Archive for February 2012

My Dogs Are Barking

February 28, 2012

Ow! Ow! Ow! My feet hurt. Shoes are out! No Jimmy Choo shoes. No five-inch heels. Maybe some designer orthopedic shoes. Or how about some advice from Dr. Seuss and The Foot Book? How about some duck feet? Now there’s an idea.

It all began when I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. On my way I saw a Fox in Socks, The Cat in the Hat, and The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street! Now you know why my feet hurt. I had to Hop on Pop to get home.


Dr. Seuss had a truckload of fantastical ideas. Oh, the Things You Can Think! and Oh, the Places You’ll Go when you read one of his books. And you’ll meet an array of zany characters – Brown Bar-ba-loots, Zizzy Zozzfozzel, Foo-Foo the Snoo, the Fuddnuddler Brothers, and the Nizzards – just to name a few.  

Friday, March second, is Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day! It’s a good day to visit Seussville for some reading fun.

Now it’s time to rest my tootsies and read Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book. Ahhhhh…


“Rash” Wednesday

February 24, 2012

Wednesday morning another teacher and I were on bus duty in the cafeteria, supervising students as they arrived at school. With smiles on our faces, we greeted students with a bright, “Good morning!” Some students responded with the same, others grunted, and some walked by with no acknowledgement.

Then a preschooler arrived, greeting us with a beaming smile. From this cherub’s mouth came these words. “It’s Rash Wednesday!”

Of course, he was referring to the first day of Lent observed by many Christians. But I thought having a “Rash” Wednesday sounded like a good idea. So I took advantage of it and made some rash decisions.

I stopped the next student who walked by without greeting us. We looked him in the face and greeted him again. We waited patiently for his response. Okay, his good morning was half-hearted, but he did greet us.

I cranked open the only window in the library to let the fresh air in and the stale air out. When my library student’s complained it was cold, I told them to chill.

I choose not eat the unappetizing lunch I had made for myself, and I bought a sandwich from Subway. Yum!

I gobbled down a homemade chocolate chip cookie given to me by birthday boy, Charles. Double yum!

I went with my gut feeling and asked for a change in our Read Across America activities. Librarians know best.

At the end of the day, I looked at the clock and slipped out the door ten minutes early. Free at last!

I love “Rash” Wednesdays!

One of the Last Buffalo Soldiers

February 21, 2012

An article in our local newspaper made me pause and rethink events in American history that we too often tend to push aside. The article was about a man named Robert Wallace. He was a Buffalo Soldier and one of the last living WWII veterans who was part of the all-black 92nd  Infantry Division. He died on February ninth at the age of 91.

The Buffalo Soldiers were put in dangerous situations, fought equally as hard as their white counterparts, but were treated like second-class citizens. It wasn’t until 1948 that President Truman ordered armed forces to integrate.

The article, “A Buffalo Soldier in the Heart of Wisconsin,” is an eye-opening and telling piece. In 1999, Robert Wallace participated in a taped interview for the Wisconsin Veterans Museum Oral History Project, which documented his experiences while serving in WWII. He spoke of whites using racial slurs, death of his friends, not having the same opportunities as the white units, and feeling like he had more freedom overseas than in America.

This brings to mind a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”

With determination and perseverance, Robert Wallace was able to overcome some of the objectionable experiences African Americans endured to live a very long and successful life.

Some books of Interest:

The Buffalo Saga:  A Story of WWII U.S. Army 92nd Infantry Division Known as the Buffalo Soldiers by James Harden Daugherty (Xlibris, Corp., 2009)

Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II Memories of the Only Negro Infantry Division to Fight in Europe during World War II by Ivan J. Houston with contributor Gordon Cohn (iUniverse Star, 2011)

Black History Month Authors and Illustrators

February 17, 2012

Black History Month is ticking away, and my library students are busy celebrating the African American experience with books. They have discovered a wide variety of genres written and illustrated by some awesome African American writers and artists.

Picture books, poetry, folktales, historical fiction, biographies, and nonfiction have been discussed, passed around, checked out, and enjoyed. It’s heartwarming to see students get excited about books they wouldn’t ordinarily choose. They’re learning to step outside of the box for a new literary experience.

What we’ve come to know during our author/illustrator study is that being exposed to different cultures and ethnic backgrounds enhances our knowledge of the world around us.

We grooved to the rhythmic words in Jazz written by Walter Dean Myers and illustrated by Christopher Myers. We tapped our toes to Leo & Diane Dillon’s Rap A Tap Tap Here’s Bojangles – Think Of That! We learned what it’s like if you have a passion to succeed in For the Love of the Game written by Eloise Greenfield and illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Lessons of love and acceptance came our way in The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis and Show Way also by Woodson and illustrated by Hudson Talbott. Richard Wright and the Library Card written by William Miller and illustrated by Gregory Christie and SitIn How Four Friend Stood Up by Sitting Down written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney demonstrated the hardships black Americans were up against in their struggle for equal rights.

We’ve looked at works by Jerry Pinkney, Virginia Hamilton, Nikki Giovanni, Bryan Collier, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Floyd Cooper, and Rita Williams-Garcia. We’ve been wowed by their talent and impressed by their numerous literary awards.

Celebrate Black History Month. Read. Learn. Enjoy.

“We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice.” ~Carter Woodson, 1926

Celebrate Black History Month with Ashley Bryan’s Work

February 14, 2012

Ashley Bryan is a remarkable author, artist, and storyteller. His body of work is impressive as can be seen by the numerous awards that have been bestowed upon him. He has won the Coretta Scott King Book Award for his illustrations and six Honor Awards. He delivered the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture in 1990. Other awards and honors include the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the Regina Medal.

Ashley Bryan began drawing, painting, and creating books when he was very young. His use of vibrant colors in his work is both eye-catching and enticing. He has continued to create magic in books throughout his lifetime, using poetry, folktales, Negro Spirituals, and African Proverbs.


He is passionate about books and reading and encourages young readers to spend time with a book to become a reader. He tells children to listen to the book and let the book and art speak to them.

From Ashley Bryan's LET IT SHINE

Ashley Bryan is an intelligent, charismatic speaker, who is an inspiration to children. Here is a man whose work should be celebrated and shared not only during Black History Month, but every month.

Here are just a few of his many books.

Illustrations by Kadir Nelson

February 10, 2012

Whenever I see a book written or illustrated by Kadir Nelson, it immediately goes on my wish list for our library collection. I am captivated by his talent as an artist. Kadir Nelson’s illustrations are so life-like you want to reach out and touch them. His ability to reveal the joy, pain, and sadness in the faces of his subjects is uncanny.


Kadir Nelson celebrates his heritage in art and words. His work has been acclaimed by many. In the children’s publishing industry he has been honored with the Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Awards, the Robert F. Sibert Award, the Caldecott Honor Award, and the NAACP Image Award to name a few.


In January, Nelson’s Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans won the Coretta Scott King Author Award and was the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book. He is a talent not to be overlooked.

February is Black History Month. Kadir Nelson and his illustrated books are two perfect ways to commemorate this event. Get one from your library today!

Card to Success

February 7, 2012

What’s the best card to bring you success and riches beyond your wildest dreams? It’s not a gift card, or an ATM card, or even a Honus Wagner baseball card. The card you’re looking for is a library card!

February is Library Lovers’ Month. If you don’t have a library card, get one today!

My Hometown Library

Your local library is a magical place where you can browse through a treasure trove of information. It’s a place where you can touch, smell, and taste the joy and knowledge found in volumes of books. Your library card is a key to success.

“The richest person in the world – in fact all the riches in the world – couldn’t provide you with anything like the endless, incredible loot available at your local library.” ~Malcolm Forbes

Love your library. Support it. Become a Friend of the Library. Volunteer. Sing its praises. And then curl up with a good book.

Check It Out!

“When I got my library card, that’s when my life began.” ~Rita Mae Brown

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