Thursday, June 30, 2011

A story of friendship...

Bug and BearBug and Bear by Ann Bonwill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes it takes a moment of reflection to realize that we haven't treated someone the way we'd like to be treated. Bug and Bear are best friends, but sometimes friends don't feel like playing, and feel like napping instead! Learning to express yourself in a kind and understanding way can be hard for children- and bears. So, when Bear hurts Bug's feelings, even a cozy cave can't make him feel good inside.

This book makes an excellent tool for teaching children about respecting the feeling's of others.

Reading Level: 1st-3rd
Interest Level: Preschool-3rd

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A Rapunzel that isn't all Tangled

RapunzelRapunzel by Sarah Gibb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Written in language that children can more easily relate to and with gorgeous illustrations, this version of Rapunzel is a lovely alternative to the more commercial fairy tales on the market. With a light pink cover bedecked in sparkly flowers and a beauteous golden-haired Rapunzel, this book will make an excellent addition to any 398.2 collection.

Reading Level: 3rd-5th grade
Interest Level: 1st grade to adult!

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Nothing Cuter than a Baby Bum!

Catch That Baby!Catch That Baby! by Nancy Coffelt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Coffelt and Nash team up for a hilarious and adorable story of a runaway baby who tries to elude getting dressed after a bath. Early readers will giggle as they accomplish reading this fun story written in a semi-graphic novel style. Parents will giggle as they remember how cute a naked baby on the run can be!

Reading Level: K-2nd

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New Elephant and Piggie Book!

Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant and Piggie Book)Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mo Willems does it again with this tale of the anxious Gerald and the freespirited Piggie. Written as a beginning reader/graphic novel Should I Share My Ice Cream is a very honest story of friendship, sharing, and everyone's inner struggle to do the right thing. New readers will love the illustrations and easy flow of words that are standard in the Elephant and Piggie series.

Reading/Interest Level: Preschool-1st Grade

View all my reviews

Purple Little Bird

Purple Little BirdPurple Little Bird by Greg E. Foley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Greg Foley's simple and sweet illustrations coupled with prose that is easy for children to relate to makes for a happy little world for Purple Little Bird. This quest for the perfect place will teach young readers about color, weather, and other sensory words. The story also speaks to the importance of friendship and diversity. Another excellent story from this award winning author!

View all my reviews

ALA Conference 2011

The ALA Conference 2011 wrapped up on Tuesday.  This year it was in New Orleans!  I swear sometime in the next 5 years I WILL attend one of these.  They look so amazing!  Famous authors, job recruiters, free books, professional development, and a feeling that libraries are alive and thriving.  In a time when it is really hard to feel supported as a librarian, the ALA Conference is like a vitamin shot of motivation and positivity.  Click HERE to see what this year's Conference was all about.  When you start to feel down about the future of American Libraries...this will help to reassure you that we aren't going anywhere!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why I should be your School Library Media Specialist...

Why Jaime A. Sanborn should be Your School's
School Library Media Specialist

In this highly competitive time, why should a Principal invest in me, who has not yet had the honor of running a school library?  

·       I am already a Certified K-12 Media Specialist in the State of Florida.
·       I hold a Master's in Library and Information Science specializing in School Library Media.   
·       I graduated from Florida State University in December 2010 with a 4.0 GPA.

How I Teach:
          According to the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Educator Accomplished Practice for The Learning Environment is to “maintain a student-centered learning environment that is safe, organized, equitable, flexible, inclusive, and collaborative.”   While I understand that the Teacher-Librarian is the authority figure in the library, I make my students aware that their dignity, points of view, and voices are valid and important to me.  I talk to the students when I instruct.  I ask them questions that go beyond the retrieval of facts.  In my lessons, collaboration is the backbone of what we do.  I want to hear their thoughts and opinions.  I want to make them think, inquire, and become engaged.   To me, learning is more joyful when everyone’s thoughts and ideas become valued parts of the process.  
I accommodate my students by trying to incorporate as many learning styles as possible into one lesson.  I not only lecture, but provide visual representation of what I am discussing.  Then, I give the students something tangible for them to use to work through the new material so that they can form their own categories of information in their minds.  I also take into consideration how their mind works intellectually, how they feel emotionally, and what condition they are in physically.  Though I cannot always know these things about all of my students, I am sensitive to these factors and how they will affect student learning.  I am aware that multiple learning styles should be accommodated in every lesson so that all learners have a chance of being reached. 

