A Gift from Australia

Do you like surprises? I do! Especially AirMail packages!

package
52 storey

Look what came in the mail this week from our school librarian friend in Australia! She sent us a package with the brand new book  The 52 Storey Treehouse by the Australian children’s author Andy Griffiths. Here’s the note she sent inside the package.

card

This is our third Treehouse book Miss Yeomans has sent us. As you can read in the card, this time she had to wait in line for a two hours to get it signed for us.

treehouse series

On her LRC blog, Miss Y published a post about her visit to meet Andy Griffiths. I hope you will click over to her website and get all the details. She shared a photo she took of Andy Griffiths signing our books. This is used with Miss Y’s permission.

andy sign
Andy signed books from 4:30 until 9:00 when the store closed, but he couldn’t stop. He kept signing books until 11:30 at night! That’s 7 HOURS of signing his name! Can you imagine doing that for SEVEN hours?

book piles

 The treehouse series is not the only series he has written, and if you come into the library, I will show you others you can find by Andy Griffiths. He writes very funny books. Look what happened earlier this month!

griffiths tweet

Are you wondering yet what a treehouse story might be about? Wait for it…… a TREEHOUSE! But not your regular kind of boring treehouse. If you do an internet search with your family, you will find kids love this book so much, they have even created Minecraft treehouses, based on the book.  Here is a book trailer about the 26 Storey Treehouse, narrated by Andy Griffiths himself. It will give you a clue and then you can come to the library and read all three books! If you make your own Minecraft or Lego treehouse, take a photo so we can see it here on the blog!

 

 

 

Print Friendly

How Do You Burp in Space?

Have you ever wondered how the astronauts do normal things in space?

kaito

Kaito has the perfect book to answer those questions! I can bet he would like to meet Chris Hatfield to ask him this question and more. Who is Chris Hatfield you ask? Kaito, do you know?

Recently Miss Y, one of our librarian friends in Australia, drove seven hours from her home to Canberra to meet Chris Hatfield. Sadly she was not able to get a photo of a book signing with him, but she sent us this photo with some other astronauts and a blog post about her visit.

miss y and astronaut

Last year I followed Canadian astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield on
Twitter while he was on the International Space Station for 5 months.
Each day he would tweet incredible photos of Earth that allowed us to see
our planet in a new way. He also made videos of what life was like living
on the space station and he also sang and played guitar with Canadian
children to from space for Music Monday. You can read about this on our
LRC blog.
http://http://smotlrcblog.edublogs.org/2013/01/31/commander-chris-hadfield-at-the-international-space-station/

Commander Hadfield has written a book called ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life
on Earth’ that I have read a few times now! He decided to become an
astronaut at 9 years of age and worked hard to make his dream come true.
When I heard he was visiting Australia for the first time I knew I had to
hear his talk called ‘The Sky is Not the Limit’. I booked tickets to see
him in Melbourne where I live and also in Canberra which is a 7 hour drive
from Melbourne and both times he was truly inspiring! Sadly I didn’t get
my book signed, but I did find two ‘astronauts’ in Canberra for a fun
photo.

Commander Hadfield has a new book coming out in October called ‘You are
Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes’ with photos he took from the Space
Station. Mrs Hembree and I are both very excited to hear he is also
working on a picture book with the wonderfully creative Peter Reynolds –
we can’t wait until it’s published!

When Commander Chris Hadfield visits Seattle make sure you go and see him.”

Thank you so much Miss Y for sharing this post with us! We will have to be out the lookout for when Commander Hatfield comes to the Seattle area for a visit. I can’t wait to see what he does with Peter Reynolds! Thank you Kaito for your photo! It was perfect timing to receive two photos about space and astronauts this week, especially one from another continent! Now we have photos from Australia, Europe, North America, and Africa.

 

 

Print Friendly

Picture Book Genre Project: Part One

We’re doing it again!

picture bk genre

We converted our intermediate fiction section to a genre style a few years ago. You can read a post about the project here. I also wrote an article for Knowledge Quest and have presented at the Washington Library Media Association WLMA annual conference on the topic. More of our district libraries have converted. Circulations are soaring and kids are READING!

