LemonTree Press is dedicated to producing books which are entertaining and engaging to children, but which, beyond this, provide gateways into areas of traditional academic learning.
As a Waldorf educator for 40 years, Howard Schrager has been working to cultivate a type of learning based in imagination, creativity, and physical activity. Recognizing how this approach not only teaches, but enlivens children, bringing out the best in them, he has sought to create stories & poems which do just this. To further this mission, he founded LemonTree Press in 1999.
The Impact of LemonTree Products
In Waldorf schools the beginning of formal language learning, reading, etc. is marked by the introduction of the letters of the alphabet. You might say, “Yes, and what else is new?” But the in-depth treatment of the letters, or sounds, goes far beyond children learning to identify, shape and use the letters for reading and writing. The goal is, through an artistic approach, to touch the children and to have them participate deeply in the experiencing of language.
Each letter becomes like a book in itself. Typically the teacher tells a story in which a certain image within the story, in the form of the particular letter, emerges. On the board there is a colored drawing of, for eg. a MOUNTAIN, a TOWER, a SNAKE, a BEAR or a BUTTERFLY etc., in which the shape of the given letter may be highlighted and identified, within the drawing. Attention is given to the sound of the letter, not its name. We can see the confusion caused by b,c,d,g,t, etc., which really do not ‘rhyme’ except in their name ending. (Bye, bye alphabet song.) Each letter/sound has a distinct quality which the teacher brings out. Contrast a T and an S, for example. Interesting, too, about the neighbors M and N. Bringing the letters through storytelling and the various art forms provides a wonderful impetus for the child to connect with the world of language through their imagination.
It was out of this experience as a teacher that I eventually came to write LMNOP and All the Letters A to Z. I wanted to give children a poetic grounding at the outset of their education. It was so much fun writing LMNOP and there were so many new insights into language to be had from teaching in this way that I wanted to pay it forward.
Praise for LMNOP
“I’ve seen many alphabets in my 22 years of teaching, but LMNOP takes it to a new level.”
– Pola Espinoza, Master Teacher Consultant,
Pajaro Unified School District, Watsonville, CA
“LMNOP is not just another amoung scores of alphabet books published each
– Jeanette Wright/ The News Hearald
“We didn’t want to turn the page, but we couldn’t wait to see what the next
letter had to say.”