Flying the Dragon

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2013 and a new year of reading!

 

I am thrilled to start off our year with a student book review by Kaito. He recently read Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dia Lorenzi and submitted this book report as soon as he returned from winter break.

Main Characters: Grandfather, Hiroshi and Skye.

Story Setting: The story takes place in Japan and America.

Story summary: Grandfather lives in America. Hiroshi lives in Japan. Grandfather and Hiroshi fly dragon kites. His grandfather is now sick, so the entire family has to move to America. Hiroshi has to hang-out with his cousin Skye.

Main Events: The main event is the kite battle in Washington, DC. Hiroshi and Skye battle the other competitors with their dragon kite.

1 opinion and 1 fact about the story: Dragon kites are real and legendary. I think dragon kites are fun to fly.

Thank you Kaito for sharing your ideas about this book. I read it too and thought it was pretty terrific. I learned a lot about the Japanese language, culture and kite flying from reading it.

This book is a chapter book and would be good for kids in grades 3rd and up. It is in the realistic fiction section of our library. The call number is F LOR  REALISTIC

You can also read about how the  illustrator Kelly Murphy created the cover for The Flying Dragon. Click on this link to take you to that interview.

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

Have you ever flown a kite before?

What do you like to do for fun with your grandparents?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

 

Print Friendly

Toppling by Sally Murphy

Do you love to play dominoes? Do you enjoy the clink, clink, clink as dominoes topple in black and white lines? If so, pick up a copy of Toppling by Sally Murphy. Josa donated a copy for our library and wrote the following book review!

John is the main character of this book. He is a boy with an unusual hobby–he likes to set up dominoes and tip th first one and watch them topple in complicated patterns. John’s goal is to win the world record of toppling. then something happens to make John’s world start to topple. His best friend Dominic gets very, very sick. This is a one-of-a-kind story about change, coping and friendship. This is a book for ages 8+ or anyone who wants a good read. It is illustrated very nicely.

I also just finished a book trailer for Toppling! You might recognize some of the actors for the trailer!

<  

 

You can find Toppling by Sally Murphy in the realistic section of our library!

Here is the call number: F MUR Realistic

***********

Have you every played the game dominoes?

What have you built using dominoes?

Print Friendly

Curl up with a Book!

 

Photo by Chad Miller on Flickr Creative Commons License

 

Sometimes events happen that we don’t understand and it makes us feel sad and confused. That’s how I am feeling right now and maybe it’s how you are feeling. When I feel this way, I turn to my family and books to help me feel better.

 

Bruce McKay Yellow Snow Photography Creative Commons License on Flickr

 

This weekend I asked my friends to tell me the titles of their favorite books to read to first graders. Here are their ideas. I hope you will find one of these books and then curl up with a loved one to read it together.

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

Patty Lovell

Let’s Go for a Drive

Mo Willems

Pete the Cat, Rocking in my School Shoes

Eric Litwin

Julie B. Jones, First Grader (any title)

Barbara Park

Dragon’s Fat Cat (and any others in the Dragon Tale series)

Dav Pilkey

The Kissing Hand

Audrey Penn

The Little Engine that Could

Watty Piper

I Love it When You Smile

Sam McBratney

Make Way for Ducklings

Robert McCloskey

Curious George

H. A. Rey

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Mo Willems

Bad Kitty

Nick Bruel

Dick and Jane

The Clock Struck One

Trudy Harris

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble

William Steig

This list could go on forever and ever because there are hundreds and hundreds of wonderful books. If you like to draw, I know you will like Happy by Mies van Hout. It might give you some ideas of how to draw your own feeling pictures.

To end this post, Reese and Kasa also want you to know about one they would like you to read. Maybe you can sit down with special person in your life, a favorite pet and enjoy it. It’s called Snow Dog’s Journey by Loretta Krupinski.

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

What book would you add to our list?

Leave us a comment and let us know!

Print Friendly

Pete’s Adventure in Australia

Last month Pete the Cat left on a trip to Australia!

He arrived safely and has been having heaps of fun! The word “heaps” is used in Australia when we say “lots”, such as lots of fun. Check him out in the Bird of Paradise plant in BB’s backyard!

BB has been writing about his adventures and I hope you will visit her blog to find out all the details.

Please leave her a comment and let her know you visited. Here is the direct link to her blog.

 **************

What do you think Pete should do while he is “down under”

What season is it in Australia now?

Do you think Bird of Paradise plants would grow in Seattle?

 

Print Friendly

Celebrating Picture Books

Why designate a month to picture books?

Don’t we all love picture books already? The answer is simple. With the birth of eBooks, iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other online reading devices, many feel traditional printed picture books may be on the way out.

