Thursday, August 30, 2012

Preparing for an Author Visit

So I've been working on a ... what do they call it in blogland? A craftivity?
Maybe let the kiddos choose their colors ... adapt it a bit. Then write their own story of THEIR "Sea Monster's First Day at __________________." Could be soccer practice or ballet class or who knows. Would that work for the K and first? Theirs would be bigger.

Then Over and Under the Snow. Now that one's a little harder. We live in South Texas. Some of the kids have never even SEEN snow. Could they do an over and under desert version? Too bad habitats aren't in the scope and sequence until later in the year.

Already convinced three third grade teachers to read Marty McGuire. If I was a COOL librarian we'd have a worm farm or a frog in a little terrarium in the library. I've been thinking about it for a while but ... I just don't think I can do it. UGH. Creepy slimy squirmy.

Fourth grade Capture the Flag. The author has a Pinterest board for the book.

They are proving a little harder nut to crack. Well. Them and fifth grade.

And fifth grade Eye of the Storm? Here's that Pinterest board.
Oh. I forgot to get a pic of that banner.

Want to know why? Strange coincidence or something unpleasant? Sisters Grimm and The Homework Machine. Two different areas of the library. Both had multiple small bugs in them today. You know what I will be doing the rest of the week? Checking books. Do we have a problem, Houston? #imgrossedout  #buthopefullyitsnothing I found the first one. Didn't tell anyone. A teacher found the second. If I hadn't been so mortified the look on her face would have been PRICELESS.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012


So in hopes of a spiffier look (and of course to help out the kiddos looking for books) I've been trying my hand at making some signs.

Our catalog has to stay Dewey. As I've mentioned I'm not sure I would change it anyway. They still have to learn and we still have to have good signs.
Anyone ever seen a fun clip art Bigfoot? Or assortment of kid friendly religious images? Oh, or language. Got Spanish and an Irish girl ... but that's it. Would be good to have maybe something French or German or Italian or whatever.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Which Ms.O Actually Reads Babymouse & Squish

AND THEY ARE SO FUN! Don't get me wrong ... we had them. But graphic novels have not really been my thing. I just get them for the kiddos. I would say ... strong mid-second grade and up?

This is a long post, BTW. Saved all the reviews until I was done. :/

I am poking around the Silhouette site to see if there is a pattern I can tweak to make a Babymouse. Will also have to look to see what we could order ... little standups or posters or what have you. Once we have some budget money. Or (cause let's be realistic here :X) I do.

I know the NerdyBookClub just had their Babymouse for President contest. Maybe we should hold one at school ... in mid-late October? Right before the "actual" election? Wouldn't have the famous judges but that's OK. Can't do September because we will be preparing for Kate Messner's visit and bookfair. AND on October 6th we will be hosting a STAR WARS READS DAY. I was more of a SW girl before. Now I'm a Babymouse enjoyin' SW girl. :]

I am curious. Do the kids recognize all the pop-culture references? Like if I made ... sort of a scavenger hunt. Would they know them? Or would any teachers participate if I included them? Would love to get teachers reading graphic novels. They tend to look down on them and tell the kids they don't count. (To be honest ... I knew they "counted" as reading but I used to look down on them a little bit! I know better now!) They are quick reads for a grown-up. Anyway.

Check out Babymouse's webpage here. And here's the Cafe Press site. There are some fun items here. #tempting
Oh and check out Colby Sharp's post here. He's getting ready for a Jennifer Holm visit and gathered several links to videos and such. I'm more jealous now than I would have been at the beginning of the summer!

Babymouse: Queen of the World! (Babymouse, #1)Babymouse: Queen of the World! by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one had me at the inside front cover where Babymouse whispers "You could always just take a peek at the last page of the book."
And then it had to go and be a great story about figuring out who your real friends are.

Babymouse: Our Hero Babymouse: Our Hero by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think my favorite frame is Babymouse standing there, ready to accept her "fate" in the Dodgeball tournament. It's all in b&w except for her pink socks.
I am NOT a pink fan. Except for Babymouse.

Babymouse: Beach BabeBabymouse: Beach Babe by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ahhh ... the "joys" of family vacations and little brothers (I have three!). Can't live with 'em, but even more so can't live without 'em.

Babymouse: Rock Star Babymouse: Rock Star by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So many cool references in the Babymouse books. The Wizard of Oz. The Sound of Music. The Pied Piper.
When Babymouse goes to her "zen" place? She can do wonders!
Also the "stupid elephants" getting in the way. That is typical!

Babymouse: Heartbreaker Babymouse: Heartbreaker by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not a pop culture reference ... but the scene where Babymouse is reading the magazine about how to get a boy to like you? And it tells her not to be too pushy so she practices "not calling him." And the narrator asks who and Babymouse doesn't even know. Sigh. #mylife
The only thing. And it is a small thing. Elementary age kiddos don't need to be worrying about dates to dances!

