Monday, November 14, 2016

14th November Supermoon (perigee-syzygy)

We had great fun in the library today putting together a display of books that had a 'fullmoon' pictured on their covers in time for tonight's supermoon that we probably won't see here in Sydney. I love the name perigee-syzygy and couldn't wait to use it with the children. On Kidrex we learned what it was and how "The Supermoon on November 14, 2016, will be the closest a Full Moon has been to Earth since January 26, 1948. The next time a Full Moon is even closer to Earth will be on November 25, 2034".

Here's some of the books:

Monday, November 7, 2016

13th International Tongue Twister Day

Today is a day to celebrate tongue twisters! What fun! The children at school love to hear them and try themselves to say them as quickly as possible. These phrases or sentences with alliteration or a sequence of similar sounds beg to be repeated as quickly as possible without stumbling.

There are many lists of them on the internet and they appear in children's anthologies and joke books. One Kindergarten class teacher loves to do 'She sells seashells by the seashore' with her class and this year her class have really got involved by following its recitation with finding out about its origin. They learned that the 'she' refers to Mary Anning, the great fossil collector who made a living for her destitute family by selling trilobite shells on Lyme Regis beach. Much has been written about her and now there are at least three picture book biographies about her life. These are: (from my blog on 8th March)

 • Stone Girl Bone Girl by Laurence Anholt tells the story of Mary Fanning who as a ten year old child found a fossilised sea monster which was a major prehistoric discovery at the time. 
The Fossil Girl by Catherine Brighton  
• Mary Anning by Kay Barnham.

On line here you can see this book about Mary Anning and the tongue twister. This includes information about Mary as well as a revamped version of the original song.

Whatever tongue twisters you choose to share you and the students are sure to have fun. Perhaps you can find out if Peter Piper and Betty Botter were real people too.


Friday, November 4, 2016

7th November Marie Curie (1867 - 1934)

Today is Marie Curie's birthday and I thought it fitting to see what picture books were available to share with my young audience. Because of books such as Ada Twist, Scientist and Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World there has been renewed interest in the library for reading biographies and reading about science and women scientists. There's certainly much written about Marie Curie, but not all of it is easily accessible to under 10 year old readers. Therefore I am really looking forward to next March when another title, Marie Curie in the  Little People Big Dreams series by Isabel Sanchez Vegara  arrives in the bookshops. The other titles in this series that we have have proved to be popular and the perfect amount of words for prep school readers.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

1st November Melbourne Cup

I've had fun in the library today. I took down all the Halloween display and the library looked very bare, so quickly before my first class I pulled out as many 'horse' books as I could find. Year 1 are currently undertaking a unit of inquiry on Celebrations so I thought we'd celebrate the Melbourne Cup by reading horse books. We had quite a collection. I focused on the beautiful Australian picture books of Alison Lester, Patricia Mullins and Glenda Millard but I couldn't believe how many little chapter books we had and many of these hadn't been borrowed for a long time. Five classes later and a little coercion and many of the horse books, picture books, novels and non-fiction have gone home for a visit.


26th October - 1st November Bat Week

We've had bats flying across the windows in the library as part of a bat display for three weeks now. I cut the bats out from black cardboard folded in half (I used this Martha Stewart template) so they look as if they are flying and move if there is any breeze. They look very effective and have certainly helped the bat books be viewed and borrowed. Brian Lies' bat books which started with Bats in the Library  and now has four titles were the most popular but the pinterest list here shows that we had quite a few to choose from and several toys. Bat Week is well worth celebrating book-wise.

Friday, October 21, 2016

24th - 31st October Honey Week

It is Honey Week in the UK, but I thought I'd dig out books that feature honey, put them out on display and celebrate in the library anyway.
All the pizza books went on the first day so I am hoping these will be borrowed too. Besides it's a good excuse to revisit Elizabeth Honey's poem Honey Sandwich which is in her book of poetry by the same name. There are masses of books about bees (see pinterest page here) but here I've included only the books that have honey in their title and where honey means that wonderful tasting golden syrup that bees produce, not someone's name.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

18th October Vampire series for beginning readers

Well just as I thought I was doing a good job of encouraging the children to borrow all the witch and wizard series in the library, I got 'but where are the vampire books?' Ten years ago this age group did not know about vampires or werewolves, but now these two are sometimes asked for. Is it television or older siblings?

Well luckily after a quick search I came up with two series:
• Mona the Vampire by Hiawyn Oram. This series is old, out of print currently, and mine have two different covers depending on whether they were published before or after it was a television series, but they are still borrowed and read as 'readers' for Year 1 students. we have four titles.

Vampire School  by Peter Bently.  These are newer, about the same length and there are six books in the series. They are set in a school called St Orlok's which you have to be a vampire to attend. Lee, Bella and Billy are students in Miss Gargoyle's class. We appear to have a mixture of covers from two different issues of this series as well.

Then recently I purchased a new series of books about Isadora Moon which are written and illustrated by Harriet Muncaster. Isadora is half fairy and half vampire because her mother was a fairy and her father a vampire. These four stories are attractive beginning chapter books from Oxford and like many of the new books for newly fluent readers these feature one colour and here it is pink. They stayed on the shelf this morning for less than ten minutes! So far they are popular, let's see if they continue to walk out the door with very little upselling.

I also have
Three Little Vampires by Georgie Adams
Daisy and the Trouble With Vampires by Kes Gray
Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire  by Francesca Simon
Jake Cake The Visiting Vampire by Michael Broad