Start the new year with a great book. check out these wonderful NAPPA Award winning titles:
NAPPA Awards Q & A with Mary Amato, author of News from Me, Lucy McGee
We are thrilled to introduce you to our latest NAPPA Award winning author, Mary Amato — sharing childhood memories and how she created Lucy McGee.
Please share one fun memory from your childhood.
My father loved to sing and whenever we would get in the car, we would all sing together. Show tunes, pop songs, folk songs, commercials, TV theme songs . . . anything and everything. I loved it most when we were driving and singing at night. There was something magical about the idea of this car filled with music traveling along a road with darkness on either side. As I was joining my voice with my sisters and parents, I would sometimes be overcome with a joy so big and deep I would start to cry.
Tell us a little about Lucy and why you created her?
Lucy is a fourth grader with a huge heart, lots of energy, and a tendency to make mistakes. Her zest for life gets in the way of her ability to know when she is being manipulated by mean girl Scarlett Tandy. I wanted to explore a character who struggles with her desire to fit in with the “popular” crowd and her desire to be true to herself. Lucy is also a budding songwriter and ukulele player, and I wanted to offer a role model of a child who takes the risk to write and share her own music with her friends and family.
What do you hope young readers will gain most from the Lucy McGee series?
To me, the series packs a three-fold punch. It’s about friendship, family, and the joy of music.
- Regarding friendship, I’m hoping that my readers will see that you have to learn how to be a good friend, how to own up to your mistakes when you hurt a friend’s feelings, and how to stand up for yourself when a friend hurts yours.
- Regarding family, I’m hoping that my readers see that loving and close, relationships between family members can be strengthened with humor and honesty. Often, in order to have drama or tension in a book, authors create a negative or challenging home life for their characters: parents who don’t understand or who are absent, or siblings who are antagonists. I wanted to create a model of a healthy, happy family—one in which everybody makes mistakes, but always works together to learn and forgive.
- Regarding music, I’m hoping my readers will be inspired to play and sing and write their own songs.
These books are special in that the songs that Lucy writes are available to hear and sing along. I want to encourage families to sing together. Parents can find all the songs and the karaoke versions of the songs on a special page on my site. https://www.maryamato.com/lucy-songs/
Our readers are all parents. What’s the best way for parents to encourage their kids to read and write more?
My favorite suggestion is to encourage diary writing. Instead of buying a fancy blank book, start with a very small, thin book that your child can feel good about filling up. Encourage your child to write anything and not worry about mistakes. Do your own at the same time. Once a month have a special reading where you each share a page from your diaries.
These recent NAPPA Award winning products provide great resources for families facing learning challenges.
The ABCs of Learning Issues
Available in both English and Spanish versions, The ABCs of Learning Issues is a practical guide to help parents understand common learning disabilities and behaviors they may observe at home and hear about from teachers. It offers effective teaching strategies for school and at home, provides a list of professionals who can assist in treating learning issues, and directs readers to Educational Alternatives’ website where they can ask the author confidential questions regarding their children. $39.99
SchKIDules 2-in-1 Home Bundle Visual Schedule
SchKIDules Home Bundle is a positive behavioral support for parents and kids to use together at home. This versatile product allows parents to display anything from simple “first-then” boards, to routines, to daily schedules, to reward charts and more. Kids use them for many reasons such as: simple communication, task execution, early learning, self-management and cooperation. Some children may rely on them more than others such as: kids with ADHD, Autism, NVLD, or visual learners. $42.99, ages: 3+
MobyMax is designed to help kids with learning challenges. This suite of assistive technology innovations saves special education teachers valuable time with online assessments, grading and markup tools, easy and accurate diagnostics, IEP reporting, and real-time progress monitoring.
MobyMax offers the only complete and comprehensive K-8 curriculum for 27 subjects, including math, reading, phonics, language, vocabulary, spelling, writing, science, social studies, and state test prep. MobyMax is used in more than 82% of all K-8 schools in the United States with over 28 million students registered. Ages PreK-18 years.
