Thursday, June 19, 2014

Adobe Voice: Show your story. In minutes.

Awesome Free App Alert! Adobe Voice is a very intuitive, simple digital storytelling app that has my mind buzzing with ideas!

It would be so much fun to use on a rainy day like today to create and share imaginative stories, information about something you are learning about, or to tell the story of a vacation.

I also think it would be AWESOME for creating book trailers! I can't wait to play with it some more this summer!

Download it on the App store for free today and get creating!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Battle Bunny

Battle Bunny is an awesome new book from superstar authors Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, and illustrated by Matthew Myers (and Alex!)

Blurb from Goodreads:

Alex has been given a saccharine, sappy, silly-sweet picture book about Birthday Bunny that his grandma found at a garage sale. Alex isn't interested - until he decides to make the book something he'd actually like to read. So he takes out his pencil, sharpens his creativity, and totally transforms the story!

Birthday Bunny becomes Battle Bunny, and the rabbit's innocent journey through the forest morphs into a supersecret mission to unleash an evil plan - a plan that only Alex can stop.

Featuring layered, original artwork that emphasizes Alex's additions, this dynamic exploration of creative storytelling is sure to engage and inspire.

Fun Activity Alert!

With one of the Grade 4 classes, we worked on creating our own twist on Birthday Bunny with a printed copy of the un-edited story from

Some students even used discarded books from our library and made their own Battle Bunny inspired write-over stories, which were absolutely hilarious.

This would be such a fun rainy day activity this summer with kids in Grades 4-6. I'll be scouring garage sales for sappy sweet books to use for this activity next year :)

If you create a particularly awesome Birthday Bunny rewrite this summer, you can email them, and they might appear here along with other student creations on the Birthday Bunny Tumblr .

Happy creating! I'd love to see your creations in September!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Author Profile - Kenneth Oppel

We are so excited to announce that we will be hosting acclaimed Canadian author Kenneth Oppel at STS during Marti McKay week in the new school year. Summer is the perfect time to read some of his fabulous books.

You can read more about our special guest here....about where he grew up in Canada, what he wanted to be when he was young, what made him decide to pursue a writing career, and how Roald Dahl read some of his earliest work. And learn more by reading his FAQ here - including a list of his favourite books!

Grade 5 and 6 students will really enjoy the Airborn series: 

Matt Cruse is the 15-year-old cabin boy aboard the Aurora, the 900-foot luxury airship he has called home for the past two years. While crossing the Pacificus, Matt fearlessly rescues the unconscious pilot of a crippled hot air balloon. Before he dies, the balloonist tells him about the fantastic, impossible creatures he has seen flying through the clouds. Matt dismisses the story as the ravings of a dying man, but when Kate de Vries arrives on the Aurora a year later, determined to prove the story is true, Matt finds himself caught up in her quest. Then one night, over the middle of the ocean, deadly air pirates board the Aurora. Far from any hope of rescue, Kate and Matt are flung into adventures beyond all imagining. . .

Book Trailer for Airborn

You can watch more of his book trailers here on his Youtube Channel!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fresh covers for Judy Blume Classics

Judy Blume's classic books have gotten a makeover - thanks to Canadian illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi and fresh new covers by Lauren Rille.

I especially love the one for "Are you there God? It's me, Margaret".

I'm also especially excited to share Freckle Juice with my younger students and retire our very tattered copy!

You can read more about the illustration and cover art process here on Debbie Ridpath Ohi's blog.

p.s I absolutely LOVE the way Debbie Ridpath Ohi uses found objects to create art. This would be such a fun way to create impromtu art on summer vacation! Here are a few of my faves! You can see many more here on her Flickr stream.