It’s almost Children’s Book Week! I hope you will join me in celebrating the joys of reading next week and in the weeks beyond!
You may be like us and have to hold off the crazy celebrating for another time because it’s state testing. However, there’s lots we can do to quietly spread the word. Here are a few ideas…
Download Grace Lin’s official bookmark and learn how to draw a Chinese dragon using letters.
Vote for your choice of children’s books in the Children’s Choice Book Awards.
Maybe you love to write! Why not try out these story starters?Are you a fan of Jack and Annie? Check out the story starter by Mary Pope Osborne. Where would you take Jack and Annie on a cold, shivery morning?
These ideas plus lots of reading puzzles are waiting for you on the official Children’s Book Week website. Check them out today and start celebrating ahead of time!
On Saturday, the rare 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card sold for $2.1 million in a public auction to an unnamed bidder. Honus Wagner was a Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop in the early 1900′s and considered to one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
There are only about 50 of these cards left in existence, which makes them extremely rare. The story is that Honus Wagner made the American Tobacco Card pull the card because he had not granted them permission to print the card. He did not want children buying cigarettes to get his card.
The story of Honus is the first book in Dan Gutman’s baseball adventure series. It’s the story of a boy who finds the Honus Wagner card and finds he use it to travel through time.
Dan Gutman wrote this book in 1993. He submitted it to a publisher in 1994 and within two months it was rejected. He tried again and it was rejected again. He was rejected SEVEN times before HarperCollins – publisher #8 said, “yes! we like it!” You can read more about his rejection story on the Dan Gutman website.
The book is now available in an audio version, was made into a TV movie called The Winning Season, and a play that was performed in four different cities, including Seattle. The importance of persistence is an important message that Dan shares with his readers on his website:
The good news is that there are now ELEVEN books in his baseball adventure series! Ted and Me is the latest book to be published. It’s about baseball legend Ted Williams and is Gutman’s 100th book to be published!
If you would like to learn more about the story of the T206 Honus card, ESPN has produced a 15 minute video about the history of this baseball player and the famous cards. Click here for that link. You can find Gutman’s adventure series in the sports section of our library.
Why do you think this collector paid this much money for a baseball card?
If you could create a sports card about a person, who would it be and why?
We have three new backpack buddies to add to our collection! Two titles are very familiar - Go Dog Go and Knufflebunny.
We also have a new title – Flora the Flamingo.
In this wordless picture book a friendship develops between a girl named Flora and a graceful flamingo, as they learn to dance together. Check out the book trailer about this very fun new book!
Flora the Flamingo Book Trailer
We now have 48 backpack buddies to choose from. Each one has a backpack, a book, matching puppet and a journal. Backpack buddies are available for check out in grades 1-3.
What is your favorite backpack buddy?
What book (fiction or non-fiction) would you suggest?
I don’t know about you, but I love surprises! Every book I read is a new surprise. What will be inside? What story will unfold? What characters will I meet? Will the story grab me and not let me go?
Surprises come in blogs too! Our BulldogReaders blog got a big surprise this week. We were selected as one of the Top 25 Educator Blogs for 2013!
Here is the comment that we received,
You’ve been honored in EducationWorld’s Top 25 Educator Blogs for 2013 list. The list represents EducationWorld’s favorite educator blogs to follow in 2013, and our team thinks that your work is worth celebrating.
Wow! What an incredible honor to be mentioned by Education World. I had no idea our blog was even being considered, so this is a super surprise! I can’t wait to visit the other blogs there and learn something new from them!
What’s the best surprise you have had lately?
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Our books got to Mumbai, India!
In one of our recent posts, I mentioned that one of our parents volunteered to take some books to Mumbai, India while he was there on a business trip. You can read about the original post here. Now we have photos of his trip!
Josa’s dad visited the Handmaids of the Blessed Trinity Convent School which is located in the Andheri neighborhood near the Mumbai International Airport. This is a particularly crowded area of Mumbai, and most people do not have much money.
Two nuns, Sister Paulette, who used to work with Mother Teresa, and sister Eliza , run an orphanage and school with teachers and volunteers.
Their mission is educate the children at their school in the hopes that when they are older, they educate themselves out of a life of poverty.
The children were very excited to visit with “Uncle Tarun” as they called him! They talked to him and the adults gave him a tour of the school.
They also sang him a song while he was there. Here is a short video of the children at the school singing to “Uncle Tarun”.