We’re excited to share two of our newest NAPPA Awards book winners.
DITTY BIRD MUSICAL BOOKS
Meet Ditty Bird, an adorable bird who loves to sing and will take your little one on a musical journey of playful learning. This charming musical book collection is educational, interactive and fun for inquisitive babies and toddlers. Promotes early language and fine motor skills, auditory development, music appreciation and bonding. Each board book has a “music” button on each page, which triggers one of six captivating tunes, sung by children. $16.49, ages: 1 – 3.
Knights Club: The Bands of Bravery
Knights Club: The Bands of Bravery is a middle-grade graphic novel series that makes your child the valiant hero of a fantasy quest—pick your panel, find items, gain abilities, solve puzzles and play through new storylines again and again. This book combines two loved genres: graphic novels and stories that allow readers to choose their own adventures. $9.99, ages: 8 – 12.
At NAPPA Awards we are passionate about books and reading, which is why we are super excited about our latest winners. Each one of these books is special in its own way and all would make a great addition to your family book collection.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
In spare, lyrical verse and vibrant images for which she has become legendary, Yuyi Morales has created a picture book memoir and a testament to the journey that she and her son took together from Mexico to the San Francisco Bay Area. Dreamers is a beautiful and powerful story that celebrates the gifts that all immigrants bring with them crossing the border into a new country. $18.99, ages 4-8
News from Me, Lucy McGee
When the coolest girl in the class invites you to her exclusive after-school club, how can you say no? Soon Lucy McGee realizes she’s been tricked into becoming mean girl Scarlett Tandy’s errand girl. Things get complicated as she tries to balance school, friends, frenemies, songwriting and family expectations. News from Me, Lucy McGee by Mary Amato and illustrated by Jessica Meserve, is a new chapter book series featuring a spunky heroine who matches wits with a mean girl and learns you can’t lose sight of what’s important. $15.99, ages: 7 -10.
Noodleheads Find Something Fishy
Although Mac and Mac are as hollow-headed as, well, noodles, they’re always coming up with brilliant schemes, but kids can use their own noodles to see where the brothers’ ideas go wrong. Noodleheads Find Something Fishy by Tedd Arnold and Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss is a graphic novel, perfect for comic fans and reluctant readers. It offers short, funny chapters following Mac and Mac through ridiculous adventures. This series rooted in world folklore and traditional tales of fools is full of wordplay, jokes and slapstick humor. $15.99, ages: 6-9.
When The Cousins Came
Inspired by the author’s own large, diverse family, When the Cousins Came, by Katie Yamasaki, is a sensitive story about insecurity, hosting and friendship. Katie Yamasaki’s picture book, paired with bright mixed-media art, reminds children that negative thoughts and anxiety over exclusion don’t always translate to reality, and that even when plans go wrong you can still have a good time together. $17.99, ages 4-8.
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Our latest NAPPA Award-winning books bring a sense of whimsy and promote well-being. Pick up a copy to enjoy with your family.
Go on a retro adventure with Claire and her special bear, Benny. You’ll learn lots of interesting facts about the World’s Fair and enjoy a sweet story about relationships and kindness. When Claire loses her favorite bear at the 1964 World’s Fair, she finds out what truly matters in life. $34.95, ages 2+.
Take the concept of bucket filling further by adding the idea that we also have an invisible lid that is used to protect and keep the happiness inside our bucket. This concrete concept helps all ages grow in understanding, kindness, self-control, resilience, empathy and forgiveness. $10.95, ages 7+
This is a book for princesses who wear hiking boots and walk around with their hair in a mess, and princes who drive pickup trucks. This Appalachian retelling of The Princess and the Pea is written by PEN Award winning author Bil Lepp, with bright and eclectic illustrations by Lottie Looney. A perfect book for your rough and tumble royalty.$15.95, ages 5-10
For more award-winning books, visit our Book Nook!
