Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: The Map Trap

The Map Trap
Map Trap by Andrew Clements book cover chapter book mysteryby Andrew Clements
Atheneum Books (July 22, 2014)
Chapter Book - Mystery


Sixth-grader Alton Barnes loves maps, and when his portfolio of secret maps is stolen, he begins getting notes with orders that he must obey to get the maps back but, with the help of a popular classmate, he just might succeed before his teacher, principal, or someone else learns he has been studying and mapping things about them.

Why You'll Love It:
  • A convincing school story that also features an engaging central mystery with a surprising reveal.
  • Alton’s plan to be honest with his classmates and ask for forgiveness, before they see his maps that may upset them, is instructive and inspiring without being didactic.
  • Secondary characters are well drawn, including popular Quint, who has more depth than Alton initially expected, and the principal, who is entertained by Alton’s data on the number of times she says “um” during the morning announcements.

Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 3-6

Map Trap illustration of boy drawing on floor

What Else You Should Read:

Monday, October 27, 2014

TASL conference 2014

Some highlights from the TN Association of School Librarians conference over the weekend. I always look forward to this time of learning and fellowship with fellow librarians and children's authors.

Author Adam Gidwitz speaking at TASL conference in Tennessee

Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark & Grimm, enthralled us with his storytelling.

I love my job because post it note board librarians
Loved this at the Ebsco booth...Librarians love their job because...

The always wonderful Doug Johnson was a keynote speaker. My favorite presentation was on fostering creativity in our students.

Author Mike Mullin on the similarites of TaeKwonDo and writing never know what you're going to see here!

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Violet Mackerel!

Violet Mackerel's Pocket Protest by Anna Branford book cover chapter bookViolet Mackerel's Pocket Protest
by Anna Branford
Atheneum (Sep. 2nd, 2014)
Chapter Book


Violet and Rose organize a protest to save the big oak tree in Clover Park.

Why You'll Love It:
  • Aussie Violet's world is just different enough to provide an interesting change for readers entering the chapter book stage.
  • This quiet story, told in third person, is liberally illustrated with grayscale drawings.
Who Should Read It:

Great for grades 2-4.

Violet Mackerel interior illustration chapter book

What Else You Should Read:

Definitely the other books in the Violet Mackerel series.

Also try The Critter Club series and Heidi Heckelbeck books.

Who Else Is Talking About It:

Ellie's Booklist 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pete the Cat Sighting!

Kid Lit Lovers,

Unless you've been living under a very boring rock, you know all about Pete the Cat and his shoes, buttons, what have you.

Nashville hosts the annual Southern Festival of Books and who was there but Pete himself!
My parents caught him on film. (Aren't they cute??)

Pete the Cat at Southern Festival of Books (Nashville, TN)

Monday, October 13, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Bramble and Maggie - Spooky Season

Bramble and Maggie Spooky Season by Jessie Haas book coverBramble and Maggie: Spooky Season
by Jessie Haas
Candlewick (Aug. 12, 2014)
Early chapter book


The scarecrow erected in the neighbor’s yard is supposed to scare birds, not horses! How will Bramble be brave enough to go trick or treating with Maggie on Halloween?

Why You'll Love It:
  •  It's an original Halloween story for newly independent readers or for reading aloud to younger children.
  • Dialogue, Maggie's occasional reflections, and a bit of onomatopoeia allow the narrative text to flow nicely as a trusting relationship develops between horse and rider.
  • Softly colored gouache illustrations illuminate expressions and follow the action from a variety of perspectives and have appropriate visual clues and generous white space for younger readers.
Who Should Read It:

Great for grades K-2.

What Else You Should Read:
Who Else Is Talking About This Book?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

This Librarian's Quick Picks: Santa Clauses

**I know, I's not even Halloween yet, but I've been chomping at the bit to blog about this book since seeing a galley of it at ALA this summer. Also, if you work in an elementary library you know that kids NEVER stop checking out Christmas books ;)

Santa Clauses by Bob Raczka book cover poetry picture book

Santa Clauses: Short Poems From the North Pole
by Bob Raczka
Carolrhoda Books (Sep.1, 2014)


Santa can fly a sleigh, squeeze down chimneys, and circle the globe in a night. But did you know he also writes haiku? These twenty-five short poems--composed by Santa himself--give you a peek into life at the North Pole. 

 Why You'll Love It:
  • An engaging picture book that offers a fresh take on classic Christmas themes.
  • The haiku form proves an effective and evocative vehicle for capturing both the snowy environs of the North Pole (“December 13th: Mother Nature trims / her trees with icicles, snow, / pinecones, and moonlight.”), and the wonder and magic of the holiday season (“December 4th: Sprinkling sand on my / snow-covered steps, thinking of / nutmeg on eggnog.”).
  • Chuck Groenink’s artwork hits all the right notes. His warm, bright illustrations of life inside Santa’s house are intimate and lively, while his striking night scenes trade the homestead’s reds and browns for crisp, wintry whites and blues.
  • A gentle sense of humor permeates a number of the poems: “December 20th: Workshop warning / in effect, heavy sawdust / accumulation.”
  • Readers may be inspired to create their own winter- and holiday-themed haikus.
Who Should Read It:

Great for PreK-4th grade.

Santa Clauses illustration picture book

What Else You Should Read:

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