We’re back again for the remainder of the 2012-13 school year!  This stretch between the holidays and the February break is always a great uninterrupted instructional time.  Here in the library we generally use this block of time to work with the Red Clover books before the April voting time.  So far we’ve read three;  most recently it was Lane Smith’s book called Grandpa Green.  In this book, narrated by the great-grandson, an aging  great-grandpa remembers landmarks in his life because of the topiary he’s created in his garden.

This week we’ll be reading Mini Grey’s Three by the Sea about a stranger who comes and upsets the established friendship between the three main characters–a cat, a dog, and a mouse.  I’ll be checking in with students to see if they can determine the central message or theme in the story.  (This is one of the Literature standards in the Common Core State Standards that we’re implementing.)  Given the importance of friends at this age level, I’m sure the book will spark some great discussions!

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As I said in a recent post, I believe in picture books!  And of course, I’m not alone.  Librarians, parents, authors and illustrators around the world are collaborating and celebrating the joy that these books bring during Picture Book Month.  The video above (from 2011 when Picture Book Month began) captures many of my feelings about the picture book, and I’m looking forward to promoting them this month and always.

You may have heard your child talk about Tumblebooks.  For the past two years, the library has purchased a subscription to this Canadian-based database of electronic books.  We have a button on the library webpage that gives you and your family 24/7 access to over a thousand ebooks, many of which you’ll recognize as favorites.

There never seems to be enough time during our library classes for children to explore there, so I hope that if you have Internet access at home you’ll consider it as a choice for your children.  In addition to listening to and watching the animated stories, there are accompanying quizzes and puzzles as well.  This is a great alternative to other online activities!

As a mom, librarian,  and former second and fifth grade teacher,  I can say with sincerity that I believe in picture books!  There are many who think that once children begin reading independently and skillfully they should be reading chapter books all the time. I disagree!

Picture books are appropriate right up through middle school as teaching texts and as pleasure reading.  Why?  There are many reasons but consider these:

  • the art in picture books is likely the first art children are acquainted with, and today’s picture books are full of incredible art in a wide array of media
  • the language in picture books is so well-crafted and often beautiful/lyrical with richer vocabulary than you find in other types of books
  • the pictures in a picture book often extend the story, or show a parallel story.  Attention to the pictures increases children’s visual literacy
  • picture books can be read in one or two sittings.  They make wonderful texts for teachers to use when giving instruction for particular mini-lessons in reading and writing
  • picture books are memorable because we associate the pictures with the words.
  • picture books teach important lessons and themes
  • picture books are a wonderful excuse to sit with someone on your lap and read and enjoy illustrations

Candlewick Press is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a campaign called “I Believe in Picture Books.”  Have a look at what others have to say on the subject, and then stop by the Learning Center to sign out a few picture books yourself!

Don’t forget to shop next week at our Book Fair in the Learning Center.  Cash, checks, and credit cards accepted!

Shopping times are:

Tues. Nov 6       7:30 A.M.- 3:30P.M.     AND     5:00- 7:00 P.M.
Wed.  Nov.7      7:30 -11:00 A.M.
Thurs. Nov. 8   7:30-11:00 A.M.

The book fair is always an exciting event for kids and families, and it starts Nov. 6!  Flyers will be coming home soon and one is posted on our bulletin board if you want a sneak peek at the books.

We hope that you’ll be able to come and shop either during the day or during the evening hours.  Books make great gifts for the holidays and it’s never too early to start shopping.

Shopping hours are:

Tuesday,        Nov. 6             7:30-3:30   AND  5:00-7:00 pm

Wednesday, Nov. 7             7:30-11:00 am

Thursday,     Nov. 8             7:30-11:00 am
Thanks in advance to our parent helpers who’ll be volunteering during the Book Fair!

In October we’ll have a focus on mysteries.  It seems appropriate, what with all the excitement about ghosts and goblins, right?  To launch our unit, we put up this bulletin board for students to guess the mystery book characters.  How many can you name?