what I'm preordering right now

Every summer, right before school starts back, I spend several days online researching upcoming releases. I like to get everything preordered so it just arrives on the day of publication. I particularly enjoy building up some excitement for big releases before they arrive...last year we all about lost our marbles waiting for Amulet: Firelight. It was too perfect because the day of its release, I had a bunch of kids reading outside and we saw the UPS truck drive by, causing us all to erupt in loud cheers.

So far, here's just a handful of what I have ready to preorder:

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Yeah duh. Telgemeier's complete domination in middle grade continues. I'm excited about this one and one copy is not going to cut it. I've ordered three, which is not enough either.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

This is the third "Hat" book and if it's anything close to I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat, it will be in instant classic in the library.

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

Yeah...While I don't love Pilkey's books, I can appreciate them for what they are: a gateway into reading for those who don't want to. HA! I'm thrilled to see something new that's not more Captain Underpants.

Return by Aaron Becker

Becker's wordless series has a special place in my heart. It's just so beautiful. So far we've had Journey, Quest, and now this final (?) installment.

Moo by Sharon Creech

It's a new Creech novel. No other explanation needed...it just must be ordered.

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers

I always look forward to new releases from Jeffers. However, they can be hit or miss. I don't love all of his books, but this one looks like it might be a winner...in the same vein as The Incredible Book Eating Boy or Stuck.

Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson

I get genuinely excited about new Phoebe books. These graphic novels (which are great for BOTH boys & girls regardless of the front covers) are hilarious! I love the unicorn so much whose name is Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. Perfection.

 

 

elementary library picks of 2015

Closing out another year. These were my favorites this year at work.

PICTURE BOOKS

Lenny and Lucy
Phillip and Erin Stead are at it again. I love their illustration's so much. The story here is unique and slightly creepy. I paired this as a read aloud with Wild by Emily Hughes and Where the Wild Things Are. Kids loved these three together.

The Day the Crayons Came Home
I don't think it's possible to write this post without including it. They are insanely popular for a reason. So clever and funny.

Float
One of the many beautiful wordless picture books out there year. I want them all for myself!

The Only Child
Another wordless--this time  with over 100 pages of brilliant, heartbreaking illustrations. It is a combination picture book/graphic novel. 

First time illustrator, quojing, is from China and this story addresses the overwhelming loneliness felt by the massive generation of single children now coming of age.

 

 

MIDDLE GRADE

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Roller Girl by Victoria Jamison
Endearing graphic novel about roller derby. Great for girls or boys. It's funny, has a little edge to it, but with good taste.

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Creepy story that takes place in the basement of the Biltmore Estate? Ca. 1920? Sign me up!

The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Over 600 pages which are gilded along the edges. Beautiful book! Over 2/3 of the pages are just pictures, similar to Selznick's other books. This is a very sophiscated tale of New York City, Shakespeare, and the theater in general. I was way impressed.

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
Boy, Katherine Applegate really knows how to make you feel ALL the FEELS. Her last novel won the Newbery, The One and Only Ivan. I read it aloud to third grade every spring, so when this came out a couple months ago, I snatched it up. We are about to finish this one with fourth grade. It is a bit of a downer, but so so good. Short chapters, it gets right to the point.

chapter books

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Chapter books. Y'all know that I really enjoy my day job as an elementary school librarian. However, I am a huge picture book fanatic. I'm not as keen on chapter books....I love them of course, but if I had my druthers, we'd be picture booking it all year long.

I especially enjoy working at school after the holidays. I find that after we get through the onslaught of Halloween through New Year's, the kids and staff come back ready to settle into a routine.

Thus, I always start chapter books with classes in January. Now, inevitably we'll get messed up with snow days, but so far, so good.

Earlier this week I was trying to decide what to read with second grade. I always read a different book to each grade, but  this year I'm reading different books with different classes. I find that each and every class has a personality of its own and I have tried to select books that are tailored to the individual classes.

Here's a quick look at some of the books we're reading right now. I'm still working on picking the others. Any ideas out there?

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Happy reading!

this week in the elementary library...

The_Stranger_(Chris_Van_Allsburg_book)_cover_art I always read this one to first grade in September. I'm a devout Chris Van Allsburg fan. I love anything and everything he does and this one, The Stranger, is particularly weird and wonderful. It's about the coming of fall without being corny and literal. It's bizarre and amazing.

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I suggest reading it to 25+ six year olds and then ask hem what they think happened...the answers can be priceless.