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Results 26 - 50 of 75,744
26. #819 – A Baby’s Guide to Surviving DAD by Benjamin Bird & Tiago Americo

A Baby’s Guide to Surviving Dad Series:  Baby Survival Guides Written by Benjamin Bird Illustrated by Tiago Americo Capstone Young Readers    2/01/2016 978-1-62370-610-4 24 pages    6″ X 7″    Ages 0—3 . “HELLO, BABY. “The whole life thing is pretty new to you, right? Luckily, you have a dad. Unluckily, he’s new to the …

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27. 90 Picture Books for 90 Years of Black History Celebration

In 1926, ninety years ago, the group now known as The Association for the Study of African American Life and History sponsored a week in February to promote achievements of peoples with African ancestry.  February, being the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, seemed the ideal choice. After ninety years, we still celebrate in February, except no longer just a week, but now for the entire month.

The best way to celebrate Black History Month with your children is to read to them!

There are many informational books about Civil Rights, slavery, and African Americans’ great accomplishments. Black History Month can be celebrated by remembering those who have contributed to our past or by inspiring those who will create future history. I have prepared a book list, 90 Picture Books for 90 Years of Black History Celebration, which focuses on the past and also features African American children as main characters in everyday situations.

The initial motivation for this list began when assisting Toledo Public Schools with the Real Men READ-y program. This program pairs African American males with students to develop an interest in reading. Program administrators requested books that would interest their students with a focus on establishing pride in African American heritage. According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, over 3,500 picture books were reviewed in 2014 and only 5% featured African American characters.  As a result of this, a child’s self-esteem could be affected in a negative way. To counteract this, we need to lift up our children with encouraging books that help African American children build confidence, pride, and self-acceptance, exactly what this book list sets out to accomplish.

All children, no matter what race, should read a variety of books that have characters that look, act, and believe differently, so we all can appreciate the diversity around us!

Here is a sampling of books from the booklist:90 Books for BHM-page-001Click HERE to get the printable, complete version of 90 Picture Books for 90 Years of Black History Celebration

***********************************************************************************

Courtesy photo of guest blogger

Courtesy photo of guest blogger

Our guest blogger today is Angela Bronson. She currently works for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library as a Children’s Librarian at the Kent Branch and is pursuing her MLIS at Wayne State University.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

The post 90 Picture Books for 90 Years of Black History Celebration appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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28. Little Bitty Friends by Elizabeth McPike, illustrated by Patrice Barton


Babies love to look at babies. And even though there are no more babies in my family, every few years or so, there is a book that comes along that reminds me of how much babies love to look at babies and how wonderful the perfect book filled with babies can be. Little Bitty Friends, written by Elizabeth McPike and illustrated by Patrice Barton is one of those books. McPike and Barton also created Little Sleepyhead, which is due out in board book this spring. Both books pair repetitive, mellifluous rhymes with equally charming illustrations of toddlers that pop thanks to crisp white backgrounds. In Little Bitty Friends the setting moves from bedtime to the natural world, which, after babies, is the second greatest thing babies love to look at.


A trail of ants, a fuzzy caterpillar, a field of flowers and a snail leaving a trail fill the pages of Little Bitty Friend along with a diverse array of adorable, bright eyed, big headed babies. The sneeze of a cat, the chitter of chipmunks and the nibble of a mouse are the sounds of Little Bitty Friend. As the cadence of the book winds down, a basket full of baby rabbits, "nuzzle while they nap," and a toddler and a puppy snuggle on a blanket under a tree. The final spread, above, has to be one of the sweetest I have seen in a long while and one that will always make me smile and remember when my own babies were small enough to tuck their heads under daddy's chin. 

Little Bitty Friends, and Little Sleepyhead, are the perfect gifts for anyone welcoming a baby into the world, from moms and dads to grandpas and grandmas, and anyone lucky enough to have a baby in their lap!






Source: Review Copy

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29. #820 – Greatest Guru in All the World by Jojo Wood

Today is Take Your Child to the Library Day! Get out those library cards at get thy self and children (don’t have any, borrow one or more from a mom needing a break), and get to the library. Check out the new books, the old books, storyhour, and everything else your local library offers. Today’s …

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30. Roller Girl

Roller Girl. Victoria Jamieson. 2015. 240 pages. [Source: Library]

Do I typically read graphic novels? Not really. I want to admit that from the very beginning of this review! I might average about two or three a year. And I usually just read the ones that are getting Newbery buzz or actually do get a Newbery or Newbery Honor. Roller Girl IS a graphic novel. It IS a Newbery Honor book for 2016.

Roller Girl is a coming-of-age graphic novel set mainly in the summer as the heroine, Astrid, goes to Roller Derby summer camp. Astrid is a bit angsty that her friend, Nicole, is no longer her best-best friend who wants to do every little thing with her. For example, Nicole does NOT want to go to roller derby camp, she wants to go to dance camp. She also wants to start hanging out with and dating boys. Astrid? Not really her thing--at least not yet. There is some jealousy mixed in with frustration. It isn't just that Nicole is interested in different hobbies. It is that Nicole is spending time--a lot of time--with other people. And one of those people she's now spending a LOT of time with is her nemesis, Rachel. Rachel and Astrid have some ancient history--way back in second grade, I believe?!

Astrid is confused and frustrated and moody and angry and DETERMINED. Roller derby is, by far, the hardest thing she's ever done--ever attempted. And it does not come easy. She is not a natural on skates--not by any stretch of the imagination. And it is physically, emotionally, mentally challenging to her. She WANTS it so bad that she pushes, pushes, pushes to improve. It is because she struggles that I believe she is so relatable.

I also liked how Astrid begins to make other friends outside of Nicole, and, that she is given the opportunity to find her own thing, to become her own person. True, part of that journey involves dyeing her hair BLUE. But having blue hair isn't the "worst" of her crimes--in the eyes of her mom. It is the fact that Astrid is less than honest. Still, I think the two are depicted as having a mostly-positive relationship. Which is nice to see in fiction. That Moms and daughters can get along and talk through their differences.

Astrid also finds a mentor--of sorts--in Rainbow Bite. Readers do learn a good bit about the sport of Roller Derby.

