Raising Readers Presents…The Bugliest Bug

June 3, 2012

“Shake it up high. Shake it down low,” said picture book illustrator, Scott Nash as the families in the audience shook out their hands, “How does that feel? Loose? Tingly?” Nash was showing those that gathered at the Raising Readers Presents event at the Children’s Museum of Maine how he loosens up his hands to get ready to draw. And draw he did.

First Nash drew Damselfly Dilly from his picture book The Bugliest Bug, a book that has appeared in two different Raising Readers anthologies for Maine’s five-year-olds. Then Nash drew a grinning T-Rex from another anthology story, Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp. Nash’s attentive audience reminded Nash to draw in the dinosaur teeth and one child announced that the teeth looked just like ‘w’s. Many at the event knew these picture books illustrated by Scott Nash and also his intrepid crocodile characters from Snow Day and Rainy Day (which have also appeared in past five-year-old anthologies).

Beside Scott Nash on the Raising Readers stage was pediatrician Dr. Brian Youth from Maine Medical Partners in Westbrook, who like the kids, is a fan of Scott Nash’s books. Not only has Dr. Youth handed out Raising Readers books to his young patients for over a decade, but he has also served on the Raising Readers book selection committee for more than 8 of those years. Currently, Dr. Youth also serves as a clinical advisor to the program.

Dr. Youth welcomed families to the event and talked about what a pleasure it was to hand a child a book in his office and to talk with parents about the importance of reading aloud.

“Reading to our children,” Dr. Youth said, “builds healthy brains by introducing new words, images, and experiences. Children who are read to often pick up reading more quickly when they enter school and do better in school overall.”

A two-year-old from the audience declared again and again to Dr. Youth that, “I like books!” Other children demonstrated their love of books by excitedly turning the pages of Raising Readers books as they waited for the program to start. Dr. Youth also shared his personal favorite picture books, The Little Engine That Could and Seven Silly Eaters.

When Dr. Youth introduced Scott Nash, one girl could not clap with the others (as she had recently fallen out of a tree she had climbed). Nash declared it the best possible way to break an arm (if one had to break an arm) and encouraged her to climb her next tree as soon as her arm healed. The girl did shake her other hand to get her hand ready for drawing, though, and after just one wing was drawn on the paper, she shouted out, “Damselfly Dilly!” Nash asked her how she possibly guessed that Dilly was the subject of the drawing. Her father responded that The Bugliest Bug was her favorite book at bedtime.

Here’s to books at bedtime for us all (and a little drawing and tree climbing when we can fit it in)!

Don’t miss the final event in our Raising Readers Presents series!

August 17th, 6:00 & 7:00 pm
Children’s Discovery Museum – 171 Capitol Street, Augusta
Featuring: picture book author and illustrator, Melissa Sweet and her book, Baby Bear’s Big Dreams.

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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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More Great Books for Maine Kids – August 2011 Newsletter

August 31, 2011

Read about the very special program that gives books to Maine kindergartners each year and learn when and how to read with the toddlers in your life.


Summer Reading Fun

July 28, 2011

One of the really neat things about books is that they can go anywhere with us. When a lazy, hazy summer day has us heading to the beach we can put some in the bag with the towels and the sunblock. Or, we can beat the heat by lugging them out to the shade under the maple tree in the backyard. And, on rainy days we can take them out on the porch to read while we listen to the rain drops fall.

Books We Love

Wondering what to read with your young children this summer? Check out some of these titles from our online searchable book database.

 

Raising Readers’ Recommends: Summer Books 

Raising Readers Searchable Book Database:  search by age, keyword, category

More summer-themed book lists

Reading Rockets

Bangor Daily News: Maine Stories to Keep Children Reading All Summer