Now I have a new project in the works. I forgot to mention it in my Happy Anniversary post that listed my goals for the year. Instead of five goals, I really have six. The sixth goal is to categorize our picture books into a genre style shelving system. Mary, one of the other librarians in our district worked on this project all of last year, and when she told me about it, I knew it was the answer to our problem.

picture book displays

What problem you may ask? Despite all the book displays on top of the shelving carts, many of my students still have trouble finding a book they want. They read a book about trucks, animals, colors, shapes – you name it, the topic doesn’t matter. Then they come to me and want to check out a book one just like that one. In a 30 minute class of k-2 students, where we have 10 minutes of checkout time, I get swamped by students who need help. I’m frustrated by too little time to help each student individually, while I also need check out books to the other 27 students waiting impatiently in line. Many librarians have lots of adult helpers, but I don’t always have that luxury. There are many classes where it’s just me and the kids. What’s a frenzied librarian to do?

HELP WANTED!

 

I need to make it easier for younger students to find the books they want. I need to use the genre shelving system with the picture books too!

Simple. Easy. Kid friendly. And why didn’t I think of this earlier?

When I converted our fiction section in 2008, it wasn’t something that was being done on a large scale in school libraries. In fact, after asking my principal for his blessing, I didn’t tell anyone about what I did for over a year. At the time, I was a new librarian, and I was fearful of the backlash and criticism. Although it’s more common now, at the time, the idea was fairly radical. I had no idea if it would work, but my hunch was that by making books easier for students to find independently, they would check out more and READ more. The rest is history. Genre shelving our fiction section was a huge success.

This time it’s different. I’m not waiting and I’m no longer worried about what other librarians might say. I plan to document the process as we move along with photos and advice. I’m starting small this time. I haven’t figured out all the categories yet, and I’m okay with the ambiguity. The categories will work themselves out as I look at what others have done, ask my students for their advice, and do my research. If sharing my process helps other librarians, then all the better.

To launch the project, I did decide on three major categories: Art, Concepts and Favorite Characters. Last spring, I asked one of my trusted parent volunteers to look through our shelves for books about concepts – math, ABCs, shapes, punctuation, colors, etc. She pulled those books off the shelves and put them in labeled piles. I already had a major art section with story books about art and artists like Katie Meets the Impressionists or Picasso and the Girl with the Pontail.

katie-meets-the-impressionists

These books had been shelved together previously, so all I had to do was find the right shelf and change the call number. I decided to shelf the Art books near the Concept books since they seem like related topics to me.

Each book in a genre section is marked with a colored tinted label that goes over the call number. You can look at the shelf and see visually on the spine that the books go together. I did the same thing with my fiction books. This photo below is what our intermediate sports section looks like. You can see the green call number covers on the spines. I get the covers at Demco.

IMG_2078

I’ll use similar colors for our primary books so as a student transitions from the picture books to intermediate books, the color system will be as close as possible. After each book is labeled,  I scan it and change the call number. We use Destiny and the photo below show how I added the category in the call number and in the sublocation. If I don’t want to pull each book, I can make the changes on Destiny, run a report on the sublocation and give it to a volunteer. Then the volunteer can pull the books on the list, mark them, and reshelve. When I have a shelf ready for the new section, it’s easy to scan the shelves, pull the books by color and shelve them in their new home.

picture bk genre destiny

I also decided this would be a perfect time to begin an inventory. If I was going to touch each book, I might as well get an accurate inventory of the books in our picture book area.

picture bk inventory

Like I said, I’m starting small. I don’t even have official signs yet. Large sticky notes mark the new sections for the moment! I only have three categories in progress right now. Through the course of the year I will add more categories, using student suggestions. I’m doing this conversion for them, and their voice needs to be a major component on how we proceed. When I have photos of a completed shelf, I will post them.

If you have questions or have suggestions because you have already been through this process, I hope you will share them in a comment. Let’s work together to make our libraries the vibrant places our students need.

 

 

Print Friendly

Take a Road Trip

Readers read everywhere!

josa chair

Sometimes people think you need to be in a special place to read, but really that’s not true. Readers read everywhere – in the car, on trains, on vacation and in the barber shop! Josa is reading Road Trip by Gary Paulsen. This author may be familiar to you. He also wrote the famous adventure novel Hatchet. If you haven’t read Hatchet yet, you MUST put this on your summer reading list. Road Trip is also an adventure story, with funny overtones and written for grades 5+. I believe it’s on the Battle of the Book list for our middle schools. Here is a book trailer by Donna Yliniemi.