So overall, I enjoyed the characterization. I enjoyed the coming-of-age aspect of it. And despite the fact that it is a graphic novel, and, despite the fact that it is sports-focused, I did enjoy it. I read it quickly, in one setting.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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31. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, 320 pp, RL: TEEN



Since I started working as an elementary school librarian I have not bee reading as much YA as I used to. As a bookseller, I shelved in the teen section and set the displays and was always reading the blurbs for the books - even the ridiculous fantasy titles I knew I'd never read. I have a few favorite authors like Publisher's Weekly invites publishers and editors working in the kid's book industry to share their favorites, which is where I learned about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, winner of the William C. Morris Debut Author award this year! 

What draws me to the works of David Levithan and Rainbow Rowell over and over are the unforgettable characters and narrative voices they create along with the engaging, sometimes breathlessly so, sometimes achingly so, romances that unfold over the course of their novels. In Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Albertalli hits all these marks and more. Using first person narrative, emails, texts and tumblr posts, Albertalli creates Simon Sphere, an articulate, witty, occasionally carless, sometimes impulsive, and frequently self-absorbed high school junior who evolves over the course of the story, taking the occasional step outside the out of the inevitable bubble of narcissism that envelops most teenagers. The audio book, which I thoroughly enjoyed, is narrated perfectly by Michael Crouch.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda begins, "It's a weirdly subtle conversation. I almost don't notice I'm being blackmailed." But the story really begins at the start of school in August when Simon sees a post on the creeksecrets tumblr, a gossip (and bible quotes and bad poetry) feed where students from Creekwood High post anonymously, and he responds to it. The post is only about five lines long, but it was grammatically correct (something that most posts on creeksecrets aren't) and "strangely poetic." Blue, the poster, wrote about feeling both hidden and exposed about the fact that he is gay, and the "ocean between people," and how it seems like the "whole point of everything is to find a shore worth swimming to." The two begin a fast, intense correspondence, fueled by the fact that they don't know each other's identities. The beginning stages of their crush are exhilarating and Albertalli captures the flirtations and intimacies perfectly in their emails and Simon's eagerness and anticipation around them.

Martin Addison, fellow drama student and subtle blackmailer, has let Simon know that he forgot to log out of his gmail account while using the library computer. Martin has taken a screenshot and, in return for deleting this image, he would like Simon to "help him talk to Abby," the new girl in school who has bonded with Simon. This sets the story in motion, Simon struggling to protect Blue, who has not come out yet, and juggling his friends and their individual turmoils and his own evolving sense of self. Alebrtalli does an amazing job making the supporting characters fully formed, believable and integral to the story while also having their own story lines. From Simon's closest friends, the classic rock loving soccer jock Nick and the moody, anime obsessed, self-conscious Leah, to Simon's older sister Alice and younger sister Nora, and his almost-too-cool and possibly over-involved parents, these characters feel real and their struggles have meaning. And there is no extra baggage in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. As much as I love Simon's voice and Albertalli's writing and probably could have happily read/listened to an additional 50 to 100 pages of this book, I have the greatest respect to Albertalli and her editor for keeping it tight.

While the plot of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda hinges on Simon not wanting to be outed, the story is more about Simon and Blue's burgeoning relationship and the mistakes and missteps Simon makes along the way, than it is about coming out and being openly gay. That said, Simon's story subtly makes some points and asks some important questions. At one point Simon asks, "Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another and it shouldn't be this big, awkward thing whether you're straight, gay, bi or whatever." As a straight person, Albertalli's novel allowed me a deeper understanding of how it feels to be in the minority, to have people assume something personal and intimate about you. Like all brilliant books, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda allowed me to feel what it's like to be someone else.

I can't wait to read Becky Albertalli's next book, which features Molly, a chubby Jewish girl who lives in the suburbs of Washington DC. Molly is the cousin of Abby, the new student at Creekwood High School and her story takes place the summer after Simon's. With this connection, Albertalli has promised appearances by some familiar faces! For more details, read this fantastic interview
!

Source: Purchased Audio Book

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32. Notebooks on Field Trips: Discovering the Writer’s Life

One of my favorite things about being a classroom teacher was taking educational field trips with my students. One year, I took my fifth grades on 20-25 field trips around the five boroughs… Continue reading

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33. The REFORMA Children in Crisis Project: A Personal Account

Photo by Hendrik Terbeck

Photo by Hendrik Terbeck

The REFORMA Children In Crisis (CIC) Project was created by librarians who witnessed an inhumanity and felt compelled to act. There are several articles out there that introduce the great work of this project. However, for this piece, I wanted to bring in a perspective that captured the spirit of the movement — the very personal connection the members have to the work they do. Ricardo Ramirez is a Senior Library Assistant for Youth and Spanish Services at Butte County Library in Chico, California. Below is a personal narrative about his experience.

I started working on the REFORMA CIC in the summer of 2014. It was during my second semester as a MLIS student at SJSU, and in the very early stages of being a parent, that the contemporary plight of refugees from Central and Latin America came to the forefront of my attention. Because at the time I did not have a television, it was from following social justice non-profits on Facebook and being networked on social media with activists and educators, that I began to learn the issues affecting these refugees, and moreover, the fact that so many of them were unaccompanied children from some of world’s most dangerous regions. The keyword here, is children, very much like my own child, who would like to climb up on my lap while I did my graduate research. I was not surprised to learn that this type of child migration existed, but it was shocking none the less, and especially painful to see the conditions in which they were detained by immigration agencies. At the time I had just finished a pair of papers, Counter-Storytelling in Young Adult Literature and Braided Histories: Beyond Collected Biographies in Children’s Literature, both of which explored how “non-traditional” narratives can provide young people in hostile environments valuable resources and emotional support. A flicker of hope and inspiration occurred: I am a position to offer some type of support…

