September 30, 2019

It was an honor to participate in the 2019 History Book Festival in Lewes, Delaware. The History Book Festival is the first and only book festival in the United States devoted exclusively to history. On Friday, September 27, I had a fun author visit with more than 100 students at Rehoboth Elementary School. Then on Saturday, Septembe...

May 16, 2019

The library is my absolute favorite place on the planet! So I'm thrilled to be giving a book presentation and reading at the Pre-Summer Book Party at Lewes Library in Delaware on Saturday, June 1st, 10 a.m. - 12 noon. This event will feature light refreshments, free books for kids, library card sign-ups, and registration for the Doll...

July 5, 2018

While working on the picture book biography, Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins, I was struck by the graceful images of Janet’s first cousin, Carmen de Lavallade. Carmen’s beauty, elegance, and passion for dance shine through every photo. Here are five things I find most fascinating:

1. Janet Collins, the first African-A...

June 10, 2018

My love of ballet started as a young child in the 1970s when I took ballet classes for a couple of years at the Jones-Haywood Dance School on Delafield Place in Washington D.C. (formerly the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet.) This is a picture of me with my big brother after a ballet recital.

I have always been an amateur dancer; I just...

April 22, 2018

Hidden Figures – The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race

Written By: Margot Lee Shetterly

Illustrated By: Laura Freeman

Publisher: HarperCollins

Why I Love It: My husband and I both loved the movie Hidden Figures and talked about it long after we left the theater. If you enjoyed the movie and/or the original adult book, you...

March 18, 2018

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

Written by: Katheryn Russell-Brown

Illustrated by: Frank Morrison

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Why I Love It:

The cover of Little Melba and Her Big Trombone is irresistible, and I love the way Melba's body stretches and curves while she holds her trombone. This little girl feels the music. Melba Liston (192...

January 15, 2018

Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe

Written by: Deborah Blumenthal

Illustrated by: Laura Freeman

Publisher: Little Bee Books

Why I Love It:

Reading this picture book biography brought back nice memories for me. In elementary school, I loved to read fashion magazines and sketch fashion designs in notebooks. With...

January 23, 2017

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford

Illustrator: Sean Qualls

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

Themes: music, musicians, biography, jazz, family

Age Range: 5-9

Word Count: 164 words

Teaching Tools:

Jazz Lesson Ideas from BrainPop Educators

Jazz Lesson Plans and Activities from PBS Kids

More picture books about jazz

Jazz Appreciation Month

Why I Lov...

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Cover Reveal for FLYING HIGH: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles & Photo of the Month

October 27, 2019

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