Tuesday, July 31, 2012

TUESDAY's (TEACHING WITH PICTURE BOOKS): "Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride" by Pam Munoz

Amelia And Eleanor Go For A Ride

Amelia Earhart has been in the news lately, as plans and a large scale project were set and then carried out to find her downed plane. The unsuccessful current event has brought new life to this remarkable woman of courage and tenacity.   

Book Description

October 1, 1999 4 and upP and up
An inspiring true story of Amelia Earheart and Eleanor Roosevelt -- and a thrilling night when they made history together! On a brisk and cloudless evening in April 1933, Amelia Earheart and Eleanor Roosevelt did the unprecedented: They stole away from a White House dinner, commandeered an Eastern Air Transport plane and took off on a glorious adventure -- while still dressed in their glamorous evening gowns! This large-format lavishly produced picture book celebrates the courage and pioneering spirit of two friends who defied convention in the name of fulfillment, conviction, and fun. Breathtaking black and white drawings -- which create the look of a vintage movie -- make this a visual tour de force for young adventurers, historians and any one else who dares to dream.

and...... Here is a fantastic lesson plan to go with this book:  http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/amelia-and-eleanor-go-ride-lesson-plan

Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator

Amelia Earhart, The Legend of the Lost Aviator by Shelley Tanaka ill. by David Craig

Book Description
August 1, 2008 8 and up3 and up
The ever-fascinating story of the legendary pilot is given new life in this vividly told true-life adventure.
Ever since Amelia Earhart and her plane disappeared on July 2, 1937, people have wanted to know more about this remarkable woman. Amelia Earhart follows the charismatic aviator from her first sight of an airplane at the age of ten to the last radio transmission she made before she vanished. Illustrated with original artworks, contemporary photographs, quotes, and details, this is a great introduction to the famous pilot. The book includes a bibliography and an index.

Monday, July 30, 2012

MONDAY: Meet the Author Shannon Hale - great books for girls

Shannon Hale has been a storyteller from birth, acording to her mother.  A former actress, she earned a master's degree in creatie writing from the Universityof Montana.  Shannon lives in Salt lake City, Utah, with her husband and her son. 

My daughter "got me on to Shannon Hale" after she read "Princess Academy" and "Goosegirl", two of her favorite books ever.  She read them when she was about 12 years old and about 3-4 years ago, when Shannon offered a non-profit writer's workshop in Salt Lake City, we went together.  I snapped a picture of my daughter with Shannon and we listend to 8+ Utah children's authors tell us a bit about how they got into writing.  We broke up into groups and had a blast, learning and listening to these remarkably talented writers. 

Shannon has continued to be a favorite of my daughters, with her next few novels... she has more recently even written a graphic novel, "Rupunzel's Revenge".  Her Goose Girl series is especially loved by girls aged 10+.

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  • Sunday, July 29, 2012

    SUNDAY: "Tear Soup" by Pat Schwiebert

    Tear Soup, a Recipe for Healing After Loss [Hardcover]

    Pat Schwiebert (Author), Chuck DeKlyen (Author), Taylor Bills (Illustrator)

    Laura's Review
    This is a 5+ star book in my estimation.  After my daughter lost their little girl, (stillborn at 8+ months), we were all heart broken.  We had recently suffered another death of a young dear friend and my heart felt  heavy for a long time.  My daughter received this book from a friend at work and said "that of all the books and gifts that she had received, this one was the most helpful and really hit the mark".  She sat me down on the couch and she read it to me.  We wept together, page by page, as Grandy, the main character, describes her process of dealing with her loss by making tear soup.  (You don't know what loss she has suffered, but it doesn't matter.  You do know it is a very significant loss though.)  As my daughter read the book, I could literally relate to each sentence and each page.  As I listened to Grandy explain to her grandson what she was doing, I felt like I had discovered a new friend, who was going through the pain with me and who finally understood how I felt.  Because this is a picture book, it is written for adults and children alike.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is grieving the loss of anyone or anything significant.

    Book Description

    June 1, 2005 8 and up3 and up
    If you are going to buy only one book on grief, this is the one to get! It will validate your grief experience, and you can share it with your children. You can leave it on the coffee table so others will pick it up, read it, and then better appreciate your grieving time. Grand's Cooking Tips section at the back of the book is rich with wisdom and concrete recommendations. Better than a casserole!

    Hardbound; 56 full-color pages. Affirms the bereaved. Educates the un-bereaved. A building-block for children..... WINNER! of the 2001 Theologos Book Award, presented by the Association of Theological Booksellers.

    Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

    Book Description

    October 15, 2007 4 and upP and up
    Through simple prose and vivid illustrations, this heartwarming book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well being of others and ourselves.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    SATURDAY SERIES: "Guy Reads" by Jon Scieszka

    Guys Read: Thriller

    So I have a son that doesn't much like to read anything, however, he does like these books!!!  The secret??? They are short stories geared to boys.  They only take about 30 minutes to read.  They aren't AMAZING LITERATURE, but if they get him to read, okay!!!  I thought after each one was done that he'd say he didn't really like it, but I was wrong.  I guess I just don't think like a 13 year old boy. (Thank goodness.)  Anyway, the really cool thing is that each story is written by a different author. The "Thriller" authors are all of the best mystery writers of the day, like Patrick Carmen, author of the "Skeleton Creek" series, Mary Haddox Peterson, James Patterson, MT Anderson...  and so on.  Give them a try with your son or struggling male student, or anyone else for that matter.  Girls will love them too!
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    About the Author

    Jon Scieszka is the National Ambassador for Children’s Literature emeritus and the bestselling author of more than twenty-five books for kids, including The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid TalesMath CurseRobot Zot!, and the Time Warp Trio series. Jon founded Guys Read to encourage a passion for reading among young boys, with the philosophy that boys love to read most when they are reading things they love. A former elementary school teacher, Jon lives in Brooklyn with his family.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012


    Here are some of the best bulletin boards I've seen or have created on my own.  I have given creadit to those whose ideas I am sharing that aren't mine when possible.  Where possible, I have added a link, if one existed...  I go "sight seeing" at libraries and book stores wherever I go and ask permission to take pictures of the displays and bulletin boards.  I have never been turned down.  Thanks for all the great ideas! You may not choose to copy the displays exactly but hopefully they may prove to be a springboard to inspiration and ideas of your own.

    A fabulous site that I found that discusses "all things" about library displays is: http://www.creativelibrarydisplays.com/  You just have to go there and see it for yourself.  I didn't add any of her creations below.  It's worth the visit to her site!!!!!!!!

    Below are just some simple pics I took at libraries and book stores I have visited.  NOTE the number of books FACING OUT ON DISPLAY!


    Face as many books forward as possible.  It makes a huge difference in circulation.

     Use puppets in your library as much as possible.  Allow the children to use them as well.

    I want this in my library!!!

    Great signage!

    At http://www.barbrahesson.com/category/library-bulletin-boards/, there are quite a few ideas.  I have added my favorites below.  Thanks Barbara for sharing these ideas with us!!!

    Origami Yoda


    A Galaxy of Greta Books

    Used this picture as my inspiration for a library display

    Love it!



    Reading Helps Your Mind Bloom

    Can adapt for bulletin board.

    Obviously, you wouldn't use the same book and it may not stay up long, but I thought this was kind of cool.

    Here is a great article:  Ten Tips for Better Book Displays

    1. Displays should reflect your customers’ reading interests, not yours.  You might be fascinated by ancient Japanese sword fighting or the history of dominos, but that doesn’t mean that books on those topics will make a good display.  While a fair amount of time might be spent filling a display fixture with books, the ultimate goal is for that fixture to be empty soon after. 

    2. The books should be the stars of the display.  Choose books with fresh, visually appealing covers in good condition.

    3. While the books are the stars, eye-catching visual signage is key.  This does not require bells and whistles – in fact, when it comes to display signage, less is more.  Choose a simple, readable font over an intricate one.  Incorporate plenty of white space into the design.  Choose card stock over construction paper and simple color palettes over neon and glitter.

    4. If there is an icon or other key visual element associated with the theme of the display, be sure to include it in the signage.  This might be a logo or a symbol or simply an author’s photo.  It may be all the sign needs.


    5. Use props judiciously.  A single bicycle wheel propped next to the sign for a display of books about cycling.  A single pumpkin with a sign that says Boo! for Halloween.  A small vintage suitcase can serve as the stand for the sign for a travel display.  Choose one 3D element over lots of smaller tschotskes.

    6. Make it clear that the items on display can be checked out.  This may be clear to us, but it is not always so for our customers.  Here, the sticker that is used on display books is incorporated into the small signage that is included in the display:

    7.  Don’t limit yourself to books.  Whenever possible, include a mix of audiobooks, DVDs, and even CDs.
    8.  Consider moving beyond tightly themed displays to more general ones that can be used anytime:
    • Staff Picks
    • Patron Picks
    • People You Should Meet
    • Greatest Hits of the ____ (insert decade)
    • Good Books You May Have Missed
    • What Your Neighbors Are Reading (Put this sign on a cart of just returned books – they’ll fly out of the building and your shelvers will thank you!)
    9.  Unless the items are priceless or irreplaceable, do not put book displays behind glass.  Putting books in a locked glass front display case says ”Here are some great books from our collection, but you can’t have them!”  It’s the equivalent of a “nanny-nanny, boo-boo” to customers.
    If you have glass cases, free them up for local artists, crafters, or collectors to display their wares.  You could even give local children a chance to display their collections of dolls, Legos, action figures, or tractors:

    10.  Be flexible and have fun!  Be willing and ready to change plans and throw up a display based on the news of the day.  Here’s a display that went up within hours of the announcement of a local author’s passing - we gathered his books and put it all out on a cart for a few days:

    Displays should be fun, both for you to create and for your customers to browse.  Here are a few that got lots of attention and let folks know that we are tuned into pop culture and definitely don’t take ourselves too seriously:



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