 My Philosophy of Elementary School Library Media Service

 “At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better.”
 ~Barack Obama 

I believe that the School Library Media Center should be a welcoming, student-centered, learning environment in which a dedicated, inspired, and highly-qualified School Librarian serves as the essential link between the school community and information. 

“What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it thinks about education.”  Harold Howe, former US Commissioner of Education

It is my belief that schools deserve true, Master’s-holding, fully-certified School Librarians, in a full-time capacity, to act as the Information Literacy experts.  Information Literacy must be taught by a caring, intelligent, and motivated librarian who wishes to nurture the spark of curiosity within students.  School Librarians know that true learning begins with a genuine desire to know something.  
The most valuable gift a School Librarian can give to students is the comprehensive understanding that is Information Literacy.  School Libraries enable students to become successful contributors to this world of information. 
“The more that you read,
 the more things you will know.
 The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.”
 ~Dr. Seuss

Through librarian-led information literacy instruction, equitable access to resources for the school community, and collaboration with educators in planning curriculum that supports the needs of the school, the School Library Media Center ensures that students and staff make the most effective use of 
ideas and information.

School Library programs are dedicated to providing accurate and objective library materials that represent many different cultures and ways of life in an equitably accessible manner.  Instructional materials of the highest quality are offered in many formats.  School Librarians promote active and analytical thinking, enabling students to become engaged, productive, and independent learners. Information Literacy curriculum that is created through collaboration with the educational staff, ensures a deeper learning experience by placing information in the context of the real world.  School Library Media Services increase student literacy, promote critical thinking, foster an appreciation of reading, and enable students to become life-long learners.

“Information is the currency of democracy.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

The role of the Elementary School Librarian is to be a collaborative educational partner, a leader and expert in the literary, and informational needs of students, and both the impetus and support of technological progress.  The School Library Media Center is the informational hub of the school providing a diverse, accurate, and objective collection, equal technological access, and an inviting learning environment. 

For faculty and students, the School Library Media Center is the place where research materials, pleasure reading materials, and electronic resources can be equitably accessed.  The School Librarian is the expert on Children’s Literature, research methods, and stays current with knowledge of technology.  The School Librarian manages the library and ensures that it is a place that promotes inquiring, thinking, learning, imagining and evolving. 

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ~ Albert Einstein

More about my philosophy:

      You see, we don’t send society’s children to school for “free” just so they can learn some dates, quotes, and numbers…We send the children to school to become intelligent and productive members of society; preparing them to lead the next generation of Americans.  If we fail to give them the tools they need to succeed in life, then we have failed America.  It’s that important.  A regular classroom education isn’t enough.  They need to learn how to learn.  They need to learn how to question.  For the sake of freedom and democracy, we cannot allow complacent, passive, and uninterested people to become our majority.   

  Every day that I teach, I will be living these promises and demonstrating them in my lessons, and interactions.    My students will always know that I am there for them, as an educator, an advocate, and an advisor.  I will not forget that my philosophy demands that I am welcoming, caring and motivated for my students as well as the faculty.  I will bring positivity to my library, creating a happier learning environment.   No matter what expectations are placed upon me in the future, my Philosophy, Mission and Vision will help me to keep Information Literacy, life-long learning, and a love for reading in my curriculum.  This statement serves as a tool for keeping me on track, serving my school in the way I set out to do.

