Engage Students with DYNAMIC Author Assemblies!

To all the educators and parent volunteers on my list, Looking for an exciting way to engage students in curriculum this fall? Consider a dynamic author assembly for grades K-8th. The calendar says summer, but school in these parts starts again this week. I am already looking

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Quote from Mark Twain

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Tapping into the Creativity of Readers

My “Creative Jazz Writing Workshops” this summer left me with fodder aplenty to start a new book. As I made the rounds to fourteen (count ‘em!) Migrant Summer School sites in towns like McFarland, Wasco, Taft, Arvin, Lamont, Rosamond, Tehachipi, Shafter, and some lesser known rural districts

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Summer Programs in Kern Co., California

Recently returned from a 2-week tour through Migrant Education Summer Programs located at schools around Kern County, CA. And I mean AROUND this huge county. Stops included far-flung school districts in small agricultural towns as well as the outskirts of Bakersfield itself. Wasco, Taft, Tehachapi, Rosamond, Buttonwillow,

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What Can Matter More Than Futbol

OK, so here’s my take on the 7-1 shellacking of Brazil in today’s World Cup semi-final. In our house, we’ve been watching the matches in Spanish, so when I turned on the game and heard the commentators marveling about the 5-0 score at the time, I thought

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Furnishing a Neighborhood Library in Texas

First, let me go on record to say that a public, well-funded neighborhood library elevates the civic and cultural well-being of society. But as Texas librarian Brian Kemp demonstrates, there is also a place for free, public book deposits where members of a community simply circulate good

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When Librarians Invite You to Speak in a Loud Voice

Two weeks ago, I got a bell-hop to leave his post at his hotel in downtown San Antonio and help me move my gear into the city’s vast convention center. “What kind of convention did you say this was?” he asked. “A librarian convention. It’s called TLA,

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Lessons Learned at Publishing University

This past weekend I attended the two-day “Publishing University” in San Francisco, put on by the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). Always wise to invest in a bit of professional development–just to keep clear of ruts and bad habits! I left feeling inspired and better informed, just

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Orion Author Fair- A Festival to Remember

On Feb. 8th, the Orion Alternative School in Redwood City, CA put on their fantabulous, annual Children’s Book Author and Illustrator Fair. Charm, gumption and tradition seem to be their key for assembling 8-10 well-known children’s book creators from near and far (as far away as NYC).

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Share, Research and Best Practices

Recently had the pleasure of attending the National Title I Conference in San Diego. Three or four thousand education administrators gathered from around the country to share and learn research findings and best practices. (Talk about your array of accents!) Major thanks to Connie Etheridge for all

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Publishing Matters: Near Miss with the Lavatory (!)

So there I was last week ready to send my latest mini-picture book to the printer when our translator Victor Reyes said not so fast. The story (“Mailman Joe”) is a story in verse featuring 55 English / Spanish cognates such as train / tren, energy /

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Giveaway to Start the New Year

Attention jazz fans, lovers of insects and, specifically, musical flies who buzz around in tuxedos. Happy New Year! A hope you’ve had a groovin’ winter break. Start your 2014 in rhythm with this offer from Rafflecopter. A copy of Jazz Fly and Jazz Fly 2 (signed by

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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!"™