Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween, to those who celebrate!  What a treat, we will be back in library tomorrow!  I have missed you so VERY much and can't wait to see you and hear all about your adventures in and out of books.

And if you happened to have made a "Storybook Pumpkin" over the strike, you can still bring it in tomorrow, we will all enjoy it.  It's never ever too late for spooky stories and autumn fun! 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Strike! Reading Recommendations

Hello, friends!  
Unfortunately, we are on strike!  
Fortunately, you lucky kids have more time to read! 

What should you read next?
If you did not have the opportunity to delight in the summer reading suggestions
click here for plenty of fabulous new page-turners arranged by genre, 
or here for classics by grade level!  
I have my own children's book blog with about a zillion recommendations at PlanetEsme, which usually features picture books and nonfiction!
And all that work we have done on databases, grades 4, 5 and 6,
you know to find reviews at KidsReads
and know how to access plenty of ebooks and audiobooks on SOAR's Virtual Library!  
Turn on the closed captioning feature of your television for even more exposure to print!  

Specially chosen for this occasion, here is a menu of a few new and classic chapter books and graphic novel favorites, delicious and highly recommended for down-time this week:

A super suspenseful and provocative sci-fi classic with a surprise ending.
We have the sequels in the school library when you get back!

A novel in verse, great for fans of Kwame Alexander and Sharon Creech! 

And speaking of the very popular Kwame Alexander, The Crossover is now available in graphic novel form!  (Don't worry, parents, graphic novels are "real reading"!) 

A lot of students were asking for seasonal graphic novel fun last week...
this should grant your wicked wish!

A doughnut machine gone terribly wrong.  That should be enough to entice any reader, but it's just one of many charming tales in this old-fashioned favorite.  Fun for city kids to read about small-town life!

A girl living in a lighthouse against the backdrop of WWII.  Historical fiction at its finest by a gifted author.  And didn't we love The Secret of Nightingale Wood!  This author has the chops.

A meaty and delicious graphic novel, loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I and full of allusions to British history.  

Excellent realistic fiction with a cast of likable and engaging characters.  A great group of friends to read about while waiting to be reunited with your real ones at school.  

More realistic fiction...a great book about taking a stand,
and plenty for us to talk about when you get back to school!

Kid who love R.J. Palacio's Wonder will love this story of a girl with cerebral palsy
who moves to a new town.

Exciting fantasy beautifully written, based on Chinese folklore. 
Any of the Newbery winners or honor books are great choices during the strike! 
How many can you read?
(We also have some pretty great Illinois Children's Choice award-winners out there to check out!)

And finally, this is not a library book but a great activity book with lots of accompanying YouTube videos, hours of invention and entertainment!

Is that ten?  Close.  The more the merrier.
I can't wait until we are back and can discuss all the wonderful books we read over the strike! 
These are just suggestions...this is a perfect time for you to visit the public library
and explore the books you like and exercise your free choice across all levels and genres!  
Use the library locator to find a public library near you!
And please don't forget to give your public children's librarian an extra big thank you, hug or chocolate chip cookie, because they are working extra hard during this strike time to serve you!

You know, I call myself your lucky librarian not only because I get to teach the best bookworms in all of Chicago, but because not every school has a library to worm around in!  Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to show support for school libraries all over the city, because all children deserve and benefit from a school library!

Happy reading, families!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Storybook Pumpkin Museum and Autumn Arcade

This year, we are having a Storybook Pumpkin Museum and Autumn Arcade in the library!  Here is the recipe for participation!

Storybook Pumpkin Museum for grades k-5
To participate, you will need:
A pumpkin (any size or shape)
Book for inspiration
Acrylic paint and brushes
Newspaper (for catching the mess while painting)
Glue gun (optional, but it works well)
Craft supplies (paper, pom-poms, yarn?)

  • All pumpkins are to be inspired by a children's book or children's book character.  Please bring in the book that inspired the pumpkin decoration if possible, to be displayed beside it and returned after the showcase.  Pumpkins without a reading theme will be sent home for decoration there. 
  • Please bring in your completed pumpkin on Monday, October 28.  Please do not bring your pumpkin earlier than that date.
  • Please DO NOT CARVE THE PUMPKIN.  Sticking things in the pumpkin is okay, but full-on-scoop-it-out designs cannot be accepted.  Carved pumpkins rot quickly, attract pests and have a strong smell.  We would have nasty pumpkin soup all over the library in three days.
  • Yes, you can work with friends and family are are encouraged to do so.  Children of different ages and grade levels can work together.  Parents, please try not to do the project without your kids.  ;-)
  • Like the Haunted House Museum in the past, please, no blood or gore.  We are celebrating imagination, not horror.  
  • Make sure to put your name(s) and room number(s) on the bottom of pumpkin; we have masking tape in the library if you need it.  
  • Books and pumpkins will be returned to you in time for Halloween.  Pick up end of the day October 31st.  
  • The activity is optional.  Fun is always an option.  
  • All kids who participate will get a treat when they pick them up on the 31st.  
  • Scroll down to photos below for inspiration!  Credits are hyperlinked (click on them!) for further examples.  These are just ideas, feel free to decorate using your own favorite!  
Middle School Autumn Arcade
  • Ms. Esme and Ms. Johnson's 8th grade advisory group will be hosting an "autumn arcade" In collaboration with the library and inspired by "Caine's Arcade," the building of Autumn-theme Arcade Games. All middle school students are invited to join the fun.  Grab some cardboard boxes, some paint and some imagination and build a game other children can play.  
  • You may work with up to 2 friends.    
  • Games accepted in the library starting Wednesday, October 29th.
  • Children in grades k-2 will be playing the games in the afternoon of October 31st.  
  • Please keep your arcade game in keeping with the autumn theme. It does not have to be specifically Halloween-themed.  Please, no blood or body parts.  Keep in mind, very young children will be enjoying these games.  
  • Some older kids have been asking me about extra credit.  Sure.  If you make a wonderful project and are in grades 6 and up, I'll give you five points of extra credit. A special treat will be given to kids who decorate accordingly and attract the most players.    
  • Prizes are optional, but should be handmade.  Stickers are acceptable.  Bookmarks make wonderful prizes.  Hint-hint.  
What about the Parade of Books?
We are still going to have a primary Parade of Books, after all, we love it!  But we are going to have it as a springtime celebratory culmination of primary reading goals. Something to look forward to, and more time to plan the best costume ever!

Please feel free to see me or contact me with any questions or thoughts.  October is such a creative month.  Have fun, can't wait to see these amazing autumnal creations!

Photograph courtesy of P is for Preschool

Photograph courtesy of Wynne Primary School

Photograph Courtesy of Sunny Days in Second Grade

Photograph courtesy of Ms. Jordan and Ms. Ostroski

Photograph courtesy of Run! Mrs. Nelson's Got the Camera!

Photograph courtesy of CafĂ© Mom

Photograph courtesy of Paper Perfection

Photograph courtesy of Hoover City Schools

Photograph courtesy of Oh Boy 4th Grade!

Photograph courtesy of The Twenty Sixth Year

Photograph courtesy of Little Kinder Warriors

Photograph courtesy of Mrs. Houlin's Class

Photograph courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It
List of necessary supplies also courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It

Photograph courtesy of Olathe Public Library

Photograph courtesy of The Educator's Spin on It