Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Poem in You Pocket Day!

I just LOVE Poem in Your Pocket Day. Not only do I love sharing poetry written by established adult poets and our own young aspiring poets, but I love that the kids have come to look forward to this week every year. OK, and if I am honest, I love singing and dancing to the Poem in Your Pocket song that I wrote. It is sung with extreme enthusiasm, perfectly off key in the highest singing voice I can possibly sing and is consists of maybe 6 words repeated over and over again. If my song isn't for you, you can always listen to Emily Arrow's amazing Poem in Your Pocket song.
The kindergarten and first grade students were given haiku written by their friends in Na Hoe Wa'a. As part of the ocean animal research project they did, they wrote haiku poems about their animals, drew a picture of them in Drawing Pad and recorded their poems using ChatterPix. While I can't share those with you, I can share some of the poems that they wrote.

I typed their poems up in the these pockets, printed them out on colorful paper and passed them out to students as I sang and danced!

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Best Thing About My Trip To Iceland and New York? The Bookstores Of Course!

Spring Break may have been over for two weeks ago, but my vacation is still in the forefront of my mind. It started in New York where I headed out to Brooklyn to visit a bookstore I had seen on The Today Show a few months ago, Books Are Magic. It was love at first sight.  
It felt so incredibly warm and inviting and was full of families reading together on a Sunday morning. I loved the nook in the back full of  kids books and the seating that families were in, sharing amazing books. Sorry, no pictures of that since I didn't want to take pictures of strangers.
As I was checking out, I bought a shirt! I bought some pens! I saw these super cute buttons from Christian Robinson's new book Another. When I asked about them, I learned I had missed an author event earlier in the day. I was beyond bummed, but when you fly in on a red-eye and are from a time zone 6 hours behind, it can't be helped. At least I got these super cute pins.
It was off to Iceland next and I think in the 4 days I was in Reykjavik, I visited every bookstore on Laugavegur Street and any side street shooting off of it. While I was mainly interested in the children's section and seeing which books they had translated from English to Icelandic, I noticed that the majority of the bookstores had coffee shops and gift shops as part of them. I loved all the book related bags that they had for sale in one bookstore.
When it came to the children's sections and the books found in them, they varied, some had small sections, others were larger but one thing prevailed in all of them was a lack of English books translated into Icelandic. There were definitely more chapter books than picture books translated, but neither had more than a handful. When it came to picture books, I only found these 3! 

The Blue Whale  by Jenni Desmond and The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Merino
Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey
Even though they didn't have a wide variety of translated books, they did have some nice displays and a variety of books in Icelandic.
 The chapter book displays weren't as inviting as the picture book ones, but they did display a variety of covers.
When it came to translated chapter books there were the usuals suspects, Harry Potter, Bad Kitty and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
But also a few that I hadn't seen translated in previous travels.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and The Fairy Tale Detectives Michael Buckley
I loved seeing that The Tapper Twins by Geoff Rodkey had been translated. I just love them.

Being a huge Pippi fan, I freaked when I saw this hopscotch painted on the ground in one bookstore.
Needless to say, one should not spend the majority of their trip to Iceland in bookstores. There are so many amazing things to see and amazing food to eat, but do take the time to pop into one. They are quite fun.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Na Anuenue Meet Deborah Freedman (Via Skype That Is!)

We don't often start a Skype session by singing Happy Birthday but today wasn't your average ordinary Skype session! It was a special Skype to celebrate the book birthday of Deborah Freedman's latest book, Carl and the Meaning of Life.  She was ready for us with balloons, a Carl sock puppet and sour gummy worms! Our mouths started watering the minute we saw those!
We guessed that we were meeting Deborah in her studio because we saw shelves and shelves of books behind her. Boy, were we wrong! She was in her dining room. She and her family love books so much that they are everywhere in her house, even in the bathroom! We saw a picture of her office and it is full of things that inspire her and has the most beautiful view.
Did you know that Carl made his first appearance in Shy? It turns out he was a character in one of the earlier versions but her editors didn't feel like he belonged so he was cut out of the story. Deborah liked him so much that she decided to write a book all about him. She also loves digging and planting in her garden and always sees worms there and was curious about them.  She did a lot of research about the environment and worms before she wrote Carl and the Meaning of Life. We fell in love with Carl! I truly can't think of a better book to start the conversation about the importance of worms and/or interdependence. Plus there are so many amazing activities that you could do after reading this book. It really is a must have for all classrooms.
We had a chance to ask some questions after we read Carl. So what did we learn?
1) She made the illustrations in Carl using watercolor paint and pencil. She made the texture in the dirt by dipping a sponge from her kitchen in brown paint. She also made leaves using stamps.
2) Some illustrations take longer than others. One might take a day while others take a week. It all depends on how detailed the pictures are. Don't forget to peek under the book jacket to see what Carl is up to!
3) We spotted Florence on the cover of Carl and were wondering if there were any other characters hidden inside. It turns out there are! If you look closely at one page you will see a teeny tiny character from By Frog and Mouse.
4) Asking her what her favorite book of hers is is a really unfair question! She loves them all and is really excited about Carl.
5) What makes her happy? Meeting readers like us!
What makes her sad? Missing people that she loves and not being able to be with them.
What breaks her heart? People not being nice to each other. 

Thank you so much Deborah for letting us help you celebrate your amazing new book. We are forever fans. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April Bulletin Boards

This is it...the last bulletin boards that I will ever be putting up in the library. Why? We are on the move and in our new space, there aren't any bulletin boards! It's crazy to think that after 15 years of library bulletin boards they will be coming to an end.
"Egg-sited to Read" celebrates all things eggs with just a touch of Easter!
 Greg decided to celebrate Earth Day and Easter this year. He will be coming with us to the new space and will continue to change his outfits monthly. I couldn't leave him behind!