Thursday, February 7, 2019

A Little Library Catching-Up: Reminders and Celebrations

Thanks to our middle school Junior Puppeteers for a stupendous performance on Family Reading Night!  Great teamwork!  

A young inventor wow-ing classmates with her hobby report show-and-tell!

1st grade story time woodland exploration continues...squirrels, bears, owls, foxes and wolves...we meet so many animal friends through fiction and non-fiction!  

Cold-weather storypalooza continues in kindergarten with stories about mittens, mysterious Jack Frost and an illustration exploration of Ezra Jack Keats' award-winning classic The Snowy Day!  

A reminder, we have a few library assignments and projects coming up...print-outs of directions/rubrics have been sent home with students, copies available all day in the library.  
2nd grade author study of Roald Dahl coming in March!
3rd grade hobby reports are happening through February! 
4th grade Hans Christian Anderson projects due the last week of February!  No late work!
6th grade Dewey Decimal tournament this month!  Please study from the folder made in library!
7th graders are writing their own coming-of-age stories a la Half-a-Moon Inn for our advanced genre study!  Class time is being given for support, but they may need to finish and hone at home.  
Primary will be celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday and emergent literacy the last week of February and the first week of March!  Stay tuned for fun activities and celebrations!  

Always excitement at our wonderful LIBRARY!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Woot! Local Children's Author Night at The Book Cellar!

Local Author Night at the Book Cellar this month is children's book-themed!  Jane Hertenstein, Marlene Brill and Steve Frederick will be appearing at the Book Cellar, our local independent bookstore, on February 20th at 7 p.m., 4736 North Lincoln Avvenue in Lincoln Square, a quick hop, skip and jump from our school on the southbound 49B bus!  The Book Cellar is always so incredibly supportive of our school, this is a great opportunity to support our local small business while giving our Stone Bookworms a wonderful opportunity to visit a great bookstore, meet real, live authors and build home collections that boost academic prowess!  Grade 4-6 especially, check it out and have a great time! 

What Book Did Your Teacher Love?

My Valentine's Day card to all of my beloved Stone Bookworms is the bulletin board outside of the library.  Please check it out and play the guessing game!  Can you match the childhood photos of Stone teachers and staff and their favorite childhood books to the correct person?  It's fun to remember that teachers were children...and readers...too!  Answers will be posted Valentine's week!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Children's Book Awards!

January is an exciting time for librarians and other lovers of children's books, because it is time for the announcements of the annual American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards, including the Newbery for most distinguished writing and the Caldecott for illustration, as well as many other awards that celebrate books and artists from different races and backgrounds!  If you are looking for a great read, be sure to check out the winners here (thanks, Pragmatic Mom)!

Also, check out your very own librarian's favorite picture books of the year by clicking here!  

We are looking forward to seeing most of these fine titles on our school library shelves before long...more reason to celebrate!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Save the date! February 7, Family Reading Night!

We are planning a blizzard of book-loving for our Stone Family Reading Night on February 7th starting at 6 p.m.  This year's theme is "Snow Better Time To Read," featuring a reader's theater starring our own primary team teachers, shadow puppet shows, crafts and exciting cold-weather non-fiction demonstrations that would warm any snowperson's heart!  The event is geared toward K-3 but everybody is welcome. Can't wait to see you there! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Ms. Esme's Picks for Best Picture Books of 2018!

Take a peek at my personal favorite picture book picks from the past publishing year here!  These will be included in our circulating collection in the coming months.  Hooray!

Image courtesy of Malverne Public Library.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Puppet Festival!

How lucky are we to live in a city with such amazing cultural affairs?  This month, we can delight in the CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL PUPPET THEATER FESTIVAL!  This is especially exciting for our middle school Stone Bookworms, who besides being such good readers are such ambitious puppeteers! 

Puppetry is a form of storytelling that goes back to ancient times, and here we have so many beautiful and provocative performances from all around the globe!  Your eyes will pop at the line-up, it's hard to choose just one...but be mindful, some shows are family-friendly while others are more sophisticated.  Students, show Ms. Esme a ticket stub from a festival event and get 5 points extra credit in library! 

Monday, December 17, 2018

December Grab Bag!

Season's Readings!  Whatever our backgrounds or beliefs, December is a wonderful time to share in each other's celebrations and the changing of the season.  We enjoy the gifts of story and each other all month long!  Be sure to stop by the library before break to carry home a bevy of books for the vacation hibernation.  See you in the New Year!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

NYT Bestselling Author Brandon Mull at Stone on November 8!

