peter reynolds

Join Scholastic At The National Book Festival

The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival will connect with audiences across the country for an interactive, online celebration of American Ingenuity for the festival’s 20th year. The virtual event will take place Sept. 25-27 at, and we are delighted that you are taking part! 

Check out our author events below! And be sure to register for free, here.

Friday, September 25 from 2-3pm EST

Live Q&A with Pam Muñoz Ryan

Children's Stage

Saturday, September 26 from 11am - 12pm EST

Live Q&A with Peter H. Reynolds

Children's Stage

Sunday, September 27 from 2-3pm EST 

Live Q&A with Kelly Yang

Children's Stage

And be sure to check out Scholastic CEO Dick Robinson in conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, here.

Head to our Scholastic Booth online, here. 

Follow the festival using #NatBookFestival. 

Mark your calendar for World Read Aloud Day on February 5, 2020!

It’s that special time of year to select a book, find a buddy, and read aloud!

World Read Aloud Day is happening on February 5, 2020! The worldwide event from Scholastic and the global literacy nonprofit LitWorld calls attention to reading aloud and sharing stories. Now in its 11th year and celebrated in over 173 countries, World Read Aloud Day is a wonderful reminder of the power and importance of this best practice.

An abundance of research points to how reading aloud is both beneficial and beloved. Widely-known guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parent-child home reading beginning from birth. A landmark report also uncovered that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for building their knowledge for eventual success in reading. Furthermore, the Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 7th Edition shows that more than 80% of both kids and parents love or like read-aloud time because they consider it a special time together.

As World Read Aloud Day approaches, it’s never too early to start thinking about which stories you’re going to share with the children in your life. Be sure to visit to see beautiful, custom illustrations from the author of Say Something! and The Word Collector, Peter H. Reynolds, and access resources including book lists, a coloring sheet, a World Read Aloud Day poster, articles about the benefits of reading aloud, and more!

Leading up to February 5, and on the day itself, readers everywhere are sharing their favorite read-aloud moments on social media! Join the conversation with #WorldReadAloudDay and be sure to tag @Scholastic, @LitWorldSays and three friends so they can join, too!

Happy reading aloud!

Back-to-school advice from three picture book authors

Going back to school after a long summer break can be really exciting for kids, but also, a little bit scary. They get to see all of their friends again, but will they like their new teacher? What if their best friend is in a different classroom? Will they get more homework this year? 

We asked the authors and illustrators of our favorite picture books with back-to-school themes about their own experience with this major transition. Read below, and be sure to check out their books to get little ones ready for day one!

Perfect by Max Amato

Why is Perfect a good back-to-school read?

Max Amato: Going back-to-school can be nerve-wracking! New teachers, new classes, new challenges—it can feel like there is a lot of pressure not to make mistakes. Perfect is a good back-to-school read because it reminds us to loosen up, have fun with ourselves and others, and to embrace all the newness with a sense of joy and curiosity instead of fear.

What did you like about going back to school? 

MA: For me the best part of going back to school was crisp, fresh, never-before-used art supplies. Sharp pencils, colorful markers, unopened glue sticks, and brand new erasers, all just waiting for me to go crazy. 

How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Why is How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read? a good back-to-school read?

Jane Yolen:  It consolidates things that I, as a child, and my three children learned about reading (though of course none of us looked like a dinosaur!). Most importantly, it points out that learning to read can be approached in a fun way, with rhythm, rhyme, and DINOSAURS!

Do you have any advice on how to assuage the back-to-school jitters?

JY:How does a dino kid 
really get rid
of the back-to-school fright?

Make lists and practice
the before-first-day-night.

This old dino remembers
when she was small.

If you are prepared,

you will have
no jitters at all.

Good dinosaur!

The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds

Why is The Word Collector a good back-to-school read?

Peter H. Reynolds: Every school, year students are deluged (great word!) with words they read, they hear, they see, and that they are asked to learn. I want kids to start the year off seeing words as marvelous treasures to be collected, to savor, to connect with personally. Word collecting is a joyful quest, not a rote task. Dive in to the sea of words with your net and have fun! 

Did you have a favorite teacher? Who was it and why?

