Sunday, October 24, 2010

Announcing Grow Up With Books (GUWB) Kindle Raffle.  Winning a Kindle could never be easier.  Simply sign up as a member to GUWB, purchase, a book through GUWB (you don't have to be a member to do this), or simply refer-a-friend that becomes a member and you will be automatically entered into our Kindle raffle!  Due date to be entered is 12/1/10 with the winner announced on 12/3/10.

The winner will be announced (if he/she chooses to be) and the Kindle will be shipped immediately.  What a great gift as a thank you for using our service!  Keep it for yourself or give it away as a holiday gift.

Check out the Kindle details:
All-New, High-Contrast E Ink Screen – 50% better contrast
Read in Bright Sunlight – No glare
New and Improved Fonts – New crisper, darker fonts
New Sleek Design – 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6" size reading area
17% Lighter – Only 8.5 ounces, weighs less than a paperback
Battery Life of Up to One Month – A single charge lasts up to one month with wireless off
Double the Storage – Up to 3,500 books
Built-In Wi-Fi – Shop and download books in less than 60 seconds
20% Faster Page Turns – Seamless reading
Enhanced PDF Reader – With dictionary lookup, notes, and highlights
New WebKit-Based Browser – Browse the web over Wi-Fi (experimental)

Visit our website at Grow Up With Books to subscribe, get your books, or even refer-a-friend.  :-)

Best of luck,
The GUWB Team

Saturday, September 18, 2010

National Punctuation Day!

Mark your calendars for September 24th as it's not too late to make plans for National Punctuation Day!   Moira Rose Donohue has additional ideas for ways to celebrate and be sure to check out her books at GUWB.

To kick-off your celebration, why not share this Skype experience of Ms. Donohue showing some personality behind some common punctuation marks.  Check out the Queen of Punctuation at her best.

Donohue's Penny and the Puntuation Bee as well as Alfie the Apostrophe are perfect books to add to your National Punctuation Day celebration.  To find out more about GUWB's inside scoop on these books as well as the author, check out "The Story Behind the Story--Moira Rose Donohue."

It's not too late to book Ms. Donohue for a school visit!  She's got some wonderful ways to get the kids excited about reading and writing.  

PFPT, GUG, and BOING to you all!
The GUWB Team

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bats in the Air, Bats in My Hair

Bats? In my hair? That's right! At the Virginia Festival of the Book held in March, 2010, Grow Up with Books team members had the opportunity to meet a local author of children's books. Martha Hamlett of Lynchburg, Virginia wrote and published Bats in the Air, Bats in My Hair and has visited many schools and bookstores in Virginia to read her story and talk with kids about writing and publishing. Martha has written poems and stories for many years and used an event from her own childhood to create the story Bats in the Air, Bats in My Hair.

Before the school year ended I read this story to a group of second graders that visit my classroom for reading instruction. They loved the story! They were full of gasps and giggles as I read the parts about the nightime visitors. At the end they had many questions for the author, so we wrote them down. Martha Hamlett was gracious to share her answers with us at Grow Up with Books!

Author Martha Hamlett and her book Bats in the Air, Bats in My Hair.

Tysen: Is this a real story? Did this really happen?

Martha Hamlett: Yes. The idea for Bats in the Air, Bats in My Hair was taken from an event that happened to me at my own grandmother's house when I was about 8 years old. About 10 of my cousins and I decided to spend the night at my grandmother's house. She lived in a big, white house that had bedrooms on the second floor. It even came with a winding staircase and creaky steps! The girls stayed in one bedroom, the boys were across the large foyer in another bedroom. During the night some of us girls heard a noise and turned on the light. My cousin Deb was sleeping soundly on another bed. She had long hair that was streaming across the pillow. Well, we immediately saw a bat sitting tangled in her hair! Being girls we ran screaming across the hall to the boys room. Of course, they woke up. Now, 10 kids jumping on one old bed did not end well. The slats fell out, the mattress shifted, and we all ended up on the floor. My grandmother came up a bit upset with us all, put the bat outside, and made us all go back to bed. The girls had a hard time sleeping the rest of the night. We had the covers over our heads most of the time.

