Hi, I'm Mrs. F-B!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Check out who I got to meet this weekend!

Former LA Lakers basketball superstar Kareem Abdul Jabbar has a new book and DVD series coming out about the Harlem Renaissance called On the Shoulders of Giants, and he was at the American Association of School Librarians conference this weekend. I was lucky enough to meet him. I also got to meet some pretty sweet Star Wars characters there. Pretty cool stuff!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkins and Pinkalicious, Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann

Did you know what my favorite color is? Think about it, now. Did you guess it? Why yes, it IS pink. So how did I not know about this adorable series that stars a young lady who loves pink more than I do? She loves it so much that she eats enough pink cupcakes to turn herself bright pink. "Just call me Pinkerbell," she declares. "Call me Pinkerella." There's quite a lot of pink in the drawings, as you can imagine, but they're delightful and whimsical, and the text has a lot of vocabulary and wordplay that will be good for readers who are a bit more advanced. There's also a little brother in the book, so as not to completely ignore the boys. This book would be a really fun read-aloud, and both boys and girls would enjoy the story and making predictions about the text. Pinkalicious is only the first of the books which also include SIlverlicious, Goldilicious (sparkles included on the cover, always a plus for me), Purplicious and more. I noticed that the main character's imagination developed more and more in the other books I looked at.

And to top off my discovery of Pinkalicious, LOOK what one of the Deep Creek Elementary students created at home! It's a pinkalicious pumpkin - can you believe it? Right down to the cupcake!

Lots of other pumpkin book characters here at Deep Creek today, too! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Book of Nonsense, David Michael Slater

Twins Daphna and Dexter are excited to turn thirteen, but their father seems even more distracted than usual, and they're feeling bad about it. They're also trying to figure out what is up with the very strange gibberish book he's brought home and why Daphna is being required to spend time with the very creepy man at the bookstore. Something strange is afoot, and they've got to figure out why, and fast. This is the first volume in the Sacred Books series by local author, David Michael Slater, a teacher in Beaverton.

Watch the videos and vote now for the Trailee Awards!

For weeks people have been nominating their favorite videos that promote children’s or teen books. And our panels of judges have reviewed the submissions and narrowed the field to 24 nominees.

Now it’s your turn to vote for the first annual School Library Journal’s Trailee Awards.

These “people’s choice” awards will recognize those videos (and the individuals that created them) that do the best job of promoting books and bringing readers and books together.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Authors, authors!

Had SO much fun this last weekend at the Oregon Association of School Libraries conference in Seaside. Got to hang out with lots of awesome authors. My version of hanging out with rockstars. Great people, all of them. Matt de la Peña, Marla Frazee and her editor Allyn Johnston, Nick Bruel, Barry Deutsch, Matt Holm, David Michael Slater, and Rosanne Parry were all there. Felt so lucky to have a chance to listen to them talk and hang out. Good times!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If I Stay, Gayle Forman

A beautifully written story that is achingly difficult to read. 17 year old Mia and her family have all been in a terrible car accident, and Mia gives a first person account of everything she remembers and sees happening to her as she decides whether to stay in this world or go. What does she have left here? Who? Will it be worth the pain to fight or not? Amazingly well told, but be sure you've got a kleenex box nearby!

A Nation's Hope, Matt de la Peña, Kadir Nelson

A little while back I blogged about Ball Don't Lie by Matt de la Peña. That book is a YA novel, edgy and quick paced, quite fabulous, but definitely for middle school and up.

Here, we have a completely different kind of book by the same author. This is a picture book, illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson. The story is about the 1938 boxing match between the heavyweight champion, an African American, Joe Louis and the German fighter Max Schmeling. Now perhaps that doesn't seem like much, but at the start of World war II, this was a VERY important match, and not just in the boxing world. Max Schmeling was the only man to have knocked Joe Louis down in a match before. Max Schmeling was a sort of poster child for Hitler's perfect race and a symbol of Hitler's regime. the whole country was rooting for Joe Louis, regardless of their skin color. Again, to many of you reading this blog, that probably doesn't seem like much, but in the 1930's, there was a lot of discrimination against people of color.

