Raising Readers Presents…Hugo & Miles

May 21, 2012

The elephant artist in the picture book Hugo & Miles in I’ve Painted Everything (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) simply ran out of things to paint.

“I’ve painted this, and that, and those…and him, her, here, there, and everywhere,” says Hugo.

Hugo’s friend Miles tells Hugo he needs a change of scenery, a new perspective to discover new ideas.  Hugo and Miles leave Cornville, Maine for Paris, France.  There other painters, the green of the grass, the light on the water, and the bird’s eye view from the Eiffel Tower show Hugo that when you see things differently, there is no way one can run out of ideas.

Having illustrated thirteen picture books about everything from cupcake-making monsters to insecure spoons, author/illustrator Scott Magoon seems to never run out of ideas as an artist. Scott Magoon appeared at Raising Readers Presents at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine to read to families from his book Hugo & Miles in I’ve Painted Everything.  Magoon’s picture book appears in the anthology, Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection, which will given to Maine five-year-old’s in 2012 and 2013 at well child visits.

Scott Magoon asked the gathered children if they ever run out of ideas and how they thought of something new to do.  Pediatrician Dr. Lynne Tetreault of Maine Medical Partners Saco Pediatrics, who also joined us at Raising Readers Presents, might answer that reading to your children will help them generate idea after idea by building up their imaginations.

“We talk a lot about healthy foods and exercise to keep our bodies and our children’s bodies healthy, but we should also be talking about how to grow healthy brains,” Dr. Lynne Tetreault said, “Reading to your children helps them grow their experiences and imagination and develop a healthy, learning brain.”

Like Miles exposing Hugo to new experiences, parents can take their children on a brain-building adventures every day when they read aloud to their children.

“I’ll never run out ideas, said Hugo.

And he never did.

To never run out of ideas for read alouds, make sure you visit Raising Readers Recommends list or check out past books distributed by Raising Readers!

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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…TOO MANY FROGS!

March 6, 2012

The new event series, Raising Readers Presents, launched on Read Across America Day with an evening of readings and activities associated with John and Ann Hassett’s picture book, Too Many Frogs!

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine opened its theatre to Raising Readers and first on the stage was pediatrician Stephen Osborne of South Portland Pediatrics.  Dr. Osborne, who has been giving Raising Readers books to his young patients for almost 12 years, talked about the pleasure of putting a book in a child’s hands and starting them on a “lifetime of reading.”

Dr. Osborne encouraged families at the event to read books to their children at bedtime–advice he gives to families as often as he can at well-child visits.  With Maine’s biggest winter storm of the year having hit the previous day, he took the opportunity to recommend his favorite children’s book, Katy and the Big Snow.

The talk of books moved to springtime when Maine children’s book creators, Ann and John Hassett  followed Dr. Osborne to the stage.  Their picture book, Too Many Frogs! is included in the new Raising Readers anthology, Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection.  In the book, poor Nana Quimby finds she has a cellar full of frogs.  The gathered families had a grand time yelling, “Too many frogs!”  in unison with author and Nobleboro, Maine school principal, Ann Hassett.

The Hassetts’ picture book, Cat Up a Tree, also featuring Nana Quimby, was included in a previous Raising Readers anthology. While some families chose to go play in the museum, others elected to hear one more story and got to hear author and illustrator John Hassett read this Nana story.  The parents had a good laugh when John had to explain the scene in the book where Nana throws her phone.  The phone, a land line with a cord, allows some tree-stranded cats to cross to her apartment.  Several kids volunteered that their grandmother might have one of “those old phones.”

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maines wonderful education staff followed the Hassett’s read aloud with a frog painting activity that taught children about how amphibian skin both absorbs and repels water.  So clever!

Raising Readers would like to thank the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, the Hassetts, and Dr. Osborne for a wonderful night celebrating Too Many Frogs!   We look forward to distributing Maine Stories for Maine Children: A Raising Readers Collection in 2012 and to the thought of so many Maine families reading about Nana Quimby (and her frogs) together at bedtime.

Enjoy this slideshow of images from the evening:

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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.

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!