News From the Library–May 31, 2010

India, the Moonstone Fairy

A Book Review by Devan and Olive

Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–Kindergarten missed Library this week due to a make-up art class.

First Grade–Told through a series of letters from a boy to his parents, I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff is a great way to introduce letter writing and also the power of persuasion.  One letter after another answers his parent’s concerns about getting a new pet and in the end, his hard work pays off.  The illustrations in the book are a charming accompaniment to the story.

Second Grade–Students love How I Became A Pirate by Melinda Long and they love a sequel, too.  In Pirates Don’t Change Diapers, we find Jeremy Jacob meeting up again with his pirate friends who have to come back for their treasure.  But first they have to babysit for his little sister Bonny Anne who proceeds to eat the treasure map!!  Fortunately all turns out in the end and the treasure is located.  David Shannon’s wonderful illustrations make this book a real winner!

Third Grade–Continuing with our study of William Steig books, third graders heard the charming tale of Zeke Pippin, a pig with a magical harmonica.  Although he becomes quite the accomplished musician, all his audiences promptly fall asleep.  This magic, however comes in mighty handy when Zeke is kidnapped by a band of dogs.  Once again, William Steig doesn’t disappoint with those “hundred dollar” words–one of this group’s favorite was nincompoop!

Fourth Grade–Mrs. Edwards’ class missed library this week due to Spring Sing Practice and Mr. Orr’s class heard Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig.  After the story we discussed what we would do if we had that magic pebble and answers ranged from becoming a trillionaire to solving the oil spill on the Gulf Coast.

Fifth Grade–As a last library day treat, fifth graders heard two of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.  These are always a big hit with older readers who can understand Dahl’s sense of humor.  Not to be read to the younger ones, though!

Sixth Grade–Sixth graders got back their “final exams” and we went over the answers together.  This week was their last library class at Cold Spring.  I wish them all the best!

News From the Library–May 24, 2010

Trixie and the Cyber-Pet

A Video Book Review by Malta and Olive

In the Library this week….

Kindergarten–Kindergarteners could really relate to Big Brother Charlie’s dilemma in I Will Never, Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child.  After we discussed which foods they would never not ever eat, K’s loved how Charlie got his little sister to eat all those foods she said she didn’t like.  The imaginative illustrations add so much to this delightful story and don’t be surprised if your child asks for a big serving of clouds at the dinner table!

First Grade–David Shannon’s irresistible illustrations captivated first graders in Melinda Long’s rollicking tale of a boy who is captured by pirates — How I Became a Pirate.  Although it seems like a great time in the beginning….no brushing of teeth, no manners at the dinners table, things get a little scary during a storm and there’s no one to say it’s all going to be okay.  But all turns out in the end especially with a treasure buried in the boy’s own back yard.  This book is great fun to read aloud with plenty of pirate “language.”

Second Grade–Margaret Mahy has such a delightful sense of humor and one of her funniest books is A Great White Man-Eating Shark: A Cautionary Tale.  Before I read the story we talked about what a cautionary tale might be but no one was prepared for the ending of this book.  Although the overriding caution was not to be greedy or selfish, the more specific one–if you look a little like a shark, and can act a little like a shark, be careful or you might attract a lady shark who wants to marry you and if you refuse, bite you!–brought some wide-eyed looks, especially from the boys!

Third Grade–Students are familiary with Chris Van Allsburg’s Polar Express, but none had heard this little gem of a picture book of his–The Sweetest Fig.  The illustrations are subtle and understated but match the story’s slightly strange characters–a selfish Parisian dentist, his little dog, a strange old woman with a toothache, and some amazing figs.   The abrupt ending with it’s delicious twist leaves students stunned but thoroughly satisfied.  This book is always a bit hit with third graders.

Fourth Grade–After looking a pictures of the Mona Lisa, fourth graders heard the true story of the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre Museum in 1911 by an Italian man who felt it should be returned to his homeland.  Told in the first person, this is a great way to illustrate point of view both as a literary device and as an example of voice.  The Stolen Smile by J. Patrick Lewis is beautifully illustrated by Gary Kelley and takes readers backwards from the arrest and imprisonment of the proud thief to the actual heist itself.  Students are as shocked as the thief to find out that Leonardo had actually sold the painting to the French and therefore it actually belonged in the Louvre all along.

Fifth Grade–Fifth Graders viewed the online game Cybersense and Nonsense and helped me evaluate it as a way of introducing the topic of cyberbullying to third and fourth graders.  They felt it contained very good information and was presented in a format that would appeal to younger students.  (Of course, it was a good way to review that information with fifth graders as well.)

Sixth Graders–Sixth Graders took “The Jeopardy Test” this week.

News From the Library–May 17, 2010

A Happy Bookworm!

The school year is winding down but one little bookworm is still happily munching in our Library.  First grader Hayden has set a new school record for the most books read by a Bookworm.  She is now completing her 5th card (there are 18 books on a card) and has checked out many books from our library and our public library, too.  This is the best part of my job….seeing a child dive into reading, gain confidence in their skills, and develop of love of reading.  Thanks to her mom for getting all those books from the public library!  This encourages a lifelong skill, the understanding of the importance of libraries, and the desire to read for pleasure.  Congratulations, Bookworm Hayden!

In the Library this week…..

