Check It Out! Week of September 29th



This week, we will be talking about the Monarch and Bluestem nominees. SO excited to share these books with our students! Please check your child’s backpack on library day for a copy of the book list, as well as the BUZZ.


Students have been checking out books from both lists already and have also been signing up to be put on the reserve lists.

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Each week from now until the last week in February, we will be posting book trailers or videos for each book on the Monarch and Bluestem lists.

First up: 2015 Monarch nominee, “Creepy Carrots” by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. Brown shares his inspirations for the illustrations in the book.

There are many fiction books about animals on this year’s Bluestem list. Check out the trailer for “Chained” by Lynne Kelly.


Check It Out! Week of September 22nd – Part 1


This week, we are looking at some fantastic book trailers online!

In grades K-2, we talk about what book trailers are (“like commercials for books!”) and look at some wonderful picture books that have been released this month or will be in the next month.

Book trailers are a great way to get kids excited about books and reading.  We will be looking at trailers for new books every month this school year and hope to add those books to our K-5 collection.  Be sure to also check your local public library for these titles.

Check It Out! Week of September 15th


As we are turning our focus to art in children’s books this year, we will be celebrating illustrator birthdays every month!  For September, those illustrators are G. Brian Karas and Bob Staake.

G. Brian Karas is known for his pencil and acrylic paint drawings. He frequently works with author Candice Fleming as he did with a 2014 Monarch Award nominee, Clever Jack Takes the Cake. Karas has a new book coming out in October called IVAN: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla, which was written by Newbery Award winner Katherine Applegate (for 2011’s The One and Only Ivan).

Bob Staake works completely in Adobe Photoshop.  Grades 3-5 will be looking at many of his books, such as Bluebird and Mary Had a Little Lamp.   You may have seen Staake in a commercial that has been on TV where he shows how he uses a 2-in-1 tablet to write and illustrate his stories.  The students will also watch a video of Bob creating his characters in Photoshop.

Hooked on Books Club (Grades 3-5)



The “Hooked on Books Club” will meet on Tuesday, October 14th during recess.  We will be reading Hank Zipzer: Niagara Falls, or Does It?  by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver.  This is a 2015 Bluestem nominee and the first in the Hank Zipzer series.  Students should have the book read before our meeting date so that we can discuss the entire book.

For Hank, fourth grade does not start out on the right foot. First of all, he gets called to the principal’s office on the very first day of school. Then the first assignment his teacher gives him is to write five paragraphs on “What You Did This Summer.” Hank is terrified – writing one good sentence is hard for him, so how in the world is he going to write five whole paragraphs? Hank comes up with a plan: instead of writing what he did on vacation, he’ll show what he did. But when Hank’s “living essay” becomes a living disaster, he finds himself in detention. Strangely enough, however, detention ends up becoming a turning point in his life

Students can check this book out of our school library or the public library.  If you would like Mrs. Susina to order a copy of the book for you, please send $6 (cash if possible) to school by Friday, September 19th.  This will allow enough time for the books to arrive and for your child to have the book read by our club date.  

Hard copies will go home to students this week, but you can also download the RSVP form here: oct hooked on books

See Henry and Lin talk about the Hank Zipzer series in the video below!

Check It Out! Week of September 8th


This week, we will go over book care with the kindergarten students and they will be able to check out books!

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In grades 1-5, we will be starting our “art in picture books” year-long study.  We will look at some examples of books with different kinds of art in them, such as mixed media, woodcutting, paint and more.  Then we will watch a video of illustrator Oliver Jeffers where he talks about why he writes and illustrates picture books.  He will also mention how he decides what media to use to tell his stories and shows some of the materials that he uses.

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The students have also begun to write on our new Book Graffitti wall.  The wall will be a way for students from all gardes to share information about books they are reading with each other.  In the future, the students will be able to share more about their experiences as they relate to the books they are encountering.