Wednesday, November 19, 2014

You Choose the Next Newbery Award - a reading challenge for 4th and 5th grade

You Choose the Next Newbury is an optional reading challenge for any and all interested 4th and 5th graders.

Ms. J. put together a list of new books that are being discussed as potential Newbery winners.

Students who accept the challenge need to read at least 5 of the books on Ms. J.'s list by February 2nd in order to be entered in the raffle.

On February 2nd we will meet in the library for:

  • lunch
  • vote on the best book
  • raffle off a gift certificate to Wellesley Books

The actual, official winner of the Newbery Award will be announced the morning of February 2nd and so we will have a chance to discuss if we think that was "the most distinguished contribution to children's literature" for 2014.

Flora & Ulysses by Cate DiCamillo won the Newbery Award last year.

Want to see which books have won in the past?  Here is a link to the ALA website with the official list: Newbery Medal and Honor Winners from 1922 to present

Some of my favorite books of all time have been Newbery Honor winners... those Honor books are worth checking out!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November is Picture Book Month

Read * Share * Celebrate

Aaron Becker, the author and illustrator of the stunning Journey and now Quest has these thoughts about why picture books are important:

"Why Picture Books Are Important by Aaron Becker
The picture book physically connects a child to their world through story. It provides an elemental platform in which storytelling can find its way into the newest members of our planet and provide a moral compass, or at the very least a subtle whisper: “You are not alone. You matter.” When we share a book with a child, an exchange is taking place: a passing-down of wisdom, adventure, joy, and even love. The pictures take on a special significance here. They become the vehicle of communication – the path upon which a young child can walk on, or better yet, to meander through, as they discover which way they want to go. As the world changes, we must ask ourselves what we’re losing in this transition from books to glowing entertainment devices. The fear here, I think, is that without the quieter paths of a shared book, we might all end up lazily building houses made of straw, or worse yet, turn into the big bad wolf himself, searching for the next best thing to eat up.
The picture book is a physical object that demands our engagement and attention. It does this without beeps or whistles or touch screens or promises of something faster, better, and more efficient. It tells us we can take our time. The pictures, within their bound pages, allow children to formulate their own stories; to find their own way. But the picture book also suggests something greater – that the world is a place we might have an actual connection to. In the arms of a parent, a child hears and touches and feels that connection through the simple gift of story. All they have to do – all WE have to do – is slow down and listen. I’ve yet to find an “app” that does this very well."