Special Edition Literacy Café: Author Candace Ryan

This past week we hosted picture book author Candace Ryan in a Special Edition of our Literacy Cafés.  As part of the Café, we featured Ryan's picture book Animal House.  To read my review of Animal House, click here.

For the Animal House Café, we ran two multi-age group sessions:  one for kinder to second grade and one for students in grades three to five.  This was a special treat for children who were selected to participate.

Candace arrived with really cool props.  She met with small groups of students to discuss how she created her story and characters, and what it was like going through the publication process.

Students also had a chance to create different elements in making a group Animal House.

In the third group, students talked about creating animal hybrids and worked with partners to create, through drawings, new hybrid animals.

When all of the groups had rotated through the three activities, children had an opportunity to ask Candace questions about her book, writing, working with illustrators, and more.  During this time, children had milk with - yes - animal crackers.

Candace was a great guest in our Literacy Café.  She was wonderful with each group of students and they responded to all of the information she shared with enthusiasm and excitement.  Thank you Candace for such a wonderful visit!

Check out our animoto video:

For more information about Candace Ryan and her books, check out her website: http://www.candaceryanbooks.com/
You can follow her on twitter: @candaceryan
You can folow her on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Candace-Ryan/1185104167


Book Review - Ribbit Rabbit

Author:  Candace Ryan
Illustrator: Mike Lowery
Publisher: Walker & Company (February 1, 2011)
Audience: 3 to 6 year olds
Source: Review Copy

Description from GoodReads:
Frog and Bunny are best friends. RIBBIT, RABBIT! They do everything together, like fight monsters (ZIP IT, ZAP IT!). And even though they get in fights sometimes-YIP IT, YAP IT!-they always make up in the end.

Ribbit, Rabbit features an effortlessly clever text that, in less than 150 words, captures the ups and downs of young friendships. Combined with adorably hip and fresh illustrations and an irresistible package, Ribbit, Rabbit is the perfect choice for the youngest of readers.

 I first encountered Candace Ryan at a book signing for Oliver Jeffers.  At that time, I learned about her upcoming book Animal House.  When it was finally released, I had a chance to check it out.  It was fun and made me giggle.  (To read my review of Animal House, click here. )  And it has been a big hit among the students at my school.  Of course, I was interested in checking out her next book.  Ribbit, Rabbit was recently released by Walker & Company and it was fun to actually see the finished product on a shelf at my local indie bookstore.  

This is a story of friendship including both the ups and downs.  Frog and Bunny are friends, best friends.  They do everything together but sometimes they don't see eye to eye and they fight - over the little things and the big things.  Over the course of their disagreement, they learn an important lesson.  

Ryan operates on a level of creative thoughts that when paired with the right illustrator produces a wonderful book.  Ribbit, Rabbit is very different from Animal House.  It is nice to see such different books from the same author.  Ryan's ability with word play and concepts is delightful.  This will be a fun book to share with young children.  They will enjoy the silly rhyming words and the way the two play and even fight.  The little robot that travels through the pages of the book brings the story together and when one friend ends up with the body of the robot and the other the key, it takes a little alone time to finally discover what is most important.  
Lowery's simple illustrations in muted tones compliment Ryan's text and will entertain young children.  

If you are looking for a read aloud for toddlers and preschoolers, you might want to check out Ribbit, Rabbit by Candace Ryan. 

For more information about Candace Ryan and her books, check out her blog here.  

You can follow Candace on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/CandaceRyan and she is on Facebook here.