Friday, December 6, 2013

Dispatch from the Hidey Hole

Scholastic Book fair has arrived at Marshall Lane.  The kids have been visiting the library to preview the book fair and make their wish lists.  I'm very excited about this fair because there are so many wonderful new books!  I've already filled three boxes with books for the library.  Some highlights include Tommysaurus Rex by Doug TenNapel, the Harry Potter boxed set with new illustrations by Kazu Kibuishi, the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney, and my new favorite picture book A is for Musk Ox by Erin Cabatingan with illustrations by Matthew Myers, who was the illustrator of Battle Bunny.

Here's me in my hidey hole in which I will be cataloging all of these fabulous new books next week:

Don't forget that Wednesday evening is family night at the Scholastic Book fair at Marshall Lane.  I will be a guest reader that evening along with some of your favorite teachers and the principal.  I'll be reading A is for Musk Ox so be sure to come out and say 'Hi!'

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

More on Battle Bunny

So we got to meet the authors of Battle Bunny a couple weeks ago, but what about the illustrator Matthew Myers?  How did he make those pictures and then deface them?  Here is a video explaining just that:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today is a very special day!

Wow, where do I start?  Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett came to our school!  As I was standing in the back of the multi-purpose room watching their presentation, I suddenly had a moment of "Wow! These guys are at my school!"

They arrived an hour early and had a nice Togos lunch waiting for them.  And also some ninja bread men cookies that I had made.
Teachers had an opportunity to chat with the authors and after lunch we toured the library.  They got to see my author photo wall, on which they spotted themselves and several of their friends.  They stopped to say hello to Mrs. Gaither's class who were in the library at the time and then it was off to the multipurpose room for the presentation.

Mr. Scieszka spoke first.  He shared many stories from his childhood growing up with 4 brothers, including how his brother Greg broke his collar bone 5 times.  Then Mr. Barnett took a turn and ended up on an extended rant about Scooby and Scrappy Doo.  They took some questions from the students but the students were eager to hear about their new book Battle Bunny.
The premise of Battle Bunny is that a boy named Alex receives from his grandmother a super sweet book called Birthday Bunny as a birthday gift.  Alex decides the book does not suit his taste, so he 'improves' it.  So, essentially, Mr. Scieszka and Mr. Barnett wrote 2 books.  First, they wrote Birthday Bunny, which was illustrated by Matthew Myers.  Then, they went back and wrote Alex's version - Battle Bunny with additional illustrations.  The book is hilarious and really gets the kids where they live.  The authors read a portion of the book simultaneously, with Mr. Barnett reading Birthday Bunny and Mr. Scieszka reading Battle Bunny.  They then asked the students to come up with their own Bunnies and they came up with a Vampire Bunny, Volcano Bunny, Scooby Doo Bunny, and Mac Barnett Bunny, to name a few.

After the presentation, students were able to get their books signed and talk to the authors.
And of course, I got another picture to add to my author wall.
Then the day was over and they were off to Hicklebee's Children's Bookstore for their next appearance.

I'd like to thank Miss Valerie and Miss Katherine of Hicklebee's for giving Marshall Lane the opportunity to host these fabulous authors.  It makes me so happy that our students were able to experience this.

I'd also like to thank all my wonderful library volunteers who covered the library at lunch time and helped keep the event running smoothly and especially Miss Ronda who set up the sound system, directed traffic in the multi-purpose room and got Miss Katherine out of the parking lot.

And finally, I'd like to thank Mrs. Spencer, our principal, for organizing lunch and giving up her parking space.

Be sure to check out for some free downloads and more information.

Yes, it truly was a special day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Battle Bunny is coming!

Look what I've got in my hot little hands on!

These are the books to fulfill the pre-orders. Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett will be at Marshall Lane next week!!  I am literally having dreams about this happening.  Worry dreams that something will go wrong.  I wake up in the middle of the night and make to do lists.  Anyway, it will be great!

And while you're waiting for them to arrive, here is a terrific article about the book and its authors.

