Wordless picture books are a perennial favorite of the Caldecott Award committee and my students alike! There is nothing they like more than poring over the illustrations, as you can see!


Before we began browsing, we started off with Be Quiet!, the picture book that so desperately wants to be a wordless book, but the characters just can’t seem to keep quiet! The kids were literally rolling on the floor laughing!

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Needless to say, this book is an instant favorite! We also read these other wonderful stories together.

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Then kindergarten and first grade then had some time to just browse these books, and they relished the chance to just flop around in the various seating options in the library and have some quiet time to read!

One of my favorite weeks of the year!

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt…

Kindergarten and first grade love reading books that rhyme or books that we can turn into a song. We started off our class last week by going on a bear hunt!

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After we made it “home” and agreed we’re never going on a bear hunt again, we read a few more silly books that made the kids laugh and ones with which they couldn’t help but sing along!

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Lots of silly adventures in the library!

Snow! Snow! Snow!

As we embark on our first snowy week of school, with a two-hour delay under our belt, I love to start reading snowy and winter books with the students. Book Wrangler Mike loves to do directed drawings with his library students, and with these crowd-pleasing and award-winning titles on his list, I thought this was the week to give it a try! Kindergarten and first grade students followed a directed drawing exercise in an attempt to recreate some of the stories’ characters. It was fun to try some art here in the library!

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  They enjoyed it! I will have his other directed drawing exercises on library’s art table for a few weeks, and the kids are excited to try something different during checkout time. What a great way to celebrate the snow!

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American month, and with all the images that are inundating our students about “pilgrims and indians,” I have been so pleased to find some Native American  and First Nations authors and illustrators who can give students a more authentic view of what their cultures are all about, both in the past and present. Talking to students about what Native American life is like now is crucially important, because if you ask most kids, they think that “Indians must be really old,” because they think they only lived long ago. Stories like Bow Wow Pow Wow show Native Americans wearing contemporary clothes, riding in pickup trucks, and doing things that kids can relate to, which can help lessen the impression that they are all still living in teepees wearing loincloths today.

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If you’d like to learn more the American Indians in Children’s Literature website is an incredible resource. Reading their reviews of supposedly authentic Native American voices is really helpful to ensure I am not propagating stereotypes to the best of my ability.

Free To Be You And Me

Kindergarten, first and second grade read books last week about non-conformity and being comfortable and confident enough to be yourself. I think it’s good to start the school year on the note of self-expression and individuality.  I want everyone in the library and at OQS to know that we are free to be ourselves, and there are some really awesome picture books to help remind us.

The kids love these first two stories about characters who are willing to take risks and go against the crowd, and Red is a great example of how others can have certain expectations and assumptions about you based on your appearance.  All celebrate freedom of expression and uniqueness!  Other titles that I have read in the past along these lines are Not Quite Narwhal and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.


Here in the library, everyone is welcome, and everyone is welcome to be exactly who they want to be.  I love reading stories that emphasize that!

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This week kindergarten and first grade will be reading these colorful stories, most of which were recommended purchases from none other than our own amazing art teacher, Ms. Kniffin!  Books about concepts like colors, shapes, the alphabet and numbers are always a big hit with the younger students, and with covers like these, I’m sure you can see why!


These stories are more than just fun experiments with color; there are much bigger ideas at play here.  Monsters Love Colors takes the traditional primary colors instruction and makes it a whole lot of fun!  Sky Color celebrates the artist inside of everyone, especially those who see the world in an unexpected way.  Drawn Together is an amazing multi-generational story of how art can bring families together, with illustrations by Dan Santat that are mind-bogglingly gorgeous. And Pocket Full of Colors, the true story of Mary Blair, Disney artist extraordinaire, who thought outside the box in both her life and her art, is a picture book biography all young artists should read!

These gorgeous books are going to be a BIG hit!

A Blizzard & A Blackout!

Well with the weather we had this week, there was no question what picture books I was going to read to kindergarten, first and second grade!

Caldecott Honor Award recipient John Rocco, who also does the cover art for the Percy Jackson series, has two gorgeous pictures books about two memorable phenomena in a life of a child–a blizzard and a blackout.  We talked about how in both situations, the world is different than it is everyday, and how some of our routines change.  Students discussed how their days were disrupted by this week’s storm, and what connections they could make between the narratives and their lives.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect fit!

2nd and 3rd grade wrapped up a new early chapter book last week called Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker.  The students are clamoring for the second copy, which just came in!  A heroine like Beatrice, who looks at things from a unique perspective, is one all the students have enjoyed getting to know!

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3rd grade has been learning about using online databases for research, as well as non-fiction text features such as indexes, photo captions and sidebars, to assist them in their upcoming countries project.  Grades 4 and 5 will learn about these databases in the weeks to come.

And 4th and 5th grade are still making progress on their Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award nominee fiction book, Ban This Book.

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This week the book prompted a conversation about the Bill of Rights and current events!  I love having the students make thoughtful connections about what we are reading to their own lives and world!

There is so much going on in the library this week, including the last week of building for our STEAM challenge before testing in the forest next week!  As always, great learning and awesome stories are the heart of the library, and we are ending 2018 strong!