#1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Mull, who has penned fantasy series favorites such as DragonWatch, Spirit Animals and Fablehaven, will be visiting grades 3 through 6 in a special library-hosted assembly on Thursday, November 8th! This is one of Dusty the library dragon's favorite authors, so we are all thrilled! Though no books will be pre-sold through the school, Stone Bookworms are extended a special invitation to Mull's signing that same evening at the Barnes & Noble Old Orchard, 55 Old Orchard Center in Skokie at 7:00 p.m.  Bookstore visits and author signings are oo-la-la fun for future literati, you are encouraged to participate and support reading as a lifestyle!  Of course, students who attend will receive extra credit!

In preparation for this special and exciting visit, students have been visiting for a cyber--scavenger hunt of fun facts about the author and his books.  Did you know the author lives in Utah with four children of his own?  Or that before he became an author, he was a professional chicken-stacker?  Or that his favorite foods are freshed-baked bread and...mmmmm!...cookies! This last bit of information was especially salient as children learned the author's birthday falls on the day of his visit, and in his honor, students decided that a book-loving cookie party (or cookie-loving book party, as the case may be) will be held with all attending grade levels as guests was in order.  Store-bought and wrapped  packages of cookies will be welcome offerings on Thursday for the occasion.  Please do not send peanut-butter cookies; students with allergies will enjoy a safe treat!

Reading and eating beyond our wildest fantasies, dragons notwithstanding!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Haunted House Museum is a Ghostly GO!

Yes, yes, yes, we WILL be having a Haunted House Museum in the library again this year!  But we need your participation to make it happen!  Open to ALL GRADE LEVELS, just for fun!

How-to:  Take a cardboard box and cut holes in it for windows. Paint or otherwise completely cover the box with a seasonal color like orange, black, green or purple. Decorate your house or scene with ghosts, trick-or-treaters, rotting trees…use your imagination! 
  • No blood or gore or headless dolls, sorry! We are celebrating imagination and folklore, not horror.
  • If you don’t celebrate Halloween, that’s fine! We welcome fall houses and autumn scenes as well.
  • Please do not attach any real food or leaves to your creation. Cockroaches and mold are even scarier than ghosts.
  • Please do not include or attach anything valuable to your creation. 
  • Yes, you can work with a friend or friends (in any class or school) or family! 
  • You can light it inside with a flashlight or battery-operated lights! 
  • You don’t have to make it a house. It can be a haunted apartment building, or a haunted theater, or a haunted sports event, or a haunted store, or a haunted library, or a haunted castle, or haunted treehouse…whatever idea you have! 
  • If you'd made one before, why not try to add something new and challenging this year?  An elevator?  Staircase?  Tower?  What can you imagine?
  • Please ask for a grown-up’s help for cutting out windows or when using new or messy craft materials. 
  • This is not an assignment for a grade. This is for FUN! Middle schoolers get extra credit as needed and earned.
  •  Haunted houses and fall houses are to be made at home. They can be dropped off in the library any morning through October 28. Haunted houses go home on Halloween.  Pick them up for a treat!
  • Please remember to put your name and room number clearly on your creation.

Houses will be accepted in the library before or right after morning announcements starting on Monday, October 22, though Monday, October 29 and students should pick up houses at the end of the day on Halloween. Sorry, the library cannot be responsible for houses left in November.    We have many new students at Stone this year; if children are working in a group, please think to invite and include a new classmate if possible.  Can't wait to see the children's monsterpieces masterpieces!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Matt De La Pena and Christian Robinson coming to Stone!

An embarrassment of riches!  We have another phenomenal author visit on the horizon:  Newbery Winner Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson, famous for the masterpiece Last Stop on Market Street, are coming to Stone on the morning of Monday, October 15th to speak to 2nd and 3rd grade classes about their new book, Carmela Full of Wishes!  We are having a wonderful time in preparation studying the author's work and themes, exploring, discovering and emulating the illustrator's style, and reflecting about and practicing the idea of "creative collaboration"!  On the day of their visit, we will have another special surprise!  Thanks to a partnership with The Book Stall, a valued independent bookseller in our community, we are a very lucky school...if we had a dandelion to blow on like Carmela, we could not wish for more!  Thanks also to dear Ms. Lugo, our primary Spanish teacher, for help in background knowledge for the book and sharing the beautiful and festive papel picado!  

Next stop, a love of picture books!!!

Here are some of us working on collaborative cityscapes using elements from Christian Robinson's illustration style!  
"Sometimes, when you're surrounded by dirt, you're a better witness for what's beautiful."  
- Nana, Last Stop on Market Street

Well, that visit was PHENOMENAL!  The author and illustrator were so impressed with our preparatory studies, our reflections about wishes and our investigation into the illustrator's style by creating our own 3-D landscapes with a focus on simple shapes Matt de la Peña shared stories from his real family, and a highlight was when Christian Robinson gave us a  live drawing demonstration!  And then, all of our wishes were granted...through our partnership with The Book Stall and Penguin Books, every student who attended received a FREE personalized and autographed copy of Carmela Full of Wishes!  Thank you to all the generous and creative hearts who made this such an inspiring day.