Websites Involving Judy
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Best-selling author James Patterson founded and oversees this extraordinary and groundbreaking new website for parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians, to help them find unforgettable titles to turn kids, ages birth to teen, into lifelong readers and book-lovers. Most of the titles are selected and extensively annotated by Judy Freeman, with links, an extensive list of related titles ("If You Love This Book, Then Try . . ."), ideas, reviews, and then some.

There are more than 400 books, with new additions each month, divided into four main divisions: Great Illustrated Books (ages 0-8), Great Transitional Books (ages 6 and up), Great Pageturners (ages 8 and up), and Great Advanced Reads (ages 10 and up). Each division is further broken into four basic categories: Fantasy and Other Worlds, Real World Fiction, Action/Adventure/Mystery, and Just the Facts. Bet you can't read just one . . .

Click on the COMMUNITY button and you'll find even more good stuff: book discussions, annotated booklists, and podcasts of interviews with well-known children's book authors and illustrators. Join the site as a member so you can join in on the conversations and discuss your own favorite books/ideas/anecdotes/advice.

For starters, on the COMMUNITY site, under LISTS, you'll find many of Judy's annotated lists including:
Back-to-School Books
Holiday shopping
Black History Month
Summer Reading
Great Author & Illustrator Websites
Almost Can't-Miss Sure Shot Books for Boys
Almost Can't-Miss Sure Shot Books for Girls

New lists appear monthly on the site and on the free monthly e-newsletter to which you can subscribe. To subscribe, simply click the link at the top of the home page that says NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP.

You'll also find James Patterson's interviews with well-known and beloved authors. Read the transcript or listen to the podcast. So far he's interviewed Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief), and Julie Andrews (The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles) and her daughter, Emma Walton (Raising Bookworms: Getting Kids to Read for Pleasure and Empowerment), with more to come each month.

BER (Bureau of Education & Research):
Judy presents more than 40 all-day seminars for BER each year. Her flyer for "What's New in Children's Literature and Strategies for Using It in Your Programs (Grades K-6)" can be found here and on the BER website. Check her calendar for a program near you, and then look it up on the BER site. You can call BER with any questions at 800-735-3503.
Judy's "What's New" program for BER is similar to her "Books Kids Will Sit Still For" seminar and to the Winners! Conference she presents throughout New Jersey (and now New York) each spring. ( See the descriptions of each on this site under "Judy's Workshops.
On December 16, 2008, I got to experience my own 15 seconds of fame when I was interviewed by the wonderful Lynn Neary on a piece for NPR's Morning Edition, "A Holiday Tradition for the Whole Family," about reading aloud to your kids at Christmastime. You can go to, type Judy Freeman in the little search bar, and you'll find the transcript of the story; a link you can click ("Listen Now") to hear the whole thing; and, if you scroll down on the page, Judy's annotated list, "Children's Books for the Holidays." It was a very fun experience.

Check out ReadKiddoRead's Judy Freeman on NPR. If you haven't gobbled it up already, you can read her Books About the Holidays list!

LIBRARIES UNLIMITED: (Click on Product Search on the left.)
Find Judy's books: Books Kids Will Sit Still For (Libraries Unlimited, 1990), More Books Kids Will Sit Still For (Libraries Unlimited, 1995), Books Kids Will Sit Still For 3 (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), Once Upon a Time: Using Storytelling, Creative Drama, and Reader's Theater with Children in Grades PreK-6 and Winners! Handbooks from 2006-now. When you get to the Libraries Unlimited home page, just type "Judy Freeman" in the search bar for a list of all her books.
Judy has written teacher's guides for many children's books, including the following, which you can download from the Web.

Under Teaching Tools, you'll find a link to Discussion Guides. You can also type in the title you want in the search bar; on each book's home page, click on the "Teaching Tools" link, which will download the Teacher's Guide as a PDF, which you can then print out.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus; The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late (all by Mo Willems) Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too (by Mo Willems)

My Kindergarten by Rosemary Wells (Judy did a 24-page guide to this book, plus a wonderful 23-song CD that could be downloaded/burned as a CD for free. Since Hyperion merged their site with Disney, this CD seems to have disappeared. Judy has been told it will go back on the site at some point, but that hasn't happened yet, so keep checking.)

Other Hyperion guides Judy had a ball writing include the "Clementine" series by Sara Pennypacker, John, Paul George & Ben by Lane Smith and Norton Juster's Caldecott Medal picture book, The Hello, Goodbye Window. For some weird reason, not only are these guides not on the Disney website, but some of the books aren't even listed there. Keep checking. Sigh.
For Random House, Judy wrote the guide for Jennifer Armstrong's The American Story: 100 True Tales from American History.

And for Candlewick Books, Judy wrote the guide and a Reader's Theater script for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

Download Judy's 20-page guide, "The World of Kevin Henkes: A Picture Book Guide." This one's a little tricky to find. Go to, click on Teaching Resources, and then click on an alphabet letter for the first word of one of his picture books including Kitten's First Full Moon, A Good Day, or Lilly's Big Day. Clicking on any of these titles will automatically download the complete guide, which covers seven of his picture books and includes a Q&A with Kevin Henkes.
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Judy has written several articles and is now writing the "Desperate Librarians" feature for NoveList, EBSCO'S subscription database, to which your school or public library might already subscribe. Go to your public library's website, look for Online Databases, and see if NoveList is listed there. If it is, you're in for a real treat with a resource that will amaze you. What is "Desperate Librarians"? It's an annotated resource list of children's books with lots of meaty ideas for quick and dirty lessons you can use in your library or classroom.

