Archive for the ‘Mrs. Raymond's favorites’ category

EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett

January 21, 2014

imgresIt’s winter, and we’re all trying to stay warm…plus have a few laughs. I’ve been reading EXTRA YARN by Mac Barnett in lots of my library classes. It is an award-winning  picture book fable about a little girl named Annabelle who lives in a dreary black and white town. She finds a box full of yarn of every color and knits sweaters for everyone in town, plus the pets and the houses, but the yarn never runs out! When a greedy archduke sails in from across the sea and steals her box of yarn, you might think that would be the end of her yarn adventures. The ending puts a smile on everyone’s face, and reinforces the notion that good always triumphs over bad, and kindness can transform a community. EXTRA YARN will give you a warm feeling on a cold winter day.

ADDY!

February 12, 2013

Photo Feb 12, 12 39 07 PMI always read MEET ADDY and ADDY LEARNS A LESSON in 2nd grade at this time of year, in honor of Black History Month.  The students learn so much about slavery and the struggle for freedom from sharing these fabulous American Girl books in library class.  This year I decided to treat myself to a mini-Addy doll.  Here she is with her mini-book that came with her.

Mia’s Book Shoutout #4

April 1, 2012

Fifth grade book lover Mia shares her favorite books

“A Book to Get You Buzzing About Spring
Have you ever thought about a bee’s life? What it does, all the different kinds of bees: which ones are useful; which ones are not; how long a bee lives; or how you get honey, I mean real honey?
Well, A Hive for the Honey Bee is told from all sorts of bee perspectives and Thora is the main character. Thora, is a worker bee and we follow her through her life. To really appreciate this book, you really need to know a few things about bees. First, the queen controls everything. Second, the drones do absolutely nothing– well, it’s awkward, but the drones are needed for the queen bee to make babies. Third, all the bees that work are females.
Back to the story which starts when the queen bee leaves Thora’s hive to start a new hive somewhere else. Of course you probably know that it is bad for a honey bee hive for the queen to leave, because the queen controls all the work orders. And, just all the bees knowing the queen is there helps everyone. So a hive must learn how to survive with only about 100 bees and no queen, so if you want to learn how the hive survives in this beautifully illustrated and written book, I recommend you read it now.  But if you are not too interested in bees, there is another part of this story!  It is about Moe, a drone, and his search to find idleness for all worker bees whether they want it or not.  He can see how unfair the hive is, even though most drones are too blind to see it themselves.
A Hive for the Honey Bee is so sad and good. When you finish it you will probably start to cry because Soinbhe Lally is a truly amazing author. Her writing in this book is SO beautiful. This book might be hard to get into at first, but if you just keep pushing through, you will eventually come out on top with the beauty of it. So if this sounds appealing to you, go to the “L” section of the Crescent Park School Library and read it. So, on your mark, get set, BUZZ!

A HOUSE IN THE WOODS by Inga Moore

January 30, 2012

I tell my classes that there has to be a conflict to have an interesting story.  I lied.  A HOUSE IN THE WOODS has no conflict, and it just became one of my favorite books.  True, not much happens.  Two pigs’ houses get broken accidentally by a moose and a bear, and together with some excellent beaver builders, they all build a new house that they can live in together.  Why do I like it so much?  The illustrations are beautiful;  it’s one of those books you just want to jump into so you can live there.  The expressions on the animals’ faces are humorous and expressive.  The fall scenery is gorgeous.  Everyone gets along. So, once in awhile it’s okay for a book to have no conflict, only cooperation and friendship, if it’s packaged this beautifully.  Everyone needs a cozy, feel-good story on their list of favorites.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

December 2, 2011

Before winter and the Christmas season really set in, I want to tell you about the greatest book I read last month, Wildwood.  Set in the real city of Seattle and the fictional “wildwood” that is located across the river from Seattle, it is full of adventure, danger, colorful characters, and nail-biting suspense.  There are echoes of the “Narnia” books, but the author has put his own personal stamp on it and made it original.  There are beautiful pictures throughout the book, drawn by the author’s very talented wife.

The main character is Pru, a young girl who loses her nearly one-year-old brother one day when she’s babysitting.  One minute he’s sleeping in the little red wagon, and the next he gets carried away by crows! Very disturbing, but of course she sets out to find him, and of course the crows have taken him to Wildwood, which is the mysterious forbidden area across the river from Pru’s city. Children have been taught that it is a dangerous, uncivilized land, but Pru is a daring and loyal sister who will stop at nothing to get her brother back. What will she find when she gets there? Will she succeed in finding her brother, and why would crows carry him away in the first place? Read this beautifully descriptive fantasy if you are looking for a challenging and rewarding reading experience.

NEW BOOKS FOR THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR

September 12, 2011

School is well underway, and it’s about time I shared some of the new books in the library collection that I read this summer.  I’m really excited about a lot of them, but I will start with my favorite.

How would you like to be the only girl in town?!  In THE TROUBLE WITH MAY AMELIA by Jennifer Holm, May Amelia is THE ONLY GIRL in her small farming community in Washington State.   And she has seven brothers!  Holm continues the story of this spunky, strong-willed girl and her family whom we first met in OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA (a 2002 Newbery Honor book).  The year is 1900 and life is hard for these  pioneers, who are mainly Finnish immigrants struggling to make it in their new country.  You will get a strong sense of what life was like in this time period: the hardships of farming, the danger of working in the lumber mill, the desperation of leaving home to start over in a new country.  If you think historical fiction is boring, this book is NOT:  May Amelia’s personality jumps off the page and she has a humorous way of dealing with almost everything.

The great outdoors

October 12, 2010

I hope everyone is getting out there and enjoying this beautiful fall weather we’re having.  One of the best ways to view the colorful leaves and feel the crisp air is to go hiking, and that’s exactly what I did this past weekend and the weekend before.   Here is a picture from the top of Goose Eye:

While I was hiking through the woods, I couldn’t help thinking about one of my favorite books, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  In this classic book, Sam lives in a hollow tree in the forest for almost a year and learns how to forage and hunt, make his own clothes from deerskin, and observe and “befriend” some of the animals of the forest.  What a great adventure!  Sam knew a lot more than I do before he left home to live in the wilderness, but I still think it sounds like a pretty awesome way to spend the summer.

Another excellent book about the great outdoors is Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler.   Of course Donn wasn’t having quite as much fun as Sam in My Side of the Mountain!  Donn got separated from his hiking group and spent many days alone, desperately seeking rescue.  My hiking group and I felt a little of Donn’s panic this weekend, as our hike took a little longer than expected, it was a lot colder at the summit than we thought it would be, and we found ourselves beginning the descent at almost 4:00.  There was ice on the rocks and we sure hoped we could get safely off the mountain before dark.  Luckily we did, and we all enjoyed a hearty dinner and a great sleep that night.   Next time we’ll start our hike a little earlier…