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Posted by on Nov 23, 2014 | 0 comments

Perfect is NOT an Option

Perfect Not an Option1

Meet Newton. The main character in CritterKin’s newest book, “The Not Perfect Hat Club” due out in the new year.  As plans for the book launch get underway, we’d like to introduce to the idea of what it means to be “Not Perfect” and invite you and your kids to become members of the Not Perfect Hat Club. After all, no one’s perfect and there are so many wonderful things to be learned when we stop worrying about getting things “right” and focus on exploring things that pique our interest and inspire us to grow and learn.

To become a Fan part of the campaign to create the book and get cool stuff (like CritterKin original art, special edition copies of book and CritterKin badges) please go to:

To learn more about the book and related project based learning go here:

To become a member, simply email Jena a phot and we’ll post here:

As you can see, you are in good company 😉

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Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 | 0 comments

CritterKin Picks #3


This was a stellar week for The Not Perfect Hat Club photos. So stellar in fact that we couldn’t stick to just three images. So here, without further ado, are this week’s picks!


 Julie Szaj is Picture Perfect in her Not Perfect Reindeer Hat

Kory Graham-Framed

I Spy Kory Graham Looking Uniquely Not Perfect

Not Perfect Antics1

 Owen in Tammy Massman’s 3rd grade class (top) and the fabulous group of five in Monica Evon’s 4th grade class (bottom) showing off their Not Perfect hats!


Three wonderfully Not Perfect teachers – Starr Sackstein. Erin Preder and Doug Robertson – Proud to Know Them!



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Posted by on Nov 14, 2014 | 0 comments

CritterKin Picks #2


Photos from visits to classrooms across North America that gave us a giggle, touched our hearts, or made us pause and think. Enjoy!

Lead with Your Heart1

 Click HERE to see more  more examples of the students’ work 

Meet one of Erin Preder’s terrific students at John R. Tibbott Elementary School in Illinois. She and her classmates have been reading “Lead With Your Heart” and learning about kindness and empathy with Ms. Jenaia through stories, drawing, writing and storytelling of their own. Well done!


Click HERE to learn more about the #NotPerfect Hat Club

Meet Admiral, an admirably #NotPerfect member of the CritterKin #NotPerfect Hat Club. Admiral is a rescue dog whose person is a champion of all breeds, but Great Danes and Pit Bulls in particular. Admiral regularly dons a variety of hats and appears at adoption and donation events to spread the word about the importance of kindness and empathy. Way to go Admiral!

Click HERE to learn more about the 4th graders’ newspaper and donation campaign

So proud of the 75 fourth graders at Delaware Elementary School in Iowa who are not only creating a newspaper about kindness, but have launched a donation campaign to collect much needed supplies for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa as well. Great work kiddos! We can hardly wait to see the newspaper!



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Posted by on Nov 12, 2014 | 0 comments

New(sy) Vision for Education

Altoona Article Framed1

CritterKin and Delaware Elementary Article 

CritterKin has partnered with the fourth graders and their teachers (Jennifer Houlette, Julie Campbell and Kendra Carlson) at Delaware Elementary School in Iowa to produce a new kind of newspaper focused on kindness. Entitled “The Des Moines Doggy Daily: News with a “Canine Twist!” the project is designed to teach not only reading, writing, vocabulary and collaboration skills, but emotional literacy as well. The work the students are doing to create articles for the paper and collect food, bedding and toys for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, is generating a lot of excitement in the community. Read all about it in this wonderful article from the Altoona Herald.

Highlights below:

“About a year ago Ball began a program called the “Be Kind Initiative,” which took the CritterKin series and expanded it to help implement projects like, The Des Moines Doggy Daily, into classrooms nationwide to give kids a chance to not only read and write, but experience and practice emotional literacy.”

“It’s not an old-fashioned sit-and-read: the author is connected to the kids from Google’s video-sharing technology called Google Hangouts, which allows her to talk, interact, share and record the sessions with the students from her residence in North Carolina.”

“We’re teaching them to be kind to animals, which is teaching them to be kind to one another,” she said.

Stay tuned for updates as the newspaper gets closer to publication!
























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