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Publishers Weekly Free Resources

Need something to do while home from school? Here are some links that you might find interesting.

Charlesbridge for Kids (and Parents!) At Home\

Charlesbridge has launched two new sites to support remote learning and engagement for kids, parents, and educators. A Remote Author Page has author readings, book talks, lessons and activities while a new Activities and Downloadables Page has activity kits, educator guides, coloring sheets, and puzzles.


Mackin Distance Learning Essentials

Mackin has developed a website specifically to share distance learning resources for educators who are new to digital instruction. The site includes resources, content, activity guides, author interviews, videos, and links to additional resources. It also provides tools for integrating instruction with free classics hosted by Mackin on Project Gutenberg.


Star Bright Books Video Permissions and Free Titles

Star Bright Books is granting teachers, librarians, and children broadened rights to use the publisher’s titles for distance learning. In addition, the publisher is making a rotating selection of four free picture books available in PDF on its website each week, including titles in Spanish.


Goodnight with Dolly

Beginning April 2 at 7 p.m. ET, country singer Dolly Parton will read children’s books for bedtime by way of the Imagination Library’s YouTube channel. The readings are part of a lead-up to the September release of The Library That Dolly Built, a documentary about the Library, a 25-year-old book program created by Parton, which has donated more than 135 million books since its inception. Among the books Parton will read from are Loren Long’s There’s a Hole in the Log on the Bottom of the Lake, Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama Red Pajama, and Parton’s own I Am a Rainbow.



Inviting young readers into the Smithsonian’s online library, Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg have created a free brochure for download called “How to Make a COLLAGASAURUS!” Modeled after AstroNuts, the brochure guides children through the Smithsonian’s archive in search of material that helps them create their own collage.


A Resource Guide for Confronting Anti-Asian Racism

Since the beginning of the new coronavirus, there has been a rise in xenophobic and racist attacks on Asian-Americans. Author and PW reviewer Daphne Benedis-Grab has created a guide with trusted sources for news on the issue, intended for use by educators with high school students and advanced middle school students. The site also offers ways that educators and students can respond to anti-Asian attacks.


Help at Home from Lerner Publishing

Lerner Publishing Group has created an [easy-to-use website] for distance learning. The website includes free videos, downloads, and resources for educators, parents, authors, and illustrators that are conveniently separated into categories for grades preK–5 and 6–12.  Available for free through December 31, 2020.


The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy: Toolkit

Thirty-six million Americans are unable to read or write at a basic level. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy is tracking adult literacy on a literacy gap map while also unveiling tools for parents, caregivers, and adult learners. In response to the coronavirus, the foundation has made an at-home learning toolkit for people working with kids, and for adults working with others or by themselves.


Association of American Publishers COVID-19 Resource Page

The Association of American Publishers has created a resource page about ongoing publisher efforts in support of clients and consumers during the outbreak. The site will be regularly updated with new information about publisher programs, fair use policy alterations, and outreach to schools and libraries.


Read. Dream. Share. Coloring Book

In honor of Children’s Book Week, the Children’s Book Council has made a 23-page coloring book available in individual pages and as a full download for free. Each page celebrates this year’s theme for Children’s Book Week, which is Read. Dream. Share. Drawings include works by Jessica Love (r.), Sarah Jung, Marcos Navarro, Katie O’Neill, Greg Pizzoli, and others.


Young Writer’s Blueprint

For budding young writers, Children’s Book Insider is making its Young Writer’s Blueprint writing course available for free. The step-by-step course is the creation of children’s and young adult author Alice Kuipers. The course is designed for children ages six to 10 but is also appropriate for teens. An adult must sign up for the course, which can be accessed here.


Sourcebooks Videos and Online Stories

Sourcebooks has made access to online storytimes free. In addition, P for Pterodactyl author Raj Haldar created a video for Nick Jr. showing kids how to sneeze into their elbows—a video that is receiving renewed interest. DJ Corchin, author of the forthcoming picture book A Thousand No’s (Sourcebooks, Aug.) is hosting a daily drawing hour at 10:30 a.m. CT on his Facebook page.


Holiday House Resources for Distance Learning

Holiday House’s newly launched resources page offers teaching and reading resources for teachers, parents, librarians and educators. The site includes more than 300 reading guides, activities, storytime kits, flashcards, and more.


Simon & Schuster Children’s Education and Library

Simon & Schuster is making resources available to educators, booksellers, and librarians via its online hub, The Book Pantry. Users can use the site to conduct livestreams and post readings of S&S children’s titles for students and customers. In addition, Simon & Schuster authors are taking to social media to share readings and drawing lessons. Debbie Ridpath Ohi is teaching art lessons while fellow author Aaron Reynolds has started “The Aaron Reynolds Stay-At-Home Show,” both on YouTube.


Free Titles from Penny Candy

Penny Candy Books is offering free PDFs of two titles to full and part-time educators who email the press. The publishers is also making guides and activities available for free download.



Caryl Hart Children’s Books has created the hashtag #FreeBookResources for readers to be able to quickly and easily locate free children’s book content on social media.


Penguin Random House Open License

PRH is offering a temporary open license to digital content for educators, librarians, and booksellers. The license allows professionals to access and stream videos of story times, read aloud videos, and live readings. Booksellers can also upload and share videos and related media if it uses a PRH title, and educators can integrate PRH title-related content through the site’s digital classroom platform.


Lunch Doodle with Mo Willems!

Kennedy Center Education artist-in-residence Mo Willems is leading an afternoon doodling session every day at 1 p.m. ET for the next few weeks, showing readers how to draw his iconic pigeon and piggie, as well as offering a glimpse inside his Massachusetts studio. “Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons,” Willems said in a statement to readers. “We are going to doodle together and explore ways of writing and making.”

Save the Children has partnered with NoKidHungry, Scholastic, and actors Josh Gad, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Garner to share Instagram videos of storybook readings to raise funds for children who have been affected by school closures.

Around the world, people of all ages have joined Mo Willems in his studio for weekday LUNCH DOODLES. The three-week run, all 15 episodes and their downloadable activities, are archived below. Let the doodling continue! Please tag your artwork on social media with #MoLunchDoodles so that we can all see it!


Draw Every Day with JJK

Hey, Kiddo author and illustrator Jarret J. Krosoczka has taken to YouTube to offer a daily drawing lesson for people of all ages. Krosoczka will record a video every weekday at 2 p.m. ET for the coming weeks.


Harper at Home

HarperCollins Children’s Books is using social media to share daily story times, learning materials, and activities with readers. Authors, illustrators, and Harper staff will participate, with social media channels available for different age groups. HarperKids is on Instagram for little readers, the YouTube channel Shelf Stuff is for middle grade readers, the Epic Reads Twitter feed is for teens, and HarperStacks—also on Twitter—has resources for educators, parents, and caregivers.


Ideal Exhibitions at Home

Picture book creator Hervé Tullet’s colorful and interactive Ideal Exhibitions have been shown worldwide in museums and galleries, but with those spaces closing around the world, Tullet is inviting teachers and children to participate in creating a version of his exhibitions from home and encouraging them to share. More information is available at or by e-mailing


Peter Reynolds Daily Live Stream

Peter Reynolds, author of The Dot and many other works for young readers, was winding down his tour for his new picture book BE YOU! when the new coronavirus outbreak caused him to cancel in-person appearances for some of his last events. Now, Reynolds is taking to Facebook daily to do a daily read-aloud that students and teachers can view.