Monday, March 30, 2020

ReFoReMo Day 21: Reading for Research in Abnormal Times

by Founders Kirsti Call and Carrie Charley Brown

It’s been quite a month of unexpected changes. We are all experiencing this pandemic from different angles. We think about our ReFoReMo community every day and we hope everyone is healthy.

Kirsti: After two weeks of pressing pause on my life, I’m realizing that it’s okay that I’m not as productive as I’d like to be. There’s nothing like having five kids home to put a damper on writing. And getting interrupted every five minutes doesn’t help. Now may not be the time to write or revise my first novel.  But it is the time to read and enjoy novels that other people have written. And it is the time to savor the magical moments of this forced family time. Plus, reading ReFoReMo books every morning with my youngest feels sacred.




Carrie: At the beginning of the year, I moved my picture books to my classroom. The collection that I relied on as a writer everyday was… gone. When I sat down to write, something was missing from my reading for research routine. With schools closing, and instruction happening from home now, I recently moved my entire picture book collection back to my comfort zone. Ahhh... I can breathe again! Even though teaching days are now filled with nonstop customer service and data entry, I am still able to connect with my students through Zoom story times. We are simply letting go of anxieties through story. Take this opportunity to enjoy your personal collections every day with no pressure to write, unless you are able. 


Tomorrow, we will open the Rafflecopters to registered participants. We realize that your research might have been interrupted by unexpected happenings. That is okay. We’re so happy we spent this month together. Reading and researching has been one way to de-stress. We are also incredibly thankful for our guest educators and our fellow ReFoReMo teammates. Best wishes continuing your reading routine all year long!

How are you reading in these abnormal times? 

Carrie Charley Brown and Kirsti Call

162 comments:

  1. Your research month has been an oasis of enjoyment in this month of uncertainty and heartache for many. We are safe in our home - I must ensure tho that my hubby doesn't get covid. I have read so many wonderful mentor books. And it has inspired me to gather ideas, to brush off some stories and even start a new one. Thank you so much for your guidance and learnings from this month.

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  2. Thank you. This is the first time I've participated in ReFoReMo and it has been such a joy to open the posts this month and discover new texts and learn so much.
    I have been so inspired by the writing, the illustrations and the enthusiasm.
    Wishing both of you and your families and all the very best of health.

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  3. Kristi and Carrie, in addition to giving us something to focus on (very important), you and your guests (plus participants) helped me realize that I am not alone in lacking the bandwidth & motivation to write. That it is okay to be reading & participating in family (even if remotely) & self care. That was a very precious gift. Thank you! Hope you and your families stay safe & healthy!

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    1. Thank you for participating! So grateful for our writing community!

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    1. Dearest fellow ReFoReMo'ers! This is my first time, as well, and I so appreciate having this challenging work to look forward to every day. Reading the mentor texts and analyzing the illustrations has been extremely helpful in my own writing and illustrating work. What a calming distraction. I'm so grateful to be a part of this community. Thank you all!

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    2. That is wonderful to hear, Caren. Keep up the routine as you can and stay safe!

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  5. Thank you for your time in preparing a list mentor texts and authors I may have not discovered otherwise. I look forward to rereading my notes, comments, and suggestions. March 2020 will have a lasting memory!

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    1. Hooray! The educational posts will always be here for you, as well. Stay healthy!

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  6. Carrie and Kirsti, thank you for everything that you do. This certainly has been a memorable month. I was in the library picking up what turned out to be my last set of ReFoReMo books when our governor announced all the closings. I picked up a few more interesting picture books to tide me over. Through ReFoReMo I’ve developed some good habits! Stay safe and well.

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  7. ReFoReMo has been uplifting. I have new mentor texts to find, new lenses in how to read them, and renewed inspiration for story ideas. Now, when I will read these is anybody's guess but I'm hoping not before long. Until then, I look for online reviews,YouTube readlouds,author interviews, Amazon's "Look inside", and reread my own library. Thank you, Kirsti and Carrie for another year.

