Wednesday, February 6, 2019

6th February Lame Duck Day

I was reading today and happened to notice that it was Lame Duck Day and that made me think that I hadn't written about ducks or Duck Day on this blog. Of course being a Lame Duck has very little to do with ducks, but given how many picture books feature ducks I got to thinking about them. Well there's Rubber Ducky Day ( January, 13th), Donald Duck Day (June, 9th) and even Dead Duck Day (June, 5th) but there does not appear to be World Duck Day or International Duck Day. What a shame. There are so many endearing ducks in picture books, starting with my all time favourite Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.

The children I teach are aged between four and eight so their introduction to 'ducks' in picture books is usually a version of Five Little Ducks,  but very quickly they move to the series about ducks that we have in boxes in the library. There is
Daisy Duck by Jane Simmons
• Duck and Goose by Tad Hills
Baby Duck  by Amy Hest and Jill Barton
Duck in a Truck  by Jez Alborough
Sarah and Duck by Sarah Gomes Harris
• the madcap duck in What is Chasing Duck? in the Giggle Gang by Jan Thomas
• the zany Katy Duck by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Henry Cole
Duck Duck Dinosaur  by Kallie George and Oriol Vidal
Duck Duck Porcupine by Salina Yoon.

Of course there's other ducks to fall in love with such as
Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury
Just Ducks  by Nicola Davies and Salvatore Rubbino
• Alexander in Alexander's Outing by Pamela Allen
Ben and Duck by Sara Acton
The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack and Kurt Wiese, and the newer
Duck!  by Meg McKinlay and Nathaniel Ekstrom
I'm a Duck  by Eve Bunting and Will Hillenbrand
and if you are looking for a serial for this age group there's always Meg McKinlay and Leila Rudge's
• Duck For a Day  and Definitely No Ducks
And if this isn't enough duck books, look here.

Friday, February 1, 2019

2nd February Sled Dog Day

According to this website sled dogs have been in existence for over 3000 years. If so, they do need a day off to celebrate! On the news at the moment we are hearing about just how much snow some places in the northern hemisphere are experiencing, but the only way most Australian children will experience this sort of snow and the role dogs can play in it is to read about it. Last year I had bought a wonderful husky puppet and put it on display with two books about Akiak and Balto, and then I was being asked lots of questions by a group of my Year 2  and they wanted even more books. When I looked I was surprised how many books there were about the Iditarod race and individual sled dogs who had done very heroic deeds.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

2nd February Hedgehog Day

Hedgehog Day interests me, even though I've never seen a hedgehog,  because they seem so endearing.  This makes them ideal characters in so many children's picture books. Think Beatrix Potter's Mrs Tiggywinkle,  Isaac in Rosie Wellesley's The Helpful Hedgehog series, Little Hedgehog in M. Christina Butler's series of picture books, Horace and Hattiepillar in Hedgehugs or Hedgehog in Jonathan Emmett's Mole and Friends series and Max in Hodgeheg,  the novel by Dick King-Smith.

When I first read these books to classes, I did not have any factual books about hedgehogs in the library and we do not have them in Australia so like me, most of my students had not seen one. It is much easier now to share facts with classes because of the internet and I have purchased some good expository texts, the most recent being from the exemplary Nature Storybook series. It is called Say Hi to Hedgehogs! and is written and illustrated by Jane McGuinness. If you are looking for books to display see here.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

1st February Wear Red Day

The first of February is Wear Red Day, a day to think about our hearts and the blood that makes them healthy, but to celebrate,  the books I recommend here have nothing to do with hearts and much more to do with the colour RED. School starts this week for the students I teach and the kindergarten teachers this week have been collecting books for their classroom libraries. Each of the classes has a colour, KRed, KYellow etc and each teacher has a small collection of books about that colour to read and talk about. Some colours are easier to find books about than others, but Red was easy. As well as The Red Book, Clifford, Little Red Riding Hood and The Little Red Hen, here's what I put in their box:

29th January 2019 Curmudgeon's Day

I love the word 'curmudgeon'. I 'm not so happy about what it implies, especially the references to 'old', but many definitions also say 'male' so maybe it is okay. Nevertheless I like the fact that there is a day for them. I have written about this day before here, but there is a new book about to arrive that has a title with more great words to discuss...The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon. It is about young siblings, not cantankerous oldies so it has more to discuss than just the wonderful vocabulary. Can't wait to buy it.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

23rd January Pie Day

It's Pie Day  and your chance to eat pie. Meat pies are popular in Australia, but there are lots of others to celebrate too, savoury and sweet.  As a child I enjoyed blackberry picking. It meant my mother would make apple and blackberry pies and I loved them, smothered with custard. As it's a national day in the USA, the pies they think of are generally of the sweet variety, be it lemon meringue, pumpkin, pecan or apple.

The library has so many books where pies are celebrated so I thought I'd list some good ones.

Maybe you could share some of these titles and look at author's purpose using the PIE mnemonic.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

18th January Thesaurus Day

Thesaurus Day is held on 18th January because that is the birthdate of Peter Roget the creator of Roget's Thesaurus. He was born in 1779, was a consummate list-maker by 8 years old and went on to be a physician after leaving school and studying medicine at University of Edinburgh. He retired in 1840 and dedicated himself to compiling his dictionary of synonyms that he had begun in 1805. This dictionary was first published in 1852. It was called 'Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Classified and Arranged so as to Facilitate the Expression of Ideas and Assist in Literary Composition’. It was republished and republished and became very well known and thought of and despite Roget's other achievements it is for this that he is most remembered.

Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet published a spectacular picture book biography of his life, titled The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus in 2014. It is the perfect way to learn about Roget and thesauruses. It also impresses upon readers the power of words and the joy of looking closely at them.

If you can't find this book and you want to look at synonyms through a fun read look for:
Thesaurus Rex by Laya Steinberg and Debbie Harter