Saturday, September 27, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Ben Franklin's Big Splash

Ben Franklin's Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention
by Barb Rosenstock
Calkins Creek (Sep. 1, 2014)
Picture Book 


Eleven-year-old Benjamin Franklin creates his first invention so that he can swim like a fish.

Why You'll Love It:
  •   There is plenty of emphasis on words and phrases that are highlighted by colorful and distinct typefaces, some sliding down the page or shaped like a watery wave.
  • Rosenstock spotlights Franklin's curiosity and emphasizes the steps of the scientific method (problem, research, hypothesis, test, analyze, conclude) in describing Franklin’s thought processes.
  • Ben's curiosity, wit, and athleticism shine through, and his enthusiasm for the water is catching.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-5...and here's the book trailer.

What Else You Should Read:


Saturday, September 20, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Gravity

by Jason Chin
Roaring Brook Press (April 29, 2014)

Summary in a sentence:

Color illustrations and simple text explain what would happen without gravity. 

Why You'll Love It:
  • Readers can add to their increasing knowledge of the topic with important vocabulary and comparisons that allow for deeper understanding.
  •  Colorful and incredibly detailed watercolor landscapes and close-up illustrations keep readers’ attention, and certain objects are repeated throughout the pages.
  • The images of space and the objects floating or falling therein are hypnotically arresting.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-5...and here's the curriculum guide.

What Else You Should Read:


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dot Day: Make Your Mark

I'm thankful for the little things in life.

Like having amazing colleagues that love to work together and collaborate with their librarian.

I guess that's not really a little thing after all.

Each year my art teacher and I co-teach classes on Dot Day, which is a celebration of the book The Dot by Peter Reynolds. It's a book all about inspiring creativity in young minds.

This year we hosted 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade classes to read The Dot with us and make their own dot.

1st Grade made 3D art sculptures:

2nd grade made dot flowers:

3rd grade made aluminum dots (which I somehow didn't get a pic of...)

We both look forward to Dot Day each year and seeing the creativity in our students!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not) by Peter Brown

My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not)
by Peter Brown
Little, Brown (July 1, 2014)
Picture Book

Summary in a Sentence:

Bobby thinks his teacher, Ms. Kirby, is horrible, but when he sees her outside of school and they spend a day in the park together, he discovers she might not be so bad after all.

Why You'll Love It:
  • Brown uses a cartoon-type format with panels and speech bubbles, varying the pace with full-page art, in a story that students and teachers will enjoy equally
  • At the heart of the awkward-pause-filled humor are Bobby and Ms. Kirby’s marvelous facial expressions.
  • Brown makes it clear that teachers are people too-even the "mean" ones.

Who should read it:

Great for grades K-2...and here's the activity kit.

What else you should read:


Thursday, September 4, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Mister Bud Wears the Cone!

Ah, Mister Bud...I've been a fan from the beginning.

Mister Bud Wears the Cone!
by Carter Goodrich
Simon & Schuster (June 3, 2014)
Picture Book


Wearing the cone is no fun; Mister Bud can’t reach the biscuits or drink from his water dish. And Zorro? He can’t help but have some fun at Mister Bud’s expense.

 Why You'll Love It:
  • Goodrich’s watercolors excel at squat doggie bodies, especially the abstract shape of Bud’s faceless conehead.
  • A succinct, masterfully paced text is filled with humorous taunts from Zorro and hilarious descriptions of Mister Bud's misery.
  • A great addition for kids looking for a story about dogs and for a canine-centered read-aloud.
  • Pug. Need I say more???

Who should read it:

Great for grades K-2.

What you should read next:


Friday, August 29, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Mix It Up!

Mix It Up!
by Hervé Tullet
Chronicle Books (Sep. 16, 2014)
Picture Book


“Tap that gray spot. Just a little, to see what happens.” Follow the directions and tap, rub, smudge, and shake to learn how different colors combine.

Why you'll love it:
  • the book’s design is effective and even intricate in the details: spatters of paint adorn the sides and corners of each white spread, adding an authenticity that readers will love
  • the text is spare yet inviting 
  • an effective presentation of basic color mixing, and great fun for paint lovers in places where paints can't be used
  • While the participatory nature may recall an app, nothing feels digital here; in fact, Tullet's paintings show paint texture so lusciously it's hard to remember that these are dry illustrations. 

Who should read it:

Great for grades PreK-1.

What you should read next: