Saturday, August 27, 2016

Walking and Listening to "All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook"

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook  by Leslie Connor. Harper Audio, 9 hours, 42 minutes, 2016 

Perry has spent his entire life in the Blue River Correctional Facility, which is kinda shocking since he is only 11 years old. His mother was imprisoned before Perry was born and he has been there ever since. When a new the district attorney arrives in Butler County and discovers that Perry has been living there, he forces him to leave the only home he has ever known. Perry's life outside of prison isn't easy, he is homesick, desperate to reunite with his mother and is counting down to her upcoming parole hearing. As Perry begins his research for his "Coming to Butler County" assignment he decides he needs to tell the stories of his Blue River family (I dare you not to sing Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story from Hamilton when Perry talks about telling their stories). In doing so, he finally gets to hear his mother's story. Something about her story doesn't sit right with Perry and he will do all he can to figure out the truth and be reunited with his mother, even if it means turning to those who have hurt him in the past.

There are two narrators telling us Perry and his mother Jessica's story, Michael Crouch and Kathleen McInerney. Both do a wonderful job conveying the joy, sadness, anger and hope that Perry and his mother feel throughout their journey. I loved every minute of this book and listening to it made my long hot walks enjoyable.

Needing to stay late at work one day, I decided to take a walk in the neighborhood close to school. As I was walking off campus, I past the lily pond and couldn't help but stop and take a picture of the lily.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Best Thing About My Trip to Austria? The Libraries and Bookstores Of Course!

When I first started planning my trip to Austria, I knew that I wanted to make a trip to Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, The National Library in Vienna.  Not just because I took an oath as a librarian to visit every library humanly possible, but because I had read it was amazing. Trust me, it was just that, truly stunning and really is something you should visit whether you love books or not. The paintings, the statues, the history and the exhibit are all worth a visit. Here's a sneak peek. Don't forget to look up while you are there. If you don't, you'll miss out on the frescos on the ceiling.

While there is art all around you, the walls are covered floor to ceiling in books.The bookshelves themselves are also pieces of art.
Bookstores! I could not believe how many bookstores there were in Austria. On the short walk from my hotel to the City Center of Vienna, which was a straight shot on one street, there were 6 bookstores! Each one very different from the other. Some had large children sections, some had fun areas for children to sit and read in and some had large sections of books translated from English into German. 
All the bookstores I visited had amazing window displays. This one features children's books.
There were some great reading spaces in the bookstores. Right before I took the picture of the house a little boy crawled out looking as happy as can be carrying a big stack of books. The boat, as you can see, is being enjoyed by a parent and child.
The children's spaces, no matter how big or small, were always colorful and inviting.
As I visited the bookstores in Austria, I continued my search for popular English books that had been translated into German. I found more translated picture books here than I had in Prague.
I was thrilled to finally find some Elephant and Piggie books. I have been looking for those for quite some time.
I loved finding books by Drew Daywalt, Kwame Alexander and Mike Curato

Percy Jackson was everywhere. The cover was quite different from what I had seen in Prague.
I also found the hilarious The Tapper Twins Go to War and The Terrible Two Get Even Worse. I hope the Austrian kids find them as funny as my students and I do!
I loved how different the Magic Tree House book covers were and can't wait to show the kids at school the covers for their favorite Warriors books.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Best Thing About My Trip to Prague? The Libraries and Bookstores Of Course!

Whenever I travel I love to visit libraries and bookstores and while I was in Prague I did exactly that.

Klementinum:The National Library of the Czech Republic:
You are able to take a peek of this library that not only dates back to 1722, but has been deemed the most beautiful library in the world. The tour includes a visit to the library along with a visit to the top of the Astronomical Tower which provides stunning views of the the city. While you are not able to enter the library, you can stand in the doorway (no photos allowed) and see the the 20,000 volumes plus beautiful art that adorns the ceilings and walls.
While I was waiting for the tour to begin, I wandered around the complex and saw this great summer reading poster. I then stumbled upon what I believe was the public library. I wasn't allowed to go past the circulation desk without a library card, but loved seeing row after row after row of card catalogs. This photo really doesn't do the amount of card catalogs justice.
Strahov Monastery Library: As I walking practically straight uphill to visit this library, I walked past the Swedish Embassy. This large Pippi banner hung from the building. I love Pippi!
The Strahov Library dates back to the 12th century and is simply beautiful. Again, I was only able to stand in the doorway of this library but photos were allowed for a small fee. There were just a handful of tourists visiting the library while I was there. While this was nice for me, it is a shame that more people aren't visiting this space because it is so beautiful.

The Bookstores:
I love to visit bookstores in other countries to not only see which English books have been translated into that countries language, but to see what's popular there and how they have made their children's section appeal to kids.
What surprises me time and time again is how few picture books get translated. In fact, I didn't find any in Prague, it was just chapter books. 
I was able to find books by Mac Barnett, Jory John and Holly Goldberg Sloan

Books by Raina Telegemeier and Jeffrey Brown
Books by Mo O'Hara and the Spirit Animals Series
 Diary of a Wimpy Kid is just as popular in Prague as it is in the United States
 Percy Jackson was also everywhere. This is just one of the banners that they had for him in a bookstore as well as Blood of Olympus.
I must have visited at least 10 bookstores and my favorite children's section was at Palac Knih: Palace of Books. The section was not only huge but had a wide variety of children's books, plus areas for children to sit, explore and create.
I had a wonderful time in Prague seeing amazing sights, eating amazing food and exploring libraries and bookstores.