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  8. I was disappointed ReFoReMo is at the end. No list of books today. I glanced at the date. End of March. Noooooo. Thank you, both, again, for another great year!

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    1. Hopefully, the yearlong blog also challenges you to stay plugged in to mentor texts, Tina. Stay healthy!

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  9. Who would have ever thought that the libraries would close due to a pandemic a mere month ago?! I've been taking advantage of the wonderful authors that are so generously reading their books out loud during this crisis. Thank you for continuing to inspire us, Carrie and Kirsti! Your hard work is so appreciated!

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  10. Thank you both for providing this month year after year, but especially this year, as it provided a much needed distraction from news and worries.

    "Even though teaching days are now filled with nonstop customer service and data entry, I am still able to connect with my students through Zoom story times. We are simply letting go of anxieties through story." Carrie, I feel like you are describing my days exactly. Thanks to Reforemo, I actually have tons of books at home. Since my school closed with little warning and I don't have a car, getting my classroom library home was not feasible. My class has enjoyed several Reforemo books together this past week. It was much needed. Be well, everyone!

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    1. You are doing a great job, Sara! Stories form lifelong connections!

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  11. I've had a few days when I found it difficult to keep up with ReFoReMo each day - but I'm determined to catch up with all the ones I've missed before the end of March! Thank you for all the inspiration and thoughtful posts - so many great books I would otherwise probably never have come across!

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    1. It's challenging for sure! Especially in the first week. But it isn't the number of books as much as it is what we glean from the ones we have time to read. Keep up the research, Claire!

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    2. I will! It's been fantastic to think about so many amazing books I wouldn't otherwise have come across and read all the inspiring posts from your contributors - thank you for all your hard work in organizing this!

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  12. Thank you for exposing us to so many wonderful texts over the past month- it's been a welcome distraction during a very trying time. Some of these books were new to me, while some were old favorites, but even those were seen with new perspective through ReFoReMo. This was the first time I participated and I already look forward to next year!

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  13. Dear Kristi and Carrie, I began this month full of enthusiasm but leave it struggling to research or even read some days. Your guest bloggers have made this a much happier month and even though I didn't read consistently, this community always gives hope, friendship, and new ways to think about our work. Ty for another year. ReFoReMo-ers, wishing you and yours heath and creative days.

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    1. Wishing the same for you, Kathy! You are a bright light in our community!

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  14. Add a person not working outside the bone, i can use this time to write and read. I am using this time to read to my children in new ways. Still connecting through reading but in new ways. You and your families remain in my thoughts and prayers. Many thanks for all you're done for so many.

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  15. Thank you so much for organizing this month of reading! This is my third year of participation and it did not disappoint. I looked forward to hearing from your guests each morning, learning new titles, and revisiting familiar titles with fresh eyes. Be well and stay healthy!

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    1. Fresh eyes are so important. Thanks for participating!

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  16. What a better time to spend with books. Thank you for the book list, inspiring guests and great advice and ways to think about books.
    I look forward to next year.
    Stay safe.

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  17. As always, this month of Reforemo has ended too soon! This year especially, it has provided a feeling of normalcy in a world slightly off-balance. Continue to learn from you both, as well as all the generous and supportive contributors and participants. Thanks for a most enjoyable month!!

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    1. Thanks for you thoughtful words, Marty. We are thankful to have you as part of our community. Stay healthy!

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  18. Thank you so much for this post. Reading to my children has been apart of our at house studies. I have loved that time. However once the closed our library it was hard to fine the text and be able to study it like I am used to. Watching it on the internet is not the same. And my writing has come to a complete halt because of the kids. Which is ok for now but I would like to fine the balance soon. Thanks again.

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    1. Finding balance and new normal is on my list of "to-do's" also, Jodie! Stay healthy!

