There is something about eating with chopsticks that changes things. First of all, unless you are really good at it, you can’t eat fast. The process is super s….l….o….w. It takes some coordination and practice to maneuver two sticks in one hand and pick up food. According to the Mobile Cuisine Chopsticks fun facts page, when you use chopsticks, you involve over 30 joints and 50 muscles in the fingers, wrist, arm, shoulder as well as thousands of nerves.
Second, when you are around other people who can’t use them very well, it’s funny. At first it’s frustrating. Then when you look around and see that every other person is having the same problem, it’s time to laugh. Food can go anywhere and everywhere when you use chopsticks.
The 3 P’s
Last, a person can learn about the 3 P’s. That’s persistence, practice, and patience! Becoming a master of chopsticks requires all 3 P’s. Once you become skilled with chopsticks, you can eat anything (except maybe broth)! It feels just like riding a two-wheeler bike without falling down!
Those are some of the lessons we learned after we read Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Chopsticks is about a pair of chopsticks who are the best of buddies. They do everything together, but when one gets hurt, they have to learn how to manage on their own.
It feels uncomfortable and lonely in the beginning. Before long, things change and what was so difficult at first, is just a memory.
To find out what it’s like to use chopsticks, we had a little practice session. Everyone got a pair of chopsticks and a cup. Tables partners shared a plate of cereal. The object was to get as many pieces of cereal from the plate into the cup. No fingers allowed! We got frustrated. We had fun! We got to eat cereal!
Chopsticks is one of the nominees for the 2013 Washington Children’s Choice Award. More fun activities for this book can be found on her Chopsticks activity guide. If you like Chopsticks, you’ll probably enjoy Amy Krouse Rosethals’ other books too! Give Spoons or Exclamation Mark a try.
What was your first experience using chopsticks like?
What are some things that come in pairs?
I used transition words to start new paragraphs. Can you name them?
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?
The Calder Game by Blue Balliett is a mystery story linking art sculpture with intrigue. The book description reads, “When Calder Pillay travels with his father to a remote village in England, he finds a mix of mazes and mystery…including an unexpected Alexander Calder sculpture in the town square.
Calder is strangely drawn to the sculpture, while other people have less-than-friendly feelings toward it. Both the boy and the sclupture seem to be out of place…and then, on the same night, they disappear!”
I thought about this book on the weekend, when I visited the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle with Mr. Hembree. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the first thing we noticed was the gigantic Alexander Calder sculpture called The Eagle. We walked around it and under it and looked closely at his signature on the side.
In this view from underneath the sculpture, you can see what looks like the eagle head or beak (or at least that is what it looks like to me)!
The last picture shows Calder’s signature on the side of the piece and the date.
I don’t think this is the Calder that disappeared from The Calder Game, but isn’t it fun imagining it could be? Here is a link to a book trailer I found for The Calder Game by Gaia, a student in Mrs Scavone’s class from June 2011.
The Calder Game is available for check out F BAL MYSTERY.
What sculpture did you see in the book trailer?
Have you ever seen an Alexander Calder sculpture before? Which one?
What piece of art would you write a mystery about?
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?
We have a special treat today! A few weeks ago three of our former students stopped by to visit with their parents. They were here on vacation and were visiting their former teachers and friends in the Seattle area.
All of three students love to read! Lucily for them, I had just come from the American Library Association mid-winter meeting with numerous Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) of books. ARCs are copies of books that people read and review and check for errors before they are officially published. Think of them as preview copies.
It’s always fun to have a new book that nobody else has yet, so all three students went home with some new books to read for the flight back to Denmark. Mathias not only read his book, he sent us a review for the blog too!
Here is Mathias’ review of House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini. It will be officially released on April 23, 2013.
Setting: The story first takes place in Sea Cliff, San Francisco, then later in a mysterious world of adventure.
Characters: The Walker family is composed of five members.
Mr. and Mrs. Walker, were recently in a lawsuit because Mr. Walker, who is a doctor, had cut an eye into the back of his patient. They were sued by the family of the man, and used almost all their money to defend themselves.
Brendan Walker, the middle child, a computer geek and a quite smart kid. He is also very much into Lacrosse and his quick thinking saves them on several occasions.
Cordelia Walker is the oldest and smartest kid of the family. She is an avid reader and helped solve many of the problems the family were to face.
Eleanor Walker is the youngest and appears to be the most dumb. However she does show quite an appeal for helping and a very smart and quick brain, despite being dyslexic. She is also very much into horses.
Plot: A family of five are searching for a new house. Their real estate lady finds a nice house on the edge of Sea Cliff, a place known for it’s beautiful houses. At first the family is a bit worried that the house may not be as nice as the real estate lady says (their price range for houses is rather low) however they were all proved wrong. When they arrived it was a beautiful three story house, full of amazing furniture and stunning features that made the house almost seem too good to be true. This was made true when they heard the price. Their jaws dropped and they immediately decided to buy the house.
