Trade book Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Susanna Leonard Hill

Susanna HillToday, I’m pleased to be hosting children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill. This is Day 3 of her virtual book tour through the National Writing for Children Center. Susanna will be talking about how her books can be used in a classroom setting.

Trade book Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Susanna Leonard Hill

I am in awe of teachers.

The patience, good humor, intelligence and caring that go into a career in teaching are monumental.

The job they do is one of the most important jobs there is and every teacher I’ve met is more than up to the task.

So I don’t think I have much to tell them about using books in their classrooms 

As far as my own books, though, I can suggest that PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS could be included in a Groundhog Day unit for preschool through Grade 2.  The story illustrates what happens on Groundhog Day, and back matter is appended for ease of lesson expansion in the classroom.  I also have quite a few free downloadable activities on my website which teachers might like to incorporate including coloring pages, paper doll kits, mazes, word searches, madlibs, library activities, and classroom guides.  (Please see  PHYLLIS can also be fun for signs of spring activities and classroom predictions about 6 more weeks of winter or early spring.

Most of my other books can also be used in the classroom for one unit or another.  APRIL FOOL, PHYLLIS!, a sequel to PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS, is about April Fools’ Day and could be incorporated into a unit on that holiday, or on spring.

NOT YET, ROSE is about a little girl waiting for a new baby and could be included in a unit on families.

CAN’T SLEEP WITHOUT SHEEP is about a child who has trouble falling asleep and could be used in conjunction with discussions about bedtime and imagination and problem solving.

NO SWORD FIGHTING IN THE HOUSE is about brothers who take their mother’s instructions a little too literally and could be used in conjunction with talking about actual meaning vs. intended meaning, puns, or language.

ALPHABEDTIME! (forthcoming from Nancy Paulsen Books in 2015) will be able to be used for younger children learning the alphabet.

As a picture book writer, I like to see parents and teachers use picture books and expand on what they have to offer.  I run a weekly feature on my blog called Perfect Picture Books.  Each week twenty or more new books are added to our alphabetized and themed lists.  The books are always ones that are highly recommended by the reviewer and they are always accompanied by expansion activities to make life a little easier for parents, teachers, and homeschoolers looking for a way to include picture books in lesson plans or daily activities.  (Please see  (I’m in the process of updating to a more user-friendly format, so please be forgiving as the transfer takes place – not all the books are currently on the lists.)

I hope you’ll come visit! 

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHYLLIS Susanna (Leonard) Hill is the award winning author of nearly a dozen books for children, including Punxsutawney Phyllis (A Book List Children’s Pick and Amelia Bloomer Project choice), No Sword Fighting In The House (a Junior Library Guild selection), Can’t Sleep Without Sheep (a Children’s Book of The Month), and Not Yet, Rose (a Gold Mom’s Choice Award Winner.)

Her books have been translated into French, Dutch, German, and Japanese, with one hopefully forthcoming in Korean.

To check out tomorrow’s hosting link, please visit the National Writing for Children Center site:


19 thoughts on “Trade book Tips for Teachers from Children’s Author Susanna Leonard Hill

  1. Susanna, your books are a nice blend of entertainment and teaching, which makes them very adaptable for primary classroom teachers. In addition, you have gone out of your way to provide an online hub for teachers to visit when looking for more books to use with their students. It is nice for teachers to know that they have wonderful allies in children’s book authors!

    • Thank you so much, Martha! I’m glad you feel that way. I hope as time goes by more people will come across Perfect Picture Books and make use of it – everyone works so hard every week to make it a valuable resource!

  2. Susanna, I love how you showed that all your books can serve to help kids at school! 🙂

    • Thanks, Tracy! I hope people actually find use for them sometimes. There are so many great books out there to choose from!

  3. Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book feature on her site is such a great resource, and it’s easily searchable by topic. I just did my first author talk at a local school (even though I am pre-published) and it’s amazing how kids will soak up picture books, even at older ages (I was teaching a third grade class how to write a picture book).

    • It’s so true, Sylvia. The older kids love PBs surprisingly. I think it’s because they have so much to offer in such a beautiful and accessible way. Kids often get pushed onto chapter books, but they still love PBs 🙂

  4. Picture books must be the best teaching tool out there! I love Susanna’s books and wish I had them when my kids were little (Not Yet Rose was sorely needed for my older son who wasn’t thrilled about becoming a big brother). 🙂

    • I agree completely, Teresa! Picture books have so much to offer. And you know that quote about writing the book you want to read? That’s where NOT YET ROSE came from – my daughter had a hard time with my son 🙂

  5. Susanna, I love using your books in my classroom( 2nd grade)! Thanks for the resources! Thanks to Karen for such an informative post!

  6. I agree with Susanna in that I’m also in awe of teachers in general. And yes, Susanna has wonderful resources and information on her website for teachers, parents and writers. She’s a wonderful and generous author and teacher!

  7. Karen, thank you so very much for hosting me on your blog today! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. And I’m so glad if you liked the resources. My most sincere apologies for arriving late – I didn’t know until today that the post was up. I will try to spread the word a bit, albeit belatedly. Many thanks again!

  8. Wow! Susanna has so many great resources for teachers and parents who want to “teach” through picture books (which kids love).

    Thanks for sharing!