Tuesday, April 17, 2012

book day

our day overflowed with books today.

in between working on some lessons with diana in the morning at the library, i perused the shelves to find something for each of the kids.  each time i go to the library, i wish i had brought just one more bag to take home all the selections i pull on that visit.

i always go to two places in particular at the woodland public library:  the new books shelf, because you never know what's going to show up there, and, for lack of a better word, the "featured" shelf.  the children's librarians pull books pertaining to the season or upcoming holiday or just some great theme.  it's a great place to get good ideas for something to read.

have you ever taken advantage of the services that librarians offer?  they are unsung heroes, these people.  on more than one occasion at the davis library, for example, i went to a librarian in search of something, and those women went right to work, narrowing down or expanding on my search terms, making recommendations, and coming up with great finds that i doubt i would ever have discovered myself.  that should not surprise me.  i am an educated person, but these people have higher ed degrees in information and knowledge management.  and i'm sure they want to put that education and experience to good use.  so the next time you do a search on the online card catalog and are disappointed with the results, take it to the next level and ask a librarian for help.  you'll be glad you did!

but i digress.

one of the books we selected today was kubla kahn, the emperor of everything by kathleen krull, illustrated by robert byrd.  we are currently studying the mongols during the middle ages; it was genghis khan last week and we touched on marco polo this week.  diana has been pretty clear to me that she can really get into a subject when she has access to good stories, probably what charlotte mason called living books.  books that are "textbooky" or present facts in a dry way do not capture her interest.  but give her a well-written, engaging story and she'll eagerly incorporate it into her expanding understanding of the world.  this applies to our study of history, math, science, language, art, culture and customs and many other subjects.  captivating illustrations enhance the reading experience, too, and it's almost guaranteed to be a success if it is autobiographical in nature.  i love it when diana pulls away from her reading to say, "mom, did you know...?" to engage me in what she's discovered.

today i also found the library's nook of alphabet books for ander.  he reads quite well already and is learning some phonics right now, but i wanted to indulge his fascination for the alphabet.  we have several good books in our personal library, but i found some other treasures that we shared snuggled up after a bath before bed tonight.

oh, and it was our monthly bookclub today!  this month's selection was from the mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler by konigsburg.  jen does such an excellent job of planning these monthly book club sessions, always with good discussion questions, hands-on activities, chances for body movement to get out the wiggles, and a related theme snack.  i admire her soooo much.

some of those awesomely-illustrated, living-book-type titles we have recently enjoyed (this is not an exhaustive list, just the ones that we currently have checked out or come to my mind or made their way to our amazon wish lists):

saladin: noble prince of islam by stanley
sarah emma edmonds was a great pretender by jones
egyptian diary: the journal of nakht by platt
tales of court and castle by bodger
liberty's voice: the emma lazarus story by silverman
sholom's treasure: how sholom alcheim became a writer by silverman
queen esther saves her people by gelman

alphabet books we own or now want to:

LMNOPeas by baker
apricot abc by miles
alexander's midnight snack: a little elephant's abc by stock
now i eat my abc's by abrams
the alphabet room by pinto
annie's abc by owen
dr. seuss abc
country road abc by geisert
gone wild by mclimans
calavera abecedario: a day of the dead alphabet book by jeanette winter

nothing compares to good moments with good people and good books.  ahhhhh.


  1. Cleaning my house just got a little easier! Fewer scraps of paper - bless you!

  2. about librarians... an archivist who held a tour I went to today talked about learning in her library information systems classes about "information-seeking behaviors". I'm not sure how I feel about that. Do I behave in a particular way when I'm seeking information? Can librarians see me coming?