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  19. Thank you so much for a great month. I look forward to reading the books I was unable to obtain when the libraries reopen. I have had a very hard time getting much writing done, and haven’t had the time to search online for the books.

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    1. Use what you have at home, Lynn. Search for perspective in everything you read. Be healthy at home.

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  20. Thanks for all the recommendations. Stay safe and healthy.

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  21. Thank you so much for Reading for Research. Before things here shut down, I had gone to my local library and took out a diverse selection of books from the Reading for Research list. I haven't been able to keep up as much as I was planning to, but I have definitely learned quite a bit.

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    1. We're so glad you feel like you've learned! I love learning from great books!

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  22. With the onslaught of a global pandemic, everyone's lives are disruppted;changing;looking to create a new norm. I've a few more ReFoReMo days to catch up on & I'm so thankful that I took the books out ahead of time! Since libraries are closed, including book drop off, I can not only reread a lot of posts w/ a new eye, but also share some of my faves w/ my kiddos online. TG i've a box of books to share, LOL! And thank you girls, for all that you do!

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    1. Yes! And as a librarian, each time I look at my overdue books, my stomach turns...I feel guilty. I've gone back to double-check the "keep the books at home" guideline more than once. I keep thinking that my fines are building. I am thankful that I can play catch-up with the books I checked out so long ago!

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    2. Thank you! So wonderful to have this community of readers and writers!

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  23. Yes, so grateful to have an at home library.

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    1. Sooo grateful for the books I have at home also!

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  24. I haven't had access to my library for the past two weeks, but I've been reading books on Hoopla and Libby and some of my fellow 12x12ers have sent me PDFs so I can review their books as well. Hope everyone is staying healthy!

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    1. Hooray for online resources and 12x12! Stay safe, Susan!

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  25. Thank you so much for this month of research! With so many challenges to getting any writing done, it's been wonderful to have the ReFoReMo books to delve into and explore, and my daughter has loved the books too. So a double win!

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  26. Thanks for ReFoReMo! This has been my morning reading and something to look forward to each week day, especially during this difficult time. :)

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  27. Hoping you and your families are both safe. Keep reading through the storm. Best, Lynne Marie

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  28. This certainly has been an interesting month. Glad to have had ReFoReMo to look forward to. Onward!

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  29. Kristi and Carrie, thank you for providing this oasis in uncertain times. You provided a way to stay grounded and maintain some semblance of normalcy, as well as much needed hope and inspiration for the days ahead.

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  30. Thank you so much to all the writers who shared their favorite mentor texts. I didn't get to read all of them due to the situation we are living in right now, but they are on my TBR list. ReFoReMo gave me something to look forward to each day!

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  31. Oh, my goodness! It has been all sorts of interrupted! I know I've had a much harder time concentrating. Last week I had 5 grands for homeschool (with help from my daughter-in-law) and it was survival camp. LOL. We even made a campfire for marshmallow toasting. But I digress. I was so glad that I have stacks of ReFoReMo books all over the RV. As I read them, I moved them to Jamie's house (daughter-in-law) where we have homeschool. She now has a very full shelf of great books. I've been choosing many to read with the youngest. I don't think they will go back to the library for quite some time. Thanks for all you do! Be calm and carry on, right? Thankful for good books to read during times like this.

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    1. We toasted marshmallows Saturday night! So thankful for you and the writing community and good books to read!

