Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Geisel Challenge: Week 4

Mr. Colby Sharp and I are talking about the 2009 Geisel winners today. Please visit Colby's blog to watch his video. 

Are You Ready to Play Outside?  by Mo Willems 

"So, I spend a lot of time simplifying my line and simplifying my books, so that they can be as effortless-seeming as possible. For example, in Knuffle Bunny, all the backgrounds are photographs; but they're not actually photographs, you see, because there's an emotional truth. Everyone's eyes do us this great favor. They hide all of the ugly stuff. They work as a beauty filter." - Mo Willems

Chicken Said, "Cluck!" by Judyann Ackerman Grant; illustrated by Sue Truesdell

One Boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger 

Read this wonderful interview with Laura Vaccaro 

Stinky by Eleanor Davis 

Download the Stinky discussion guide. 

Stinky is available on Professor Garfield's website.

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell; photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell

"A wolfsnail glides along a leaf, hunting for snails and slugs. Watch as the wolfsnail finds and eats a snail." -Sarah C. Campbell

Visit Sarah's website to download activities. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

The 2014 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Winners

I've been obsessively checking the American Booksellers Association's website to find out the 2014 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winners. My neighbors probably heard me  clapping last night when I checked the website and read the following announcement. (I may have shed three or four tears, too.) 

The winners of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, reflecting the playful, well-paced language, the engaging themes, and the universal appeal embodied by E.B. White's collection of beloved books, are: 

E.B. White Read Aloud Award--Middle Reader 

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated K.G. Campbell (Candlewick Press)

E.B. White Read Aloud Award--Picture Book 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt; illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel)

Congratulations to Kate, K.G., Drew, and Oliver! I've read Flora and Ulysses to 5 classes and The Day the Crayons Quit to 11 classes. Both books flow off the tongue and keep kids listening, laughing, and thinking. Thank you!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Save the Date: April 24 is Poem in Your Pocket Day

Do you have a favorite literacy celebration? A favorite month? A favorite hour? A favorite minute? I think every month is special in my school library, but I think April is extra special. We celebrate National Poetry Month, School Library Month, National Library Week, and Poem in Your Pocket Day. I don't want to pick a favorite celebration of the school year, but I think Poem in Your Pocket Day is right up there with World Read Aloud Day. There's nothing quite like stopping a fifth grader in the hall and saying, "I see you're wearing a sticker that says 'Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! Ask me about my poem.'  Do you a have a moment to share your poem?" 

I hope you and your students will celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 24. I'll have a poem in my right pocket and a poem in my left pocket. 

In My Right Pocket 

(Inspired by Walter Dean Myers)
By Jack 

Love that dog, 
like a bird loves to fly
I said I love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
"Hey there, Sky!" 

In My Left Pocket 

"Words for Flora"

would be
easier without
because you
all of it--
sprinkles, quarks, giant
donuts, eggs sunny-side up--
are the ever-expanding
to me. 

I am giving away a copy of Love That Dog and a copy of Flora and Ulysses

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from April 17 to 11:59 p.m. on April 18. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Wonderful Morning with Andy Griffiths!

Hip, hip, hooray! Today was Andy Griffiths Day in my school library! I've never heard kids laugh so hard during an author visit, but Andy never lost "control" of the audience. My kids knew when it was time to listen to his next joke and story. I'm so happy that he's visiting with Mr. Sharp's and Mr. Jonker's students later in the week.

I love when I teach classes right after an author visit because it allows me to get immediate feedback from my students. According to my first and second graders...

*Andy Griffiths is a really fun guy.

* He traveled far to visit our school. I’m happy I got to meet him.

*Andy told us how he created the treehouse in the Treehouse series.

*Andy is a good author.

* He was so nice to every person during the book signing.

*He is wonderful.

* Andy is very good at writing books.

* I think he is the silliest author who has ever visited our school library. He had everyone laughing.

* Terry Denton is a good artist.

*He showed us very funny trees. One of the trees looked like a butt.

* Andy writes awesome books.

* He works well with Terry Denton.

*That was the coolest author visit.

*I'll give you one word: hilarious.

*The killer koala stuffed animal that he showed us was really cool.

* The BUTT tree was so funny.

* I liked his made-up story about how he met Terry.

* He mentioned underwear more than any other author.

* He showed us a catnary stuffed animal.

* I liked how he showed us really funny photographs of treehouses. I laughed a lot.

* The 26- Story Treehouse is so funny.

My favorite thing about the Treehouse series is...

-the man-eating sharks.

- the marshmallow machine.


- the ice cream flavors.

- the bowling alley.

-the swimming pool.

-how Terry washes his underwear in the man-eating shark tank.

- the vegetable vaporizer.

Andy is..







*good at writing books





*insanely funny

*really friendly

SLJ is hosting an exclusive webinar with Andy Griffiths tomorrow.

My first and second graders designed treehouses.

Andy has a lot of fans!

You know how I feel about #kidlit stickers.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4 

A frosted treehouse!

A frosted treehouse, part 2!

Andy made every child feel special. Thanks, Andy!