What is NoveList? From the NoveList site: "NoveList® K-8, a fiction database of over 50,000 titles, is aimed at helping younger readers find the books they want to read - whether in a school setting or in public library children's' rooms. Full-text reviews from sources like School Library Journal and Booklist are available for many titles. NoveList K-8 has all of the searching features contained in NoveList and allows users to search by author, title, series, theme or topic. With the "Describe a Plot, Topic, or Unit" search, you can use natural language to search the product's full-text reviews for titles of interest.

In addition to the robust database of young adult and children's fiction titles, NoveList K-8 includes:

BookTalks: NoveList K-8's BookTalks are actual scripts of booktalks delivered by such well-known librarians as Bonnie Kunzel (a former president of the Young Adult Library Services Association) and Joni Richards Bodart.

Picture Book Extenders: NoveList K-8 provides this creative feature that offers specific examples of the many ways in which picture books can be used by teachers and parents: as a comprehension tool, as enrichment to curricular content areas, and as a springboard to exciting and interesting activities that are suggested by a picture book's content.

NoveList® K-8 also contains hundreds of genre and theme-based bibliographies as well as lists of award-winning titles.
See a video of an excerpt of Judy Freeman's keynote speech at the 32nd annual Irma S. and James Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature on Thursday, May 20, 2004, at the Harvard Club in New York City.
I check in to each of these blogs several times a week to see what Esmé Codell (Planet Esme) and Elizabeth Bird (A Fuse # 8 Production) are reading. I appreciate their good taste in children's books, and admire their stimulating, well-written book reviews. From Cynthia Leitich Smith (Cynsations), I catch up on the latest news in the children's literature world. Check out the following:

Esmé Raji Codell, proprietress of this remarkable blog, is the author of several books I consider essential. For adults, there's: How to Get Your Child to Love Reading: For Ravenous and Reluctant Readers Alike (Algonquin Books, 2003) and Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year (Algonquin Books, 2003).

She's written a batch of terrific children's books, my favorite of which is Sahara Special (Hyperion, 2003).

And then there's her fabulous blog, about which she says:

The PlanetEsme Book-A-Day Plan: The Best New Children's Books from Esme's Shelf

"Welcome to the Wonderful World of PlanetEsme! I hope this book-a-day plan will be a boon to anyone who would like to play a supporting character in a child's reading life story. This blog is a supporting page to sister site, where you will find a silly amount of additional reviews, thematic lists, links, and much more...everything you need to become an expert in children's literature.

"I'm a professional readiologist who thinks children's trade literature is our best hope for equalizing education in America. Anyone who says they care about kids and schools and doesn't read aloud is lying, or about to make the discovery of a lifetime. I'm a woman on a mission. Let me rock your pedagogical world
Elizabeth (Betsy) Bird, a children's librarian at the Donnell Central Children's Room of the New York Public Library, keeps up a most remarkable blog, writing long, meaty, conversational, honest, and compelling reviews of new children's books and links to what's happening in the field. As "Ramseelbird," she has written more than 1,000 children's book reviews on

If you're looking for other children's literature blogs, Betsy's blog links to dozens of the best. She also has a hilarious feature: Hot Men of Children's Literature, where she features authors, illustrators, and publishing people, and yes, they are hot.

Of her blog, Betsy writes the following:

A Fuse #8 Production
"Children's literature is not for the weak. It's a ruthless cutthroat business with lots of gnashes of the teeth. Children's librarianship, in contrast, is a sweet sweet ride. I'm just gonna include links and tips to things I find interesting, while also including a review of a children's book each day."
Children's book author Cynthia Leitich Smith provides, in her excellent blog, "Interviews, reading recommendations, publishing information, literacy advocacy, writer resources, and breaking news in children's and young adult literature"

On Sept. 29, 2006, Cynthia Leitich Smith did an extensive interview with me on her Cynsations website. You can find it at
If you've attended any of my workshops or speeches, you've seen the wonderful props and puppets I bring along to show and tell with related children's books. Mimi Boyd, a former teacher, runs Mimi's Motifs, a small business where she sells the most wonderful and fun stuff to spice up your storytelling and read-aloud sessions, like the tooth puppet you can tie in to books like Margie Palatini's Sweet Tooth, and reversible storytelling dolls to go with your folk and fairy tales units.

The amazing Doreen Bachetti is the incredible seamstress who designs and custom sews most of Mimi's puppets. She also makes the world's best storytelling apron, which I couldn't do without. School and public librarians, take note: this year, the two of them have come up with their own original Melvil Dewey puppet! He's just beautiful, and comes with 10 Dewey finger puppets to go with each of the ten categories of the Dewey Decimal System.

Check out Mimi's website, and give her a call at 1-877-FOR-MIMI (1-877-367-6464), from 9 am to 7 pm Pacific time. Tell her Judy sent you.