I have always wanted to sit on the Caldecott selection committee. What could be better than having hundreds of wondrous, imaginative and awe-inspiring picture books delivered to your door? And you have to read every single one. Sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? Realistically, I know this is a tough job and requires an extraordinary commitment. It’s not just sitting around drinking coffee and reading books all day. But still…it would be pretty cool. And when the day of the announcement comes around I anxiously await the news. Will my favorite be on the list? Will I be totally shocked by the winner? Members of the Caldecott committee have to narrow their choices down to 7 titles each. They spend hours debating about which book should receive the top honor. Every year I always come up with my own list of titles that I believe will be contenders. This year
During the month of December many of my lessons focus on winter holidays around the world. These include books about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Diwali as well as Christmas. Below are 30 of my favorite December read alouds. A Bad Kitty Christmas by Nick Bruel After destroying all of the gifts and decorations at home, Bad Kitty escapes from the car on Christmas Eve and finds a new friend, who helps her learn the true meaning of Christmas. A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas by Pat Mora Text in English with some Spanish words. Presents an adaptation of the folk song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” in which friends exchange gifts such as pinatas and a little girl receives a present from a secret friend whose identity is eventually revealed. A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World by
As we head into November I want to share with you some of my favorite November read aloud picture books for this month. I have included books about Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day and of course turkeys! There are a few nonfiction as well as fiction books. Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet Tells the story of puppeteer Tony Sarg, the man who first invented the helium balloons that have become the trademark of the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks–a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What is he to do? Coming Home by Ruth Greg Follows the emotions of a young boy as he waits
April is national poetry month and if you are not already sharing poetry with your students now is a great time to start. Some educators shy away from reading poetry to their students. Many students think poetry is boring and unexciting. When you tell the kids they are going to listen to some poetry they moan and groan. So what can you do to change this reaction? Read them these 10 poetry books for kids that they will LOVE. There are so many wonderful poetry books that it can be overwhelming. I like to start with poems that will make kids laugh. And there are plenty of silly and wacky poetry books. Many of them are by two authors that I’m sure you know very well: Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. You can’t go wrong by sharing poems from these two. So I am not including their books on my
My students love reading biographies. Usually, they ask for a biography on a sports star or music performer. They might ask for a biography of someone they learned about in class. And for some reason, they all want to read biographies on Michael Jackson! It can be tough keeping current biographies on the library shelves. Biographies can be expensive and they are outdated as soon as they are printed. Also when it comes to current biographies it’s very possible that students won’t want to read about the person two years from now. So it can be hard to justify the purchase, especially a biography series for elementary students. When choosing biographies I like to stay with the same series for several reasons. I have already determined that the series meets my needs. I know the format of the books in the series. For example, I know what kinds of text
STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math STEM is more than just the current education buzzword. It is teaching our students critical skills that they will use for the rest of their lives. Being the school librarian, I love using STEM picture books to facilitate these skills in the library. A few of the benefits of a STEM curriculum include: Inspires creativity Encourages critical thinking Prepares students for future careers in science and technology fields Provides hands-on learning opportunities  Develops a child’s natural curiosity  Teaches students how to work collaboratively to solve a problem Of course, one way that librarians can incorporate STEM into their lessons is through these picture books. At one time it was difficult to find picture books about engineering or scientists that were not dull and lifeless. Now there are more and more books being published that are engaging, interesting and will hold your students’ interest. Below is