Camp BabymouseCamp Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

See, in this one Babymouse doesn't give up. She perseveres through her obstacles. That's awesome.
Plus? She feels about camp pretty much like I did. Allergic to lake water. Didn't like messy hair. Food is not so great. Not overly coordinated. I can relate. :]

Babymouse: Skater GirlBabymouse: Skater Girl by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Love the cupcake Babymouse makes on the ice.
Love the Little Engine that Could dream.
Love that (slight spoiler here) her friends make her a trophy.

I'm not quite as sure about how I feel about her quitting. I mean, the mom's quote about "Sometimes you have to quit to find out what makes you happy" can be true. If it means going outside of your comfort zone and quitting "the norm" to try something new. And not enough time to read? Egads. And no cupcakes? Umm ...

BUT ... that was not quite clear in the book. I almost ... well, maybe I have become one of those nitpicky people. Would have liked to see something added to the story so it didn't just seem like Babymouse quit because it was too much work.

Babymouse: Puppy LoveBabymouse: Puppy Love by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think my favorite spread might have been the one at the end. I won't give it away. But it's funny.
Also ... BRAVO BABYMOUSE for going to your library to get books on how to take care of your pets!

Babymouse: Monster MashBabymouse: Monster Mash by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First ... love the color scheme change.
Second: seriously. The way the narrator and Babymouse talk to each other? Hilarious!
Third: OLD MONSTER MOVIES=perfect Halloween.
Fourth: fairy costumes=blech!
Fifth: I feel like my desk is like Babymouse's locker. It eats things and I cannot find them. It sticks so that I can't open drawers. Said drawers then open 10 minutes later with no one even standing nearby.
Sixth: it's good to have friends who care about you for who you are.

Babymouse: The MusicalBabymouse: The Musical by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Awesome references to Broadway: Grease, Annie, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, A Chorus Line, Annie. FUNNY.
And so true. The line to the girls' bathroom is always longer.

Babymouse: DragonslayerBabymouse: Dragonslayer by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So why did I wait so long to actually pick up a Babymouse? Well, one reason is they were always checked out at school!

Now I will look forward to school starting (in a couple weeks! NOT YET!) so that I can talk to kids about it. I'm dying to know ... do they notice all of the double entendre? These are so clever! It doesn't matter if they don't cause the story still fits--Babymouse joins the Mathletes. But the references to LoTR and the Chronicles of Narnia were hilarious.

Babymouse: Burns RubberBabymouse: Burns Rubber by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I was mad at this one because Babymouse seemed like such a self-involved brat through most of it. Wilson. What WOULD she do without Wilson?
But then there was an awesome Star Wars scene. And some redemption in the end. Hey! Just like in Star Wars.

Babymouse: Mad ScientistBabymouse: Mad Scientist by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like Squish. I knew he was coming further in to the book.
But they had me at the Star Trek scene.

A Very Babymouse ChristmasA Very Babymouse Christmas by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I still like this one. Though just like the Christmas Splat book ... wouldn't it be nice if she learned how to share and serve others in this one? Instead of being so self-centered?
It's still funny and cute, though.

Babymouse: Cupcake TycoonBabymouse: Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Babymouse is everything I am not ... a lover of pink and a lover of cupcakes (don't get me wrong, I love sweets ... cake is just one that I don't crave and go looking for especially!).
But she also loves her library. Which is #AWESOME.

Babymouse #16: Babymouse for PresidentBabymouse #16: Babymouse for President by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Babymouse learns to speak for the people.

The "Typical" poster was my favorite. ;]

Check out Squish's webpage here. Not a lot to it yet but hopefully it will grow.

Squish: Super Amoeba (Squish, #1)Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Squish is a hoot. He's just such a funny little blob, no matter whether he likes that nickname or not.

And Peggy? Peggy would be hard to keep up with.

And Pod with his bowtie. Awesome.

Squish's Dad's answer to the bully problem? CLASSIC.

View all my reviews Squish: Brave New Pond (Squish, #2)Squish: Brave New Pond by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All I will say is that I LOVED the ending.

I mean ... if you can't have it in real life why not have it in your fiction?

Also I think it is hilarious how amoebas and paramecium can have such personality, facial expression, and body language. The author and illustrator sibling team must have the most fun writing these.

Squish #3: The Power of the ParasiteSquish #3: The Power of the Parasite by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Squish learns a lesson here. "Friends" can be a good influence or bad. It's up to you to choose wisely.

View all my reviews I feel the need to go call one of my brothers now with all this brother-sister writing/drawing fun.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Re-Entry Can Be Hard

Well ... hmmm.

