Help at Home, 4/1/20

We are continuing the practice we started a few weeks ago of using this space to share resources. This week, we have art lessons, several read-alouds, craft ideas, and much more!



Nancy Carlson is doing a live art tutorial every day at 11 CST on Facebook.

“Captain Underpants” Writer/Illustrator Dav Pilkey

Each Friday, in partnership with Scholastic, the Library of Congress will launch a short video of Dav Pilkey drawing, reading aloud, and following his mantra — Always Be Creative!

General Education

7 of the Best Educational Comics for Your New Homeschooling Journey

From Bookriot!

Tracy Bazsika’s Google Resources

How To’s for teachers using Google Classroom for distance learning.

Bazsika’s Ed Tech Resources

Resources for classroom teachers using Google and Chrome, other tools, teaching strategies and curriculum resources.

List of Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions Due to School Closings

Each of these websites will allow you to sign-up for FREE and help your child along with their education. It is perfect for homeschooling.

Distance Learning Library from Lerner Digital

To help enable librarians, teachers and educators helping students with remote access and online learning, a selection of our digital products are now available for FREE through June 30, 2020. Scan the QR codes, click the link, or follow the log-in instructions to access the digital resources of our Distance Learning Library.

STEM + Literacy Activities

From author Patricia Newman. Combining STEM + literacy is an ideal way to engage students. This resource includes a sampling of the activities in her curriculum guides and conference presentations that highlight the natural connection between STEM and language arts.

LitLinks Blog Series

Authors, scientists, and educators provide lessons highlighting connections between STEM and language arts.


A ROCK CAN BE… read-aloud!

Author Laura Purdie Salas reads her book, A Rock Can Be… aloud on YouTube.

Zeta reads Wolf’s Coming! by Joe Kulka

A wonderful bedtime story, read by our equally wonderful Children’s Librarian, Ms. Zeta! #BrantLibrary #BrantBedtimeStories #BeWellBrant

Hogwarts Digital Escape Room

If you’re looking for an escape, here’s a pretty good one! From Peters Township Public Library.

Live Events List

List of read alouds by The Liv Bits.

Playtime Playlist

Looking for some family-oriented entertainment while we all are exercising social distancing? We have created this list of independent children’s musicians around the globe who are transitioning our live shows to live streams to accommodate social distancing recommendations due to the coronavirus crisis.

Hands-On Activities

Free Crafts for Kids

Free, downloadable craft ideas for kids are paired with Early Bird Stories, which are best for kids from Kindergarten through second grade. However, you don’t have to read the books to use the crafts!


National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has lessons, games, and videos to keep kids engaged in science.

Virtual Field Trips and Other Help Managing Social Distancing

Staying In? Families Can Have Super-Powered Fun at DC Kids Camp

An at-home activity program curated by dc middle grade authors and artists Meg Cabot, Agnes Garbowska, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Minh Lê, Michael Northrop, Ridley Pearson, Kirk Scroggs, And Gene Luen Yang, among others.

Sesame Street Resources

For 50 years, Sesame Workshop has provided support for children and families around some of the most challenging situations in their lives. Many of these situations create great uncertainty—and while we don’t always know what to expect, we know that our Sesame Street friends have the power to convey simple strategies and messages that help adults provide care and comfort to children—and prepare for whatever comes our way.

You can find the latest Sesame Street resources for COVID 19 on The Caring for Each Other website is designed to offer families comfort and to spark playful learning activities. They include tips to support parents and caregivers during stressful times, creative ways to build playful learning moments, and a few Sesame Street stories to share together.”

Catch up on all of our Help at Home resources.

Sheltering in Place: My Kids on Their Lives Now & Books They Recommend

by Carol Hinz, Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books

I hope everyone reading this post is doing well in these strange and sometimes scary times. My two kids–O., age 9, and M., age 6–had spring break in mid-March, followed by an additional week off. I interviewed them for the blog back in 2017, and I thought it would be a good time to check in with them about their experiences these past couple of weeks. Read More

The Design Behind Follow Those Zebras

by Lindsey Owens, Designer

Editor’s Note: We at Lerner recognize that the spread of COVID-19 and the need to practice social distancing during this time have made many routines, such as visiting a zoo or even going to school, unsafe. We plan on continuing to use this space to talk about books, but also share online resources that could help keep everyone learning and engaged. The San Diego Zoo, for example, has a kid-friendly website with activities, videos, and even live cameras of your favorite zoo animals. Also, The Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a “Home Safari” on their Facebook page daily at 3pm EDT.

Read More

A Spark of Inspiration: How Flash and Gleam Came to Be

by Jordyn Taylor, Assistant Editor for Carolrhoda Books and Millbrook Press

For those who are stuck at home, I wanted to try to shed a little light on your day with this new book. I enjoy editing picture books because each one is different. And each one also comes about in a unique way, which makes it fun to ask, “Where did the idea for this book come from?”

Read More

If We Were Gone: Imagining the World without People

by Carol Hinz, Editorial Director of Millbrook Press and Carolrhoda Books

John Coy and Natalie Capannelli’s new picture book, If We Were Gone: Imagining the World without People, is not your average picture book. In a review, Publishers Weekly called it a “disturbingly beautiful dystopian meditation.” When John, Natalie, art director Danielle Carnito, and I were working on the book, we certainly didn’t imagine that it would be released just as a global pandemic was spreading. The book’s launch party, which was scheduled for this past Saturday, was canceled, and our foremost concern is that everyone do what they need to do to take care of themselves–and to help those who need it.

If you’re curious about how If We Were Gone came to be and what sort of reactions students have had at school visits, author John Coy shares the story here. Read More