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.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Happy Appleseed!

Happy autumn!  Johnny Appleseed's Birthday on September 26th is a high holiday in the school library!  We love reading about the gentle figure from history and his life lessons:

Use what you have.
Share what you have.
Respect nature.
Try to make peace where there is war.
You can reach your destination by taking small steps. 

Harvest great biographies from our nonfiction section and find great lives to inspire us!  
Plant the seed to read!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

A Bright Shiny New School Year and Elephant-Sized Good News!

Dear Wonderful Stone Families,

My name is Esme Raji Codell (also known as Ms. Esme), and I am your lucky school librarian!  I say I am lucky because I get to teach the finest children in all of Chicago from the finest castle of a school!  I am looking forward to another splendid year here at Stone.  I will continue to work hard to make the library space a welcoming one, and a place where children's recreational reading and informational needs are met.

Those of you who had me last year know that the library is more than where we check out books...this is an active teaching, learning and creating place!  Overall, the library experience will prepare your child to be a lifelong reader and a thoughtful, capable, empathetic and responsible citizen of our country in this technological age.  You are invited to familiarize yourself with details of the library program here, where you'll find answers to questions about grading, procedures, borrowing and more, and if you would like to show support or be involved in the school library, click here to find out definitely takes a village!  The school library is up and running, so please by sure to have a peek-a-book on Curriculum Night on September 20th and say hello to me and all of your child's resource teachers. We come to know some of our students over a nine year trajectory and every year is precious.

We are starting off this school year with tremendous news to trumpet:  On Thursday, September 27th, Caldecott-winning author KEVIN HENKES will be visiting 1st and 2nd graders at our school!  Visit his website with your child and you'll find you may already be acquainted with his talent from titles like Lily's Purple Plastic Purse of Kitten's First Full Moon fame, but for this visit he is going to be sharing his brand new picture book, A Parade of Elephants, which is not even in stores yet!  Students may purchase a personalized, autographed copy of this title for keepsies in your home libraries, order forms are going home to those grade levels (others available on request), please return to your child's classroom teacher ASAP.  Elephant-sized thanks to our community partner, the always wonderful Book Cellar for making this visit possible!  Please support your local independent bookseller, especially this one who always does such magical things for our school.

1st and 2nd graders, please bring the LONGEST SOCK YOU HAVE IN YOUR HOME to library during the week of September 10th in preparation of our pachyderm-inspired craft and jig!!!

Follow up:

Wowwww, Kevin Henkes gave us a REAL, LIVE DRAWING DEMONSTRATION, read to us and told us many funny stories about when he was a little boy!  We love the real people behind the books we enjoy, and greeted Mr. Henkes with an elephant trunk ballet.  Special thanks to parent Jennifer Yee, Mr. Faille and the Junior Librarian team for making the event such a success! And to Mr. Henkes and our friends at the Book Cellar, we are privileged and grateful for our connection, thank you again times a million.