Archive for March 2012

Packing Up

March 30, 2012

On the road again!


A Dork Visits the Library

March 27, 2012

When I told a teacher friend of mine I was going to the Boston Public Library while I was on spring break, she kiddingly called me a dork. Okay, I’m a dork, but I love to visit libraries. Metropolitan cities are known for their culture, art, and history. Boston exudes all of these — just look at the Boston Public Library.

It has an inviting entry.

Look at these doors!

It has sculptures.

It has paintings and murals.

It has amazing architectural details — and people!


It has a courtyard to relax, read, and enjoy a bite to eat in a quiet spot.

It has books – lots of books, including 1.2 million rare books and documents. It also has the Bates reading room.

New York Public Library has lions. Boston Public Library has lions, too!

I also visited The Margaret and H.A. Rey Children’s Room. It wasn’t as impressive as the rest of the library, but it was filled with books.

No matter what — the day was bright and brisk. The MBTA, better known as the T, was manageable. The library was awesome, and this dork is glad she went!

A Toast to Friends

March 23, 2012

Today I will enjoy a view of Boston Harbor as I lunch with a very good friend. We will eat fish. We will drink a glass of wine to celebrate our long friendship. And we will talk nonstop for hours.

I hope your day will be as pleasant as mine.

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” ─ Thomas Aquinas

Illustrations by David Catrow

March 20, 2012

When I was flipping through picture books at the CCBC semi-annual book sale, the cover illustrations of two books immediately caught my eye. I grabbed both of them. The illustrator was David Catrow.

I’m charmed by Catrow’s illustrations. His style is unique. His creative use of colored pencils and watercolors produce quirky, bright illustrations that instantly say, “Look at me!” David Catrow knows exactly how to tickle a child’s funny bone and yours, too!

Take a look.

Some books from our school library collection:

Where’s My T·R·U·C·K? by Karen Beaumont and pictures by David Catrow (Dial, 2011)

I Wanna New Room by Karen Kaufman Orloff and illustrated by David Catrow (Putnam Juvenile, 2010)

Don’t Say That Word! by Alan Katz and pictures by David Catrow (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007)

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow (Harcourt Children’s Books, 2005)

We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States illustrations and foreword by David Catrow (Dial, 2002)

Rotten Teeth by Laura Simms and pictures by David Catrow (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 1998)

Make sure you check out David Catrow’s many other books!

Little Free Library – A Novel Idea

March 16, 2012

“A home without books is a body without soul.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero

You’ve heard me say it before. I love books! When I find a book I like, I want to share it with others. That’s why the Little Free Library is such a creative idea. It was co-founded by Rick Brooks and Todd Bol of Wisconsin. Structures that look like big bird houses are placed in people’s yards or other community areas. Inside are books people have donated that anyone can take and read. If you take one, you are encouraged to place other books inside to share with readers. By doing this a variety of books are available at all times. This is such a novel idea. I’m totally impressed.

With all of the technology bombarding us today, it’s heartening to see little libraries sprouting up in unexpected places. I encourage everyone to get behind this movement. Build your own Little Free Library or order one. Share your books. Put reading, learning, and literacy at the fingertips of others.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ~Stephen King

Support. Promote. Donate. Help the Little Free Library grow!

Nobody Likes This

March 13, 2012

A week ago, the CCBC had their semi-annual book sale. It’s a time to purchase a variety of hardcover books for my school library. This event is like having Santa Claus come more than once a year!

Yesterday I sat in my comfy reading chair and thought, this is the life! By my side were 68 picture books, waiting for me to read. Sixty-eight delightful hardcover pictures books that cost three dollars apiece. Three dollars! Imagine that. Thank you CCBC. I’ll be your friend forever!

One picture book I was particularly taken with was Nobody written by Liz Rosenberg and illustrated by Julie Downing (A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Book Press, 2010).

This is a story of a young boy, George, who has an imaginary friend called Nobody. Early in the morning, Nobody convinces George to make a feast for breakfast. In their quest to create a delicious meal, Nobody and George create a kitchen mess. When George’s mother and father see the mess, they take it in stride. (They are better parents than I am!) George and his mother decide to make pancakes together, and that’s when Nobody feels left out and begins to shrink. George realizes how lonely he would be without Nobody. He confesses to his mother that Nobody helped him make the mess and Nobody makes better pancakes than he does. When Nobody hears those words, he begins to grow back to his normal size, and George and Nobody enjoy pancakes together.

The illustrator used soft colors combined with eye-catching ones. Shades of gray are used to distinguish Nobody from George and his mother and father. The breakfast mess is sure to make children laugh. Although the illustrations are delightful, I’m a word person. I love the written story. The text is imaginative and filled with clever wordplay that is funny for both children and adults.

Nobody likes this book more than I do!

What Reading Looks Like

March 9, 2012

A week ago, our school celebrated Read Across America Day. A morning assembly welcomed everyone to the event. After some background information about Dr. Seuss was shared, the teachers wowed the students with an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! We were a Seussical hit! And so was our all-school read-in in the gym where we exercised our reading abilities.

Here are the many different ways of reading.

Face down.

Face up.


Criss-cross applesauce.

In a line.

In pairs.

Reading aloud.

Standing up. Sitting down.

Book reader. E-reader.

Even the lunch ladies got into the spirit of Read Across America Day.

Lunch menu:  One Fish, Two Fish Sticks, Grinch Green Beans, Ten Apple Slices, and Yink’s Pink Ink Drink.

It was Seuss-a-licious day!

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