Saturday, February 28, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: EllRay Jakes Rocks the Holidays!

EllRay Jakes Rocks the Holidays!
by Sally Warner; illustrations by Brian Biggs
Viking Books (October 16, 2014)
Chapter Book


Third-grader EllRay dreads the upcoming Winter Wonderland school assembly in which he must emcee and sing "Jingle Bell Rock."

Why You'll Love It:
  • I know I'm always looking for more holiday-themed chapter books. The kiddos can't get enough of them!
  • I love that the main character is someone my boys can relate to.
  • The quick pace, authentic dialogue, and cartoon illustrations scattered throughout are great for reluctant readers who need that extra nudge to get started on a great series.
Who Should Read It:

Perfect for grades 2-4...and here's the curriculum guide

What Else You Should Read:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top 10 Graphic Novels...So Far

Graphic novels -- the great equalizer.

Loved by both boys and girls, advanced and reluctant readers alike, there's something for all kiddos in this category. Here are the top titles so far this school year.

10. Bone: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith

9.Happy Birthday, Babymouse by Jennifer Holm

8. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Platinum 2 by Hidenori Kusaka

7. Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril by Jarrett Krosoczka

6. Pokemon Black and White vol. 2 by Hidenori Kusaka

5. Earthling! by Mark Fearing

4. Sidekicks by Dan Santat

3. Smile by Raina Telgemeier

2. The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

1. Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes by Jarrett Krosoczka

Don't forget to check out our Top 10 lists for nonfiction, picture books, and chapter books as well!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold
by Joyce Sidman; illustrations by Rick Allen
Houghton Mifflin (November 4, 2014)
Nonfiction poetry


A collection of poems that explores how animals survive the cold during the winter season. Provides additional facts about the animals and the season. 

Why You'll Love It:
  • While most poems address familiar topics (snowflakes, moose, trees, chickadees), springtails (snow fleas) and skunk cabbage (an early flowering spring plant) will be new to many.
  • Each poem is accompanied by facts as well as a glossary in the back of the book.
  • This book perfectly marries poetry, science, and art! Check out the hand-colored linoleum blocks used in the illustrations:

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 1-5...and here's the educator's guide.

What Else You Should Read:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Top 10 Picture Books...So Far

As far as picture books go at our school, it's all about the "P" -- as in Pinkalicious, Pete the Cat, and Pigeon.

My kiddos threw in a few other titles for good measure. And they obviously love Christmas books year round :)

10. Pete the cat : rocking in my school shoes by Eric Litwin

9.  Pete the cat and his four groovy buttons by Eric Litwin

8. Fly Guy and the Frankenfly by Tedd Arnold

7.  Don't let the pigeon stay up late! by Mo Willems

6. Pete the cat saves Christmas by James Dean

5. How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

4. Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann

3. Pigeon wants a puppy! by Mo Willems

2. The pigeon needs a bath! by Mo Willems

1. Pete the Cat : I love my white shoes by Eric Litwin

Also check out the Top 10 Nonfiction and Top 10 Chapter Book lists.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Take Away the A

Take Away the A
by Michaël Escoffier
Enchanted Lion (Sep. 9, 2014)
Picture Book


Text and illustrations look at how subtracting a single letter from a word can make an entirely different word.

Why You'll Love It:
  • Kris Di Giacomo’s illustrations add another level of wit and whimsy to Michaël Escoffier’s word shenanigans. For instance, dice, as ice, chill poker players’ drinks. For G, a glove falls in love—and scurries to a crosswalk after his paramour, an octopus.
  • The silly situations and fun details (almost all the characters are either animals or inanimate objects, and a mouse reappears in many of the illustrations), invite readers to linger over the artwork.
  • Sure to inspire children to craft their own word pairings: craft and raft? Pair and air? The possibilities are endless. I can't wait to have students make a class book using this as a mentor text.
Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 1-3...and here's the book trailer:

What Else You Should Read:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mentor Text In Action: The Day the Crayons Quit

I've always been inspired by other media specialists that I work with and I'm so lucky to have these ladies as friends who want to collaborate and share their work with each other. My friend Sarah of Everything Library has a knack of sparking teachers' interest with cool books in her library, as seen in this post. She inspires me to really try to connect new books with my teachers on a daily basis.

I was talking to a teacher at my school the other day and I practically begged her to read Drew Daywalt's The Day the Crayons Quit to her class when she asked me for a book suggestion on personification. There are so many great writing extensions that students and teachers can do with this book! If you haven't read it, please remedy this now.

Her students responded to the book by writing letters, much like the ones in the book, from the perspective of the different colored crayons. Here's the result: