Today I am presenting at the conference of the International Literacy Association in Austin, Texas, with Janet (Wong), author Kathi Appelt, and librarian Amy McFadden. This time, our focus is on reading with pets-- a practice that has been around at least 20 years (in an organized way), but seems to be having a big moment once again. I'm setting the stage and sharing some key research findings about the benefits of pairing children and therapy dogs. Janet (Wong) talks about how collaboration helps us be more innovative in trying many things, including reading with pets. And we'll both be sharing excerpts from our book, Pet Crazy, of course. Kathi Appelt talks about her beautiful picture book, Mogie, about a (real) therapy dog who became the heart of a Houston hospital. Amy McFadden shares her experiences with Barking Book Buddies, an Austin program that pairs kids and dogs reading together. And we'll even have volunteers from that program attending WITH THERAPY DOGS! Here are some of my slides on the background of pet reading programs.
Be sure to check out Heidi's Poetry Friday blog post at My Juicy Little Universe about her week at the poetry institute at the Poetry Foundation. It is full of good ideas! Here's the link.