Sunday, April 29, 2012

MONDAY: Meet the Author Pat Mora and Celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) April 30th

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), is a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

In March 1996, while being interviewed in Tucson, Arizona, the author and poet Pat Mora learned about the holiday celebrated in Mexico. Realizing that the United States had nothing similar, Pat proposed linking Children's Day, the celebration of childhood and children, with literacy and bilingualism, creating a new holiday: El día de los niños/El día de los libros

For a comprehensive book list of culturally authentic books you can read to your children this week, (remember Cinco de Mayo is on Saturday), check out this website:

I have a soft spot in my heart for the Hispanic culture and people.  I lived the first 15 years of my life in south Texas, right on the Mexican/American border.  I then moved to Chile with my family for two years and at the age of 16, moved to Mexico City, until I graduated from High School.  I speak Spanish and have enjoyed teaching it at our charter school for two years.  We have a nice selection of Spanish/English books in our library. Here are some of my favorites:

Book Fiesta by Pat Mora, illustrated by Rafael Lopez This book has become one of my favorite children's books of all time!  The full title of the book is Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children's Day / Book Day - Celebremos El dia de los niños / El dia de los libros, and this bilingual picture book is indeed a celebration. Rafael López, the illustrator of Book Fiesta! received a Pura Belpré Award for the book's festive illustrations, the 2010 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award.The illustrations are enchanting and the text is inviting for both English and Spanish readers.  Book Fiesta! is a colorful, vibrant, lively, and appealing for young readers whether they speak English or Spanish! The illustrations by Lopez invites the reader's mind to use their imagination to really bring the story to life! Book Fiesta! is a true depiction of Children's Day/Book Day and unites children all around the globe to celebrate! The book even includes some suggestions of how the community can celebrate this wonderful day!  I love all the books that Pat Mora has authored, so I don't believe you can go wrong with any of her books.

What Can You Do With a Palet?  Que puedes hacer con una paleta?  by Carmen Tafolla and Magaly Morales Everyone has heard about the ice-cream truck. But this book introduces the paleta (popsicle treat) sold by wagon vendors in Latino neighborhoods. Coming from south Texas, I have had a few paletas myself. But for someone who isn't familiar with the Latino culture, this book brings a fun insight that children and adults can enjoy reading about. The colorful and creative artwork shows how you can lick, slurp, and gobble down paletas of all different flavors and colors on a hot summer day. The English text introduces readers to some easy Spanish words. Children will love this juicy treat of a book, and will probably want a popsicle or paleta after reading it.

Abuela (English Edition with Spanish Phrases) (Picture Puffin Books) by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Elisa Kleven - This book provides a wonderful introduction to a Hispanic-American child's way of life. Rosalba portrays the typical immigrant child without stereotyping. The author uses the Spanish language to lend authenticity to his story, and really gives the readers a chance to experience the fantasies of a child living in New York City as they fly high above the city.  It also shows the love of a little girl for her Abuela, grandmother.  I loved it!!!

SUNDAY SCRIPTS: LDS Books for Children - My First Book of Mormon Stories

My First Book of Mormon Stories by Deana Draper Buck and Jerry Harston (Sep 2001)

I bought this book when it first came our for my own son, who was only about 3 at the time.  It's a big chunky board book and he sat still for a few minutes at a time to hear a quick story and see the pictures.  He was a super wiggly guy.  He was adopted and his mom is from Mexico, his dad is, (as he put it), French Creole. So our Samuel is dark skinned.  :)  We teased him that he was made of chocolate and he loved it.  So our Samuel especially loved the story of Samuel, the Lamanite and spent years with a sword or two of some kind in his hand pretending to be "Samuel".  Later, when we read about the Anit-Nephi-Lehi's, we found him burying his swords under a mound of couch cushions.  Ha Ha!

The stories scan only a couple of pages and so they are short enough to hold a small 2-4 year old child's attention.  This is a great alternative for toddlers and preschoolers.