This is the 2nd annual celebration of Picture Book Month. Founder Dianne de Las Casa decided it was time to celebrate picture books in their printed format so she created an initiative to designate November as “Picture Book Month”.

Every day in November, there has been a new post from a picture book author explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important. You can visit the website from the link here.

We always celebrate picture books in our library. However, we have also added some art to the mix in our  lessons. Here are the highlights of our week.

What says Thanksgiving Day more than turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie?

 The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

For more than eighty-years, children young and old, have been delighted by the bobbing and swaying gigantic balloons that float down the streets of New York City in the parade.

Melissa Sweet tells the true story of Tony Sarg, the puppeteer who was the inventor of the Macy’s parade balloons. After we read this book, some of the classes also made Balloons Over Broadway mini-boxes and finger puppets. You can get this activity and more at the Houghton-Mifflin website here.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and say thank you. While this book is not a traditional Thankgiving Day book talking about the Mayflower and pilgrims, it is a book about the importance of thanking friends for all the things they do for each of us.

 In first grade, we used the Splat the Cat Activity Kit and added a fall leaf. Students wrote what they are thankful for during this holiday season.

If you want to read a funny chapter book to entertain you during the Thanksgiving holiday week, pick up a copy of  Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff). Find out how cranberry sauce in a can, exploding biscuits and rainbow sprinkles relate to Thankgiving and first graders. I guarantee this book will have you laughing in minutes!

The last book I want to include this week is Hello, Hello by Matthew Cordell. I think every family needs to add this book to their collection. In fact, Matthew has a blogpost listing 26 reasons why every family needs to read this book. You can read that post here.

It’s a story of what we really need to remember as we move forward into a very connected, very digital age.

Using simple text, charming watercolor illustrations, and animals in unusual places (flying fish and whales in the sky?), Cordell tells the story of Lydia, who helps her family remember that there is a time and place for electronics.

 

For a few minutes in the upcoming days, I hope you will set your gadget aside, and go outside to jump in those leaves and have some silly, crazy, outside fun!

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

What is your favorite balloon in the Macy’s Day parade?

What friend would you by thankful for this month?

What gadget could you give up for a day?

Print Friendly

Toppling by Sally Murphy

Do you love to play dominoes? Do you enjoy the clink, clink, clink as dominoes topple in black and white lines? If so, pick up a copy of Toppling by Sally Murphy. Josa donated a copy for our library and wrote the following book review!

John is the main character of this book. He is a boy with an unusual hobby–he likes to set up dominoes and tip th first one and watch them topple in complicated patterns. John’s goal is to win the world record of toppling. then something happens to make John’s world start to topple. His best friend Dominic gets very, very sick. This is a one-of-a-kind story about change, coping and friendship. This is a book for ages 8+ or anyone who wants a good read. It is illustrated very nicely.

 

You can find Toppling by Sally Murphy in the realistic section of our library!

Here is the call number: F  MUR  Realistic

***********

Have you every played the game dominoes?

What have you built using dominoes?

 

 

 

Print Friendly

Skyping with Stephen McCranie

Skyping! Skyping! I’m SO glad someone invented Skyping!

 

 

    Today Ms. Holder’s library class skyped with author Stephen McCranie. Stephen is the author of the Mal and   Chad graphic novel series.

   Instead of having the author come to our school, we visited with him virtually.

  A  few weeks ago Mrs. Hembree found out on Twitter that Stephen was offering to skype with teachers and librarians. She signed up and our school is one of over 70 schools Stephen will “virtually” visit this fall.

 

 

During the call we watched him draw on his computer. First he taught us that comics are stories + pictures.

Then to develop our own story, he had us answer two questions:

  1. What does my character want?
  2. What is preventing my character from getting what he or she wants?

We decided that our character, Tara, wanted to own a bakery, but her family wasn’t very supportive of that idea. She ran away, met a baker and learned how to become the baker she always wanted to be.

After that we had a quick demonstration on how to draw a picture. We learned it’s easy if you use shapes like circles, squares or triangles. As Stephen drew on his computer, we tried to guess what famous characters he was drawing!

In the last portion of our visit, Stephen asked us to start a story. Then before our eyes, he drew a scene from our story.

While he was drawing, he also answered our questions.

We found out that he has loved comics since he was about 5 years old. He drew his first comic strip for a school newspaper in college. He likes comics because they are a great way to express yourself. They are an artform with a lot of potential.

He reads lots and lots of books and really enjoys the Bone series by Jeff Smith. Stephen said he believes that creativity is like a muscle in your head. When you practice you get better over time. If you want to get better at drawing , you need to draw and practice every single day. The tools for drawing don’t really matter. Pencils, crayons, pens – use whatever you want and draw, draw, draw.

