Monday, June 25, 2018

22nd June Visiting Russia for the World Cup

At school we put together a display of all the wonderful picture books and novels on soccer as the students became interested in the World Cup. Some of the students were discussing it and I asked them where it was being held. This led to finding out about Russia and locating it on the globe. I had just bought this lovely new book Capitals by Taraneh Ghajar Jerven and we perused the double-page spread on Moscow.

I began to wonder then how many books we would have for a display about Russia. I was surprised. We had quite a few folktales such as Firebird  and Baboushka, many picture books by Patricia Polacco and then I thought of Russian writers such as Alexei Tolstoy (The Enormous Turnip) and Alexander Pushkin (The Golden Fish); musicians such as Tchiakovsky (Swan Lake  and The Nutcracker), Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition) Prokofiev (Peter and the Wolf);  and artists such as Kandinsky, all of which we had books for and could display. See the pinterest selection here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

29th April World Wish Day

World Wish Day occurs on the 29th April each year and originated because of a seven year old child who was sick with leukaemia wishing for something to happen in 1980. His wish was granted and when people heard about it the Make-A-Wish Foundation was founded. It has become a well-known world-wide children's charity but I am writing about this day because of a request I had from a preschool teacher at the end of last term for books about 'wishing'. She had been talking to her class about wishes and realised that the children didn't really know what a wish was when she asked them what they would wish for during an activity.

There are so many books I could have given her. Narrowing it down to a small number was hard. Most of the picture books with 'wish' in the title have a Christmas setting so I avoided them except for Jane Godwin and Anna Walker's beauty, What Do You Wish For? , and gave her that and these:

Wish by Roseanne Thong and Elisa Kleven
I Wish... by Nick Ward
I Wish For More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
The Wish Giver by Roseanne Hawke and Lenore Penner
The Wish Factory by Chris Riddell
The Fish Who Could Wish by Korky Paul
The Wish Tree  by Kyo Maclear and Chris Turnham
• The Wishing Boat by Amanda Tarlau and Chris Saunders

We all make wishes and these wishes differ greatly in magnitude but it was interesting to see that a concept we as adults take for granted was something the three and four year olds at an affluent school needed to be introduced to through planned intervention. The classroom now has a wish tree and they talk about wishes and wishing in their regular discourse. If you have none of the books above buy The Wish Tree  or watch it here. Danielle Davis from the blog This Picture Book Life outlines an accompany activity she has planned for the book here and there are other ideas on the web.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

26th April Richter Scale Day

Richter Scale Day. This occasion is an acknowledgement and celebration of the birthday of the man who taught the world how to measure earthquakes – Charles F. Richter. He was born in 1900 and came up with the Richter Scale in 1935 while he was working at the California Institute of Technology. Since then, the world has been able to compare various earthquakes and investigate their relative power for destruction. The worst earthquake occurred in Chile in 1960 and it measured 9.5 on the Richter Scale.

Books about earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, rocks and the earth are among the most borrowed non fiction books after dinosaurs, transport and biographies so the library has a large selection. Earthshake is a stunning collection of poems about the earth and Moo and Moo and the Little Calf Too is a picture book story based upon a real situation created by the 2016 magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Christchurch New Zealand.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

21st April Tea Day

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
~ C.S. Lewis

There is nothing nicer than a good read and a cup of tea. So celebrating Tea Day is a must. Tea is not something children give a lot of thought to, because very few of them actually drink tea, but so many children's picture books feature tea. At the very minimum they finish with and 'they all had tea' is a warm, secure, happy, family feeling to finish with. Think of The Elephant and the Bad Baby at the end where everyone goes back to the baby's home and his mother gives them tea and pancakes. Think of Alfie Gets in First and how after the problem of the locked door is finally solved everybody sits down for a cup of tea. Yes, these books are old but the pattern continues and now there are even stories with tea in the title.

Many years ago when I started teaching I did a lengthy integrated social science unit called 'What's in a cup of tea?' and my Year 5 class and I explored the tea industry, the sugar industry and the milk industry for a whole term. What fun it was and given my knowledge now of children's literature I would have had plenty of good books to add to it. What a shame the current curriculum doesn't allow for such tangents or flights of fancy anymore.

Below are covers of books in our library that feature tea parties, cups of tea or the importance of tea. The Biography of Tea pictured above gives a comprehensive history of tea and its role in many cultures.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

9th April Unicorn Day

What mythological creature has been more beloved over the centuries than the unicorn? Symbols of purity and enchantment, unicorns are loved by both children and adults alike and are integral parts of many fairy tales and legends.

Unicorns certainly do appear to be popular in children's books and just as well because I am constantly asked for a 'unicorn book'. Luckily I have quite a few in the library to choose from. The most popular are probably Amy Krouse Rosenthal's two books about Uni the Unicorn and Amy Young's books about Sparkle, but if you look on this Pinterest page you will see there are many others to choose from and to use for a quick display to celebrate this day.

A group of able Year 2 students  have taken to reading the series of graphic novels about Phoebe and her unicorn too, so come tomorrow unicorn books will be walking out the door of the library.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

2nd April Ferret Day

Yesterday was Ferret Day and I thought momentarily about including it on my blog, but as not many people  in Australia really keep ferrets as pets, I didn't. Then today my friend at Momo Celebrating Time to Read wrote about a new Australian poetry book on her blog  which included a poem from Brisbane author/illustrator Elizabeth Nussey which had a line saying 'ferrets fandango' so I reneged and thought why not include it on my blog.

The library had five ferret books, five more than I thought we would have! And Lorna Hendry's wonderful new book Pets  also has ferrets so we can do a Ferret Fandango display!

My Pet Ferret  by Lynn Hamilton
Fergus - Fabulous Ferret  by Alison Prince
A Small Ferret Wrote This Book by Rebecca Elliott
 The Ferret's a Foot by Colleen A.F. Venable
This is Book 3 in a graphic novel series especially for young readers called Guinea Pig Pet Shop Private Eye
Ferret on the Loose by Heather Gallagher

Friday, March 30, 2018

4th April International Carrot Day

Yesterday at school we had our Easter Hat Parade and there were lots of carrots featured on hats and that got me thinking about how many picture books feature carrots too. In fact there is a book on this year's UKLA Book Award shortlist that has a carrot as a main character, Colin and Lee Carrot and Pea. This shortlist is chosen by students and teachers so the books have stood up to classroom reading scrutiny.

As it happens to be International Carrot Day on the 4th April, when the students get back from Easter break the first display of books they will see as they walk through the library doors will be celebrating carrots.

There they will see:
Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea by Morag Hood

The Giant Carrot by Allan Manham & Penny Dann
Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
Too Many Carrots by Katie Hudson
Carrot Soup by John Segal
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
Chickens Can't See in the Dark by Kristyna Litten
Lottie and Dottie Sow Carrots by Claire Burgess
The Princess and the Pea and Carrots by Harriet Ziefert
Dozy Bear and the Secret of Food by Katie Blackburn & Richard Smythe
Carrots Grow Underground by Mari Schuh
Planting Radishes and Carrots by Faye Bolton
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
When Carrots Ruled the World  by David LeBarron
Parrot Carrot by Jol & Kate Temple
Wolfish Stew by Suzi Moore & Erica Salcedo
Diary of a Wombat by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley
T-Veg: The Story of a Carrot Crunching Dinosaur by Smitri Prasadam-Halls

What have I missed?