read and make: little red writing (and a giveaway!)

September 19, 2013

read and make: little red writing hoodlittle red writing hoodlittle red writing hoodlittle red writing hoodlittle red writing hoodlittle red writing hoodlittle red writing hoodlittle red writing hoodlittle red writing hoodIn our homeschooling post, I wrote about how I love integrating literature and using a story to connect to other subject areas. Well, Chronicle Books sent over a stack of books and the book,ย Little Red Writing, was a perfect bounce-off story that we were able to use to make many different connections with. We’re deep into nouns, pronouns, and verbs right now and this story allowed us to talked about those parts in depth even more. Then, we got into story plot, and then summarizing, and the list can go on and on.

The wonderful thing about Chronicles Books’ site, is that besides the great story, Chronicle Books has downloadable discussion guidesย to accompany (most) their books (and they’re FREE folks!). These guides meet Common Core standards and help give more depth to the learning that come out of these stories. I’m all about this! Actually, I’m not sure if I ever mentioned this, but Ben works two jobs and besides being a health educator at a local hospital, his other one is working for a local school district creating lesson plans that teach nutrition. These lesson plans meet California Content Standards, include children literature, and have various ideas to show how nutrition can be connected to other subjects learned in school. These guides totally remind me of the lessons Ben creates!

Anyway, as we discussed the story, I used the tips and suggestions in the guide. We did a compare and contrast chart with the original Little Red Riding Hood versus Little Red Writing. The girls laughed at the fun facts I shared from the worksheets. Did you know March 30th is National Pencil Day?!! It’s such a good resource for any teacher or parent who wants some sort of guide that will help further their child’s ability to make connections and practice reading comprehension.

We took the Little Red Writing story even further to create our own characters…
DSC_8973 copyDSC_8986DSC_8990DSC_9021 copylittle red writing hoodEach girl created her own character with a pencil. Brave’s was Pencil Spidey (you know her love for Spider-Man) and True’s was Pencil She-rah (this is her favorite super hero). The directions are simple just wrap and draw, but be sure not to wrap the tape all the way to the bottom, that way you can still sharpen your pencil. After they created their characters, they did some free-writing and created a story using their characters.

Many of Chronicle’s traditional books have the discussion guide/activity kits to accompany it. We have a nice stash of books they sent over, so we will definitely be using the guides as we go through these too.booksChronicle Books wants to set one of you up with a nice little stash of books… all you have to do is leave a comment telling me your all time favorite book and you could be entered to win $100 of Chronicle Kids books as a prize! If you wanted to check out some of their discussion guides/activity kit, check it out here, here, or here. Not only are there guides for discussing books, but there are kits that give you resources to have a party centered around a book! This one on Ivy & Bean is pretty neat. Giveaway will end next Wednesday, September 25th at 8am PST. The winner will be announced at the bottom of this post.

Chronicle also has a Pinterest account called Chronicle Classroom and there you can even get more resources for reading and learning activities, and there it’s broken down nicely by grade (Love everything in this section for my girls!). As a homeschooling mama, I definitely appreciate good resources like this that are easy to navigate and are engaging (and eye catching) for the kids. Look at how great this simple math card is!

*This post is sponsored by Chronicle Books.ย Thank you for continuous support of this space and my sponsors! I appreciate you all very much!!! Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post so you can win your own stash of books to add to your library!


The winner of the $100 prize of books is…Congratulations Lindsey P. and I will send you an email shortly! Thank you everyone who entered! I added so many other books to my must-check-out list!!! Thank you!!!

115 comments on “read and make: little red writing (and a giveaway!)”

  • Brooke Knipp says:

    Anna Karenina—partly because I made it all the way to the end : ) but also because it was a great book!

  • Melissa says:

    What a fantastic giveaway! Maybe I’d choose A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I have such fond memories of reading it over and over as a child, and going into my own imaginary world created by the story!

  • Kelly Westman says:

    To Kill a Mockingbird.. I loved all of the characters.

  • Stacy says:

    One of my favorite kid’s books is Muncha Muncha Muncha by Candance Fleming. It is such a fun book to read aloud and my kids really enjoyed it! What a great offer!

  • Erin Pollock says:

    The favorite books in our house right now are Where the Wild Things Are and just about anything by Oliver Jeffers (particularly Stuck.)

