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Read Across America: Massachusetts

Read your way across America in picture books - Jan Brett for Massachusetts and links to books for the other states.

It’s the third year of Booking Across the USA, and this year we are featuring one author for each of the fifty states! I picked Massachusetts author Jan Brett as our picture book author to feature. Jan Brett’s picture books are favorites in our house, and her website is full of wonderful activities that my kids enjoy! Last November I wrote a post about how we used activities from her site after reading The Three Snow Bears*, and how we paired this book with photos from my mother’s childhood in Alaska. Back in 2012, I participated in a blog hop full of activities that go along with books by Jan Brett. I was introduced to this author via her book Berlioz the Bear*, which my mom bought for my younger siblings when I was in high school. Since then I have collected many of her books. The Mitten* and The Wild Christmas Reindeer* are other favorites in our home.

*This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Booking Across the USA: Massachusetts Author Jan Brett

Jan Brett Gingerbread House coloring pages

Jan Brett’s site is incredible, so I tend to stick to resources she provides when we read her books. We read Gingerbread Baby* this week, and I printed out her gingerbread house mural pages for the kids to color. Besides the basic gingerbread house shape that Anna is coloring below, there three pages of various decorations for the roof and walls.

exploring color with Jan Brett coloring pages

Jan Brett’s picture books are always full of delightful details, and her coloring pages are no exception. I never would have thought to put lions and elephants on a gingerbread house, but she makes it work:

Jan Brett's picture books are full of incredible details, and her coloring pages show this attention to detail.

And a lion and elephant were exactly the types of gingerbread details that seven-year-old Johnny was drawn to!

Coloring pages designed by author-illustrator Jan Brett

We used these coloring pages with Gingerbread Baby, but they were actually created for her newer book, Gingerbread Friends*, which we have not read. Have you? Do you have a favorite Jan Brett book, or a favorite feature from her site?

Booking Across the USA

This post is part of the 2015 edition of Booking Across the USA. In 2013 we picked a favorite book for each state (I represented Massachusetts), and in 2014 we wrote about a state (I represented Vermont). This year we are featuring authors that are strongly associated with each state.

You can find the direct links to the authors for each state by clicking on the image below:


Do you have a favorite picture book author for your state?

MaryAnne at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

18 thoughts on “Read Across America: Massachusetts”

  1. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    I am always intrigues by the level of detail in Jan Brett’s books – they are truly a feast for visual learners.

  2. Jan Brett is an amazing illustrator and author, but I get her books for the drawings. What a great reading adventure!

  3. You are so lucky to have such a fabulous author and illustrator to represent your state. What fun your children must have had working on such lovely activities. Pinned! Thanks for the inspiration. Carolyn

  4. Jan Brett’s resource pages are wonderful. Gingerbread Baby is still one of our first snow “must reads” – now more for the illustrations and comfort of tradition than for the actual story. My teens still like to page through it.

  5. Elisa | blissfulE

    How neat! What a talented and generous author!
    Is Johnny testing marker colours below the picture before he colours it in so he csn get it just right! Really admiring both his and Anna’s attention to detail here!

  6. We like ‘The Mitten’ and my five-year-old’s teacher had lots of activities for them when they read this book. I wonder if she got it from the author’s website too!

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