Thursday, January 27, 2011

Author Visit!

You probably read about our visiting author, Susan Stevens Crummel in an earlier post. Wow! She sure knows how to captivate and inspire a crowd of young readers and writers! In three presentations, she described how she and her illustrator sister, Janet Stevens, and illustrator friend, Dorothy Donohue work together on their incredible, award winning books. Puppets and our own students helped make the stories come alive.
It was fun, fun, fun to have a library full of excited, laughing, and learning children!
Be sure to check out the notes our own Parish pets wrote to Mr. Mutt asking for advice. We LOVE that book!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Guys Read Alvin Ho

For the second year, the second grade guys met for the Alvin Ho Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things Book Club lunch in the library. The book was a hit with this group and again inspired some fantastic conversation! The guys made their own list of things that others should know about them and things that scared them. They came up with their own superhero names. They made a connection with Alvin when he talked about the best time he ever had with his dad, and every boy told about a great time that he had shared with his own dad. We watched a quick advertisement for Johnny Astro, the toy that Alvin's dad loved when he was a boy. We also took a quick look at where there are a lot of lists of books that might be particularly fun for guys. I'm hoping for some recommendations for future book club titles from the boys.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mother/Daughter Book Club

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin was the perfect book for our 2nd Grade Mother/Daughter Book Club! Our library rocked with excitement for an hour after school with 32 book lovers talking about the book's themes of connectedness and thankfulness. We snacked on peaches, eggrolls, springrolls, goldfish, mini goldfish cupcakes and green tea. Grace Lin's video of
the background and her thinking behind the book. We tested the net that tricked the monkeys (a basketball net was perfect!)
We took an online quiz about the book all together on the SmartBoard. We talked about how the meaning of Minli's name (quick thinking) suited her. Then we helped each other think of what name would suit us. We talked about The Old Man in the Moon's red thread and how we are connected as we tied the names together.
This group is an artistic bunch! The dragon creations are fantastic.

Take a look at what the girls had to say about the book.
Grace Lin has written many books that we have in our library. I bet they'll be well read this year!
Everyone went home with a dragon pearl, and (I hope) memories of a wonderful time spent reading together.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Susan Stevens Crummel is Coming!

Susan Stevens Crummel is the author of over a dozen fabulous, award winning books. Two of her books(Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! and Help Me Mr. Mutt!) have won the Texas Bluebonnet Award. Help Me, Mr. Mutt and The Great Fuzz Frenzy were past winners of our own Panther Paw Award. Susan was here several years ago, and teachers and students fell in love! She's inspiring and fun. We are thrilled to have her visit us in our library on Thursday, January 27. She will meet with all of our K - 2 classes, and she'll talk about the importance of reading, writing, and storytelling. She will also focus on the creative process and collaboration with her sister, author/illustrator Janet Stevens.
I'm sure that many of you have some of her books on your library shelves at home. Susan is happy to autograph those. Her books are available at most major bookstores.
These are some of her books that we'll be reading in the library. You might enjoy reading some at home, too!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Welcome, Charlotte!

Our library has so many books about tarantulas. Charlotte's hoping that you'll read all about her.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Panther Paw 2011

It happens every year. The Panther Paw Book Contest is a fun, fun, fun reading program for Parish students in kindergarten through second grade. The goal is to encourage everyone to read and explore a variety of recently published books and to choose favorites. Take a look at the 20 fantastic titles on the 2011 Panther Paw booklist. Any student, parent or teacher who reads or listens to at least ten books can vote for his/her favorite. Anyone who reads or listens to all twenty books will be eligible to enter a drawing for a chance to win a complete set of the Panther Paw books for his/her classroom. Parents may check out one Panther Paw book at a time for overnight or a weekend. We'll vote in March, and the winning book will be announced. Until then...happy reading!

Panther Paw 2011 on PhotoPeach

Needs and Wants

Christmastime seems like the perfect time to consider the differences between "wants" and "needs." That's what the second graders did as we read Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts. This is a thought provoking book about a boy who begins his story with, "I have dreams about those shoes. Black high-tops. Two white stripes." He deals with embarrassment and disappointment, but he demonstrates caring and generosity. After some discussion and thinking, each second grader added to a list of wants and needs, and that list was used to create a wordle. Interesting and FUN!

Mental Images

Our library has many (16) retellings of Clement Moore's famous story of The Night Before Christmas. Different illustrators put their spin on the story. It is amazing how the illustrator can create a mood. The first graders listened with eyes closed to the familiar poem and then examined the illustrations. They chose the version that most closely matched their mental images of the story. Their conversation was fun to hear. I heard phrases like these:
"I think the reindeer look just like this. Do you?"
"My grandfather read this very same book to me on Skype."
"I was right...sugarplums look like candy."
You can see that Mary Engelbreit and Christian Birmingham most often matched visions with the first graders.