Thursday, May 16, 2019

Join Me for a #classroombookaday Webinar!

I'm excited to be partnering with Follett Community for some exciting #classroombookaday things this year,
and we're kicking it off with a webinar! 
Since I started incorporating a daily picture book read-aloud in my middle school classroom in 2014, inspired by Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday, I have seen the positive impact of this simple addition to the classroom routine grow beyond anything I could have anticipated. And now as an elementary librarian, I continue to see the impact of shared read-aloud experiences.
The basic formula:
  •  Read aloud a picture book each day.
  •  Build classroom community.
  •  Grow students’ thinking about text.
  •  Develop deeper empathy.
  •  Add joyful engagement to your classroom.
  •  Track the books read visually.
  •  Enjoy profound impact.
I have received many questions from teachers and librarians who want to get started, but are unsure about making it work. So I’m going live to help answer some of those questions!

Join me on Thursday, May 23 at 7:00pm CDT for a webinar
on how to get started with incorporating #classroombookaday in your classroom next year, the logistics of making it work, the benefits of adding this 5-10 minute routine, and my “getting started” book list recommendations.

If you can't make it for the live webinar,
be sure to register so you get an email with the link to watch the recording afterwards!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sharing the Heart to Offset the Hate in the Headlines: Books From Muslim Authors

With the news about the terrorist attack on mosques in New Zealand, my mind went to books I could share with students. The books that would help them better understand the wearing of a hijab. The books that would help them better understand what it means when they hear the word Muslim or Islam. The books that would help them better understand that there are Muslim authors in this country writing books for them to read. The books that would help them better understand that our library is an inclusive space. The books that would help them better understand the heart of the people instead of the hate from the headlines. The books that would help them better understand that we are not talking about an "other" but a "someone".  Because that is the power of books. They grow understanding and empathy, and if we are critical about representation and are intentional about what and when we share and promote them, they can grow a better society. So I'm sharing some recommendations of kidlit books by Muslim authors and illustrators. I hope you find titles to read and share on these lists.

Yo Soy Muslim, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Saffron Ice Cream, Mommy's Khimar, Under My Hijab, Malala's Magic Pencil, Stepping Stones, Salam Alaikum, The Proudest Blue, Bilal Cooks Daal, Leila in Saffron

Thursday, March 7, 2019

ANOTHER - Wordless Picture Book(s)

I love wordless picture books! When I heard Christian Robinson was debuting his first book as author & illustrator, I was excited to see what it would be about. When I heard it was a wordless picture book, I was even more intrigued.
And ANOTHER does not disappoint. Evoking a sense of wonder with its playfulness and creativity, there is much for kids to imagine in conjunction with each page. And I especially love that the idea for this story came from him thinking about diverse representation and wondering "what if you saw yourself in a book...literally"
interior spreads

Reading wordless picture books with students never fails to help me discover more than I could on my own. When kids get time to explore what they notice in the illustrations, they often point out things I missed or overlooked, and their enthusiasm in pouring over the pictures to find clues to the story is a joy to see.  I can't wait to see what they discover in the world of ANOTHER!

Some more of my favorite wordless picture books to share with students during #classroombookaday read alouds.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Author Interview: Eva Eland - When Sadness Is At Your Door

Happy Book Birthday to Eva Eland & When Sadness is At Your Door

A comforting primer in emotional literacy and mindfulness that suggests we approach the feeling of sadness as if it is our guest.
Sadness can be scary and confusing at any age! When we feel sad, especially for long periods of time, it can seem as if the sadness is a part of who we are–an overwhelming, invisible, and scary sensation.
In When Sadness Is at Your Door, Eva Eland brilliantly approaches this feeling as if it is a visitor. She gives it a shape and a face, and encourages the reader to give it a name, all of which helps to demystify it and distinguish it from ourselves. She suggests activities to do with it, like sitting quietly, drawing, and going outside for a walk. The beauty of this approach is in the respect the book has for the feeling, and the absence of a narrative that encourages the reader to “get over” it or indicates that it’s “bad,” both of which are anxiety-producing notions.
Simple illustrations that recall the classic style of Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon) invite readers to add their own impressions.
Eva Eland’s debut picture book is a great primer in mindfulness and emotional literacy, perfect for kids navigating these new feelings–and for adult readers tackling the feelings themselves!
To celebrate, Eva is here answering a few questions about her debut picture book. 
Image result for eva eland     

What inspired you to write this book about this topic right now?

Actually, I wanted to make a comforting picture book and wanted to understand more about image making that could achieve this. But I soon realised, that to make something comforting, I needed to understand the ‘difficult emotions’ better first, so I started to explore sadness, fear and anger as characters. Sadness was the one that I most resonated with myself, as it’s a feeling that has frequently visited me since childhood, and a feeling that has become very familiar, almost like an old friend.