July 31, 2015

Back to School Books

I did a previous blog encouraging themed browsing boxes at home.  I love playing librarian to my daughter and creating a collection of seasonal books for her to celebrate special times of the year.  I recently put together a browsing box full of back to school books.  I’m super excited to return to work and see my students, and I hope these school books help my daughter look forward to her first day back.  Below is a list of back to school books for you to create your own themed browsing box at home.  Happy reading and happy 1st day of school!

School's 1st Day of School by Adam Rex
Rappy's Goes to School by Dan Gutman
Ruby Rose Off to School She Goes by Rob Sanders
Bears Big Day by Salina Yoon
School Bugs by David Carter
Pinkalicious: School Rules by Victoria Kann
I Love School! By Hans Wilhelm
Strawberry Shortcake: School Friends by Lana Edelman
Biscuit Goes to School by Alyssa Capucilli
Time for School, Charlie Brown by Charles Schulz
Rosie Goes to Preschool by Karen Katz
Time for School, Mouse! By Laura Numeroff
Spot Loves School by Eric Hill
Grover’s First Day at School by Heather Au
Yo Gabba: School is Awesome! By Tina Gallo
Daniel Tiger’s: Daniel Goes to School by Becky Friedman
Barbie: The First Day of School by Mary Man-Kong
Pinkalicious and the New Teacher by Victoria Kann
My Little Pony: School Spirit by Louise Alexander
Sesame Street: S is for School! By P.J. Shaw
Spot Goes to School by Eric Hill
Hello Kitty and Me: Let’s Go to School by Jacqueline Ball
Clifford’s First School Day by Norman Bridwell
Splat the Cat” Back to School, Splat! By Rob Scotton
Dora Goes to School by Leslie Valdes
Arthur’s Off to School by Marc Brown
Wonder Pets: Off to School! By Sascha Paladino
Froggy Goes to School by Jonathon London’
Starting School by Franzeska Ewart
If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff
Blue’s Clues: Off to School with Periwinkle and Blue by Alison Inches
Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson
My First Day by Leilani Sparrow
The Night Before Preschool/Kindergarten/1st Grade/Etc. by Natasha Wing
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books! By Lucille Colandro
B. Bear and Lolly: Off to School by A.A. Livingston
Dad’s First Day by Mike Wohnoutka
My Weird School Special: Back to School, Weird Kids Rule! By Dan Gutman
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Curious George’s First Day of School by H.A. Rey
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by James Dean
Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School by James Dean
The School Year will be the Best by Kay Winters
Off to School Baby Duck! By Amy Hest
Arthur’s Off to School by Marc Brown
It’s the First Day of School – Forever! By R.L. Stine
Cam Jansen: The First Day of School Mystery by David Adler
The First Day of School by Mercer Mayer
Pooh’s First Day of School by  Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld
Cowgirl Kate & Cocoa: School Days by Erica Silverman
Back to School from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Max and Mo’s First Day of School by Patricia Lakin
Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish
The School Story by Andrew Clements
Bubble Guppies: Time for School! By Mary Tilworth
I Am Too Absolutely Small for School by Lauren Child
I.Q. Goes to School by Mary Ann Fraser
Back to School Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos
Marley Goes to School by John Grogan
The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School by Joan Holub
Boomer Goes to School by Constance McGeorge
The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill
Dinosaur vs School by Bob Shea
McDuff Goes to School by Rosemary Wells
How do Dinosaurs Go to School? By Jane Yolen
Go Girl: Back to School by Meredith Badger
Bad Kitty’s School Daze by Nick Bruel
Back to School, Mallory by Laurie Friedman
Reddy Freddy: Homework Hassles by Abby Klein
Junie B Jones: First Grade at Last by Barbara Park
Big Nate: Makes the Grade by Lincoln Pierce
I Spy School Days by Walter Wick

July 12, 2015

The Challenge Continues . . . Buckeye Book Award Reading Challenge 1987

And the reading challenge continues!  As stated in a previous post, my librarian friend Ashley Lambacher of the Book Talker and I are hosting the Buckeye Book Award Reading Challenge.  Our goal is to read all the past winners from the children’s book category in chronological order from 1982 to the present.  I will read the K-2 picture book winners and Ashley will read the 4-8/3-5 chapter book winners.  Because 1986 was skipped, today I continue my challenge by reading the winner of the K-2 Buckeye Book Award in 1987, In a Dark Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz and illustrations by Dirk Zimmer.