PHR: Well, I had many great teachers, including some mentors in Boy Scouts, so it is hard to choose just one. My 7th grade math teacher, Mr. Matson, invited me to use my art and storytelling to teach math, which ended up becoming an animated film by the end of the year. That was an incredible experience. Through it, I met Jim Morrow, the media teacher at the high school who was a sci-fi writer, game designer and comic book collector. His wife Jean also became a mentor—she taught film and media and encouraged me greatly. Turns out that cool teachers hang out with each other, and through Jim and Jean, my twin brother and I became friends with a cadre of creative teachers, each who inspired us in different ways. They treated us like smart humans—not students—and in fact, we were all on a first name basis: Bonnie, Risa, Dan, Linda, Steve, Rol... the list goes on. Their inspiration ripples on! 


6 inspiring books that make perfect baby shower gifts

Dream big! Our second baby shower gift roundup is dedicated to books that inspire, whether it’s encouraging little ones to aim high or to always be true to themselves.

See our picks below, and if you’re looking for more “picture perfect” baby shower gifts, check out our first post, "Beloved Classic Books," and our Baby Shower website!

Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds

While the world tells us to sit still, to follow the rules, and to color inside the lines, Happy Dreamer by New York Times bestselling author Peter H. Reynolds celebrates all those moments in between when the mind and spirit soar and we are free to become our own true dreamer maximus! Families will return to this book over and over as kids grow up, reminding them of the power of their creativity and the validity of their dreams.

Future Astronaut and Future Engineer by Lori Alexander with illustrations by Allison Black

Future Astronaut and the upcoming Future Engineer are the perfect gifts for parents who want to inspire their little ones to aim high from the start. These board books compare each career with activities that babies do every day, so they can see that they already have what it takes to fly through space or design a bridge. The facts at the end are also perfect for sharing with older siblings.

Zen Happiness by Jon J Muth

Zen Happiness pairs beautiful watercolor illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Jon J Muth’s Stillwater books with gentle tips for happy living. This small-format book will take on new meaning as babies grow older, and will equally inspire the grown-ups reading with them.

Dream Big by Joyce Wan

With her adorable, chunky art style, Joyce Wan encourages kids to dream big, far, wide, wild, fast and deep in this oversized board book. Each page introduces little ones to female trailblazers, including Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, Ellen DeGeneres and Sirimavo Bandaranaike, and reminds young readers that anything is possible.

My Wish For You by Kathryn Hahn with illustrations by Brigette Barrager

Mother and actress Kathryn Hahn wrote My Wish for You as a letter to her own six-year-old daughter, offering advice like “Be afraid. Be fearless,” “Have big, big feelings” and “Let people earn the right to be your friend.” This is the perfect gift for parents who are about to have a little girl, and for mommies, too, with its message of strength and resilience.

Six powerful quotes from picture books that are perfect for graduates

Graduation season is here, and whether your child is headed from pre-school to kindergarten or graduating from college, you can always count on children’s books for words of guidance and encouragement. We picked some of our favorite quotes from picture books that are inspiring for any age! 

“What we think, we can become.” - Zen Happiness by Jon J Muth

“Sometimes I’m a colorful dreamer, painting my own path full of surprises at every turn.” - Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds

(Also included in Big Dreams Collection box set.)

“And as he pushed himself a bit more, he discovered a world of endless possibilities.” - Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld

When you reach the top, keep climbing.” - Zen Happiness by Jon J Muth

“Dreamers have a way of bouncing back…and moving forward!” - Happy Dreamer by Peter H. Reynolds

(Also included in Big Dreams Collection box set.)

“So, with his head held high, he went off…to make his mark.” -Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld


Enter our Say Something sweepstakes for a chance to win an author visit from Peter Reynolds

The world needs your voice.
Yes, yours. Go ahead…it doesn’t need to be perfect, as long as it’s from your heart.

So begins Say Something, the New York Times bestselling picture book by Peter H. Reynolds that came out last month!

Say Something emphasizes the fact that every voice is important, regardless of age, and that you can say something in all sorts of ways—with your voice, with your art, with your poetry, with your courage, and even with your presence.

To honor Peter’s message, we’re hosting a HUGE sweepstakes that celebrates student voices. By sharing how their students “say something,” teachers can enter for a chance to win a school visit from Peter H. Reynolds, where he will paint a mural with students!

To enter, teachers should share a photo or short video clip of how theirstudents say something on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #SaySomethingSweepstakes by April 30th. Your class can fill in these speech bubbles, make a giant poster, or anything else you can come up with! If you don’t have Twitter or Instagram, you can enter directly on our sweepstakes website, Click here for full rules. 