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  32. Carrie and Kirsti, thank you for being willing to devote so much time to prepare for this very special month, a true gift to us picture book writers. Thank you, too, for sharing your personal testimonies and giving us all opportunities to share. Another gift... a caring community. What a blessing! I will keep you all in my prayers in the coming months.
    Each morning this month while my husband, son and three grandsons were sleeping at my home, I have had my quiet time outside or in my car (often in McDonald’s parking lot, sipping a “to go” senior coffee). After I have spent time reading God’s Word and praying (getting daily bread), I have checked my email.
    I have honestly looked forward to reading The ReFoReMo post reviewing the books, instructional information, and comments. I have grown as a writer as I have spent time contemplating my response. On some weekends, I have gone back to ReFoReMo posts to glean more information.
    With my three young grandsons at home this month since their school is cancelled, I have definitely experienced challenges in focusing on my personal writing goals. I am learning to be more patient and flexible. I feel blessed though to have this unique opportunity to read to them and to enjoy life from a fresh perspective. My 9, 7, and 4 year old grandsons love to observe creatures in my yard. They are interested in informational fiction, creative nonfiction, and books that challenge their thinking.
    I love what I am learning from them! Do you know that a single ant can pull a worm for over 5 inches by itself? Tavis, my oldest grandson, shared that information with me yesterday.
    I can honestly say that this month, I am counting my blessings. It is fun to keep a thanksgiving journal and an observation nature journal. During this challenging time, I am learning to appreciate more the little things of life. It is truly a joy to discover life from a new perspective.

    Happy discovering, everyone.

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    1. Oh Brenda! Thank you for sharing this! I love how experiences like what we're going through give us a new perspective on gratitude...and I bet you get some great picture book ideas from having your grandsons home with you!

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  33. This is my first ReFoReMo. I’m glad I participated because I read so many picture books and learned about styles I wasn’t very familiar with like informational fiction. It is inspirational to me, too.

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  34. Thank you, Kirsti and Carrie for another month of great mentor texts and great posts filled with valuable information. I've enjoyed every minute of it and look forward to rereading all of the books. Stay healthy and safe!

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  35. Hi Kirsti & Carrie,
    I did not sign up this year but still participated by reading the suggested books - the ones I could take out before the libraries closed. Since I am still one of my dad's caregivers he gets to read them too, over and over until the library reopens. He doesn't remember reading them even once so it's working out fine.
    I am also reading novels I have had on hand to read in my own collection. Books are such wonderful friends!
    Thank you both for ReFoReMo - a fabulous idea I have enjoyed for a few years.
    Keep safe and well everyone! Love from Nova Scotia.

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  36. Hi Kristi and Carrie! I have appreciated your ReFoReMo posts this month. Like many, my energy has been consumed by keeping my family going. Having our home turned into an office and mini college campus is an adjustment. But my pups love it! Take care 💗

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  37. I read as many of the books as I could get my hands on. Also reading and doing critiques from my two groups & reading craft books

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  38. This is beautiful, Kristi and Carrie! I'm so grateful for ReFoReMo this year. Before I left the school that I teach at, I packed up a few boxes of picture books that would be perfect for the lessons I'd be teaching and for read-alouds. And the bonus was having a bunch of ReFoReMo books I'd checked out from local public libraries and that are staying home with me for the foreseeable future. Those lovely books will be shared with a larger audience as well! :) Wishing all health and safety, and sending my gratitude to you both and all contributors for their insights. <3

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  39. Hi Carrie and Kristi!: I have been SO THANKFUL to have REFOREMO as a companion this month! It has helped me to have a set routine, and especially given me MANY things to look forward to in these CRAZY times (not only did I have Corona to contend with, but an earthquake in Utah ON TOP OF IT ALL. My world has been unsteady, unbalanced, and on a shaky foundation.). Each day I have had a thoughtful blog post to read and comment on, learned from other REFOREMOers in their comments, and MOST OF ALL--the books themselves. I know what you mean by books being your "comfort zone," Carrie; they have ALWAYS been that for me, too. And there's NOTHING more comforting then curling-up with books! (I'm SO HAPPY and RELIEVED that your books are SAFE and SOUND in your home now! If I had been in your shoes, but left the books at school, I would have probably broken into the school to rescue them!) I have SO ENJOYED digging into these different texts and learning from them. And I have TRULY learned by the repeated books on our list. I didn't skip over them because I had already read and researched them. Instead, I looked at them through a different set of eyes, since one blog writer would recommend them for one reason, and another writer for another reason. This was an EYEOPENING experience! I have learned SO MUCH, just like I do EVERY year from REFOREMO! THANK YOU, Carrie and Kristi, and EVERYBODY (the blog writers, my fellow REFOREMOers, our online community coordinators . . . EVERYBODY!!!) who helps to make REFOREMO such a success--especially in our personal writing lives!!! Reading and researching is my "sacred time" as well, just like you mentioned, Kristi. That's what has been keeping me sane--or semi-sane, anyway! To be able to open a window into other worlds through the pages of all these AMAZING books, has allowed me to escape my own uncertain world right now. WHAT A TRUE GIFT EACH AND EVERY ONE HAS BEEN--AND WILL CONTINUE TO BE!!! BRIGHT LIGHTS in a dark world. THANK YOU!!!