Thanks for sharing your photo Josa and showing our readers that people can read anywhere! What did you think about Road Trip? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Happy Reading from Mrs. Hembree

 

 

Print Friendly

We Can Read with Pete

Look out! Pete’s in the house!

Anthony Jason
Anthony

It looks like Pete the Cat has convinced Anthony and Jason to do some summertime reading! Pete is one cool cat and isn’t it great that he is not afraid to go to the beach? A problem happens when Pete gets hot after playing in the sand at the beach. Most cats I know are scared of the water. Do you think Pete was scared of going into the water? Maybe? Did he try swimming anyway? Read Pete the Cat – Pete at the Beach or Pete the Cat – Too Cool for School by James Dean to find out. Thank you Anthony and Jason for sharing your reading photos with us!

Any of our readers can share photos with us for our summertime reading fun! You don’t have to be on a fancy vacation or in an exotic place to have your reading photo taken. Readers read anywhere and everywhere! Simply take a photo and send it in! We love student and adult readers as well. There’s only three more weeks to get your photos submitted. Our summer reading program ends on August 31st, so get those phones and cameras out! Send the photos me at this address:

summer read email pic

21184-1

If you love Pete the Cat, then I recommend you also try a new book by Eric Litwin, one of the original authors of the Pete the Cat series–The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House. The book was just published on July 29th and it’s a winner!
When Mama Nut tries to get her little Nut children to go to bed, they don’t hear her! They are having too much fun! Check out the book trailer and then leave me a comment! What do you think about this new book?

Print Friendly

Reading in the Rain

Yikes! It’s pouring!

gabe in rain

I’ve heard of singing and dancing in the rain, but reading in the pouring rain is a new one. I’ve always been fearful that I would ruin the book. However, knowing Gabe, he figured out a way to read in the rain AND protect his book from water destruction! We have a theme this week of reading anywhere, and certainly reading in the rain fits right in!
Thanks for sharing Gabe and be sure to let us know if your book is safe! What are you reading? Do we all need to read it? Inquiring minds want to know!

Print Friendly

The Yankee Reader

What gets you excited about your day?

20140730-200459.jpg

For my nephew it’s baseball with a healthy dose of reading (and maybe a couple computer games). He is a diehard Yankees fan as you can see from his room decor. Everything is Yankees from tip to stern.
My favorite part of his room are the stacks of books. I wish I had taken more pictures, but trust me. He loves to read and his shelves prove it. We are DEFINITELY related! Like a true reader, the books closest to his bed are the important ones. The sports books by Tim Green, Mike Lupica, and Dan Gutman. Florida adventures by Carl Hiaasen. Then there are the top tier books- Wonder and The One and Only Ivan. These are the ones that will stay in his room, or at least that’s my prediction.

20140730-195825.jpg

 Now he has a copy of Comics Squad. It never even made it downstairs to get read. Nope! It was consumed in one night. Right there in my nephew’s personal Yankee Stadium.

Now, where will it go on the pile?

PS. I have another sport book to suggest. If you like baseball, look for Screaming at the Ump by Audrey Vernick. This middle grade novel puts a twist on the typical baseball story by looking through the lens of a 12 year old and umpire camp. Cool sports story and well paced.

Print Friendly

Never a Mariner

I’ve been at sea for most of the summer.

IMG_2070

It started right after school ended when I found my shell collection. It had been missing for a couple years, but we found it in the garage tucked behind some boxes. I was thrilled because I have been collecting shells since I was a little girl. I always come home with a shell from every beach I walk along. I also like to buy pretty shells. I just have a  “thing” for shells and the ocean. In fact I love the ocean so much, that I can’t live far from the water. Except for a brief summer in Denver, and a year in Germany, I have only ever lived on the East coast or West coast where I can see salt water within minutes.

shelldisplay
shells

That box of shells inspired me to create a new ocean/shell display in our living room so I could get those shells and seastars out of the box where we could see them every day. Then I went back East with my daughter to see my family, traveling around Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. We were near the ocean every chance we could get, walking along the shore, collecting shells or enjoying some time in the sun or fog.

