Skip to main content


Neil Gaiman's story is STILL FREE at AUDIBLE.COM, I'm just not sure if they are still donating $1 to charity for every download. As of 10/30, only $31,000 had been raised in the US and slightly less in the UK. Hope the pace picked up yesterday!!

Thanks so much to my reader Andrea Louise Dawson Webster for cluing me into this fantastic event! Neil Gaiman, who has a truly delightful reading voice, has teamed up with to raise money for charity. Every time a FREE audio version of Gaiman's story CLICK CLACK THE RATTLEBAG, written just for this occasion, is downloaded (and you DON'T have to be a member of Audible to get it) Audible will donate one dollar to charity. Parents - this story is very subtle and just a little bit creepy. You know your children best. Listen to it before you share - it's about 10 minutes long. So, what are you waiting for? 

As Neil says, "we chose our charities with pride and care." Neil and Audible picked Donors Choose, a very cool organization that lets you decide how to help classrooms in need. Teachers post classroom requests spanning a wide range of needs. From pencils for poetry to microscopes for mitochondria, you pick what you want your money to fund. 

And, if I have any readers outside the US who visit for their free download, a donation will be made to BookTrust. As Neil Gaiman said on his blog where he first announced this partnership on October 25, this all came together very fast and there's really only about a week for people to DOWNLOAD FOR CHARITY! So get busy! Tell your friends! Family! Neighbors! Teachers! You have through Halloween to download the story for free and possibly one more from Gaiman after Halloween if all goes well.

Also, two years ago Gaiman started ALL HALLOW'S READ, a move to get people to give BOOKS, SCARY BOOKS, on Halloween. And read them together. Gaiman explains it much better in this video. Be sure to check the website for lists of good scary (and not too scary books) and contributions from other well known authors of scary books...


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…