If you’re a teacher, thanks in advance for participating—the world needs YOUR students’ voices! And if you’re a student, a parent, or a librarian, be sure to tell your favorite educators to enter. Every voice matters.

Entry Details

To enter, either:

  • Submit a photo or short video of how your students say something on Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #SaySomethingSweepstakes

  • Submit a photo or short video directly on our website:

All entries are due by 11:59pm on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. Click here for full rules. The winner will be chosen on or around May 15, 2019. The prize will be awarded in Fall 2019.

Our favorite words

In The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds, the main character, Jerome, collects words. Short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower.

We were so inspired by Jerome that we asked our readers to share their children's favorite words—and we were NOT disappointed by the answers! Ranging from sweet (mommy) and totally understandable (chocolate) to downright hilarious (awkward, cowabunga, and incomprehensible), we loved everyone's responses! In fact, we loved them so much, that we pulled them into this word cloud:

After seeing all of the words displayed like this, I had to know: What are some of my fellow bloggers' favorite words? Here's what they said:

Julia G.: My favorite word is nuance. I think it’s really pretty, and also I think that being alert for nuance is so important in trying to understand the world.

Brittany S.: Serendipitous. I love the way it sounds, the meaning, and how the word inspires a certain feeling when you say it!

Ashley C.: Faith! Because as long as you’ve got it, you’ve got the strength and grounding to always move forward!

Alex W.: Kerfuffle. You’d be surprise how often I manage to use it!

Crystal M.: Flabbergasted is my favorite word. It’s just so silly sounding.

As for me? My favorite word is effervescent! I love the fact that saying it out loud feels like its meaning.

What's your favorite word? Share it with us by tweeting us @scholastic! And read more about The Word Collector here!

On the podcast: Happy Dreamer

We've just released a new podcast episode! This week, author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds (The Dot, Ish) talks with us about his new picture book, Happy Dreamer, and educator and author Lester Laminack discusses ways teachers can make children of all learning styles feel included and engaged in the classroom.

Peter begins by sharing the source of his inspiration for Happy Dreamer:

"I attended a conference at Harvard University about 10 years ago on learning differences," he says. "They had a panel of really successful people in business and entertainment and other fields, and they all described the way they learned and how school was for them. And for all of them, it seemed that school was a bit of a challenge, but they always managed to get through because of their interests. . . Dr. Lynn Meltzer who was running the panel noted that all of these CEOs and successful people had demonstrated attributes of ADHD. And while they had not been diagnosed as such as children, that they probably had some symptoms of ADHD."

"And I thought to myself, 'Well, that's funny because they described my childhood.' And while I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD, I could definitely relate to many of the attributes, and I was thinking to myself, 'If ADHD describes the type of brain I have, well, I think it's a good thing and not something to be worried about.'"

"I thought ADHD sounded a bit clinicial and I wondered if I could warm it up a bit. So I took my pencil and I wrote ADHD. And for A, I wrote amazing. D, delightful. H, happy. And the last D, dreamer. Amazing, delightful, happy dreamer. I went home and I decided to write a little poem about the way my brain worked, and it emerged as Amazing Delightful Happy Dreamer, and we shortened that to Happy Dreamer."

Peter goes on to share some insight into how his brain works, some teachers who inspired him and helped him along the way, as well as some new projects he's working on.

We were then joined by Lester Laminack, an educator and author, who shared some valuable insights about ways teachers can make their classroom more inclusive to all learning styles. Some of his recommendations include:

  • Have diverse books in the classroom
  • Allow children to step away from their work and come back to it, if possible
  • Insert imagination into your lessons — no matter what the subject! — as often as possible
  • Understand that your students may not have the same learning style you do
  • Stop asking children to raise their hands before they speak. Instead, introduce turn and talks to maximize the value of the time they're sharing their thoughts

Listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing to Scholastic Reads on iTunes!

Amazing, Delightful, Happy Dreamer

Author Peter Reynolds is redefining what ADHD stands for. In his world, and in his new picture book, Happy Dreamer, it's simply an acronym for Amazing Delightful Happy Dreamer. This week, we talk with Peter and educator Lester Laminack about how we can encourage dreamers of all forms to feel included, engaged, and welcomed whether it's at home, in the classroom, or on the playground.

Additional Resources:

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