This book is available at Deseret Book, Seagull Book, Amazon and wherever LDS books are sold.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Be filled with words that tell a tale
of a little mouse and a giant whale
of a runty pig and his spider friend
who was true and loyal to the end
of a badger who loved eating bread and jam
of a funky guy, green eggs, and ham
of a spunky girl named Ramona Q.
of a boy and the Jabberwock he slew.
Be filled with words and tell a tale
that will let my imagination sail.
Be a mystery
or a fantasy
or sing with sounds of poetry.
Between your covers
let there be
a story that’s just right for me.

by Elaine Magliaro 

"I could never have dreamt that there were such goings-on in the world between the covers of books,
such sandstorms and ice blasts of words,
such staggering peace, such enormous laughter,
such and so many blinding bright lights,
splashing all over the pages
in a million bits and pieces
all of which were words, words, words,
and each of which were alive forever
in its own delight and glory and oddity and light."

-by Dylan Thomas

Thursday, April 26, 2012

THURSDAY'S Cherished Picture Book of the Week & Lesson Plan

City Dog, Country Frog, by Mo Willems Ill. by Jon N Muth 
Publication date: June 8, 2010, ages 3 and up.

This is one of my favorite books, both because of the message and the gorgeous watercolor pictures.  I could eat the dog and the frog up, they are so cute!

The front cover flap tells part of the story!  City Dog needs a friend and in the Spring he meets Country Frog and they play country games.  In the Summer, they play City Dog games, but in the Fall, they only play "remembering" games, because Frog is tired.  In the winter, the frog is not there.  (Thus the sad doggy face above.)  In the Spring though, he meets a chipmunk and a brand new, different sort of friendship forms.

This is such a lovely book.  The story is so simple but it speaks volumes about love, friendship, loss, and change ... and living a life full of memories.  To view a delightful video of Mo Willems talking about his inspiration for writing this book, visit the link below.

TOPIC:  Seasons
Text-to-Text Connections: City Mouse, Country Mouse

Life Cycle of a Frog:
This book is a great one to show the seasons. During the season of winter, frog does not come out to play. He could be hibernating since frogs hibernate. I think the reader can read this book on many levels. For the youngest child, the focus on the seasons, hibernation, and playing is enough. For the older reader, a discussion about meeting new friends, coping with change, and enjoying life as it comes to us can happen. Maybe the frog did diec but the reader is not told. I choose to think he is just hibernating and will join dog and chipmunk later.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Power of Reading to Your Children is Found in This Beautiful Book, (for adults), "Heaven is Here"

I stayed up way too late finishing this inspiring book, Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson.  It's  a fasinating look into the resiliance of the human soul and mind  when faced with intense pain and adversity.

     In February of 2010 I have the opportunity to meet Christian Nielson, Stephanie's husband, only 5 months after their plane crashed in Arizona, caught fire and he and Stephanie were severely burned.  The side of his face was still red and healing.  He was attending an event where I was and happened to come over to our table to visit with our friends, who happened to be his friends as well.  We were introduced and he sat down for a minute and before too long I was listening to his story, (their story).  Christian had taken flying lessons and his wife Stephanie and pilot instructor were with him when the plane had mechanical problems and went down.  The instructor didn't make it.  Christian was burned over 40% of his body and Stephanie over 80% of her body.  He asked if I was acquainted with his wife's blog, I wasn't.  Then he told me his wife had created a blog and it had become well known, before the crash.  The blog was a creative, upbeat view of being a wife and mother of 4 and she had captivated readers around the globe with pictures and details of her life. 

    This book tells about their return from an "almost" fatal experience, back to real life, one step at a time.  Currently it in # 14 on The New York Times Best Seller List. Their story has become quite well known.  Stephanie has appeared on Oprah and their situation has been highlighted in many places.  The coolest thing is that she just had a baby girl only about 2 weeks ago, a complete miracle.

    But the hardest part of this tradgedy for Stephanie was how her children reacted when they saw her.  She was devastated at not being able to mother them again as she had and wanted so badly to do something for them, anything, but every move she made hurt! 

The best part of this book is the way she got her children to respond positively to her again.  She didn't look like their mom anymore, after 5 months in a burn unit and dozens of skin grafts later.  Her four kids were ages 6, 5, 3, and 18 months?  Two of them wouldn't go to her or even look at her.  They were frightened of the way she looked.  Here is what she says...

"Physically, I couldn't mother the children as much as I wanted to, but I looked for any and every way to reestablish our connection." 

