News from the Library–Sept. 26, 2011

Our Visit with Author Lee Wardlaw

Last Friday we were so lucky to have had a visit from children’s book author, Lee Wardlaw.   Lee gave three fantastic presentations–one to Kindergarten in their classroom, one assembly for grades 1-3 about her new picture book, Won Ton, and one assembly for grades 4-6 about her ever popular books, 101 Ways to Bug Your Teacher, 101 Ways to Bug Your Parents, and 101 Ways to Bug Your Friends and Enemies.  What made her visit here so special is that Lee attended our school when she was a child,  and to the delight of her audience, told them how she wrote her first book right here at Cold Spring School when she was in the second grade!  Her fantastic ability to relate to the children, coupled with her interactive presentations made this a memorable day for all students at Cold Spring.  And to add to the wonderful day, students were able to purchase autographed copies of her books provided by Kiona Gross, owner of the Curious Cup Bookstore.  Stop by the Curious Cup, Carpinteria’s independent children’s book store, at 929 Linden Avenue in Carpinteria to see a great selection of books for children of all ages.  And for more about Lee and her wonderful books, visit her website:

Thank you, Lee and Kiona!


Also in the Library this week….

Kindergarten–Kindergarteners loved hearing The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore.  Different forest animals discover a mysterious object in the woods and each tried to use it for a different purpose.  The Bear uses it for a hat, the mice for a table, the rabbit for a bed, and the worm (almost) for a snack until a little boy discovers it and reads it aloud, and they find it is a book about how they found the book!  The idea of a book within a book delighted the students.

First Grade–What happens if your best friend is a little on the mischievous side?  And what if you go along with him and then regret it?  This is what happens in Hunter’s Best Friend by Laura Elliot.  The story turns around when Hunter starts to give a good example to his friend, Stripe, and they both find that behaving well can be so much better than being troublemakers.  This is a book that first graders can really relate to as the situations all take place in a classroom.  It’s a great way to discuss classroom behavior showing how a negative can be turned into a positive.

Second Grade–This week Second graders heard the story of Penelope Popper, Book Doctor by Toni Buzzeo.  Then I showed them a real backpack in which I had placed items that are good for books and not so good for books.  They had fun giving the items “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” and I’m hoping the the concrete visuals will help them remember the importance of taking good care of our library books.

Third Grade–One of my favorite read-alouds for third grade is Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen.  Before reading the book, students watched a Keynote presentation and did the Visible Thinking Routine See, Think, Wonder regarding the actual library lions in front of the New York City Public Library.  After listening to the book, they tried a new routine Fluttering Feelings in which they thought about one of the characters in the story and how that character’s feelings changed over the course of the story.  Using these routines has added so much depth and complexity to our discussions of books and I’m excited to continue to explore their use with other books we read.

Fourth Grade–Fourth Graders loved hearing actor/comedian Steve Martin’s latest picture book Late for School.  The illustrations by C.F. Payne add so much to the rollicking story of a book who rushes to school, only to find out it’s Saturday!  We used the Visible Thinking Routine Plot Prediction, and fourth graders had lots of ideas about what might happen in the story after I stopped about three-quarters of the way through.  Students came up with some very creative endings and gave evidence to support their ideas.  We might have some future writers in the group as well as some present and future comedians!

Fifth Grade–The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter is the true story of a librarian in Iraq who saved over 30,000 books from destruction by hiding them in her house.  Before reading the book, students saw a Keynote presentation that showed the location of Basra along with some actual photos of the the destruction of the library.  Using the Visible Thinking Routine See, Think, Wonder provided them with a clear background for the story.  The book itself, with its sparse but powerful text and woodcut-like images, is a powerful lesson about the value of books in any civilization and it made for a springboard to a further discussion about the efforts to rebuild Iraq.

Sixth Grade–Sixth Graders reviewed how to use our catalog system this week and then we did a round of “Speed Dating for Books.”  After talking about the different ways to “meet” a book, I put stacks of new fiction and popular sixth grade fiction on three tables and after “getting acquainted” with the books, I’m happy to say that students took several home for a “longer lasting relationship.”


One comment on “News from the Library–Sept. 26, 2011

  1. Lee Wardlaw says:

    Thank you, Cold Spring School, for welcoming me ‘home’ with so much enthusiasm! I had a great time talking with your staff and students, and reminiscing about my days at CSS. Special thanks to Pam Herzog and Janet Reid (aka ‘Mrs. Book’) for coordinating Author Day…and for the delicious lunch! Go, Dolphins! Love, Lee Wardlaw

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