Before I had submerged myself in statistics of the crisis, before I understood the demographics of the refugee children, there were a handful of photographs that moved me. It is important for me to mention this because I was in the early stages of raising my own child and also deeply involved in the early learning programming at my library, and from that particular vantage point at that time in my life I was constantly motivated to explore how young minds could be shaped by positive learning environments and play. The photographs that I saw of the refugee children were in stark contrast to what I saw on a daily basis, and what my ideals were for creating spaces where children and families can thrive and explore. Far from learning environments, most child refugees from Central America are detained in spaces that are dark and heartbreaking. I held my own child as I encountered these images, and I knew that the one thing I could do for them was to extend my hand and my heart. I imagined a consortium of librarians and educators providing school, storytimes, and performance. I had witnessed on a daily basis how a genuine smile, a song, a story could brighten the spirit of child who was attending their first storytime, or listening to their parent hum a melody they had never heard before. As I daydreamed about all of this, in Austin, San Diego, Miami, Fresno, and in other parts of the country, librarians, the kind who have spent their entire library careers as advocates for the underserved and unrecognized, gathered their energy and came together to form what would become the REFORMA Children in Crisis Task Force. Somehow, because I raised my hand when they called for members, I was pulled in by their gravitational force, and have been along for the ride ever since.

Addressing the literacy and information needs of these children is a part of a complex issue. Children and teens who are fleeing from violent regions face extreme hardships that can cause a lifetime of trauma. Books and outreach are an important step. Librarians like Ady Huertas and David Lopez, two all-star members of the CIC Task Force, have provided outreach to detention centers and refugee shelters by providing books and programming, as well as giving tours of their libraries, library card sign ups, and summer reading programming. In both cases, they were supported by their local REFORMA chapters and members into action. Ady Huertas’ proximity to the US-Mexican Border Region and her connections with Tijuana librarians like Rosa Maria Gonzalez, has enabled our outreach to expand not only to refugee children, but also children and families who are living in extreme geographic and socio-economic isolation. 

It is eye opening work, that can be exhausting. But what it has done for me is to be constantly vigilant for causes of the underrepresented and populations of young people that have experiences that we may be unprepared to deal with. Challenges exist. At the core of the CIC is a continual fundraising and advocacy effort for a cause that is perpetual and variable from region to region. Add to this, working against a strong re-emergence of hostility towards migrants and refugees, librarians who serve youth and families have a strong responsibility to be inclusive to new communities and be prepared to provide resources that are focused on their evolving needs. Yet librarians and educators must also be able to create programs for all in their service areas that reinforce community building and positivity towards new immigrants. This can be as simple as taking the time after a storytime to personally welcome a new family with warmth and gratitude because they are spending their family time with you.

The most important thing about all of this, for us as information professionals and resource providers to children and families, is that refugee children are living their lives in a state of uncertainty. They don’t know if they will ever find a safe refuge, here or anywhere else. All take great risks to migrate towards safety despite increased violence and persecution on their route to the United States. Refugee children from Central America, much like their counterparts from distraught regions in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, have no other option but to keep moving away from violence. There is no home to return to. In the past few years many of us have been inspired by public libraries that open their doors to act as a refuge for communities in pain. At the same time, we are heartbroken by imagery of children in detention and being passed from nearly capsized fishing boat into the hands of rescue. What is at the heart of the CIC mission is that some relief is possible in this, be it through the gift of a book that a child can take with them on their journey, or in the outreach that we can offer as they prepare to resettle into a new life that has more hope for them.

To learn more about how you can get involved, visit the REFORMA Children in Crisis Project website. 

Sylvia Aguiñaga, LSSPCC Committee Member 

Ricardo Ramirez, Senior Library Assistant for Youth and Spanish Services, Butte County Library, Chico, CA

The post The REFORMA Children in Crisis Project: A Personal Account appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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34. Obsessing Over #3: The Last Place on Earth


This book hit my radar about two weeks ago.  The synopsis really caught my eye and I wanted to read it ASAP.  I checked to make sure it wasn't for download on edelweiss.  It wasn't so I wrote the release date in my calendar.
Then, one night before bed I was looking over my "to read" shelf and I discovered that I already had an ARC of it!  Macmillian does a great job of having bloggers request ARCs, but for some reason this one just went right on my shelf and I hadn't posted and "added to my list" about it.  So here I was, obsessing over this book when I had it already to go!
It is next up when I finish SWEET HOME ALASKA and THE YEAR WE FELL APART!

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35. Posy the Puppy

Posy the Puppy (Dr. Kitty Cat #1) Jane Clarke. 2016. Scholastic. 96 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I was most impressed with Jane Clarke's new series Dr. KittyCat. Posy the Puppy is the first title in the series. The premise is simple and fun. Dr. KittyCat is a cat who is a vet. In this first book, she and her nurse, Peanut, see several animal patients. In particular, they see Posy the puppy, who is mysteriously sick and unable to compete in a Field Day competition. Can Dr. KittyCat help Posy feel better? Will Posy be able to compete after all?

I think the book is super-sweet, super-adorable, super-fun. The illustrations use "real" pictures of animals in their mostly purple illustrations. The fact that I love, love, love cats, I like animals, and I love the color purple, well, it helps me really love this new chapter book.

Chapter books and series books are both important stages in the learning to read, learning to love to read process. Do you remember which books you read as a child that helped you learn to love reading?
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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36. Glow by W.H. Beck

Glow: Animals with Their Own Night Lights  by W.H. Beck Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016 Grades K-5 Children will be instantly attracted to the close-up photographs of unusual creatures contrasted on black backgrounds in Glow, a nonfiction picture book featuring bioluminescent animals such as lanternfish, atolla jellyfish, vampire fish and the glowing sucker octopus. Beck explains on the first

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37. I Like to Draw / I Like to Write by The Small Object, 144 pp, RL 3


I have a serious problem. I love to buy books like I Like to Write / I Like to Draw by The Small Object and then, overwhelmed by the creativity and charm of the book itself, along with the frightening permanence of what I am supposed to put on the page, I never, ever make use of the amazing, gorgeous, fantastic book in my hands. But, I have a two-fold strategy for I Like to Write / I Like to Draw: I am going to coax myself into actually using this brilliant book by telling myself that I can use these prompts with my students during the 90 minutes a day each grade spends with me AND I can also nudge myself into using it as a way to fulfill my goal of drawing every Saturday and sharing it on my new Instagram account where I am posting every day about a different book that I read or am reading.



