Cricket and BookNook Team Up to Support Schools

New Partnership Will Help Tens of Thousands of Students Improve Reading Achievement through Blended Learning

Through the partnership, 350 titles from Cricket’s catalogue of award-winning fiction and nonfiction content will be integrated into BookNook’s adaptive reading instructional platform. Working collaboratively together in groups, students will engage in evidence-based instructional activities that support reading comprehension, oral reading fluency, and vocabulary development.

“BookNook is an excellent instructional conduit for Cricket’s authentic content,” said Nina Zolt, Co-Chairman of Cricket Media. “Through BookNook’s unique platform, students will be able to enjoy a wide range of fiction and non-fiction stories from Cricket’s award-winning magazines, fully immersing themselves in the joy of reading while building their core literacy skills. We’re delighted about this new partnership.”

Cricket Media’s innovative web-based K-12 educational platforms include the ePals global community and virtual classroom, as well as e-Mentoring programs CricketTogether and TryEngineering Together. Cricket Media serves millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories through its platform and NeuPals, its joint venture with China’s leading IT services company Neusoft.

After launching its platform just 13 months ago, BookNook has already grown to serve well over 100 schools and not-for-profit organizations across 14 states. Through its network of partners, Cricket content will become immediately available to over 50,000 students—a number the company expects to grow significantly.

“Thanks to the strong results we have been able to show for students, we have interest from communities across the United States,” said BookNook Founder and CEO Michael Lombardo. “Cricket has a tremendous reputation for excellent and engaging content that we expect will fuel even more demand for our platform.”

In September, BookNook announced results of its first pilot during the 2017-18 school year and summer. Nearly 90% of students showed significant improvement in their reading abilities, with some children showing growth after spending just five hours using the application.


About Cricket Media
Cricket Media, Inc. is a global education company providing award-winning content and safe and secure collaborative learning networks. Cricket Media serves millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories to fulfill its mission to engage, enlighten and educate children everywhere. Learn more at

About BookNook
BookNook is a social enterprise based in Oakland, California that is working to change the when, where, and who of small group learning for children. Its platform is used by over 100 schools and nonprofits across fourteen states. Founded in 2016, the company’s early investors include Reach Capital, Better Ventures, and the Urban Innovation Fund. For more information visit

Cricket Media and Parents’ Choice Foundation Help Families Balance Screen Time with Real Time through the “Keeping Tech In Check” Campaign

Year-round initiative helping families achieve “a balance, not a ban”, launches on April 17 at

McLean, VA, April 17, 2017 More and more, contemporary parents feel “tech shamed” over the amount of time that their children spend consuming electronic media. Research released almost daily warns of the mental health value of unplugging and the dangers of unrestricted time spent in front of a screen for kids of all ages. While parents recognize that today’s technology offers numerous developmental and educational benefits, parental anxiety over the tech takeover of family life is real and growing—but it’s time to reframe the conversation.

This April, Cricket Media, the most award-winning children’s magazine publisher in the marketplace and Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys, will launch the KEEPING TECH IN CHECK campaign. With the tagline, “a balance, not a ban,” KEEPING TECH IN CHECK offers families across the country a wealth of tools, tips and resources to help them find the right balance between technology and real-life experiences at


Unlike similar efforts that focus only on “unplugging,” KEEPING TECH IN CHECK recognizes that screens are a mainstay in our 21st century lives, and this initiative is being launched to help parents mindfully manage screen-time as an intentional part of a daily “diet” of activities.

“Technology is here to stay, offering a wealth of resources,” says Stephanie Sharis, CEO of Cricket Media. “Our magazines have always promoted active learning, acting as catalysts for children’s curiosity and creativity. And with the Keeping Tech in Check initiative, we hope that we can help that play out in real life as much as online.”

The KEEPING TECH IN CHECK hub has been thoughtfully designed to give parents the information they need to navigate and manage technology guilt-free in ways that work for them.

Drawing from Cricket Media’s deep archive of award-winning magazine content, the site includes stories and downloadable activities, as well as news and current research. A dedicated blog will feature expert advice and real-life ideas for activities that shine the spotlight on balancing tech mindfully.

Starting on April 17, families everywhere are invited to join the KEEPING TECH IN CHECK community at Among the site’s features at launch will be:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics Media Use Planner and Media Calculator (both kids and parents will be able to monitor their tech use with these planners).
  • Downloadable content from Cricket Media’s award-winning magazines, designed for ages 3 mos. to 14+.
  • Advice from experts and peers, including a regularly updated blog written by Cricket Media editors, parents and other experts, sharing seasonal and topical ideas for screen-free activities, including “Out of the Box” ideas to unplug. Guest bloggers offer real-life examples of unplugged fun for various ages.
  • Programs designed to focus families on achieving their goals together, including a summer reading program; the Smithsonian Institute sponsored Folklife Challenge and Invent It Challenge; and the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Gene Yang’s Reading without Walls Challenge.
  • Mini printable books –colorfully illustrated tales by top authors and artists, aimed at a variety of age levels.
  • Printable activities – enjoy conversation starters, scavenger hunts, recipes, party ideas, ad-lib word games, writing prompts, and brain teasing games for the whole family.
  • Parents’ Choice Family Adventures Map.
  • Subscription discounts to the 11 ad-free and multiple award-winning Cricket Media magazines for various ages and interests: ASK, BABY BUG, CLICK, CICADA, COBBLESTONE, CRICKET, DIG, FACES, LADYBUG, MUSE, and SPIDER .


