Raising Readers Presents…COUSIN RUTH’S TOOTH

April 16, 2012

“Imagination is what happens to your brain…to make your mind believe…stuff,” said a seven-year-old at the latest Raising Readers Presents event at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine.  The girl’s answer was to guest pediatrician, Dr. Christopher Pezzullo’s question, “what is Imagination?”

‘Dr. Chris’ then asked gathered families how an imagination is built.  “Imaginations are built by reading books together at bedtime,” the Maine pediatrician explained and the children clamored to tell him who read to them at bedtime.

Many of the books read at bedtime in Maine are books distributed at well-child visits by healthcare providers across the state.  The books are supplied by the Raising Readers program and the ongoing Raising Readers Presents event series honors the books and the authors that make up that annual collection of board books, picture books, and an anthology.

An anthology is given as the final book in the program to Maine five-year-old’s and contains five books created by Maine authors and illustrators.  The anthology that will be distributed throughout 2012 and into 2013 is Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection which contains the uproarious story, Cousin Ruth’s Tooth by Falmouth author, Amy MacDonald.

Amy MacDonald appeared at Raising Readers Presents to give an exuberant reading of Cousin Ruth’s Tooth and to tell families about the famous Fister family that appears in the book.  Families may recognize the Fister family from a prior book, Rachel Fister’s Blister which was part 0f another Raising Readers anthology.

The children in the audience marveled at how silly the adults were in the book as they looked for Cousin Ruth’s lost tooth.  Many in the audience had lost teeth of their own and knew (unlike the Fisters) that a new tooth will grow in to replace the one lost.  One child even proudly showed Amy MacDonald her missing tooth.

Families followed Amy MacDonald’s reading with an animal  tooth hunt in the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine‘s Ranger Station and a lesson on how teeth are constructed and used by various Maine animals.

Here’s to the imagination of author Amy MacDonald who creates stories for us all at bedtime and to Maine doctors who encourages us to in turn inspire the imaginations of our children by reading aloud books like Amy MacDonald’s.  May our children’s brains all grow healthy and strong and ready to make our minds “believe…stuff.”

Enjoy this slide show of images from the evening and we hope to see you at the next Raising Readers Presents event!

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Raising Readers Presents…

March 6, 2012

Raising Readers is pleased to announce the new event series, Raising Readers Presents!

Instead of the two annual events at The Maine Discovery Museum (Bangor, Maine) and the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine (Portland, Maine), Raising Readers will be hosting seven events in the new Raising Readers Presents event format in 2012.

We hope families will join us at the following events celebrating the picture books in the Raising Readers anthology, Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection and celebrating the pediatricians that give those anthologies to five-year-olds at their well-child visits.

Friday, 4/6/12
6:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine
Portland, Maine

Author Amy MacDonald presents her picture book, Cousin Ruth’s Tooth with Pediatrician Dr. Christopher Pezzullo and pediatricians from University Health Care for Kids.

Saturday, 04/28/12
11:30 am & 12:30 pm
Maine Discovery Museum
Bangor, ME

Picture book creators Ann and John Hassett present their book, Too Many Frogs! with pediatrician Dr. Colette Sabbagh of Husson Pediatrics.

Friday, 5/11/12
5:30 & 7:30 PM
The Maine Discovery Museum
Bangor, Maine

Illustrator Melissa Sweet presents her picture book, Baby Bear’s Big Dreams with pediatrician Dr. Pat Nobel.

Saturday, 5/19/12
2:30 & 3:30 PM
Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine
Portland, Maine

Author/illustrator Scott Magoon presents his picture book, Hugo and Miles in I’ve Painted Everything  with Pediatrician Dr. Lynne Tetreault of Maine Medical Partners Saco Pediatrics.

Friday, 6/1/12
6:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine
Portland, Maine

Illustrator Scott Nash presents his picture book, The Bugliest Bug with Pediatrician Dr. Brian Youth, Maine Medical Partners Westbrook Pediatrics.


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.


I Like the Sneezing Part!

November 15, 2008

Raising Readers welcomed over 700 readers to the Children’s Museum of Maine last week for an evening of picture book readings, book signings, book character treasure hunts, and an overall grand celebration of families reading together.

There were FABULOUS conversations about books and reading in every corner of the museum.

In the read aloud room, kids were asked how many books Maine doctors had given out. They were asked to think of a REALLY big number. Shouts went up of, “10! 40! 100! 300! 1000!” When we told the gathered kids that there more than ONE MILLION books given away, “woahhh…” was heard throughout the room. It IS a big number to imagine! We agree.

At another point a four-year-old volunteered that she had gotten Bear Snores On (Simon & Schuster) at her doctor’s office and that it was “really, really funny.” Another kid turned to her and said, “Me, too! I like the part best when the bear sneezes!” Unprompted by their families, other kids chimed in that the sneezing page was INDEED the best. 4-year-old’s having a discussion about books–now that gives us job satisfaction!

Our sincere thanks to picture book authors and illustrators, Melissa Sweet (pictured), Cathryn Falwell, Amy MacDonald, and John and Ann Hassett and Lisa Jahn-Clough (she could not come but her sweet Mom did!) for coming to the event and talking and reading to over 700 folks!

(Any 5-year-old who received the picture book anthology, Raising Readers: Stories for Maine Children, will recognize this group of authors and illustrators, because each of their stories appear in this unique collection published exclusively for Raising Readers by Houghton Mifflin.)

Thanks to the staff at the Children’s Museum of Maine. We love your mission and adore working alongside you.

More Pictures from the Event


Raising Reader Book Celebration

October 20, 2008

Join Us…
Raising Reader Book Celebration
Friday, November 7th
5:00 – 7:00 PM
Children’s Museum of Maine
142 Free Street, Portland, Maine
All Ages, Best for Birth – Six
Free Admission

As Raising Readers comes into its 8th year with over 1.1 million hardcover books given to Maine children, we will hold the Raising Readers Book Celebration to celebrate another year of families reading together!

At the celebration, children will have an opportunity to meet Maine authors and illustrators, Melissa Sweet, Cathryn Falwell, Amy MacDonald, John and Ann Hassett, and Lisa Jahn-Clough.

(Any 5-year-old who received the picture book anthology, Raising Readers: Stories for Maine Children, will recognize this group of authors and illustrators, because each of their stories appear in this unique collection published exclusively for Raising Readers.)

The authors and illustrators will read from their books and talk with families about their stories and process. Book signings will be held throughout the night. Children are encouraged to bring their copy of Raising Readers: Stories for Maine Children to have each author autograph it.

This anthology will also play a part in the activities for the night. Images from the book will be hidden throughout the museum for young readers to find. Upon finding all of the book images, children will receive a prize from Raising Readers.

Families will also be able to explore and read together in the Raising Reader Book Nook. The Book Nook is a quiet space in the Children’s Museum filled with books in English, Braille, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Farsi and Somali and is sponsored by Raising Readers and MaineHealth.

Pictured: Cathryn Falwell reading SCOOT!