Thursday, May 18, 2017

I was thrilled to host Rebecca Doughty at our school last week.  (Shoutout to Cambridge School Volunteers for helping to organize the visit!) She visited our second graders.  I have to say, we are now all big fans.  Her funny, cartoonish drawings and lovely text full of figurative language are delightful.

Her new book Before You
is almost a tear-jerker as we read in pages without color "I was a tail without a wag/just a bean without a bag"  Later, in pages  full of color, we read "You woke the sun/you lit the moon..."  A great read-aloud or gift book.

Monday, January 16, 2017

I think these will become classics

I just got in a bunch of new books, and I can't decide which one I like the most!  Each one is more brilliant than the last!

This one Oops Pounce Quick Run! An Alphabet Caper by Mike Twohy was a sleeper, I saw the cover and thought "cute."  Then I read it.  What a great book!  It's an alphabet book and a story.  One word per page, about a dog and a mouse.  But the story is so good, that you don't notice it is an alphabet book.
Even better, I told my young listeners that this was more than just a story.  I asked them to tell me if they noticed anything... and a few of them did notice about halfway through that it was an alphabet book.  Don't miss this one.


Another book that got me saying "HOW did the author think of this?" was One Day, The End, Short, Very Short, Shorter-Than-Ever Stories by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, illustrated by Fred Koehler.  


Each story takes place over two two-page spreads, The first begins "One day I lost my dog, then I found him."  But the illustrations!  They are amazing and fun and joyful.  This is a great book to read together with a child.


Some kids, maybe most kids, love books where there is a lot going on in the illustrations.  I remember endless hours absorbed in the illustrations of a Richard Scarry book when I was small half a century ago. So many kids have been to airports that the Airport Book by Lisa Brown can help kids make sense of these busy, fascinating places.  Reading the book is like taking a trip to the world of places and people in an airport.  We see people, families and stuffed animals going through security, airport vehicles, lots of travelers, and hundreds and hundreds of things to look at.  It's another really fun book to read together with a child.  






Thursday, May 12, 2016

Loved this Book

I just finished Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern.  I love books with great characters, and this book is no exception.  The narrator in this book, Benny Barrows, is wonderfully authentic.  He is the kind of kid that fourth graders can relate to - he worries about the usual things kids worry about.  He isn't a great student, he isn't the most popular.  He worries about why all the kids at school seem to be getting rewards for being kind, but he isn't.  In reality, Benny has a lot more on his plate than an ordinary kid, and I found myself rooting for him and his family all the way to the book's ending. I think what I loved about it the most was that Benny's family has big challenges, and Benny handles it the way a real kid would.  Try this one.  I hope you'll like it as much as I did.

Friday, March 11, 2016

I have just discovered the character of Dory (I don't think she has a last name) from Dory Fantasmagory and  Dory and the Real True Friend  by Abby Hanlon.  (Penguin/Random House).



What a great, refreshing character Dory is.  And hilarious.  
In the first book, she explains that she is the "little kid in the family," has an imaginary friend, Mary, and her older brother and sister don't want to play with her.  They call her "rascal" (it isn't hard to imagine why, since she constantly gets in trouble and interrupts her siblings.  Finally, her siblings create an imaginary "Mrs. Gobble Gracker" to frighten her.  You'll have to find out the rest of the story by reading it yourself.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

New Books

It is hard to describe the feeling I get when a new shipment of books arrives.  I feel my heart rate increasing.  I feel excitement.  I feel joy.  This is one of the greatest pleasures of being a school librarian.  I think of how excited the kids will be to see certain titles.  I mentally match certain kids and teachers with certain books.  I plan read-alouds and booktalks.

I remember why I love my job.





Friday, May 22, 2015

Informational Nonfiction for Kindergarteners

New Nonfiction

A lot of childrens book publishers are coming out with beautiful new nonfiction informational books related to the Common Core standards.  One of my, and my Kindergarten teachers'  favorites, are the Bullfrog Books imprint, published by Jump!













Everyone who sees these books wants to pick them up and look at them.  The photographs are beautiful.  The text is clear and accessible to beginner readers.