Sunday, July 15, 2018

18th July Hot Dog Day

It is Hot Dog Day (the third Wednesday in July) and hotdogs are not something you usually associate with children's literature, but there are more books featuring them than you would think. I have written about the 'oldies' before ... Mo Willems' Pigeon finds one and Tom Watson's Stick Dog wants one. The three books pictured above are new, very funny and thus popular with the young audience in my library.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

14th July Aaron Becker (1974)

Happy birthday Aaron Becker. He is the very clever author illustrator of the Journey Trilogy, three exquisite, wordless picture books that show a young girl's magical adventure through daytime, sunset and nighttime. Each book represents a part of the story, Journey, the beginning, Quest, the middle and Return, the ending. More recently he has published a new separate wordless picture story book, A Stone for Sascha.

14th July Shark Awareness Day

It is Shark Awareness Day and coming up it will be Shark Week (starting on 22nd July), so I thought I would highlight two biographies that have been very popular at school. They are both about Eugenie Clark ((May 4, 1922 – February 25, 2015) ,  a respected American ichthyologist who was known as the Shark Lady. She studied shark behaviour and was a pioneer in the field of scuba diving for research purposes.

There's so many film clips, interviews and photos of Dr Clark on the web, but these two books show her as a person who really loved sharks and therefore had a great awareness of them.

Shark Lady  by Jess Keating and Marta Alvarez Miguens 

 Swimming With Sharks by Heather Lang and Jordi Solano

And another new book in the library that has proved popular is Lily Williams' If Sharks Disappeared.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

13th July International Rock Day

I don't need to write at length about celebrating rocks. I have done so before, here and here, but since then some new picture books have appeared that are worth purchasing for the library.

My favourite, This Little Pebble by Anna Claybourne, is perfect for the keen rock collector in our Prep school who wants to find out more about where their rocks came from.

Bring Me a Rock  by Daniel Miyares makes you smile as you watch a group of insects attempt to cart off a pebble.

Mine!  by Jeff Mack cleverly tells a story with just one word.

A Stone for Sascha  by Aaron Becker, like his previous gems is a wordless book but with a profound message and somewhat sombre feel.

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex,  reveals the epic tale behind everyone's favourite playground game!

Dave's Rock by Frank Preston-Gannon, another funny story about Caveman Dave that features rocks.

 A Rock Can Be by Laura Purdie Salas gives a myriad of things that a rock can be.

And a new one I would like to see and read, A Chip off the Old Block by Jody Jensen Shaffer.

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.