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All Fall Down

A bedtime routine story - filled with gooey Mac n'Cheese, bubble baths, and dancing to The Grateful Dead's classic, "Throwing Stones."

Photo of Laura Schad
5 1

Written by

We spun, shook, and shimmied.

We twirled, turned, and tumbled.

We jumped, leapt, glided, and crashed about the living room.

The music frenzy churned all around us.

Daddy taught us how to perform rambunctious drum solos and how to perfect our air-guitar moves.

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

My vision for my early childhood book is to open up a dialogue between children and caregivers about fun getting-ready-for-bedtime norms while simultaneously incorporating alliteration and descriptive prose about the power of movement and music. Additionally, my vision for my early childhood book is to showcase patterns, shapes, and sizes in the illustrations - components that can be used to learn shapes, practice counting, and provide extended compare and contrast activities.

Share your suggested book title

All Fall Down

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

"We spun, shook, and shimmied. We twirled, turned, and tumbled. We jumped, leapt, glided, and crashed about the living room. The music frenzy churned all around us. Daddy taught us how to perform rambunctious drum solos and how to perfect our air-guitar moves."

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

As a Philadelphia public school teacher, I know just how vital early childhood literacy is for long-term academic success. The role parents play in this crucial language development, and one of the perfect opportunities to incorporate early childhood literacy practices into a family's busy routine, is at bed time. My book is all about bedtime, and therefore would be a perfect fit! The "talking is teaching" method is vital to early childhood literacy. Children ages 0-3 cannot always talk back, but the talk caregivers direct toward them is vital to their retention of new sounds, words, and phrases. My book allows for multiple opportunities for talk beyond simply reading the book aloud. On each page caregivers can practice talking about the different colors, shapes, and patterns they see. On each page caregivers can practice counting these different colors, shapes, and patterns. On each page caregivers can model what it is like to talk with descriptive adjectives.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I am a Philadelphia native with an education tale that weaves its way through various Philadelphia neighborhoods. I first studied in the Fitler Square neighborhood at The Philadelphia School. Next, in Bella Vista at The Academy of Palumbo High School. Then, across the Schuylkill at the University of Pennsylvania. There I studied History and Early Childhood Education. I continued at the Graduate School of Education at University of Pennsylvania, obtaining my M.S. in the Teacher Education Program. Finally, for the last four years I have taught 7-8th grade Social Studies at Southwark School, located in South Philadelphia. I have spent my life learning and teaching in Philadelphia.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Music and movement constantly surround we urban dwellers. From the sounds of horns, Septa buses, trash trucks and trash talk (with different accents), the "music" of the city surrounds us. Additionally, urban centers are full of movement - from the pigeons that dance at our feet to the people weaving in and out on the pavements, to the boats that row down the Schuylkill, sound and movement surround us. I believe that message resonates in my story, about the sounds and movements that occur during a family's bedtime routine.

Location: Country

United States of America.

Location: State or Department


Location: City


Tell us more about you / your team

My name is Laura Schad. I am a Philadelphia native, and a Philadelphia public school teacher. I have a passion for history, young adult fiction, and traveling. I wrote this manuscript as part of a graduate school project several years ago. It is based on fond memories I have of my sisters and me preparing for bed with my dad and dancing around the living room to The Grateful Dead (my dad's favorite group.) As a teacher, I am constantly incorporating both fiction and nonfiction texts into my Social Studies classroom. An avid reader, I love sharing my love of reading with my scholars, and it has caused me to seriously consider personally creating the books that I wish I had to teach. My mother saw this contest and suggested I apply - perhaps this will be the push I need to bring my love of history and reading together and start to publish books I know my students would love. Thank you for your consideration.

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • My mom told me about the opportunity! She knows I write children's books in my free time.

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am a Philadelphia educator and life long learner.
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Attachments (2)


Different shapes, patterns, and colors provide extra "talking is teaching" components to the narrative. Caregivers can help to count the shapes, describe the patterns, remark on the colors, or play "hide and seek" on each page with a certain shape. In this way, there are lots of ways for caregivers and children to interact with the book beyond the narrative itself.


In my book, each of my family members is represented by a different color, shape, and pattern. My dad is the large, blue rectangle. My twin sister is the square, I am the triangle, and my little sister is the circle. I tried to make the shapes expressive by including our arms and legs moving in lots of different directions.


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Photo of Shondra M. Quarles

Interesting use of shapes to show the diversity of people,. Plus, it is engaging!

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