On Stage in the Library

Posted January 13, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Libraries

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When I step into the library, I become an actor. No matter how tired I am or what mood I may be in, when students arrive at the door, I greet them with a smile. The phrase, “turn that frown upside down,” comes to mind.

Getting children excited about books and reading is one of the most important parts of my job. Doing this isn’t always easy. I pick and choose different genres and give a pep talk about each book, trying to peak interest from preschool to middle school students. I read picture books, passages from nonfiction books, and excerpts from chapter books. I’ve done experiments from science books, and I’ve given academy award-winning performances in order to instill excitement about reading. In short, I do what every librarian does who loves books and kids.   

It’s rewarding to see children excited about books. The younger students never seem to have a problem finding a “just right book.” The downside is when you have that one student, usually an intermediate or middle grade student, wandering from shelf to shelf unable to find a book. No matter what you do or say, nothing seems to interest him. My next step is to find out what the student’s likes and dislikes are and tell him to come back later after I’ve pulled some books that might peak his curiosity. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Librarians do what they need to do. 

My motto is never give up and keep on smiling!      

Here are some popular authors in our library:

Sara PennypackerRick Riordan, Lenore Look, Gary Paulsen, Lisa Yee, Rachel Renée Russell


Posted January 10, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Writers and Illustrators

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The American Library Association Midwinter Meeting is quickly approaching. Do you know what that means? The ALA will announce the Youth Media Awards. I can’t wait to hear who all the winners are, but my two favorite awards are the Caldecott and the Newbery.

There are so many excellent books out there. Choosing is difficult. I’m not an expert, but I know what I like. Here are some of my choices.

For the Caldecott Medal:  A colorful group.

Blue Chicken written and illustrated by Deborah Freedman (Viking Juvenile, September 2011)

Blackout written and illustrated by John Rocco (Hyperion Book CH, May 2011)

Red Sled by Lita Judge (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, November 2011)

Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat written and illustrated by Philip C. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, June 2011)

Me … Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 2011)

For the Newbery Medal: 

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart written by Candace Fleming (Schwartz & Wade, February 2011)

The Mostly True Story of Jack written by Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, August 2011)

Inside Out and Back Again written by Thanhha Lai (HarperCollins, February 2011)

Okay for Now written by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books, April, 2011)

Bigger than a Bread Box written by Laurel Snyder (Random House Books for Young Readers, September 2011)

Will one of these books be an award winner or will the selection committee surprise us all?  What do you think?



Library Spills and Brook Parts

Posted January 6, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Fun

Tags: , ,

Sometimes the tongue and brain don’t always cooperate, and things spill out of our mouths that don’t make sense. It can happen to anyone.

Take the answer given to me by a second grade student when I asked him to name the part of a book that has a list of the chapters. With a bit of thought, he answered, “table of conscience.” I gave him a smile and thumbs up for a good try.

After class, I got to thinking. What if there was a book with a table of conscience? Instead of being faced with the prospect of feeling stressed or guilty about a choice we have to make, we could refer to the book.

Suppose you’re on a diet and you’ll totally die if you don’t have a tiny piece of cake. In the Table of Conscience Book, turn to the chapter called “Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too” for advice. Or what if your friend wants to fix you up with her cousin who has a “nice smile?” What do you do? Go to the chapter called “In the Eye of the Beholder” for help. And what about that to-do list you don’t want to do because you’d rather watch the football game? Go to the “Hail Mary Pass” chapter for the answer to this conundrum. Is that little white lie you’re about to tell right or wrong? Check out the chapter on “Swear to Tell the Truth.” It will tell you nothing but the truth. 

With a slip of the tongue, I think that young student is onto something. The Table of Conscience Book could be the answer to all our worries.

Resolve to Read

Posted January 3, 2012 by cathyso3
Categories: Holiday Books

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We rang in the New Year with good friends and good cheer. 2012 is upon us. Will it be a good year? My theory is it’s what we make of it. I like to take each day at a time and try to make it my best. Sometimes it may turn out to be my worst, but, no matter what, each day is always a good learning experience.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Whether you did or you didn’t, here’s a suggestion that’s cheap, simple, and rewarding for all.

Resolve to read in 2012! Be a role model for those around you. Read! Read to yourself. Read to your kids. Read to anyone who will listen. Resolve to make reading exciting for young children so they learn to love reading as teenagers and adults. Read! Read! Read!

Here are a few books to ring in all types of New Years and share with children:

Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution written by Pat Miller and illustrated by Kathi Ember (Albert Whitman & Company, 2010), Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2008), The Runaway Wok:  A Chinese New Year Tale written by Ying Chang Compestine and illustrated by Sebastia Serra (Dutton Juvenile, 2011), Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas written by Gail Piernas-Davenport and illustrated by Marion Eldridge (Albert Whitman & Company, 2007)

Ring-A-Ding-Ding! 2012

Posted December 30, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Avatar Friday

Tags: ,

Happy New Year!

“A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.”  ~Author Unknown



The Aftermath

Posted December 27, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Life

Tags: , , ,

Following three days of merry-making, Aftermath, the ghost of Christmas after, arrived. I’m not talking about the presence of bows and wrapping paper scattered around rooms, or the dust bunnies hopping across the floors, or the pile of soiled table linens and towels, waiting to be cleaned. I’m talking about what lurks inside the sleek stainless steel cold box in the kitchen.    

Opening the door of the refrigerator proved to be a turn-your-stomach experience. Leftovers from a Christmas made merry crammed the corners and shelves of the refrigerator. Foil wrapped plates, odd sized containers and jars, covered pots, and plastic storage bags held mystery food inside of them. I discovered…

Twelve crumbling cookies

Eleven stale sausage balls

Ten smokies in hot sauce

Nine almond clusters

Eight baby shrimp

Seven stuffed olives  

Six shriveled potato fries

Five brussel sprouts

Four potato skins

Three green peppers

Two brown bananas

And oyster stew in a soup pot.  

I’m tired of cooking. I’m tired of cleaning. There’s only one solution to this colossal mess. Get ready for Dinner Surprise!

O Christmas Tree

Posted December 23, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Avatar Friday

Tags: ,

Merry Christmas!

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”  ~Burton Hillis


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