Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Welcome to Wonderland 2

Disclosure: This happened two weeks ago.  I'm a bit behind in publishing this post!

Tuesday we had another book birthday at Castleton Elementary School.  Cupcakes, popcorn, beach jello, watermelon, cookies, and more.  Everything but BALLOONS?  What?! No, it's ok! You're thinking of the other amazing Chris Grabenstein story. This one is fun in the sun.  And the Beach Boys songs are still roaming around in my head.

Fancy bakeries would have the book made out of fondant.  I just printed out 75 covers and topped the cupcakes.

Daniel brought in the jello beach cups. Yum!

Ronan almost has me believing that we ARE at the Wonderland Motel.

I asked Chris a long time ago if he would be able to Skype with us during our party.  Turns out he was in Albany for the day and could literally stop by to our party for 20 minutes.  Lucky us!  That was just enough time to do the Monkey Dance, answer a few questions from my "Chris Grabenstein Quiz" and sign some books.

Chris is like an old friend here in Castleton.  He's had dinner at Doe's twice.  No one else can say that. Yet.  He's visited our school three times, Skyped once and given us a video or two here and there. He's had two galas in his honor--at the first one I practically begged him to show up (and I didn't even know him then) and the second one was the Olympics, so a "kind-of" gala.  It had the energy of the Gala without the gowns and black ties.

The party was super fun and went without a hitch. I couldn't have done it without the help of other teachers, parents, Grandma Dottie, my principal, our future Superintendent and of course, Doe and her husband, Bob, who picked Chris up from his Albany school visit.  I must add that Grandma Dottie was the waitress extraordinaire serving apple juice on trays and you would almost think that Mr. Chevrier, Superintendent-To-Be, was really applying for the Custodian-To-Be job the way he was carrying around the broom!

Chris is BACK!

Happy Book Birthday!

Izzy and Ryan are big Wonderland fans. They even wrote blurbs about it!

We sold a good number of books! Yay!


Even our custodian loves Chris!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Mini Reviews of New or Soon to be Released Picture Books

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the School Library Journal Day of Dialog.  The author illustrator panels were amazing as well as the keynotes and publisher pitches.  I feel so much more prepared to dive into my summer reading! And bonus! I came home with literally a suitcase bulging with new books!

Mondays are our fifth grade Reading Ambassador meetings.  So today I put out the picture books that I got last week and had the kids read alone or in pairs some of the books and give me a brief review. They loved all the books they read!  You might want to start your fall book list right here!

Don't Forget Dexter by Lindsay Ward 

Review by CC and Kerrigan

"I liked how Dexter was talking to the reader and questions the reader.  It was really funny!"-CC
"I loved his name, Dexter T. Rexter, because it rhymes and it's funny."-Kerrigan.

Dexter tries to escape the library because his best friend, Jack, left him there. Every time Dexter tries to explain something to you, there are all these weird pointy arrows.  It's funny what he writes on them.  For example, the goldfish is an "unhelpful spectator."  Kids of all ages will laugh out loud!

Blobfish Throws a Party by Miranda Paul Illustrated by Maggie Caton

Review by Luc and Zack

Blobfish is lonely at the bottom of the ocean with no lights, no friends and no treats. So he throws a party but everyone hears the message differently.  So how will the beings get to the party?  

We liked how the other animals all heard the party message differently.

Max and Bird by Ed Vere

Review by Brody

The book Max and Bird is a tale of friendship as Bird tries to fly.  This story will hellp younger kids learn that reading can help teach you how to do things and will also teach them a lesson not to eat your friend!

The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow Illustrated by James Ransome

Review by Demi and Jordan

This book is about a girl who is too shy to sing at her family's Christmas party. Then she goes to sleep and when she wakes up there are toy soldiers and the decorations on the tree come alive.  All of a sudden an army of mice arrives and they are too afraid to fight. They keep running away. Then one of the toy soldiers gets knocked out and his toy drum falls on the floor. What will Marie do to save the day?

We liked how the illustrator made everyone African American and made them look realistic.

Benny Shark Goes to Friend School by Lynn Rowe Reed Illustrated by Rhode Montijo

Review by Katherine

Benny was so mean in the beginning but after he goes to Friend School, he becomes nice and makes friends with Janice the Jellyfish.

Life by Cynthia Rylant Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

Review by Lilah

I really liked the pictures and I learned that there's a lot of life in nature.

Anna and the Tooth Fairy by Maureen Wright Illustrated by Anna Chernyshova

Review by Violet and Emma

Anna is a sweet little girl who has a little sister and a wiggly tooth.  Anna has a big imagination. She is a hilarious little girl.  This book was very well written.  We like how the family has a special bond.