Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Fox in Socks!

Happy birthday to Dr. Seuss on what would have been his 114th birthday!  We celebrate his imagination with spirit week.  Here are some tootsies wiggling in wonderful Ms. Wynne's third grade in honor of Fox in Socks day!  The library will be hosting read-alouds of The Sneetches and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, but don't be surprised if you see signs of Seuss all over the school: Lorax, Red Fish and Blue Fish, and, ummm...maybe a few dozen cats in hats!  Keep reading, and oh, the places you'll go!  Check out inspiration for your own Seussical bash by clicking here, and read all about the author and play some zany games featuring Seuss favorites here!  Please also visit the author illustrator birthday board in the school library for celebrations all through the year.  With whom do you share a birthday?

In Katroo, every year, on the day you were born
They start the day right in the bright early morn
When the Birthday Honk-Honker hikes high up Mt. Zorn
and lets loose a big blast on the big Birthday Horn.
And the voice of the horn calls out loud as it plays:
"Wake up! For today is your Day of all Days!" 
— Happy Birthday to You!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner! 2018 Newbery and Caldecott Awards Announced

Hooray, the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott Awards have been announced!  These awards, selected by the American Library Association are like the Oscars of children's literature, prizes that celebrate the most distinguished contributions to writing (Newbery) and illustration (Caldecott) for children in the past year.

We are especially thrilled with the announcement that Matthew Cordell has won the Caldecott gold for Wolf in the SnowCordell is a special friend of Stone Academy, having visited us in 2013!  We knew you when, superstar!!!  This year's Newbery winner is Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. It's pleasing to see more diversity represented in these winners than some years past. Read about all the winners and honor books here!  Any families interested in donating this year's winners to our school library, these titles are on our Library Wishlist!

Thanks to Imagination Soup for our graphics!  

Also, more great news, Stone Bookworms! The 90-Second Newbery, a national film festival featuring movies created by children to honor award-winning books, is coming to Chicago!  The screening will be on Sunday, March 11, 2018 from 1:45-3:15 pm at the Harold Washington Library Center in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium (400 S State Street). The library recommends reserving your free seats in advance to ensure admittance.  If you do attend, bring your ticket stub with your name and room on it to library class for ten bonus points toward your library grade!  Likewise, kids, if you and your friends make your own 90-Second Newbery, we will screen it in your library class and you will also get ten bonus points!  When it comes to award-winning books, all readers win!!!

You Never Know Who You'll Meet in the Library!

Break a proverbial leg to the cast of Shrek, this Thursday and Friday!
So much Stone talent!!!
Meanwhile, did you know Shrek was based on a picture book by Caldecott award winner William Steig?  Come to the library and check out more titles by this wonderful author so story time never ends!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Books for Breakfast?

It is a pleasure to work with RTI students in the school library!  Recently we enjoyed some nonfiction about one of Ms. Esme's favorite subjects, food!  Reading and eating are always a delicious combination, so to underscore some main ideas we made pancakes topped with real Vermont maple syrup and learned about the process of tapping trees.  The verdict:  Grade A Amber beats Log Cabin any day and it is worth the trouble of collecting 40 gallons of sap to boil down to make one gallon of real maple syrup!  Learning about where our food comes from and appreciating our connection to nature, even here in the city, is another advantage we can glean from reading. Hungry for more? Come check out our great selection of cookbooks (learn how to make a forest feast, an international meal or a perfect birthday cake!), books about the history of food (did you know carrots played a role in the Trojan War?), and books about the food chemistry and anatomy (cooking is a science, after all).

Ms. Esme visited Marshfield, Vermont and shared photos of the real sap lines
in the sugarbush!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

It Takes a Village to Raise a Library! We Need Your Help

Happy New Year, Stone family! Greetings and good wishes from me, your lucky school librarian, Ms. Esmé! After (as Lemony Snicket would put it) a series of unfortunate events, I have returned from my leave hale and hearty and ready to continue the party in the school library! HOORAY!  I missed you very much. I am currently servicing students as an RTI provider until the start of the new marking period, and library classes are expected to resume in February.  A special thanks to Ms. Falkner and my team of Junior Librarians for facilitating circulation and maintaining the space in my absence with grace and aplomb.  Thanks to everyone in the Stone Family for their warmth upon my return.

As we reboot midyear, I offer a reminder that our library programming benefits so much from the help of our community!  To that end, please consider donations of any of the following:

baby wipes (the kind truly for babies, not bleach wipes; we use them for wiping primary student hands after messy crafts)
markers and crayons (please! We always need fresh ones!)
glue sticks (we never have enough)
glue bottles (Elmer's Glue-All preferred over school glue, works better for book repairs)
Kleenex (aaachoo! All snifflers comes through the library!  We use a ton!)
plain white paper plates, paper cups, paper lunch bags (for primary crafts)
Ziplock bags (all sizes, but gallon size and 2-gallon size helps some children with book care)
3x5 index cards (useful for flash cards and learning the Dewey Decimal system)
composition notebooks (useful for upper grade media literacy studies)

Gift certificates:
Michael's Crafts (we go through mountains of googlie eyes, yarn, craft paper and pipe cleaners)
Amazon.com (this allows us to get new series books as soon as they come out!)
Barnes & Noble (we strongly encourage support of our local independent booksellers, but we welcome these gift certificates because B&N has some excellent hardbound classics editions we can't get elsewhere)

New books:
Our wish list of books is available by clicking here.  We will add your gift to our collection with a "donated by" bookplate., making it a great way to commemorate family occasions like birthdays, graduations, good report cards and honoring grandparents.  We also welcome "family favorite" books.

