Children's Author / Storyteller / Bilingual Presenter


How to create an original call and response chant

 ZLOH…ZLEE…ZLOH-ZLEE-ZLOO! Create an original call and response chant to instantly focus children’s attention–in the classroom, library, over the intercom, or at home! Greetings teachers (that includes principals, librarians, parents and grandparents), With the start of school, it’s time to put an extra bounce in our step. Before we

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10 Jazz Books to Connect Kids to Music and the Wider World

(This thematic round-up first appeared as a guest post on  Hop. Boom. Skiddily-bop. Bing!  Let’s start the new school year in rhythm, shall we, with 10 books that connect kids to this music we call jazz. The jazz picture book genre has evolved! By now, music loving

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Modeling Thoughtful Citizenship (Even When Politicians Don’t)

Greetings Teachers, Librarians and Administrators, As schools gear up for another fall semester, there are still some days left to walk around in sandals, enjoy chilled watermelon, and daydream about how to make this year a great one for students. (As an author/speaker, I think about that

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On Beyond Dr. Seuss for Read Across America Day

Children's Poetry

Much as I love Dr. Seuss, elementary schools would do better on Read Across America Day to focus on poetry with more wide ranging vocabulary like Falling Up (Shel Silverstein) and It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles (Jack Prelutsky). I just re-read both, and they’re terrific! The problem

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The Jazz Fly read by 4th grade Korean students

Looks like Mr. Kelly’s “Jazz Fly students” at the Korean School in Yokohama, Japan outdid themselves! Highly imaginative project for English language learners : )

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Family Reading Nights: the High Wire Act of Literacy Events

Happy New Year, MLK Day and Year of the Monkey early! Around this time, many schools plan literacy events to remind families of the myriad benefits of reading books together. Family nights, compared to teacher workshops and daytime assemblies for students, are the high wire act of

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In Praise of School Volunteers!

  St. Patrick’s School Reading Week Committee from left: Parent Volunteer Jackie Johnson, Sister Maureen (Principal), Parent Volunteers Donna Cahill and Martha Pierce This post is in praise of school volunteers, the dedicated parents—and sometimes just caring neighbors—who take on responsibilities to help schools offer more. Their

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Gobble, Quack, Moon a hit in the Middle East

Letters from readers are especially sweet when they come from far away. From Kuwait in the case of this note from American teacher Alex Hogan and the students at her bilingual school: “This week at our school is ‘I Love To Read Week!’ I was the mystery

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Considering a Career in the Creative Arts

Welcome, everybody, to 2015! May your new year brim with joy and creativity. Recently, a long-time reader, and friend, emailed this note. I’ll include my response below. Feel free to pass it on to young adults in your life considering a career in the creative arts! “Having

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Why My Job is Fun: Exhibit A

Teacher Participation in Elementary School Assembly  I admit my job is fun! This video came courtesy of the good teachers of Northview Elementary School in Manhattan, KS. Taken two weeks ago. Special thanks to a special librarian, Andrea Wollenberg, for coordinating the assemblies!

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I’m a Hornet, Are You?

Last week at this time, I was getting acquainted with Emporia State University, home of Kansas’s annual statewide Reading Recovery conference. Title of my luncheon keynote speech: “Teach Reading Like a Jazz Musician!” Jazz musicians specialize in what I call the three I’s: Improvisation, Interpretation, and Ingenuity,

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Meet “The 2 Sisters”

Last weekend at the annual CRA conference (California Reading Association), I had the pleasure of hearing, then actually meeting, “The 2 Sisters,” Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, authors of “The Daily 5.” They are teachers making a big impact on elementary school classrooms nationwide. Here are the

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Meet Matthew

I have a passion for encouraging young people to read--and for encouraging parents to read to their kids. "Language, rhythm, color, life!"™ are the threads I weave through my books and presentations. Read more...

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Phone: (707) 544-4720 PST

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Tortuga Press

2777 Yulupa Ave. #181
Santa Rosa, CA 95405

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Matthew makes reading FUN!

"Language, rhythm, color, life!"™