Thank you “Uncle Tarun”!
Did you see any of the books you signed?
How does it make you feel to help with our program?
Do you have a comment you would like to share?
The Dark Fires 4th grade team are our building Battle of the Books Champions for 2013. Griffin, Leon, Quincy and Shane beat their opponents and moved to the district round this week.
They competed against Rush using the Lync system on our presentation computer. With Lync, we had a moderating librarian on a video call asking the questions at one school, and two other teams competing in the comfort of their school libraries!
It was like a fancy conference call with video – very similar to Skype if you have ever used Skype.
Both teams were asked 10 questions about the required books. In 30 seconds they had to answer the question and have it written down on a white board. When time was called, each team revealed their answer to the camera. If they had the answer right, they got a point. The team with the most points after answering 10 questions won and moved on to the next round of competition in the district.
The Dark Fires team was awesome in the competition against Rush! The boys showed great enthusiasm and effort right down to the last question. Although they didn’t get to move on to the next level of competition, they have every right to be proud of what they accomplished this year!
Today, Rush became the LWSD District Battle of the Book Champions! Congrats to an awesome team!
The other teams who competeted this year were…
The Running Eggs: Taylor, Yennhi, Eleni and Grace
Wimpy Kids: Matteo, Alex, Logan and Ben
Skittles: Ola, Melody, Chloe and Parker
Sparkly Lollypops: Sabrina, Emily and Josa
Headshot: Niku, Carson, Stephen and Alex
Watermelons: Peyton, Madi, Daphanie and Anna
Green Hornets: Sha’Mea, Juan and Ruvim
Reading Bulldogs: Victoria, Madison, Bella and Claire
All of the Battle of the Books are available for anyone to check out! This is one of the best reading lists I have seen in a long time! Stop by and get one of these books. You will love the choices!
What would you call your team in a reading competition?
If you have read one of these books, what question would you ask?
On Monday, a package filled with 25 children’s books left for Mumbai, India with Josa’s Dad. He was going to Mumbai on business and offered to take some books with him.
Mumbai, formerly known by the name Bombay is located in the state of Maharashtra. It’s considered the financial capital city of India. It’s the most populated city in India and one of the top most populated cities in the world with over 14 million people. Mumbai is far away from Seattle!
Because Mumbai is so overcrowded, not everyone has the same advantages as we have in Seattle. The Dharavi area of Mumbai is home to thousands of people, many of them children. Unfortunately there aren’t enough school buildings or even books for all the children who want an education. That is why Josa’s family thought that might be a good place to share some of the extra books we have.
The students in Ms. Holder’s class helped prep the books for the first shipment. Each student signed a bookplate inside the book. Our principal, Mrs. Paul signed one too!
After everyone signed a book, I put them in an envelope for the trip. They left with Josa’s Dad a few days ago.
I was worried that 25 books wouldn’t make much of a difference when there are thousands of children who need books. Josa’s mom very kindly reminded me about the story of the starfish. Have you heard of this story? I had forgotten about it and after she told me about it, I realized she’s right.
We are making a difference. The actions of our students do matter. Twenty five books will help…One book at a time!
Have you ever been to India?
How do you matter at school or at home or in your community?
“Raise your hand if you like talking on the phone.”
I imagine if I asked you that question in class, the majority of you would say yes. It seems like we are married to our phones these days. They go with us everywhere keeping us connected at all times.
Yet, I have a love/hate relationship with the phone. Sometimes I like talking on it and catching up with my friends and family. Other times, a phone call means a salesperson is on the other end trying to convince me to buy this or that.
So when the phone in the library rang yesterday afternoon and I didn’t recognize the number, I wasn’t too eager to answer. I had things to do, and being interrupted wasn’t on my list. I gingerly answered with a half-hearted, “Hello, This is Julie.”
On the other end was a woman quickly telling me her name was Grace. She had found my blog, and the Nerdybookclub and my love of books. She was going on about how she had noticed that I didn’t have a New Zealand connection and she wanted to fix that.
Stop. Wait. Hold on!
Grace was calling me from New Zealand?! All of a sudden I switched into high gear.
Isn’t that expensive? How do you do that? How did she find my number? How did she find out about our blog? Or the Nerdybookclub?
Why was she calling me?
