Sunday, January 13, 2013

“Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning. ” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Peter Pan Illustration by Kathleen Atkins

How do you enter the magical world of your young readers?

To get into the right mindset, I think back to how I felt as a child. I also get lots of ideas from my students (I teach elementary art).

But how do you tap into that world if you don’t interact with children on a daily basis?

One resource is Edutopic’s list of winning student blogs by children ages 6-13.  It’s a great way to research how today’s kids spend their time, what they care about, and what they find funny. (Notice how many of the blog titles include the word, ‘Awesome’.)

Another resource I love is the New York Times’ blog, “Kids Draw the News.” On this site, children submit illustrations to accompany articles on current events. It’s a great way to discover how children view the world. Plus, their illustrations are a hoot!

What resources help you enter the world of young readers?


  1. Sharon,
    Well done! Great resources. I especially liked the video and drawings for the newspaper.

    Get involved in a project with kids to get inspiration. I volunteered to pack health kits at my church on Saturday. I sat at a table with children who wrote positive messages and drew pictures on cards to include in the kits. It was an eye opening experience to sit by children and take in their comments.

  2. Sharon,
    You're a great resource person for us! I checked out some of the kids' blogs - must be a lot of parental help for the youngest ones? - but what I enjoyed more was the NY Times blog with kids drawing the news. There, you see unfiltered kid imagination - loved the "Frankenstorm."

  3. Oh wow, Sharon! Thanks for sharing these awesome resources! (Eek! Guess I use "awesome" a lot too!) I am especially excited about kids draw the news. Can't wait to see what my boys draw for headlines like these!

  4. Fantastic Sharon. Thank you so much!

  5. Linda,
    Isn't it amazing what children have to say?

    Yes, the "Frankenstorm" illustration was hilarious. I love the variety of entries for each news story.

    I look forward to seeing any illustrations your sons make. Especially if your boys are as creative as you!

    I'm glad you enjoyed the links!