Thursday, October 4, 2018

10th October World Porridge Day

World Porridge Day celebrates that wonderful Scottish breakfast...porridge or oatmeal. Porridge appears in so many children's stories and picture books, probably as it is the epitome of warmth, family and comfort. Two of the best known porridge stories are traditional tales that appear in a large number of picture book versions - Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Magic Porridge Pot.  Every child has read a version of these, even if it was simplified to become a 'reader'.
There are other fun titles though which feature porridge so it will be easy to celebrate by cooking and  eating porridge while reading a book!

Monday, October 1, 2018

1st October International Coffee Day

Finally a day that is hard to celebrate using children's literature...International Coffee Day. I found it difficult to find any picture books featuring coffee, probably because it is not something associated with children. There's plenty of books that feature tea though, so why not coffee?

The Biography of Coffee outlines the journey of the coffee bean to being made into coffee ready to drink, so it fits in well with the aims of this year's International Coffee Day...

International Coffee Organization has chosen a very special theme for this year’s celebrations: ‘Women in Coffee’. Women play as important a role in the whole of the coffee chain as men, from planting the seeds to processing to trading to brewing… and drinking it.

So it is very fitting that this book has a woman on the cover! Go have a cup of coffee and think about the women who were involved in its production and perhaps you can think of how coffee could feature in a picture story book.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

24th August Book Week

Another successful Book Week! The theme Find Your Treasure  proved to be a winner. On Thursday the students dressed as pirates or 'something they treasured' and the teachers had fun reading to three groups of children each over a two hour period of time divided into four 30minute time slots. In this way each student was able to share four wonderful book experiences with teachers that they don't have every day. The classroom teachers read to grades other than theirs. The specialists teachers, including the PE teachers, the music teachers, religion teacher,  the French teacher and the executive teachers read to students. The teachers were asked to choose their own books. I suggested that it be  'a book they treasure'; 'a book they love sharing with children'; a book that fitted the theme of pirates or finding your treasure and I made some suggestions for this or a book that fitted their specialty. The French teacher had fun with Mo Willems' Nanette's Baguette.  One of the PE teachers had kindergarten bouncing all over the place because of Doreen Cronin's Bounce and Stephen Michael King's Emily Loves to Bounce.

Some of the treasure related books chosen were:

• I chose No Pirates Allowed Said Librarian Lou. The library had a huge sign on the door saying PIRATES ALLOWED. I dressed as a pirate, but wore my glasses and a pearl earring like Librarian Lou as well. WE watched the trailer of the book to set the scene. The soundtrack is so suspenseful. Then I read the book with a very loud Pirate Pete and a very quietly spoken Lou. I also had a squawking parrot puppet who had trouble being quiet. The students loved the fact that Lou taught Pete to read and were quick to identify books as the real treasure. Each of them left the library with a bookmark on which they had written their name and favourite book.

• A Kindergarten teacher chose Just Right For Two. This lovely book features a suitcase in which Dog keeps his treasures. Great in for a discussion with the students about what treasures they would put in their suitcases. The story ends with Dog making friends with Mouse and realising friends are also 'treasures', an important message for students such as ours who have a lot of material possessions.

• The Head of Prep chose My Rows and Piles of Coins to read to Year 2 . This wonderful story about a young African child who is working hard to save money to buy a bike so he can help his mother really does highlight what some children value most and what value money has.

• A Year 2 teacher chose 'my favourite childhood book',  Harold's Purple Crayon and had a wonderful conversation with students about what they would draw if they had a magic purple crayon that worked like Harold's and whether or not that crayon would be a treasure.

• Another Year 2 teacher chose to read the shortlisted book,  The Second Sky which beautifully tells students not to yearn for what they do not have but instead value what they do have and make the very most of these treasures (or talents).

What a Wonderful World and how our world is a treasure to be valued and kept safe. The Tim Hopgood version is good.
The Princess and the Perfect Dish by Libby Gleeson...the treasure does not need to be grand, but rather 'special' for a reason. This is a 'perfect' book for this. It needs republishing.
The Glassmaker's Daughter by Dianne Hofmeyr. This girl, Daniela seemingly has everything but still is not happy. Everyone needs to read this story!
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves just because it is a classic that children are less likely to know these days and there are some lovely versions sitting on shelves in libraries. Look for the Jean Chapman and Di Wu version.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

19th August Aviation Day

The 19th August is Aviation Day, a day to celebrate the development of aviation. It falls on and commemorates the birthday of Orville Wright. It is also a day to display all the plane books in the library for all the eager aviators that frequent it looking for books to do some plane spotting. There's so many in my library. See library pinterest page here. It is also a good time to look at all the biographies there are about aviation pioneers. These among others:

Bessie Coleman

 Louis Bleriot
Nancy Bird Walton
 John Flynn
Alberto Santos-Dumont

 Betty Skelton
Amelia Earhart

 The Wright Brothers
Ten Brave Australians

Sunday, August 12, 2018

12th July Malala Day

This week in my Year 2 Book Club, one of my students read the biography, For the Right to Learn: the Malala Yousafzai's Story.  She was horrified to think that there are places in the world where she might not be able to go to school. Another girl in the group read the biography of the first woman doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell, in Who Said Women Can't Be Doctors?  A discussion about education and gender resulted. The comments were very interesting, given that this group of students come from affluent, educated families, attend a private co-educational school and take education and the ability to get what they need for granted.  I took the opportunity to show the students the other biographies the library has about Malala and to encourage them to read other books about girls and education.

When Malala was growing up in Pakistan, girls were not allowed to go to school. Malala refused to stay home! She spoke out for education and was almost killed for standing up for her beliefs. To this day, Malala continues to work to ensure that every girl around the world has the chance to go to school. Malala Day is celebrated on her birthday, 12th July. The library has several books about her, including these:

• For the Right to Learn: the Malala Yousafzai's Story  by       Rebecca Langston-George and Janna Bock 
Malala's Magic Pencil by and

• Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges
Razia's Ray of Hope by Elizabeth Suneby and Suana Verelst
The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can by Tererai Trent
Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter
Yasmin's Hammer by Ann Malaspina and Doug Chayka

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.