“We long ago crossed the Digital Rubicon,” adds Claire Green, president of The Parents’ Choice Foundation. “Keeping Tech in Check offers parents ways to help balance families’ screen based play. No PhD required.”


About Cricket Media

Cricket Media is an education media company that provides award-winning content on a safe and secure learning network for children, families and teachers across the world.  Cricket Media’s 11 popular media brands for toddlers to teens include Babybug®, Ladybug®, Cricket™ and Cobblestone™.  The Company’s innovative web-based K12 tools for school and home include the ePals community and virtual classroom for global collaboration as well as Cricket Together, an e-Mentoring program that builds reading, writing and critical thinking skills. Cricket Media serves millions of teachers, students and parents in over 200 countries and territories through its platform and NeuPals, its joint venture with China’s leading IT services company Neusoft. Cricket Media also licenses its content and platform to top publishing and educational companies worldwide.  For more information, please visit


About Parents’ Choice Foundation

Established in 1978 as a 501c3, Parents’ Choice Foundation is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys. Best known for the Parents’ Choice Awards® program, the Parents’ Choice Award Seals are the Foundation’s internationally recognized and respected icons of quality. Parents’ Choice Award judges are experts in areas of industry and interest, from dinosaurs to digital media and from mathematics to making mayhem. The Parents’ Choice Awards committee members hail from families across the country who evaluate media and products based on developmentally appropriate content and challenges, design and function, the educational value, long-term play value, and the benefits to a child’s social and emotional growth and well being. Please visit for more information.


Press Contacts:

Michael Krause, Foundry Communications, (212) 586-7967,

Beth Blenz-Clucas, Sugar Mountain PR, (503) 293-9498,

Poems About Poetry for National Poetry Month

Have you ever read a poem ABOUT poetry?

Have you ever written one?


All it takes is a metaphor (comparison) and your imagination!


Here are some poems with metaphors

that compare poems to lots of different things.



What’s a Poem?


A whisper,

A shout,

Thoughts turned

Inside out.


A laugh,

A sigh,

An echo

Passing by.


A rhythm,

A rhyme,

A moment

Caught in time.


A moon,

A star,

A glimpse

Of who you are.



A Poem is a Spider Web


A poem is a spider web

Spun with words of wonder,

Woven lace held in place

By whispers made of thunder.



A Poem is a Firefly


A poem is a firefly

Upon the summer wind.

Instead of shining where she goes,

She lights up where she’s been!



A Poem is a Rosebud


A poem is a morning rose,

A promise just begun,

A blossom new with fragrant dew

Unfurling in the sun.



A Poem is a Mirror


A poem is a mirror

Sitting on a shelf

Inviting you to come and view

Reflections of yourself.



A Poem is a Painting


A poem is a painting,

A masterpiece divine,

Hanging on display inside

The gallery of your mind.



A Poem is a Song


A poem is a song

Made of color,


A rainbow

Made of sound,


A painting

Made of memory,


A paradise




A Poem is a Play


A poem is a play

meant to delight.


A poem is a show

meant to excite.


A poem is a song

full of desire.


A poem is a sunset

meant to inspire.


A poem is a secret

shared with friends.


A poem is a promise

that never ends.



A Poem is a Busy Bee


A poem is a busy bee

Buzzing in your head.

His hive is full of hidden thoughts

Waiting to be said.


His honey comes from your ideas

That he makes into rhyme.

He flies around looking for

What goes on in your mind.


When it’s time to let him out

To make some poetry,

He gathers up your secret thoughts

And then he sets them free!



A Poem is a Little Path


A poem is a little path

That leads you through the trees.

It takes you to the cliffs and shores,

To anywhere you please.


Follow it and trust your way

With mind and heart as one,

And when the journey’s over,

You’ll find you’ve just begun.


Charles Ghigna – Father Goose® lives in a treehouse in the middle of Alabama. He served as poet-in-residence and chair of creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and as a nationally syndicated feature writer for Tribune Media Services. He is the author of more than 100 award-winning books for children and adults from Random House, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Time Inc., Abrams, Charlesbridge, Capstone, Orca and other publishers. His poems appear in hundreds of magazines from The New Yorker and Harper’s to Cricket and Highlights. For more information, please visit his website at

There’s No Love Like Puppy Love

Today is National Puppy Day! There are plenty of ways to celebrate: adopt a puppy from your local shelter, donate food and toys to puppies still waiting for their forever families, and help a neighbor by walking their puppy for them, are just a few.


Enjoy these Puppy Themed Stories


Here’s another idea: enjoy one of the many fiction stories and non-fiction articles about puppies of all kinds found in Cricket Media magazines. Here are two good stories to download below. “Sheep Dogs on the Job” comes from Click Magazine and “Greyfriars Bobby” appeared in Spider. For even more puppy-related content, order our Dog Theme Pack, which contains 3 awesome back issues all about your favorite furry friend.


Whichever way you choose to celebrate, don’t forget to give every pup you meet a special belly rub today. After all, it’s their day!


Click Magazine: Sheep Dogs on the Job

 Spider Magazine: Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars    Greyfriars Bobby1


Greyfriars Bobby2Greyfriars Bobby3

Greyfriars Bobby4