His favorite book is the new one coming out on December 6th!

We will be sure to buy a few copies for the library! After about 30 minutes, our time was up! It was a great first Author Skype experience! Thank you Stephen for visiting the Bulldog Readers! If you are looking for Stephen’s books, here they are.  We have both available for check out in the library. You can also link to his Mal and Chad website here.

 

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

What do you think our story was about?

Have you ever skyped with anyone? Do you like it?

What is your favorite graphic novel or comic series?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly

Pete’s Off to Australia!

Pete the Cat  is a good friend of Mrs. Hembree. This weekend he came home with her so he wouldn’t be lonely sitting in the library all weekend.

On Saturday morning, Mrs. Hembree got up and walked into the dining room.

What did she see?

Pete the Cat was stuffing himself into a really big envelope!

“What are you doing Pete?” she asked. Pete started singing!

“Where are you traveling to Pete? I see there are some letters on the envelope. Does that say Australia?” Mrs. Hembree asked Pete.

“YES! Australia!” Pete exclaimed! “I’m going to Australia and I’m singing this song!”

“Pete, won’t you be scared? Australia is a long way from Seattle! It’s not even in North America!” said Mrs. Hembree.

“NO!” he shouted! “I won’t be scared! I’m going to see my friend and I’ll be singing my song!”

“Tell me Pete, how did you decide to go to Australia?  Do you know someone there?” asked Mrs. Hembree.

Pete said, “Do you know BB our Blogging Buddy? She asked me if I could come visit! So I decided since it started raining here, that I would visit her in Australia.

Did you know Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere? When it’s fall here, it’s sunny and warm there because it’s springtime! I’m going to have fun and I’m going to be singing my song!”

“Ok Pete. It sounds like you know what you want to do and who you want to see! Let’s go to the post office and get you on the road!” Mrs. Hembree said.

“Thanks Mrs. Hembree! Don’t forget! I’m going to see BB and I’ll be singing my song!” Pete waved goodbye and was gone in a flash. She could hear in the background faint sounds of his song…..

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

Oh no! Australia is a long way from here!

Do you think he will get lost?

Will he have fun?

Will he get back in time to go to Prague?

Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly

It’s a Monster! Agh!!!

It’s mid-October.  The leaves are turning. The days are getting shorter and the nights colder. Are you looking for a new book? Check out what Angela drew for the library yesterday!

Maybe you are thinking that it’s getting close to Halloween and you want a spooky book to thrill your reading time!

Spooky stories are always popular with some students (not me – I get nightmares). This past weekend when I was in Yakima at Washington librarian conference I had the opportunity to listen to the author Royce Buckingham talk about his love of scary books and movies!

Royce shared how the movie Jaws was particularly scary when he was a kid! I remember seeing it too and I didn’t swim in the ocean for a month afterward! However, he loves scary monsters and books like that, which is why he now is both an attorney and a writer of spooky stories.

Do you remember seeing the photos from when Hitu visited the Jaws set last summer and did a little reading in Jaws! This is the movie Royce is talking about! Yikes! That is a scary photo!

If you love this kind of book come in soon and check out the new books by Royce Buckingham.

You don’t have to like monsters to like all the new books in the library! Look at this selection available!  From graphics to humor to fantasy or mystery we have something new for you!

  

Visiting Yakima was a lot of fun! I had a chance to talk with lots of other librarians and share ideas with them. If you are a teacher librarian looking for a link to my slides, here you go!

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

Do you like to read spooky stories?

Have you seen Jaws at Universal Studios?

 

What new book will you want to read?

Print Friendly

Rockin’ with Pete the Cat

Are you rocking in your school shoes?

Are you singing in your school shoes?

Are you dancing in your school shoes?

In kindergarten and first grade WE ARE and it’s lots of fun!

Eric Litwin is the author of the Pete the Cat books. He and artist James Dean have created Pete, a blue, happy, “you can’t get me down” cat. He knows how to learn! He knows how to have fun! And…he knows how to sing! We watched a live reading of Pete the Cat and got our groove on!

<

We also did some fun Pete the Cat activities while learning about colors, guided drawing and counting.

We watched and listened to Miss Shy do her re-telling of Pete in this fun video!

<

Pete has a new book that just came out on September 25th! I can’t wait to read it! To learn more about Pete’s books visit his website.

  

This summer, my husband and I took Pete the Cat on our trip to Oregon and California. He helped me read maps along the way because in many places there was no internet or cell phone service! We got to read maps the old-fashioned way!

Here is a little video of our trip with Pete. Enjoy!

********

What stuffed animal would you take on a trip with you?

Have you ever used a state or country map to guide you?

What should Pete do next?

Print Friendly