Friday, March 24, 2017

Too Wet March

Well in February we sweltered because it was too hot. Now in March it is so wet and very often humid as well. The weather in Sydney has certainly been extreme. Just as well we have lots of books about 'rain'. Even without doing floods or any other extreme weather events we managed to find 30 books for a display. There are two exceptionally good new ones Rain by Sam Usher  and Watersong by Tim McCanna. Both of these are for very young children. They both feature stunning illustrations.
Watersong is a celebration of onomatopoeia. Rain is a narrative about Sam and his grandfather's adventure in the rain. If you are teaching preschool combine these with Who Likes Rain? by Herbert Yee. If you have older students revisit Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault's  beautiful word images in their poem Listen to the Rain. 

The children I teach often ask where do the animals go when it rains, so books such as Gerda Muller's  Where Do They Go in the Rain? and Harriet Ziefert's Where Does Kitty Go in the Rain? help address this question.

Just when the students start to whinge about not being able to go outside it is time to share Rain School by James Rumford and if you can find a copy, Children of the Yangtze River by Otto S. Svend because they will then appreciate their own school and ability to stay dry. These two stories show children as capable problem solvers, hard workers and useful in a time of difficulty.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

21st March World Poetry Day

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language. W. H. Auden 

I try to share poetry on Tuesday 21st March every year, sometimes just with the classes I teach, sometimes in assembly or sometimes I organise a whole school celebration. At my school the whole school is involved in eSmart Week events so unfortunately poetry will come off second best. All the more reason why my lessons in the library this week will all involve sharing poetry.

Here are five newish books that are well worth adding to any collection:
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer
This story celebrates poetry found in the world around us.  What is poetry? It is glistening morning dew. It is crisp leaves crunching. If you look and listen, it's all around you.
All the World a Poem by  Gilles Tibo
Also for young children this is a tribute to poetry. Each poem is illustrated with paper collage art which is child-like and takes poetry to the level of the child.
 A Great Big Cuddle Poems for the Very Young by Michael Rosen and Chris Riddell.
This wonderful book has just been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award. Enough said.
Macavity The Mystery Cat by T.S.Eliot and Arthur Robins
This is a picture book version of this great poem. Arthur Robins has now done four of the cat poems as picture books...see Mr Mistoffelees, Skimbleshanks and Jellicle Cats as well.
A Poem for Every Night edited by Allie Esiri.
This is a magnificent collection of 366 poems for older children, one to share ever night of the year. The poems - together with introductory paragraphs - have a link to the date on which they appear.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

16th March National Hiccup Day

Yesterday I collected together all the books in the library catalogue that had 'hiccups' in the title. I couldn't believe there were 17 books! I have put a picture of 16 of them below. We also had Nette Hilton's short novel The Hiccups. Often around Halloween I share Lee Weatherly's The Scariest Monster in the World. In this story the monster gets a bad case of hiccups and the other creatures try all the cures! The children love this story especially how he finally does get rid of the hiccups. If you have this story it is the perfect story for Hiccups Day! What causes hiccups anyway? I'll look tomorrow in one of the nonfiction books in the display.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

13th March Janeen Brian

Janeen Brian will celebrate her birthday on the 13th March and I will get out her books for my preschool classes that visit on that day. I'm a Dirty Dinosaur  is such a favourite. The children love joining in with all the verbs. I have just purchased her new book, Little Chicken Chickabee  and I am eager to try it out. It too, has opportunities for joining in.

Of course she writes for older children as well. She has written several books for the Solo series for beginning readers, biographies for the Meet... series and novels for older readers. She is extremely versatile.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

8th March International Women's Day

Each year in the library we put together a display for International Women's Day. Usually it focusses upon the many picture book biographies that we have added to the library's collection. See all the female biographies listed here. But as well I try to share books that have a strong 'gender' theme or are anti stereotype. I feel that this is as necessary as it has ever been and reading 'that The wWorld Economic Forum predicts that the gender gap won't close entirely until 2186', we still have a long way to go.Here are three newer picture books that I haven't written about before.

The Ricker Racker Club by Patrick Guest and Nathaniel Eckstrom really made me smile as at times the characters and situations sounded like the children I teach.The boys have created a club. Poppy really wants to be in the club and does everything the boys ask her to do. Finally the boys, Max and Ollie acknowledge Poppy's bravery and make her an equal partner in the club. Poppy succeeds, in the process showing how capable and spirited she can be. Use the illustration of the sign on the back cover of the book to start a discussion with the class before you even open the book to read.

"So much to like in this book; the rhythm of the text, the bountiful illustrations, the well defined characters and the strong messages of acceptance and empathy.  The story sets an ideal child’s adventure world as the ideal place to learn and grow emotionally..."   Reviewed by Chris Dayman

 Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery by David Gordon.

Here there are some extremely cute (read dressed in pink and very girly) animals. When Karen's sandcastle is destroyed by three boys, Skylar, Mike and Trent, her friends are not daunted. They rally and come up with plan after plan to thwart the boys. What they build will not be destroyed and it involves driving a bulldozer!

Beautiful  by Stacy McAnulty and Joanne Lew-Vriethoff.
This book is purely a celebration of girls and what they are capable of...'beautiful girls deserve compliments because they make the world...BEAUTIFUL.'

So many wonderful books to share with young children on a day well worth promoting.