Resources for Teachers

IS IT OVER? Resources for Teachers, Librarians, Families

All authors and illustrators of pictures books, at least the many whom I’ve met and worked with, hope above all that their books will be read aloud to a young person. I am on team READ ALOUD as the absolute first choice. There are many other ways to use quality picture books to enhance reading, listening, vocabulary, craft, and questioning skills, but please start with a heartfelt READ ALOUD:

STEP ONE: Read and share the book fully, in its entirety, without interruptions, before interrupting to pull out individual elements of the text, art, or story construction. In other words; HONOR THE BOOK as a whole. An entire team of professionals contributing to making it function at its best that way.

NEXT: Ask this one question:

What do you want to say about this book?

Bite your tongue, allowing enough time to nudge first thoughts and elaborations before inserting anything vaguely related to “lesson” elements.

THEN: Respond with your own thoughts about the book, indicating what connected or confused or delighted you.

FINALLY: Consider some of the ideas on this resource page provided, and let your imagination and expertise take you and your learners as far as you wish.


Thank you for your interest in this book and for sharing it with your young readers. Around the time of release I participated in several blog interviews that are linked on the “Books” tab. They might be of interest, too, in considering the “story behind the story” for IS IT OVER?


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I enjoy interacting with all readers, but especially with young readers. Book talks are the best possible way to dive deeply into books. I make that claim based on decades of classroom experiences with many ages. I am proud to provide teaching guides for the three titles in the Norway trilogy here, as well as an adaptive guide for readers/learners needing more support.

Please do NOT consider the content of these guides as “assignments.”  Ideas included are offered as suggested starting points and should be used, ignored, or adjusted to meet needs of individual readers.

Just click on the downloadable PDF file for the material you want to consider.

For a short description of some programs I offer, click on the file below. I can customize programs to support education or organizational interests and objectives, but this provides a good starting point.

Visits and programs (PDF)

I welcome suggestions for other discussion possibilities and encourage teachers to share activities they’ve developed. Please click here to contact me. Before your ideas are shared here or in programs, I will contact you for your permission and provide full credit.


Standards develop from grade to grade, but the ELA Literacy Standards for fourth and fifth grade provided in the guides reflect the nature of the standards that are addressed in the above study guides and are well-suited to students in higher grades.

Suggested content and readability levels for ODIN’S PROMISE, BJORN’S GIFT, and MARI’S HOPE are grades five through eight, although they may be well-suited to individuals younger and older, including adults. The ability to read and engage with the stories depends, to a great extent, on background and interests. Occasional Norwegian and German expressions are supported by context but language-specific glossaries are provided in back matter in ach book.

Estimated readability for each title was established using this source.