My Ideas on the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner 

 Nine Foundational Common Beliefs

1. Reading is a Window to the World

Reading brings empowerment.  The competent Teacher-Librarian not only supports literacy instruction, but also builds a collection that encompasses many genres, subjects, cultures, and perspectives.  Without ever leaving their hometown, students should have access to resources that bring to them the knowledge and experiences of the international community.  Through reading about diverse topics the mind is opened and expanded.  It is the responsibility of the Teacher-Librarian to ensure that censorship, bias, and interest-group agendas play no role in the formation of a library collection.  The teacher-librarian must provide a collection that allows students to read about their world, unfettered.  School Libraries promote reading as an act of freedom.  With that freedom comes the knowledge and understanding of all the world has to offer.  Only when equipped with knowledge can people make educated and informed choices.   This is what a society of adept readers brings to America.

2. Inquiry provides a framework for learning 

It is curiosity that truly drives discovery.  The curious student is self-motivated to seek out information.  However, in this age of technology, not all accessible information is reliable or even credible.  Students must be taught the art of inquiry so that they may successfully obtain information that comes from trustworthy, research-based sources.  The Teacher-Librarian not only enables the curious student to develop these skills of inquiry but also encourages the hesitant student to become a competent seeker of information.  With fully developed inquiry skills, students can be more confident researchers and, ultimately, citizens of our society. 

3. Ethical Behavior in the use of information must be taught
The technological age came upon us without a handbook.  There is a veritable universe that exists parallel to ours where people can interact without experiencing one another in a truly human capacity.  This can be both liberating and dangerous.  The internet can often feel like a game, but our behavior there can directly impact our real, human lives.  Students must be prepared intellectually, emotionally, and practically for their experiences in this technological world.  Retail interactions, social interactions, and educational interactions online must be analyzed for their legitimacy, safety, and worth.  Likewise, students must understand how to present themselves when using the internet and be cautioned against the na├»ve perception of the internet as separate from the real world.  Students must be made aware that bullying online is just as real as in the physical world.  They must be taught to properly cite any information they use from the internet.  They must also know the dangers of the internet and how to handle them.  The Teacher-Librarian is responsible for educating students about the ethical behaviors expected of them.

 4.  Technology skills are crucial for future employment needs.

There are very few jobs, if any, in this modern society that do not require some interaction with technology.  Not to have the technological skills required to contend in today’s workforce can mean a life-sentence of poverty and low-paid employment.  To be a competitive nation in the global economy, it is crucial that our students obtain the skills they need to become technologically savvy.  Experience with both Apple and Microsoft products, word-processing skills, social networking skills, spreadsheet and database experience, knowledge of graphic design and publishing, and all aspects of Information Literacy can be obtained through the lessons taught by the Teacher-Librarian.  The Teacher-Librarian’s role is to equip students with the skills necessary to compete in today’s world. 

5. Equitable access is a key component for education. 

In all aspects, equitable access is needed for the betterment of our society.  Enlightenment and progress cannot happen if the basic needs of a people aren't met.  This is also true in education.  School systems recognize that students cannot succeed without access to vital resources.  On the most basic level this means food, clothing, shelter, and parental involvement.  However, without access to the internet and a diverse collection of reading materials, students will fall behind their more privileged classmates.  The School Library helps to even out this societal disparity by providing students with access to internet resources and a vast collection of books and other materials, as well as the education necessary to use these resources. 

6. The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changed. 

With every upgrade, and introduction of a new device for obtaining information, students must be kept up to date.  However, the foundation of information literacy remains the same.  Students must understand their information need, be confident in the strategies they will use to seek the information, know where to look for the information, be adept in evaluating the information they find, and understand how to use the information to satisfy their need.  This approach stays valid regardless of the changes in technology.  However, because the ways in which we obtain information change so often, it is important that School Libraries stay current in their technology resources. 