    "Claire, let's read Stuart Little," I suggested.  She had just brought it home from school.  "If you'll bring it to me, I'd love to read it with you." 

Claire ran to her backpack and pulled out the book. 

    "You're going to read, Mom?"  Ollie asked as he climbed onto the couch and settled in next to me. 

Jane wandered in, too.  "What are you reading?"  She asked Claire. 

    "Stuart Little," I answered.  "It's about a cute little mouse, Jane.  I think you'd like it." 

She shrugged her shoulders and sad down on the floor by Nicholas who was playing with Ollie's army guys.

    "Gig's, you want to read with us?"  I held out my arms but was prepared for the answer I got.  Nicholas shook his head and looked back at this toys.

    "When Mrs. Frederick C. Little's second son arrived, everyone noticed he was not much bigger than a mouse," I began, and Jane looked up.  "The truth of the matter was, the baby looked very much like a mouse in every way."

Claire giggled.  "Look how cute he is with a little hat and shoes."  It was more than Jane could resist, and she climbed on the couch next to Claire to see the dapper little mouse.

The children snuggled close to me as I read so they could see the illustrations.  When Jane said something about the doctor examining Stuart Little, even Nicholas climbed on the couch next to Oliver so he could see, too.

I was sharing the couch with all four of my children.  I wanted this moment to last forever.  they hung on every word, captivated by the story of the little mouse.  Hoping nothing would beak this spell, I rad one chapter after another. I had no intention of quitting, so when we finished chapter four, and Jane said, looking at the book, "Oh, Mom, one more chapter.  Pleeeease," I was thrilled.

    "Another chapter?"  I asked.  "I'd like nothing better."

 Nothing else needs to be said about the power of reading aloud to children, does it?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Treasury of Read-Alouds by Jim Trelease: in honor of Poetry MONTH

POETRY BOOKS page 1 of 1

Jim's Favorite Stories in Rhyming Verse (in order of complexity)
  • The Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews
  • Over In The Meadow by Olive A.Wadsworth
  • Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward
  • Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.
  • The Napping House by Audrey Wood
  • The Wheels on the Bus by Maryann Kovalski
  • This Is the House That Was Tidy and Neat
    by Teri Sloat
  • The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
  • Duck in a Truck by Jez Alborough
  • Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
  • Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? by Nancy White Carlstrom
  • The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathman
  • Shoe Baby by Joyce Dunbar
  • Snip Snap! What's That? by Mara Bergman
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Micawber by John Lithgow
  • Here Come the Aliens! by Colin McNaughton
  • Where's My Teddy? by Jez Alborough
  • Timothy Cox Will Not Change His Socks
    by Robert Kinerk
  • The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill
  • Kermit the Hermit by Bill Peet
  • If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss
  • The Friend by Sarah Stewart
  • Casey at the Bat by Ernest L. Thayer
    illustrated by C. F. Payne
  • Who Swallowed Harold? by Susan Pearson

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Little Something I Learned From Barnes and Noble

I went to Barnes and Noble in St. George, Utah and read a stack of picture books that I had been wanting to read!  It was so much fun and I was able to get a feel for some of the new picture books out there!  I snapped some pics of this particular B&N because it was soooo awesome, like a children's enchanted forest, full of books and toys!  If I was a kid, I'd just want to go there and sit and stare at all the displays!  Here are a couple of the pics I took... Maybe everyone else has a B&N like this nearby, but I don't, so I was impressed. 

I want my library to look like this!!!  :) Ha, Ha!  The thing I immediately noticed is how many books are displayed face out and I have decided that I am going to find ways to display more books this way. 

In the book "The Read A-loud Handbook",  by Jim Trelease, he says this.  "Few grocery customers know that food companies pay nine billion dollars for shelf space, accounting for one-half of stores' annual profits.  In other words, they rent shelp space.  Paying that kind of money, the manufacturer makes sure its product is displayed on the shelf to its best advantage -- that is, face-out.  This visibility is so connected to sales, the low paying companies receive the worst seats in the house, the top and bottom shelves.  The reason companies want each product face-out is simple:  It's the cover that most often influences our choices -- the picture of the cookie, cereal, or magazine.  ...Since 60% of the people going into a bookstore or library don't have a particular book (or author or publisher) in mind, it's the cover that will move the book, not the spine.  The majority of public and school libraries are clueless when it comes to these principles.  Many don't have a single book shelved cover-out.  When researchers observed a kindergarten classroom library for one week, 90% of the books that children chose had been shelved with the covers facing out." 

