Monday, November 21, 2016

Mr. Tanen’s Ties- Creating Patterns & Designers in First Grade

I love hearing from teachers to learn how they creatively use my books in their classroom curriculum.  Mrs. Cora Turner, a first grade teacher from Evergreen Elementary School in Drayton, Valley Alberta Canada, used my books Mr. Tanen’s Ties, Mr Tanen’s Tie Trouble and Mr. Tanen’s Ties Rule to introduce the students to patterns and designing.
Mrs.Turner reading Mrs. Tanen's Ties to her first graders

Over the course of several weeks, students in her class became clothing designers and designed a tie with a repeating simple pattern for Mr. Greg Wedman, their Deputy Superintendent. The unit began with a study of different kinds of patterns with 3-4 attributes.  After reading Mr. Tanen's Ties, Mr. Wedman came to the classroom to share his magnificent tie collection. The students began studying and sharing patterns, (including keeping a pattern design book). They then interviewed Mr. Wedman to find out personal information to help them design him THE perfect tie. Finally they designed and colored a one-of-a-kind tie. The project culminated with a “Tie Celebration” where the students got to share their ties with the class. Mr. Wedman capped off the project by reading another Mr. Tanen Tie Book.

Mr. Wedman surrounded by students, all with ties!


Thanks to all the students for sharing their awesome ties! A big thank you to Mrs. Cora Turner and Mr. Wedman for developing this creative project and encouraging important skills including; pattern design, critical thinking, communication skills and problem solving. You may even have encouraged your students to seek careers in art and design....(and maybe writing too!)

Much Thanks- Maryann


Their AWESOME TIES!
(All photos used by permission of Evergreen Elementary. All rights reserved.)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Cats In Hats

This is my illustration which is included in the "Cats In Hats" Exhibit at the 
Springfield Museums to honor Dr. Seuss and celebrate the soon to be opened
 THE AMAZING WORLD OF DR. SEUSS Museum. 
My piece, along with 45 other amazing works by talented 
Children's Book Illustrators are on view NOW. 
The Exhibit runs until April 2017- Springfield Museums, Springfield, MA

Friday, September 23, 2016

New Janine Book- Give Away!

Being a Winner is not always about being Number One 
is the message in Janine and the Field Day Finishwhich publishes on Oct 10.  
It’s another inspirational story based on the childhood experiences 
of the REAL Janine, my daughter, Janine Leffler.
   THE BACK STORY   
The event that inspired the book was actually not on a field BUT in a pool. It went like this…because of CP (cerebral palsy) Janine had difficulty with all sports. When she was about 8 yrs old, after years of physical therapy and private swimming lessons, she finally learned to swim. At the local pool “Swim Meet” she was determined to swim one length of the pool. It was a relay race. Janine was dead last and soon the only child left in the pool. Most people cheered her on…but I heard several negative comments…”Who let her on the team?” “Now they‘re going to lose”. As a parent, I was saddened by these remarks. When Janine touched the end of the pool, we were all thrilled, especially Janine. She did it!  I then noticed that several kids were crying because they didn’t win. That was the moment that stuck with me. For Janine and for many children, it is not about winning…it’s about finishing… it’s about good sportsmanship and supporting each other…it’s about trying your best. In Janine and the Field Day Finish you’ll discover the true meaning of a WINNER. 
We hope you like it!
Review from Booklist:
"With a heartening lesson about friendship, competition, and what constitutes winning, this encouraging picture book nicely demonstrates the value of confidence and generosity."  

      BOOK GIVEAWAY      
To celebrate the publishing of Janine and the Field Day Finish we are sponsoring Book Giveaways in October through this blog and soon on Goodreads.

GIVEAWAY:  3- TWO BOOKS sets!  
(signed copies of BOTH Janine Books: Janine & Janine and the Field Day Finish.)

HOW TO ENTER:   Send an email to MCLEFFLER@aol.com
SUBJECT LINE:     BLOG BOOK GIVEAWAY #1
DRAWING DATE:   OCT 10, 2016 
HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! -  We would love it if you’d help us spread the word about our books and our message by sharing this blog on Facebook, tweet about it, write a review or just tell a friend! 
THANKS!

Be Spectacular!
Maryann & Janine

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Happy Spring.


JANINE'S Field Day Finish won't publish till Fall 2016...
but we are thinking warm weather and SPRING.
Janine is ready for Field Day...She even added a "J" to her shirt.
(Did you know?...the REAL Janine's nickname was J9!)
I look forward to sharing the NEW JANINE book with you.
Stay tuned.





Thursday, December 10, 2015

Traditions Continue- Merry 'Together' Christmas


Growing up in a big Italian family, Christmas was always about family and FOOD!
My parents instilled in all of us the joy of being together. We still carry on the Italian Christmas Eve dinner tradition of the “The Feast of the Seven Fishes”. (Yes- we count them!) The most treasured gifts were always the “homemade” foods and presents.
This year, as I do every year, I carefully unwrapped the homemade ornaments and place them on our tree. This simple act was what sparked the idea for my book,” A Homemade Together Christmas”. The book is dedicated to my mother, Rose, who taught us that being together is the best gift of all. Though she won’t be sitting at our dinner table this Christmas Eve, she’ll be there, in our hearts as we celebrate togetherness. - 
(P.S.-Mom, we miss you. Guess what? -Kristin will be making your homemade butter-horn cookies!- Traditions continue!)  Have a Merry “Together” Christmas all!---OX Maryann
A Christmas Eve-Past
My Mom- Rose 
Kristin Making my mom's famous Butter Horns!
Homemade Ornaments on our tree.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Holidays means Togetherness


Here's my brand new Christmas book:
REVIEW:
"A heartwarming Christmas-morning finale crystalizes the story's theme of togetherness, as the presents are enjoyed equally by all. Playful details in Cocca-Leffler's festive watercolors--Luca's impractical gift ideas scribbled on sticky notes; hair curlers Momma wears but scarcely needs--add a touch of    spice to the sweetness." Publishers Weekly

Download a Free Activity Sheet for A Homemade together Christmas

Warm Holiday Wishes!     Maryann

Monday, April 20, 2015

Have Book-Will Travel... IN & TX

I recently visited Battle Ground Elementary School in Indiana and received an unexpected "Royal" Welcome.  Thank you all for a great School Visit.
 JANINE graced the school's entrance 
My ROYAL Subjects

The Teacher's Pirate Skit...with me as the "Princess!" What a welcome! Fun!

My book "Rain Brings Frogs" inspired one of many projects.
What does RAIN bring in Indiana? ....I guess Tornados!
From Indiana, I made my way to the Texas Library Association Conference, where I met so many friendly Texan Librarians. 'You All' were great! Thanks for welcoming JANINE.


Signing JANINE at my publisher, Albert Whitman's booth.
I did dodge a few tornados and I'm now home gearing up for a few more local visits. Thanks Kids, Teachers and Librarians for embracing JANINE.
Remember- Be Your Spectacular Self!
Thanks-
Maryann