Archive | May, 2018

Meet my new friend, Crafty Cat

31 May

I am a hardcore monogamous crafter. I knit. It is my only craft.

My new friend, Crafty Cat, is multi-craftual.

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I first met her in The Amazing Crafty Cat.

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Publisher’s Summary:Sometimes school can be scary and even embarrassing, but not today. Today is Birdie’s birthday, and everything will be perfect! Birdie’s panda-riffic cupcakes are beautiful, and there’s one for everyone. She will be the star of the class. But then . . . disaster! A trip and fall on the way to school means no more cupcakes! Who can save the day? Who can make the class smile again? This is a job for Birdie’s alter ego . . . the Amazing Crafty Cat!

After a quick transformation, Birdie is ready. She’s not afraid of sticky paws or paper cuts. She’s not afraid of anything, even Anya, the class bully. It’s time to get crafting!

I got to know her a little better in Crafty Cat and the Crafty Camp Crisis.

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Publisher’s Summary: Second grade isn’t always a breeze for Birdie. There are just so many opportunities to embarrass herself! But Birdie’s got a secret weapon that nobody knows about—her alter-ego, Crafty Cat! Birdie can become Crafty Cat without anyone noticing, and she always manages to get herself out of a jam using her awesome crafting skills! When Birdie goes to a day-camp for crafting, she knows she’s going to have a great time and be the best in the group. But when things go wrong, can Crafty Cat help Birdie set them right?

And I learned a lot more about her (and friendship) in Crafty Cat and the Great Butterfly Battle.

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Publisher’s Summary: Everyone in Miss Domino’s class is excited about the school play and its lead role, the super-sparkly butterfly. Birdie knows she’d be perfect for the part—unfortunately, she’s not the only one who feels that way. Eight other classmates also want the starring role. And even worse, one of them is Anya! And doesn’t Anya always seem to get her way?

Who can save the day? Crafty Cat! As her alter-ego, Birdie can craft her way out of any disaster. With tape, tissue paper, and her can-do spirit, Birdie will find a way to shine on stage.

From Just Grace and Fashion Kitty author Charise Mericle Harper, the Crafty Cat series is a hilarious, charming, and sweet new graphic novel trilogy for elementary-age readers about a little girl who can craft her way out of any situation. Each volume includes fun and simple instructions for do-it-yourself crafting activities.

 

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Seedlings

29 May

Several weeks ago, I planted cilantro and basil seeds in pots on my front stoop. The packages said to sow them 6″( basil) and 12″ (cilantro) apart. when I opened the packet, though, the basil seeds seemed so tiny. How could I plant single seeds 6″ apart when I found it impossible to pick up a single seed? So, I didn’t. I sowed both herbs liberally.

I waited and watered and waited some more. The basil seedlings appeared first. It was almost another week before I saw signs of life in the cilantro planter. I was pleased and relieved.

Now, some 4 or 5 weeks later, I can see that the package hadn’t exaggerated. Each pot is packed with herbal goodness.

I needed some basil over the weekend, so I thinned it a bit. And now I am thinking that, when I have thinned a little more, I might add the leftover seeds to the pots to ensure a constant supply of my two favorite herbs through the summer.

This week’s book talks 5/21 -25

25 May

Monday: Breakout by Kate Messner

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Tuesday:  Votes For Women!  by Winifred Conkling

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Wednesday: The Playbook by Kwame Alexander

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Thursday:  Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell

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Friday:  Elon Musk & the Quest For A Fantastic Future  by Ashlee Vance

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Feathers

23 May

I have very little to say about this clip of Jason Reynolds’ commencement speech at Lesley University,  except you should watch it. And you might want to have a hankie.

Audiobook Tuesdays

22 May

Books get published on Tuesdays. By that I mean that new books come out on Tuesdays. Don’t ask me why the publishers do this. They just do.

Because publishers publish on Tuesdays, I know that, when I get up Tuesday morning, I will have a message from my local library. You see, I am not an audiophile, I am an audiobookphile. I always have the maximum number of audiobooks on hold – sometimes I even exceed the maximum because I recommend books for purchase. When you recommend a book for purchase, you are automatically placed on its hold list, even if your holds are already maxed!!! Biblioheaven

This morning, when I got up, there were two new, just released audiobooks waiting for me. They are downloading to my iPad as I write. And I already added two books from my wishlist to my holds list, so my holds are maxed again and all is right with the world.

My next recommended book comes out in two weeks.

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In the meantime, I have 19 other holds to think about and several borrowed books to get through. The last month of driving to and from work will be just delightful!

 

My last read aloud?

21 May

Choosing a classroom read aloud is important and tricky. I am about to finish our current read aloud and have been thinking about which book I can read aloud to finish off the year. I found it in Breakout by Kate Messner.

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Publisher’s Summary: Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek–two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town’s maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.

Told in letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics–a series of documents Nora collects for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project–Breakout is a thrilling story that will leave readers thinking about who’s really welcome in the places we call home.

So, what makes this a great read aloud for the end of 6th grade?

  • a great mix of action and reflection that will appeal to readers who like those types of books
  • a variety of styles and voices that holds readers’ (and listeners’) attention
  • it tells the story of the end of a school year
  • authentic voices – I could visualize the protagonists right away
  • it touches on current issues without feeling preachy

The book comes out on June 5th, and Kate Messner is writing a series of posts about her experience writing the novel on her blog. It is well worth reading and I will probably share her posts with my students because it is interesting to see how she incorporated real life into a work of fiction.

This week’s book talks 5/14-17

18 May

A short week for me! I am at a union retreat in Hood River today, working hard, but also enjoying the local attractions. Consequently, I only booktalked 4 books this week. They are all books in a series…trying to get the kids thinking about summer reading plans. Summer is a great time to read a whole series.

Monday

Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate…..This is the first in the series and the only book published so far.

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Tuesday

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen…There are two other books in this series.

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Wednesday

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare…Six books in this series!

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Thursday

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger…This series has four books.

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