Bloggers Read Across the Globe (BRAG): Promoting Children’s Literacy — March 2012

BRAG LOBO 350I love children’s picture books.

Before I could read, colorful illustrations were magnets for my eyes. I loved the images so much that I made up stories to go along with them. Little by little, I discerned the actual words. My big sister taught me a few letters, starting with “B” and “A.” That helped me decipher the word “beast” in the classic story, Beauty and the Beast. From 2 letters, a world opened, and I haven’t stopped traveling there since.

I’ll always be thankful for the gift of literacy. Many children across the world aren’t as fortunate. 

Research shows that when adults introduce reading to children, discuss stories, ask questions, explain the meaning of words, and point out letters, they promote language development, comprehension of content, and a better understanding of language — all of which result in literacy success. Unfortunately, 37% of children in America arrive at kindergarten lacking the skills needed for lifetime learning. 

This is why I’m passionate about promoting children’s reading and literacy.

Recently, I learned about the National Education Association’s Read Across America Project. Started in 1997, this program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources. The project starts every year on March 2 — the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Read Across America inspired me to launch a children’s literacy awareness project, “Bloggers Read Across the Globe (BRAG).” 

The official BRAG kick-off starts here, Tuesday, February 28, with more detailed information, including the daily schedule. Starting February 29, I’ll be guest posting on many wonderful bloggers’ websites with topics related to literacy, writing, illustrating, publishing and marketing children’s books. My hope is that we’ll learn fantastic ideas from each other about children and reading, and share thoughts and comments from many perspectives.

Participate in BRAG and qualify for a GRAND FINALE bonus to be announced on February 29, 2012 — Leap into Literacy Day! Here’s how to join the event:
  • Follow the guest posts by leaving a comment, question, or suggestion about that day’s post.
  • Insert the BRAG logo on your blog or website with a link back to this post. 
  • Introduce yourself here — tell us something about yourself and share information about literacy in your part of the world.
  • It would be awesome if you wrote your own BRAG blog and linked back to this post.
I’ve lined up some very special offers, giveaways and bonuses for participants. Here are some samples: 
  • Children’s book giveaways from award winning authors
  • Free consultation with an award winning book designer
  • Free consultation with a highly successful literary agent
  • Free consultation with a top online book marketing expert
  • Downloadable reading tips for parents and adults
  • Your selected children’s book featured by BRAG

Many thanks to the children’s book authors and industry professionals participating in the 2012 inaugural BRAG! I also want to thank my wonderful team for helping me pull this together, including Frank Thompson, BRAG logo designer and Co-Illustrator of my children’s book, Sunbelievable.

That’s it for now! BRAG here!! BRAG often!!



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  1. What a wonderful idea!

  2. Good Morning, I am so pleased to find you. Yes I am here to help. I annually support my local literacy program and be happy to offer Darby’s Story and Bangle Bear for the book giveways. I am working on the blog site for this event. Thank you for the opportunity .

    • Wonderful! I visited your web site and read about your books and what you do to support literacy. Thank you so much for offering Darby’s Story and Bangle Bear as giveaways That’s very generous and much appreciated! Would you like to contribute an article to the BRAG tour during March? You might write about your books and efforts to encourage literacy. Let me know!

      Jo Ann

      • Thank you Jo Ann, posting an article for BRAG, would be great! Each year I have made the effort to encourage family reading. This year is no different, participating in Read Across America. A post about the books with an encouraging word to inspire pet adoption, and how the stars in the books have their blended family issues.. : ) ~ Martha

        • Hi Martha! I love your idea about encouraging family reading with a guest post by you “to inspire pet adoption, and how the stars in the books have their blended family issues.” Do you have an article/post I could take a look at? Also, would need a 50 word bio, link to your site, and a photo of you and/or your book. Please send to me at: I’ll follow up with suggested date for the post, my bio, intro and link to place on your site. Thanks so much… eager to receive your information! Jo Ann

      • Donnie Kanter Winokur and I would be happy to offer 5 copies of our Audio Book Nuzzle and 5 copies of our soft-cover Nuzzle – Love Between a Boy and His Service Dog and help participate however you need in your program. Thanks for making this available. We are hear to spread early literacy.

        • How fabulous — thank you so much!! Your website is wonderful, amazing and inspiring… can’t wait to read more about your story and books. I have experience with FASD through a community of children adopted from Russia. I’ll announce your participation and link to your fabulous website. How would you like to make the books available?

          A very heartfelt THANK YOU!!

          Jo Ann

  3. Hi JoAnn. My name is Kelly and I really admire your enthusiasm to support and promote children’s reading and literacy! I am a rookie blogger but would love to show my support and participate in BRAG. At I write about learning how to be a mommy, one children’s book at a time. It’s always an adventure! Kelly

    • Hi Kelly! I’m so happy to receive your comment! I’m excited that BRAG is generating lots of interest… Would you be willing to contribute an article from your blog about a literacy topic or something about what you’re doing to promote literacy? I’d love to have you join in!

      Looks like I have a pretty full calendar for March, but have just started double booking, so let me know as soon as possible how we can work together! I’d post your article on my website and link back to yours. The day of your post, you’d announce your article and ask readers to join the BRAG tour, linking to my website. How does this sound? I would need a 50 word bio and photo to add at the end of your post. I think your blog looks great!

      I look forward to hearing from you! Thanks again! Jo Ann

  4. Hi Jo Ann,
    I just found your website today. I am looking forward to the BRAG series. I am new to writing/illustrating children’s books, but it has been on my heart to write/illustrate a children’s book. Thanks! – Christina Moyer

  5. Hi and thanks for posting my BRAG article! Jo Ann