 In a Dark, Dark Room is a collection eight scary stories creepy enough to give young readers the chills.  “The Green Ribbon” tells of a woman’s severed head being tied on with a ribbon around her neck.  In “The Night it Rained” a man discovered the young boy he picked up as a hitch hiker was actually a ghost, the boy had died years ago.  Told in simple prose, this book is perfect for beginning readers looking for something scary to read.  Zimmer’s illustrations are dark and add a chilling element to Schwartz’s haunting stories.  Scary stories rarely become dated – in fact, older stories seem more thrilling!  While this book was published over 30 years ago, these retold folklores remain as scary as ever.  Today’s students still enjoy In a Dark Dark Room, making it a fitting winner of the 1987 Buckeye Book Award.

Ashley, your upcoming 1987 and 1989 Buckeye Book Award reads are also written by Alvin Swartz (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Even More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark).    I know you’re not a fan of spooky tales, so best of luck.  Can’t wait to hear your take on these collections of scary stories.
Would you like to join Ashley and I as we read through Ohio’s award winning books?  We welcome any and all who are interested in participating in this fun reading challenge.  For more information, click here.

July 6, 2015

Books Are Gifts


Every month of the past school year, my daughter gave her preschool teacher a new book for her classroom library.  To show her appreciation, my daughter’s teacher would send home a sweet thank you note.  After receiving one after another, I finally told her that the kind thank yous were not necessary.  I told her I’d be giving her many books throughout the year, as a librarian it’s what I do.  A thank you for each one isn’t necessary.  Instead, I told her to let her students love, read, and enjoy the books until they fall apart from too much use.  That’s the best way to say thank you for the gift of books.

I give books  - period.  Anytime a baby is born, a birthday is celebrated, a graduation is accomplished, a retirement is recognized . . . I give books.  To show thank you to my child’s teacher, to fill the Little Free Library for my neighborhood, to celebrate my student’s reading accomplishments . . . I give books.  When I need an incentive for my daughter, want to teach her new and exciting things, and reward her good behavior and a job well done  . . . I give books.  

To me, books are more than the price listed on back . . . books are priceless gifts.  Books take readers on adventures and new discoveries.  Books teach readers new perspectives and open doors to new possibilities.  Books teach educational ideas and concepts; they help the mind learn and grow.  Books connect people all over the world, and have been doing so long before the internet and social media.  

When you give a book, you give so much more than a bound cover with pages.  Not only do you provide the reader with a world of possibilities, but you are filled with joy knowing others are experiencing the wonders of reading.  Do me a favor - when someone gives you a book, pay it forward.  Read it and pass it on to a lucky reader, and encourage them to do the same.  Keeping the love of literacy alive is the best way to say thank you for a gift of books.

If I had a million dollars, I’d buy books for any and all who would love and appreciate them as much as me.  Until then I’ll continue to buy books for others little by little, and encourage others to give as well. Books are a powerful gift, and one that keeps on giving long after the last page is turned.

July 3, 2015

My Favorite Book . . .


Every so often, I read a book that captures my heart.  As I close the book, I embrace it with a little hug.  I feel sad that my reading journey had ended, yet satisfied that a book so beautiful exists in the world.  My new favorite book is If I Were A Book by José Jorge Letria and illustrations by André Letria.

If I Were a Book celebrates the magic and wonder of reading.  It personifies books and likens them to people who can change your life.  A few of my favorite sentiments from the book are:
"If I were a book, I would not want to know at the beginning how my story ends.”
"If I were a book, I'd be one skyscraper in the city of words."
"If I were a book, I'd like to have my own magical place in every child's imagination."
As a librarian, I have to say . . . if I were a book, I’d be a library book.  Sharing the adventure within my pages with one reader after another; an endless journey of new faces and places.

I highly recommend this book for bibliophiles of all ages.  The illustrations are simple yet gorgeous.  They visually capture the essence of the author’s message, making this father-son duo a dynamic partnership.  

If I Were a Book is essentially a love letter from books to readers.  It provides a voice to the feelings associated with a paramount read, and honors that special relationship and bond.