Thursday, December 17, 2015

NCCBA & informational picture books

On Wednesday, Sky class students cast their votes for their favorite North Carolina Children's Book Award picture book nominee!

Sky class teachers read the ten nominees during story time and students looked at the books independently during library checkout and lunch recess. After carefully considering the ten nominees, Sky students each voted for the one book that stood out as their favorite. 

The classroom was transformed into a polling place, complete with voting booths, ballots, a ballot box, and "I Voted!" stickers. For an extra treat, we celebrated with some kettle corn. :) 

With 15 votes, the winning book in Sky class is... Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate, a nonfiction picture book companion to her Newbery Award-winning novel The One and Only Ivan. 

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I found it interesting that 21 students chose nonfiction picture books as their favorites, and in talking with students about the nominees, some commented that they liked that these books were "real" and "about history." That's all this librarian needs to bring out some nonfiction picture book recommendations! 

Currently on our NEW BOOKS shelves in the library, check out some of these informational picture books!


The House That Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams    Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965    Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx/La juez que crecio en el BronxWangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees    21942920
Ben Franklin's Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention    14955390    9642662
17245740    20518974    17320985
25261696    The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse    15710450



Happy reading!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book lists galore

If you're scurrying to buy some last-minute holiday gifts, are shopping for winter birthdays, or just love children's books, here are some book lists to inspire your purchases and future reading.
There's something for everyone here!


From Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill - 


From The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books - 
I know I'm biased, but this is my favorite resource for the best books of the year!


Best Books 2015
From School Library Journal -
including books, apps, and more


Horn Book Fanfare
From Horn Book Magazine -
Best Books of 2015




From Kirkus -
Best Picture Books of 2015
Best Middle Grade Books of 2015


From The New York Times Sunday Book Review -
Notable Children's Books of 2015


Image result for npr books logo
From NPR Books -
Best Kids' Books of 2015



From Publishers Weekly -
Best Books of 2015 - Picture Books
Best Books of 2015 - Middle Grade



Parents' Choice Awards
From Parents' Choice -
Fall 2015 Award Winners - Books



For intentionally diverse selections, check out... 


From School Library Journal - The Diversity List


From The Center for Multicultural Children's Literature -



From Lee & Low Books -
Holiday Gift Recommendations - 18 Children's Books for Every Kid on Your List




Happy reading,



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Library organization game

With requests from several River class students, I am sharing the "Order in the Library" game that we started playing today.

The game was created by students and staff at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. It teaches students about how libraries are organized, how to sort books, and how to shelve books by call number. For book lovers and math lovers alike!


The game requires Flash, so it's best played on a computer. Give it a try!

Happy organizing, 


Monday, November 2, 2015

New and noteworthy books

Since our bookshelves are bursting with new treasures to read and enjoy, here are a few noteworthy titles that I think should be shared widely in our community. You will love at least one book on this list, if not more!

Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee (2015, Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

"Firefly. Cricket. Vole. Peter. Can four creatures from four very different Nations help one another find their ways in the world that can feel oh-so-big? [...] Firefly Hollow is nothing short of enchanting, reminding us all that the very best friend is the one who wants you to achieve your dreams."

This is an instant classic. A must read and read-aloud! 



23688743The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle by Jude Isabella, illustrated by Simone Shin (2015, Kids Can Press)

One bicycle travels across the world, being transferred from one owner to another to fulfill a variety of purposes - from something fun to ride around the neighborhood to a medical transport in a small, remote village. Through this journey, children will learn how a small gesture can make a big difference and gain some cultural understanding along the way.



18406836Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant (2014, Groundwood Books)

Morris loves school - he loves playing dress-up, drawing wild pictures, and stretching his imagination. He also loves his mother's tangerine dress, which he wears to school. When some kids make fun of his outfit (because dresses are for girls), Morris wants to stay home from school. This is a great book to spark discussions of individuality and acceptance.



22750337Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking by Elin Kelsey, artwork by Soyeon Kim (2015, Owlkids Books)

Is it too much to say that I think this book belongs in every classroom and every home library? Well, I do! This is not only a gorgeous book, but it's also incredibly important for our budding scientists and creative problem-solvers.

"Wild Ideas encourages an inquiry-based approach to learning, inviting readers to indulge their sense of wonder and curiosity by observing the natural world, engaging with big ideas and asking questions." Yes, yes, yes!