Here is a link to the Birthday Bunny website that was mentioned in the above article.  You can download pages from the book and do your own reworking of this super sweet story.

Jon and Mac will be appearing at Hicklebee's Tuesday afternoon at 3, in case you miss them at Marshall Lane.  Go to Hicklebee's website for more information (and to see who else is coming soon!)

If you haven't sent your pre-order in, you'll want to do this by Friday.  If  you need an order form, I have extras in the library and there's also extras in the office.  Don't miss out on the opportunity to have this fantatic, hilarious book signed by both its authors!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Today, my loyal readers, my dream has come true!  Thanks to the best bookstore in the world Hicklebee's Children's bookstore, none other than Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett are coming to Marshall Lane!

Mr. Scieszka and Mr. Barnett have written a book together called Battle Bunny which will be coming out October 22.  Now I got very excited when I found out that these two amazing authors had collaborated on a book so when Hicklebee's called me this morning to see if we could host them I nearly spontaneously combusted!  If you have been following my blog at all, you'll know how much I adore these two authors (and how I have stalked them, check the tags!)

Here's a book trailer of Battle Bunny.

I can't wait to read this book!

So you know them when they come, this is Mac Barnett.  He wrote Extra Yarn, The Brixton Brothers Mysteries, Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem, and Chloe and the Lion among others.

This is Jon Scieszka.  He wrote The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, The Spaceheadz Trilogy, and The Time Warp Trio series, plus more!

If you'd like to purchase a copy of Battle Bunny, a flyer will be going home tomorrow for pre-ordering copies of the book or come see me in the library.

Friday, October 4, 2013

It's Author Stalking Season

Have I told you that Hicklebee's is the best bookstore ever?  Today they hosted Kate DiCamillo who on tour for her new book Flora & Ulysses.

I arrived a bit late thanks to a wrong turn and some road construction so my signing number was 77.  This turned out to be not a bad thing because it allowed me some time to read a bit of Flora & Ulysses while I waited.  So far, it is absolutely delightful!

The story begins with a comic which tells the story of what happened when Mr. Tickham gave Mrs. Tickham a vacuum cleaner for her birthday.  Comics illustrate parts of the story thoughout the book.

Flora, who lives next door to the Tickhams, is a natural born cynic who loves to read comics.  Ulysses is an unassuming squirrel whom Flora saves from an unfortunate vacuum cleaner accident.  Ulysses is not unscathed by the accident and, in fact, is quite changed by the experience.  I'm 60 pages in and I can't wait to see what happens next.  Here is a picture of Ms. DiCamillo reading the first chapter of the book to a very crowded bookstore.
Next week, T. A. Barron, Adam Gidwitz, and Richard Peck will be appearing at Hicklebee's.  You need to be there!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"This book will make you itchy!"

Back from Hicklebee's where David Shannon read his new book Bugs in My Hair.  It's the best book about lice you'll ever read.

David Shannon assures the reader that getting lice is nothing to be ashamed of, it just happens.  He does acknowledge, however, that it is miserable and a pain to deal with.  The story includes many informational footnotes about how lice have crept into our everyday language.  Nitpicking anyone?

While reading his book, Mr. Shannon donned a giant louse on a headband because, even though lice are really small, when you have them, it feels like they have taken over your life!

I will be returning to Hicklebee's on Friday because another great author will be visiting.  And there will be more great authors next week.  Hicklebee's is the best!

Getting back in the swing of things.

Well, it's been a busy beginning of the school year.  In fact we are well into it now and I completely forgot to post anything in September!

It's been very busy in the library so far.  My schedule is packed and the library is a very popular destination for students during recess and lunch.  This makes me happy and also tired!

There were two boxes of new books waiting for me when I returned to school and a third one came last week.  I've put in an order for 54 more books which should arrive soon.  I have lists accumulating titles which will eventually be ordered and the Book Fair is coming the first week of December.

I want to remind everyone that you can access library resources from home and you can find out more about that by going to the Knowledge Center webpage and clicking the links. (If you are reading this from the Knowledge Center page, scroll up and click the links!)

