Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Poetry

This week I have been reading poems from the book Giving Thanks: Poems, prayers, and praise songs of thanksgiving edited and with reflection by Katherine Paterson, Illustrated by Pamela Dalton.
Giving Thanks: Poems, prayers, and praise songs of Thanksgiving

I have found comfort in these poems. And I'm sharing them all over, because I think everyone is looking for encouragement, love and comfort right now.  I'm reminded of my Grandpa, who would sometimes prepare a Thanksgiving prayer for our Grace at dinner time. I thought it was sweet and I mean this only affectionately, but.....a tad insufferable. I see that there is a part of him, passed down to me. And I see how our loved ones remain with us in a very concrete way. I see how he lives on in me and what I leave behind will create a wave that will continue on forever.

Happy Thanksgiving, My Dear Ones. Thank you for putting up with me. I hope you enjoy the poems, and your holiday, and this wonderful, miraculous, terrible, ordinary life we are all living together.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I love The Water Castle. It's a really cool nod to Tuck Everlasting. I can't wait to tell kids about it. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Summer Reading

Yikes! There is two weeks of summer left and I can't tell where it went. I must even admit that my #bookaday pledge fell by the wayside. Despite it all, I did read 70 books to each of my children and they got their third prize book from our public library yesterday. 
We also got this from the public library yesterday:

I'm not new to Lucille Beatrice Bear, and neither are my children. She is a favorite character. I just love reading it so I can say, "You are right, mom. Children DO make terrible pets." "They really are the worst." 
Funny! Author/Ilustrator Peter Brown is on my list for sure. 
Two more weeks of summer! It's never too late to read AND write. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Thursday, May 15, 2014


As our school year comes to a close, I'm begging my students to read this summer. I've really been selling Summer Reading to my students in a way I think I've failed to do in the past. This is the poster from the National Summer Reading ad campaign, which happens to be illustrated by Dan Santat. I've thought Santat was cool since "Dog in Charge" came out, but lately he is BLOWING UP. I have two copies of Sidekicks in the library and they never stop circulating. And now we have The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend.

At first I didn't think it was much of a read aloud. But after the third and fourth read I forgot myself and starting noticing how the children were under a spell. And then I just fell in love. I love Beekle. We all love Beekle. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday update, slow reading

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead took me a few days. I'm a little frustrated by how slow my reading has gone, but boy am I READY for summer. 
Liar and Spy was cool, not as wonderful to me as "When You Reach Me" but a neat read. 
I'm interested to see what students think of L&S. Up next...Ordinary Magic. 

Birthday Books: two years old

For my son's second birthday I added to our "baby book" collection. "Kiss,Kiss Goodnight" is a Ken Nesbitt book. He read this to my Kindergartners before it was a published book, straight off his phone. It's adorable. 
This is a wonderful gift for a baby shower.

We also got him "The Goodnight Train", illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith. My son is really into Choo-choos. This was probably his favorite birthday gift. 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rebecca Stead

I finished "First Light" last night. It was dense and didn't really get going until page 150, but it was really imaginative and I plan on recommending it to all my readers who love Gregor the Overlander. 

This morning I began "Liar and Spy", which is a Mark Twain Award Nominee for next year. This book already feels a bit like "When You Reach Me", because of the setting and also the tone. 

If I win the lottery, I'd have Stead be my next visiting author. I love her. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Paradise in Plain Sight

From the first page, I began to read "Paradise" aloud. And nearly every sentence afterward. Maezen's book wants to be read aloud and if you have ever heard her voice, you will hope she records an audio version. 

"Awaken! Take heed. Do not squander your life." 

I adored Maezen's first two books, but "Paradise" was written by a teacher with her head on fire. This is not a memoir. This is serious stuff. This book is about time. 

"Awaken! Take heed. Do not squander your life." 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I have a bunch of new fiction in my library right now and I'm kind of paralyzed by the choices. I need to buckle down and get serious about one. I'm going with Rebecca Stead. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Grounded by Kate Klise

I read the first chapter and put it down. The idea of losing so many family members in a tragic accident bothered me so much, I felt I'd been punched in the face. Somehow, the book turned out to be exciting and fun. This is no Love, Aubrey (sob-fest). Grounded is light hearted and surprisingly optimistic. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Crooked Kind of Perfect

"Money talks, but it don't sing and dance and it don't walk. Long as I can have you here with me, I'd much rather be Forever In Blue Jeans." - Neil Diamond 
Oh man. Read this lovely book. I closed it hours ago and I'm still grinning my face off. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

History of Books - a lesson with dictionaries

Jeri Chase Ferris's biography of Noah Webster blew our minds today. This story takes us back to the beginning of America, and really, the beginning of books as we know them. And that's a "dictionary lesson" I can get behind. 

First Graders looking at some "historical texts". 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Kate Klise Day!

Not to be gushy or anything...but today was The Greatest Day Ever. Kate taught great writing lessons, told funny stories, and just showered all of us with love. I add this wonderful day with Kate to my list of Days I Wish I Could Live Again. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Illustrator, Laura Huliska-Beith Day!!

Today Laura Huliska-Beith came to visit! She illustrated The Recess Queen, which is well known, and a bunch of other really pretty, fun books. 
This one is my favorite:

This is the copy I got for my daughter. Laura did such a nice job signing these. My students were so delighted by their signed books. 
Laura was great. She came with so much cool stuff to show us. She brought sketchbooks and a book dummy and she had a great slide show. 
Cheers to a good day in the library!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Grounded, written by Kate Klise, arrived in the mail today, which is just in time because her visit to our school is next week. What a great looking book. 

New Books in the library! Look at all those shiny Newberies!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Linda Urban

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about Linda Urban. I'm going to start these pretty little books tonight!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Reading in the Wild

When I read the work of Donalyn Miller, aka The Book Whisperer, she always shows me how painfully misunderstood I was as a student. I was low and lacked study skills, but I was always reading. 
I'm critical of the idea that reading is so important. I'm a reader and a librarian, of couse I think reading is great. But so is painting. And running. And vacuuming. How can I claim my thing is the best thing?
But Miller makes a real case for being a reader. In the first chapter she explains that readers succeed. And it's true of me. I graduated 12th grade a failure. None of my k-12 teachers had any hope for me, but I was a success in college simply because I was a reader. I had been building my reading stamina for years and I could think critically. I got that from simply reading novels I enjoyed.
Cheers to Donalyn Miller. She's a genius.