23310699Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (2015, Feiwel and Friends)

You've read and loved The One and Only Ivan, right? This is Applegate's much anticipated next novel since her Newbery award-winning Ivan. It's different, mind you, but it's just as good (if not better, in my opinion). 

Crenshaw is Jackson's imaginary cat friend, who helps him through a tough time when his family is running short on money and may have to live in their minivan... again. Sensitively written, this book portrays a perspective relevant in today's times. 


22718704Luna & Me: The Story of Julia Butterfly Hill by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (2015, Henry Holt & Co.)

Students can tell you that I've been gushing about this book. What can I say? Julia's true story is inspiring in a way that makes me (and other readers, I'm sure) feel like I CAN DO ANYTHING. The story - Julia Butterfly Hill loved visiting the redwoods in her forest. She climbed them and studied them and found comfort in them. And when she found out they were going to be cut down? Well, that was not an option! 


17364833The Bramble by Lee Nordling, illustrated by Bruce Zick (2013, Carolrhoda Books)

In this mostly wordless graphic novel, Cameron is first seen on a playground, seemingly forced into being "it" in a game of tag. He's not especially pleased about it, and instead transports himself to the fanciful and fun world of the Bramble. This is a book to pore over the illustrations and find meaning in subtle facial expressions. 



24612638Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (2015, Scholastic Press)

I shared this witty and heart-warming picture book about the ups and downs of friendship with River and Sky class at the start of the school year. A book for all ages, it's made to be read aloud, over and over again! 



23281891 Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff (2015, Philomel Books)

Woo, this book is heavy! But that's part of its appeal. Trent is starting middle school, riddled with guilt that he caused an accident that killed a fellow classmate (I said heavy...). But this story is about Trent attempting to start over and start fresh, finding a friend, and accepting what happened in the past. Fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder will eat this book up. 



17269361Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty, illustrated by Bryan Collier (2013, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

Every morning, I play a game with my father.
He goes knock knock on my door and I pretend to be asleep till he gets right next to the bed.
And my papa, he tells me, "I love you."


"But what happens when, one day, that "knock knock" doesn't come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams."


6898517Here Comes the Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter (2010, Schwartz & Wade)

This (mostly) true story tells the tale of a city with mounds and mounds of trash and nowhere to put it. So, they shipped it away. 

Share this with our eco-conscious kiddos and watch their eyes widen at the absurdity of the situation. They will undoubtedly ask if it's really a true story, and hopefully think more carefully about what they trash. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A book's journey from box to bookshelf

Dear friends,

I have been swimming in new books! Hundreds of books have been added to the LS Library since the beginning of the school year, and students have been checking them out hungrily.

I made this video to take you on a trip from inside the cold, dark confines of a cardboard box to on our brand new bookshelves. This is how a regular book turns into a LIBRARY book! Enjoy!


Alrighty folks, here's a MATH question for you!

If each book takes about 10 minutes to process and catalog, and let's say we've added about 200 books to the library, how many hours did those books take to get shelf ready?

Happy reading (and calculating),

Monday, October 19, 2015

Saturday's StoryWalk


Thank you to all of our Carolina Friends School and Durham Academy families that came out to Eno River State Park this past Saturday to participate in our StoryWalk! 




Background Story:
Over the summer, Michelle Rosen (Durham Academy Lower School Librarian) and I met for coffee and decided that we should do a joint reading event together. I had heard of the StoryWalk idea at a conference I attended the previous school year, and we both felt it would be a fabulous collaboration. 

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration the Kellogg Hubbard Library. Since its creation, StoryWalks have spread across the country to 48 states and even globally to five different countries! 


For our StoryWalk, we chose the picture book The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. What better book to read while taking a walk in the woods than a book about taking a walk in the woods?! 



We were thrilled to see so many families come out to spend the afternoon in the park. We estimated about 100 of our own school folks walking the trail and reading the story, but of course, it was open to the public as well!



We were also thankful to partner with Keith Nealson, Superintendent of the Eno River State Park and husband to CFS teacher Mars, who shared information about the wildlife found at the Eno. A main attraction to his table was a stuffed fox as well as an activity to try to "peck" as quickly as a woodpecker.



We also had an arts&crafts table with Gruffalo coloring pages, a mask, and origami bookmarks. I spent much of my time at this table teaching students how fold their bookmarks and add embellishments to their monsters. Right next door was a Gruffalo plush toy raffle and animal tattoos. Fun for the whole family! 

If you missed the fun this time around, be sure to subscribe to the blog for updates on the next library event!