Unabridged: a Charlesbridge Children's Book Blog


Adela's Mariachi Band releases on August 13, 2024 0

  • Donna Spurlock

Charlesbridge to develop new STEAM series in partnership with Office of Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. 0

Charlesbridge Publishing announces a partnership with Count Play Explore, a grant-funded initiative led by the Office of Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, Early Care and Education Department, to develop STEAMWORKS—a new series of sixteen fiction children’s books about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). Eight board books for ages 0–3 and eight picture books for ages 4–7 will be published in 2026 and 2027. All will be available in both English and Spanish.

These playful, child-led stories will feature characters who use scientific or mathematical thinking to solve everyday problems and answer questions that matter to them. “We hope to inspire enthusiasm and confidence in children’s abilities as powerful thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators by creating books that ignite curiosity, promote inquiry, and cultivate a lifelong love of STEAM,” shares Naomi Reeley, Program Coordinator for Count Play Explore. Yolanda Scott, Publisher at Charlesbridge, adds “Combining the science and math experts at Count Play Explore with the Charlesbridge commitment to publish diverse, quality titles makes for a winning partnership we’re all excited to develop.”

The STEAMWORKS mission is to show children of all backgrounds and experiences that STEAM is fun, STEAM is everywhere, and STEAM is for everyone. Alexandra McKenzie, STEAMWORKS Program Director, has begun the search for books that fit this vision. “We’re looking for stories that will introduce STEAM topics to young children in fun and engaging ways, while highlighting diverse voices and experiences,” she shares.

Charlesbridge is currently accepting STEAMWORKS submissions from authors who can authentically portray a wide variety of children with different abilities from diverse backgrounds and family structures. Visit https://www.charlesbridge.com/Steamworks for more information and submission guidelines.

  • Donna Spurlock
6 Mindfulness Exercises to Explore Ways Nothing Can Be Something

6 Mindfulness Exercises to Explore Ways Nothing Can Be Something 0

The growing soft-life culture not only benefits adults, but can also help children in their mental well-being. Everyone can utilize a simple way of living as they find peace in their day-to-day busy lives. Little self-care moments carved out of the day can help you and your child’s mental and emotional health.

One way to approach the idea of soft life is through nothingness.


Elizabeth Rusch challenges not only young readers, but also adults to explore the beauty of nothingness in their everyday lives in her picture book, All About Nothing, the first book in the All About Noticing series. Utilizing Elizabeth Goss’s bold cut-paper illustrations, the flowing text encourages readers to look at the world around them in a completely different way—in this case, to take note of where nothingness exists and what that means to the reader.

A striking call for young children and aspiring artists alike, the story sets out to prove that “nothing” matters, after all.The Horn Book

Yes, nothingness is used in art, in music, and it’s even what outer space is. There is the obvious physical aspect to what nothingness is, such as having a missing tooth. But Rusch also reminds us of the emotional side of it too. How it’s a “welcome break in a busy day” or “You can have too little of nothing. Or too much. Or just the right amount.” By understanding what nothingness is, adults and children can better find balance in their lives.

Not sure where to start with improving your mental and emotional well-being? Explore with your children what nothing has to offer through these simple mindfulness exercises:

  • Feeling overwhelmed? Try this. Close your eyes. Breathe. Do this for as long as needed. Meditate whenever you need to.
  • Find a quiet room or an empty park, and take time to just exist. Do nothing. Let children find peace on the swing set or the freedom of a slide. Sit at a table and enjoy the fresh air and the quietness around you.
  • Take long walks. Be present while you explore and notice what is there and what isn’t.
  • Declutter favorite areas or playrooms, create more space as needed for you or for your child.
  • If you need less space, visit family and/or friends.
  • Be bored. Let your child play in an unstructured way, led by themselves, with no schedule or plans. Same with you. Allow yourself to be bored and see what comes of it.

You don’t need to do anything extravagant to utilize what soft life has to offer. Small moments to reset yourself and to de-stress can go a long way. Taking the time to enjoy the nothingness of everyday life opens you up for more creativity and freedom. It helps shed your stress and reclaim time for yourself. Invest in yourself and your wellness because you are worth it.

Soft-life moments are a great benefit to children, giving them the space they need to relax and process their feelings. Rusch and Goss both suggest activities for kids to help them explore what nothingness has to offer them, both in art and mindfulness meditation. Check out their activity video here

If you have a copy of All About Nothing or plan on getting one, check out the discussion guide to work with children to explore what nothing is and what it can mean for them.

Nothingness in your day gives you time to relax, breathe, and dream. Imagine a day so busy with activities that your head spins. Now imagine a free afternoon, a quiet room, an empty park. Try adding some nothingness to your day by pausing for a moment, closing your eyes, and just breathing.All About Nothing by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Elizabeth Goss

About the Book:


ISBN: 978-1-62354-352-5
Price: $17.99 USD
Ages: 4-8
Page count: 32
9 x 9

More Books in the Series:
All About Color
All About Patterns (Spring 2025)

About the Creators

Elizabeth Rusch is the author of more than two dozen award-winning children’s books, including A Day with No Crayons, The Music of Life, Zee Grows a Tree, Volcano Rising, and Mario and the Hole in the Sky, winner of the AAAS/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books, the Green Earth Book Award, the Cook Prize, and the Golden Kite Award.

Elizabeth Goss is an illustrator, author, and papercutter. Her picture book My Way West: Real Kids Traveling the Oregon and California Trails won the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People. A proud member of the Guild of American Papercutters, Elizabeth teaches art workshops across the Pacific Northwest and loves welcoming students of all ages into the world of papercutting.

Discover the World of Science with Baby Loves Science Series – Two New Books Release Today! 0

Discover the World of Science with Baby Loves Science Series Two New Releases Available Today!
  • Donna Spurlock