Johnny’s Pheasant

Did you know that June is National Indigenous History Month?  This week at school I shared a new book, Johnny’s Pheasant, with many classes.  It was written by Cheryl Minnema who is a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and and illustrated by Julie Flett who is a Cree-Metis author, illustrator and artist.  Julie Flett is one of my favourite author/illustrators and we read her book, Birdsong, earlier in the year as part of our Canadian Picture Book of the Year read alouds.

Students we excited to read Johnny’s Pheasant and made lots of connections to our previous read aloud of Birdsong.  They loved the beauty of both the words and illustrations.  I’m sure Johnny’s Pheasant will be on everyone’s wishlist for check out in September.


In January 2020, Cheryl Minnema received the Charlotte Zolotow Award for Johnny’s Pheasant.  The award is given annually to the author of the best picture book text published in the United States in the preceding year.

Read Alouds Epidsode 5

We are still celebrating Poetry Month and I hope you enjoy my new read aloud of a poem from Bug Off! Creepy Crawly Poems by Jane Yolen.  What do you notice about the poem?

Ask your teacher for the password and click here to watch. This video includes ASL interpretation.

Mrs. Araujo’s Read Alouds Episode 2!

Hello everyone! I can’t believe it’s almost Easter.  In celebration of this special holiday please find my video read aloud of one of my favourite books, The Easter Bunny’s Assistant by Jan Thomas.

This book was read with permission of Harper Collins Children’s Books.

Click here to watch the video.  Happy Easter, everyone!


Mrs. Araujo’s Read Alouds Episode 1!

Hello everyone,

I hope you are well and have enjoyed the sunshine this weekend.  We just came back from a bike ride to Central Park, keeping our physical distance, of course.  It is a beautiful day and I am loving the cherry blossoms.

One of the things I have been missing most is reading aloud books to students in the library.  Two of the “Big Ideas” in our English Language Arts curriculum are:

  • Language and story can be a source of creativity and joy.
  • Through listening and speaking, we connect with others and share our world.

So…I have created my first read aloud video for you to enjoy at home.  Click here to view my read aloud of The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt with pictures by Oliver Jeffers.  Many publishers are relaxing their copyright guidelines during this time and I am grateful to Penguin Random House for providing permission for me to post this video.

I hope this video brings you some joy and helps us connect even though we can’t see other at school.  I will be also posting these videos in the Read Alouds page at the top of the blog.

Mrs. Araujo

New Destiny Collections

Hello everyone,

Wow! There has been a lot of information about learning from home to sort through lately.  I have created 2 new Collections in our Destiny Catalogue for Online Reading as well as a collection that includes various activities from your favourite Authors and Illustrators.  I hope you enjoy exploring these Collections!

Please also remember to visit Burnaby Schools new website for families:  

As well as the Minitstry of Education’s site



Please leave comments below about the collections.  Did you enjoy using the resources? Is there something you think I should add? What was your favourite?

Thanks and stay tuned for more updates from me and the Library!

Jennifer Araujo

200 Nights of Reading

Home Reading Club: It’s hard to believe, but On April 13th we will reach 200 nights of reading!   Students and staff will be recognized at our Celebration of Learning assembly on April 27th.

Why is reading for fun important? Here is an excerpt from the International Reading Association position paper on leisure reading:

“Research shows that leisure reading enhances students’ reading comprehension (e.g., Cox & Guthrie, 2001), language (e.g., Krashen, 2004), vocabulary development (e.g., Angelos & McGriff, 2002), general knowledge (e.g., Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998), and empathy for others (e.g., McGinley et al., 1997), as well as their self-confidence as readers, motivation to read throughout their lives, and positive attitudes toward reading (e.g., Allington & McGillFranzen, 2003; Eurydice Network, 2011). The benefits of leisure reading apply to English learners (ELs) who read in English as well as in their native languages.”

You can read more here:


Pick up your forms any time from the library. Thank you for participating and keep on reading

And the winner is…

Well, the votes are in and we have chosen our Canadian Picture Book of the Year.  South Slope has selected We found a Hat by Jon Klassen as the winner! 

We chose this book because…

  • The pictures can tell the words and because the eyes of the turtles can make me laugh.
  • The author made unique illustrations because he made the turtles shell patterns different from each other.
  • It makes me feel like that other turtle who wants the hat to tell the truth of why he really wants the hat!
  • The pictures match the words and the pictures tell the story on their own. I also think it is very funny. (I like it very very much!) 
  • It makes me feel happy because it reminds me of my dad since he always wears a hat. 
  • It has powerful words.

In close second place was Town is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz and pictures by Sydney Smith. 

We chose this book because…

  • It makes me a little sad. I go to the graveyard to visit my grandfather, my father’s father.  He was a miner, too.
  • It reminds me that my town is by the sea.  And it is a peaceful book. 
  • It has unique and creative illustrations.  It makes me remember that I used to live by the sea.
  • I feel that I’m in the book and it repeats. 
  • The pictures make me feel calm.  

We enjoyed reading and talking about the other books as well.  When we were Alone was recently voted a winner in the Governor General Literary Awards. The Snow Knows was named the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book of the Year.  

We look forward to reading more great Canadian picture books next year! 


30 Second Book Talks

Division 2 have been reading up a storm and they’re getting ready to share their love of books with the world.  Students chose books they love and then were asked to write a 30 second book talk script to “sell” their book.  Before they began writing students watched many book talks online and created criteria for their scripts and book talk. Now for the really fun part! Students are now recording their book talks using the Tellagami app.  Today the library, the atrium and the hallways were filled with students recording.

Stay tuned for updates and information on how you can watch and listen. 

Please click the link to read more news about what’s happening in the library. April2017newsletter