The Last Blast of Summer
Although we haven’t reached Labor Day weekend, summer time is winding down. My summer was busy, including:
Author events in paradise. I had the privilege of speaking about the research done for my historical nonfiction title, MOLLY, BY GOLLY!, at the Marion County Public Library, in Ocala, Florida, in July. The kids, parents and staff were great. While in the area, I made stops at the Ocala Barnes and Noble bookstore as well as the B&N in the Villages for story hour appearances. I also did a story hour and signing at my hometown indie, Bookstore1Sarasota, in August. Thank you, all, for hosting me!
My picture books read aloud on a terrific YouTube channel. Eileen the Story Teller and her zany cast of puppets perform entertaining readings of kid’s books each week, and this summer my books, IT’S A SEASHELL DAY and IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT, were featured. What a thrill! Check it out at:
A StoryWalk in Baltimore featuring IT’S A FIREFLY NIGHT. A StoryWalk is a walkway in an outdoor area (usually a park) that features mini-billboards installed for viewing the oversized reproductions of pages from picture books. Fitness and a good book, all rolled into one….brilliant! It was an honor that Baltimore suburb Pylesville chose my firefly book as its focus for their summer StoryWalk. For more info, go to:
An interview with a prestigious educational website and its founder about math stories, how they’re created and why mathematical stories help students learn important math concepts. This summer I was honored to have been contacted by Dr. Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai, Founder & Principal Investigator, of the educational website, MathsThroughStories.org., which was launched on March 2nd this year to coincide with 2017 World Book Day. He and his team of educational researchers have launched several initiatives in the U.K. to increase math literacy worldwide. I was surprised to learn that several of my Scholastic titles were already on their recommended reading list, and other titles of mine being evaluated for inclusion in the summer. Dr. Trakulphadetkrai suggested we do an interview to help the teachers and parents (from over one hundred countries worldwide) who visit the site understand how picture books featuring mathematical concepts are crafted and how they can be used in the classroom or home to facilitate learning. It was an honor to contemplate the questions, and answer them as thoroughly as I could from my position, not as an educator, but as children’s author. To check out the interview, go to http://www.mathsthroughstories.org/interview_dianne_ochiltree.html
MathsThroughStories.org is a non-profit and research-based initiative, based at the University of Reading’s Institute of Education (UK).
That’s it for now. Enjoy the last of summer as we tumble toward back-to-school autumn days!
The Last Blast of Summer