And now, a little library trivia:  The library opened for check outs mid-September and to date 1,637 items have been checked out.  The most popular title was Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules which was checked out 8 times in the last 3 weeks.

And now I must away for I'm destined to meet an author at Hicklebee's this afternoon.  I'll tell you all about it when I get back.

Happy reading!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Learning

This week I've been attending iTeach at Campbell Middle School with about 60 other teachers and support staff.  I've been learning a great deal about how to use technology in the classroom and library. It's given me lots of ideas and inspiration and I'm so excited to get back to school and put my new skills into practice.  I think it's really going to change the dynamic of library time, especially for 4th and 5th graders.  We are finally going to be able to put those iPads to productive use in the library.  It's so exciting!

See you all soon!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Revenge of the Top Librarian

Well, we've arrived at the final story in my collection of second grade stories.  This is the longest one and, while I know I shouldn't say this because I love them all, this one is my favorite.  It is so inventive and I love that the students incorporated one of their favorite authors, Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet) as a character in the story.  Incidentally, Kazu Kibuishi has illustrated the 15th anniversary editions of the Harry Potter books.  His Amulet series is in constant circulation at the library and are rarely on the shelf during the school year.

So, without further ado, the final story from my thank you book from room 27.

The Mystery of the Missing Words
by Alden, Vibhas, Mysti, Ricky, Erwin, Aarav, and Arshawn

Once upon a time, there was a librarian named Mrs. Richards.  She loved to read and get new books for all the kids at Marshall Lane School.  For lunch every day she would eat macaroni and cheese or pizza.  

On Wednesday, Mrs. Richards discovered something wrong.  Every one of the books that she was checking in was missing ALL the words.  In one of the books, there was a sticky flag note that read, "Sorry, but we had to go."  Who wrote that and how could this be?

She says to herself, "I will have to call in the book detective.  I just met Detective Kazu Kibuishi at a book signing.  He seemed really nice.  Maybe he would come to school to help me find out what happened to all the words."  She emails him and he agrees to come on Friday.

In the meantime, Mrs. Richards puts a "CLOSED" sign on the door and does some investigating on her own.  She heads to room 27 where her favorite students are.  She asks, "Are you having any problems with your books?"

All the kids exclaimed, "YES! All the words in our books have vanished!"

"When I was watching my students read during DIRT, I saw it happening.  As he read, the words disappeared right off the page.  Each page he read became blank.  What is going on?"

"I am having the same problem in the library.  I have called in a detective but he won't be here until Friday morning.  I think we're going to have to take all the books away from the kids until we come up with a solution."

All the kids said, "NOOOOO! Not our books!" but the decision was final.  All the rest of the day and all day Thursday, everyone walked around mad, sad, and disappointed.  Everyone kept asking, "When will the detective get here?" even though Mrs. Richards had told them it would be Friday.

Finally, Detective Kibuishi arrives.  The whole school is waiting.  Everyone even skipped recess to wait for him.  Mrs. Richards explained the whole problem and showed him several of the books.  

"Do you know how to cure this problem?  Is there a way to fix it or do we have to buy all new books?"

"No, that would be way too much money.  Luckily for you, I've seen this before."  He starts to tell Mrs. Richards and the kids how to cure the problem.  They decide that Mrs. Spencer needs to make an announcement to the whole school.

"Boys and girls, we have found out how to solve the mystery of the disappearing words.  Each of you needs to take home the books that you have read this past week.  When you get home, put the books on your head or under your head while you are sleeping tonight.  Detective Kibuishi says that while you are sleeping, the stories will be transferred back from your memories into the books.  Check in the morning to see if it worked.  If not, try one more night.  When the words are back in the books, bring the books back to school."

That night, all the Marshall Lane kids slept on and with books.  In the morning, all the stories were back inside their books!  For about five weeks, the kids checked out books and finally, all the books were restored. 

Mrs. Richards was so happy to have all her books back the right way but she had one question.  "How do we keep this from happening again?"

Detective Kibuishi handed her a spray bottle.  "Every time a student comes for library time, you must spray them.  That way, the stories will stay inside the books."

