“Dear Marcy and Jackie” is a column by two teacher/writers (us!) that runs on the Huffington Post. Check out what a parent asked us about encouraging her son to read. Can reading to a dog, or (excuse us, Bowzer) a cat help with reading skills? What do you think?
Q. My son, who is in second grade, struggles with reading in school. When I ask him to read at home, he says he doesn’t like to read. My sister told me her daughter improved by reading to dogs at her school. Have you ever heard of this? My son loves animals, especially our two cats. Do you believe reading to pets could help him?
Read our answer to this questions and others here.
Bowzer’s brother Sunnyman is waiting for you to read him a story!
Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush is a free Kindle book for just this week! Be sure to get your copy here Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush for Kindle
A free book, me-wow!
Lola Zola and Queen Pauline
Lola Zola’s 11 year-old life turned upside down like a monkey the day “Tween Queen Pauline” and her glittery bangles clanged into town, special delivery from Malibu.
“I wonder if she plays ping pong or soccer,” mused Lola, sticking her head out the upstairs window in her best friend’s bedroom. Melanie’s décor was bubble gum pink, not exactly the color of a soccer uniform or ping pong paddle. Way feminine.
Life on Salt Flat Road was usually …
dullsville but today the newcomer’s arrival in the city of Mirage caused tweens to pop their heads out windows. Lola’s neck hurt from popping out so much.
“I don’t think she’s a soccer jock, “said Melanie, cranking her head out the same window. “Check out her rhinestone tiara. Oh my God, oh my God, she’s like all sparkly and princessy.” ~ from page one of Lola Zola and Queen Pauline
Last Friday night the library at El Marino Language School in Culver City was filled to capacity with students and parents, there to participate in the “Lola Zola and the Lemonade Crush” Readers Theater. It was the school’s Tenth Annual Literary Night, and the culmination of a fabulous week-long book fair.
What fun! The authors, Marcy Winograd and Jackie Hirtz, read from the first chapter of their middle grade novel and then… students volunteered to act out the roles of 11 year-old Lola Zola, her best friend Melanie Papadakis, Lola’s rival-in-chief – sometimes crush Buck Wembly, his side-kick Hot Dog Hernandez, brainy fellow classmate Samantha, and teacher Mrs. Rosenberg. The audience chimed in for lively chants of “Lola Zola for class president,” and the requisite “boo’s” and “yay’s.” Some of the students gathered for a photo at the end of the raucous reading before heading off to the cafetorium for lemonade and a book signing.
Special thanks go to Rosanne Giza, an amazing parent-volunteer who organized the Lola Zola authors’ event!
Eleven-year-old Lola Zola panics when her parents announce… “We were laid-off.”
“Not fired, Lola, laid-off—from the auto plant.”
Either way, it’s bad news. How will Lola rescue her parents and tail-less cat Bowzer from the jobless blues? Then the idea of all ideas hits her square in the noggin like a lemon seed spit at one hundred miles per hour: a lemonade stand!
Lola goes to work with the squirt and slurp assistance of her best friend, freckle-counting Melanie Papadakis. When Lola’s class rival — Charles Wembly III aka, Slime Bucket—hears what the twister sisters are up to, he opens his own limo-nade stand out of the back of his father’s limousine — right across the street from Lola. It’s bad enough Lola’s mother might go to work for Slime Bucket’s father — Mr. Stinky Breath. Now, Buck is stealing her customers with an aggressive ad campaign.
A serious game of one-upsmanship, “corporate” chicanery, and worker rebellion ensues—turning the town of Mirage upside down and sideways. One exaggerated claim leads to another until word spreads that Lola’s lemonade has secret powers. Can it really erase wrinkles, cure allergies, and promote world peace?
Intrigue and spy organizations run amok until closely kept secrets are revealed and Lola must decide what it means to win. Just when Lola is about to declare victory, she discovers Buck isn’t the enemy after all, and may even be a friend — if not a crush! Is this possible?
Let’s just say anything can happen in a desert town called Mirage.