Kindergarten–When George finds a huge golden egg under his mother’s favorite chicken he knows it’s something out of the ordinary.  The Egg by M.P. Roberston tells the delightful tale of the dragon who hatches from that egg and assumes George is his mother.  Taking on the job, George teaches him the ways of a dragon and finally, reluctantly releases him back the the dragon world.  One of the most enjoyable parts of the book for kindergarteners (aside from the luminous illustrations) is guessing what is in the egg.  Prediction skills are an important part of reading comprehension and this book is a very enjoyable way to practice those skills.

First Grade–Can you get lost in the Lost and Found?  That’s a question for Wendell, Floyd, and Mona in Mark Teague’s Lost and Found. As we close in on the end of our school year, our lost and found bin is getting pretty full and this is a fun story for students to hear.  Could there really be a whole world beneath our school?  One with lakes, and rooms with many doors, and all those unclaimed items that languish in the lost and found?  Watching students suspend their disbelief and become enraptured by the story is almost a fun as reading it aloud.  Then gently they return to reality but I’ve noticed a few of them checking out the bottom of our lost and found bin, just to be sure……

Second Grade–Second graders are busy doing research on dinosaurs and making wonderful ceramic dinos in art.  So this week, they heard How I Captured a Dinosaur by Henry Schwartz.  After learning about dinos in school, a little girl goes on a camping trip hoping to find one.  And as it’s her birthday, she hopes to convince her parents that she can keep him as a pet.  Lo and behold, she finds her dinosaur, an Albertosaurus she names Albert and because her parents promised she could have any pet she wanted, they rent a flatbed truck and bring Albert home.  This books touches on one of the fondest daydreams of children—a dinosaur for a pet, and parents that would literally do anything for them!

Third Grade–I love to read aloud books by William Steig.  He never talks down to children and in fact, delivered book after book with stunning prose, beautiful and descriptive words that challenge students.  Between the context and the illustrations students learn the skill of reading with context in mind and can figure out the meaning of words like flabbergast, odiferous, dawdle and more.  This week Third Graders enjoyed The Amazing Bone and loved the language, including the wonderful spell (of nonsense words) that the bone casts to save Pearl, the pig.

Fourth Grade–Fourth Graders reviewed their online safety skills this week with an interactive game on a website called The First Adventure of the Three Cyberpigs–Privacy Playground. This is an excellent website called Media Awareness and gives great information for students  (and parents) in a very enjoyable and accessible way.  We played the game as a group and discussed such things as not giving out personal information and understanding when sites are collecting information to use for spam mail.

Fifth Grade–Fifth graders are working on their State reports in the classroom so this week Mrs. Wooten’s class used our atlases to find out information about state symbols.

Sixth Grade–We played our final session of Library Jeopardy this week in preparation for next week’s Library Jeopardy Final Exam.


Please start looking for those lost library books…..the big “roundup” is coming soon!

News From the Library–May 10,2010

Happy Mother’s Day!


To get ready for Mother’s Day First graders heard Berkeley Breathed’s Mars Needs Moms.  The spectacular illustrations and the dramatic story quite literally held them spellbound.  I’m sure they could relate to Milo’s dilemma in that it seemed like his mom was only a “broccoli bully” or a “carrot cuddler” until she’s kindnapped by Martians where they need those moms to do all the things those moms do best.  Milo not only rescues her but understands that his mom will love him to the ends of the universe.  This is a great story to read aloud!

Kindergarten–If you were a piglet, would you like to have a babysitter named…..Mrs. Wolf?  In Mr and Mrs. Pig’s Evening Out by Mary Rayner,  Mrs. Pig is distacted by her preparations and doesn’t notice that the babysitter sent by the agency has long hairy legs and a twitching tale.  She even suggests she eat something if she’s hungry.  Kindergartener’s loved being able to predict what might happen but were mighty relieved when the piglets saved their brother Garth from being Mrs. Wolf’s snack.  Mrs. Wolf wasn’t seen again for a long time.  (Or at least until next week.  Stay tuned for Garth Pig and the Ice Cream Lady……)

First Grade–see opening post.

Second Grade–When Martha, the dog,  eats alphabet soup in Susan Meddauagh’s Martha Calling, the letters go to her head instead of her stomach!  After driving her owners crazy with all her talking, Martha finally stops.  But when a burglar attemps to rob the house, someone named Martha calls 911.  After that, according to her grateful family, she can talk all she wants!  Seconds graders truly enjoy the humor of this story.

Third Grade-One of my favorite books to read aloud is Susan Meddaugh’s Hog Eye.  It’s also a great way to teach irony as many times the pictures and the story don’t exactly match.  But it’s the hysterically funny way in which the little pig (supposedly) outwits the wolf that has both my students and me in stitches.  They never forget the curse of hog-eye….especially the last line.

Fourth Grade–Fourth graders really enjoyed using the atlas to find state symbols and then find them in a word search.  This lesson teaches the value of an index and how to use it.  As students found symbols, I pulled up pictures for them on my laptop.  They enjoyed seeing flora and fauna that we don’t have here in California.

Fifth Grade–Fifth grade missed library this week due to STAR testing.

Sixth Grade–Sixth graders finished their report on their god or goddess and printed them out so they can be displayed with the beautiful ceramic plates they have made at our annual Art Faire on June 3 .  One paragraph is their essay was about what their god or goddess would think of our world today and the responses were fascinating!  Many felt that their god or goddess would be unhappy with how we’ve cared for the world and urged more concern for the environment.