icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle



Three Hens, a Peacock, and the Enormous Egg

Farm animals rescue an enormous egg from the road and then must figure out how to care for the mysterious creature. What could possibly be inside this egg and why is it taking so long to hatch?


Lester Laminack returns with a delightfully funny sequel to his barnyard story of three hens and a peacock. This time the animals decide to work together to rescue an enormous egg that falls from a truck in the road in front of their farm. Working together is, however, not without challenges when three bossy hens are involved.
The animals have no idea what is in the egg and have never seen one so big. But over the course of trying to protect it and hatch it, they find themselves quite smitten with it, each imagining that what's in the egg is a version of themselves.
An unexpectedly heartwarming ending leaves the animals speechless when they meet their new ward and learn who among them is the greatest nurturer of all.
This bestselling creative team delivers another amusing picture book about life on a sleepy farm. This one with a lot of heart, too.


The King of Bees


Henry lives with his Aunt Lilla deep in the Lowcountry of South Carolina on a farm by the marshes.  Out back is Henry's favorite--the beehives. He longs for the day when he can wear a bee suit and bee-talk the way his Aunt Lilla does.


Standing on his watching stump, Henry learns a lot about bees from his aunt. He learns that sister bees collect the pollen and nectar from flowers and do all the jobs for the hive.  Henry tells his Aunt Lilla that if he were a bee, he'd help his sisters just like he helps her in the garden.


One day Henry notices a lot of activity around the hives.  Aunt Lilla says, "Looks like the bees are fixin' to swarm." Henry worries that they will leave the farm and go somewhere else.


Can he find a way to communicate with the sister bees and convince them to stay?

Three Hens and a Peacock


Review from Publishers Weekly:
What might have been an ordinary be-yourself story is enhanced by Laminack's (Snow Day!) surprisingly thoughtful storytelling. Three hens on the Tuckers' farm are sick with envy when a peacock shows up and attracts the attention of passersby, drawing customers and electrifying the farm's roadside stand business. Laminack characterizes the hens with a fine ear for their Golden Girls outrage; they sound quite human. "We do all the work around here," fumes one. "I'd like to see that peacock lay one single egg." "Exactly," agrees another. "He just struts around screaming." The hens trade places with the peacock, dressing up in beads and ribbons and trying to attract customers--with predictable results. The warmth of the story is a bit overshadowed by the goggle eyes of Cole's (One Pup's Up) barnyard characters; the illustrations go for big guffaws and slapstick instead, and largely succeed. The final spreads--which suggest further complications with the arrival of an ostrich--add a final touch of humor, effectively keeping the book from feeling message-heavy. Ages 4–8. (Mar.) 


* Kirkus' Review

Editor Review (reviewed on February 15, 2011)
All is calm on the Tuckers' farm. Cows are quietly chewing cud, hens are clucking and pecking, old hound's lazing on the porch. Only an occasional customer at the produce stand disturbs the routine—until a crate drops out of a passing truck and out pops a peacock! It's his first time on a farm, and he has no idea what to do. He does what comes naturally, and before long, his strutting and shrieking draws attention. Business at the farm stand booms…but the hens are jealous. They do all the work, and that upstart peacock gets all the attention. Peacock wants to be useful, so old hound suggests the two groups switch jobs. The hens glam it up with beads and bows, and peacock does his darndest to lay eggs. No one's successful. Thanks to old hound, everyone learns a lesson about sticking to their strengths. Laminack's tale of barnyard envy is a fine addition to farm fables, but it's Cole's signature watercolor, ink, and pencil cartoon illustrations that charm here. His frenetically posing chickens will inspire giggles, as will old hound's sardonic looks. Good farm fun. (Picture book. 4-8)

Snow Day!


When the television weatherman predicts a big snowfall, the narrator gleefully imagines the fun-filled possibilities of an unscheduled holiday from school.


Piling under warm blankets. Sipping hot chocolate in snowman mugs. Building a snow fort and stacking up a zillion snowballs inside. Scene after snow scene reveals how a pair of siblings, with their father in tow, would make the most of their day off.


But when the family wakes up the next morning, the story takes an unexpected twist...Young readers won't be the only ones who delight in the surprise ending in this thoroughly original spin on a familiar childhood scenario. 

Jake's 100th Day of School


The 100th Day of School is a big event for young children everywhere. And Jake, like most children has been working on his very special collection for a long time. But in the excitement of the big day Jake rushes out to catch the bus and leaves something very important behind. Find out how a very caring principal helps save the day. And watch for a surprise visitor who comes along with Jake's grandma, a visitor who just loves the number 100! This story of caring, creativity and community is a perfect read for the 100th day and all year long. Plus the endpapers have a bit of counting for readers.




Saturdays and Teacakes


"...Drawing on his childhood in Heflin, AL, the author splendidly re-creates... nostalgic scenes, carefully bringing the memories to life by describing the sunny kitchen, the crunch of gravel under bicycle wheels, and the sweet aroma of the cakes. The brilliant watercolor paintings glow with light and idyllically capture the world of yesterday."

