Sunday, June 25, 2023

6/25/23 Extra Ezra

Post 2- 6/25/23

Good morning my friends!

Today is my birthday, so I thought I'd share with you my current favorite book!

My FAVORITE children's/picture book at the moment is called Extra Ezra Makes An Extra-Special Friend, written by Kara LaReau and illustrated by Vincent X Kirsch.

Ezra loves to add his zest for life to everything and share it with everyone. One day, he meets a new student at school who doesn't respond to his normal zest the way he hopes. This book touched my heart.

There is a magic that begins when a child sees themselves in a book they read. We talk a lot about the importance of children of all types being able to see someone they can relate to or that looks like them in the books they read. "Extra Ezra Makes An Extra-Special Friend" was that book for me. Being a fabulous "extra" person myself,  I felt seen.  Ezra does things in a big way, with lots of sparkles and bright colors.   If you've met me, you are fully aware that the bigger and sparkly-er and more colorful, the better!

At one point in the book, Ezra asks his mom a question that broke my heart. "Mama, am I too much?"  I can't tell you how many times as a young adult (and even now), I ask myself this question.  I remember being in first grade and my sweet teacher, Miss F. had to take me into the hallway and explain as gently as she could that my best friend needed "space." I couldn't understand what that meant, only that I was supposed to leave her alone. It broke my heart. 

However, Ezra's mom tells him that he is just enough, and teaches him that people receive love and friendship in many ways. Ezra takes this new insight to heart. 

"Extra Ezra Makes An Extra-Special New Friend" is a beautiful story of being yourself and learning to show love to people in a way that means the most to them. Several years ago, I had the pleasure of reading Gary Chapman's "The Five Love Languages: for Single People." Much like Ezra learning from his mom, I learned that people give and receive love in different ways, and that by taking the time to understand someone's love languages, I can better build and support relationships.

I am so thankful that I came across this book and decided to give it a try. It is a treasured part of my book library now, and I look forward to sharing it with my next class this coming school year.  I hope you check it out for yourself! 

See you soon! :)

Saturday, May 20, 2023


    Welcome to Mrs. Clifford: The Big Read (Red) Blog! My name is Savannah Clifford. I have been teaching elementary students for 10 years, and have two littles of my own under 5. I have a great love of books, especially children’s books. I recently felt inspired to write about the wonderful books that I find and share them with my friends. I hope you will help me spread the word about these fabulous finds by sharing my blog with your friends. 

    Anyone who truly knows me knows that my favorite holiday is Halloween, and that I believe there is no wrong time of year to enjoy it.  In honor of that, the first book I’ve chosen to share is “Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party,” written and illustrated by Erin Barker. This short and sweet masterpiece came across my way as I perused books online. I bought it not knowing truly what it would be, and I was delighted by the treasure I had stumbled upon. 

    The book counts up to 13 while describing Mr. Pumpkin’s friends and the goodies they bring to his party.  Ms. Barker’s beautiful illustrations present a *chef’s kiss* of my most dear Halloween and dapper dreams mixed together as she introduces each of Mr. Pumpkin’s guests. The book is a perfect autumn (or anytime) bedtime story. The rhyme scheme gently rocks the reader and listener into cozy reverie as the story winds down to its close.

    My oldest little has enjoyed and asked for “Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party” again and again! If you’d like to know more about “Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party,” you can visit Erin Barker’s website here!  Her illustrations are lighthearted and lovely, and I hope to explore her other books soon.

6/25/23 Extra Ezra

Post 2- 6/25/23 Good morning my friends! Today is my  birthday , so I thought I'd share with you my current favorite book! My FAVORITE c...