  • Mari Monroe says:

    We have so many! My favorite is The Color Purple. The boys’ favorites are Harold and the Purple Crayon, Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, the Llama Llama books. I would LOVE to win!

  • Amy says:

    We really love C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia!

  • Carmen says:

    Ah! Where can I even begin?
    Current faves include “Iggy Peck Architect”
    “Anatole over Paris” “lily loves” and “for just one day”
    But all time fav? “Chrysanthemum” by Kevin Henkes

  • Becky T says:

    My favorite book growing up was always Airmail to the Moon. My dad would read it to me in a funny southern accent and I loved it! Unfortunately it’s out of print now (hence quite expensive online) but I always have my eyes peels at the thrift stores! I’m sure your girls would love it, it’s about a sassy girl who loses her first tooth and then actually loses it and blames different members of her family when it ends up being in her pocket the whole time ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Danzel says:

    A Wrinkle in Time is my all-time favorite book, even as an adult.

  • Deirdre says:

    What a great post, a terrific project, and an awesome giveaway! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ It is SO hard to pick just one, but I think I will go with, “On the Day you were Born” by Debra Frasier. Beautiful.

  • Angela Brown says:

    Since a kid, the Little House on the Prairie has been my all time favorite. My friend laugh but they are so good!

  • Tang says:

    I can only think of favorite kids books right now! But they’d be Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and The Giving Tree.

  • Jams says:

    I’m gonna choose The Adventures of Mook….a sweet kids’ book that follows the adventures of a little bear on his world travels. He goes to some pretty random places and there is always something new to discover on each page.

  • Stephanie says:

    love Chronicle Books! Chronicles of Narnia – Voyage of the Dawn Treader is one of my favorite books.

  • Nicole says:

    I think my favorite book ( certainly my son’s favorite) is Where the Wild Things Are! That stack of books includes some awesome titles we’d love to own! And I’ve been eyeing Little Red Writing Hood for an upcoming project with my class.

  • Kendall says:

    I love Little Women. It’s my favorite and I’ve reread it each year since I was a kid.

  • Anne says:

    I think one of my all time favorite books is ANGELA’S ASHES. For easy reading I also loved Bridget Jones Diary and The Undomestic Goddess. Growing up I loved Berernstein Bears stories and my boys love them too! Would love to win this as my budding reader would love all these books!

  • Mary S says:

    My favorite growing up was Harriet the Spy, Tree Grows in Brooklyn & the Laura Ingalls books.

  • Lacey says:

    My favorite book to read aloud to my daughter is the Sneeches by Dr. Suess – it has such a fun flow to it! But my all time favorite children’s books are the Berenstain Bears series ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Tara R says:

    My all time favorite book, especially now that I’ve gotten to read it with my 6 year old, is “Island of the Blue Dolphins.”

  • Krystal Dawn says:

    My daughters and I absolutely LOVE Miss Suzy. It’s the sweetest little story with adorable illustrations. Thank you for the chance of such an awesome giveaway!

  • Vรฉnusia says:

    One of my top list of favorite book is : Le Petite Prince (The little Prince). Nice craft by the way !

  • KristyMN says:

    All time favorite – probably either the Anne of Green Gables or the Harry Potter series or possibly Little Women….obviously that is a difficult question. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Rebecca says:

    Mine is The Hobbit. I cannot wait until my girls are old enough to read it with them.

  • Bethany says:

    The Chronicles of Narnia– I’ve had so many great spiritual discussions with my students over the years. What a great way to open up conversations!

  • Beth says:

    It is so hard to pick one! We love Mo Willems so maybe, “Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus.”

  • lin says:

    come teach a lesson in my class! guest teacher!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rachel says:

    My favorite to read to my daughter right now is Little House on the Prairie. Would be so excited to add some of these book story our homeschool library.

  • Just wanted to thank you for this delightful post.
    It’s a treat to see the pencil characters the kids made. Now I want to make a set of all the characters!
    Write on!

    • Rubyellen says:

      Wow! Melissa Sweet! SO honored that you would stop by here! My girls loved the story and illustrations!!! Your work is wonderful!!! Can you tell I’m excited by my use of exclamation points?!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Butterfly Mama says:

    Your blog is like an (almost) daily gift & I so appreciate the thorough details regarding your homeschooling, you inspire me to want to homeschool my son next year when he is eligible to enter kindergarten. My all time favorite book is The Puddle Pail by Elisa Kleven, or anything by her, if you have not heard or read her books I highly recommend them. They are dreamy, gorgeous and inspire so much creativity and art as well as being different and thinking outside the box. Thank you for this opportunity to share more magic with my son!