So where do you get the room to do this?  Install rain gutters on the walls, below whiteboards or anywhere you can and shelf some of your books this way,  face-out.  Weed, weed, weed..... books that aren't being read, to give you more shelf space.  Create displays on tables or on tops of bookshelves.  Get creative!  Here are some pics of what I'm talking about!

All of the teachers at my school have one long rain gutter attached right under their large white boards.  They can display tons of books that way.

Here are some of the books I read at Barns and Noble and loved. 


Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and ill. by Jon Klassen - I love, love, loved this adorable book.  Maybe because I loved the soft illustrations so much, but it really took me in!  The book starts out all in black and white.  This little girl finds a box of colored yarn and knits herself a sweater.  Before long she has knitted and knitted and knitted and everyone and everything is wearing or is covered in yarn.  Her little town goes from  drabby to colorful (and fun)!  Everyone and everything looks better, brighter and happier!  The yarn never runs out, until one day, a rich and greedy  "Duke", (I think?), steals it from her.  Then and only then, the yarn runs out.  The greedy duke pitches the box into the sea,  where it floats right back into her hands again.  Once again it never ends.  There are so many connections to make with this simple story, from spreading joy, to giving versus taking, to being greedy and on and on!  It's just delightful!!  Ages 3+

Little Mouse's Big Secret by Eric Battut is about a tiny mouse with a BIG secret.  At the beginning of the book, he drops a seed behind his back to hide it from the world and continues to tell animal after animal that he has a BIG secret.  Behind his back, his seed sprouts and begins to grow and grow and grow and his secret is known to all the animals except him!  He is the one that ends up being surprised!  A sweet story!  Ages 3+

I hadn't read this yet and it was as adorable as all the reviews have claimed.  It's the Caldecott winner this year.  It really is a book about loss and dealing with it!  The puppy adores his new plastic red ball.  He sits with it, sleeps with it, plays with it...  When he takes it to the dog park, a bigger dog plays with it and POPS it.  It has to be thrown away.  The puppy comes home and has to deal with the loss!  The next day, he goes to the dog park with his owner and the owner of the bigger dog gives him a new ball, a blue one.  He falls in love with it in seconds.  It's a simple story with NO WORDS, which makes it perfect for young, young children!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand

Wow, I just finished reading "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, the same author who wrote "Seabiscuit".  This is NOT a children's book, but I wanted to review it anyway.  I have to say, it is one of the best books I have ever read!  It is the true story of a man named Louie Zamperini, an olympic runner, and his unbelievable experiences thoughtout World War II.  As stated on the front cover, it is a story of "Survival, Resilience, and Redemption."  I heard about it through a friend and then my sister gifted it to my father for his birthday.  I borrowed it from him, came on vacation, and have read it straight for 2 days.  I finished late last night, ending up with a splitting headache, from having read so much.  It reminds me "a tad" of the experience of redemption that Betsy Tenboom has in her book "The Hiding Place", after her awful experience in one of the worst concentration camps of WWII.  Although she isn't a Jew herself, she and her sister take to hiding Jews from certain death.  So they are carted off to Poland!

This book reminds me that forgiveness is possible, the human spirit can survive most anything, and that miracles absolutely do still exist.  If you don't like to read about war or  you don't want to read the whole book, over 400 pages, at least listen to this youtube video that talks briefly of this heroic man's life,...

This book is beautifully written and a on-in-a-billion story!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Elementary School Library Lesson Plans

Go to the top of my blog and see each month of lesson plans.


            WE ALSO HAVE 3 BOOK FAIRS EACH I'll have to fit those in.


