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Jen Robinson
San Jose, CA
Dedicated to growing joyful learners: bookworms, mathematicians, scientists, artists, + more
Interests: joy of learning, education, children's books, hiking, reading, walking, red sox baseball, wine tasting, mysteries, literacy
Recent Activity
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In this brief issue of the #GrowingBookworms newsletter I have four book reviews (picture book, early reader, and middle grade) and a post about a school that eliminated homework, and our own recent experience with homework. I also have one post with links that I shared recently on Twitter (I was on vacation the other week). Continue reading
Posted 1 hour ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Sandhya Nankani shared a Washington Post article by Valerie Strauss with me this week that I want to highlight here. It's about the positive outcomes that a Vermont elementary school has been experiencing since replacing homework with free reading time. Principal Mark Trifilio did his research, and then proposed an experiment to his school's teachers: Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Hats Off to You! is a delightful celebration of friendship, motherhood, and dressing up. It is multicultural without being "about" diversity, which is, I think, a great way to go when you can pull it off. While clearly aimed at four to eight year old girls, I could see Hats Off to You! appealing to that segment of little boys who like dressing up, too. It is read-aloud friendly and one that I look forward to sharing with my own six-year-old. Recommended! Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History is a picture book biography written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. In straightforward fashion, it traces the life of a man named Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, born a slave in Maryland, who eventually (changing his name along the way) becomes a writer and leader of the abolitionist movement, as well as an advocate for women's rights. Myers gives particular focus to Frederick's quest to learn to read. Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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The Goldfish Boy is book that I think will intrigue both children and adults. It has strong characters, a ripped-from-the-headlines mystery, and a protagonist with a unique and compelling voice. I was surprised to learn that it was Lisa Thompson's first novel. It is a most assured debut, and I look forward to Thompson's future work. Highly recommended. Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. A highlight this week is the fact that the Cybils Award winners were announced on Tuesday (Valentine's Day). Other topics this week include #BookGivingDay, #BookLists, #math, book selection, bullying, charter schools, friendship, growing bookworms, libraries, play, reading, schools, screentime, student volunteers, Valentine's Day, World Read Aloud Day, writing. Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Stinky Spike: The Pirate Dog kicks off a new series in Bloomsbury's Read & Bloom line of early readers with full color illustrations. Written by Peter Meisel and illustrated by Paul Meisel, the book introduces Spike, a dog who works at a shipyard chasing away birds, and who excels at chasing down bad smells. Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
You are very welcome, Lori! Thanks for a fun book!
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In this issue of the Growing Bookworms newsletter I have four book reviews (all picture books) and a post with my daughter's latest literacy milestone (dying to finish a book and having to wait). I also have one post in which I recount several smaller steps along my daughter's path to literacy, and two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter. Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Oh, I think picture books are for everyone, Michelle. Certainly nine year olds. I hope your niece enjoys it!! Thanks for taking time to comment.
Oh yes, we read most of those in one sitting, too. They are short enough that we didn't have to stop and wait for later.
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Pax and Blue by Lori Richmond is the story of a friendship between a small boy and a blue-tinged pigeon. Pax and Blue meet every day on a bus stop, where they greet one another with words and coos, respectively. Every day, Pax shares a bit of his toast with Blue, as a gesture of friendship. However, one day Pax's mother is late, and drags him away before he can share his customary crumbs with Blue. Not understanding, Blue follows Pax all the way onto a subway car, where his appearance causes a bit of a scene. Luckily, Pax knows what to do the, and both pigeon and friendship are saved. Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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In this post, I share my daughter's latest milestone on the path to literacy: desperately needing to know what will happen next in a book, but having to stop reading. We've all been there. Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
I hope you like it!! Thanks for taking time to comment.
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BlackHistoryMonth, #BookLists, #JoyOfLearning, #STEM, anti-Nazi stories, coding, collaboration, diverse books, growing bookworms, kidlitosphere, kindness, parenting, play, raising readers, schools, superheroes, and teaching. Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Glad you saw the review, Elaine. It's a very fun book!
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Adrift: An Odd Couple of Polar Bears by Jessica Olien is a tale of how opposites not so much attract, but rather come to appreciate one another gradually over time. Hazel is a book-loving polar bear who just wants to be left alone to read. Olien calls her shy, but I would classify her as introverted. Karl is an extrovert who loves to talk, and who wants to be noticed. He also smells like fish. They do not approve of one other. However, when an iceberg breaks off from the shore, taking only Karl and Hazel with it, the two opposites gradually learn to get along. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Things to Do, written by Elaine Magliaro and illustrated by Catia Chen, is a book of short poems, each focused on something a child might encounter as she makes her way through the day. Topics begin with "Things to do if you are dawn" and move on through nature (acorns, spiders, the sun, the moon) and school (erasers and scissors) and on to nighttime. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Thanks, Kate!! I appreciate the feedback. It's definitely harder to balance once they start reading chapter books, but I am finding it even more fun. Glad to hear you are trying to keep picture books in the mix, too.
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As regular readers know, I occasionally post about my daughter's milestones along her path to literacy. Recently there haven't been any major leaps, but I've noticed a bunch of incremental incidents that I thought readers might find entertaining. And if not, well, my daughter and I will still have these posts to look back on ourselves. Some of these are follow-up to things that I've written about previously. Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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Here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include #BookLists, #DiverseBooks, audiobooks, book fair, books for toddlers, equity in education, free speech, gender bias, growing bookworms, joy of learning, libraries, media, parenting, reading, reading aloud, reading choice, and recess. Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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When an Elephant Falls in Love, by Davide Cali and Alice Lotti, is a rather charming little picture book about the foolish things that a person (well, an elephant) might do upon having a crush on someone. While some of these things are funnier when an elephant does them (such as hiding whenever he sees her), the actions themselves are universal. Like dressing with extra care or lying staring at the clouds for hours. Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
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In this issue of the Growing Bookworms newsletter I have four book reviews (picture book and middle grade) and a quick post about the importance for me of narrative voice. I also have one post linking to an article about reading with kids, two posts with links that I shared recently on Twitter, and a post with excerpts from and responses to three #JoyOfLearning related articles that I read recently. Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page
That is exactly how I feel, Brenda Especially about the snarky voice, sometimes, and the ones that make you write down (or at least flag) the quotes.
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How to Outsmart a Billion Robot Bees is full of intriguing gadgets, dangerous situations, and engaging banter. The actual plot of this second book didn't grab me quite as much as that of the first book. However, I remain delighted by the humor and the characters, as well as the general focus on the things that can be accomplished by sheer brainpower. This is a series that I will happily recommend to any fans of fantasy, science, or middle grade/middle school male-female dynamics. Highly recommended for any reader, age eight and up, and a must purchase for libraries everywhere. Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2017 at Jen Robinson's Book Page