This is a fascinating story, well told and beautifully illustrated. Highly recommended.

Withering Tights, Louise Rennison

From the woman who brought us Georgia Nicholson, a girl who made me laugh out loud with every installment, we now have her cousin Tallulah Casey who is just as funny as Georgia. Tallulah is an actress , or at least she wants to be, ans she's off to performing arts school - away from home for the first time and not always sure how to handle it. If you're a girl looking for a good laugh, this would be a great choice. Because she's British, she uses some funky terms - be sure to go to he glossary as you read. It will make the reading that much better! Enjoy!

Second Fiddle, Rosanne Parry

Ooooh, I love a good mystery, and this one was a fantastic one! It was SO different from Rosanne Parry's Heart of a Shepherd, but I loved it just as much. It's set in Germany at the time the Berlin Wall came down, and although the main characters are girls, there's plenty for boys to love, too. For starters, a soldier gets thrown off a bridge and left to die! Then there's the sneaking off to Paris. And the four of them trying to escape a scary guy on a train. And on and on.

It is a great book that kept me up reading way past my bedtime for several nights in a row! I highly recommend this novel to all lovers of action, adventure and mystery. Additionally, there's a big musical component in this novel, as the girls are in a classical music trio, so if you like music you'd probably enjoy this story, too.

Hereville, Barry Deutsch

My librarian friend Leigh recommended this to me after we saw this author speak at a conference in April, but I am not the biggest graphic novel fan, so although I enjoyed the author presentation very much, I never read the book. Wow, am I sorry I waited! What a fantastic story! I loved Mirka, and I loved how the author wove cultural insights about the Jewish tradition so seamlessly into this wild plot about Mirka and her sword. I grew up Catholic, and I don't know very much about the Jewish culture, so I found it vey interesting. The author clearly knows a LOT about Jewish culture, and the use of Yiddish with subtitles definitely enhances the story. But even if you didn't really care about that part, there's still a lot you'd enjoy about this book. It has great character development and it has an exciting plot.

I highly recommend this graphic novel for middle school and up!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Read for the Record!

Students at Kelly Creek Elementary and West Gresham Elementary were part of a world record effort today! I got to read Llama Llama Red Pajama to kids at Kelly Creek, and Mrs. Verdoorn read to the students at West Gresham.

According to the website, "people in big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between participated in Jumpstart's Read for the Record on October 6, 2011. Check out some great highlights from the day when 2,184,155 children around the world joined in reading Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney! From grassroots events in small towns, to major events in Jumpstart's regions, to reading with Jumpstart's Read for the Record Ambassador Bridget Moynahan on NBC's TODAY Show, Jumpstart's sixth annual Read for the Record was a huge record breaking success!" Read more here.

A great time was had by all, and Mrs. Verdoorn said she now has the other Anna Dowdney books so her students can read those, too.

Way to go Kelly Creek and West Gresham!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Bad Kitty Gets a Bath, Nick Bruel

Oh, this book is a riot. I have a bad kitty of my own, he's even black, and I can only imagine trying to give him a bath. NOT going to happen. Not even going to TRY it!

Nick Bruel is coming to Oregon on October 14th to accept the Beverly Cleary Children's Choice award, and so I will get to meet him. I 'm excited because I will get to meet a whole bunch of authors that weekend! And clearly, like me, Mr. Bruel is a cat-person, so I know I like him already. His book has hilarious text and even more hilarious pictures to accompany it. There is a fair amount of text, so while non-readers and emerging readers will enjoy the pictures, beginning and even more advanced readers will find a good story and some informational text as well to entertain them. After all, I consider myself a fairly advanced reader and I was laughing out loud and even learned a fact or two. Did you know cats can swim?! There is also a handy glossary in the back of the book.

A very charming book which I highly recommend to cat lovers especially, but dog lovers will appreciate the comparisons of dogs and cats, too!