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Signed Books for the Holidays!janet and books

Books make great holiday gifts. Having a book personalized with the child's name and signed by the author make it extra-special.

I'd be happy to send you a FREE signed and personalized bookplate(s) to put in your books.

Just send me a private message through this website's contact button above. Provide the book and child's name(s), plus contact information by December 15.

Happy Reading to All!

Animal Teachers Wins Awards!

Animal Teachers won both Platinum and Gold Best Book Awards from the prestigious Oppenheim Toy Portfolio. Books are tested by a panel of kids, and chosen by a noted expert in child development, children's literature, and education. Animal Teachers won in the Preschool and Early Childhood Years categories.

Animal Teachers also won Honorable Mention in the Tofte/Wright Children's Literature Awards, given by the Council for Wisconsin Writers. The judge had this to say: "This charming compendium of parent/child animal pairs deftly and humorously extols the virtues of mentoring (kangaroo boxing sessions, anyone?). Gentle questions engage the young reader with the narrative, while an appendix of little-knnown fun facts adds to the picture book's educational appeal. The 3rd and 4th grade students I showed this book
to were delighted."

A Rainbow of Birds Receives National Award!

A Rainbow of Birds won a 2014 Preferred Choice Award from Creative Child Magazine. The award, judged by educators and parents, is given to books that foster creativity and education in children.

The winners will be featured in the big Holiday issue of Creative Child, to be distributed in November.

Animal Teachers Receives Great Review from Kirkus Reviews!

"Just like human children, animal babies from chicks to bear cubs learn lessons from
adults around them.

Spread by spread, the conversational text of this instructive title presents skills a dozen different young animals have to learn and connects them to readers . . . Hudson's realistic pen-and-watercolor illustrations show animal parents and their child or children in their natural environments.

Nicely connecting the child to the natural world, this would be a useful opener for a unit about animals as well as a title to share with young animal lovers." —Kirkus Reviews

Eggs 1, 2, 3 Wins Awards!

eggs 1 2 3

Eggs 1, 2, 3, Who Will the Babies Be? won the Lupine Honor Book Award from the Maine Librarians Association. It also was a Cybils Awards 2012 Finalist, and was named to the NY Public Library's List of 100 Best Children's Books for Reading and Sharing!

The Lupine Award is given annually to books of outstanding merit, and to recognize an oustanding contribution to children's literature of Maine. The book's illustrator, Betsy Thompson, lives in Maine.

The Cybils awards, based on literary merit and kid appeal, are the annual literary awards of a large community of internet bloggers who write about children's books. Here's how the Cybils judges described Eggs 1, 2, 3: "Is it a counting book, is it a poetry book, is it an informational picture book (the category for which it is nominated), is it a pattern book, does it allow for predicting and inferring, or is it a book full of wonderful language? Delightfully for the reader, it is all of the above! Janet Halfmann has done a lovely job teaching the reader about different animals and the eggs from which they come."

Click here to hear my Lupine Honor Book Award acceptance speech, talking about my inspiration.

Click here to read more about the book's Cybils award.

Click here to read more about the book's NY Public Library award.

Star of the Sea Wins Wisconsin Writers Awardcww award

Star of the Sea won the Tofte/Wright Children's Literature Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers. The judge had this to say about the book: "an example of wonderful narrative non-fiction in a picture book. The story is engaging and accurate...The writing is clear, age-appropriate and has a good story arc...Good for solitary reading, reading aloud and to stimulate further interest in sea stars and shore life. Well done."

Star of the Sea Wins
Outstanding Science Trade Book Award

star of the sea nsta

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Children's Book Council (CBC) have chosen Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish as a 2012 Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12. In its review NSTA said: "The book's narration is full of descriptive phrases that paint a minds-eye picture of the daily life of a starfish in its natural environment. For example, 'Beneath the crashing waves, another kind of star clings to the rocks with hundreds of sticky tube feet.' The words set the stage for the visual imagery of the life of a starfish. The illustrations show the large view of a starfish as well as close-up images of its tube feet. The blend of words and art provides young readers with accurate scientific information and will inspire wonder in their minds." Click here to read the entire NSTA review.

Fur and Feathers Wins 2012 Teachers' Choice AwardFur and Feathers

Learning Magazine has chosen Fur and Feathers as a 2012 Teachers' Choice Award for Children's Book winner. The llustrator is Laurie Allen Klein. Judging is done by a team of teachers from across the United States. This is the only award that requres its judges to be both a teacher and a parent. Winning titles are chosen based on qualities such as originality, creativity, and high-interest level and motivation for children. This year, only ten children's books received the distinction. Little Skink's Tail, by the same author-illustrator team, previously won the award. Read the publisher's press release here.

Two Free Classroom Guides for Seven Miles to Freedomseven miles

Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

2. Ciick here to find the guide put together by Lee & Low Books.

3. A crossword puzzle for the book can be found here.

Fur and Feathers Wins 2010 Gold Moonbeam Awardfur and feathers

Fur and Feathers was named best preschool picture book in the 2010 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. The more than 800 entries were judged by expert panels of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages. The Moonbeam Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children's books and their creators, and to celebrate children's books and life-long reading.

The Amazing Art Journey of Fur and Feathers                                                                                                                                f & f pic 3

What does an artist do when she receives a story from a publisher?
Laurie Allen Klein, the illustrator of Fur and Feathers,
takes you through all the steps from sketches to final art.
It's an amazing journey!
Read about it here. (You'll need to scroll down a ways.)

Teachers Love Little Skink's Taillittle skink

Classroom teachers chose Little Skink’s Tail for a 2009 Teachers' Choice Award from Learning Magazine. They had this to say about the book:

  • "It is a great book for character education and teaching the children to appreciate themselves just the way they are."
  • "The story is one that encourages the listeners to really use their imagination."
  • "It could be used with social studies, language arts, science. It addressed all the above areas."
  • "The book is interesting, educational, and most important fun!"


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