Friday, October 22, 2010

Picture Book Fun!

The New York Times recently published a piece entitled "Picture Books No Longer a Staple for Children" and instantly, librarians around the country cried shenanigans! Several rebuttals popped up (here for example) suggesting other reasons for lower publishing rates for picture books and expounding upon the important role those titles play.

While chapter books are fabulous for young readers, picture books can be enormously special for students of all ages, not just emerging readers. They introduce vocabulary, support connection-making skills with illustrations, build reader confidence and provide an element of comfort, like a worn-in sweater. At Cragmont, I wanted to show that the picture book is indeed applicable to any age so this week, I shared some of my favorites with the chapter-book-reading 4th and 5th grade classes. Hoots and hollers for more proved to me that the picture book still has lots of appeal!

We read:

Bark George by Jules Fieffer: I introduced this book saying that though I usually read this book to much younger ages, it has a twist that we can all appreciate it. Highly recommended, storytime favorite, especially the very last page!

Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross: Previous knowledge of tadpoles and caterpillars is useful to appreciate this tale. Again, with a twist that left even teachers gasping and laughing, it was made to be read to young and old!
(I recommend that parents read it before sharing with their children, the tasty ending could be hard to swallow for more sensitive children, pun very much intended.)

As the holidays approach, please keep picture books in mind for all ages. Here are more titles with wide appeal!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Local Author Event: Ivy and Bean!

  • What: Annie Barrows, author of one of our favorite series Ivy + Bean, will be reading from her latest book Ivy + Bean #7 What's the Big Idea?
  • When: Saturday November 6th at 11:00 am
  • Where: Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore 2904 College Ave, Berkeley
  • Why: Because Annie Barrows loves meeting her fans!

Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore will also be hosting a fundraiser for Cragmont Library on November 13 and 14th! Shop at Mrs. Dalloway's on those two days, bring me your receipts by the end of the month and 20% of your purchase will go towards the library! Get your holiday book shopping done early and help the Cragmont Library in one weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our Fall Favorites!

After a full month of school, all our classes have had the chance to hear lots of great stories during library visits. Here are brief descriptions of our favorites. Ask your student about their favorite stories because talking about storytelling and books is a crucial piece of emerging literacy!

Each week, students have helped read stories by saying repetitive parts out loud with me. Ask your child which part of these books we all said together and the action we used with it!
  • I Went Walking by Sue Williams
  • Chickens to the Rescue! by John Himmelman
  • The Napping House by Audrey Wood
We have spent a few classes learning about different places in the library and how to take care of books when they go home.
  • I Took My Frog to the Library by Eric Kimmel: students did a great job listening AND walking around the library finding animal books!
  • Read It Don't Eat It by Ian Schoenher: students already knew lots of these rules and it was extra silly to see them in action!
Second graders learned how to decide if a book is fiction or nonfiction and have been working on storytelling styles.

  • Alphabet picnic game: ask your student what they would bring to the alphabet picnic (hint, the food should begin with the same letter as their name)
  • Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems
  • The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend
  • "Poor Little Bug on a Wall" poem: Ask them to tell you the poem in an extra sad voice!
We have talked a lot about fairy tales and have found that sometimes stories go in circles or even go backwards!
  • The End by David LaRochelle: This story starts with "The End" and moves backwards, we had to work together to think of ideas about caused the action.
  • The Stonecutter oral story from Japan
4th and 5th
Older grades have really enjoyed hearing folktales and oral stories. Some of their favorites so far were the ones with sound effects. Ask your student about the sound effects for these stories!
  • Roly Poly Rice Ball oral story from Japan
  • How Camel Got His Hump oral story from Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories
  • Anansi and the Moss Covered Rock by Eric Kimmel
Feel free to leave a comment with your own favorite readalouds or oral stories!