 7. The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own. 

It would be impossible for Information Professionals to be the experts in every new wave of information technology that presents itself.  That is why it is imperative that Teacher-Librarians provide students with the skills they need to approach new technologies and new learning experiences intelligently and independently.   Every resource should be approached with the methods of information literacy learned in the School Library.  These skills are meant to be mastered and used throughout the school career and the students’ lifetime.  The ultimate goal of Information Literacy is Independent Learning.  

8. Learning has a social context.

The competent Library-Teacher encourages and requires that learning experiences occur in group settings.  The process of shared discovery promotes teamwork, knowledge sharing, and the social skills necessary to become good classmates, coworkers, and citizens.   These group experiences will better prepare students for a world where much of the learning is done in business meetings, corporate trainings, and organizational workshops.  These shared learning experiences can occur physically but are often conducted in a virtual medium such as conference call or webinar.  Students equipped with the knowledge of these social learning environments will be more prepared for such settings in their adult lives.  

9. School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills. 

As demonstrated by the first eight common beliefs, an education is incomplete if it doesn't include the essential Information Literacy skills learned in the School Library.  Only with a competent, Master's Holding, fully-accredited, Library Science professional employed in the school library can these vital educational needs be met.  Without a School Library and a true Teacher-Librarian in every school, our students are entering the world armed with their academics, but lacking their skills of inquiry, analysis of information, and informed decision making.   Information Literacy provides real world skills that students can apply to all aspects of their lives.   The school library provides the instruction of these skills, the access to technology and print resources that every student needs, and a place where students can develop a love of reading and discovering. 

Why I support the AASL Standards and Beliefs:

The American Association of School Librarians’ Common Beliefs and Standards make clear that School Libraries are the places in our schools where students are taught the thrill of discovery, the empowerment of analysis, and satisfaction of creative productivity.  It is in the School Library where learning becomes an adventure.  Whether it be through a storytime discussion, a webquest team assignment, or creating their own blog, the School Library is where students are given the skills to become independent learners and creators.  
The AASL Standards for the 21st - Century Learner should be used in the creation of all lesson plans alongside whatever standards the individual state sets forth.  If these standards are considered in every lesson, students will gain the most from their School Library education.  Creating masters of Information Literacy, enthusiastic inquirers, independent thinkers, and critical discoverers, should be the ultimate goal of School Library instruction.  Teacher- Librarians who incorporate these standards in their lessons will see their students evolve from passive listeners to active participants.  The School Library should be a place of hands-on discovery.   Students who are asked what they think about something are more invested in learning.  These standards focus on the student as a thinker and as an individual with opinions, interests, and questions of their own.  Nurturing this spark in students and encouraging them to think, explore, discover, analyze, and evaluate their world will make them active citizens who feel they have a voice in society.  People who feel connected and respected are more apt to produce positive outcomes in their lives.  Through learning how to think for themselves and decipher information in an intelligent and informed way, students learn self-respect.  When the goal ceases to be learning something just to please your teacher or parents and becomes, instead, learning something to please one’s self, that is when true engagement in the process has occurred.  Information Literacy is self-empowerment.  This is the best gift we can offer our students. 

THAT is why I should be your School Library Media Specialist!

Please email to receive my cell phone number and set up an interview.  

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Red Glove by Holly Black

Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2)Red Glove by Holly Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know an author is talented when the second book in a series blows you away even more than the first. Red Glove is one of those mysteries that keeps a step ahead of you the whole way. There was just enough fantasy, suspense, love, lust, and realism to keep a reader HOOKED!

In this second installment in the Curse Worker series, we follow Cassel Sharpe through another maze of lies and intrigue centered around his highly disfunctional family and the mob ties they have to the Worker World. The story begins with a murder- and a mystery. Both of which set the stage for a mess for Cassel to con his way through. The FBI makes a play in Red Glove as well as Cassel's mother, who is out of jail and back to her old ways.

Lila, Sam, Daneca and Cassel do actually get to be normal kids for a few moments in this story, which adds to its likability. However, for two kids from Carney, Lila and Cassel can't have the faerie-tale for long.