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    1. My parents and siblings live in Utah--the earthquake was such a strange addition to world events! We're so glad you participated---Hooray for books at a time like this!

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  40. ReFoReMo will keep on giving once my library opens up and I can retrieve my stack of books I had put on hold for the last week of the challenge. Fortunately, I had a large stack and now I can reread them without the pressure of getting them back in time. Thanks for organizing all the folks and posts, I always learn something new.

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  41. In the PAST 2 + weeks of staying home, socially distancing myself, cooking every single meal, cleaning and laundry and work emails and exercise being on my daily productive things to do, being inside my head way too much, not being able to write because of block or anxiety or who knows why, crying a lot, feeling scared, etc. etc...the reforemo book list has been something I have been able to make part of a daily routing at a time where routine is a difficult thing to achieve. So, I don't know much right now...but I know I am feeling odd these days and uneasy. It's nice to be here to share in each others angst and encourage one another to keep on keeping on. Because, we are not alone. xo

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  42. My reading is jumping around much more than usual these days! My attention span seems shorter, so I'm going with the flow and enjoying what's in front of me at that moment knowing it will all inform my writing later!

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  43. Thank you so much for ReFoReMo. It has been a blessing this month. I look3d forward to the daily blogs and the mentor texts. Had to great creative and turn to You Tube for some Story Times but I did read the majority of the books. Had aome time to read some fun, grown-up stuff, too. Favorite place to read is the hot tub, for sure. Bought a brand new lounge chair that I hope to break in this afternoon, as well. Hurray for spring in the south!

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  44. Dear Carrie and Kristi: A big shout out for hosting ReFoReMo during these unsettling times. The blogs and mentor texts provided a good focus during the day. While I don't have young ones running around anymore to distract me from my writing, I also found solace on my book shelves. Books are such marvelous gems taking us into new experiences. One of the books suggested in ReFoReMo was Going Down Home With Daddy. Can't tell you how much that book resonated with me. Made me think long and hard and connect with my heart. So many other stories also widened my experience. Thanks for hosting this annual event and the treasures shared.

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    1. LOVE books that really resonate and make me think that way. Thanks for sharing, Carole.

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  45. Thanks for hosting this wonderful event! I love ReFoReMo and end up doing it all year long! Stay safe - and keep reading! I'm grateful I have a big pile of ReFoReMo books still to explore!

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  46. Thank you so much for continuing REFOREMO despite the uncertainty in the world. Wishing you health and peace.

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  47. I am SO grateful that I had this to look forward to every day. Thanks again for continuing this program. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe!

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  48. Thank you so much! I enjoyed participating in ReFoReMo and reading the daily blogs.

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  49. ReFoReMo has been such a gift... this year more than ever. I feel blessed to have been at the library when I was told they were closing indefinitely - I lugged 40 books home! I have been rationing myself to 2 per day to make sure I always have an infusion of something new to consider before I start my writing practice for the day. Thanks again for all the connection and contemplation.

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    1. Thank you, Aiden! Hooray for books and how they help us connect!

