Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 Kids Read Comics! Festival

This week the 5Family is headed to Ann Arbor, Michigan for Kids Read Comics!

Click to go to the KRC website

 We have been anticipating this trip since the drive home from Kid Read Comics! last year and everyone in House5 enthusiastically agreed, "we should go again next year!"

5 reasons why Kids Read Comics! is so awesome:
  • Amazing lineup of comics creators!
  • intimate setting (this is nothing like a crowded comic-con) with programing specifically for KIDS!
  • talented local kids "tabling" in artist alley 
  • located in lovely Ann Arbor hosted by the fabulous Ann Arbor Public Library
  • it's FREE!
If you are anywhere close to Ann Arbor on June 20th & 21st, be sure to swing by and join in the fun.

Take a look at all of the awesome programing and visiting comics creators for this year's KRC!

Here are a few highlights from our trip to KRC! last year:

Kickoff Event with Matt Holm
Drawing station in the library

Quick Draw Event with Gregg Schigiel, Jacob Chabot & Jerzy Drozd

Me on a panel for a live taping of the Comics are Great Podcast

Souvenir! Hand made Ann Arbor Shirt by a young local comic artist

Book Signing with Matt Holm

Falling asleep reading comics

Kids, There is still time to cast your vote for the 2015 Kids Comics Revolution Awards!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mock Caldecott Results

Over the past month, Parkview 3rd graders have been reading and evaluating 6 picture books for our Mock Caldecott based on our 3 criteria:

Today students shared their opinions using this form.

Students gave each book a rating of good, great or amazing for each criteria.

# of "Amazing" ratings for Excellence in Illustration
# of "Amazing" ratings for Illustration enhancing the text/story

# of "Amazing" ratings for Appeal to Children

Students then chose their top three books.

and Parkview's Mock Caldecott winner is...

Click here to see the results from Jennifer Reed's students (our Library Pals) who mocked with us!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

One Big Pair of Underwear - Guest Post by Author Laura Gehl

First, I want to say a big thank you to Laura for hosting me on this very last stop of my One Big Pair of Underwear blog tour!

I told Laura that I would write about school visits, which have been such a fun part of my life this fall.  With most of the groups I visited, I played rhyming games and math games.  But I knew that presenting to two-year-olds would be a special type of challenge.  So the week before facing three classes of two-year-olds, I turned to my friends who have experience working with this age group for advice.

“Don’t ask the two-year-olds any questions,” a teacher friend said. “They won’t answer.”  My other friend agreed.  “They might raise their hands,” she admitted.  “But when you call on them, the best you will get is ‘ummm’ or ‘I forgot.’”  I followed my friends’ excellent advice when presenting to a large group of two-year-olds and just-turned-three-year-olds.   I asked no questions, thus avoiding any awkward silences.  But neither of my two-year-old experts had prepared me for what would happen when I said the word “underwear.” 

Before I tell you what happened, let me back up.  Saying the word “underwear” to ANY school group has great power.  The kids giggle.  They snort.  Some of them say “ewww.”  When I read One Big Pair of Underwear out loud, the kids inevitably join in when I get to the final word in the book: underwear.  During my presentations, I often ask kids to help me see if we can squeeze two teddy bears into one pair of underwear; reactions range from enthusiastic hand-waving to jumping up and yelling “Pick me!” 

And when I bring out my gigantic pair of underwear and let four, eight, or even ten kids squeeze inside, the whole room erupts in laughter. 

Now back to the two-year-olds.  Neither of my friends had ever said the word “underwear” to a group of kids this age.  So they did not warn me about what would happen.  I, on the other hand, will warn you.  If you are on a tight schedule, do not say the word “underwear” to a room full of two-year-olds.  Because underwear has a whole difference significance for two-year-olds than it does for the rest of us.  Underwear isn’t just funny for them.  Instead, underwear is the tangible representation of a major life achievement.  Here is what happens when you say underwear to a group of two-year-olds:

“I’m wearing underwear!”
“Me too!”
“My underwear has Anna and Elsa on it!”
“My underwear has Thomas the Train!”
“I am getting my big girl underwear when I start going pee in the potty!”
“I go pee in the potty!”
“My sister wears big girl underwear.”
“My mommy is going to let me pick out big boy underwear at the store.”
“I wear big boy underwear.”
“My underwear has Hello Kitty!”
“I have Elmo on my underwear!”

And then, just when you think you might get your presentation back on track, comes the inevitable…

“I will show you MY underwear!”
“Me too!”

Consider yourselves warned.

Bio: Laura Gehl wears big girl underwear, although she has not found any with Anna and Elsa in her size.  Laura is the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, as well as four upcoming picture books: Hare and Tortoise Race Across Israel; And Then Another Sheep Turned Up; Peep and Egg: I’m Not Hatching; and Peep and Egg: I’m Not Trick or Treating.  You can visit Laura online at and

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Library Pal Mock Caldecott

I'm so excited to be partnering with Jennifer Reed (@libraryreeder) this January on a Mock Caldecott for our 3rd graders.

It was a difficult process to narrow down our lists of favorites to only 6 titles, but here they are...

The Parkview/Mason-Rice Mock Caldecott Contenders (in alphabetical order)

by Dan Santat

by Raúl Colón

Raúl Colón at the 2014 National Book Festival (look for Draw around the 22 min mark)


  • written by Patricia Hruby Powell
  • illustrated by Christian Robinson

The Right Word
written by  Jen Bryant
illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
written by Mac Barnett
illustrated by Jon Classen

Viva Frida
by Yuyi Morales