Monday, April 13, 2020

By the book with Mrs. Twombly, RES Reading Specialist and K-2 ELA/SS Curriculum Liasion

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?
I'm noticing that many teachers were avid readers as children, and I was no different!  I loved reading for enjoyment in the car, on the sofa, in my bed, and at the library. The children's librarians at the town and school libraries were especially kind to me, putting books aside they thought I might enjoy.  Like most children at the time, I LOVED Beverly Cleary books.  By far my favorite was Ellen Tibbitts, which I read several times a year. As I got older I loved Judy Bloom as well as the story Island of the Blue Dolphins.
Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, what, how)
Today I still read wherever I can~though the car is now a deal-breaker. I put my head down to read for one second and I feel the carsickness coming on!

What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?
My most recent read was Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters. I am part of the planning for the literacy block for our grade 2 students and this picture book is launching an adventure to Africa. In the story, one of Mufaro’s daughters, Manyara, equates kindness with weakness whilst her sister Nyasha was loved far and wide by her simple acts of kindness. In this most unsteady time, may we face the uncertainty, anxiousness and frustration with the same grace as  Nyasha and find the joy in the our daily connections with those we love most. 

Your organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
If I were to invite an author to dinner it would be Tommie dePaola.  Tommie passed away a few weeks ago. I invited Tommie into my classroom and house for years as a teacher and a parent and would love to have a gentle chat with him about his years as a beloved children's author. As most children love to hear the same books read over and over, Tommie's books never disappointed and could be read night after night.  My children's favorite was Tommie's Nursery Rhymes and my personal favorite is Strega Nona

Many thanks to Mrs. Twombly for sharing her engaging post. For the adult fans of Ellen Tibbitts out there (count me as one!), check out Beverly Cleary, Age 100, a 2016 article from New Yorker magazine. 


  1. Island of the Blue Dolphins was one of my treasured books growing up! A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit one of Channel Islands off the coast of CA. I couldn't help but to think of this story while I was there. I could imagine the isolation the main character must have felt, but I also had a new appreciation for her strength and resiliency. I came home and reread that book with a new lens!

  2. Ellen Tebbits is one of the first books I remember reading by myself. Strega Nona is another of my all-time favorites! How can you not love Big Anthony?! Thanks for the memories, Mrs. Twombly!

  3. I just read Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters. Another story teaching the lesson of the value of simple jestures of kindness. The illustrations were so beautiful too.I'll have to look for the Island of the Blue Dolphins. One of the benefits of this time of staying home.