Sunday, August 28, 2016

22nd - 26th August Book Week

Well another Book Week in Australia is over. This year's theme Australia: Story Country proved to be a good one and each class at my school celebrated with an Australian book that they read and  used as inspiration for discussions and response activities that highlighted places in Australia, either in the form of travel to places mentioned or to the home of authors, illustrators or famous Australians.
Each class did a one page 'postcard' to display for the whole school population and visitors to read read in the corridor. It was a huge success. On Grandparents Day on Friday the corridor was full of children showing adults their work and discussing the books displayed along side. See images below that when joined together made a long Rainbow Serpent winding its way to the library. Not all classes work is here as some had photos or identified specific children. The teachers chose the books to either fit with a unit of enquiry, because it was a favourite book or author or because the students showed interest in it. I was so impressed with the range and what each class did.

There are four classes per grade. The books chosen were:

* My Place  by Nadia Wheatley and Donna Rawlins
* Silly Birds  by Gregg Dreise
* Snugglepot and Cuddlepie (new paperback single story editions) by May Gibbs and Mark McLeod
* Koala Lou  by Mem Fox and Pamela Lofts
Year 1
* Are We There Yet? by Alison Lester
* Bright Star  by Gary Crew and Anne Spudvilas
* Where the Forest Meets the Sea  by Jeannie Baker
* Tiny: A Little Dog on a Big Adventure  by Jennifer Castles and Steve Otton
Year 2
* Enora and the Black Crane  by Arone Raymond Meeks
* Feathers and Fools by Mem Fox and Nicholas Wilson (US) and Lorraine Ellis (Aus)
* Home  by Narelle Oliver
* You and Me Murrawee by Kerri Hashmi and Felicity Marshall

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

8th August International Cat Day

I haven't written about any form of Cat Day before because where do I start and finish when talking about children's books about cats, but today I had a thought. This week one of my Year 2 students was reading the picture book biography about Wanda Gag and that gave me reason to pull Millions of Cats  off the shelf to show her. What a good place to start a post about cat books!  This book was first published in 1928 and although illustrated in black and white, young students do still enjoy the repeating refrain and imagining that number of cats. Compare this with a very new 2016 cat' picture book, Brendan Wenzel's They All Saw a Cat which also has a repeating refrain, a clear, crisp cat, but looks very closely at perspective, point of view and subjectivity.

"The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears and paws ...and the child saw A CAT, and the dog saw A CAT, and the fox saw A CAT. Yes, they all saw the cat.' In simple, rhythmic prose and ingeniously stylised pictures, Brendan Wenzel takes young readers on a walk alongside a cat."

And in between these two there has been a myriad of cat books and series of books with a cat as the main character.

Some favourites:
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss
Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr
Diary of a Killer Cat by Anne Fine
Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton
Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires
Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin and James Dean
Squishy McFluff the Invisible Cat by Pip Jones
Ballet Cat by Bob Shea

And don't forget poetry!
The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear
Cats Sleep Anywhere  by Eleanor Farjeon
Macavity; Mr Mistoffelees; Skimbleshanks by T.S Eliot and Arthur Robins

Sunday, August 7, 2016

7th August Olympic Games and South America

Well the Games have started and the students at school have begun to get keener about borrowing books both about the games and individual sports. Year 2 are studying Greek Myths at the moment so they are busy making links between the Ancient Olympics and the Modern Olympics so I thought I'd make some links in the library for Kindergarten and Year 1 with Brazil so that even more resources had an airing.

What better place to start on Brazil and South America in general than to look at Laurie Krebs' amazing travelogue books. As she herself says, I wrote them because...

"In creating my picture books, I have combined my love of children's literature with my love of traveling to fascinating places. I hope through my series with Barefoot Books to introduce young readers to people and cultures that might be unfamiliar to them."  

I am going to start with We're Roaming in the Rainforest and a map of South America so that we can locate pertinent places.

Then we can read other books, from either Laurie Krebs or ones set in South America such as those on the Pinterest page.