Jennifer: The grandma was funny hitting the bats! I liked the grandma!

MH: Thanks, Jennifer! The grandma was supposed to be a character that helps. I remember when I would get scared, especially in the middle of the night, I would always get comforted by my parents or grandparents.

Jacob: I like that you made the story a poem. Do you like to write poems?

MH: I love writing in rhyme. It is one of the hardest ways to write, especially if you are trying to sell your work to publishers. I started out writing poems when I was young.

Jennifer: There were rhyming words!

MH: Yes, the story has a simple rhyme. I rhymed the last words of the sentences.

Jayson: The pictures are cool. They kinda look like cartoons instead of regular book pictures. Did the drawer go to school to learn how to draw like that?

MH: Davey Morgan, the illustrator, majored in Visual Arts at Erksine College in Greenville, South Carolina. We both wanted the drawings to be colorful and grab the reader's attention. We tried to be different from other books on the market.

Jayson: Did you help him with ideas for the pictures or did he make it up by himself?

MH: Davey and I worked together on the pictures. I offered my ideas for each verse. I could see in my mind how I thought each verse should look. I wrote my thoughts out for Davey, and he took it from there. He added his own special touches throughout the book.

And later I read the book to my son Evan. Here is his question for the author:

Evan: The bats were funny! Did the illustrator know to put bats in the pictures on the wall, or was that part of your story?

MH: I agree-the bats were funny! I love the page where a bat named Jeff-E tried to hide from Sally and her grandmother by dressing up like a knight and hiding himself in the castle picture. Actually the illustrator added that to the story. We had the bats doing all kinds of strange things throughout the book. If you look closely, they would be jumping on the bed, trying on clothes, and even trying to brush their hair!

So, if you are looking for a funny story with a batty ending, check out Bats in the Air, Bats in My Hair at Grow Up with Books! This book will be available for rent or purchase on August 29th on our website,!

Connection ideas for Bats...

  • Can you think of another animal that might visit you at night? What would the story be like if instead of a bat it might be an owl or a raccoon?

  • Stories of things that happen to us when we are little are fun to read. Think about something that happened to you when you were younger. Can you write a poem about it?

  • Visit for more information about bats and other creatures of the night.

  • Martha started writing poems when she was young. She said that she wrote Bats... with rhyming words at the end of the sentences. Can you write some sentences about your favorite animal using rhyming words at the end?

We hope you will check out Bats in the Air, Bats in My Hair! And don't forget: Grow Up with Books members can still participate in our Summer Reading program. Reading logs are still being accepted, so be sure to return yours for a $10.00 gift card to Dairy Queen!!!!

Keep on reading!

Julie and the GUWB Team

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kids' Corner Reporters...Just Who is Bob Boyle?

Many people have heard of the recent story by Bob Boyle entitled Hugo and the Really, Really, Long String.  You may also know that his idea for that story came from a walk where he saw power lines and wondered where they might a really, really, long string.  However, our "Kids' Corner" reporters had a chance to find out some information that you may not know about the amazing Bob Boyle.

Reporters:   Evan Dauksys, Jacob Ivey, and Evelyn Ivey

  • Bob's earliest reading memories are of his mom buying him books like Hairy the Dirty Dog, Lyle Lyle Crocodile, and Dr. Seuss stories.
  • When talking about his family, we learned he has a younger sister.  From his parents,  he's like his dad because he's creative.  His dad wanted to be an artist and would give Bob hand-drawn birthday cards every year.   He's like his mom with his determination and discipline.   
  • One of Bob's favorite authors is Maurice Sendak.
  • Walt Disney and Lance Armstrong are his heros!
  • Bob loves the Beatles! 
  •  He gets to write the lyrics for the shows and then music is put to it.
  • Bob thinks the best part of writing books is creating new characters that are real and people can connect with.  He likes making a "story out of nothing."  Just like he did with the 5th graders at South Anna.
  • It takes close to 9 months to make ONE eleven minute episode of a cartoon...from idea to finished cartoon.
  • In the cartoon Wow!Wow!Wubbzy!, Bob is not Widget because he's not good with tools and most likely Wubbzy since he's fun.  But without the tail of course.
  • If Bob could go one place in the world it would be...into a Dr. Seuss book!  
  • One day Bob would like to visit Ireland (for his dad's family) and Finland (for his mom's family).
  • In his spare time he likes to run and actually LOVES to work!

  • It took Bob YEARS to make Hugo's story.
  • There may possibly be another Hugo adventure!
  • In Hugo, the customers look like Walden's face with Widget's ears (from Wubbzy), but it wasn't done on purpose.  Do you see any other characters from his cartoons?
  • Mr. Usagi (the rabbit noodle maker) got his name because "usagi" is the Japanese word for "rabbit!"
  • Bob chose a red string for Hugo since it is a color that stands out.  He chose underwear at the end of the story because it's so funny.  We's VERY funny!


  • Bob's suggestion for people who want to write or illustrate is to WRITE and DRAW!  A lot.
  • A life lesson that Bob would share is...It's great to have dreams....take action.  Nike has it right, "Just do it!"
Evan with Bob

Evelyn and Jacob with Bob

For the "Kids' Corner" reporters, spending time with Bob Boyle was life-changing.  They look at books, illustrations, cartoons, and life in an entirely new way.  Is there a book or experience like ours that has been life-changing for you?  Share it with us!  We'll write back.

Keep reading!
Evan, Jacob, and Evelyn

Thursday, July 22, 2010

GUWB meets Hugo and the Really, Really, Really Long String!

How do you sum up an event that was beyond your wildest dreams?  An event that started with Twitter?  An event that changed the lives of many young boys and girls? I think that the best way is to just say...WOW!  Wow, wow, Bob Boyle!

Bob Boyle, the creator of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and the new book Hugo and the Really, Really, Really Long String, spent the day with GUWB at South Anna Elementary earlier this  month.  GUWB sponsored this day with a morning spot on CBS channel 6 and then over to South Anna Elementary in Montpelier, Virginia.

With the help of GUWB, the teachers prepared the children for Bob's visit.  A welcome sign brought  the front of the school building to life.  All of the students were asked to think about what might be at the end of Hugo's really, really, really long string (from Bob's new book). They put their ideas down on paper (written and illustrated)--which of course included a piece of red string.  These pictures lined the walls of the school and left Bob Boyle in awe. Truthfully, as we walked down the halls a whisper of "That's Bob Boyle!  That's Bob Boyle!" could be heard again and again.  The kids were in the palm of his hands as soon as he walked in the door!

A small group of 5th graders was quite fortunate to spend about an hour with Bob.  He shared some of his art background and they shared their artistic interests.  With this knowledge, Bob talked them through creating the story of Elvis the Guinea Squirrel.   Elvis had to forge through the perfume forest in search of a new polyester disco suit and it was all caught on ceiling tiles.  Yes, ceiling tiles!!!  The story is literally on the ceiling at South Anna...a once in a lifetime experience.
Bob drew on one of the ceiling tiles to help tell Elvis the Guinea Squirrel's story!
The story evolved across the white board and proceeded to the ceiling tiles.

