So Many Books, So Little Time: Tips for Reading Strategically by Donalyn Miller

Nerdy Book Club

We own too many books. I’ve confessed this before, and it surprises no one. Don and I spend too much time sorting, culling, dusting, moving, and shelving books. Without constant maintenance, our book collection would take over our lives and home. We have tried to control our book hoarding tendencies, but it’s a losing battle. We use our library cards. We download audio books. We continuously give away books, but more appear. We don’t apologize anymore. We live in a house with too many books and we accept it. Don and I fell in love with reading as children, but we owned few books of our own until we became adults. We can measure our path to prosperity in bookshelves. Our daughters grew up in a home filled with love and books and we will grow old here–happily sifting our book treasure.

We read most of the books we bring…

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Happy, Hope-y Book Birthday, BAT COUNT!



BAT COUNT — my debut picture book — is officially out TODAY!

I owe many thanks for help bringing this book into being: to supportive family, friends and colleagues; to the wonderful illustrator Susan Detwiler; and to the great folks at Arbordale Publishing.

I wrote BAT COUNT almost three years ago — before I learned that picture books are ‘supposed’ to be 500 words or less (BAT COUNT has almost 1000 words), and that ‘quiet’ books don’t sell. Happily its publisher, Arbordale, is committed to making books that support math and science education, and happily they are also interested in promoting the practice of citizen science. And so they found a place for BAT COUNT on their list.

Jojo, the story’s narrator, shares my worry about the many bats that are dying from white nose syndrome. Being a kid, though, she does NOT know that bats are just one among many species in rapid decline as human…

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Digital ‘Broccoli’ Books Offer Multicultural Children’s Stories in Six Languages

Erica Swallow's Blog


Once I hit 30, I started thinking about having children and all of the questions that come with becoming a parent: What do I want my children to know, to do, to believe? How do I want them to perceive the world? How will they learn to speak, walk, read? Among those questions: How many languages will they learn as toddlers? Will we be able to teach them the native languages of both their father (French) and myself (English)? And how about other languages? And the cultures that come with them?

In celebration of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, which is celebrated this year on January 27th, I dove feet-first into answering this question by reviewing a series of multilingual, multicultural digital storybooks called Broccoli.

Founded by Wonjin Park while he was a student at Boston University, Broccoli has a rather unique mission — to broaden children’s horizons with…

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The Case for Loving – a special multicultural nonfiction picture book

Books My Kids Read

Multicultural Children’s Book Day. That time every year when we get to celebrate the diversity of this great country and to promote books that allow children of all backgrounds to see themselves on the pages. This year I received a few books that also remind us that the freedoms we have now haven’t always been there and how, as a nation, we haven’t always been kind to those who were seen as “different.”


Today, as a combination of MCBD and the nonfiction challenge from Kid Lit Frenzy, I am focusing on the beautiful book The Case for Loving, by Selina Alko. When I received this book from Scholastic, I was very excited. I had seen the book before, but wasn’t sure how my kids would react to it. Both of my girls, age 9 and 6, found the story to be quite powerful and there were a lot of…

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