My RULES are simple. 
R: RESPECT others, (Use the Golden Rule) 

1. Read-a-thons! 
2. Author/illustrator visits! 
3. Earn book bucks and win books! 
4. Book Commercials and Book Talks 
5. 3 Book Fairs! 
6. Book Club(s) 
7. Storytelling 
8. Acting out stories! Plays! 
9. Reading and Writing Poetry! 
10.  Dr. Seuss Week And lots more... DRESS AS YOUR FAVORITE DR. SEUSS CHARACTER.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I really dislike doing housework! I think I dislike it so much because it's soooooo boring! I either have to listen to the radio or the TV and that's often boring as well! Soooo, since my house is in dire need of a good cleaning, I purchased a monthly subscription to Now I can "read" while I clean and that makes me very happy! It's also incredible to listen to the author's voice when he/she narrates it! Either way, killing two birds with one stone is a sweet treat. (Another added benefit is that it gets me up and moving and that is good for my heart and my calorie burn for the day!) Just saying....! :) May be a good deal? I don't know! There are cheaper ways, for sure. The good old fashioned library is the best, but it may not have what I'm looking for! ITunes has some options as well!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Great School Library Displays

Here are a few tips and tricks for your library displays.

1.  Keep your theme as broad as possible or combine ideas so that you have plenty of books for the library display.  For example, "Remembering Pearl Harbor" is more limiting than "Times of War" for a Veteran's Day Theme.
2.  Be flexible and willing to "throw up" a display based on the current issues of the day, such as the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic or highlighting the passing of a famous author.
3.  Consider asking your Principal or Director to select some books and entitle the display, "Mr./Mrs. _____________ Picks",  highlight a grade and display a sign that reads "5th Grade Favorites" or do "Great Books You May Have Missed".
4.  Use all kinds of media, not just books, such as DVD's, audiobooks, or CD's.
5.  Your displays should reflect the interests of your target audience!  Remember that the goal is to get these books on display, Checked-Out!
6.  Choose books that are attention grabbers, with bright vibrant colors and in good condition.
7.  Use signage that is eye catching, but that is also simple enough not to detract from the books themselves.
8.  Use visual logos, icons or symbols that are associated with the theme of the books on display.  An author's picture or a simple symbol may be all the display needs!
9.  Don't overdo it on the props.  A simple pumpkin with a sign that says "BOO"! or a bat and ball to go with a Sports Books display may be plenty.  Choose one 3D item over lots of posters, glitter or "fan fare".
10.  Make sure the students know that these books can be checked out by putting a sign up that says so!  Don't put any books behind glass cases where kids can't get to them easily.  Use the glass cases for props or collections that add interest, but keep the books accessible.

Here are some great ideas, not mine, just found them online at Pinterest.  I'll be posting my own come Fall!!!


Books that Teach Character Development


Stellaluna, Cannon
Smoky Night, Bunting
Inch by Inch, Lionni
Chrysanthemum, Henkes
Frederick, Lionni
Arthur's Nose, Brown
Big Al, Yoshi
Loop the Loop, Dugan
Miss Rumphius, Cooney

Too Many Tamales, Soto
A Day's Work, Bunting
The Empty Pot, Demi
A Birthday for Frances, Hoban
The Berenstain Bears and the Truth, Berenstain
Tyrone, the Double Dirty, Rotten Cheater, Wilhelm
A Big, Fat, Enormous Lie, Sharmat
Freya's Fantastic Surprise, Hathorn
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire, Cohen
Pinocchio, Collodi

Now One Foot, Now the Other, de Paola
Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs, de Paola
Be Good to Eddie Lee, Fleming
Through Grandpa's Eyes, Machlachlan
Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge, Fox
Knots on a Counting Rope, Martin and Archambault
The Mountain That Loved a Bird, McLerran

The Giving Tree, Silverstein
The Doorbell Rang, Hutchins
The Wednesday Surprise, Williams
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, Wood
Alejandro's Gift, Albert
A Letter to Santa Claus, Impey
Angel Child, Dragon Child, Surat

The Berenstain Bears' New Neighbors, Berenstain
The Big Orange Splot, Pinkwater
The Story of Ruby Bridges, Coles
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jr., Marzollo
Arnie and the New Kid, Carlson
How My Parents Learned To Eat, Friedman
The Araboolies of Liberty Street, Swope
What is the Sign for Friend?, Greenberg
We Are All Alike, We Are All Different, Cheltenham Elementary School
Arthur's Tooth, Brown

