Saturday, February 27, 2016

World Read Aloud Day Author Wrap-Up!

What is World Read Aloud Day without authors?! We were lucky enough to spend time with 5 amazing authors.
The Sneaky Penguins kicked off our World Read Aloud Skype visits with author and illustrator Deborah Freedman
We loved hearing her read her book The Story of Fish & Snail. The children were then able to ask questions which from ranged from, "Do you and Miss Johnstone know each other" (since we both have curly hair), to how do you get your ideas to which comes first for her, the pictures or the words. 
We also had a chance to see her sketchbook which was beyond cool. Learning how she makes 3-D clay models of her characters to help her with her drawing inspired the class to try that as well.
The Explorers had a chance to meet to Anne Marie Pace along with students in Athens, Georgia. We felt so incredibly special because she read us her newest book Pigloo which is about a pig who enjoys exploring. The Explorers were beside themselves that the book was about an explorer and their class name is The Explorers. What an amazing coincidence!
We had a chance to ask questions and found out that Pigloo is the book that has taken her the longest to write since she had the idea way back when she was in first grade! We also found out that she wrote Vampirina Ballerina after thinking about things that were complete opposites.
Na Lupe met author Katy Kelly. Who not only read from her book Lucy Rose: Here's the Thing About Me, but who explained to them why being a writer is the greatest job ever. She shared that she has been to places she would never have been able to visit if she wasn't a writer. 
We also had a chance to meet her assistant, her dog, and see how he freaks out whenever the mailman arrives. She played a game with us to get our ideas flowing and showed us how there is no such thing as a bad idea, those ideas can all lead us to something wonderful.
The Bees had an opportunity to meet Margie Palatini as well as some of Mrs. Gardner's students in Maryland. Heidi asked, "What was the first book that you wrote and how long did it take to get published?" We learned that it was Piggie Pie and that after she first wrote it, it was rejected several times so she put it away. When her son was three, she shared it with him and he was hysterical with laughter, requesting the story over and over again. She sent in back in and viola! It was turned into a book.

We are laughing hysterically as Margie read, Moo Who? to us. She's an amazing storyteller. We also got the inside scoop on Hilda Mae Heifer and how she had pictured in her mind to look like. 
The Dolphins and the Dragonflies had a chance to meet author Josh Funk. They have been going wild over his book Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, which lead to many breakfast related questions. 
The kids were so excited, fist and arm pumps included, when he read to a yet to be published book, Pirasaurs! They loved the rhyme of it and how the dinosaurs looked.

Thank you to all the authors who helped us celebrate World Read Aloud Day. You created amazing memories for the students and encouraged them to read and write. Thank you!

World Read Aloud Day Wrap-Up!

Holy World Read Aloud Day Fun! We celebrated with 14 Skype and Google Hangout sessions, 9 with classes around the world and 5 with authors. Here's a quick recap of all the different students that we met.
We started the week off by meeting one of Sherell Stepp's classes in North Carolina. After Da Kind Geese got to know a little bit about their new friends, Ms. Stepp and I went onto share two super fun books, Wolfie the Bunny and A Bear Ate Your Sandwich.
Later in the day, The Super Kids met some of Catherine Word's 4th graders in Louisiana. They asked us some interesting questions, wanting to know if we had volcano drills and if we ate snow cones in the summer. We let them know that we call "snow cones" shave ice and eat them all year long. Two of her students read Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude to us. We loved it!
Day Two of WRAD was all about Google Hangouts! Na He'e Nalu had a chance to meet students in the Mira Costa High School Library Club. They shared The Lorax with us and the students really loved being read out loud to be older students.
Next Na Honu got a chance to meet some of Shaelynn Bates' second graders in Washington. Ms. Bates and I took turns reading, The Book With No Pictures. Na Honu were laughing hysterically at the all the sounds that we had to make while we were reading the book.
Hooray! Today was the official World Read Aloud Day! We celebrated with 4 author Skypes (during which we also met children from Maryland and Georgia). You can read all about our World Read Aloud Day author Skype sessions here. We also had a chance to Skype with Erika Victor's 3rd graders in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The students had so much fun taking turns reading Have You Seen My Hat and I Want My Hat Back.
Na Kukui were thrilled that Kim Busch's students in North Carolina wanted to read to them. They shared Rainbow Fish and Red with us. The students did a great job reading the stories. Na Pueo met some of Joe Romano's kindergarteners in Tacoma Washington. I had so much fun reading The Book With No Pictures with Joe.
We ended the celebration of World Read Aloud Day with Jeanne Cook's kindergartners in Missouri. We had so much fun reading It's a Tiger! During the story we swung from vines, climbed onto ships and walked through caves. 
Thank you to all the librarians, teachers and students we met throughout the week. It was great meeting you and I hope we can do it all again next year.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Walking and Listening to "The Thing About Jellyfish"

Benjamin, Ali. The Thing About Jellyfish. Hachette Audio. 2015, $21.98, ISBN 9781478959823.

Suzy's world comes to a screeching halt when her best friend Franny drowns. Not fully understanding how something like this could have happened to a strong swimmer, she feels as though there has to be a reason behind it. While on a class field trip to the aquarium, Suzy wanders off, stumbling upon a jellyfish exhibit. There Suzy reads all about jellyfish stings and is fascinated by what she learns about the deadly sting of the Irukanji jellyfish. Convinced that this is cause of Franny's death, Suzy sets out to learn everything she possibly can about the Irukanji, hoping that by proving this is the cause of her best friend's death everything will make sense.

Note: I loved how this story was laid out as a scientific research paper with sections being called, "Purpose," "Hypothesis" and "Background." This way a great way to have Suzy's story unfold since Suzy was trying to make sense of Franny's death methodically, just as science is.
In the age of "We need diverse books," I was greatly bothered that a character with a Japanese last name was being described as having strawberry blonde hair. Granted, she could have married a Japanese man or could have been hapa with very little Japanese blood in her or she could have been adopted by a Japanese family. Whatever the case may be, I felt she should have been portrayed with accurate hair color. This does not detract from the story in anyway, it just really bugged me.

Favorite Chapter Title: Goodbye Thor

Portuguese Man-O-War are quite common in our ocean, but this wasn't the type of day you see them in the ocean or on the beaches.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

February Bulletin Boards

It's carnival time again! This year's theme is Rewind the Time in honor of our schools 175th birthday. We decided to tie the carnival theme in by incorporating the time theme into our giant bulletin board. Once Upon a Time features fairytales. 
Greg appears to have been bitten by the love bug!
It's Valentine's Day the month! Love, Love Me Do is the theme of the bulletin board in the back of the library.
While the bulletin board focuses on books about love, our Valentine's Day books are all in the front of the library.
Happy Birthday Mo Willems!
It's the Year of the Monkey!