{About Me}

A bookful HELLO to you!
My name is Courtney Hinshaw founder of Ramona Recommends. When you visit, I hope you leave loving picture books more than you did before stopping by to Open the Magic. Sharing my love for picture books and all teachery things  in an upper grade classroom brings me great joy. I have never met a picture book I didn't like. Ok, there might be one or two that didn't win me over. Seeing that I own over 2,000 picture books tucked away in my OPEN THE MAGIC library in my home office, I decided to create a hashtag to spread the magic {Picture Books are my JAM} #picturebooksaremyjam.

I am a 5th grade teacher from Orange County, California where I love going to work everyday. You can find me on Wednesdays out in front of the school with popping music, a microphone, and a cheery voice welcoming the students onto campus. Talking reading, picture books, dance parties, student engagement, relationship building, character education, or growth mindset get me all teacher excited.

When you open my heart, you will find God, family, friends, Nordstrom, picture books, guacamole, early morning workouts, chocolate coconut ice cream, color, resource design, organization, skittles, and pigs.

Ramona Recommends? Why not Courtney Recommends? My favorite author growing up was Beverly Cleary who pinned two famous little girls named Ramona and Beezus Quimby. Long story short I was definitely the Ramona in the family who got into everything and always wanted to play with my older sisters Tiffany and Shannon. Tiffany did not escape the nicknames and became Beezus. Flipping many pages forward while thinking of a blog name I created a list with my favorite children's literature characters and I knew in my heart Beverly Cleary's Ramona was the perfect choice.  Ramona Recommends opened a new chapter to spread the magic.

Favorite Picture Book EVER: Thank You, Mr. Falker
Favorite Chapter Book FOREVER: Wonder


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Patti! It has been such a blast to create! Hope you are doing well. xo

  2. I am in LOVE with children's books as well!! I use picture books all the time and my 4th graders love them!! I'm so excited to have found your blog!!

    Lessons with Laughter

  3. I am so glad you found it too! 12 days of Ramona Recommends starts next Sunday. I will be doing a book a day! So fun!

  4. I'm a 4th grade teacher who loves using picture books, too!! Can't wait to follow your blog!! I'm just starting out (literally setting up my blog)

  5. Hey Girl, Just wanted to say 'Hi' and I am so impressed with what you have done, not only in this blog, but how you are changing lives (little ones and big ones)! I hope you are well! Love seeing you on FB and now this! :) *hugs*


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