Saturday, January 31, 2015

Walking and Listening to "Nightmares!"

Segel, Jason and Miller, Kristen. Nightmares! Listening Library. 2014, $40.00, ISBN 9780804168106. Downloaded from OverDrive.

Charlie has been plagued with nightmares ever since his father remarried and he and his brother moved into the big purple mansion, which Charlie has been long obsessed with. Each night his nightmares take him to the Netherworld where he is locked in a cage and threatened by a witch, who he is convinced is his stepmother. Unable to sleep and acting out towards everyone around him, Charlie finally tells his best friends what has been going on. It turns out they too have been having nightmares, two of which involve someone who looks an awful lot like their principal. While he should be able to take some comfort in this, he can't because the witch has threatened to come to Charlie's world and kidnap his brother Jack. When the witch makes good on her threat, Charlie chases after her and ends up entering the portal into the Netherworld. Once there he must travel through never-ending nightmares, as "Nightmares are humans fears in disguise" to try and get his brother back all the while protecting his friends and confronting President Fear, President of the Netherworld. Thankfully not all nightmares are as bad as they seem and they are willing to help and guide him along the way.

Jason Segel does a wonderful job narrating his story. His differentiation of voices between all the characters was amazing, each one being very distinct and more fun than the previous one to listen to. My personal favorite vocalization was Meduso and the snakes on his head. 

Favorite Chapter Title: Clown Down

It is very rare these days to see Kailua Beach empty but on this particular morning there were just a handful of people on it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Celebrating Oops!

It all started with a pre-Skype video chat with Barney Saltzberg where Mr. Saltzberg casually mentioned that "Celebrate Oops" was going to be launched on January 15th. I loved the idea and knew immediately that I needed to be involved.

I contacted my friend and fellow librarian Matthew Winner to see if it would be possible to connect some of our kids, via Skype that is, to Celebrate Oops. He was immediately on board and came up with the idea that we, along with his partner librarian Eileen Gardner, ran with. We decided to pair up one of my fourth grade classes with one of Eileen and his first grade classes. The three of us began to create "oops" papers, splattering paint, gluing feathers and newspaper, spilling glitter and getting coffee stains all over everything. We then had the kids select a paper, one that spoke to them, without telling them what it was for. Right before the Winter Break, we got our classes together and held out first Skype session, where Matthew and I took turns reading Beautiful Oops and had some of the kids in our classes share why they chose the paper that they did. We then shared with them what we would be doing just as Mr. Saltzberg had done, turning our "oops" into something beautiful.

After Winter Break we got started with creating our "oops" and were looking forward to sharing them with our new friends.

Just this morning we got together and shared our final product. The kids were thrilled to see what the first graders had made and were really proud of them.

I was having so much fun that I just couldn't couldn't stop "oops"-ing! Many more "oops" papers were made and I had several other classes come in and create even more Beautiful Oops. There is no better way to share their pictures than accompany them with the music of Barney Saltzberg!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Walking and Listening to "The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher"

Levy, Dana Alison. The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher. 5cd's. 5 hours 55 minutes. Listening Library. 2014. $31.50. 978-0804168649. Downloaded via OverDrive

It's no wonder that there is never a dull moment in Fletcher household, with four boys, a cat, a dog and more soccer balls and hockey pucks than you could count the action never stops. Told in snapshots we get to experience  moments throughout the Fletcher family's year. We see Sam, the oldest Fletcher son, trying to find the balance between new hobbies and interests with old ones. We feel as Eli struggles and realizes that what he had so desired isn't what he really wanted. We have all been through what Jax is experiencing as he and his best friend drift apart and how his reaching out to others goes unnoticed. Then there is the happy go lucky youngest Fletcher, Froggy, with his an imaginary tiger and questionable new friend Ladybug.

 There are a few things that I loved about this book. First of all, I loved the chapter titles. They felt very Friends-esque. Each chapter also began with a note, a post-it, or an email which helped set up the chapter ahead, giving the story an even more human touch. Most importantly the Fletcher boys are very relatable, anyone who reads this book with be able to connect in some way with each of the boys.

The one downside of this book had nothing to do with the book itself, it had to do some difficulty with the audio download. No matter what I tried, I was unable to play the final 3 chapters of the book, I had to check the book out of the library to find out how it all ended.

Favorite Chapter Title: In Which The Halloween Party Arrives and Nearly Floats Away

Yes, I do realize that it is Winter for the majority of people right now and showing a picture of blue sky and warmth really isn't what most want to see, but that's our Winter. Sorry. Plus when I saw these boogie boards hanging, I thought about how much the Fletcher boys would enjoy a day of boogie boarding.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January Bulletin Boards

On January 15th, author/illustrator Barney Saltzberg is launching Celebrate Oops! in honor of his book, Beautiful Oops! This book is known and loved and used throughout our school. I decided to turn the giant bulletin board this month into a giant "oops", where kids can turn the "oops" that they see there into something fabulous.
While the kids have only just seen the board, they have started to turn some of the "oops" into something amazing.