Soon after they bought the house strange things started happening. Brendan and Eleanor were seeing strange figures and shadows day after day. Brendan even thought that the statue which stood in the back had come alive and talked to him.
The next day something strange happened. First the old lady who says she lived next door comes by. Her name is Dahlia Kristoff, the relative of Denver Kristoff who used to live in this house. Brendan goes crazy on her, thinking she was the woman who had turned into the statue. After the old lady leaves the kids start doing some digging. Cordelia find out that according to a picture upstairs, she’s a 105 years old and missing a hand. Not long after the doorbell rings again. Thinking that the pizza has arrived, Mr. Walker goes over to the door and opens it. Outside stands Mrs. Dahlia again, and as soon as Mr. Walker opens the door, she steps in. Immediately she transforms. She is now bald and only a skeleton of herself. Her right hand is missing, just like Cordelia thought and she looked downright scary, especially with the brand new pair of skeletal wings that had just erupted from her back. Mrs. Walker started calling the police, but for a gust of wind that snatched up the phone and cracked it on a pedestal on the other side of the room. Then weird things start to happen. Dahlia Kristoff starts flying up, and every item currently in the vicinity start flying up. They form a vortex of flying items just zooming around the room. The two parents are knocked out by flying objects, but somehow the kids manage to stay conscious. Dahlia starts shouting about her long lost father’s (Denver Kristoff) reincarnation and suddenly everything goes black.
My Thoughts: I think this book is amazing. With all of the mystery happening in only the first instance of the story, it provides a great lead into the book. The book itself is astonishing. The idea of having an entire story based on the fusion of three books is downright fascinating. The different characters in this book are amazingly unique, in such ways that even you can’t see the events they’re going to make happen before they do. The things that happen from every angle, like betrayal, love and unexpected friendship just makes this book one of the best books I’ve ever read.
Thank you Mathias for this awesome book review! I can’t wait to buy a copy for the library in April when it comes out!
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?
Gabe in Mrs. Adair’s class submitted this book review of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz.
Alex knows that’s not true, and the gun marks in the driver’s side car door proves it! Alex finds out his uncle was a top field agent for a secret government division, M16.
They ask Alex to work for them, they ask him to investigate Herod Sayle. Herod came up with the most sophisticated personal computer of the decade. But M16 suspects Herod has something up his sleeve, so they send Alex undercover into Sayle Enterprises to investigate.
Alex uses a wide array of useful gadgets to baffle Herod Sayle, but will his cover be blown or worse, will he be killed?
If you like adventure books then you will love this book. Even better, there is a whole Alex Rider series, so this is just a taste of this action packed series. I think this book for readers 9 years and older.
If you like the sound of this book, come to the library! We have the entire Alex Rider series on our Action/Adventure shelves! Mrs. Hembree
Look what came in the mail from Australia!
That’s right, two books and a wonderful note from Miss Y in Melbourne, Australia. She is a librarian at the St. Martin of Tours Primary School. We have been blogging buddies for over a year now, exchanging ideas for books back and forth.
These Andy Griffiths books are going to be BIG hits in our library. You can’t NOT laugh when you read them. They are just that funny! Look at this photo of him from his website. Does he look like a serious kind of guy? I haven’t had a chance to read the books yet, but here’s what it says on Andy’s website:
“Andy and Terry live in an incredible ever-expanding treehouse and create very silly books together. Andy writes the words and Terry draws the pictures… well, when they’re not too distracted by all the amazing things going in their incredible ever-expanding treehouse! Last year they opened a new school with a brand new library.”
I think these books sound like some crazy fun. If you are in 3-5th grade, this might be the just-right book for you. Stop by the library and put in your reservation. They will be available for check out early next week.
It’s been quite a week for connections. First a phone call from New Zealand and then a package from Australia. I love these reading connections! Miss Y’s students have been enjoying some Mo Willems books we sent her last year and now we have some Andy Griffiths books here! It’s a full circle of reading fun!
Here’s a photo of what the school looks like outside, courtesy of the magic of Google maps! I hope you will visit Miss Y’s LRC blog soon and leave her a comment. I just watched a new book trailer she made about a new book in the Clementine Rose series for girls by Jacqueline Harvey. This is the author of the Alice Miranda books we already have in our library! Jacqueline visited Miss Y’s school last year. Here is the post about this visit. I sure hope if Jacqueline ever visits the Pacific Northwest on a book tour, she will stop by our library!
What do you think about our surprise package?
Have you ever read any Andy Griffiths books before?
Look at the title.What word do we spell differently?
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!