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  50. Kirsti, I can't imagine having 5 kids suddenly at home full time. I'm having trouble navigating the conversion of my office (where I keep my picture book collection) to a bedroom & classroom for our college-aged son. I can only imagine what his NYU colleagues think when they see the full bookshelves while Zoom learning.
    Carrie, I love the idea of daily story time with your class. And I'm glad you were able to collect your books when school closed.
    Although I've had less time and concentration than usual for reading or writing this past month, staying connected has been invaluable. I've also added many titles to my library request list. Thank you so much for hosting this awesome community. Stay healthy!

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    1. Yes! This is such a strange time in our lives! Glad to have the reforemo community and that you participate!

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  51. Carrie and Kirsti, thank you for making ReForReMo another memorable month. I looked forward to reading the daily posts…it was piece of sanity in a world that had slipped into the Twilight Zone.

    I look forward to reading the books, that I was unable to find, when our town library reopens. In the meantime I did use EPIC as well as YouTube, along with those sitting in my own bookcase for quite a few of them and will definitely be checking out Libby and Hoopla.

    Hope you and yours stay safe and well!

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  52. I really enjoyed all the posts that helped me get even more out of the picture books I was reading. Thank you so much!

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  53. We are all adjusting to the new normal. Thank you for encouraging us to read for research.

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  54. Thank you so much for this post. I look forward to reading all the books I have on hold from my library when things are a bit more normal. And checking out ebooks in the meantime. Thanks again!

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  55. Thank you for all the knowledge and direction. I enjoyed finding lots of new picture books to read and study.

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  56. Thank you, Kirsti and Carrie, for the respite offered by ReFoReMo. I'm grateful for the books I managed to read. I made notes and will keep my ideas afloat for the rest of the year. I've already discovered some mentor texts for current projects. Many thanks to all the guests who gave amazing examples in furthering the quest for mentor texts.

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  57. To Kristie, Carrie and all contributors: Thank you for a wonderful month! This was my first experience with ReFoReMo and it won't be my last! Loved the depth and thematic approach to each day's selection. I took lots of notes and am so happy to have these as resources. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  58. Thank you for organizing this fabulous - as always -event. Thanks to ReFoReMo I had a robust collection of books from the library before everything closed. And I will have even more to savor once the library reopens and my recent holds arrive! In the meantime I have my notes and all these terrific, thoughtful posts to consider and appreciate as I hope to get back to a writing routine soon. Stay well, stay healthy, and happy reading!

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  59. Our libraries are closed so I only have the initial stack I checked out beforehand.

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  60. It's been a nice opportunity to reevaluate my approach to writing, submitting, and connecting. I'm trying to find all the positives I can.

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  61. Thanks once again to you and your guests for the daily gifts of wisdom and inspiration! With so much off track, the daily focus for reading helped brighten these weeks. I aim to keep this habit going, with some new favorites to re-read until libraries open again. I hope you and all your loved ones stay safe and healthy!

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  62. I have to wait until my library re-opens to get the rest of those I need but will do so when able and enjoy them tremendously. Thank you for all you both do for us. I love this ReFoReMo month!

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  63. Yes my grandchildren are delighted when I read books to them. Today's were How to track an easter Bunny by Sue Fliess- cute and rhyming with directions how to make an Easter Nest and the Very Impatient caterpillar
    by ross Burach.Nice bright big illustrations make for better zoom Read alouds

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  64. Honestly, Reforemo saved me in so many ways this month. 1) I had a HUGE stack of books to read with my kids during our new homeschool setup. 2) The stories filled my emotional well with their depth and beauty. 3) It was something to look forward to each day. SO, not only did I learn a lot, but it helped me in other ways as well. Thank you.

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  65. Thank you for this month of inspiring and interesting posts. Lots to think about! And thank you for sharing today's post, as well.

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  66. It's been a tough month as our family gets settled in to this new "routine," but I am thankful that you both are here and helping me remember that I need to set aside time to breathe, read, and write—not just figure out how I'm going to find and disinfect groceries, while staying safe. Thank you for giving me something to hold onto during all of this uncertainty.

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  67. Thank you both for your hard work for putting this together and to the daily contributors.ReFoReMo always introduces me to books I may have otherwise would have never read. I learn so much about mentor texts.Be safe.
    -Ashley Congdon

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  68. Grateful for the inspiration you've provided this month. Grateful I still had some of my library #reforemo requests at my house when the library closed. Grateful for my home library which is filled with picture books from my teaching days. I hope you and yours are well. I hope we can all find some time to create wonderful picture books!

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  69. Thanks guys. With an 8 yr old at home who needs love and homeschooling, I'm basically getting no work done. And I"m being gentle with myself...

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  70. Thank you, overwhelmed with my new homeschooling schedule but appreciate the normalcy of these posts.

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  71. Thanks for a another great year of ReFoReMo. During these times of such uncertainty, I tried to set two or three goals for each day - even though I find myself distracted. ReFoReMo was always one of them and allowed me to get immersed in books and informative posts that opened up new vistas and ideas for me to consider. I am sure that I will be going back and rereading the posts and applying what I have learned to my writing. Once the library reopens I will read the books I could not obtain. I always enjoyed reading the reactions of others too. Hopefully, I am looking forward to next March's ReFoReMo challenge. Take care and stay well!

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  72. Thank for a really big research year. I appreciate all of the guest posts and the knowledge shared. Have a wonderful April!

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  73. Thanks. Although I didn't read as much as I wanted to, I discovered some great texts and it was wonderful to find I was familiar with more books than I expected. The experience, also,got me thinking if I'm trying to fit some of my ideas into the wrong structures.

    Thanks for your time and effort. Be safe.

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  74. This was my first ReFoReMo. It was amazing! So many great posts and book recommendations. It was the perfect distraction this month. I was able to check out 50 of the books before my library closed. I will check out the rest that I haven't already read or couldn't find online (hopefully) in May. Thank you for everything you've done!

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  75. Girls this is my first time doing Reforemo. I live in a country where English is a foreign language and extremely few PBs are available in English. Your contribution is invaluable to me. Thank you so much! Thank you for doing this when everything else has come to a halt... And thank you because this is personal for you and not just a job!

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  76. I woke up in the middle of the night & realized I hadn't posted my great appreciation for this month of delving into picture books under the supervision of pb experts who have guided me in studying these most excellent books. Many of them are not in the 3 local libraries I raided here in Ontario, but I checked out all I could find, read them, & studied many. Thanks also for those comprehensive lists of books for further exploration. Since my library books cannot be returned for weeks, I'll keep going back to them and absorbing all they have to offer as mentor stories.

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  77. Thank you so much for this month of reading and research. I've enjoyed being introduced to so many great stories.

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  78. Thank you Carrie and Kirsti for a fantastic month. Recently I have had way too much screen time and my reading time is sporadic. But I was so glad for ReFoReMo. When our libraries closed, I had 40+ picture books checked out which are now not due until June. They will be my go- to pile for a while. I never would have check out so many if I was not working off your list!

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  79. Kristie and Carrie,
    As many other have said, this was my first time with ReFoReMo, too, and I'm so glad I finally joined in! Thank you for offering this wonderful and enriching learning experience. The deep dive into exemplary pb writing practices has been eye opening. I'm excited to apply what I've learned. This has also been a daily bright light in a very dark time, so that was an unexpected benefit. Than you again. Wishing good health and happiness to all. Be well. [Posted by LouAnn Silva]

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  80. Thank you so much for this month of thoughtful research. I have learned so much about the craft and appreciate all of the work that went into this. I definitely will refer back to my list and the posts to inspire me as I continue on this journey. Thank you again! :)

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  81. Thank you for another wonderful month of inspiring posts and wonderful mentor texts. You guys ROCK!

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  82. Reading, writing, and creating in these unprecedented times tends to make each day better.