This novel leaves you researching publishing dates for book number three. Like a syringe full of an emotion worker's blood- this book is addictive.

Red Glove by Holly Black.
Reading Level: 10 and up
Interest Level: 12 and up, for content.

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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ooooh the sequel to Origami Yoda!!

Okay all you fans of The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger, it is time to preorder or place a library hold on a copy of Darth Paper Strikes Back!

Darth Paper Strikes BackDarth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger

The release date is August 23rd, 2011 so make sure you read the first book before then!!!

The Strange Case of Origami YodaThe Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Oh, and May the Force be With You!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Quest for a School Library Position...

Currently, I work in a Public Library Children's Department.  While I love my job, I was educated to be a School Librarian.  Beyond that- there are going to be significant lay-offs and demotions in my library system come October.  I am up for promotion from Library Associate to Librarian because I have an MLIS, however there will be no promotions in the near future due to budget.  My Masters Degree from FSU is Specialized in School Library Media and I am certified to teach Library from K through 12.  I know my stuff.  Moreover I live, breathe, and dream my work.  I am a Children's Librarian with all that is in me.  I really want to work in an elementary school.  Of course there is always that catch 22 that I cannot get experience in a school library if someone isn't willing to give me the opportunity!   There are hardly any job opportunities out there, so I have to hope that my MLIS and my passion for my work are enough to get me in that ever elusive door.

Wish me luck!

Story Time Too!

I had originally created a separate blog for my story time resources but I have decided to merge that blog into this one.  So, please notice the three additional pages on this blog for books, songs/rhymes, and activities for story time themes.  These are for Preschool-2nd grade story times.  This is a work in progress so check back often to see what I have added.  :)

Hooray for Pottermore!

In October 2011, J.K. Rowling's Pottermore website goes live.  It will be a hands-on, interactive experience centered around the reading of the Harry Potter books.  It will also be the exclusive place to purchase Harry Potter E-Books.  On Harry's birthday, July 31st, you can visit the site to try and win a chance to use the site early.  Jo says to "simply, follow the owl."  So- this is something fun and exciting to look forward to and a new way to enjoy the best fantasy series for children ever written.

      Take a peek....  click here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Okay Jo- you are KILLING me!  What is this?

Is this the encyclopedia you promised would benefit charity?
Is this a British version of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park?
Is this a book about Harry's offspring?
Is this a home for children in need?
WHAT IS IT?!!!!!

In approximately 1 day and 9 hours the secret will be revealed...
Until then "the owls are gathering."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Photo: Library of Congress

Oh what a dream it would be to be in D.C for the National Book Festival!  The author list includes names like Susan Cooper, Tomie DePaola, Jack Gantos, Patricia McKissack, and Katherine Paterson...just to name a few!  The "One World, Many Stories" theme will be represented in the activities for children- which mirrors what is going on in public libraries nationwide.  If you live near the D.C. area or plan to make a trip- September 24-25th would be the perfect time!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More WIMPY!!!

Just in time for the 2011 holiday shopping season, Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid #6 will be released by Amulet Books on Tuesday, November 15th!  The title is Cabin Fever and, if history repeats itself, kids will be loony with the fever to get their hands on it!  This is a MUST ORDER for any Children's Library!

Read about the upcoming publication in the official press release!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I Heart Graphic Novels

On the ALSC Blog today a School Librarian from NY talks about how her most circulated titles this past school year have all been graphic novels.  As a School Librarian who avidly reads graphic novels, I am so pleased to hear this.  Today's comic book is a more respected creature.  Memoirs, Non-Fiction, Biographies, Historical Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, YOU NAME IT- it can be found in Graphic Novel form.  My 11 year old daughter has two reading goals this summer: 1. Finish as many of the classics as she can and, 2. Complete Jeff Smith's Bone Series.  Hesistant readers, excellent readers, avid readers, dabbling readers- graphic novels appear to everyone.  Educators, if you want to better understand how to use Graphic Novels as a way to support literacy, visit Dr. Katie Monnin's Blog, Teaching Graphic Novels.  Katie is the one who inspired me to take up this literary format and I have been deeply enriched by the titles I have read.  My favorite publisher for early reader graphic novels is TOON Books.  My 6 year old son and I love to read Patrick books and Benny and Penny.

