Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Episode 56: The Basement

Click here to listen to: The Basement (16:26)
A boy works to keep his imagination from getting the best of him 
in order to complete a chore for his mother.

Hi All,

Happy Spring! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and it's snowing. Wait? What? Back up the train! I'm serious. We've had the craziest weather in our neck of the woods this March. They weren't kidding when they said March comes in like a lion. Snow, slush, sleet and freezing rain have all fallen from the skies in the past 26 days. We are hoping it goes out like a lamb with some mild, springlike weather. 


On Wednesday, April 10th at 4pm ET, Mr. Chris and I will be presenting a LIVE webinar for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education. The webinar is called Can You Hear Me Now? and we’ll be talking about using audio in contemporary educational practices. If that sounds like something interesting to you, please join us. You can learn more about it at http://bit.ly/vstewebinars.
On the day of the webinar you can access the event by going to http://bit.ly/vstewebinarroom.

Also, on April 10th at 6:30pm ET, Mr. Chris and I will be doing a LIVE reading of our fully illustrated e-book Dragonfly, Dragonfly Show Us the Way, which is available as an in-app purchase on the Flying Books AppThe live reading will occur for the Loudoun Literacy Council in Purcellville, Virginia. You can learn more about this event at http://bit.ly/llcevent.

We hope to see you there!

What did you say? A word of the day! In our story
there are many juicy words that are fun to use and say.

conjure: to bring to mind; recall.
gnaw: to bite or chew on.
oblige: to be kindly accommodating.

Try these activities to keep your imagination glowing
after hearing the story.

1. Make a list of strategies to help you stay calm when you are afraid of something. 

2. Listen to our short poem, Click, 
about the comforts a night light provides!
Free audio download: Click
Blog with activities: Click

3. Make up a fun story or poem in your head as you fall asleep. 
4. Sit together as a family and assign different chores to complete. Working as a team makes the work go so much faster. 

After listening to the story, can you recall the
details to answer these questions?

1. Who asks Marshall to get the laundry out of the dryer?
2. What caused the CLANG noise that made Marshall jump back?
3, Where did Marshall think a troll lived in his house?
4. Why does Marshall think a snake might be in the basement?
5. How did Marshall conquer his fear?

We want to send out bright birthday wishes to:

Liv of Ohio
Joe D of Texas
John D of Texas
Grandpa B of New York
Sofia A of New Jersey
Jake F of Texas
Kai of New Hampshire
Garret of Maryland
Kathy S of Maryland

We hope your days SPARKLED!

Thursday, March 21, 2013


The Watermelon Seed: (10:18)

A little boy and his grandmother exchange letters describing the different changes he is seeing in his mom after she swallows a watermelon seed.
Free audio download: The Watermelon Seed
Blog with activities: The Watermelon Seed

Have you seen our other words that begin with the letter N?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Night Before St. Patrick's Day

Hi All,

Are you ready for St. Patrick's Day? We are! Our leprechaun trap is set and ready to see if we can capture one of those lucky, green lads tonight. Did you make a leprechaun trap? We'd love to see it. Feel free to post a picture on our Facebook page

To pass the time while you're waiting, you can listen to five of our stories that have a leprechaun as a character. We wish you luck tonight! 


Red vs. Green: (22:21)
When a team of Christmas elves goes against a team of 
St. Patrick's Day leprechauns in the Holiday 
Hockey Winter Classic, who will win?
Free audio download: Red vs. Green
Blog with activities: Red vs. Green

The Leprechaun Trap (6:35)
Two leprechauns are caught in a leprechaun trap and try to find 
different ways to escape.
Free audio download: The Leprechaun Trap
Blog with activities: The Leprechaun Trap

The Spelling Bee (19:01)
A boy prepares for his shot at taking home the spelling bee 
championship. Will he succeed? 
Free audio download: The Spelling Bee
Blog with activities: The Spelling Bee

Clementine's Big Mess (16:05)
Clementine the cupid has lost his magical quiver. 
Can his friends help him find it?
Free audio download: Clementine's Big Mess
Blog with activities: Clementine's Big Mess

A Letter from a Leprechaun (5:30)
A reading of a letter written by Seamus the leprechaun
 detailing how he escaped a leprechaun trap. 
Free audio download: A Letter from a Leprechaun
Blog with activities: A Letter from a Leprechaun

Thursday, March 14, 2013

LIGHTING THE WAY WITH WORDS: Save the Chocolate Bunny Edition

The Leprechaun Trap (6:35)

Two leprechauns are caught in a leprechaun trap 
and try to find different ways to escape.

Free audio download: The Leprechaun Trap

Blog with activities: The Leprechaun Trap

I know what you're thinking. Why is there a chocolate bunny in the picture, Ms. Mel? Well, beside the fact that it's delicious, we were asked by Mattel to spread the word about their 'Save the Chocolate Bunny' campaign. Have you heard of it? Apparently, chocolate bunnies are in danger of becoming extinct. You think I'm kidding? Take a look at this video they sent...

To sweeten the deal and help save the bunnies,Mattel is offering a prizebasket FULL of toys. Who can resist that? Go on and give it a try! 
You can enter in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win. 

"Mattel's "Save the Chocolate Bunny" campaign is promoting "toys instead of chocolate" to encourage creative, healthy, sugar-free play for kids! Here is a link to Mattel's Save the Bunny website:
http://www.savechocolatebunnies.com/#home where you'll find more giveaways and coupons!"