So, why do I love I Like to Write / I Like to Draw? Writing and drawing in one book, for starters. For elementary school kids, and myself as well, I find that these two things go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Sarah Neuberger, the multifaceted creative mind behind this book, is an illustrator, designer, wedding cake topper maker (see below) and stamp maker. In 2009 she started working with Chronicle Books on en ever-gorwing collection of gift and paper products that are worth checking out. For I Like to Write / I Like to Draw, Neuberger, devised categories for each half. In I Like to Draw, these include, Picture This, Imagine That, Create Here, Nature Observations, Personal Perspective, Dream Big and Pattern Play. Sometimes a sentence or two will appear at the bottom of the page, giving artists further ideas. A Complete the Scene page with golden swirls on it invites readers to "Draw more golden clouds and imagine how it would feel to walk through them." Enjoying this book is definitely an immersive experience!



The writing portion is happily, wonderfully visual, with a sketch or two on every page. The nice thing about I Like to Write is the nice combination of story writing and other writing exercises. One page with two word bubbles invites writers to create a conversation. Another invites writers to pretend that they work at a paint company and are charged with coming up with the names of twelve different swatches on the page, with the instructions to use two words per name. "A Taste Bud's Story" includes a reproduction of a "guest check" that a waitperson uses in to take orders and invites writers to write down items from a favorite mean and what made it so memorable on the check. There are the backs of postcards with writing prompts, a page of mostly blank fortunes from fortune cookies, rebus puzzles as story prompts, free associations with words like, "whistle, tree, magnetic, chair," and map the connection prompts with words like "notebook" and "library." There are so many more super cool prompts I want to share here, but really, just go out and buy this book. Buy two - one for yourself and one to give to a creatively minded kid in your life!

Source: Purchased


Sarah Neuberger has also been creating personalized Wedding Toppers since 2008! 







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38. Walking and Talking with . . . M.T. Anderson!

There were many fine and fantastic works of nonfiction for older children and teens in 2015.  One such book won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Award while another won an Honor.  Now those two authors chat about the process of creating narrative nonfiction.  We’ve featured a fair number of Walking and Talking chats on this site, but I think this one is of particular note.  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Steve Sheinkin in conversation with M.T. Anderson:

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.06.06 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.06.36 AM

For those of you curious about Mr. Anderson’s book you can see my interview with him here.

Thanks to Steve for allowing me to showcase his work.  For previous entries in the “Walking and Talking” series, please be sure to check out the following:

 

 

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39. So, Why Do I Write? Discovering the Writer’s Life

When the co-authors of Two Writing Teachers invited me to join the team, I was overwhelmed. When Julie Johnson asked me to co-author an iBook through the Columbus Area Writing Project, I was again submerged in fear. I found myself wondering if these writers had read my writing. I mean, if they had read my ramblings on my personal blog they wouldn't be inviting me, right? Do writers ever lose their doubts?

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40. Review: How It Went Down

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon. Henry Holt. 2014. Review copy.


How It Went DownThe Plot: Tariq Johnson, sixteen, dies from two gunshots fired by by Jack Franklin. Tariq is black; Jack is white.

There are many people who know Tariq, who know Jack. Who saw them before the shooting and after. Each has a their own story to tell, about what they know.

The Good: There is an old saying, that for every two people there are three sides to their story. Their versions, and the truth.

The problem, of course, is figuring out what that truth is and is not.

Here, there are those who say that Tariq was just a teen with a chocolate bar. And others who say he had a weapon. And some that say that Jack was justified. And others who say it was murder.

How It Went Down is told in many voices, friends, family, acquaintances. It's the story of Tariq's life and death and the aftermath, but we also find out about the lives of those who in telling Tariq's story tell their own. What I like about these multiple narratives is it doesn't give any answers of what really happened. It's up to the reader to decide who is right -- but the thing is, it's clear that everyone is right. Or, rather, everyone believes that they are right in what they know, what they saw, and what they believed.

And it's not just the shooting of Tariq, and whether or not it's the self defense that Jack claims. It's also whether, as the story unfolds, Jack's claim of self defense is made in part not because of anything that Tariq did or did not do but because Tariq was a black teenager and so Jack assumed and believed things about Tariq. And along with that is how the others react to Jack's claims, including the police who release him. And then the community reaction, because a black teenager is dead and the white shooter is released.

From the start, the reader knows that Tariq is dead. Knowing that doesn't lessen the impact of this death, or feeling the sorrow and grief of his family and friends. It does make one wish "if only, if only." And while this will be a good book discussion book because it allows for the readers to say what they believe happened, it's also a good book discussion book because it allows the reader to take a closer look at their own beliefs. Who do they believe? And why?

How does one's own perspective influence their memory? What they see? And what they believe?








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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

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41. Family Maker Fun

Everyone had a great time at our Family Maker Fun program last night. We played with Zoob tubes, K'Nex, Keva planks, Snap Circuits, and built marble roller coasters.  Our next session is Wednesday, April 6th at 6:30 PM (registration is March 23rd) -- come join us!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   




Posted by Sue Ann




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42. Rock-A-Bye-Romp by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Simona Mulazzani



If English is your native language, there is a very strong possibility that can sing the first few lines of the nursery rhyme lullaby Rock-a-Bye Baby without even thinking about it. If you can do this, then you know how strange the words to this 250+ year old song are. With Rock-a-Bye Romp, Linda Ashman not only reclaims this song, she manages to give this updated version a classic nursery rhyme feel - without the original Mother Goose strangeness. Add to this the patterned, playful, painterly mixed media illustrations of Italian artist  Simona Mulazzani.


Rock-a-Bye Romp begins with these adorable endpapers that really need to become a textile - be it bedding or jammies for babies. Ashman begins with the question, "Rock-a-Bye, Baby, in the treetop. How did you ever get so high up?" as if she's addressing the weirdness of the original and moving onward and down, into a crow's nest. As baby bounces down from the nest to the barnyard, then from pig to sheep to duck Mulazzani's illustrations almost evoke a Tuscan farm with rolling golden hills and a lapis colored night sky.