  • Bekki says:

    What a fun book! As a child, my favorite book was “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” I think it was one of the first novels I ever read that I loves so much I cried when it was over. And I’ve read it several times since.

  • Charity Boehm says:

    My favorite book to read to my students is “You are Special” by Max Lucado. They sit enraptured and I get goose bumps!

  • Danita says:

    This is very hard to answer! I love children’s books… but I think one that I keep coming back to it it’s Monster Don’t eat me by Carl Ckneut

  • Katie says:

    My favorite as a child was The 11th Hour by Graeme Base, because I loved all the puzzles and trying to figure out whodunnit!

  • Robyn Foster says:

    Oh, this is so hard because I love books! But one of my all-time favorites is Beloved.

  • Marley Bianca says:

    This is so hard, I have so many favourites!
    But I love reading “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” by Mo Willems.

  • Laura says:

    Oh, it’s so hard to pick just one book. Growing up I loved the Laura Ingalls series and Hardy Boys mysteries.

  • Sarah says:

    One of our favorite books we read this summer was ‘The Penderwicks’ -A summer tale of four sisters, two rabbits and a very interesting boy- By: Jeanne Birdsall. Exciting give away:) fingers crossed!!!!

  • Jus Tey says:

    Ours is currently Charlotte’s Web. Would so love this, since we homeschool too and would always need new reads!

  • Jane says:

    As a kid, I devoured the chronicles of narnia ๐Ÿ™‚

  • martine says:

    everything by astrid lindgren!

  • Gioia says:

    Love creative ways of learning.. I’m 32 but I must say that to this day my all time favorite book is The little house by Virginia Lee Burton. Sweet story, amazing illustrations and the only book of which I have clear memories of my parents reading to me… Best part I still have the book, my mom found it in an old forgotten box and gave it me right before I moved the the u.s.

  • “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. I totally “got” the main character, Francie, from the very first paragraph of the book and have read it several times. A beauty of a novel!

  • Bianca says:

    What a great giveaway! AND…love those pencils! I’m going to make some with my kiddos.

    My favorite book when I was a kid was The Mouse and The Motorcycle. I had a pet mouse and the idea of him riding through the house on a toy motorcycle was too precious.

  • Nicole C says:

    Anything Ronald Dahl,

  • Heather says:

    That question is too hard! This year my favorite books are the Call the Midwife series.

  • Jessica G. says:

    My all time favorite book?! That’s a tough one because there are just so many!!! The Boxcar Kids was one of my favorite reads growing up, so I will go with that.

  • Merci says:

    I actually really like the Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt because it has a great moral lesson and i love the silent screen style to the illustrations . . .

    Ruby, what do the other two little do when you are teaching the big girls????

  • Bernadette says:

    Our favorite book is The Giving Tree so much so that my eldest thinks it’s her story. We lost “her” apple tree when our landlord accidentally cut it down. She cried many days for that tree saying she promised to take care of it and it still got cut down! Love your blog!!! This is our first year homeschooling…always come here for reassurance and inspiration!

  • Karis says:

    Growing up my all time favorites were the Little House on the Prairie series and the original Nancy Drew books. Now I really have a wide range of taste in literature, it makes it difficult to pick a favorite.

  • Lindsay says:

    This is a tough question because of course I would say the Bible! But… Outside of that I would say Pride and Prejudice ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Amy says:

    So many to choose from! I do love The Giving Tree!

  • Naomi best says:

    My favourite books are anything Beatrix potter ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jenny says:

    Don’t enter me in the giveaway!! I am just here to say what a fantastic job you are doing!!!!

  • Christine says:

    As a kid, I loved The Secret Garden! As an adult, I could read “The Sun Also Rises” over and over and over.

  • Amy Castello says:

    I love The Night Eater by Ana Juan and The Cricket in Times Square. Hope you had a lovely day!

  • Chelise says:

    So hard to pick just one favorite! Roald Dahl has been my favorite since childhood. I’d probably have to pick James and the Giant Peach.

  • Rosie Jauregui says:

    I love The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Based on the life of one of the most faithful and courageous women I have read about. For kids, I absolutely love Charlotteโ€™s Web and read it to my kids last year. We laughed and cried.

  • Amy Crank says:

    Me and my daughters new fav is the Very Hungry Caterpillar. The holes in the book were always the best part for me!

  • Katie says:

    As another homeschooling mama, I’m always on the lookout for more books to read! My most favorite book as a kid was Caddy Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink. As an adult my favorite book has been Gone with the Wind, which is perfect since my name is Katie Scarlett!

  • LOVE the characters you all created & i always enjoy seeing what you guys are up to in homeschooling!

  • Sarah says:

    Impossible to say really, but the first book that popped into my mind is The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. I want everyone in the world to read it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Christina says:

    I’ve always loved the quirky mystery- The Westing Game. Thank you for the giveaway!

  • Jenny says:

    We are big Roald Dahl fans and Splat the Cat is a fave! Thank you for the giveaway, can’t wait to check the links out!

  • Abby says:

    My favorite children’s book (and maybe favorite of all time) is Ox-Cart Man.

  • jordan says:

    Awesome giveaway! I am a homeschooling mom too and would love more books. My favorite book is Anne of Windy Poplars.

  • Alison says:

    I love your blog!!! I am a special education teacher, and I love seeing all your homeschooling ideas! I love Chronicle books too!! My absolute favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird. I read it when I was in 8th grade, and I re-read it a few times every year! There is so much to learn from that book!!

  • Monique says:

    What a great giveaway! One of my favorite books growing up was My Side of the Mountain.

  • Jamie says:

    One of my (many) favorite books of all time is Peony In Love, children’s books come with a longer list of favs. Both my children love Mouk and Pumpkin Soup. We read Each Peach, Pear, Plum 500 times today so I think we will add that one to the list now too.

  • Chris says:

    I love a tree grows in Brooklyn, and farmer boy:)

  • Kamisha says:

    Love this! I will always love The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein because of the simple story line but such beautiful generosity. Makes me emotional every time.

  • Borboleta says:

    My fav one?

    “Buenos dรญas querida ballena” or “Good morning my dear whale”.

    Ohhh… :_)

    PS: BTW, I’m in Spain and I hope this contest is open to int’l ladies like me ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lindsey P says:

    Who could forget Goodnight Moon? Such a classic for little ones, and great for quiet time before sleeping or naps.

  • Jennifer says:

    My absolute favorite book series is the Chronicles of Narnia!

  • Melanie says:

    It’s hard to pick one…but if I had to pick the book I read a lot as a girl and still read, it would have to be Little Women. Now that my kids area little older, I am looking forward to sharing the Enid Blyton “Famous Five” and “Adventure Series”, books which my mom loved as a girl and read to my brother and I when we were young. My mom recently gave both sets of books to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sarah says:

    If I have to choose I think my favorite is the “Farmyard Tales” collection by Usborn. Can’t wait till I have kids of my own to read them to!

  • rachel says:

    I love “The Blue Castle” by L.M. Montgomery. Such a classic read by the author of “Anne of Green Gables.”

  • As a child I loved The Secret Garden. I felt so proud of myself reading such a thick book.

  • Tabitha says:

    My favorite book is “Pluk van de Petteflet”, it is a dutch book written by Annie M.G.Schmidt and beautiful illustrated by Fiep Westendorp. Its about a little boy in a little red car in search of a home. He finds a place in a flat, with a lots of interesting people living there. Annie M.G. Schmidt is a famous children book writer here in Holland, she has a wonderful sense of humour. And I adore the beautiful, cheerful illustration of Fiep Westendorp! I always think of my childhood days when I read it, when my mother read to us from this book, such happy memories!

    Love, Tabitha

  • kelli says:

    toss up between a tree grows in brooklyn and anne of green gables. great giveaway!

  • Janay says:

    Love carmine a little more red! Same illustrator Melissa Sweet – great drawings and story!

  • Mary Jo says:

    how to choose a favorite…hmmm… well, right now I love reading the Magic Tree House Books to my 6-year-old son. but my daughter, who’s 3, enjoys picture books like Pete the Cat. i am personally enjoying all those Fancy Nancy books.

  • Julie Fontaine says:

    All time favorite book is Striped Ice Cream by Joan Lexau. Very cool home school work!

  • Lori Janis says:

    Pride and Prejudice ๐Ÿ™‚ So happy that a lot of the classics are being retold with board books now!

  • Joel says:

    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel!

