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.

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