Benny and Penny in the Toy BreakerBenny and Penny in the Toy Breaker by Geoffrey Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Patrick in A Teddy Bear's Picnic and other stories (Toon)Patrick in A Teddy Bear's Picnic and other stories by Geoffrey Hayes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For older elementary school children there are so many favorites: Babymouse; Owly; TinTin; and even classics like The Smurfs!

The Smurfs #1: The Purple Smurf (The Smurfs Graphic Novels)The Smurfs #1: The Purple Smurf by Yvan Delporte
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So...definitely make Graphic Novels part of your child's summer reading experience.  They will devour the stories and get turned on to reading.  (...and have a lot of fun!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Congratulations ! the AASL National School Library Program of the Year Award Winners!

Now let's work on getting the funding to every school so that all school libraries can follow in your footsteps!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Every Child Ready to Read (R)

Later this month ALA will be releasing the 2nd Edition Toolkit of Every Child Ready to Read (R).  To prepare for this, they have created a new website .  This program focuses on the first five years of life and asserts that parents are the essential key to a child's reading readiness.  Public Libraries (and Early Childhood Learning Centers) can use the program to educate parents in the best practices for improving their child's preliteracy skills.  Through story times and other library activities, Librarians can model for parents the behaviors they need to adopt with their children to prepare them to be readers.  ECRR (R) Edition 2 states that the five practices parents should share with their young children are Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, and Playing.  Libraries have been incorporating the following preliteracy skills into their programming since the launch of ECRR (R) in 2004 (and probably well beforehand)

6 Pre-Literacy Skills:

Oral Language Development  (Narrative): promoting conversation, learning new words and using them in  every day situations.

Emergent Comprehension: using questions and activities to demonstrate an understanding of the book’s intent.   

Phonological Awareness: the awareness of sounds around us, and playing with words and sounds.

Letter/Sound Knowledge: learning the difference between shapes, letters, numbers, and punctuation.  Understanding the letters make sounds which then make words.

Emergent Writing: demonstrating writing for the child, and promote activities to build hand strength, control, and dexterity.

Print Concepts (Print Motivation and Print Awareness): the understanding that the spoken word can be written down, and has value.  The basic understanding of how to handle a book properly and the make up of a 
book (author, illustrator, title, front/back cover, pages, spine, where to begin and end reading on a page).

To see examples of how these skills can be presented in story time, visit my new story time links (still under construction).

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Runaways Creative Teams

Runaways: Dead End Kids Runaways: Dead End Kids by Joss Whedon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first volume sans Vaughn and Alphona has been amazing!  The writing and illustrations haven't strayed far from what readers have come to expect of the series.  The plot is one of the most developed and engaging.  Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan do not continue on with the next volume, which is disappointing.  This was a pageturner that I couldn't put down!

View all my reviews

Runaways: Dead Wrong Runaways: Dead Wrong by Terry Moore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I was afraid when the creators of Runaways decided to stop actively creating them but the teams that have picked up the story since then have been great. It took me some time to adjust to Humberto Ramos's artistic style but it grew on me. The plot threads of this story have remained interesting and the pages continue to turn at lightspeed when I read them. The new additions to the Runaways team have only enriched their charm and the family bonds they have formed really draw the reader in. In this story, survivors from Majesdane have come seeking justice and Karolina and Xavin have to convince them to try diplomacy over violence.

