Wednesday, March 30, 2011

4th and 5th Grade Author Visit!

Newbery Honor Author Gennifer Choldenko is coming to Cragmont!

On Wednesday April 13th from 11-12, award winning author of Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes and the branch new title No Passengers Beyond This Point will be coming to Cragmont to Speak to the 4th and 5th grade classes!

Spring Break is a great time to get some reading done! If you are interested in purchasing a copy of any of Ms. Choldenko's books for her to sign, visit Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore ate 2904 College Avenue, Berkeley CA 94705 510-704-8222. Call or email Mrs. Overlid if you have any questions! 510-644-8810

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Read Any Good Movies Lately?

Children's books are always a fabulous source of material for filmmakers. Here is some news about upcoming films and future productions made from books plus some classics that you may have forgotten started on the bookshelf! If you watch any of these movies with your student, take a moment to read the book first and then have an interesting compare/contrast review afterward!

Current Films
Mars Needs Moms by Berkeley Breathed: 1st and 2nd graders are reading all of the California Young Reader Medal nominees right now and one of them, Pete and Pickles, is also by author Berkeley Breathed, known for his long-running newspaper comic "Bloom County." The movie "Mars Needs Moms" is in theaters now so head to the Berkeley Public Library before standing in line for tickets!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
: Published in 1978, this book has yet to go out of style and even has a lesser known sequel, Pickles To Pittsburgh. Though the movie, released in 2009, followed a different plot, the enormous food remained the star. What was your favorite oversized meal? Mine was definitely the school-sized pancakes! This is a fun movie/book pair for discussions of similarities and differences.

Where the Wild Things Are by Murice Sendak: How can a ten sentence picture book be transformed to a 104 minute live-action film? Ask acclaimed indie director Spike Jonez and quirky screenwriter Dave Eggers. Though the film, 2009, was met with mixed reviews, the original book is a staple at bedsides everywhere.

Future Films
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater: Mr. Popper's Penguins is a Newbery Honor winning book from 1939 but still flies from the library shelves on a regular basis. It is a silly story of a man who suddenly comes into ownership of several penguins and hilarity ensues. The film version is set to some out this summer starring none other than goofball Jim Carrey as Mr. Popper himself. Gear up for summer and share this book as a bedtime chapter book readaloud!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick: This Caldecott winning chapter book clearly lends itself to the screen. Pages of illustrations coupled with rich text tell the story of a young boy who lives in the walls of a Paris train station and his quest to find out the truth of his father's life. On schedule for release in winter 2011, the most interesting part of the film is that it is slated to be directed by none other than Martin Scorsese!

Adventures of Tintin, Secret of the Unicorn by Hergé: Tintin graphic novels are all the rage at Cragmont Library, I just cannot keep them on the shelf for more than a day before they are snapped back up again by eager readers. Word is that after years and years of talk, Spielberg, an avid Tintin fan, and Peter Jackson are joining forces to bring the classic comic to the screen. It may not be until winter break 2011 but I can bet that Cragmont readers will be more than excited to see one of their favorite adventure stories to be big screen.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munroe Leaf: All the 2nd graders this year listened to this classic from 1936 during one of their winter library visits. Ferdinand is a bull in Madrid who prefers smelling flowers under a cork tree to running about and butting heads. We talked about why this particular book has been around so long and what makes is so special. It was already made into a Disney short back in 1938 (one of my favorites from childhood, available on the Disney DVD "The Reluctant Dragon") but word is that Ferdinand will soon be smelling flowers as a CGI bull. Read more here:

Classic Books or Films
Shrek! by William Steig: Though the current Shrek franchise is only loosely based on the classic William Steig book of the same name, it is still worth making the connection. In the book version, Shrek hears a witchly predication that he will marry a princess uglier than himself. Impossible! Or is it? The film has even more literary connections with the inclusion of many more obscure fairy tale characters, like Puss n Boots and the Pied Piper.

Roald Dahl books:
So many movies and books to choose from! Bigger movies/books include The Witches, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Roald Dahl passed away at age 74 in 1990 and many of his most well known titles were published long before that but his books are still being made into feature films. The most recent film, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," is only 62 pages in print but inspired a feature length stop-motion film with huge stars!