Then he handed her a piece of paper with the recipe.  "Keep this a secret.  I have worked on this and give it only to the best librarians."  Mrs. Richards promised to never give out the recipe.  

From this day on, Marshall Lane students were always squirted when they arrived for their weekly library session.  They knew it was important to keep stories where they belong.

Psst. Can you keep a secret?  Here is the recipe just in case you ever have this problem at home. 

1 cup of water
1/2 cup of salt
2 strands of brown hair
2 tablespoons of bookworm castings
2 sheets of paper from "dead" books, shredded
2 cups of pink oatmeal, pureed well

Blend and boil, then strain into a spray bottle.  Two squirts per child should do the trick.  Some kids who have been reading LOTS of books might need three.

The End

I hope you have enjoyed these stories as much as I have.  It was such a special treat for me and a great reminder of how important the library is to our students.  And as these stories prove, great readers make great writers.  These kids inspire me to be give them the best library possible and be the best library tech possible.  Thank you room 27!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Son of the Top Librarian and other stories.

Friday night, Mr. Richards and I drove up to San Francisco to see Neil Gaiman who is on his final book tour for his new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  I got a copy of the book signed and I read it over the weekend.  It was a wonderful read.  Mr. Gaiman has described it as his most personal work and it is dedicated to his wife, Amanda Palmer.
The story is told through the memory of a seven year old boy who, when life gets difficult, escapes into books.  Events from Mr. Gaiman's own childhood are woven into a mythical story starring characters that have lived in his head for a very long time.  The scary things that happen in this book are made scarier because they are happening to the narrator as a young boy and the unsettling things that happen, which are not understood by the boy, are more unsettling as they are remembered by the adult.  It was a very good book and I wish I hadn't read it so fast.  Because now it's over.
But, I get to look forward to his new book for children coming out in September called Fortunately, the Milk.  He read a bit of it Friday night and it sounds like a fun story, like if Douglas Adams had ever written a children's book, it might be like this one.
Here is a picture of Mr. Gaiman signing my copy of Ocean, and a copy of Chu's Day for the library.

And now, back to second grade stories.

This one is untitled and it's by Avalon and Bella and it comes with an illustration.

Once upon a time, there was so much noise in the Marshall Lane School Library that everybody in Marshall Lane needed hearing aids.  Then it got so noisy that the hearing aids broke.  Then the police station shut down the library until the whole school was quiet.  Then three months later, finally the school got quiet.  The police station reopened it.  Then everybody loved the library and they were always quiet when they were in it.

The End

Noise seems to be a recurring theme in these library stories.  That was a short one so lets do another.

The Transforming Mrs. Richards
by Rachel and Lauren

One day in the library Mrs. Richards picked up a book about the desert.  She said the magic word (which is "library") and was transformed into an extra character in the book.  But now she could not get out.  She had to do whatever was happening in the story.

Mrs. Richards was there for one whole night and was getting bored and hungry. Lauren and Rachel happened to come into the library and happened to pick up the book and suddenly, she came out.  Poof!  Now she is careful.

From now on, Mrs. Richards teaches all the students to be careful so that you don't get stuck in books!!!!

The End

I've always loved the idea of being able to actually go in to books.  An idea that I'm sure I got from watching Gumby when I was a kid.  (Kids, ask your parents about Gumby!)

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Bride of the Top Librarian

As promised, the next library story as written by a second grader in two chapters.  Note: I cannot read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in one library session, as much as I'd like to.

The Library
by Kylie

 Chapter One

One day a new librarian came to Marshall Lane Elementary School.  It was a Thursday so Room 27 went to library.

"Class, today I will be reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," Mrs. Richards said.  

After she read the book, she gave Mrs. Moncrief's class their cards.  Kylie got The Walking Dead [for those of you raising your eyebrows, I do not have The Walking Dead books in my library], Angelie got Beverly Cleary, and Lauren got Belle the Birthday Fairy.  

Chapter Two

The next week when Mrs. Moncrief's class [went to the library] all the books were gone!

"I only have three books," Mrs. Richards exclaimed.  "Mrs. Spencer made you wear uniforms and the next day they were gone."

"Well, let's find clues," Lauren said.

So they looked and they looked and they [looked] and they, well, you know what I mean.  But when they didn't find anything, they called the police.  So then they searched and searched and searched and then went to Chase's and Evan's house and they found all the missing books and Chase and Evan reading them.

"Arrest them," one said.  So they returned the books, arrested Chase and Evan and lived happily ever after.

The End

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Return of the Top Librarian

Today's library story comes from Evan and Chase, who obviously know a lot about their subject.

The Best Librarian Trips

At the library there was the best librarian ever known in the century.  But one day, THE LIBRARIAN HAS UNTIED SHOES AND SHE TRIPS! When she falls, she breaks her leg and she was sad :(.

The school will have to get a new librarian.  :(  But she doesn't want to leave Marshall Lane so she tries tying her shoes but they have knots in them.  She trips again.  She tries everything she can think of but it's no use!

Finally she thinks of taking off her shoes.  She hopes on top of her hopes.  She pulls off her first shoe and slowly takes off her second shoe.  She doesn't fall or trip.  she walks, walks, walks, and walks.  The library OPENS!!!!!!!! :) 

Lesson: Always tie your shoes or if that doesn't work, take them off.  Just make sure that your feet don't stink, or that will just be a whole 'nother problem!

The End

Tomorrow, a story in two chapters titled The Library.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Still more tales from the Top Librarian

Today is two-fer Wednesday.  Two short stories written by second graders about their librarian.  The first one has no title and I don't know who the author is.  Here it is:


Once there was a librarian that was new to Marshall Lane.  When she got there, there was lots of yelling.  Nobody could hear anyone, no matter how loud they talked.  So they had to shut down the school.

"I'm not happy about that."

So they opened up the school and everyone was quiet.  Nobody yelled again.

The End

This next story, also untitled, is by Alexis and Olivia and reflects the fact that I like to challenge the students to guess how many books are in the library.  Also, there is a nice illustration of the bookshelves on fire and me in the computer lab.

Untitled 2

Once upon a time, there was a librarian called Mrs. Richards.  She has may books.  One day, she wasn't in the library, she was in the computer lab.  A fire started in the library.  It started to grow bigger and bigger.  Soon, the books started to get on fire too.  Then Mrs. Richards came to the rescue with a fire extinguisher.  Most of the books weren't on fire.  At least she had lots of books.

The End

Next time, a story called The Best Librarian Trips.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

More stories from the Top Librarian

This next story has a very definite bias in favor of room 27.  Also, you should know that it is due to recent budget cuts that Marshall Lane's space ship is so small.  

The Librarian Alien
by Alli

One day at Marshall Lane School, there was a library.  The librarian's name was Mrs. Richards.  One day Mrs. Richards accidentally left the library door unlocked after the school day was over.  An evil alien was hiding in the custodian's closet.  He snuck into the library and started to ruin everything!

The next day when Mrs. Richards arrived, she saw the alien still ruining things.  He was ripping the books, stamping and drooling all over the ripped books, and playing on the computer.  When the alien saw Mrs. Richards, he took out his laser gun and zapped everything to his house in space, leaving just a big, empty room and Mrs. Richards just standing there.

She told all the classes.  Nobody cared except room 27.  When they arrived for their regular library time, she told them everything that had happened.  Finally the kids said, "Well, we could get into a space ship and go get all our stuff back!"

But then Mrs. Richards said, "I don't think that would work because Marshall Lane's space ship isn't big enough to carry all the stuff. So what's plan B?"

After thinking about it, the kids said, "Well, maybe we could hop into a space book."

"That could work.  Let's try it." They borrowed a space book from room 27 and counted down: "10 - 9 8  - 7 - 6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - blast off" and everyone jumped into the book.  Soon they were all floating in space.  They all shouted together, "We can't believe it actually worked!"

Soon they all found the alien's house.  They knew it was his because of all the library things in the yard, including the ripped books.  Luckily, he was out, probably causing more evil.

