During the summer of 2010, I was preparing myself and my family, including my children who were 5 and 3 at the time to take an adventurous road trip across Germany. As a librarian, it only seemed obvious that books were the place to start. That tradition has stuck with us and even though my kids are teenagers, I begin researching and reading oodles of picture books, chapter books and non-fiction to and with my children.
In 2018 our travels took us on another road trip that included 5 delightful days in Paris. Here are some of the books that set the stage for our adventures. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
I first came across this lovely little book in the Horn Book, a magazine dedicated to exploring children’s and young adult books and authors. When I dove in and looked a little closer, I found that the author was Mo Willems (of Knuffle Bunny fame). How can you go wrong with Mo Willems? But even further inspection revealed that the illustrator was Caldecott medal winner, (and Spiderwick Chronicles co-author) Tony DiTerlizzi. Sold!
I requested it from the public library and, as if I didn’t already know, I loved it from the moment it was in my eager little hands.
Set in Paris, The Story of Diva and Flea is a tale about an unlikely friendship between a refined, bow-adorning white pup and the more rugged but worldly black cat, Flea. Written in chapter book format, this book is appropriate as a read aloud for younger readers or as a delightfully illustrated treat for older children. The colored pen and ink drawings and chapter title pages do a marvelous job of capturing the essence of Paris.
If you’re itching for a book that will transport you to Paris, or if you’ve been to Paris and want to revisit it in your mind, check out The Story of Diva and Flea. You’ll love it!
I hope you have all taken a look at my previous post about summer reading incentive programs. You can earn free goodies just by reading!
My goal this summer is to earn my 100 hours of reading shirt from Kitsap Regional Library. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble achieving that goal if I start making my way through my summer reading list.
Here it is (in no particular order):
Plastic Ahoy: Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Patricia Newman
Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller (graphic novel) by Joseph Lambert
Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet by Buzz Aldrin
My Country ‘Tis of Thee: How One Song Reveals the History of Civil Rights by Claire Rudolf Murphy
Underworld: Exploring the Secret World Beneath Your Feet by Jane Price
Baba Yaga’s Assistant (graphic novel) by Marika McCoola
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts by Susan Cain
Some of My Best Friends Are Books by Judith Wynn Halstead
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me (graphic memoir) by Ellen Forney
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome by Brad Montague & Robby Novak
Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller
The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters by Laurie Ann Thompson
The Highly Sensitive Child by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D.
tiny beautiful things: Advice on love and life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things by Carlos Bueno
Once There Was a War by John Steinbeck
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Schamander
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Geektastic: Stories from the Nerdherd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenon
When to Rob a Bank…And 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black & Justine Larbalestier
Bad Unicorn by Platte F. Clark
The Land of Stories: Queen Red Riding Hood’s Guide to Royalty by Chris Colfer
The Land of Stories: The Mother Goose Diaries by Chris Colfer
An Author’s Odyssey (Land of Stories Book 5) by Chris Colfer
Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War by Jessica Dee Humphreys & Michel Chikwaine
Phoebe and Her Unicorn (graphic novel) by Dana Simpson
Unicorn vs. Goblins (graphic novel) by Dana Simpson
I am always looking for ways to maximize my time by doing several things at once. If you’re like me you may find that in our technology-rich world it is hard to find time to sit down and read a good book as often as we’d like. What’s the solution?
I discovered audio-books about 13 years ago when I was commuting from the north side of Los Angeles to my school librarian job way down south in Long Beach USD. Things have changed over the years, but not as dramatically as you might think. If you can work your car stereo and your cell phone then you’re halfway there!
Personally, I use a few methods to listen to audio-books.
1. Books on CD from the public library. (best for long car rides)
When searching in the Kitsap Regional Library Catalog (www.krl.org), do a typical search for whatever it is that you are interested in listening to, but limit the search by choosing “audio-book” in the drop down menu next to “limit by:”
One of the fantastic things about the public library (there are so many), is that all you need to do is find what you want in the online catalog, click the “place hold” button, and KRL will pull the materials for you. They’ll even email to tell you that your things are ready. Fabulous, right?
2. Digital audio-books from the public library.
Search as in #1, but choose “audio e-book” OR go to the search on the KRL Overdrive website: http://krl.lib.overdrive.com/ You don’t even need to leave your couch to check out e-books with this method!
To listen to audio-books through Overdrive, you will need to download the Overdrive app to your phone or tablet device. Go to the Overdrive website to get started: Overdrive Overdrive requires an additional login that ties in with your library card.
You can also search the library collection through the app. Overdrive also gives you access to KRL’s collection of E-books (if you want to check out books to read on your phone, Kindle, iPad or other e-reader). After you check out a book through Overdrive, you will be prompted to download the book onto your device.
I like to use Overdrive to listen to audio-books through the Bluetooth connection in my car. When I turn the car off, Overdrive knows to pause the book.
Books borrowed through Overdrive can be borrowed for 21 days. After the 21 day period, they are deleted from your device.
If you have a library card from KRL, you may also obtain a card for the Seattle Public Library and/or King County Library System. All you need to do is take your KRL card to any Seattle or King County library branch with your ID and ask for a library card. I have one of each simply because it gives me access to a much greater selection of audio-books.
You can also search and put audio-books on hold. It’s true.
Audible is an app that allows you to buy audio-book titles and download them to your device. I typically buy 12 credits per year (it is cheaper this way) and cash them in slowly over time to buy books that I’d like to hear that the public library doesn’t own. This is good for newer titles especially. They have several sales per year, including many Buy One, Get One Free sales and they also have inexpensive (less than $2) kids titles. For example, I just bought a dozen or so “Who was” biographies for my older daughter. Audible is an Amazon company, so if you have a Kindle, the titles that you buy show up in your titles list on your device and then you download them from there.
Audible also offers many things in addition to books including: newspapers, magazines, radio shows and podcasts for free. I have listened to State of the Union speeches using Audible.
I started using Audible in 2002 and I still have access to all of the books that I have purchased over the years. My husband and I share the account, so he can listen to the titles that I have purchased on his mobile devices.
I would be pleased to help any of you navigate through this stuff if you’d like help getting yourself set up with some audio-books. Pop in and let me know or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for a heartwarming Christmas story? Try this historical fiction picture book about Allied and German soldiers in the trenches of France during World War I taking time out from their fighting to join together in song – “Silent Night.” A delightful book written from the point of view of a miserable British soldier’s letters home. A lovely story to share to put our modern lives into perspective. Text and gorgeous illustrations by John Hendrix. Find it at the EPO library.
I loved this book so much that I decided to share it with my intermediate classes before winter break. I found some great videos to go with it if you want some more visuals to accompany the story.
For a dramatic reenactment, I found that this Sainsbury’s (a UK grocery store chain) commercial tells a nice story and leaves out the gory bits: Sainsbury’s Official Christmas Advert 2014. Sainsbury’s also has a “the story behind” video that helps to explain some of the finer points.