During lunch, the kids from GUWB had the opportunity to ask some burning questions to kick of "Kids Corner!"  Jacob Ivey, Evelyn Ivey, and Evan Dauksys found out some answers to questions you may never have thought to ask.  Stay tuned for their interview and the responses.
Jacob and Evelyn with Bob Boyle

Evan and Bob

After lunch, Bob gave two assemblies at South Anna and engaged the students from the moment they walked into the room.  Using humor and honesty, Bob shared about his life and how his dream of becoming an artist came true.  One of GUWB's favorite things he shared was showing actual photos of drawings he did as a child.  A drawing that someone in the audience could have drawn.  Showing that dreams can come true if you believe.    The children enjoyed hearing  his new book entitled Hugo and the Really, Really, Really Long String and left that day with a hard-to-define energy.

Grow Up With Books was proud to be a part of such an exciting event!  Sharing the day with Bob Boyle is one we won't easily forget.  We are thrilled to share that Hugo is available at GUWB and is ready to be sent to your house.  Head on over to the website, add Hugo to your cue, and look for the "red-stringed" book in your mailbox!
Julie Dauksys, Bob Boyle, and Lara Ivey

Happy reading!
The GUWB Team

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Making the Most of Your Grow Up with Books Subscription!

At Grow Up with Books we want to help families foster the love of reading!  Families that sign up for a subscription with Grow Up with Books receive a lot more than just great books at the click of a mouse.  No matter what reading plan you choose, be sure to get the most out of your subscription by remembering  the following tips:

  • Be sure to keep your book queue full!  That way we always have a list of what your family wants to read next.
  • When you return books, be sure to go on to the Grow Up with Books website and click "order returned."  This allows us to go ahead and process your next order.  Your new books will go directly to the post office.  You will not have to wait as long for new titles!
  • Read, Learn, and Return full orders, not partial ones.  We are unable to process your next order if all books are not returned in the handy postage-paid return mailer.
  • Don’t forget…if your family loves a book and you want to keep it, you can! Visit the website and buy the book at a reduced cost.

Grow Up with Books also offers specialized services that you won't find anywhere else!
  • When books are returned they are sanitized with a green cleaning product to help keep germs out.  The books you receive have been through this same process to help keep your family healthy!
  • The Read TWO Experience helps your family know how to read the book-To your child, With your child, or on their Own. Each book is marked with this information to help guide you as a parent of a Seed, Sprout, Sapling, or Young Tree reader.
  • Grow Up with Books has a Reading Consulting Team with nearly 40 years of classroom reading experience. If you have questions about ways to help your child's reading development or literacy in general, feel free to write us at  We will provide timely personal feedback and reading tips to all our subscribers.
  • All of our books are reviewed by the Reading Consulting Team and Connection Cards are created for each book.  These suggested activities help guide parents to foster a love of reading by helping children make connections between books and themselves, other books and the world.
  • Don't forget...Grow Up with Books gift cards or gift subscriptions make great gifts for baby showers, birthdays, holidays-anytime is a great time to give Grow Up with Books!
We are pleased that we can offer these services to our subscribers.  We hope that all subscribers will participate in our Summer Reading Program "Score! Read with GUWB" and receive a $10 gift card to Dairy Queen.  We ask all subscribers to Reach-a-Reader and save $5 on next month's subscription by getting a friend to sign up for a Grow Up with Books monthly book plan. 

If you haven't signed up yet, what are you waiting for?  Look at all the benefits you will receive when you share the love of reading and experience Grow Up with Books!  Sign up today and join in the fun of
reading with your child!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Cat"ch the World Cup Fever

What an exceptional World Cup this has been!  The GUWB Team has watched the US team through its ties, victories, and it's final loss.  However, the semi-final and final matches have yet to be played.  With that in mind, why not introduce your child to a simple chapter book entitled Soccer Cats: Switch Play! (by Matt Christopher)?  As a subscriber to GUWB, you can have it sent directly to your doorstep and add it to your GUWB Summer Reading Log.  Remember, when your family reads a total of 10 books, you're eligible for the $10 gift card to Dairy Queen. It's the perfect book to be read during these final days of World Cup excitement.  Continue to enjoy reading while you enjoy your summer!

Get reading!
The GUWB Team