They went inside.  They found a big bag.  They put all the library things into the bag and jumped back into the book.  One minute later, they where back at school.  The bell rang.  "Oh no!!!!!!!!" the kids shouted.  "Now we can't fix up the library!!!!!" "Hang on." said Mrs. Richards.  soon she came back.  With millions of dollars!  "This is for you for saving the library."  "No.  This is for fixing the library." said Alli.  "YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!" said the rest of the class.

"O.K." said Mrs. Richards.  They all went home.  The library was fixed the next morning.  After that, the alien never returned.  And they lived happily for the rest of their life.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Thank You, Mrs. Richards, Top Librarian

At the end of the school year, I receive lots of nice thank you notes from students which always make me feel good.  This year, as a thank you, I received a series of short stories about the library from a second grade class which absolutely delighted me.  I'd like to share them with you here.  In transcribing them, I took the liberty of correcting some spelling errors. The first one is titled The Library Monster and it was written by Frans.  Enjoy!

The Library Monster 
by Frans

One day in Marshall Lane School was a librarian named Mrs. Richards who loved books.  One hour in school on Monday, Mrs. Richards found a monster.  

"Oh no a monster!" Mrs. Richards shouted.  Mrs. Spencer heard her.
"What?" she said with a sigh.
"Monster!" Mrs. Richards said.
"No," said Mrs. Spencer. "It is my dog."
"Oh, wait, what dog, in a school?"
"Yes," said Mrs. Spencer.
"Why?" said Mrs. Richards.
"I'm the principal of the school."
"Oh, yeah, you are.  No monsters!"

The End

Come back tomorrow for the second story, The Librarian Alien.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I've been profiled!

My knit designs have been featured on the Canary Knits blog!  Go there and check out some of the other designers who have been featured as well.

And thanks for the kind words, Canary Knits!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Library Fun Facts

Okay, it's the beginning of a new month, time to see what's going on in the library.

Here are the Top Ten Circulating Titles for the month of April:

1. We Are In a Book, Mo Willems
2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Jeff Kinney
3. Brave New Pond, Jennifer Holm
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal, Jeff Kinney
5. Let's Go For a Drive, Mo Willems
6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Last Straw, Jeff Kinney
7. Into the Woods, J. Torres
8. This Is Not My Hat, Jon Klassen
9. Memoirs of a Goldfish, Devin Scillian
10. Listen to My Trumpet, Mo Willems

Top Ten Search Terms Used on the OPAC (capitalized terms are preset search buttons):

etched in clay
California Missions
monster fight club
Graphic Novels
big nate
fire star
Most Popular
who was

Total number of items checked out in April = 1,949
Total number of items returned in April = 2,008
Total number of items put on hold in April = 168

I stumbled across a report that shows which patron have checked out the most books - which of course I won't post here for obvious reasons - but the list reads like a roster of my lunchtime regulars.  One teacher has checked out 232 items over the last year and the one student has checked out 94 items in the last year.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Discovered while weeding

While straightening the 398s this morning, I came across a fascinating old relic.  It's titled "The Space Child's Mother Goose" by Frederick Winsor, published originally in 1958, this copy was from the fourth printing in 1967.

This is a collection of nursery rhymes that have been shot into the space age.  Well, the 1950's space age.  As surprised as I am that these oldie-but-strange titles can still be found in here, I'm always delighted to find them.  Here are a few of the space age verses written for the 1950's space child:

Little Jack Horner
Sits in a corner
Extracting cube roots to infinity,
An assignment for boys
That will minimize noise
And produce a more peaceful vicinity.

Ah, gender bias in children's books!

A Follower of Goddard
And a rising Astrogator
Were agreed that superthermics
Was a spatial hot pertator.

They reached a Super-Nova
On a bicycle named Beta
And I'd tell you more about it
But they fused with all the data.

That one kind of left me scratching my head.

Hey Diddle Diddle
Distribute the Middle
The Premise controls the Conclusion
The Disjunctive affirms
That the Diet of Worms
Is a Borbetomagic confusion.