First day. Kiddos were excited and that was cool. Got lots of waves and "Hi Ms. O!"s. But the adults on campus were having kind of a hard time.

Former math specialist passed away the middle of last week and the funeral was on Saturday. Cancer. :[
Principal's father passed away. They were hoping to make it to their anniversary the first of September. She still came to school today!
Assistant very unexpectedly passed away. He was fine last week and joking about the summer and the upcoming year. And now he's gone.


Since we didn't open up today (we will tomorrow ... this morning we had a PTA thing in the library and then lots of people registering and stuff) I got asked to help with a PreK recess. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK! Just getting them to the door was a job. And then as soon as we got there one needed to use the restroom. I took him right back but he had an accident. I don't know what to do with that. I got the teacher. Does that make me a bad elementary school librarian? :/

Dumb "professional" shoes hurt. Half an hour tacked on to the contract day--it's kind of insulting. If someone wanted to see what a teacher who only worked 40 hours a week looked like ... well. Just because we get a duty free lunch doesn't mean we need time added to the day. Let us do the work wherever ... it might be at school but it might be at home.

I would like a nap.

So tonight I will go to the gym (even though I don't want to). I will try to finish my Pete the Cat Review Places Around the School QR Code tour (I hope it works!). And I will make sure to call/text/FaceTime my family and tell them how much they mean to me.

I need to take some pics tomorrow. I always forget. The one library related thing I got done today was finishing more decor for our Kate Messner author visit in early October. And a book order form.

If anyone has any good ideas about how to relate choosing a "just right book" for 2nd grade with superheroes and wants to share? That would be awesome. Had a request for that lesson but no inspiration has hit yet.

Or a new way to do genre booktalks with 5th grade. They always want to do them all at the beginning of the year. It's usually been a powerpoint with bookcovers and embedded trailers. Would like to do something a little different, though. Just not sure what! Ideas? Anyone?


Thank you for listening!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Are We All Ready for a Nap?

These are both reposts ... but I figured long time readers could just skim past and if you haven't been around for as long ... here you are! Going back to school ... my brain is still a little fried. It will come back soon. Hopefully.

Freebies! Not even putting them in the TPT shop to see how many people download them. Though comments and pins are always appreciated. ;]

Ask and ye shall receive. Scrappin Doodles made them into digital stamps! Yay! Get the bookmarks here cause I've yet to figure out how to link up a picture. :/ #behindthetimes

So I'm still playing with these graphics. GEEK THRILL and all. Updated the signs to include Chewie, Luke, Leia, and R2D2. Took a commenter's suggestion (THANK YOU) and ... well, actually I changed the suggested person. Instead of Leia that one is actually with Chewie. As soon as I though of this quote for Leia I had to do it. Maybe the kiddos won't know how funny this is? We'll see. I can do another one of Leia with the kissing quote if we want.


Monday, August 20, 2012

What Are You Reading Monday

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now… who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!

Our Kid Lit to YA version is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts.
GREAT IDEA! Check out all of the What Are You Reading? participants for title ideas.

Boy and BotBoy and Bot by Ame Dyckman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Quirky fun. LOVE the illustrations. Love the friendship.
Would have to work on my robot voice to read it out loud. "Affirmative."
Can see this as a Pixar short.

Dragons Love TacosDragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A definite one we'll need for the school collection, though I don't necessarily see myself using it in a "storytime" or lesson.
Maybe, though. Come close to Fiesta and cinco de mayo I might change my mind. It's just silly fun.

Finished all of the currently released Lunch Ladies! Posted quick reviews of them here.
Another Babymouse (Burns Rubber)

GemGem by Holly Hobbie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

EEEEEW! Toads eat their own skin? That is gross. (Fact courtesy of the last page.) But this is a LOVELY book. The illustrations are so lifelike. The toad's eyes show what he is thinking. ;]

The opening and closing letters are the only words in the book (besides those closing facts). They are all that was needed. I'm so glad other people can make picture books like this. I can't!

Petal's Problems (Sisters Eight, #6)Petal's Problems by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can't help it. Even though sometimes Petal's little idiosyncrasies are REALLY annoying and a few of the sisters are constantly snipping at each other ... I still like these books! Surprising little lines along the way make me laugh.

Rebecca's Rashness (Sisters Eight, #7)Rebecca's Rashness by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On Deck ...
Babymouse for President (it's the most current one so then I'll have read all of them ... recap later this week!)
Squish #3 (name escapes me at the moment but I know I have it ;])
Hollow City (it's weird so far ... the main character is mentally ill so it's taking me a while to get through it)
Blood Lines (love me a good James Rollins thriller when I'm tired from returning to the world of the working joe ... it's more fun when the kids are there, this week is just boring meetings)

And if you like ...
I know the rebel pilot should not have a light saber. Or am I the only nerd who knows that? But that's how the clip art came. If someone has a better way to tweak his saying that would be awesome. I just went with a direct quote. ;]
And they are not all the same width when you start printing and cutting. The light sabers made some of them wider than others.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Pins

I'm procrastinating other things. Can you tell? It is Sunday, though. The day of rest.

