As many students and staff know, every Halloween I dress up as a book character. So far, I’ve been Olivia, Baby Mouse, Fancy Nancy, Pete the Cat, Chester, and the Queen of Hearts. This year, I was determined , and overly ambitious, to be the Mrs. Beamster, the Librarian from the Black Lagoon. The Black Lagoon books are a series written by Mike thaler. I had great fun making and assembling the costume. It was fun being her for one day. Thanks to the students who guessed who I was!
On Friday, June 10th , Mo Willems came to Vancouver, the only Canadian city he was visiting on his North American tour. Kidsbooks hosted the event and it was sold out within 24 hours so it was a real privilege to get a ticket to see him. I got a front row seat! He is as entertaining in person as he is on video. He made everyone put their phones and cameras away because he really wanted the audience to be fully engaged and be in the moment. He read The Thank You book with so much expression and then read us the draft copy of his next book. I am not going to do a book spoiler but to prepare you for it, get your mind thinking about all the words that end with ‘et’ and ‘ette’. Maybe brainstorm and make a list of words you know with those endings. This new book will be available next school year. After reading us the two books, he took a few questions and then signed books. At that point we could take photos. So here I am with Mo! I like to call it ‘Mo & Me!”. I also gave him Sarah L.’s journal entry about Elephant & Piggie being at the Seaforth Stampede Sports Day. After Mo reads it, I’m hoping he will take the time to contact Sarah or myself about it. Here is what she wrote:
All good things … and book series must come to an end! This is going to be a hard lesson for some of our young readers at Seaforth when I share some sad news from the literary world. With the publication of The Thank You Book, Mo Willems has announced that it will be his twenty-fifth and final Elephant & Piggie book. To mourn this sad event, we will participate in Thank-O-Rama month the week of May 24 to 27. We will do a variety of activities from the Thank-O-Rama website. The students at Seaforth want to Thank Mo for this wonderful and delightful series that hooks them into reading and gives them a love of books and reading! I want to Thank him, too!
Howdy pardners, this year’s Sports Day theme is Western and we have aptly named it the Seaforth Stampede. During the week leading up to Sports Day, I will be reading a humourous story by Jan Brett titled Armadillo Rodeo to the lower primary classes. I’ll also be reading another humourous story titled Bubba, the Cowboy Prince: a fractured Texas tale which is loosely based on the Cinderella fairy tale to the upper primary classes. HeeHaw! These stories are as ‘cute as a cow’s ear’!
Last Wednesday evening, Ms.Higgins went to see the author of one of the YRCA 2016 titles, Escape from Mr.Lemoncello’s Library , Chris Grabenstein which was hosted by Vancouver Kidsbooks. It was a delightful and informative presentation in which Mr. Grabenstein had children come up to the front to participate in some short quiz games. Of course, afterwards , participants received Lemon Drops! Ms.Higgins will be sharing what she heard to some of the Intermediate classes. To learn more about this entertaining author and his books, go to his website – http://chrisgrabenstein.com/
This morning, I read the first part of Willy’s Stories, a picturebook by Anthony Browne, a gifted author and illustrator from England, to Division 9 . It is about Willy who goes to the library, and on each page of the picturebook, he describes an event from a book he reads and escapes into. On the right of the photo is a game card I made from the last page in the picturebook. From the written and visual clues, the students would give me the title of the book Willy was describing. I would pull down the tab to reveal the book title. So far, Division 9 has got the first five books correct. They have five more book titles to discover which we will do when we finish the book next week! I will be reading and doing this little game with other Intermediate classes next week. most of the book titles are classics and I am hoping this fun activity will inspire students to read them.
This month, part of the focus of the library program for primary students and some lower intermediate was using picturebooks to find out more about Black History in Canada and the United States. Ms. Higgins read a beautiful and powerful book by Jacqueline Woodson titled The Other Side inwhich two young girls in their own way defy the segregation in the southern United States and create a friendship. She also read Oscar Lives Next Door by Bonnie Farmer and Marie Lafrance which is a story inspired by Oscar Peterson’s childhood. Oscar Peterson was a world famous Jazz pianist and his childhood story is one of resiliency. Intermediate classes learned about Viola Desmond, often referred to as Canada’s Rosa Parks. Students viewed two video clips and did a compare and contrast activity of the two women. To learn more about Black History month in Canada go to the government website Black History Month
This week is Freedom to Read week, a time to stop and reflect about our rights as readers. Intermediate classes were shown some of the banned and challenged books that are in our school library and were taught what about censorship. It was very informative and enlightening for some classes and the discussions were interesting. Some of the students were surprised to see that some of their favourite books and medal winners had been challenged or banned by individuals and/or organizations in the past in different regions of Canada and the USA.
This Monday was National Flag of Canada Day so many of the classes this week learned about our flag and its history. On February 15th, 1965 the Federal Government voted to replace the Red Ensign with our current flag. Classes learned about the significance of the maple leaf and the colours of the flag. I am a proud Canadian and feel students should know as much about their country as possible. The library has a good selection of books, both in French and English, about the Canadian flag. Click on the photo for more information about our national flag.
On Friday, January 29th , we were so fortunate to have Brandee Buble come and present her two books, O’Shae the Octopus and Jayde the Jaybird. She was thrilled to be back at her elementary school that holds a special place in her heart. She read from her two books and also inspired the primary students with some important messages of accepting and cherishing one’s differences. It was so cute that one student was so excited that we had Brandee coming for an author visit that she dated her weekly spelling test Brandee Buble Day, not Friday , Jan. 29th! Congratulations to the winners of the three book draws , Adib, Andren, and Demi. Here is Brandee’s Instagram message about her visit.