[baisl] FW: Stories for Thinking Children

  • From: Debra Cardone <Cardone@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "aisl-manager@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <aisl-manager@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2015 16:13:23 +0000

Dear  Colleagues,
We received this solicitation through e-mail?  Do any of you have an opinion or 
use these books? Or have passed it on to classroom teachers?

From: Paka Mdogo <pakamdogo2@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:pakamdogo2@xxxxxxxxx>>
Organization: Paka Mdogo Press
Reply-To: "pakamdogo2@xxxxxxxxx<mailto:pakamdogo2@xxxxxxxxx>" 
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 2:16 AM
To: Rose Helm <helm@xxxxxxxxxx<mailto:helm@xxxxxxxxxx>>
Subject: Stories for Thinking Children

To:  Rose Helm, The Hamlin School  <helm@xxxxxxxxxx<mailto:helm@xxxxxxxxxx>>

Dear Rose,

Challenge your brightest students! Enthrall all your young readers!

I hope the school year continues to move forward well for you. We imagine you 
are now turning your thoughts towards developing a book order for 2015-16.  You 
probably have well-established procedures for selecting and ordering books and 
materials. If, however, you are able and willing to go ‘off-piste’ in your 
search for unusual and engaging Language Arts resources, you may wish to 
consider the Paka Mdogo stories for Grades 4-8.
Grades 4-8? Yes, that’s quite a wide spread for a series of (so far) only three 
books; but when you read on and follow some of our links you may find yourself  
persuaded that the series and its accompanying teaching resources have a great 
deal to offer young readers, and young learners, over that whole range.
                                       Sheena, aka Paka Mdogo,
                                           A Cat for All Seasons

The Paka Mdogo Series


“Three delightful adventure stories set in Africa… Illustrated 
brilliantly…reminiscent of Kipling's 'The Jungle Book' - sometimes allegorical, 
always entertaining.” Books Monthly

STOP PRESS: In recent discussions with schools, it has become apparent that 
both those who have already bought copies of the books and those considering 
doing so have a marked interest in acquiring full class sets, but face some 
difficulty in doing that within their budgets, since the amount of illustration 
in the series has meant that the recommended retail price for single copies has 
had to be set at a comparatively high level.
We do want to see these splendid animal adventure stories fully used in 
classrooms, and have therefore, with immediate effect, substantially increased 
the discounts available. These now stand at 25% for 5+ copies of any one title, 
and the same for 5+ special book packs (one copy of all three titles per pack). 
If you have recently placed an order and wish to take advantage of these new 
discounts, please email us to let us know what your needs now are: 
“Remarkable children’s fiction with a strong ethical and conservation-oriented 

Here are the books…




A Story about Taking Risks

A Story about Growing Up

A Story about Conflict (nominated for the 2012 Jane Addams Peace Award)

ISBN 978-0-9563236-0-6

ISBN 978-0-9563236-1-3

ISBN 978-0-9563236-2-0

…and we think you may also like to see samples of the numerous illustrations 
that help young readers become fully engaged with the stories:



Sheena Hitches a Ride
(Paka Mdogo)

The Only Elephant
(The Gradual Elephant)

Hip-Hop Hyenas
(The Meerkat Wars)

  (All the links below -[cid:image008.png@01D050BE.FF358410]- are safe. In case 
do not show as ‘live’, we have added their URLs at the end of this message.)

Review Comments
To view a selection of the very enthusiastic reviews the books have received, 
click here:

Common Core State Standards
To read an account of the appropriateness of the books and resources to Common 
Core Literacy work, to their recommended age and ability levels, and to 
topic-based ELA teaching, click here:

Teaching and Learning Resources
To examine a sample chapter and literacy unit from the first book in the 
series, click here:

To learn more about the full range of free resources designed to support the 
books’ use in the ES or MS classroom, click here:

Inspection copies
The books are available to schools in paperback, with discounts for multiple 
purchase. To request free ebook inspection copies (readable on computer as well 
as ebook devices) click here:
(You’ll enjoy reading them for their own sake!)

To order print copies of the books without more ado, click here:
(We can fulfil orders immediately, if that is what you wish. Please check that 
you are ordering the print rather than the ebook editions.)

New Addition to the Series
H.S. Toshack’s next book, The Smile of the Tiger (set, for a change, in 
Thailand, but with the same central character – Sheena, the clever and cheeky 
little black-and-white cat), is due for publication within the next few months.

We are very happy to enter into dialogue with teachers about how to make the 
Paka Mdogo reading experience enjoyable and profitable for students. This can 
include advice about the practicalities of making the resources available in 
the classroom (e.g. which version to use?), discussion about particular study 
tasks, and suggestions for cross-curricular activities. We are always delighted 
to receive from teachers ideas about how to modify or expand the materials, and 
also examples of outstanding student work in response to the personal writing 

To ask any questions you may have, write to us here:

Final Note
We hope you won’t miss this opportunity to put in place next year (or for this, 
if that is still a possibility) some really fine literacy resources which would 
provide a highly entertaining learning experience for your students. As much as 
anything else, the stories are fun to read, and work with:

‘H.S. Toshack’s great sense of humour adds an extra bite to the ease and flow 
of his writing.’ Book Pleasures Review

Best wishes, in any case, for your ongoing work in bringing together young 
readers and good books.


Jan Gould
Educational Consultant
ex-Elementary Principal
WordSmith Publishers/
PakaMdogo Press


URLs (copy and paste into your address box as necessary):

Review selection: http://www.litworks.com/downloads/review_selection.pdf
Common Core State Standards, grade and ability level 

Sample literacy unit: 

Information about the resources:http://www.litworks.com/childrens.php



Questions:wordsmith@xxxxxxxxxxxx<mailto:wordsmith@xxxxxxxxxxxx>. We’d like to 
hear from you!



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