Wednesday, June 22, 2016

21st June World Giraffe Day

In the last few weeks I feel like quite a few new picture books about giraffes have come across my desk and I thought 'must do a giraffe display' and then lo and behold I find out from the radio that it is World Giraffe Day so now I have no excuse. I collected my favourites first... Shel Silverstein's A Giraffe and a Half, first published 50 years ago, then Roald Dahl's The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me.  Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae always makes me smile because I have fond memories of a preschool Christmas concert when the children performed this book.

My Year 1 Book Club group and I look at true animal stories and the children are always fascinated by the giraffe who walks to Paris and we now have four different versions of this story, each with its own distinctive illustrations. Now for the best of the new ones. I love Giraffe on a Bicycle by Julia Woolf. This debut book really made the children laugh. Can't wait for her next book. Another new one, Blue and Bertie by Kristyna Litten has a wonderful message about coping with change, inclusion and acceptance of difference, perfect for the age group I teach.

See all the library's giraffe books here.

21st June International Day of Yoga

Yoga is something I would like to be much better at. I love the stretching and exercise component but I am hopeless at the 'switching off' component. Schools are beginning to incorporate many of the good aspects of yoga into daily practice though, and I am asked by teachers and parents what book resources are in the library on yoga. Here is my pinterest page listing many of the books I have managed to collect. The teachers seem to like ones where the movements equate with animal shapes, like You Are a Lion by Taeeun Yoo and I Am Yoga by Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds is a particularly good introduction for any teacher or child wanting to learn what yoga is all about.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

19th June Are You Sitting Comfortably?

"Hello there! Are you sitting comfortably? Are you sure? Have you found the perfect snuggle-up-and-lose-yourself-in-a-book place? Somewhere comfy, NOT itchy-fuzzy? Somewhere quiet, NOT buzz-buzzy? You have? Great! Unfortunately the little chap in this book isn't having quite as much luck as you are ...Join one small book lover's search for the perfect place to sit (just for a bit!) in this beautifully illustrated and designed picture book by the talented Leigh Hodgkinson."

This is the blurb for this new book that we added to our library collection last week. We loved its quirkiness and illustrations and decided to make it the centrepiece for a display, first of all for books that feature chairs, but then better still to start a discussion with the children about where they most like to read. They drew themselves reading in their favourite places. We also read There's a Bear on My Chair, a really good read that is on the shortlist for the Kate Greenaway Medal.

See all the books in the library that made their way to the display: 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

5th June Hot Air Balloon Day

Did you know that the hot air balloon is the oldest form of flight technology used for carrying humans? The first manned flight occurred in 1783. The balloon itself consists of an envelope, which is used to contain the hot air, and a gondola, where passengers and a means of creating hot air are typically housed. 

Recently a popular television program started its new season with a harrowing scene which involved a hot air balloon. My husband and son think this show is very humorous, but often I find myself squirming. A book I really enjoyed, Enduring Love began with an awkward hot air balloon incident too. It was made into a movie and I had to cover my eyes at the beginning of it while the hot air balloon scene was playing. You guessed it, there is absolutely no way I would ever get in a hot air balloon. I do think they look good sailing across the sky. They are beautifully bright and demand your attention, but my attention is from the ground with my feet touching the dirt.

Today I collected up some books to put together a display. We had a Donut Day display out for the 2nd of June, but it had been decimated so I had to find something to replace it. Obviously donuts are popular. I could have had several copies of the Mr Panda books. I have a Mr Panda toy and together with the books he is popular. 

Hot air balloons has proved an ideal replacement ...there are plenty of books across a wide reading range. Some special books worth mentioning are:

Picture books:
The Great Balloon Hullaballoo by Peter Bently
Flight of the Dodo by Peter Brown
Miranda the Explorer by James Mayhew
The Cloudspotter by Tom McLaughlin
Hot Air: the Mostly True Story of the First Hot-air Balloon Ride by Marjorie Priceman
Hot Air by Sandrine Dumas Roy (about global warming really...wonderful art)
Sebastian and the Balloon by Philip C. Stead

Hot Air Balloons by Joanne Mattern
How Do Hot Air Balloons Work?  by Buffy Silverman

Emily Eyefinger and the Balloon Bandits by Duncan Ball
 Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Meerkat Madness Flying High by Ian Whybrow

and two that are worth searching out in a library because they are out of print :
Cinderella and the Hot Air Balloon by Ann Jungman
The Balloon Farmer by Geoffrey Lehmann

Thursday, May 19, 2016

20th - 30th May International Pickle Week

Apparently Pickle Week is celebrated for ten days, not seven during May and it has been since 1948. In Australia children look at you strangely when you talk about 'pickles'. We have gherkins, cucumbers, mustard pickles and dill pickles, but the actual act of 'pickling' is not something many children would have thought about, even though it has been around since the 1300s. I asked a class what it meant to be 'in a pickle' though and surprisingly a couple knew that if you were in a pickle you were in difficulty. They will be ready when they finally read Shakespeare's The Tempest and see this reference!

There are books to read now though...some which actually have the edible 'pickles' as a subject, some where it is used as a character's name and others where someone finds themselves 'in a pickle'. Have fun reading, pickling vegetables and eating pickles for these ten days.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

18th May International Museum Day

Today at school we put together a wonderful display for International Museum Day. We have celebrated this before in a much smaller way, but when we started looking we could not believe just how many books we had on the topic. See list of books on Pinterest here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

13th May Frog Jumping Day

Frog Jumping Day is a good day to celebrate frogs and their amazing ability.

'Frogs have great jumping capabilities and are the best jumpers among all vertebrates given their size.'

Collect all the frog books you can find, both stories and expository texts and set aside time to read and learn, read and laugh and read and share. The most borrowed frog book in the library is Juliette MacIver's The Frog Who Lost His UnderwearThere are so many favourite 'frog' series in my library.

* Frog by Max Velthuijs. There is a dozen or so books in this series and they have recently been reissued in a larger format with covers that no longer have a bordered illustration.

* A Boy, a Dog and a Frog by Mercer Mayer. These little books are textless and small hands love them and tell the stories to each other without any trouble. There are six of them.

* Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel. This series has been around for a long time, but so many generations of children have learned to read using these beginning chapter books. They are always in print.

* Lester and Clyde by James Reese. These three books are very old now, out of print and hard to find, but I know teachers who share these stories with their class and then the children are keen to borrow them.

While these aren't a series, there are several versions of the dreamtime story of Tiddalick , a frog who caused a flood in my library, complete with puppets so that the children can make a play. It would be good also to introduce the fairytale  The Frog Prince  because it is one of the Grimm stories that not as many children know. Read a traditional version with fairytale language, not a 'reader' and then compare it with a spoof like Jackie Urbanovic's Prince of a Frog. Have fun revisiting lots of old favourites and jumping around like a frog. Below is a collection of stories about frogs. There are a large number of nonfiction books too listed here.