Ashman brings Baby and her book home on the wings of a hawk and into the nursery where Mommy is rocking Baby to sleep in her arms beneath a mobile made up of the animals Baby encountered. As Mommy tucks Baby into the cradle the illustrations shows a tree painted on the nursery wall that mirrors the original tree the cradle was stuck in at the start of the book. And the blanket Mommy tucks Baby in with? It's the same pattern as the endpapers!

Rock-a-Bye Romp is a wonderful new book - a much needed update of a curious classic paired with gorgeous illustrations that make it a beautiful, perfect gift for a new baby.

Source: Review Copy

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43. STORIES FROM OUR WORLD: DISCOVERING THE WRITER’S LIFE

We spend so much of our writing workshop time focused on craft moves, and how to make our writing engaging and beautiful; but I want my kids to know that the writer’s life is also about paying attention to the world...

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44. Vacation


I'm on vacation this week - escaping the cold.

Until I get back, perhaps you'll enjoy my recent reviews for AudioFile Magazine:


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45. Celebrating Black History Month with Poetry

February-- Black History Month-- is a great opportunity to showcase all the wonderful poetry created by African American poets who write for young people and there are so many great choices! Of course, we include this poetry in our programs, lessons, and special celebrations all year long, but this is a great opportunity to immerse ourselves in these great writers. 

First, I want to give a shout-out to Curious City for featuring 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World by Charles R. Smith, Jr. with audio versions of each excerpt free and accessible to all! Here's the link. Each poem is read by a range of professional narrators, complete with music and sound effects. Just listen to the first one and you'll be hooked! 


Poem Postcard

I featured a "theme" poem for Black History Month by Charles Waters from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations earlier. You'll find the poem postcard on Pinterest here


List of African American Poetry for Young People
There are so many wonderful African American poets writing for young people-- and who have been writing for years. In my book, The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists, I provide a list to get you started. Here it is updated a bit and as usual I welcome any suggestions for additions.

