About cdendy476

An educational author by trade, I specialize in the production of student- and teacher-facing materials in K-12 social studies. In lay speak, this means I write textbooks, online curricula, lesson plans, assessment materials, and more, mostly in history, civics, geography, and related subjects. However, I have also been known to write encyclopedia articles, primary source analyses, and have covered the gambit of subjects from the sciences to language arts. I have had three historical graphic novels published by Weigl Educational Publishers in Canada, and numerous articles in EBSCO online encyclopedia and document resources. In between these projects, I write poetry, children's literature, young adult fiction, and general musings and rantings, usually of a socio-economic and political nature. My work has appeared in Flights, Down in the Dirt, Literary Orphans, Virginia Writing, and Mock Turtle. (Admittedly, I started the last publication in that list.) A few years ago, I won a grant to finish my YA fantasy fiction novel-turned-trilogy, and am revising with an eye toward publication. I am also looking for a home-away-from-home for several children's picture book manuscripts. In my real life, I am mother to two precocious rabbit-hole jumpers; wife to one book-reviewing, software-engineering super-yogi; friend and sister and other relation to many fantabulous and extra-unordinary people; and all-around busy body.

Basic Grocery Store Etiquette

Some things to keep in mind right now, in no particular order:

  • Minimize your trips. Don’t go more than you need to. Really. (Check in with neighbors, family and friends when you need to go. You can save them a trip, and maybe they’ll save you a trip in the future.)
  • Try to space out parking. Don’t park right next to someone if you can avoid it.
  • Hand sanitize as you go through the store gathering items and when you leave. (If you wear gloves, take them off when you leave, and consider using sanitizer on them. If you don’t take gloves with you when you leave, throw them in a waste basket, not on the ground or in the basket.)
  • Put a mask on before you go in and take off when you leave, unless you plan to make more stops. It’s a good idea to have a plastic bag to put your used mask in so you can clean it when you get home. Don’t touch your face when removing mask until you’ve sanitized your hands.
  • Wipe down your cart or basket.
  • Keep your distance. Don’t cluster around things.
  • Buy what you touch. Don’t put it back. Don’t open and close and check inside things.
  • Be patient with everyone, even those who aren’t patient with you. We’re all stressed in some fashion.
  • Smile, even if you’re in a mask. It shows in your eyes.
  • Don’t complain about what’s not there. We all know there’s going to be stuff missing at this point. Sigh, shake your head, shrug, whatever, and move on.
  • Don’t bring your kids if you can possibly avoid it. I have kids. I love my kids. I know how hard it is to do things without your kids sometimes. BUT. They touch everything. They forget to cover their mouths. They forget to keep their distance. They can’t stop themselves from not listening at least once.
  • Thank the workers who are there.

I write lists for a living (really) so please excuse the parallel imperative verb form. I’m not trying to sound bossy. These are just some things that have occurred to me from what I’ve seen and what other people have said/written about their experiences.

I’m open to correction or addition. Just let me know if you think I’m off the mark on something.

Here’s a great resource from the CDC for wearing and making homemade masks: Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Some closing words from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. I didn’t vote for him. I haven’t agreed with all of his policy positions in the past. However, I think he’s doing a great job on this, and I want to thank him for doing his best to follow the science and the experts to keep folks safe.

Finally, a couple of thoughts, building on what CDC and DeWine say:

Gloves and masks don’t preclude washing hands, keeping distance, and not touching your face. Observe those things first.

Gloves and masks need to be changed, cleaned, discarded (depending on the type of item) to be at all helpful. If you walk around wearing the same pair of gloves all day, you’re not really helping anything. Potentially, you’re spreading the virus. If you wear gloves to the gas station, happen to pick up the virus, and then get in the car, drive, go in the house, and pick up your kid without taking off the gloves, you’ve just spread the virus in your car, on your door, and to your child. At the least, keep sanitizer handy to use on your gloves, too. Change and wash your mask between outings, which we should be minimizing, right?

Some Favorite Kid Reads

I know many friends, colleagues and complete strangers are sharing their favorite books online in closed social networks right now. It’s amazing to watch and listen.

Authors and illustrators are taking part, too. Many have shared their books online in the past, or have permitted others to read them aloud or convert them into faux animations. Many more are doing so now. I thought I’d share a few favorite video read-alouds.

So much more out there, but this should get you started. Also, be sure to visit

#OperationStoryTime | Your Favorite Authors Host Story Time Online!

You should also check out the Barefoot Books You Tube channel, which has wonderful singalongs and readings.

Aaaand of course, Storytime from Space! Listen to astronauts read some awesome books from the International Space Station! Here’s one to get you started:

Don’t Panic, but Be Mindful.

Folks, keep in mind that there are many more people with compromised immune systems in the community, in your circles, than you think there are. Age is a factor, yes, but so are myriad conditions ranging from cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, organ transplants, sickle cell, MS, inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, diabetes, and more. (Trauma, stress, lack of sleep can also weaken immune systems, for the record.)

Image result for coronavirus

Testing and social distancing matter—Why?—because it limits contagion. I guarantee there are people you care about who are immune compromised and you just don’t know it. Don’t panic, but be selective in your outings and interactions. Don’t get angry at people who choose to stay home and decline interaction. Some of us still need to come together, in limited ways, to help one another, to access things, etc., even just to relieve anxiety. Some of us don’t have the luxury of being able to help or interact or even reasonably get to the store because of greater risk.

Just be mindful. Check in with people who might not want to risk crowded stores. If a child doesn’t understand steps you are taking, even down to washing hands more often, put a name/face to your explanation. This is to protect grandma, this is to protect your cousin, this is to protect our friends, etc.

