Monday, December 12, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Our fifth grade Book Lunch Bunch groups will have all met twice after today! I enjoy both types of groups--the two that discuss personal reading, because they give me insight as to what's popular in that grade level (hint: Harry Potter is still a strong contender); and the two that do group books, because they often stretch me as a reader.

Group Four's last book pick was Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald and Anne MacDonald Canham, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger.
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is part Mary Poppins, part child psychologist as she helps parents navigate the more common problems of childhood--picky eating, bullying, disorganization.  Children whining for more television time?  Saturation will do the trick--let them binge-watch t.v. until they realize how much sleep and fun with friends they are missing.  Disorganization an issue?  Paint the furniture with magic paint that makes your drawers spit back clothes that aren't put away correctly.  (I imagined myself in that last scenario, and felt a bit guilty when considering the state of my own desk these days!)

The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series was originally written by Betty MacDonald.  Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle was published posthumously by her daughter, after finding the manuscript among her mother's belongings.

On a personal note, I am enjoying Home for Christmas: Stories for Young and Old, compiled by the editors of Plough publishing.
This is not your usual collection of holiday stories, with passages by Pearl S. Buck, Henry Dyke, Madeleine L'Engle and others.  There are twenty short stories, meant to be read one each night during December.  I've been reading them at bedtime, though I've often wished that our lives were not so harried this season that I could read them aloud with my husband and son.  Each story leaves me pondering the lessons of love, kindness, giving, and forgiving that the celebrations of winter stir in our hearts.

It's Monday!  What books are on your nightstand this winter?

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Fourth grade had a great time on Monday visiting with Steve Swinburne, author (and ukulele musician!).  Mr. Swinburne has written several nonfiction and fiction books for children.  He talked about the importance of hooking readers with great opening lines, and then helped the fourth graders craft some great leading sentences of their own.

In the Book Nook, we are continuing to explore our theme of kindness by reading Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Tanya Simon and Richard Simon, illustrated by Mark Siegel.

Oskar arrives in America on the seventh day of Hanukkah in 1938.  He is alone, and needs to find his aunt before sunset--but she lives one hundred blocks up Broadway Avenue.  We are enjoying considering and counting the acts of kindness he receives as he makes his way towards his new home.

More of our upper grade students are taking their turn at making appreciative notes for their teachers using PicCollage on our iPads.  We've had to move our lessons to the Book Nook, as our learning area has been converted to technology central--our teachers are getting new computers!

Need information about Science Fair?  Stop by the library tomorrow from 530p-630p to see examples of previous science fair project boards, and check out books with science experiments to try on your own.  Can't make it?  We will keep the books in a special section through January; students may check them out in addition to their usual two-or-three books for personal reading.

All overdue books must be returned, and fines paid for lost/ damaged books, by next week in order for students to check out books for the winter break.  Settle your accounts so you can find something great to read in the warm indoors during this chilly season!

Library volunteers, you should have received an email with your invitation to our Library Volunteer Appreciation Reception!  If you haven't, please contact the library for more information:

Stay warm this weekend, and cuddle up with a great book!

Monday, December 5, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

'Tis the season for new holiday books!  I ordered some copies of Walk This World at Christmastime, by Debbie Powell.

I was first drawn to the multicultural theme of Powell's book.  My campus has a diverse population, and I'm always on the lookout for books that feature different cultures.  

The large, heavy-duty pages feature several countries in each two-page spread, with hidden flaps to lift and learn details from each country's Christmas traditions.  There are also numbered flaps from one to twenty-five scattered throughout the book which can be used as an Advent calendar, prompting a re-reading of the story.  The text is concise, allowing the reader to focus on the pictures.  The illustrations are mirrored on the cover--bright, graphic, with lots of details to peruse and discuss.  By the end of the book, the reader has "walked" the entire globe. 

I'm adding a copy to my home and school libraries; I think the flaps are sturdy enough to last through a few dozen check-outs.  

It's Monday--what holiday books are you reading?