#books #WeLoveReading #ReadWithYourKids
Partner Content: From our Friends at American Psychological Association
This holiday season, give a gift that keeps on giving. Engage your favorite young reader with books by Magination Press, the children’s book imprint of the American Psychological Association, and help us support schools and communities in need!
Explore fun, colorful books in our Social Emotional Learning Collection, developed to enhance both reading skills and healthy emotional development of young readers, and donate a book to Reading Is Fundamental, the leading children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States.
Each donation will enable RIF to send Magination Press books to schools and communities around the nation. Together, we can make sure that all kids can reach their full potential!
A good book can touch our hearts for years to come. Taking us to magical worlds of wonder, teaching us valuable life lessons, and bringing us on adventures are just a few reasons we should all take time to bring out our inner bookworm. These recent NAPPA winners will help make reading your child’s new favorite hobby!
You’re My Little Cuddle Bug
Celebrate your little cuddle bug with this sweet and colorful rhyming board book, sure to become one of your family’s favorites! With chunky pages for little hands and die-cut cuddle bugs to add depth and interest, children will love the interactive features alongside the story in You’re My Little Cuddle Bug.
For Kids 0-3
Bone Collection: Animals
From gorillas to kangaroos, get ready to explore the insides of some of your favorite animals and the specialized body parts that help these animals thrive in their habitats. Bone Collection: Animals features dozens of animals with detailed illustrations of their skeletons and information about how their bodies help them move, hunt, and avoid predators. After reading about animals on land, in the water, and in the sky, kids can build an elephant and a crocodile model. This is a fantastic book for your curious kids. Parents will enjoy it too!
For kids 7+
My Illustrated Classics Collection
Featuring six beloved abridged classic tales, each with its own modern illustration style, My Illustrated Classics Collection is the perfect read-aloud choice for bedtime. This stunning edition features a beautiful cut out cover and ribbon bookmark, making it a special gift choice. The collection includes shortened versions of Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Black Beauty, The Wind in the Willows, and Treasure Island. A perfect addition to any home library.
For kids 3+
Bee Still: An Invitation to Meditation
Bentley is a lovable honeybee who does not participate in the frantic buzzing of other bees. Instead, he uses meditation to help calm himself and find inner peace. Soon the rest of the forest animals are joining along with Bentley as they sit, breathe, and “bee” still! A “Note to Parents and Caregivers” is included with information on how to teach children to practice meditation and its benefits.
For kids 4-8
Sewing the Rainbow: A Story About Gilbert Baker
Sewing the Rainbow is the powerful story of Gilbert Baker and the creation of the rainbow flag. This book takes readers from Gilbert’s childhood in a small town in Kansas, to his historic artistic career in San Francisco. Includes a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” with more about Gilbert and the flag’s history.
For kids 4-8
Marvelous Maravilloso: Me and My Beautiful Family
Marvelous Maravilloso is a story from the point of view of a young interracial child about what color means within the dynamics of race, ethnicity, and culture. This sweet, simple story is a wonderful celebration of diversity as it discusses the colors of the world and the colors of the people in a family—all of which make the world beautiful and unique.
For kids 4-8
Eppie the Elephant (Who Was Allergic to Peanuts)
It’s the first day of school for Eppie the Elephant, and she’s a bit nervous about one thing: that her new classmates won’t understand her nut allergy. Like many kids today, this fun-loving elephant can’t partake in peanuts, pecans, or pistachios and has to be careful about what she eats. Eppie makes fast friends with Allie the alligator and Pearl the squirrel, but when Eppie’s allergy is explained at lunch, will her friends still stand by her side? Readers of all ages will relate to this heartwarming, lyrical story of understanding and acceptance.
For kids 6-8
Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice
Something Happened in Our Town describes a traumatic event—a police shooting—from the perspective of a White family and an African American family. This story provides an excellent platform for discussing social justice and race relations with children. Includes a “Note to Parents and Caregivers” with other helpful resources.
For kids 4-8
Happy Reading! And remember to PlayLearnConnect with NAPPA Awards!