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Volume 3 Number 11

A new museum dedicated to exploring the role of visual art in children's literature from around the world will open in Amherst, Massachusetts in November 2002...
A Class Size of 500 Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Suggestions For Motivation Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
Stress Relief for Teachers Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Benefits of Homework Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Dealing with the Back Stabbers and Happy Haters The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
Sites For Grades 4 to 8 The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
Thinking About Your Curriculum 4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
November Postcard from Planet Esme - News from the world of children's books by Esmé Codell
November Articles
November Regular Features
November Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Esmé Codell...
Esmé is the author of the highly acclaimed and bestselling Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year, which received favorable reviews from magazines such as Entertainment Weekly, People,The New Yorker, Elle and Kirkus. Educating Esmé won Foreword Magazine's memoir of the year, and the distinguished Alex Award for outstanding book for young adult readers. Her abridged diary appeared in Reader's Digest. She has been a keynote speaker for the International Reading Association and the American Library Association. She gave a "virtual" keynote for the National Education Association's "Stay Afloat!"online conference for first-year teachers and was dubbed "Generation X's answer to Bel Kaufman and Frank McCourt" in February's NEA Today. Esmé was a featured speaker at the National Museum for Women in the Arts and has appeared on CBS This Morning and CNN. Esmé's public radio reading, "Call Me Madame," produced by Jay Allison for the Life Stories series earned her first place for National Education Reporting from the Education Writer's Association. Her performance prowess was also seen on CSPAN's Book Talk and heard on NPR's Voice of America. She is a children's literature specialist who graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern Illinois University in 1992, and is certified in the field of K - 8 Elementary Education with an endorsement in Language Arts. She has five years of teaching experience and five years of experience as a children's bookseller. She runs the popular children's literature web site, Planet Esmé (
Postcard from Planet Esme
News from the world of children's books

by Esmé Codell
Planet Esmé (

Good morning, friends of!

I hope it is a morning as lovely as it is here in Chicago, with November's bright blue weather making a cheery backdrop for the trees in the park, who look like they're just about ready to change colors. Now is the time for all hard-working ants to start stocking their shelves, harvesting the very best books. Then when winter does come a-knocking, we will be cozy warm with our cocoa and our children, reading aloud the best literature available!

And boy oh boy, is this year's crop bountiful. Wait until you see the fall update of best new books for children at the Don't Miss page: It may take a moment to load, it's a real bushel-full of picture books, fiction, non-fiction and reissues for all ages, and a special link to Thanksgiving titles and spooky reads as well, to share when those bare branches start scraping against the windowpanes. You'll also see what everyone's getting from me for the holidays this year...can you guess which book it is? As always, the titles recommended are teacher-tested, kid-approved, and I always love love love getting your e-mails about which ones were shared with the children you cherish and what the reactions were!

In putting this page together, I have noticed some exciting trends: there are more and more books coming out that celebrate peace and peacemakers, such as the biographies you'll find about Confucius, Sarah Josepha Hale, Janusz Korczak, Alexis Soyer and sweet little Mannekin Pis. I think it is wonderful that children nowadays can have so many books that offer examples of people around the globe who love their country and show it through conflict resolution and innovation. Having such a body of children's literature available can really revolutionize and globalize the way we teach social studies.

Another trend is great books that integrate the arts: you'll find a book about second-grade storyteller Gooney Bird Greene, the legendary singer Marion Anderson, a great novel by a first-time author about a stonecutter, printmaker Pieter Bruegel's travel journal, a tribute to art teacher Emily Carr, a museum alphabet and the lyrics of Rogers and Hammerstein musicals have been compiled into a picture book that will make everyone burst into song!

The multicultural forecast remains sunny, with a specially strong showing from the Native American literary caucus: Night Dancer, Indian Shoes, Lucy the Giant, The World Before This One, and We are The Many are just a few titles that promise we can incorporate new spirit into the teaching of this rich culture. Visit the website of author Cynthia Leitich Smith at for tons of great Native American literature and links to more multicultural reading.

To salute this great land of the free library cards, a special new page will be posted full of flag-waving read-aloud favorites at To further honor freedom of the press during this month of Thanksgiving, please e-mail me ( and share what children's book you are most thankful for. Which single title really makes a difference in the way you teach, the way you look at children, has brought you the most laughter or tears, or has cultivated a love of reading? A few may be posted here in the next letter! Until then, button up that overcoat and...

Happy reading always,
Esme Raji Codell,
Site Director, is a non-sectarian site dedicated to getting great children's literature into the hands of great children. We accept no advertising; links are provided as a service to our guests at the discretion of the site director.

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