--School Library Journal





Trevor's Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth


Every kid goes through this, that anxious waiting for the first loose tooth. Lester Laminack captures that eagerness in delightful humor. If you have young children in your life they will be begging, "Please read Trevor again my tooth is loose!" This one is a keeper.

The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins


This is the poignant tale of a woman who resides in a nursing home, and who seems to live more in a world of memories than here in the present. Although Miss Olivia is unable to respond, and their presence often seems to go unnoticed, daughter Angel and great-grandson Troy know better. Anything from a beautiful sunset to the mention of her porch swing--Troy's favorite place--can take her back into her past, from when she was just a little girl out on the farm with her papa, to a recent birthday shared with her daughter.

Critical Comprehension: Lessons for Guiding Students to Deeper Meaning

Critical Comprehension: Lessons for Guiding Students to Deeper Meaning

To be literate is to think through multiple perspectives, exploring diverse texts, and using the power of story to give students the life skills to discuss just about anything with critical curiosity. Critical Comprehension transforms this vital work into an accessible, three-step lesson process.


Using picture books, multimodal texts, and thoughtfully framed questions, each differentiated lesson expands students' understanding of a text through: First read: the "movie read", during which the text is read without interruption. Second read: The teacher poses questions that probe deeper meanings through interaction with the text to summarize, name and highlight issues, analyze and infer, to make more informed decisions about what to believe and what to question. Third read: Harnessing students' curiosities, the class revisits the text to talk back to theme, symbols, central idea, or social, cultural, historical influences at work on author and audience

Popular media, classic novels, breaking news ― the world's content is ready for students to absorb. But are we ready to help them read it well? Equipped with this resource, the answer is, Yes, we are.

Reading to Make a Difference: Using Literature to Help Students Speak Freely, Think Deeply, and Take Action


 "This book is a gift to teachers who want to move well beyond the 'food, festivals, and folklore' focus of the early days of attention to multicultural literature to a consideration of literature as a catalyst for social action. Teachers will find it a valuable resource, full of examples of actual classroom practices and questions for reflecting, as well as suggestions of good books to share with students.  The thematic emphases for the chapters are broad enough to apply to texts that represent diverse cultures, but specific enough to work in direrse classrooms." --Rudine Sims Bishop, Professor Emerita of Education at The Ohio State University


The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource Fiction and Nonfiction



"Best Friend Books"--a small, carefully curated collection of read-alouds that you turn to repeatedly for specific teaching purposes. As you rely on a best friend, you will rely on these picture books for their wisdom, substance, and support.  Lester shows you how to choose your Best Friend Books and use them to their full potential.  You'll also find clear guidelines for digging deeply into both fiction and nonfiction books and enriching students' understanding of content and craft.

Writers ARE Readers


The idea of a flip is simple, heads you read, tails you write.  On one side, we think about what is expected of the reader.  We focus on what he must do to make meaning for himself. On the other side, we think about what the writer had to do to set up the reader. 


In Writers ARE Readers, the mutually supportive roles of reading and writing are made visible through the idea of "flipsides": how a reader's insights can be turned around to provide insights into his own writing, and vice versa. These chapters are full of sample lessons, student writing samples, and recommended text for maximizing the flipped concept across the year.


Discover fresh new ways to turn reading strategies into writing opportunities that your students will be excited about and deeply understand.

The Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide


"By it's very design, a troubleshooting guide is intended to create ease of use, to build both competence and confidence of the user. That is our goal in selecting this format. the spare design compels us to think and to pare down our language to the bare essentials. It requires the practical."--Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth


The 1970s' VW Beetle Owner's Manual found in the glove compartment of every Bug gave drivers security in knowing that whatever went wrong, there was always a quick fix to get them back on the road. The Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide uses the same clear, concise format to offer practical ideas for helping students who may be out of gas, idling for too long, or just plain stuck in a rut. Lester and Reba first help you "notice and name" particular struggles that writers may have, identify possible causes, and then offer specific tools to nudge writers toward their next level of development. Their vast knowledge & appreciation for children's literature is showcased in the mentor texts they suggest to support your teaching.

Don't let minor breakdowns stall your student's writing journey. With the Writing Teacher's Troubleshooting Guide in your back pocket, you'll always have a quick repair to keep them moving forward.

Bullying Hurts: Teaching Kindness Through Read Alouds and Guided Conversations


"Perhaps the most important skill one should acquire to be ready for any college or any career, to be a productive part of any community, is kindness. In Bullying Hurts, Lester and Reba remind us of the critical importance of teaching kindness and then they do better than that: they take us into classrooms and show us, step-by-step and book-by-book, how we can sues literature to help students become the empathetic, caring, kind people this world desperately needs. you won't just read this book, you'll use it." --Kylene Beers

Climb Inside a Poem


Children are natural poets. They speak poetry all day long. They say wonderful poetic gems that surprise and delight us and help us look at the world in a new way. In "Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year" Georgia Heard and Lester Laminack tap into this natural inclination and demonstrate how reading and writing poetry can also support and extend young children's language and literacy development. Through an anthology of original children's poems and related lessons, Lester and Georgia describe how to weave poetry into the fabric of a school day, reading a variety of poems for a variety of purposes. Building on these experiences, children then engage in a formal unit of study on writing poetry.

