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.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Great Read-aloud Biographies

Biographies can be extremely powerful read-alouds, as well as a segue into non-fiction.  Here are some of my all-time favorite picture book read-aloud biographies

Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull

I read it with a class of second-graders and you could have heard a pin drop as they listened.  The best part about biographies is that I can then use the power of technology to bring this great woman alive.  Here are two Youtube videos that are fabulous to show kids after reading the book:

Stories of olympic athletes overcoming great odds always make good reading.   Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee story, By Paula Yoo and Dom Lee is no exception,
especially when paired with the following footage from the 1948 and 1952 Olympics: (Sammy is about at 2:35)

A Splash of Red: The life and Art of Horace Pippin by Melissa Sweet

is a fantastic story of the self-taught artist, and can be paired with this profile from the online Museum Syndicate website

 that has photographs of Pippin as well as images of his work.