New Year...Same Greg. I wonder what his New Year's Resolution was, perhaps it was that I would stop dressing him up. Unfortunately for him, that isn't going to happen.

In January we honor Martin Luther King Jr. and all the amazing work he did during the Civil Rights Movement.

Rosemary Wells is celebrating her birthday this month. Can you believe she has written over 120 books!
While penguins don't quite love the warm tropical weather our island provides, we still love them and think they are super cute.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Walking and Listening to "How to Catch a Bogle"

Jinks, Catherine. How to Catch a Bogle.  7 hours 12 minutes. Listening Library, 2014, $23.00 ISBN: 9780804167796 Download via Overdrive

A bogle?! What on earth could that possibly be you ask? Should you be on the lookout for them? While I hope to never encounter one, I don't have to worry too much because a bogle is a creature/monster/demon that only eats children. Yes, that's right, bogles eat children. Luckily the people of London have Mr. Alfred Bunce, a bogler and his apprentice Birdie to help rid the town of these nasty creatures. Catching a bogle, while a bit dangerous, is something that Birdie enjoys doing with Mr. Bunce. When children go missing whether it be from a chimney, a basement or a well, Mr. Bunce is summoned to help take care of the matter. He sets up the trap and then has Birdie summon the bogle out of its hiding place by singing. Just as the bogle gets close to Birdie, Mr. Bunce strikes, killing the bogle. However when Sarah Pickles approaches Mr. Bunce to tell him some of her pickpocketing boys have gone missing, he isn't terribly eager to help. After several visits from her, he relents and he and Birdie head off to Dr. Morton's. Once inside Dr. Morton's home, which they have broken into, they discover several unusual things. It appears that Dr. Morton has been wanting to capture a bogle for himself and has been trying to summon one. Not quite sure what to make of this, Mr. Bunce kills the bogle lurking in the home and heads out. Before you know it, Mr. Bunce is asked to take care of a bogle in a cemetery. Unfortunately, this bogling experience does not go as expected, it is a trap. 

Mandy Williams does a lovely job narrating this book. She had good pacing the story, keeping it moving, as well as differentiating the voices for each of the characters. I liked how she was animated and her expression reflected how each of the characters were feeling. I also appreciated how she sang whenever  Birdie sang to lure the bogles out of their hiding places. Sure, the songs were depressing, but she still sounded lovely singing them. 

Winter is Hawaii looks quite different than winter in other places around the world. We have been having some absolutely gorgeous days as you can see from this picture I took one morning while I was out #walkingandlistening.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Onomatopoeia Fun With the Kindergarteners!

"Onomatopoeia! Onomatopoeia!" is being chanted over and over and over again, complete with hand motions throughout the library to the beat/tune of the Conga.
Why you ask? Well, I have just introduced the kindergarteners to onomatopoeia and the best way to learn something new is to have a catchy tune about it that gets stuck in your head. There are some amazing picture books that feature onomatopoeia such as Red Sled by Lita Judge or The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney and while I love using those there are some others I enjoy as well. Have you checked these out yet?

After learning about onomatopoeia and sharing examples of onomatopoeia, each class brainstormed onomatopoeia they have heard during a storm. We then took those words and turned them into these amazing onomatopoeia poems. Here are four of them.

By the Explorers' 
Crash went the thunder
 Dun dun went the thunder
 Ahhhh! Yelled the Explorers
 Drip Drop went the rain
 Splish Splash in the puddle
 Whoosh went the wind
 Pssshhh the umbrellas flew away
 Flash went the lightning
 Boom went the thunder
 Flick the lights went out

By The Shooting Stars 
Boom! Crash! Perrrrrrr!
 Zzzztttttt! Prow Prow! Lightning lit up the sky
 Whoosh! Roosh! Wind  passed the house
 Drip drop! Drip drop! The rain fell
 Mmmmmm….The hot chocolate is good

By Na Honu
It was a rainy day
 Plop! Plop! Plop! Plop!
 It was a stormy day
 Crash! Boom! Ka-boom!
 Water rushed down the stream
 Shhhhhhhhh! Shhhhhhhhhh!
 Lightning struck
 Zzztttt! Zap! Zzzttt! Zap!
 The sky was pitch black

By The Rainbows 
Boom! Ka-Boom! Chhhhhh!
Went the thunder
 Crash! Bam! Chop!
The trees fell down
 Whoosh! Woooooo! Shhhhhh!
Blowing the leaves away
 Splash! Drip! Pitter Patter!
Watering the plants
 Zap! The lights went out