    Thank you for ReFoReMo 2020.

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  83. Who would have thought at the beginning of March that this month would bring. ReFoReMo has been a daily light in the midst of this storm. Thank you for your generosity and putting some inspiring structure in our days.

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  84. Thank you Carrie and Kirsti for hosting an amazing month of reading picture books. I still have books to request from my library for the last 3 days, so thank goodness for online reviews and readings to have glimpses of these books. Access to 146 libraries through inter-library loans means my piles of books to explore will continue to grow throughout the year.

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  85. I am so thankful for you, Carrie and Kirsti, for this respite from all that's swirling around us. You're right, I haven't been able to focus as much on reading or writing as I would've liked, but I am willing to forgive myself for that, under the circumstances. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, to both of you and all your guest posters. Let's all be good to ourselves.

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  86. Thanks so much, Carrie and Kirsti. I must admit I fell off the wagon for a bit due to the state of the world. My part of the world was hit a bit sooner and we were all in shock. Two people in my extended circle (not family or close friends) have passed away and it has taken a bit to regroup. And like so many my library was closed. But I have kept up as much as possible and learned a lot!

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  87. Thank you for a wonderful month in spite of everything, Carrie and Kristi! I am a first time participant in ReFoReMo and enjoyed every post. I will refer to these mentor texts throughout the year and continue to draw inspiration from them to inform my work.

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  88. Thank you Carrie and Kirsti for this wonderful month of informative posts.

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  89. Thank you so much Carrie and Kristi for organizing this great event!

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  90. Thank you for sharing your stories! I too moved (about 1/3 of) my collection back home so I would have stories to read to my students if we went online, which of course we did. I felt silly doing it at first, but I needed my books with me. Now more thAn ever I am experiencing the power of picture books, which has reinspired me to find MY picture book voice. What do I have to say? Thank you for this valuable, thoroughly enjoyable experience!

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  91. Thanks to this challenge, I started March with a huge stack of books! That helped a lot when our library closed. Last night, though, we swapped to reading ebooks, and will probably rely on those for the next couple of weeks. I'm in an author group on Facebook, so I've collected a ton of ebooks from that group, but when those run out, I'm planning to use the Kindle Unlimited trial to keep reading. :-)

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  92. Thank you for another edition of ReFoReMo! Yes, it was somewhat different this year, but wonderful as always. This challenge has a special place in my heart, it was because of ReFoReMo that I transitioned to picture book writing and found my true calling! Stay safe!

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  93. It certainly has been a month of ups and downs, and it helps immensely to have this community. In times like these, a back-to-basics approach helps so much; since the kids are home (and there's no free time to write), let's just continue reading, reading, reading. As we all know from this challenge, reading is every bit as valuable as creating something new... and it can be a great source of inspiration, for when the opportunity to write comes again!

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  94. Currently introducing my 4th grader to the magical world of The Babysitter’s Club books!

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  95. Thanks so much ladies. Much of what I’ve been reading is for comfort, like cozy historical mysteries. These days, too much reality can really bring a person down. Take care!

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  96. Echoing all that has been said in this collection of kudos/comments...
    "Meeting" here with members of the generous kidlit community has felt like a month-long, learning conference get-together! Many thanks!

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  97. Reading this month has certainly taken a different pattern. I've been reading a variety of genres for my own personal comfort, and have found that many people look to ME to recommend books for different purposes, whether for teaching or needing their own book therapy. This searching for texts has been a new way to research books and using websites such as edelweiss has given me new resources as well!

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  98. Thank you Carrie and Kirsti for this wonderful event and for introducing me to so many new books.

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  99. Just now getting to this last post. I had the time...it disappears. Thank you for doing this. It helps me do mentor text research in a focused manner, rather than just swooping into the Children's section of the library and trying to figure out what might help! I am rereading those books I have and looking forward to the library opening again to get the rest. Thank you for organizing this wonderful experience.

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