View all my reviews

Vaughn and Alphona's Last Runaways

Runaways vol. 7: Live Fast (digest)Runaways vol. 7: Live Fast by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This collection is Brian K. Vaughn's last appearance as writer and Adrian Alphona's as Illustrator, which makes me a little sad. I am curious to see how the series plays out without them. This volume is just as good as volume 6. Chase Stein's character has won over my heart and developed into someone complex and engaging. Bravo to this creative team for an excellent final work on this series. Vaughn and Alphona will be missed.

View all my reviews

Brian K. Vaughn's Runaways has impressed and delighted me...

Runaways vol. 6: Parental Guidance (digest)Runaways vol. 6: Parental Guidance by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At this point I have fallen in love with the Runaways Series.  This collection is Brian K. Vaughn's last appearance as writer and Adrian Alphona's as Illustrator, which makes me a little sad.  However, they have done extraordinary work with taking a series that started out kind of weak and transforming it into something spectacular.  I am curious to see how the rest of the series plays out without this genius team behind the wheel.

Reading Level: 10 and up
Interest Level: 12 and up
This is teen in its content.

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A wonderfully modern faerie-tale...

Wondrous Strange (Wondrous Strange, #1)Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this story and look forward to the rest of the series (which the ending completely put in place). I cannot tell much without spoiling the fun but, if you are a fan of Shakespeare, faeries, and New York City you will fall in love with Wondrous Strange!

Reading and Interest level: 10 to Adult

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Now that it is summer we MUST reinforce safety rules with our children.  Be it sun care, water safety, bike safety, or stranger safety, summer is a great time to remind children of the ways to stay safe.  This month, I will share with you some books and activities that you can share with children to help teach them about staying safe!

Reading Time:
(**curiosity, patience, cooperation, *oral language development, print concepts, phonological awareness, letter sound knowledge)
v     Excerpts from: I Can Be Safe by Pat Thomas and Stranger Danger by Cynthia MacGregor
I Can Be Safe: A First Look at Safety (A First Look at...Series)I Can Be Safe: A First Look at Safety by Pat Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent resource for teaching young children about being safe.

Stranger Danger (The Abduction Prevention Library)Stranger Danger by Cynthia MacGregor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A necessary book for teaching young children about the potential dangers of people they do not know.

What if I am lost?
Who are safe strangers? Who can you go to if you are lost?  We will talk about safe strangers and finding help. (Show images of Firefighter, Police Officer, Librarian, Teacher, Doctor, etc.  Talk about how only parents or a parent-chosen adult should take children anywhere.)

v     Reading Time:
           Elizabeth Imagined an Iceberg by Chris Raschka

Elizabeth Imagined An IcebergElizabeth Imagined An Iceberg by Chris Raschka
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This fictional story teaches children about the very real dangers of adults they do not know. This is the tale of an empowered child who trusts her instincts and uses her own strength to escape the unwelcome attention of a stranger. This book is probably best suited for K-2- however I use in in preschool Stranger lessons and, with a little paraphrasing, it works well.

  •  NO, GO, YELL, TELL!: We will practice what we should do if a stranger ever asks you to go with them. (Role play: Pretend to convince children they should go with you and have the kids act out screaming, shouting, running away- etc.)

 Reading Time:
Little Red Riding Hood retold by Harriet Ziefert
What mistakes did Little Red Riding Hood make in this story? (she told the wolf where she was going, she talked to the wolf)

Little Red Riding Hood (Easy-to-Read, Puffin)Little Red Riding Hood by Harriet Ziefert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An effective early reader story to teach children about the dangers of strangers.

What mistakes did the adults make? (Mom sent her into the woods alone, Grandma opened her door to a stranger etc.)

Important Links and Resources!

Y DVD 613.6 SAFE
The safe side / created by Carol Cordova and Julie Aigner-Clark ; directed by Doug Aarniokoski ; written by Carol Cordova ; produced by Julie Aigner-Clark.

This video is an EXCELLENT resource and I would argue that EVERY elementary school should show it to their students.

Remember- this lesson must be taught repeatedly in order for children to retain the skills they need to stay safe!