Just saw this and love the idea. I must check on this book ... I can't remember if I have it or if it's in the collection. First of all I LOVE the idea of a book club party for little people. And I like the shark. I wouldn't expect kinders to learn their phone number in the library (or even at school, really ... privacy?) but maybe their student ID. Or just as I said that ... that would breach privacy too, wouldn't it. Well. Just the shark, then.

This actual image is too small to enlarge and print but I like the idea of ABC app icons for a word wall in the library or computer lab.


Do you understand how badly I want one of these? I even saw a pic in one of the more recent Nat Geos with a whole bunch of these phone booths. They were talking about how Britain is revamping them for other uses. I think they even talked about mini-libraries. They said they were being sold for super cheap ... like a pound or two. Shipping would be the killer, though, wouldn't it. #sigh

Another sigh. Don't these look HEAVENLY? I want some right now. Never mind the dumb 90 Day Challenge from the gym. I'm trying to be good. I am!

Source: via Angie on Pinterest

How fun and silly is this? Will definitely be using up 60 seconds after reading How to Teach a Slug to Read just dancing. Because it makes me laugh and if the librarian is happy the children are happy and are learning more. ;]


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lunch Lady

So ... shhh! We actually had the author visit our school a couple years ago. And it's only now I'm actually picking up the Lunch Lady books. In my defense I TOTALLY LOVED PUNK ROCK FARM. But hey. For the next month (book 8 comes out on 9/11) I am caught up!

Did I mention when I wore my #leagueoflibrarians shirt out running errands the other day I totally heard kids commenting on it? I went to the public library to pick up some books and to WalMart (EEEK! But they had glue sticks on sale for $.10 each and we go through A LOT of glue sticks) and in both places I could here kids whispering to each other. ;]

I want to do something fun. So many fun things I want to do. A gadget design contest? A video? If I was "the type" who could dress up and act silly that would be fun. But I'm not. And our current school lunch ladies are not so much, either. At least the ones we had when JJK was here were fun and played along.

These ... late second grade to third grade and up. Not a lot of text but the vocab is awfully high for anyone younger.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute (Lunch Lady, #1)Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A-ha! I am really starting to see why the kiddos like these so much. Crazy gadgets. Funny ... what's the word. Soundbites? Quotes? Things like "You bet your ketchup I am!" And then the gadgets. Priceless.

Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians (Lunch Lady, #2)Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved all the book references. Actually loved the librarians ... I sometimes feel like that when I'm setting up for the bookfair--like an evil mastermind. But seriously, kids AND TEACHERS who stand there and look at me dumbfounded when I point out I can't set up the bookfair and checkout entire classes of kids worth of library books and help the kids on passes from their teachers and run to the computer lab to fix some problem that will have to have a help desk ticket put in, anyway. Can't do it!

Lunch Lady ... brilliant solution to the problem. And Betty ... your gadgets are seriously cool!

Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta (Lunch Lady, #3)Lunch Lady and the Author Visit Vendetta by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


An author with a vendetta. Can totally understand that. Now, how many authors can actually afford a helicopter?

The spy gadgets are cool! A mustard grappling hook and ketchup packet laser. Hamburger headphones. They make me laugh. :]

Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown (Lunch Lady, #4)Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one reminded me of old Scooby Doo cartoons.

One quibble, though? The kids should have helped clean up. Lunch Lady & Betty ... don't do everything for them!

Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit (Lunch Lady, #5)Lunch Lady and the Bake Sale Bandit by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love the all the awesome gadgets and funny outbursts in these books.
"Spicy salsa!" "French fries!" "Brussel sprouts!"

Slight spoilers ahead ...

Lunch Lady. GROSS. Tasting icing left on the school floor. Don't you know about the five second rule?

Buszilla was COOOOOOOOOOOL. Even if he was evil.

Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco (Lunch Lady, #6)Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love all the gadgets and funny lines. "You're the cake's frosting. I owe you one!"
And the superb action/chase sequence!

Poor Betty, though. I can't help but feel sometimes she gets a little overlooked. I suppose that is part of the duty of a superhero sidekick.

Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes (Lunch Lady, #7)Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Funny, as always. Full of great gadgets and silly comebacks.

Only, come on. One of the math problems discusses a library that checks out 20 books a day. 20 books a day? Try 20 books an hour. On a slow day.