Many people ask if we accept contributions of used children's books, and we do, however, after culling for our collection needs, used books are usually distributed throughout our community in the "shared book" box outside the school library and our lovely "little free library" outside the front entrance of our school.

After spring break, we will welcome guest parent storytellers for primary grades, speakers on all topics of interest across the grade levels and helpers for cutting primary crafts and tidying shelves.  Please contact Ms. Esme in March if interested.

The best thing of all that you contribute to our library is YOU, reading aloud both fiction and nonfiction to your child every day, visiting the public library to supplement your child's visits here, sharing books and modeling reading in your home across the grade levels, supporting children's choices and tastes in literature and using books as a springboard for conversations that elevate values of tolerance and imagination. These actions do so, so, so very much to support your child's daily adventures here at school and a lifelong love of reading and are a big part of why Stone Bookworms always turn into butterflies.

Again, happy New Year, friends!  All good things ahead.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hot Reads for a Cool Summer!

Happy summer and happy summer reading from the Stone Library!
Find a summer reading jumpstart here!
Can't wait to hear about your adventures in and out of books when we return in the fall!

Photo credits:  tinkercad.com and Akula Creative

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Chicago Public Library Summer Reading Challenge!

We are looking forward to our visit from Ms. Mary Frueh, children's librarian from the Northtown Branch, in early June to tell us all about this year's Chicago Public Library Summer Learning Challenge!  Since this year's theme is superheroes,  I wonder if she will drive or fly in with a cape?  Anything is possible at the library.  Get a head start by clicking here, and be sure to visit your own local branch and sign up to help follow Ms. Esme's hints to stop the summer reading slide.  Don't forget, enrollment is free, free, free, free, FREE, and fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Shadow Puppetry Magic

We have been having such an exciting time preparing for this year's shadow puppet shows, a collaboration between the library and Ms. Loveless' 6th grade class.  This year's theme is Chinese folklore.  They promise to be some tremendously elaborate and enchanting performances scheduled to delight classmates and the community toward the end of school.  Amazing what can happen with a little paper, light and imagination!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Curious George College

Kindergarten is busy working on their dissertations for Curious George College, a culmination of our author study of the great H.A. Rey and his mischievous monkey and our exploration of stories that celebrate monkey business!  We also used it as an occasion to discuss the difference between fiction and non-fiction.  And did you know Curious George is not really a monkey?  He's an ape, he has no tail.  We decided he is probably a chimpanzee.

Our own original Curious George adventures would not be possible without the help of our middle school friends who stopped by to patiently take dictation.  Thank you, big kids!

Monday, May 1, 2017

7th Annual Parade of Books!

Hooray, it's time for our 7th Annual Parade of Books! Can you believe it?  Times flies when we're having fun! This year's parade, in which children dress up as their favorite book characters and carry the book to match, or create wearable book covers, will be held on Friday, May 19th and grades K through 3 will be participating. (Hints for homemade costumes here.) In past, we have had the parade in the fall, but we are switching it up a little and have fingers crossed for spring sunshine!

You are welcome to watch the parade outside on the Stone playground at 2:00 (in case of rain, the parade will be held inside the school). Bring little brothers and sisters to cheer, and don't forget the camera! This is a great opportunity for us to celebrate Stone as a community of readers, and to create home-school connections.  We still are asking if at all possible costumes should be book related, and that each student carry a book related to the costume they are wearing. Chefs can carry cookbooks, Cleopatra can carry a book about ancient Egypt, baseball players can carry sport biographies, for just a few examples...and for more inspiration, check out some costumes from parades past here, or some ambitious online costume leads here!

So! Checklist for K-3 parents on May 19th:
* Please send your child to school with the book-related costume (or poster) in a bag, to be changed into (or carried) in the afternoon. Please keep it simple. Mark all belongings with name and room number.
* Please send your child to school with the corresponding book to carry in the parade.
* Cheer and take pictures on the school playground at 2:00, if you are available. If you are not available, we love you just the same, and we'll take pictures.

Again, a gentle reminder:  This should not be a recycling of scary or licensed character-inspired Halloween costumes. Children should not wear masks (which also present a safety challenge when small children march), any horror themes involving blood (zombies or vampires), or television characters/video game characters that were cartoons before they were books.  The rule is that the character should have been in a book before a television show or movie!  As far as books to carry, there are some resources available in our school library and your child's classroom library, but this is also a perfect opportunity to visit the Chicago Public Library.

Additionally, We ask that this year parents please do not follow children back into the school after the parade, as this presents security issues. Thank you for your support and cooperation!  Can't wait to see what our creative community comes up with this year...every year has been so full of amazing surprises!

Illustration from Lily's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes.
Ms. Demonte sporting stripes a la A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon.

Follow up:
The Parade of Books never disappoints!  Thanks to all the families who offered so much support, whether helping to create costumes, volunteering in classrooms or cheering!  Thanks also to teachers and, of course, our Stone Booklovers, for bringing such energy to our community of readers!  Here is just a teeny, tiny sampling of our hundreds of marchers...please keep sharing the photos!