Unwrapping the Read Aloud: Making Every Read Aloud Intentional and Instructional 


You'll find several ready-to-use tutorials in which Lester walks you page by page through favorite picture books, introducing techniques you can use to shape and enrich your own read alouds. These "workshops-in-a-book," also perfect for literacy coaches and teacher leaders, demonstrate how to enter picture books and read with an eye and ear for tone, intensity, pacing, and mood, as well as for ways to explore literary elements and across the curriculum instructional possibilities.


On an accompanying DVD you can see Lester read aloud five picture books s he address questions such as these:
*Why is reading aloud so important, and ho do busy teachers make time for it?
*How do facial expression, body movement, and voice modulation contribute to the art of reading aloud?
*Why do students want to hear the same story over and over?
*What makes a read aloud "intentional"?
*Why is inspiration worthy of our instructional time?
*What makes a read aloud "instructional"?

Whether you begin with the DVD or the book, you'll find Lester Laminack an unparalleled guide to the intentional read aloud. Journey with him to the heart of five picture books as he unwraps each one to reveal the magic of language, ideas, and content.

Cracking Open the Author's Craft: Teaching the Art of Writing


Welcome to the close study of the author's craft. I don't assume for one second that I have all the answers to questions young writers have about the choices authors make. However, I have my understandings, my insights, and my notions. Take from them what you will and make this resource your own.


I have attempted to make this resource very flexible. You could begin with the book and read it as you would any other professional book. You could also begin by viewing the DVD (link), and the reading the book. You could move between the book and the DVD (link), viewing segments and reading the corresponding text. You could view the DVD (link) segments before you carry out the lessons with your students for background and examples, or you could show the segments to your students as if I am a guest author who's visiting during a craft study.


The language writers use should be fluid and flexible. Have fun with it. Play with it. Try it out in a variety of ways. Lead your students toward more efficient and more effective writing. Surely if we think together, we will all be wiser for the effort. --Lester Laminack


You'll find 14 ready-to-use mini-lessons to introduce your students to techniques and literary elements. Carefully selected anchor texts provide inspiration for exploring each technique and element. In addition, a professional workshop to use on your own or with colleagues will deepen your own knowledge base. This "workshop-in-a-book," also perfect for literacy coaches and teacher leaders, demonstrates how to read like a writer, identify "craft moves," and form theories about why the moves were made.


The DVD (link) features Lester explaining how writers practice audible and visual craft, using "Satudays and Teacakes" to illustrated both. The DVD also includes downloadable forms that you can share with your students to explore author's craft and to monitor their evolving understanding. Use the DVD (link) to have Lester talk directly to the class, or use the book to present the lessons yourself. Either method will help you teach your students to develop their own "craft moves," which will enliven and refine their writing.

Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum: How to Build Bridges in Language Arts, Math Science, and Social Studies


Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum is a practical guide to expanding your read-aloud instruction to accomplish literacy-based goals in four key subject areas: math, social studies, language arts, and science. Youll find strategic advice for planning thematic, content driven units that use reading aloud to scaffold understanding and increase engagement. Beginning with smart ideas for introducing students to new content through picture books, Laminack and Wadsworth share ideas for assembling themed sets of children's literature that help kids use the predictable structures of the read-aloud to connect with new ideas. Then Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum provides suggestions for helping students do research that extends the knowledge they've gotten from whole class readings and build a bridge from literacy skills to content knowledge. Laminack and Wadsworth give you three specific units of study each for social studies, language arts, science, and even math, twelve units altogether. Each comes with dozens of recommended titles, over 400 in all!


Full of useful planning tips, classroomtested strategies, and Laminack and Wadsworths trademark enthusiasm for childrens literature, Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum doesnt just pick up where its predecessor left offit takes you and your students to whole new levels of crosscurricular engagement.


Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature

Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature 

Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature revolutionizes the read-aloud.

Lester Laminack and Reba Wadsworth lay out six types of read-alouds,

each of which targets key instructional goals, including:
* addressing standards in the curriculum
* building community in the classroom
* demonstrating the craft of writing
* enriching vocabulary
* enticing children to read independently
* modeling fluent reading.

The Writing Workshop Working through the Hard Parts (and they're all hard parts)


If you can only get one book on teaching writing using the Writer's Workshop model let it be this one. It's detailed, full of practical tips, but most important--you will be INSPIRED!


I immediately started my own writer's notebook after I read this book. One caveat...this is not a book that you can pick up on Sunday night because you want to start the program on Monday morning. This book is written to be read and re-read, pondered and poured over. That having been said, this is NOT just a book of theory, it thoroughly and lovingly explains all the nuts-and-bolts of the workshop. (from a reader posted on Amazon.com)

Spelling in Use


This book is an excellent guide to teaching spelling in a new and more productive way. There are many concrete, useable examples and it is written in an easily comprehendable form. It is interesting, intelligent, and practical for the everyday classroom. This is obviously a compilation of many years of experience, rather than a theory that has gone untested. Hooray for educators like these who watch children and are not afraid to try new things!