  1. Adedjouma, D. Ed.. 1996. The Palm of My Heart: Poetry by African American Children. New York: Lee & Low.
  2. Adoff, Arnold, comp. 1974. My Black Me: A Beginning Book of Black Poetry. New York: Dutton. Reprinted, 1994.
  3. Adoff, Arnold. 2010. Roots and Blues, A Celebration. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  4. Adoff, Jaime. 2005. Jimi & Me. New York: Hyperion.
  5. Adoff, Jaime. 2008. The Death of Jayson Porter. New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion. 
  6. Alexander, Elizabeth and Nelson, Marilyn. 2007.  Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Little Misses of Color. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong.
  7. Alexander, Kwame. 2014. The Crossover.Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  8. Alexander, Kwame. 2016. Booked. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  9. Angelou, Maya. 1993. Life Doesn’t Frighten Me. New York: Steward, Tabori, & Chang.
  10. Brooks, Gwendolyn. 1956/1984. Bronzeville Boys and Girls. New York: HarperCollins.
  11. Bryan, Ashley. 1997. Ashley Bryan's ABC of African American Poetry. New York: Atheneum.
  12. Bryan, Ashley. 2014. Ashley Bryan's Puppets: Making Something from Everything. New York: Atheneum.
  13. Clinton, Catherine. Ed. 1998. I, Too, Sing America: Three Centuries of African American Poetry. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  14. Crisler, Curtis. 2007. Tough Boy Sonatas. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
  15. Dunbar, Paul Laurence. Reissued, 1999. Jump Back Honey. New York: Hyperion.
  16. Feelings. Tom. 1993. Soul Looks Back in Wonder. New York: Dial.
  17. Giovanni, Nikki. 1994. Knoxville, Tennessee. New York: Scholastic.
  18. Giovanni, Nikki. 1996. The Sun Is So Quiet. New York: Henry Holt.
  19. Giovanni, Nikki. 1997. It’s Raining Laughter. New York: Dial.
  20. Giovanni, Nikki. Coll. 2008. Hip Hop Speaks to Children. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks.
  21. Greenfield, Eloise. 2004. In the Land of Words. New York: HarperCollins. 
  22. Greenfield, Eloise. 2006. The Friendly Four. Ill. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. New York: HarperCollins.
  23. Greenfield, Eloise. 2008. Brothers and Sisters: Family Poems. New York: Amistad/HarperCollins.
  24. Greenfield, Eloise. 2011. The Great Migration: Journey to the North. Ill. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Amistad/HarperCollins. 
  25. Grimes, Nikki. 1994. Meet Danitra Brown. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. 
  26. Grimes, Nikki. 1996. Come Sunday. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans.
  27. Grimes, Nikki. 1997. It’s Raining Laughter: Poems. New York: Dial.
  28. Grimes, Nikki. 1998. A Dime a Dozen. New York: Dial.
  29. Grimes, Nikki. 1998. Jazmin’s Notebook. New York: Dial.
  30. Grimes, Nikki. 1999. At Break of Day. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman.
  31. Grimes, Nikki. 1999. At Jerusalem’s gate. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdman.
  32. Grimes, Nikki. 1999. Hopscotch Love: A Family Treasury of Love Poems. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. 
  33. Grimes, Nikki. 1999. My Man Blue: Poems. New York: Dial.
  34. Grimes, Nikki. 2000. Shoe Magic. New York: Orchard.
  35. Grimes, Nikki. 2000. Is It Far to Zanzibar: Poems about Tanzania. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard. 
  36. Grimes, Nikki. 2000. Stepping out with Grandma Mac. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  37. Grimes, Nikki. 2001. A Pocketful of Poems. New York: Clarion.
  38. Grimes, Nikki. 2002. Bronx Masquerade. New York: Dial.
  39. Grimes, Nikki. 2002. Danitra Brown Leaves Town. New York: HarperCollins.
  40. Grimes, Nikki. 2004. What is Goodbye? New York: Jump at the Sun/Hyperion.
  41. Grimes, Nikki. 2004. Tai Chi morning: Snapshots of China. Chicago: Cricket Books.
  42. Grimes, Nikki. 2005. Danitra Brown, Class Clown. New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard.
  43. Grimes, Nikki. 2005. Dark Sons. New York: Hyperion.
  44. Grimes, Nikki. 2006. Thanks a Million. New York: Amistad.
  45. Grimes, Nikki. 2007. When Gorilla Goes Walking. New York: Orchard.
  46. Grimes, Nikki. 2011. Planet Middle School. New York: Bloomsbury.
  47. Grimes, Nikki. 2013. Words with Wings.Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  48. Grimes, Nikki. 2015. Poems in the Attic. Ill. by Elizabeth Zunon. New York: Lee & Low. 
  49. Grimes, Nikki. 2016. Garvey’s Choice. Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  50. Gunning, Monica. 2004. A Shelter In Our Car. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  51. Gunning, Monica. 2004. America, My New Home. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  52. Hudson, Wade. Ed. 1993. Pass It On:  African American Poetry for Children.  New York: Scholastic. 
  53. Hughes, Langston. (75th anniversary edition) 2007. The Dream Keeper (and seven additional poems). New York: Knopf.
  54. Hughes, Langston. 2012. I, Too, Am America. Ill. by Bryan Collier. Simon & Schuster.
  55. Hughes, Langston. 2009. My People. Ill. by Charles R Smith Jr. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  56. Hughes, Langston. 2009. The Negro Speaks of Rivers. Ill. by E. B. Lewis. New York: Disney-Hyperion.
  57. Iyengar, Malathi Michelle. 2009. Tan to Tamarind: Poems About the Color Brown. Ill. by Jamel Akib. San Francisco, CA: Children’s Book Press.
  58. Johnson, Angela. 1998. The Other Side: Shorter Poems. New York: Orchard.
  59. Johnson, James Weldon. 1995. Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing. New York: Scholastic.
  60. McKissack, Patricia. 2011. Never Forgotten. Ill. by Leo and Diane Dillon. New York: Schwartz & Wade.
  61. McKissack, Patricia. 2008. Stitchin’ and Pullin’; A Gee’s Bend Quilt. Illus. by Cozbi A. Cabrera. New York: Random House.
  62. Myers, Walter Dean. 1993. Brown Angels:  An Album of Pictures and Verse. New York: HarperCollins.  
  63. Myers, Walter Dean. 1995. Glorious Angels:  A Celebration of Children. New York: HarperCollins.  
  64. Myers, Walter Dean. 1997. Harlem: A Poem. New York: Scholastic.
  65. Myers, Walter Dean. 1998. Angel to Angel. New York: HarperCollins.
  66. Myers, Walter Dean. 2003. Blues Journey. New York: Holiday House.
  67. Myers, Walter Dean. 2004. Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices. New York: Holiday House.
  68. Myers, Walter Dean. 2006. Jazz. Ill. by Christopher Myers. New York: Holiday House.
  69. Myers, Walter Dean. 2009. Amiri and Odette: A Love Story. Ill. by Javaka Steptoe. New York: Scholastic.
  70. Myers, Walter Dean. 2011. We are America; A Tribute from the Heart. Ill. by Christopher Myers. HarperCollins.
  71. Nelson, Marilyn. 2001. Carver: A Life in Poems. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
  72. Nelson, Marilyn. 2004. Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
  73. Nelson, Marilyn. 2005. A Wreath for Emmett Till.Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  74. Nelson, Marilyn. 2008. The Freedom Business. Asheville, NC: Front Street.
  75. Nelson, Marilyn. 2009. Sweethearts of Rhythm; The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World. Ill. by Jerry Pinkney. NY: Dial.
  76. Nelson, Marilyn. 1997. The Fields Of Praise: New and Selected Poems. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.
  77. Nelson, Marilyn. 2015. My Seneca Village. Namelos.
  78. Nelson, Marilyn. 2014. How I Discovered Poetry. New York: Dial.
  79. Nelson, Marilyn. 2016. American Ace. Dial Books. 
  80. Neri, G. 2010. Yummy; The Last Days of a Southside Shorty. Ill. by Randy DuBurke. New York: Lee and Low.
  81. Neri, G. and Watson, Jesse Joshua. 2007. Chess Rumble. New York, NY: Lee & Low.
  82. Neri, Greg. 2014. Hello, I'm Johnny Cash. Ill. by A. G. Ford. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  83. Newsome, Effie Lee. 1999. Wonders: The Best Children’s Poems by Effie Lee Newsome. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills.
  84. Okutoro, L. O. 1999. Quiet Storm: Voices from Young Black Poets. New York: Hyperion.
  85. Pinkney, Andrea Davis. The Red Pencil.Ill. by Shane W. Evans. New York: Little, Brown.