George and Martha, Marshall
The Berenstain Bears Get In A Fight, Berenstain
Best Friends, Kellogg
Arthur's Birthday, Brown
Chicken Sunday, Polacco
Arthur's Baby, Brown
Frog and Toad Are Friends, Lobel
Koko's Kitten, Patterson
Little Blue and Little Yellow, Lionni
Peach and Blue, Kilborne
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, Lionni
Ira Sleeps Over, Waber
Mrs. Katz and Tush, Polacco
The First Strawberries, Bruchac

A Chair for My Mother, Williams
Frederick, Lionni
The Seven Chinese Brothers, Mahy
Anansi the Spider: A Tale from Ashanti, McDermott
The Little Red Hen, Galdone
Big Pumpkin, Silverman
Swimmy, Lionni
The Enormous Turnip, Parkinson
Miss Nelson Is Missing, Allard

Amazing Grace, Hoffman
The Carrot Seed, Krauss
The Little Engine That Could, Piper
Mirette on the High Wire, McCully
The Boy Who Held Back the Sea, Hort
Katy and the Big Snow, Burton
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Burton
Brave Irene, Steig

Arthur's Pet Business, Brown
Just Me and My Puppy, Mayer
Little Toot, Gramatky
The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room, Berenstain
Pigsty, Teague
Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon, Cummings
Just A Mess, Mayer
The Wump World, Peet
Zinnia and Dot, Campbell

Teacher Trouble, Brown
Babushka's Doll, Polacco
King Midas and the Golden Touch, Hewitt
Ronald Morgan Goes To Bat, Giff
Spinky Sulks, Steig
Don't Pop Your Cork on Mondays, Moser
The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit, Berenstain
Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie, Roop
I Was So Mad, Mayer

Aesop's Fables, Aesop
Children's Book of Virtues, Bennett
Compiled by Amy Braman

Friday, April 13, 2012

Books & Lesson Plans: Remembering the Titanic

This weekend marks the 100 year anniversary of the sailing and then subsequent sinking of the Titanic.  This British ship sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after hitting an iceburg during her maiden voyage from Southhampton, England to New York City.   When the Titanic went down, it caused the deaths of 1,514 people in one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history. She was the largest ship afloat at the time of her voyage. There were 2,224 passengers on board.  These included some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as over a thousand emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandenavia and elsewhere.  They were seeking a new life in North America. The ship was designed to be the best in comfort and luxury, with an on-board gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants and stunning cabins.  Though she had "advanced" safety features such as watertight compartments and doors, she lacked enough lifeboats for all of those aboard. Due to outdated safety regulations, she carried only enough lifeboats for a third of her total passenger and crew capacity - 1,178 people.  It is reported that only 706 people survived.  Sadly, many of the lifeboats were not filled to capacity. 

What a perfect opportunity we have as parents, teachers and librarians this year to remember and teach about the acts of heroism that occurred that horrific night!  The examples are numerous, from the musicians who played hymns as the ship sank lower and lower, to crew members who gave their lives to save others.

Here's a great website for teachers or librarians that's jam packed full of lesson plans all about the Titanic

Here are just a few of my favorite books on the subject which document this event with both touching photos and honesty:

The Titanic:  Lost and Found (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4) by July Donnelly

Inside the Titanic (A Giant Cutaway Book)  by Hugh    Brewster, Ill. by Ken Marschall

National Geographic Readers: Titanic by Melissa Stewart
(I love the text features and the vibrant colored pictures that will surely draw in young children.)

Tonight on the Titanic (Magic Tree House, No. 17) by   Mary Pope Osborne  She also wrote  Magic Tree House Research Guide:  Titanic, which she calls "a nonfiction companion" to this book.  I bought it and love it, with it's real photos, sketches, "Fact Files" and snippetts of biographies.

Titanic, Book One (of a Series of 3) by Gordon Korman
This is a historical fiction series which tells the story of four children's experiences that fateful night!

882 1/2 Amazing Answers to Your Questions About the Titanic by Laurie Coulter and Hugh Brewster (Jan 1, 2012)
This is a great reference book, full of almost anything you would ever want to know about the Titanic! 

