrator, Scott Nash were the swell surprises at three of these stations. The three picture book creators greeted each child, signed their birthday book, and talked with them about books and reading.

In addition to these sweet interactions, there were playful, visual tributes to the books to help children make those crucial connections between their world and the world of books.

Scott Nash was set against a backdrop that looked like the opening page of his book, Camping Day.

Amy MacDonald was surrounded by pine trees, beavers, otters, and turtles to celebrate her book, Little Beaver and the Echo.

Lynn Plourde was surrounded by inflatable dinosaurs and a blow-up of a scene from the book to resemble her picture book, Dino Pets.

The book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney was featured in the Rumphius themed room in the museum where they were greeted by an actress playing Miss Rumphius.

And finally, Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey was represented by a young bear bearing a bucket of blueberries.

The final destination of the night was the museum’s doctor office display where Dr. Colette Sabbagh handed out Raising Readers books to model the distribution point of 1.3 million books given to Maine kids by Raising Readers.

We look forward to our next celebration in Portland on November 5th!

Raising Readers Book Celebration Bangor!

September 13, 2010

Raising Readers Book Celebration

Friday, September 24, 2010
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM (ongoing)
Maine Discovery Museum
74 Main St., Bangor, ME
Free Admission
Info: (207) 541-7531

Raising Readers celebrates the collection of books given to Maine children this year through doctor’s offices with readings and activities by children’s book authors and illustrators, Amy MacDonald, Scott Nash, and Lynn Plourde.