  86. Shakur, Tupac. 1999. A Rose That Grew from Concrete. New York: Pocket Books.
  87. Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2002. Perfect Harmony: A Musical Journey with the Boys Choir of Harlem. New York: Hyperion/Jump at the Sun.
  88. Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2003. Hoop Queens. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. 
  89. Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2003. I am America. New York: Scholastic. 
  90. Smith, Charles R. Jr. 2004. Hoop Kings. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. 
  91. Smith, Charles R. Jr. Jr. 2007. Twelve Rounds to Glory: The Story of Muhammad Ali. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  92. Smith, Charles R., Jr. 2010. Black Jack; The Ballad of Jack Johnson. Roaring Brook.
  93. Smith, Charles R., Jr. 2012. Stars in the Shadows: The Negro League All-Star Game of 1934. Ill. by Frank Morrison. Atheneum.
  94. Smith, Charles R. Jr. 28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World. Ill. by Shane W. Evans. New York: Macmillan.
  95. Smith, Hope Anita. 2003. The Way a Door Closes. New York: Henry Holt.
  96. Smith, Hope Anita. 2008. Keeping the Night Watch. New York: Henry Holt.
  97. Smith, Hope Anita. 2009. Mother; Poems. New York: Henry Holt. 
  98. Smith, Jr., Charles R. 2004. Diamond Life: Baseball Sights, Sounds, and Swings. New York: Orchard.
  99. Steptoe, Javaka. Ed. 1997. In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers. New York: Lee & Low.
  100. Strickland, Dorothy S. and Michael R. Strickland. Eds. 1994. Families: Poems Celebrating the African-American Experience. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills.
  101. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 1993. Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea: Poems. New York:  HarperCollins.
  102. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 1995. Gingerbread Days. New York: HarperCollins.
  103. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2000. Hush Songs: African American Lullabies. New York: Hyperion. 
  104. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2001. A Mother’s Heart, A Daughter’s Love: Poems for Us to Share. New York: HarperCollins. 
  105. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2002. Crowning Glory. New York: HarperCollins. 
  106. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2007. Shouting! New York: Hyperion.
  107. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2008. The Blacker the Berry. Illus. by Floyd Cooper. New York: Amistad.
  108. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2000. The Sound that Jazz Makes. New York: Walker.
  109. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2001. Sidewalk Chalk; Poems of the City. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press. 
  110. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2002. Remember the Bridge: Poems of a People. New York: Philomel. 
  111. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2006. Dear Mr. Rosenwald. Ill. by R. Gregory Christie. New York: Scholastic. 
  112. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2007. Birmingham, 1963. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  113. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2008. Becoming Billie Holiday. Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press.
  114. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2008. I, Matthew Henson: Polar Explorer. Ill. by Eric Velasquez.
  115. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2014. Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America. Ill. by Jamey Christoph. Chicago: Albert Whitman.
  116. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2014. Sugar Hill: Harlem's Historic Neighborhood. Ill. by R. Gregory Christie. Chicago: Whitman.
  117. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2015. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
  118. Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2016. You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen. Simon & Schuster.
  119. Woodson, Jacqueline. 2003. Locomotion. New York: Putnam.
  120. Woodson, Jacqueline. 2014. Brown Girl Dreaming. New York: Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin.

FYI: I have similar lists of poetry in The Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists, including:
*Asian American Poetry for Young People
*Hispanic/Latino/Latina Poetry for Young People
*Native American Poetry For Young People
*International Poetry for Young People
*Bilingual Poetry for Young People
and many more...

Previously
And here is a list of previous blog posts that feature poetry for young people by African American writers:
1. For my post, "Happy birthday, Maya Angelou," click here and for a tribute to her poetry for young people, click here.
2. For two posts on The Great Migration by Eloise Greenfield, click here and here.
3. For my post on Roots and Blues by Arnold Adoff, click here.
4. For my post on Shouting! by Joyce Carol Thomas, click here
5. For my post on Rosa Parks Day, click here.
6. For my post on I Am the Darker Brother by Arnold Adoff, click here.
7. For my post on Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate, click here
8. For my post on Marilyn Nelson's contribution to Poetry Tag, click here.

Now head on over to Tricia's place, The Miss Rumphius Effect, for more Poetry Friday fellowship. See you there!


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46. Newbery is Over, Long Live the Newbery Award

The coronation  of ALSC’s latest Newbery winner is so new that as of this writing the official Newbery page has not been updated to include this year’s winner, Last Stop on Market Street. Still, even with the latest winner fresh in our minds, at my library we have started looking ahead to the potentials for the 2017 Award. The reason for our future-flung eyes? It’s time to start Newbery Visionaries again!

Harold W. McGraw, Jr. fellow and fellow ALSC Blogger Lisa Nowlain designed our awesome logo!

Newbery Visionaries is our mock-Newbery award book group. In previous years, it has run from September-January. It’s a registered, after-school program that meets once a month and requires participants to use their best critical thinking and evaluation skills on 16 potential Newbery Award winners. As in previous years, we got a huge amount of registrants for our program by sending out an eblast to parents highlighting the various Common Core-required skills this book group would build in their tweens. And we promised pizza!

We made a few changes to the program as well. This year, for the first time ever, we are expanding the time frame. Our first meeting is in three weeks! Participants used to read four books each month over a four month period, and then vote on their winner in January. Our expanded schedule will allow them to read two books a month instead, which is a more manageable expectation. The other change we made was to bump up the ages participating in the program. In previous years we’ve offered the group for kids in grades 4-6, but I started to rethink that in 2014. One of the books we read was The Family Romanov and several of our fourth graders were horrified by what had happened to the royal family. This year, we are offering the book group to kids in grades 5-7. Interestingly, as the program will run from February – January of 2017, we will end up with kids in grades 6-8.

We’re all looking forward to kicking off our discussion with Sara Pennypacker’s Pax!

Our new start date does present me with an interesting conundrum. In previous years, I’ve created our booklist of potential winners in mid-summer. This gives me nearly six months of personal reading, perusing of starred reviews, and preview attendance to base my selections on, not to mention the unending usefulness of blogs like Heavy Medal. This year, I needed to purchase at least our first few months of books with nothing more than my own opinion and Heavy Medal’s  extremely early 2017 Reading List to guide me. Our first discussion will take on Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Joan Bauer’s Soar.

Which books would you add to a mock-Newbery list in February? I am extremely open to suggestions!

 

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47. Number One Kid

Number One Kid. Patricia Reilly Giff. 2010. 80 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Number One Kid is the first book in Patricia Reilly Giff's Zigzag Kids series. The books are loosely connected, I believe, by the fact that all the main characters attend the same school, Zelda A. Zigzag elementary school. But the books do not share main characters. This first book is narrated by Mitchell McCabe. Mitchell, for better or worse, tends to think of himself as a loser. He doesn't see himself at being particularly "good" at any one thing. Will participating in the after-school program help him change how he sees himself? It isn't like he has a choice in the matter--he has to attend the after-school program regardless. But the good news is, it turns out he actually likes the after school program.

If you're looking for good, strong, deep characterization, this series will probably prove disappointing. If you're looking for extremely light, but widely diverse characterization, you probably will find it satisfying enough. I have to be honest and say that I found the characterization to be very light, and, the plot very light as well. So it isn't that this is a plot-driven, action-driven read at the expense of characterization. What it does have in its favor perhaps is the fact that it is short and illustrated. Also the book does tend to focus on friendship and teamwork and getting along.  

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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48. Cover Reveal: What a Beautiful Morning by Arthur A. Levine

It’s a cloudy February here in Illinois.  Yesterday the heavens opened up and let loose a downpour.  Today it is wet if not actively raining.  We are in the thick of winter, albeit an oddly warm one.  With all this in mind, I think we need some cheering up.