  • Kay says:

    I love books by Lemony Snicket! So fun.

  • Brandy says:

    My favourite books to read while growing up were The Boxcar Children and Goosebumps! Right now, my daughter’s favourite books are anything with dinosaurs and Minnie Mouse!

  • Tracey Campos says:

    My all time favorite book as a child was Super Fudge. Judy Blume had a way of telling a story that was so relatable and humorous. I felt like Judy Blume had a way of writing that put you right there with the characters in her story. Often I remember reading her stories and at certain parts taking a break just to visualize what I just read, which sometimes made it all the more humorous. It is not easy for a writer to do this. When an author can do this successfully, I feel it starts a lifelong relationship with reading for children. tc

  • Angela says:

    I love to read so there are many favorites, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret Garden, and many more. My six year old loves all books by Mo Willems and anything to do with science. Reading rocks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • erin says:

    such a great giveaway! we have so many great vintage books it is hard to pick a favorite… but as far as modern books go, my kids love the olivia series.

  • Holly Blues says:

    I just love the book “we all join in” by Quentin Blake. My dad used to sing it to us when we were younger and I’d almost forgotten about it. But our daughter is 18 months now and my mum pulled out a load of our old books for her, and among them was a clearly well loved, dog-eared copy of “all join in”. Reading it evokes so many memories, and even smells and tastes. I just wish I could get the tune of the song right!
    We would love a bundle of books for us to all work through, what a lovely giveaway!
    Thanks, Holly

  • April says:

    Since I was a child, I have re-read Anne of the Island and Anne’s House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery at least once a year. Such a wonderful author. Even made the trip to Prince Edward Island to see it all in person!

  • Tara says:

    I’m thrilled to share my childhood favorite Anne of Green Gables with my daughter now.

  • Sarah M says:

    Where does the English major begin with a favorite book? For myself, I’d say The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.
    Sarah M
    This book looks so fun!! I LOVE Chronicle Books

  • Liza says:

    It’s so hard to choose but I’m gonna go with the Swedish version of Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

  • Kristin Ann says:

    My favorite book was Jumanji. I loved the amazing black and white illustrations.

  • Nicole says:

    This is such a difficult question as it all depends on my mood! Fave kids book to read at the moment are Mo Willems books. I love reading Happy Pig Day to my three year old. She’s practically got it memorized and her belting out “oinky oink oink” is just adorable. It would be wonderful to have more picture books to discover and love.

  • laura says:

    I love love love chronicle books! My favorite Chronicle book is always the newest one! I am so excited for Melissa Sweet’s new book: LITTLE RED WRITING HOOD!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Meg T says:

    The Country Bunny and the Little Gold shoes is one of my all-time favorites!

  • Lisa says:

    The Giant Jam Sandwich

  • Kelly says:

    the BFG…love it!

  • lea says:

    possum magic by mem fox without a doubt!

  • Karrie says:

    This is such an amazing giveaway! We homeschool also and love books ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the giving tree for a children’s book. For me, anything David Sedaris.

  • Lisa says:

    As a kid, I read all the Nancy Drew books.

  • Jessica says:

    These look soo good.

  • Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean!

  • Anna says:


  • Caryn says:

    Ooh, choosing a favorite book is so hard! Favorite picture book could be The Dot by Peter Reynolds and favorite chapter book would be Greensleeves by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. That’s two, but different genres. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Winner Winner Chicken Dinner? says:

    Was there a winner announced?

    • rubyellen says:

      I had emailed my sponsor with the winner’s email and just added the name up top. Thank you so much!

  • Leila says:

    what a great give away! our current favorite is “stuck” by oliver jeffers

  • Lindsey P says:

    Just had to say THANKS for picking me!!! I’m so excited! I picked out my books within an hour of receiving the email that I won. They’ll be great for the daycare where I work, as the books there are pretty “well loved”.

  • Elisabeth says:

    Hello! I am a student teacher and Little Red Writing is one of my favorite books! A few months ago, I was able to read the Chronicle discussion guide. I unfortunately never downloaded it because I was viewing it from my phone (it is now not available to download on the website). If possible, would you mind emailing me a copy? I know this is from quite a few years ago, but I would love to have a copy (to send to students/parents to accompany the book) if you would by chance still have it! Thank you for your beautiful post and pictures. An inspiration for sure! Thank you for your consideration.

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