Nubble Lighthouse, Maine

Nubble Lighthouse, Maine

The Motif, Rockport, Massachusetts

The Motif, Rockport, Massachusetts

Hampton, Maine

Hampton, Maine

I started and ended my vacation in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Gloucester was settled in 1623 and was one of the first English settlements in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It’s known as America’s oldest seaport and if you have ever eaten Gorton’s fishsticks, they come from Gloucester!

 The Gloucester Fishermen Memorial honors the thousands of lives taken by the sea.

When I’m in Gloucester, I visit my cousin, the owner and captain of the Aaron and Alexis. Captain Swicker is a cod and lobster fisherman and knows first hand how dangerous the sea can be.

boat

On my last day in Gloucester, he took me to the Bookstore of Gloucester to outfit me with some books he wanted me take home, share with the family and read.

Photo courtesy http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com

Photo courtesy http://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com

Reading Fatal Forecast, Lone Voyager, and the Perfect Storm immersed me into the lives of famous Gloucester fishermen. Fatal Forecast is the true story of Ernie Hazard, a fisherman aboard the Sea Fever, who during a hurricane was thrown overboard and survived fifty hours alone in a tiny life raft. Of the three books, this was my absolute favorite. It’s a terrifying tale with a happy ending, unlike The Perfect Storm. This book was made into a movie and filmed in Gloucester. Again, it’s the story of fishermen caught out in the fishing grounds in the Atlantic in 1991 in what was known as a ‘perfect storm’ – not perfect as in nice, but perfect as in the worst storm nature could put together with 100 foot waves and hurricane winds. Many of the fishermen and women made it home, but not the crew of the Andrea Gail. (I do not recommend the Perfect Storm for young readers due to language, and serious subject matter.)

books

I saved the Lone Voyager- a story about Howard Blackburn and his absolute love for sailing in the late 1880’s for last. In the winter of 1883, Howard and a crewmate were in an open dory (a small boat) and got separated from the main schooner during a blizzard. For five days he rowed himself toward land and when he eventually reached the shore, his hands were frozen to the oars, and his friend was frozen to death. While Howard lost all his fingers, and most of his toes from frostbite, the disability never stopped him from life on the sea. He went on to record the fastest solo sail voyage across the Atlantic. Of course, this time has since been beaten, but the fact that Blackburn sailed alone without fingers is still an amazing feat.

IMG_2130

I have learned one main lesson on my summer sea-vacation. First, while I love the ocean – the smells, the sand, shells – I respect how dangerous it is. My cousin lost 800 traps in the storm of ’91 and I still remember how afraid we all were for the fishermen at sea. I love to go out on the boats and be on the open sea, but only in nice, sunny, summer days. When the storms hit, I want to be inside a house, warm and dry. I am a landlubber librarian, who only can take trips on the ocean through stories. I will leave fishing to the experienced mariners, and pray that they come home safely from every trip they take.

dock

****************

Do you prefer land or sea?

Have you ever been on the ocean in bad weather?

Leave a comment and let us know! 

 

Print Friendly

Reading in Ancient Greece

Look where Ema is reading!

ema greece1

Did you figure it out? Yes, Ema is reading Anne of Green Gables in Ancient Greece! She has certainly traveled a long way to do some reading!

greece2

We have had photos from readers in  Washington, Massachusetts,  and Canada! These places are in North America.  We have also had reading photos from our friends in Sovenga,  South Africa.  Ema’s photo is our first from Europe. Now we have had photos from three different continents.  Here is a map of the world.

map of world

Do you think it’s warm in Greece right now? What kind of buildings and sites do you think Ema is seeing in Greece? Leave us a comment and let us know! Our goal this summer is to promote student reading and see if we can find readers from every continent in the world. Spread the word on how important and fun reading can be! Send us your photo to:

summer read email pic

 

Happy Reading! Mrs. Hembree

Print Friendly

The Sweetness of Books

Happy Summer Vacation!

The Bulldog Readers have been sending in their photos showing what fun it can be to read in the summer! Maybe their choices will lure you to the library this summer.

20140713-111604.jpg

20140713-111617.jpg

20140713-111636.jpg

20140713-111650.jpg

I hope you are having a great vacation! I am having a great time on the east coast visiting my family. On Friday we went to New York City and I saw the New York Public Library. Yesterday we went to the Bronx Zoo. Don’t forget, you can be included on the blog. Just have your adult family member email me the picture.
summer read email pic
Simple and easy!
Happy Reading!
Mrs. Hembree

Print Friendly