Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

We Have Our Joy Cowley 2014 Contest Winners!
We'd like to extend a hearty congratulations to our Grand Prize Winner! Click the video below to see Joy Cowley herself announce the big winner! The ten winners of the runner-up Big Book Prizes are announced further down the page.

If you are one of these eleven winners, check your email over the the next couple of days; someone will be emailing you to confirm your shipping address and, if you are a runner-up Big Book winner, to find out which Big Book from the Joy Cowley Collection you would like.

To find out why our winners love Joy Cowley's books, read on!

We asked our contestants to tell us what they and their students love about Joy Cowley's books. Here is what they said:

Tambra Isenberg (Grand Prize Winner):

Joy Cowley's books are enjoyable for ALL of my students. The repetitive text allows all students to participate in our shared reading. The content is fabulous! The students fall in love with the humorous characters. They ask to read the stories over and over. As a teacher, I love the books because they have reinforced my students' ability to retain sight words. I teach students with exceptionalities in my inclusive classroom and it is a time of day when they can all feel involved and engaged. Joy Cowley's books are not just another read aloud. They are gifts to my students. When I taught at another district, we had the entire Joy Cowley collection and I miss it dearly. I truly believe her books are one of the reasons my students left kindergarten as readers. Joy Cowley's books have instilled a love of reading and books to all of my students. I am grateful for this opportunity to thank her! 

Kelly Boyle:

I love the familiar characters, repetitive language, spacing, pictures, and the many opportunities that the books provide for teaching children how to read. The children love the characters, especially Mrs. Wishy-Washy and her pink fuzzy slippers. Many of our students and their families were devastated by Hurricane Sandy last year, and this prize will benefit us to help replenish our libraries.

Landi Brown:

We love the craft she uses when writing, because it encourages us to use animated voices when reading her books! We also love going on "snappy word" hunts in her books.  They are perfect because of the print/font size and the usage of high-frequency words.

Amy Cody:

The children get very excited when I pull out Mrs. Wishy-Washy. They love the cadence of the stories. Once they became quite familiar with her and Joy Cowley, they started noticing that there were other books with Joy's name on the front. They became lovers of the author, and they wanted to read everything that she wrote.  When I put out a new tub of books, they quickly go through them to see who will get Joy's books first. They just gobble them up. At Halloween, I dressed up as Mrs. Wishy Washy, and it was quite a hit. The children would love to have more of her books to devour!

Kristen Flores:

Joy Cowley has very lovable characters. The students enjoy reading all the Mrs. Wishy-Washy books and comparing the characters across texts. Her books range from simple to complex patterns, which are perfect for all reading levels in the K–2 world. Her books are fun to act out and explore character voices. I love to use her big books for shared reading lessons to teach the children specific reading strategies and/or blends, double vowels, etc. I know that I can always keep my students interest when using her books.

Angelica Fotos:

My students find Joy Cowley's lively characters (Mrs. Wishy-Washy, the Hungry Giant, Fix-it Bear, and the Meanies) to be unique and lovable. They find themselves in such precarious situations, but manage to get out of trouble with style. As a Reading Recovery/Interventions teacher, I appreciate the care Joy Cowley has put into each title, to offer the right kind of support at each level or text complexity that will make the texts readable and accessible for students to grow as readers and to enjoy.  I look forward to new titles as they become available. Keep on writing!

Denise Gaviola:

I have loved her books for over twenty years. I even dressed as her on our "Favorite Book Character" day! Kids today as in the past love Mrs. Wishy-Washy's mission to keeping everything clean, especially the animals. The repetition is perfect for students to predict and retell. I have used her stories for many story extensions across the curriculum. I was lucky enough to meet Joy Cowley and my students are always very impressed, as they should be!

Pam Hume-Engle:

When we pull out one of her books the children immediately shout, "a Joy Cowley book!"  She is the only author, other than Dr. Seuss, that the children recognize. That says it all. The children and teachers love the brightly colored illustrations, upbeat comical stories, and that they are accurately leveled.

Cara Kennard:

I love all of Joy Cowley's books because of the catchy phrases, fun characters, and predictable language that makes young readers feel successful. All of my kindergarten students in my literacy groups know Joy Cowley's name!  I do a "Mrs. Wishy Washy unit" with my students each year. At the end of the unit, I bring animal crackers and chocolate pudding, so the kids can eat the animals "muddy." They love it!

Melissa Minore:

It's not about me loving Joy Cowley books, but it's about the excitement that my students have for them that's more important! They LOVE Mrs. WIshy-Washy and the Meanies and beg to have them read to them every day. I love her simplicity, but also the easy integration of literacy and other academic concepts into her stories. She creates a character and settings in a few simple words. For Pre-K students, her books are PERFECT!  

Lucie Papia:

Joy Cowley is one of the first authors that year after year of my first grade students recognize. They love the playfulness of her characters and how clearly defined her characters are! They love the situations she puts her characters in, and they get SO excited when they start to use their prediction skills and they predict correctly!  The character that I notice they identify with first is Mrs. Wishy-Washy! She is an infectious character that my students can find humor in and laugh at and with her antics! If I could only choose one author for my "Just Right" books for my classroom, it would be Joy Cowley!


We'd like to take this moment to remind you that there are only two weeks left to get Joy Cowley's newly re-released book Do Whacky Do at the special pre-publication price! The offer expires on April 15, so order your copy now by clicking here!