Friday, December 19, 2008


As I sit here on the last day of school for the year, 6 days before Christmas and... it is 70 degrees out - ugh!

I want snow, I want ice, I want to sit by a crackling fire.

Those of you awaiting the snow storm in the Northeast are cursing me now, but cold and snow is how December should be.

I just wanted to take this time to wish EVERYONE a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah (or both) and a cheers to a good, healthy, prosperous New Year filled with lots of books and stories.

Well, I am off to stuff myself with some more food - a school the week before the holidays is one huge food fest - and this year I have been bad bad bad... but the healthy eating starts in January, I still have latkes to eat and Christmas Eve lasagna and of course more cookies!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Books & Movies

Last night I was watching one of my favorite tv shows - Jon & Kate plus 8 - the show makes me feel thankful that I 1. don't have preschoolers anymore and 2. don't have 8 kids - LOL!

But something on there REALLY bugged me last night - they were doing a show at St Jude's hospital - good thing - BUT in the middle of the show it shows Kate reading the book Tale of Despereaux to her kids then showing the kids all with their own stuffed Despereaux.

What bugged me the most was the shameful plug that the movie company OBVIOUSLY paid the show/Kate to read the book and show off the toys. Of course there were commercials for the movie during the hour long show also. I think I was bugged by the fact that I don't think that I have ever seen Kate or Jon make such a big deal about a book before, and now here they are doing it because the book is now a movie.

Now, while I do LOVE Despereaux and have since the book came out, I hate when people get on the bandwagon of a book just because of the movie. I see it happen EVERYDAY (and I am not exaggerating) at school and maybe I should just be glad that they are reading, but it still bugs me. In fact this week, I am reading The Polar Express - one of my favorite books of all time and you cannot BELIEVE how many kids had never heard of the book, but had seen the movie.

I wish we could do prime time tv commercials for books like they do for movies - or better yet, have Jon & Kate plus 8 read a book and make a big deal about it BEFORE it becomes a movie (or before the THOUGHT of it becoming a movie happens!!) I even offer to be their BOOK consultant, think TLC is reading????

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Best Lists

I love getting the end of year "Best Of" lists, mainly so I can see which books, movies and place I have totally missed in 2008!

Here is the NY Times Notable Children's books of 2008 - I have only read one of them - Frankie Landau Banks  - which I LOVED  - but at least I have HEARD of a few more of them, does that count??

In the Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2008, I ordered 2 of them for the media center (Black Book of Colors and We Are The Ship) but have not heard of ANY of the others.

SLJ has a larger Best of 2008 lists, which thankfully I recognize a few more titles on that list, but there are still some head scratchers for me - and I READ the print SLJ every month!

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti has a list of many more Best of 2008 lists - I am a little scared to  take a look at some of them, if I start NOT recognizing too many of the book I might have to rethink my career - LOL!

These lists are beginning to make me wonder what review sources I am NOT reading.....

No I just have to wait until Christmas morning when I get my annual People Best of 2008 issue in my stocking to pour over more things I missed in 2008!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Mo

Mo Willems has a funny piece up on NPR - radio cartooning. My favorite caption is the one about killing Rudolph! Make sure to not only listen to the piece, but take a look on the website to see more captions to his cartoon!

Can I just say again how much I love this man!!!

What do you think it would take to get him to come to my school....... how AWESOME would that be! That is what I am asking Santa for this Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Awesome Laurel

OK, so I know I blogged about Laurel coming to visit, promised pictures then.. well... I got sick, then had Thanksgiving to think about and well... no excuses...

Laurel's visit was FABULOUS - the kids loved her, Laurel enjoyed talking with my students and I think a good time was had by all.  There was even a castle cake (made by my awesome partner in crime, Mrs. H - 4th grade teacher)

I think the kids loved that Laurel was a real, cool person. She answered their questions, laughed at their play and told them that she started writing when she was THEIR AGE - WOW. I think more than a few of the kids went home that night and started writing their own book.  

Here are a few pictures from the day...

Group hug!

Laurel and I 

Laurel - in the background is a picture some of the kids drew for their "play" that they performed for Laurel.