Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Book Birthday to Surf's Up!

I've always been a big birthday fan.  Fondly remember my first bike on my 6th birthday all decked out with a yellow banana seat.  Had my pregnant mom spinning 45s on a hot June day at my 50s theme birthday party when I was 9.  Made everyone play games at my "Game Themed" 12th birthday party.  Threw myself a rockin' 17th (not 16, that's too cliche) birthday party, a 24th birthday, 40th, 45th...Anyway, you get the drift, birthdays are important ways to celebrate life, accomplishments, challenges, obstacles we overcame and a time to really look forward to what's to come.

My first and second graders will always remember February 1, 2016.  This was the day we celebrated, sang, and ate cake in honor of the book birthday of Surf's Up by our friend, Kwame Alexander and illustrated by our new friend, Daniel Miyares.  You know we were hoping deep down for Daniel to come to Castleton Elementary School, and we are not ruling anything out, however we got the second best thing--Daniel projected on the screen as we chatted and asked him questions.  The kids asked great questions in front of a palm tree/tiki lamp backdrop, while he shared his insights into illustration and being an artist.

Finally, we sang happy birthday and dove into the cake.

Didn't Price Chopper do an amazing job on the cake decorating?

Doe loves Daniel as much as the rest of us. Here she is taking a break from cake serving to say "Hi!"

Thanks so much, Daniel, for a wonderful virtual visit!

In lieu of a FTF with Daniel, NorthSouth Books mailed me 66 (one for every first grader) backpacks. I am not a drawstring bag fan, but this one makes the exception! Thank you, NorthSouth!

Then this afternoon I had Mrs. Pryde's class in to work on our Sarah Weeks project and crazy me said, "Let's say 'happy book birthday' to Kwame!"  "Yeah! Yeah!" the squealed.  So I ran and got my phone and in 7 seconds the kids gave Kwame their good wishes.  I texted it out to him, switched my phone off from vibrate and waited.  While the class was still in the library, Kwame texted back and I, of course, shared it with the students.  How cool is that for them?

Speaking of Kwame, it is hard to believe a whole year has gone by since the 2015 Newbery announcement.  I will always remember that weekend and then the Monday (Snow Day!) and Tuesday afterwards. We had a cake ordered that we had to tell Price Chopper to put on hold.  We Skyped with Kwame the next day to wish him a congratulations.  Those kids (and me!) were pumped!  Landon, Noah, Eli, Jack, Liam, Chris, Andrew...and those are just a few of the kids.  Someone even cried when they heard it was a snow day because we'd miss watching the Youth Media Awards live.  It was crazy! Oh! And we had cake then, too!

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