The Titanic:  An Interactive History Adventure (You Choose Books) by Bob Temple.  In this book, the reader can choose life or death for the ending!

Titanic Sinks!:  Experience the Titanic's Doomed Voyage in this Unique Presentation of Fact and Fiction by Barry Denenberg


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cherished Picture Book of the Week: A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

This is such an adorable book.  Any child who has ever had a special toy break can understand the sadness Daisy experiences when her favorite ball is "popped" by a bigger dog.  In this wordless picture book, the author, Chris Raschka, explores the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring.  Caldecott Medal Winner  Ages 3-8

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Funny Picture Book Suggestions

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Today I Will Fly by Mo Willems
Martha Speaks by Susan Meddagh
King Bidgood's In the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
Arthur's Underwear by Marc Brown
The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens
Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
When Dinosaurs Came With Everything by Elise Broach
Howdi Do by Woody Guthrie and Vladimir Radunsky
Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems
George and Martha stories by James Marshall
Olivia Forms a Band by Ian Falconer
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems
A Birthday for Frances by Russell Hoban and Lillian Hoban
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Skippyjon Jones
Help Me Mr. Mutt by Janet Stevens

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin (Caldecott Honor)
Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin
T’was the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (any book by Henkes)
How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night by Jane Yolen

Parts by Ted Arnold
I Stink by Kate McMullan is a big hit with the K-3 crowd.
Minnie and Moo series by Denys Cazet

Munsch books: Mud Puddle, Snowsuit, Stephanie's Ponytail, etc.
Taxi Cat and Huey by Gin LeRoy
Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street by Roni Schotter
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
All the "There was an Old Lady... books
Possum Magic by Mem Fox
Flotsam by David Wiesner
Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini
Bad Boys by Margie Palatini
Interrupting Chicken by
David Ezra Stein
Charlie and Lola series, by Lauren Child
Birdie's Big Girl Shoes by Sujean Rim
Verdi by Janell Canon
Spookly, the Square Pumpkin
Turk and Runt: A Thanksgiving Comedy
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Pout, Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

The Alexander books by Judith Viorst
-Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
-Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
-Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move

The Pirate books by Colin McNaughton
-Jolly Roger and the Pirates of Captain Abdul
-Captain Abdul's Pirate School
-Captain Abdul's Little Treasure

Melanie Watt's Books
-Scaredy Squirrel
-Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend
-Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach
-Scaredy Squirrel at Night
-Chester's Back!
-Chester's Masterpiece
Margie Palatini's Books
-Sweet Tooth
Doreen Cronin & Betsy Lewin Books
-Diary of a Worm
-Diary of a Fly
-Diary of a Spider
-Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type
-Duck for President
-Thump, Quack, Moo: A Whacky Adventure
David Shannon Books
-A Bad Case of Stripes
-Duck on a Bike
-Good Boy, Fergus!
-Too Many Toys
-How I Became a Pirate
-Pirates Don't Change Diapers
-Pirates Don't Babysit
-No, David!
-David Goes to School
-David Gets in Trouble
-Oh, David!

Crunch Munch Dinosaur Lunch by Paul Bright

Monday, April 9, 2012

Recommended Reading List for Boys by Librarians By Elizabeth Kennedy

My 13 year old son is hard to please.  He struggles to read, really struggles...and so I do alot of reading out loud to him.  This, he loves and I pray it will be the catalyst to his becoming a better reader!  We mix it up.   Sometimes he reads a bit and then I read, but if it's too tough, I'll take over and let him "travel through the story" without effort!  I define words for him that he doesn't know or he'll define them for me if he does know them.  We discuss plot, characters, setting and author's intent as we go, but just enough that it doesn't ruin the story.  He is hard to please though and so I'm always looking for something that might fit his interests.

So far we have read the following books together:
1.  "Harry Potter", books 1, 2, and 3

2.  "Skeleton Creek", books 1, 2, and 3  by Patrick Carmen (This is an exceptionally fun series to read with a child and youtube videos are included)!  P. S. Don't read them if you get scared easily!!! :)

3.  "Running Out of Time" by Margeret Peterson Haddix
4.  "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry
5.  "Stone Fox" by John Reynolds Gardiner
6.  "Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, (I skipped some of the more gorey details).
7.  "Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen
8.  "Because of Winn Dixie" by Kate Dicamillo
9. "The 39 Clues" (in the middle of it)... This is a cool mystery series written by a varity of some of the best "mystery authors" around. 
10.  "On the Run" Chasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman
11.  "Bone" by Jeff Smith
12.  The Entire "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series 1-5 and counting   
13.  An endless number of picture books, nonfiction books, etc....

