“Count On Me”

“Count On Me”

While a young girl’s family has found their passions – science, art, and music, she searches for her passion by trying different activities. She discovers that she likes math above all else.

She loves finding math in hidden places like geometric shapes on the playground, concentric circles forming in the water from skipping stones, and more.

While the girl realizes that her passion can be hard to understand, “there are infinite ways to see the world.”

At the back of the book, the girl’s math notebook shares definitons and examples of fractals, basic polygons, concentric circles, curves, and solid figures.

This book promotes creative components of perspective and passion.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because it shows math as a passion and how to see the world through a math perspective.

TITLE: Count On Me

AUTHOR: Miguel Tanco


PUBLISHER: Tundra Books, 2019


TOPIC(S): math, follow one’s passion

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: different perspective, passion


1) What’s the school subject that most interests you? In what ways might you see the world around you by using that subject? 

2) Where do you find math in the world around you? Using the girl’s math notebook, go on a scavenger hunt to find as many math examples as you can.


To learn more about author/illustrator Miguel Tanco visit:


Rot: The Cutest in the World!

“Rot: The Cutest in the World!”

Rot loves games and contests. When he sees a sign for the Cutest in the World contest, he is sure that he will win.

After meeting the other contestants, Rot is suddenly unsure of his chances. Quickly, Rot thinks up ways to be cuter, but none of these make him any cuter. What will Rot do? Who will win the contest? Read the book to find out.

This book promotes creative components of individuality and uniqueness.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because of the surprise twist and the way Clanton’s creative way of showing readers that everything is not as we think it should be. Also, readers can relate to Rot’s feelings of being insecure and uncertain.

TITLE: Rot: The Cutest in the World!

AUTHOR: Ben Clanton


PUBLISHER: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017


TOPIC(S): mutant potatoes, being true to yourself

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: individuality, unique


1) Rot is a mutant potato. Create your own mutant character using a vegetable or a fruit.

2) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What does this mean to you?

3) Ben Clanton uses rhyme and alliteration to describe Rot’s fellow contestants. How might you describe Rot using rhyme and alliteration?


To learn more about author/illustrator Ben Clanton visit:



Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out

“Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out”

April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate I am highlighting a chapter book rather than my usual picture book. 

Poet and author Ralph Fletcher inspires readers to tap into themselves (get inside themselves) to write and refine their poetry. Hence the book’s title, Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out. Fletcher wrote this book to “help young poets to think deeper about how they can make their poems shine, sing, and soar.”

Readers will explore the “three pillars of poetry” (emotion, image, and music) and ways to refine their poems. They will read poems written by fourth grade through seventh grade students as well as interviews with three well-known poets: J. Patrick Lewis, Janet S. Wong, and Kristine O’Connell George. A chapter is included on how to get readers’ poems out into the world. This book does not analyze poems.

This book promotes creative components of creative process and inspiration.

WHY I LIKE THIS BOOK:  I like this book because it speaks to young readers, inspires them to write poetry by discovering moments in their lives, and includes question and answer interviews with famous poets.

TITLE: Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out

AUTHOR: Ralph Fletcher

PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Publishers, 2002


TOPIC(S): poetry, chapter book, how to write poetry

CREATIVE COMPONENTS: creative process, inspiration


1) Research a poet. What interests you about that poet? In what ways are you like that poet? Write a poem that captures that essence.

2) Look outside a window. Make a list of the things you see. Pick one thing from your list and describe it as if you were seeing it for the first time.

3) Write a free verse poem about a happy or sad memory you have.

4) “I love getting up every morning and mucking around in sentences, playing with stories, trying to build my city of words.” -Ralph Fletcher

Create your own city of words using a medium of your choice – painting, drawing, writing, poetry, building materials, collage, etc.


To learn more about author Ralph Fletcher visit: