Monday, December 29, 2014

Thoughts on Caldecott 2015

Update 2/2/15: The winners were announced this morning! I was able to watch the live stream online of all the ALA Youth Media Awards, which culminated in the Caldecott and Newbery announcements. Out of the books I listed below, only Sam & Dave Dig a Hole received an award (a Caldecott Honor). Though after writing this post originally I did do more research and had ordered the 2015 winner -- The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, illustrated and written by Dan Santat -- and so it was already on our shelf, waiting for the shiny gold sticker. All Caldecott winners can be viewed here.
I love reading everyone's predictions this time of year for Caldecott and Newbery winners (mostly Caldecott since I never seem to have time to read many chapter books...). I'm still fairly new in the library world, so it's difficult for me to just pick titles off the shelf as winners, but I do have opinions on some of the books other people have chosen!

Draw! by Raúl Colón
In general I'm not a fan of wordless books. I hated it when my daughters wanted me to "read" Goodnight Gorilla every night. And when this one came in at our library I wasn't expecting big things. But once I opened it up and paged through, and now the more I see it the more I like it. The sketching reminds me of last year's Locomotive winner, with realistic pencil drawings. And if the Caldecott is meant to honor "the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children", what is more distinguished than a beautifully illustrated book that doesn't even need words to tell the story?

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio
My own kids LOVE this book. I honestly had no idea it was even a possibility for the Caldecott until I saw it popping up on others' lists. It just seemed too simple to win the award, but I suppose it's the simplicity that is so appealing. There is great use of white space on some pages and full spreads of color on others. And illustrations that get across the idea of fitting in to a family no matter how you look gives it bonus points. 

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
I've only seen this book sporadically on mock Caldecott lists, but I'm hoping it will sneak in for at least an Honor this year. The way Soman creates the look of beautiful moving water is absolutely stunning.

Two books I haven't seen myself yet but are on order and I'm excited to look at are Blizzard by John Rocco and Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen

What are your favorite Caldecott contenders this year? 

Monday, December 8, 2014

O Christmas Tree

Every year our city's Chamber of Commerce holds a Christmas tree decorating contest among the local businesses. People in the community can vote for their favorite tree by bringing a non-perishable food item to be collected at the business. Here is our library's tree from last year:
We made it entirely out of old reference books, then strung a lighted garland around it. We had a contest for patrons to guess the number of books we used - 235!

This year we created a fireplace, and just put a little tree on top:
Yes there is a stocking for each staff member. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Storytime: Thanksgiving

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 25 minutes + play

This was our last Storytime of the fall session. Since we're closed on a couple Wednesdays in December and I've already been doing this for 12 weeks, the day before Thanksgiving was a good stopping point. We'll pick back up again when school starts, the first week of January.

1) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.

2) Thanksgiving Rules - Laurie Friedman
A fun what-to-expect-at-Thanksgiving book. I didn't read the "extra" sentences and list of rules on the pages, just the basic story.

3) Hello Mr. Turkey
Tune: If You're Happy and You Know It

Hello Mr. Turkey, how are you? (clap clap)
Hello Mr. Turkey, how are you? (clap clap)
With a gobble gobble gobble (hand under chin, wiggle fingers)
And a wobble wobble wobble (shake body)
Hello Mr. Turkey, how are you? (clap clap)

4) I'm a Little Turkey
Tune: I'm a Little Teapot

I'm a little turkey, my name is Ted
Here are my feathers, here is my head
Gobble gobble gobble is what I say
Quick! Run! It's Thanksgiving Day!

5) Turkey Pokey
Tune: Hokey Pokey

You put your wings in, you put your wings out
You put your wings in and you shake them all about
You do the turkey pokey and you gobble all around
That's what it's all about!

... drumsticks
... tail feathers
... whole turkey

6) Thanksgiving - Miriam Nerlove (non-fiction)
I wanted to include a book that told the story of Thanksgiving, since the majority of the kids weren't in school yet and had probably never heard of the Pilgrims and Native Americans. This was the best one I could come up with, it was published in 1990 so some of the pictures were a bit dated. If anyone else knows of a better non-fiction Thanksgiving book for preschoolers let me know!!

7) Five Little Pilgrims fingerplay
Five little pilgrims fish in the morn (hold up right hand, wiggle fingers)
Five little Indians help them plant corn (hold up left hand, wiggles fingers)
Pilgrims bring bread (bring right hand closer to middle)
Indians bring meat (bring left hand closer to middle)
Ten new friends sit down to eat! (fold hands together)

8) (10) Little Turkeys
I had a handful of stick puppet turkeys that I handed out to the kids. They stood in a line while we said the rhyme. I'd point at one kid during "one little turkey flew far away" and they would bring fly their turkey up for me to take. I have "ten" in parentheses because it doesn't really matter how many turkeys you start with!

(Ten) little turkeys sat in their pen
"Hide, turkeys, hide!" said the little red hen
One little turkey flew far away
But the other ones decided to stay
One little turkey sat in his pen
"Hide, turkey, hide!" said the little red hen
The last little turkey flew off toward the sun
And when he was gone, there were... none!

9) Thanksgiving Mice - Bethany Roberts

A simple re-telling of the Thanksgiving story. I don't think my kids really got the concept of the mice doing a play to tell the story though.

10) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.

11) Playtime/Craft
I brought out the blocks and instruments again. For the table craft I had cardstock with this little poem printed on the bottom:

This isn't just a turkey, as anyone can see
I made it with my hand, which is a part of me.
It comes with lots of love especially to say
I hope that you have a very

The kids traced their hands (or had their grown-up help) then colored their turkeys, and chose someone to give it to the next day at Thanksgiving.

Other Thanksgiving ideas: