Sunday, September 27, 2015

Miss Rumphius

The third grade enjoyed hearing Barbara Cooney's classic story of Miss Rumphius, who was prompted by her grandfather to do three things:  travel the world, live by the sea and do something to make the world more beautiful.  We also saw a film about the real woman who inspired the story of Miss Rumphius...the worlds of fiction and nonfiction converged, and we saw how real events inspire our imaginations!  We loved Barbara Cooney's illustration style and tried out own hands at it, drawing still life pictures of pink and purple flowers that the "lupine lady," Miss Rumphius, would have appreciated.

Johnny Appleseed, Miss fall, we are visited through books by great characters who remind us that by planting a small seed every day, we can change our world.  Plant the seed to read and to create!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Author visit for middle school!

Sixth, seventh and eighth graders are looking forward to our visit from Jake Halpern (journalist for The New Yorker and commentator on NPR and This American Life) and Peter Kujawinski (well-traveled diplomat) on Monday, September 28th, to talk about their book Nightfall, one of the most anticipated young adult books of 2015 (Mashable)!  Their previous books, the Dormia series, have been very popular in our school library.  Suspense, fantasy and survival are the order of the day in their latest endeavor. From the publisher:
On Marin’s island, sunrise doesn’t come every twenty-four hours—it comes every twenty-eight years. Now the sun is just a sliver of light on the horizon. The weather is turning cold and the shadows are growing long.
Because sunset triggers the tide to roll out hundreds of miles, the islanders are frantically preparing to sail south, where they will wait out the long Night.
Marin and her twin brother, Kana, help their anxious parents ready the house for departure. Locks must be taken off doors. Furniture must be arranged. Tables must be set. The rituals are puzzling—bizarre, even—but none of the adults in town will discuss why it has to be done this way.
Just as the ships are about to sail, a teenage boy goes missing—the twins’ friend Line. Marin and  Kana are the only ones who know the truth about where Line’s gone, and the only way to rescue him is by doing it themselves. But Night is falling. Their island is changing.
And it may already be too late.
Pre-order forms were send home all week to middle school students and will be accepted until Tuesday.  Books pre-ordered will be autographed and distributed the day the authors visit.  As if this cliffhanger isn't enough, there is added incentive: all students who purchase a copy or check it out from the library will be invited to a special book club lunch later this fall (we need time to read the book)!  We are so lucky, the book isn't even in stores yet and Stone will be one of the first on the author tour.  Thank you to our community supporter, The Book Cellar, our wonderful partner who helps to make these visits possible!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Library lions

First grade is learning the library rules of looking, listening and consideration with the help of Michelle Knudsen's Library Lion!  It's animals on parade all through September:  Morris the Moose Goes to School by Bernard Wiseman, Quiet!  There's a Canary in the Library by Don Freeman, Harry Goes to Dog School by Scott Mechin...when it comes to story time, we roar for more!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Welcome Back!

Happy September, Stone families!  

My name is Esmé Raji Codell (also known as Ms. Esmé), and I am your lucky school librarian, looking forward to my sixth year in the Stone library!  I will continue to work hard to make the space a welcoming one, and a place where your children's recreational reading and informational needs are met.

Those of you who had me last year will know that the library is more than a place where we check out books...this is a teaching and learning place!  Primary level children hone in on listening skills and library protocols while enjoying literature-based crafts and wonderful picture books, both fiction and non-fiction.  Students start formal book check-out midway through second grade, where they treasure-hunt in our phenomenal collection and also learn book care and enjoy their first author study. We look forward to our annual Parade of Books (which will be in the spring this year) and our Family Reading Night (which will be later this fall) and our Autumn Arcade (a new event; I'll keep you posted!).  

As children grow older, we build confidence and knowledge as we explore award-winning literature, genres, we synthesize our storytelling skills, research in real-world contexts, we look into the lives of people behind the books we love (and sometimes meet them in person!) and learn to articulate artistic style.  We read aloud across the grade levels, dive into the Dewey Decimal and databases and navigate the world of cyber-safety and digital citizenship.  We prepare for high school and beyond with media literacy skills and high-level reading and discussion experiences.  We create citations, analyze credibility and build skills that defeat plagiarism.  Overall, the library experience will help to prepare your child to be a lifelong reader and a thoughtful, capable and responsible citizen of our country in this technological age.  

An especially busy year is anticipated since circulation keeps going up and up (hooray!).  Parent volunteers are welcome for the un-glamorous but always deeply appreciated jobs of shelving, craft preparation and general tidying chores.  We do ask that all library volunteers be trained, so if you are interested in helping out, please attend the parent library volunteer meeting on Tuesday, September 15th at 3:05 in the school library.  If you miss that meeting, don't worry, another one may be offered later in the fall.  Additionally, our Amazon wish list will be updated around Open House.

The library sees all the children in the school and has a specialized curriculum and needs, and as such, we welcome donations of any of the following supplies:  small index cards, baby wipes, glue sticks, plain paper plates and bowls, Post-It notes and credits to Michael's craft stores.   We always appreciate flowers, which help to make the space welcoming to all...a garden of reading!  We also welcome your used book donations; if they don't suit our school library's collection development needs, they are redistributed to classroom libraries and to the community.  Thank you!  

Parents, please be sure to check out the link to "School Stuff" to learn more about the library's policies, objectives and grading scale, "Helpful Hints for Home" to keep the learning going long after the last bell rings and my personal website,, to get to know me a little better and see what's on my shelf.   Please also feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or just to say hello or to arrange a visit as a guest reader!  

Happy reading and welcome, everyone!