Authentic learning can’t start too young. Exposing children to books and reading should start the day they are born. As they grow, let them explore and enjoy books that interest them, on their level.
Having a rich reading environment for children is hugely important. Not only having lots of high interest reading material available, but having care-givers that model reading as well.
And remember, reading is reading. It doesn’t need to be Shakespeare for a child to grow as a reader. I am a voracious reader, mostly sci-fi. I don’t believe I would be the reader I am without sci-fi. No offense to the Great Bard, but not my cup of English tea. I’ve been reading sci-fi since I was old enough to hold a book. And now I write it!
And yep – that is my book, Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars. And yep – it is upside down! (Authentic Exploration)
Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars just won its sixth award!
2019 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards Winner
2019 Independent Press Award® Distinguished Favorite
2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards Shortlist
2018 Story Monsters Approved
2018 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Winner
2018 Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient
Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars by Ellie Smith, Illustrated by Eyen Johnson, is available on Amazon.
I am really excited to announce that Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars won a Distinguished Favorite honor from the Independent Press Awards in the Picture Book Category.
This international competition is judged by industry experts and had entries from around the world. Eyen and I are truly honored!
Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars is available on Amazon. (Read for free on Kindle Unlimited)
Eyen read our book Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars to a preschool class today. They are studying space. How cool is that!
Royal Dragonfly Second Place: Best Illustrations Honorable Mentions: Children’s Picture Books 5 & Under, Children’s Picture Books 6 & Over, New Author (Fiction)
Story Monster Approved
Chanticleer International Shortlisted
Available on Amazon
Available on Amazon
A friend asked for ideas on how to use Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars in her classroom, and I thought this was a great question!
I came up with two ideas.
First of all, I hope it is a great book to use to support the study of the planets in the primary grades. All of the information in the book about Mars is factual. (I have space scientists in my family and had all my facts triple checked!) I have heard from folks who bought the book, that it is a great conversation starter for kids about space.
Another use for the book would be that it was written by a teacher and illustrated by her former student. Neither of us are professionals, and neither of us has done anything like this before. I hope it would be an authentic inspiration for students to write their own books about what they are passionate about. You don’t have to get your book published and sell it on Amazon for it to be a real book. With technology today, it is fairly simple to produce a book to share with friends. Holding a “book fair” to showcase student work would be a great way to present final products.
I would also be honored to communicate with students who are working on writing their own books. I am happy to email, Skype, or visit in person – if you happen to live in Central Pennsylvania, the DC suburbs, or any place I could use as an excuse for a good trip – Venice would definitely be doable! If you are in the DC area, I could also see if my illustrator is available. He is pretty busy with college, but I might be able to get him to join me on a visit. Again, it’s those interactions with real people that have accomplished real things that make the experience authentic.
*If you use Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars in your classroom, please let me know how!
Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars is a
2018 Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient!
Available on Amazon
Tex the Explorer: Journey Around the Earth
Tex the Explorer: Journey Around the Fifty States
Tex the Explorer: Journey Around the Solar System
Tex the Explorer: Journey to the Moon
Tex the Explorer: Journey to the Oceans
Tex the Explorer: Journey through the Alphabet
Tex the Explorer: Journey through Numbers