Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Here Comes Destructosaurus! Trifecta

Happy Wednesday! The Nerdy Book, Colby Sharp, and I are celebrating Here Comes Destructosaurus! I hope you enjoy jumping from blog to blog. 

I wrote the words in orange, and Jeremy wrote the words in black. Thank you, Jeremy! 

The illustrations for Here Comes Destructosaurus! were Very Difficult! Coming up with the unusual camera angles was hard enough without having to draw so much destruction. And keeping it all "kid friendly" was another challenge -- how to make so much mayhem cute!

Aaron Reynolds and I are just these two guys, ya' know? I think we saw eye to eye where this story is concerned.

Amelia May Mac designed a great picture book. I love that she found fonts that played into the art and story so well -- that the words and letters all look a little "off kilter", as though they have been shaken and bumped by, say, a giant monster. And her suggestions of how to change angles here and there were all spot-on as well. She helped me give the art a more cinematic appeal.

If you ever visit Vancouver, Canada, you won't want to leave! It's so beautiful here surrounded by mountains, forests and the Pacific Ocean. I really can't do it justice here. And there are a LOT of good restaurants too -- especially if you like sushi. Yum!

School libraries are the most undervalued part of the school. They offer kids a place where they can learn without realizing that they're learning. Where they can explore interests beyond what they can explore in the classroom. Where what they HAVE to learn can become what they WANT to learn (provided they have a great librarian).

Reading is my absolute, favourite part of the day. It can fix a day when the kids and I have been misfiring, and it unwinds me at the end of a long day -- it's the best "me time." I plan to spend much of my retirement reading during business hours. 

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what motivates me. That's easy: paninis! There's an amazing panini place at the top of my street and I'm allowed to eat there once a week IF I get my work done. I'm being a bit facetious. But only a bit, I DO like good panini. Seriously though, I don't think there is a more deserving audience than children. What a huge honour to make books for them!

I am giving away one copy of Here Comes Destructosaurus! 

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 4/23 to 11:59 p.m. on 4/25. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Click here to read Colby Sharp's interview with Aaron Reynolds. 

Borrow Here Comes Destructosaurus! from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Today's #Kidlit Purchases

I stopped at Anderson's Bookshop after school to pick up one book. Ummm...I left with these...

Just in case a book passed by too fast, they are all listed below. Maybe one of them will be your next read. 

1. The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure by Doreen Cronin; illustrated by Kevin Cornell | Interest level: Grades 1-3

2. Marty McGuire Has Too Many Pets! by Kate Messner; illustrations by Brian Floca | Interest level: Grades 2-4

3. Lulu's Mysterious Mission by Judith Virost; illustrated by Kevin Cornell | Interest level: Grades 2-4

4. Space Travel: Archie Takes Flight by Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer; illustrations by Elise Gravel | Interest level: Grades 2-4

5. High Time for Heroes by Mary Pope Osborne | Interest level: Grades 1-5 

6. Judy Moody and Stink: The Big Bad Blackout by Megan McDonald; illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds | Interest level: Grades 2-4

7. The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat Interest level: All ages 

8. Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Splash! by Candace Fleming; illustrated by G. Brian Karas | Interest level: Grades K-2

9. Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Jarrett J. Krosoczka Interest level: Grades K-2

10. Water Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas; illustrated by Violeta Dabija | Interest level: Grades K-2

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Sharp-Schu Book Club Meets on Tuesday

Please join Kate Messner, Laura Purdie Salas, Colby Sharp, and me on Tuesday evening for the April Sharp-Schu Twitter Book Club meeting. I promise you'll have a wonderful time discussing the Marty McGuire series, A Leaf Can Be... and Water Can Be.... 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Geisel Challenge: Week 4

Mr. Colby Sharp and I are talking about the 2009 Geisel winners today. Please visit Colby's blog to watch his video. 

Are You Ready to Play Outside?  by Mo Willems 

"So, I spend a lot of time simplifying my line and simplifying my books, so that they can be as effortless-seeming as possible. For example, in Knuffle Bunny, all the backgrounds are photographs; but they're not actually photographs, you see, because there's an emotional truth. Everyone's eyes do us this great favor. They hide all of the ugly stuff. They work as a beauty filter." - Mo Willems

Chicken Said, "Cluck!" by Judyann Ackerman Grant; illustrated by Sue Truesdell

One Boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger 

Read this wonderful interview with Laura Vaccaro 

Stinky by Eleanor Davis 

Download the Stinky discussion guide. 

Stinky is available on Professor Garfield's website.

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell; photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell

"A wolfsnail glides along a leaf, hunting for snails and slugs. Watch as the wolfsnail finds and eats a snail." -Sarah C. Campbell

Visit Sarah's website to download activities. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

The 2014 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Winners

I've been obsessively checking the American Booksellers Association's website to find out the 2014 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award winners. My neighbors probably heard me  clapping last night when I checked the website and read the following announcement. (I may have shed three or four tears, too.) 

The winners of the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards, reflecting the playful, well-paced language, the engaging themes, and the universal appeal embodied by E.B. White's collection of beloved books, are: 

E.B. White Read Aloud Award--Middle Reader 

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated K.G. Campbell (Candlewick Press)

E.B. White Read Aloud Award--Picture Book 

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt; illustrated by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel)

Congratulations to Kate, K.G., Drew, and Oliver! I've read Flora and Ulysses to 5 classes and The Day the Crayons Quit to 11 classes. Both books flow off the tongue and keep kids listening, laughing, and thinking. Thank you!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Save the Date: April 24 is Poem in Your Pocket Day

Do you have a favorite literacy celebration? A favorite month? A favorite hour? A favorite minute? I think every month is special in my school library, but I think April is extra special. We celebrate National Poetry Month, School Library Month, National Library Week, and Poem in Your Pocket Day. I don't want to pick a favorite celebration of the school year, but I think Poem in Your Pocket Day is right up there with World Read Aloud Day. There's nothing quite like stopping a fifth grader in the hall and saying, "I see you're wearing a sticker that says 'Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! Ask me about my poem.'  Do you a have a moment to share your poem?" 

I hope you and your students will celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 24. I'll have a poem in my right pocket and a poem in my left pocket. 

In My Right Pocket 

(Inspired by Walter Dean Myers)
By Jack 

Love that dog, 
like a bird loves to fly
I said I love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
"Hey there, Sky!" 

In My Left Pocket 

"Words for Flora"

would be
easier without
because you
all of it--
sprinkles, quarks, giant
donuts, eggs sunny-side up--
are the ever-expanding
to me. 

I am giving away a copy of Love That Dog and a copy of Flora and Ulysses

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from April 17 to 11:59 p.m. on April 18. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Wonderful Morning with Andy Griffiths!

Hip, hip, hooray! Today was Andy Griffiths Day in my school library! I've never heard kids laugh so hard during an author visit, but Andy never lost "control" of the audience. My kids knew when it was time to listen to his next joke and story. I'm so happy that he's visiting with Mr. Sharp's and Mr. Jonker's students later in the week.

I love when I teach classes right after an author visit because it allows me to get immediate feedback from my students. According to my first and second graders...

*Andy Griffiths is a really fun guy.

* He traveled far to visit our school. I’m happy I got to meet him.

*Andy told us how he created the treehouse in the Treehouse series.

*Andy is a good author.

* He was so nice to every person during the book signing.

*He is wonderful.

* Andy is very good at writing books.

* I think he is the silliest author who has ever visited our school library. He had everyone laughing.

* Terry Denton is a good artist.

*He showed us very funny trees. One of the trees looked like a butt.

* Andy writes awesome books.

* He works well with Terry Denton.

*That was the coolest author visit.

*I'll give you one word: hilarious.

*The killer koala stuffed animal that he showed us was really cool.

* The BUTT tree was so funny.

* I liked his made-up story about how he met Terry.

* He mentioned underwear more than any other author.

* He showed us a catnary stuffed animal.

* I liked how he showed us really funny photographs of treehouses. I laughed a lot.

* The 26- Story Treehouse is so funny.

My favorite thing about the Treehouse series is...

-the man-eating sharks.

- the marshmallow machine.


- the ice cream flavors.

- the bowling alley.

-the swimming pool.

-how Terry washes his underwear in the man-eating shark tank.

- the vegetable vaporizer.

Andy is..







*good at writing books





*insanely funny

*really friendly

SLJ is hosting an exclusive webinar with Andy Griffiths tomorrow.

My first and second graders designed treehouses.

Andy has a lot of fans!

You know how I feel about #kidlit stickers.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4 

A frosted treehouse!

A frosted treehouse, part 2!

Andy made every child feel special. Thanks, Andy!