Also, take deep breaths and walks in fresh air.

Visit the CDC’s website on Coronavirus (COVID-19) or the WHO’s website to learn more. Check this out, too: A COVID-19 coronavirus update from concerned physicians (March 15)

There’s a lot of info out there. I’ve been selective about the links and videos here. NPR has a good broadcast on Misinformation Around the Coronavirus.

Here are some other helpful links about coronavirus and kids:

Here are some videos you can watch with your kids:

Need some new songs to sing while washing your hands? (There’s one from Prince … You know you want to listen.) You can also look up any number of hand-washing songs on You Tube. I won’t torment you with them here.

Check out NPR’s Kids Around the World Are Reading NPR’s Coronavirus Comic and the video:

And just because:

They Might Be Giants – The Bloodmobile from They Might Be Giants on Vimeo.


Kid Fun at Home?

Well, if you can, enjoy the fresh air, read stories together, play games, make art,  bake, invent, make music, etc. (Yes, these are past photos. We haven’t done all this just yet, but I’m motivating myself, too!)

However, as many of you know, there are some amazing online resources out there for, yes, engaging and distracting kids on their own as well as for finding things to do together. I can’t begin to find or list them all, but I want to share a few before I get back to work.

Here you go:

Also, I believe Discovery Ed and a number of other education sites are offering free access for now. Here’s a list of Digital Word Games for kids from Scholastic.

Need physical activity?

Got Star Wars? Marvel?

Aaand many children’s authors maintain cool websites. Look them up! Some might be mostly biographical, but others have fun read-alouds, games, activities and other things.

Check out:

Puffin Books has a You Tube channel dedicated to authors reading aloud their picture books, and they post fun activities there, too. You can also look up story read-alouds on You Tube, like Once Upon a Story and Brightly Storytime.

Kid-Lit TV has great read-out-loud videos and other activities!

They Might Be Giants for kids?

Finally, check your library websites. They have SO MUCH. I promise there is stuff on your local library website that you didn’t know was there!

Bread and Roses

On my brain today, and above all, as a writer-educator, I love drawing focus to primary sources.

Bread and Roses

As we come marching, marching, in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill-lofts gray
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing, “Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.”

As we come marching, marching, we battle, too, for men—
For they are women’s children and we mother them again.
Our days shall not be sweated from birth until life closes—
Hearts starve as well as bodies: Give us Bread, but give us Roses.

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient song of Bread;
Small art and love and beauty their trudging spirits knew—
Yes, it is Bread we fight for—but we fight for Roses, too.

As we come marching, marching, we bring the Greater Days—
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler—ten that toil where one reposes—
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and Roses, Bread and Roses.

James Oppenheim wrote and published the poem (which inspired songs and slogans of the same title in the labor movement and later folk music) in December 1911. However, the phrase “bread and roses” (and its implicit meaning) originated from a speech given by suffragist Helen Todd in 1910 and an article she wrote in September 1911.

File:Getting out the vote by Helen Todd lecturing audience on grass hill.png

Helen Todd, spreading the word. Photo from The American Magazine (1911), Volume 72, pp. 613.

Helen Todd might be my next children’s bio research subject. Alas, I have a whole list of them to pursue. Currently, I’m working on Adolphe Sax, a nod to my son’s love for the saxophone and the extraordinarily quirky and inventive life of the man who created his instrument of choice.

Back to Todd, here’s the relevant excerpt from her article, which invokes a part of her earlier speech:

“No words can better express the soul of the woman’s movement, lying back of the practical cry of ‘Votes for Women,’ better than this sentence which had captured the attention of both Mother Jones and the hired girl, ‘Bread for all, and Roses too.’ Not at once; but woman is the mothering element in the world and her vote will go toward helping forward the time when life’s Bread, which is home, shelter and security, and the Roses of life, music, education, nature and books, shall be the heritage of every child that is born in the country, in the government of which she has a voice. There will be no prisons, no scaffolds, no children in factories, no girls driven on the street to earn their bread, in the day when there shall be ‘Bread for all, and Roses too.’

Read the entirety of her article “Getting Out the Vote.”

Todd’s words were picked up by women social and labor activists across the country, including labor leader Rose Schneidermann, who organized for the Women’s Trade Union League and helped form the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The slogan became so widespread that it gave its name to the massive workers’ strike at the Lawrence textile mill in January 1912. By the second day of the what came to be called the “Bread and Roses” Strike, more than 10,000 mill workers (men, women and children) had joined. At the peak of the nine-week strike, estimates suggest as many as 25,000 workers took park when workers from across the region joined in solidarity.

Read more about the Bread and Roses Strike from Zinn Education.

Below are some related primary source images and posters shared online.

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Winter Picture Book Gifts

Okay, this one’s impossible to constrain, so I’ll be breaking it up into categories. First, if you want a great resource for finding some of the best picture books out there, check out Read Brightly. They generate some great lists.

Today, I’ll do a seasonal-style list … So, things related to Christmas, Hanukkah or the solstice for those who celebrate those days as well as some other wintery titles.

Some Favorite Hanukkah Tales

Celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah?
Check out Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko!

Some Favorite Christmas Tales

(‘Twas) the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore is an obvious favorite, and there are so many wonderful versions out there. I just wanted to share ours, the one illustrated by Douglas W. Gorsline and the one illustrated by Rachel Isadora. Also, we haven’t read this one yet, but I have it on reserve and am excited to see it: ‘Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and Sara Palacios.

Other Winter Titles

These are some other favorite wintery tales.

Winter’s Solstice Books

And for a multicultural tour of winter holidays, check out Lights of Winter by Heather Conrad and DeForest Walker.