All posts by hannahehrlich

Lee & Low Guidelines for Virtual Book Read Alouds During COVID-19

Virtual Read Aloud Guidelines

During this critical time, we realize the absolute importance of continued learning in ways that do not put our students at risk. Normally there are companies licensed to professionally produce audio and video recordings of our titles; under the current circumstances, time does not permit professional production to take place.

For this reason, Lee & Low is granting permission to allow educators to do a virtual recording or videotaping of our titles for non-commercial purposes only. Here are our guidelines for reading Lee & Low titles online during this time: Continue reading

Lee & Low Books Signs Award-Winning Illustrator for Early Childhood Book Challenge

Early Childhood Book Challenge

Lee & Low Books has partnered with the William Penn Foundation and OpenIDEO on the Early Childhood Book Challenge to promote early literacy. Today we’re excited to share an update on the project: Continue reading

Classroom Books and Resources for Lunar New Year

Classroom resources for Chinese and Lunar New Year

Many countries celebrate the Lunar New Year, including China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, and Tibet. Lunar New Year celebrations also take place in the United States and around the world, held by people with heritage from these countries. This year, the Lunar New Year takes place on Saturday, January 25. How can you celebrate with students? Continue reading

Finding the Best Diverse Books for Your Classroom

High Quality Diverse Books

In this guest post originally posted at Achieve the Core, Jill Eisenberg, our Director of Curriculum & Literacy Strategy, shares resources and guidance for teachers on finding high-quality diverse texts and bringing them into the classroom. 

If you were asked to sum up your classroom library or read aloud collection with five adjectives, what would you say? Would the word “diverse” make the list?

Our classroom library bookshelves and mentor texts should feel intentional, purposeful, and transforming; to that end, many educators and administrators are eager to infuse more culturally responsive, multicultural, and inclusive stories into the classroom. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin with this process, however. As Director of Curriculum & Literacy Strategy at Lee & Low Books, I step into schools and districts to advise on the key components of a culturally responsive book collection and action steps required to evaluate current collections for equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Whether you survey your collection in grade-level teams, with parent volunteers, or on your own, this blog post will share some of the best resources and strategies we at Lee & Low Books have seen over the past thirty years from schools and districts across the nation. Continue reading

Our Favorite Social Justice Books for Elementary School

Social Justice Books for Elementary School

While the term “social justice” may seem overly complex or political to adults, young people are deeply attuned to concepts of equality and fairness and how these play out within their homes, classrooms, and communities. Increasingly, elementary schools are including units on social activism, social justice, or social change. Teaching about historical figures and fictional characters who have stood up for peace, equity, and justice provides rich opportunities for social and emotional learning and helps to prepare students to become global citizens who can advocate for important causes and enact change in their communities.  Continue reading

Remembering Lee Bennett Hopkins

Lee Bennett Hopkins
Photo Credit: Charles J. Egita

In August the world lost a giant of poetry–the one and only Lee Bennett Hopkins. Lee edited more than 120 anthologies of poetry for young people, and was a champion of accessible poetry and emerging poets. He was a big personality with a delightful sense of humor and a dear friend to everyone who knew him–and it seemed like everyone knew him. Leading up to today’s release of his latest anthology, I Remember, two Lee & Low staff members share their memories: Continue reading

Register for Our Upcoming Webinar: LGBTQ+ Children’s Books

LGBTQ Webinar image

Just in time for Pride Month, join Lee & Low Books for a special free webinar focused on LGBTQ+ books for youth! Join Katie Potter, Lee & Low’s Literacy Specialist, in conversation with Lee & Low authors Kyle Lukoff (When Aidan Became a Brother), Lesléa Newman (Sparkle Boy), and Maya Christina Gonzalez (Call Me Tree/Llámame Árbol), as they discuss the inspiration behind their books and the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in children’s literature.  Continue reading

Diverse Summer Reading Recommendations for Grades PreK-2

Diverse Summer Reading List

Let’s kick off summer with our engaging, printable Diverse Summer Reading List that will get all kids engaged in reading! Our list includes both fiction and nonfiction, bilingual Spanish/English titles, and a diverse range of cultures—in other words, the right book for every reader! The collections are available on our website for purchase:

Summer Reading Collection Grades PreK-2
Summer Reading Collection Grades 3-5
Summer Reading Collection Grades 6-8

Want to expand your Summer Reading list, but not sure where to begin? Keep reading for pairings of diverse bestsellers with our favorite new picks for grades PreK-2, and stay tuned over the upcoming weeks when we’ll spotlight Grades 3-5 and Grades 6-8! Continue reading

Kindergarten Guided Reading Books

Are you looking for high-quality, culturally responsive guided reading books for kindergarten? Bebop Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, offers leveled reading books in both English and Spanish for readers at every level.

Our Early Emergent Leveled Reading Collection, with books in Guided Reading Levels A, B, and C, is a great place to start building your kindergarten library. Early Emergent leveled reading books are perfect for beginning and soon-to-be readers. Our Early Emergent collections offer books in both English and Spanish for classroom use, with culturally authentic texts and illustrations.  Continue reading

Diverse Books for Social Emotional Learning in Grade 1

Social and Emotional Learning in Grade 1

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a hot topic, but it’s certainly not new. Skills like empathy, cultivating and maintaining positive relationships, recognizing and managing emotions, problem solving, approaching tasks with grit and perseverance, and taking on others’ perspectives have always, and will always, be crucial to kids’ success. Research shared by CASEL reports that SEL programs lead to “immediate improvements in mental health, social skills, and academic achievement,” and “up to 18 years later, students exposed to SEL in school continue to do better than their peers on a number of indicators: positive social behaviors and attitudes, skills such as empathy and teamwork, and academics.” SEL is certainly worthy of time and attention from those who support children’s development.

Books are valuable tools for guiding conversations about SEL topics. Children can examine and learn from characters’ actions and experiences and relate them to their own. Of course, book selection is key. When kids see both themselves and others in diverse books, it says, “You matter. Reflect on your experiences.” and “Others matter. Listen and learn.” Therein lies the heart of SEL. 

As students grow and change, so do their social emotional learning needs. Linking diverse books to SEL goals and challenges across different ages is a powerful way to support students as they navigate each developmental stage. This blog series, written by educator Lindsay Barrett, explores how diverse books can be used to support social emotional learning at different grade levels. Continue reading