If you haven't spent any time at this web site,, you are missing out.  Elizabeth Kennedy spells it all out, everything you want to know about kids' lit and more!  She is an expert and this is one site you don't want to miss out on.  Thanks Elizabeth for this amazing article on BOOKS FOR BOYS!

"If you are looking for books for boys, from young children to tweens and teens, you'll be interested in these reading lists of books for boys recommended by librarians.   The books on these reading lists for boys include children's books that will appeal to a large range of ages and interests. Even boys who complain they can never find anything good to read and, as a result, are reluctant readers should be able to find books they enjoy on some of these lists.
  1. Great Books for Boys
    This article and list of books recommended for boys comes from The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance. It includes a list of books recommended by The Horn Book in these categories: Picture Books, Middle Grade Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Non-fiction Middle School/High School and Poetry.
  2. Adventures in History for Boys
    This brief reading list from the Central Rappahannock Regional Library in Virginia includes cover art and a brief summary for under a dozen books of historical fiction recommended for older boys.
  3. Especially for Boys
    This annotated reading list of recommended books for boys is from the St. Charles Public Library in Illinois. It includes cover art and a brief summary of 131 books for boys, from preschool age through eighth grade. To narrow your search, you can search by grade range, which is very helpful.
  4. Good Books for Guys
    The Multnomah County Library in Oregon provides five reading lists, divided by grade levels: Small Fries: Pre-K, Young Guys: 1-3, Middle Guys: 4-6, Large Fries: 7-8, Older Guys: 9-12. While not annotated, the lists include cover art.
  5. Chapter Books for Boys
    This annotated reading list from the Salt Lake City Public Library in Utah includes three dozen books. The list includes books by Louis Sachar, Dav Pilkey, Jerry Spinelli, Judy Blume, Garth Nix, Beverly Cleary and Rick Riordan, among others.
  6. Good Books for Older Boys
    This brief list, without annotations, is from the Boston Public Library in Massachusetts. It has some excellent books for tweens and young teens on it.
  7. Good Series for Younger Boys
    This booklist from the Boston Public Library in Massachusetts includes the title and author of more than two dozen recommended series for younger boys. This reading list includes The Time Warp Trio series by Jon Scieszka.
  8. Good Series for Older Boys
    The title and author of sixteen series recommended for boys can be found on this reading list from the Boston Public Library in Massachusetts.
  9. Nonfiction for Boys
    This is an annotated list from the Salt Lake City Public Library in Utah. The reading list includes 18 books on a variety of topics, including brain science, history, drawing characters, and jokes to tell. Click on “check availability” to see the cover art.
  10. Picture Books for Boys
    The annotated reading list of 20 picture books includes Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. This is an annotated list from the Salt Lake City Public Library in Utah. Click on “check availability” to see the cover art."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cherished Picture Book of the Week

I went to DI again today, (the second hand stores in Utah), and I found another of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors ever, Kevin Henkes!  "Wemberly Worried"!  It's a must have, especially for Pre-K/Kinders or to read to any child who is nervous about starting school.

Wemberly worries about everything.  Big things, little things and things in between.  She worries that she may shrink and go down the drain in the bath tub, that the big tree in the front yard will fall on her house and that something might find its way out of the crack in her wall!  She especially worries about her doll "Petals".  Soon however, Wemberly has a new worry:  school!

"What if no one else has spots?  What if the teacher is mean?  What if I can't find the bathroom?"  Wemberly learns that making friends helps alot and it's not as hard as it may seem.  At the end of the first day of school she turns to her teacher and tells her not to worry, because she will be back tomorrow!

I wish I had had a copy of this book when I was 5, because I had a bad case of homesickness when I started school and I was a worry wart, just like Wemberly!  What a great book to help young children see that we all have worries and worries can be fixed!


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