The phone connection had a little static, and I’m not really used to hearing a New Zealand accent, so my brain was experiencing a little battle from the one side pushing non-stop questions and the other side processing the information I was hearing from Grace.
The answer soon became clear. She loves books, is a retired school teacher and had visited Seattle and Sammamish (where I live) in the recent past. We talked about her visit to Halifax, Nova Scotia and visiting Prince Edward Island where the book Anne of Green Gables was set.
Then she asked if I knew of Peter H. Reynolds. Peter is the author of The Dot and Ish, and most recently, Sky Color. “Yes, I know who he is!” I told her. I wanted to tell her about how we had just tweeted back and forth over the weekend after listening to a discussion about Sky Color, but her next story was too incredible to stop.
Years ago, she had virtually met Peter online. They had many conversations on the computer and Facebook. They became friends and had many commonalities with their families.Eventually she traveled to Massachusetts from New Zealand, staying with his family on vacation and visiting Cape Cod.
I don’t know Peter personally. But she does and she was telling me about it from 7,000 miles away! I wanted to say, “I’m from Massachusetts too. I grew up about a hour away from Peter in Townsend.” I wanted to tell her that I know his work, his drawings, his stories – his fabulous website Fablevision.com
We love The Dot! We celebrated International Dot Day. We all made dots in September and started to make our mark on the world this year. We are all connected. But I didn’t have a chance to tell her and that’s okay, she’ll find out soon enough.
Soon after her Peter H. Reynolds story, our conversation ended. We talked for twenty minutes from Washington, USA to New Zealand. We made plans to stay connected. Then it was over.
Why did we connect in the first place?
Because we love books and reading. All it took was a school blog and a woman with an ability to call from far, far away to bring us all together.
It’s a small, beautiful world and I’m sure glad I answered the phone!
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate won the coveted Newbery Award this morning at the American Library Association Conference here in Seattle! I sat in the audience as the awards were revealed at the press conference.
At the press conference, the ALA announces the winners of numerous book awards such as the Coretta Scott King Award and Geisel Awards. Then it’s time for Caldecott and Newbery – last in line. These two awards are the most prestigious and coveted in the US for the writers and illustrators of children’s literature.
I was thrilled to see my personal favorite picture book win the Caldecott! There lots of happy clapping and screaming in the audience (yes, librarians scream – loudly!) as we saw the winning book show on the big screen!
Then it was time for the Newbery. One by one the titles of the Honor winners were released. I held my breath as I saw Spendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, Bomb:The Race to Build – and Steal- the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin and Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage win the honor awards.
I think most of the audience inhaled and waited for the final slide to show. What book would it be? The whoops of joy filled the room and tears filled my eyes! I tried to take a photo of the slide showing that Ivan won, but all I got was a photo of the ceiling when I jumped out of my chair! It was a magical moment to be in a room filled with all that love for a book that has touched the hearts of thousands of readers around the world. I tried taking a picture again, but it sure came out blurry! My hands were shaking too much to be very good at holding still.
Lots of hugs were shared with fellow librarians. Especially happy was Mr. Schu, who visited the real Ivan last summer and possibly has the only copy of the signed book by both Ivan and Katherine Applegate. You can read his very moving post about what it meant to meet Ivan at the Atlanta Zoo here. We shared some tears together as we realized that our shared love for a very special book won top honors. Here is a photo courtesy of John Schu showing both the author and Ivan signatures.
After the press conference was over, I went to the exhibit hall to visit the HarperCollins booth. They published The One and Only Ivan. I got there in time to see one of the representatives place the gold Newbery sticker on the book! Notice that Ivan is looking at the sticker!
Ivan also had his picture taken with “Ivan” at the booth!
A few minutes later, Anne Hoppe, the editor stopped by too! If you remember, she visited with Katherine and Julia last April when they came for our school visit. She shared that it is very special experience to be the editor of a book that wins a Newbery.
I can’t even think of the words to describe what it was like to see a book that has so totally touched my heart and changed my life win the Newbery. I just hope now even more thousands of children pick it up and share the story. Like so many of you who purchased a copy last spring, we now own a signed Newbery book! How absolutely fantastic is that???
I wish Katherine and her family could have been in Seattle to experience announcement in person. The good news is that they will have the opportunity to receive the award in person in Chicago in June!
Never heard of Ivan and want to know more? Here is the trailer I made last year. I hope you will watch it and then run to your local library or bookstore and get a copy!