Now a friend recently pointed out to me that there are a plethora of books coming out this year penned by publishers and agents.  Crazy, right?  If I’d been paying attention I’d have put that in my SLJ trending piece.  In any case, today’s cover reveal is from the man who had the wherewithal to bring us Harry Potter.  Arthur A. Levine has a new picture book out (and it’s hardly his first) and it’s coming to our shelves on August 9th.

Behold!

KidsLogoORIGINALFILE

Aw. Bring it all home, Katie Kath.

Thanks to Cassie Drumm for the pic.

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49. Blog Tour & Food From Fiction: Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Etsby Dagg


Today is my stop on the SWEET HOME ALASKA blog tour.  I adored this book and will be reviewing it in a couple days.  Today I am welcoming the author to my blog for a Food From Fiction post.  The main character, Terpsichore, loves to cook and bake and when we meet her she is the main cook for her family due to a deal she made with her mom.  A lot of food is mentioned in this book and more than once I got to thinking about making cookies after reading a few chapters.  I asked for a recipe from the author and she provided one that is discussed in the book.  Thanks for visiting today Carole!
Since the old-timer, Mr. Crawford, recommended this recipe and it is the star of Terpsichore’s best-selling cookbook at the Palmer Fair, the obvious choice is Jellied Moose Nose. 
After all, in the wilds of Alaska, you don’t want to waste a smidgen of the moose you just shot. 
If you actually make it and eat it, you will have earned the right to milk and cookies for the rest of your life. 

From the Recipe Book of Terpsichore Johnson 
Jellied Moose Nose 
Put a large kettle of water on to boil. 
Hack off the upper jawbone of the moose just below the eyes and boil it for forty-five minutes. 
Dip the jawbone in cold water and pluck the hairs from the nose. 
Wash the nose thoroughly. 
Boil the nose again in fresh water with chopped onion, garlic, and pickling spices until tender. 
Cool overnight in the water it was boiled in. 
The next morning, remove the meat from the broth and remove the bones and cartilage. 
Thinly slice the meat, pack it in a glass dish with high sides, and cover with the broth. 
Season with salt, pepper, or vinegar to taste. 
Refrigerate. 
As the mixture cools, it will jell so it can be sliced. 
P. S. I’m a pescatarian, so that’s my excuse for never having tried it.
 
I am not a pescatarian, but I still don't think I would try it because I am also not an adventurous eater!
Pick up a copy of Sweet Home Alaska today. You will enjoy thoroughly enjoy Terpsichore and her adventurous, positive spirit!

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50. Program in a Post: Stuffed Animal Sleepover

Stuffed Animals Playing on the Bridge in Youth Services at RPL

With this post, a storytime, a camera, and a color printer you can have a grand time caring for stuffed animals overnight!

Back in 2011 the brilliant guest contributor and librarian extraordinaire, Kris Lill, posted about Allen County Public Library’s Stuffed Animal Sleepover program and now, all of these years later I am here to remind you about this wonderful, easy, awesome program that brings in the numbers and fuzzy friends!

The first Stuffed Animal Sleepover at Rochester Public Library (MN) was presented in June 2015 to 23 people and 7 stuffed animals. We followed that with a program in October 2015 for 150 people and 73 stuffed animals and THEN (are you ready for this) in January 2016 for 295 people and 115 stuffed animals! And the thing is, it is one of the easiest things you can do if you don’t mind working after hours on a Friday night.

Supplies:

  • A fabulous bedtime storytime
  • A camera

    Sleepover Book Cover

    Sleepover Memory Book Cover

  • A color printer
  • A stapler
  • A template for your Stuffed Animal Sleepover Memory Book (Ours is available by request, just ask in the comments and I will email it to you. It is a Publisher file.)
  • A list of photo ops for the animals
  • Rubber bands, binder clips, and other tools to use while posing the animals.
  • Other optional activity items as desired
stuffed animal poster

Stuffed Animal Sleepover Poster

Prep work: Advertise your program at storytimes and other events for preschoolers and elementary school kids (I would be happy to share our Publisher poster template as well). We also created a Facebook ad for our January program, which we think was part of the reason for the through-the-roof attendance. Gather your storytime books, props, and music. Have your Sleepover Memory Book template ready to go and prepare a list of photo ops.

Crafts Sleepover Memory Book Page

Optional prep work includes: Make simple braided friendship bracelets from yarn, art projects, or sleepover buttons for all of the animals. These activities also make great photo ops as you can take pictures of the animals making bracelets, art, and/or buttons.

Puppet Show Sleepover Memory Book Page

Washing Machine Sleepover Memory Book Page

Room Setup: Set up for a storytime with one small addition: have a blanket or two spread out at the front for the kids to use to put their animals to bed. For our next event, we are going to use an adjacent meeting room as a bedroom for the animals.

Program format: We schedule our Stuffed Animal Sleepover for 4:30pm on a Friday (one hour before closing). The storytime lasts about 25 minutes and then we invite the children to tuck their stuffed animals into bed and remind them to pick their friends up the next day.

After all the animals are tucked in and tears are dried, we start setting up the animals for photos in several “behind-the-scenes” shots. For this last event we took photos of the animals “sleeping”, playing the piano in the auditorium, putting on a puppet show with our puppet theater, experimenting with art supplies in the back room, and jumping on the bed. Once the library was closed we took some of the animals out into the Youth Services Division to play in our Minnesota Children’s Museum Smart Play Spot for a few more photo ops.

Sleepover Jumping on Bed

Jumping on the Bed Sleepover Memory Book Page

After we had all of our photos, including a few extras to post on Facebook, we uploaded them to the computer and filled in the memory book with the best of the best. While 125 books were printing, we cataloged the animals and put them on carts for pick up. It required several carts for 115 animals! After stapling the books together, we left them on the Youth Services Information Desk for distribution with the animals. We usually finish with everything around 7pm. Pick up time made for a busy Saturday morning with happy smiles and hugs all around!

Playing on the Bus Sleepover Memory Book Page

 

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