We bid adieu to April, and with it, the Shelf Challenge.
I hope you all had fun.
This year the Challenge proved too much for me.
Was it the busy schedule? The dry books? The larger shelf section?
If doesn't really matter. What does matter is that it got me to read from our collection every day. It also gave me the opportunity to meet a ton of new library friends and to see what great books they were discovering in their collections.
So how did you do? Did you finish your section? Did you discover some awesome books? I certainly hope you! And I certainly hope had fun while doing it.
I'm collecting data to see just what kind of impact we made collectively throughout the Shelf Challenge. Please take five minutes to complete the survey below and let me know what I can improve upon for next year.
And thanks so much again for being part of the Shelf Challenge! It was awesome to have you on board!
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
In Gramma's Walk, Donnie visits his Gramma for their walk. Gramma is in a wheelchair and it's immediately clear that these walks hold very special meaning to Donnie and Gramma. Gramma and Donnie proceed to take an imaginary journey to the beach, describing all they come across along their walk. The play on the senses is incredible and translates well to the reader, too.
What a very cool experience this would be to bring into the classroom daily or weekly.
By the story's conclusion I noticed my senses were heightened and I actually felt calmer.
The magic of picture books. Love it.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A kid pours out the love for his dad, who cuts no corners when it comes to showing affection, playfulness and love. I'm not exactly sure how a child would take this, but outside of asking, How does your own dad compare?, this book's purpose is a little muddled.
...but there is a bare bottom, so lots of kids will flock to that.
I wonder if this was published during a particularly strong rebellion against the deadbeat dad? It's certainly got a strong emphasis on the family unit.
Monday, April 22, 2013
It's been a particularly slow reading season for me during this Shelf Challenge. I'm just not coming across the gems like I did in the L's last year. And while I've read a couple of great books, nothing has had the reread value of Pigs to the Rescue.
If you're new to Himmelman's neo-classic (sequel to Chickens to the Rescue), the story rests on problems occurring day after day on the farm and some do-good pigs determined to save the day. Hilarity ensues.
7+ reads later in just two days and I think we have a new favorite.
"Um, thank you, I think."
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Picture books help us understand one another and ourselves. They are windows of truth with messages not to be taken for granted. As we become further and further removed from elder cultures, picture books can help us remember, preserve, and protect history. But in all of my ramblings, I still can't shake the feeling that I'm not working hard enough in my library to educate my students on the lives and culture of the Native American peoples.
It's something I can certainly work to improve.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
I'd love to think either of my grandmothers would have read this (or have it read to them) as young girls and I'd love to know their responses. Here, a country bunny raises 21 children alone and, against all odds, trains the children to be independent and responsible for all of the house upkeep. Meanwhile, mother rises against the odds to become the next Easter bunny and even earns herself a coveted set of gold shoes.
A single bunny mother is fully capable of raising well-mannered, well-adjusted children.
A single bunny mother can achieve and excel at work outside the house.
The experience of being a single bunny mother and raising children on your own affords the individual a certain set of skills that prove invaluable outside the home.
This book feels ahead of its time.
Friday, April 19, 2013
Rosalie is a dog. She's an old dog. Sixteen, and loyal as she ever was to her family. A young girl narrates this story in a voice as understanding and wise as any child could be. With each explanation, always shared so matter-of-factly, the audience understands more keenly how much Rosalie is suffering. And yet, she remains a constant companion.
This book immediately reminded me of Elisha Cooper's Homer, for it's delicacy and respect for man's best friend.