This little pig built a spaceship,
This little pig paid the bill;
This little pig made isotopes,
This little pig ate a pill;
And this little pig did nothing at all, 
But he's just a little pig still.

I'm guessing the little pig that ate the pill woke up and unplugged himself from the matrix?  The next one gets a little dark:

Embryonic, zoonic,
Tectonic, cyclonic,
We humans are never humane.
Explosion, erosion,
Corrosion, implosion-
And back into Chaos again!

Occasionally, the author offers 'definitions' in rhyme, like this one:

Quantum: The Quantum is only a tittle or jot: On a little theory hangs a lot.

There is a real glossary at the end of the book, however, where we learn that Borbetomagic pertains to the ancient city of Borbetomagus, now Worms.  So now that verse makes perfect sense.  

UPDATE: Apparently, there is a new limited edition currently available.  I'd love to have new copy of this for the library if anyone would like to donate it.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Further Adventures in Author Stalking

Those of you who actually read my blog (and I guess, if you are reading this now, than I am talking to you) may remember that I wrote about a forthcoming book by the great Lemony Snicket and the Caldecott award winner and honoree Jon Klassen called The Dark.

If you follow me on Facebook, you'd know that Mr. Snicket's representative Daniel Handler and Mr. Klassen were at Hicklebee's this morning and so, therefore, was I.

They presented a slideshow in which they showed pictures from their childhoods and some of the things they've done in their lives before they collaborated (a word which here means 'worked together') on The Dark.  Mr. Snicket's representative explained that while Mr. Klassen wasted his childhood playing on swings and looking at pictures, Mr. Snicket was busy doing research.

Here, Mr. Snicket's representative is demonstrating how he learned to perform the trick pictured in the slideshow.  We also learned that while Mr. Snicket is not afraid of the dark, he is afraid of crabs, and his representative appears to be as well. 

To add a layer of difficulty to the reading, Mr. Snicket's representative tied a blindfold on to Mr. Klassen who continued to illustrate the reading blindfolded.  There was a surprise ending to this but I won't give that away here.  I'll share it at school next week.

Here is the dynamic duo signing my books (one for me and one for Marshall Lane). 

This one proves that I was there.

If you would like the opportunity to meet Mr. Klassen and Mr. Snicket or his representative, depending on who shows up, they will be at the Burlingame Library tomorrow at 4.  It's about a 45 minute drive from here so if you leave right after school, you should be there in plenty of time.  I highly recommend you do this.  Especially if, like me, you love books and you like friendly and funny authors and illustrators.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Promoting Kindness and Peace

It's hard to be a parent of young children on days like today.  As much as we'd like to shield them from tragedies, the tragedies keep happening and we must help our children deal with them, even when we can't make sense of them ourselves.

I think it is really important to remember that the good people in this world far outnumber the bad, that we can smother the badness with kindness and love, and that we shouldn't lose faith in our fellow humans.

I've compiled a list of library books that promote kindness and peace, in hopes that it might be of some help to someone.  I will post it on the library home page tomorrow morning.  If you don't see anything you can personally use on my list, or the books are not available, check with your local public librarian.  I'm sure he or she can recommend something for you.

I wish you all peace and let's all remember kindness.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the library catalog homepage.  Click the Star icon to find the list of books I mentioned above.

Also, April 25th is Pay It Forward Day. Let's spread some kindness, that day and everyday.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Good Friend Mac Barnett

Okay, well, he's not really my good friend but he is a very nice fellow and also very funny.  He happened to tweet on Friday that he would be at the Burlingame Library today reading some of his books to kick off National Library Week. Well, Burlingame's not so far away so I decided to go because Mac Barnett is a great writer!  Just ask him.

I'm so glad I did because I got to hear him read from his new not-yet-published book Count the Monkeys, which is illustrated by Kevin Cornell and will be coming out in June.  It is delightful and hilarious and I cannot wait to read it to you guys!  Sadly, I won't be able to until next school year but you don't have to wait to read it for yourself once it comes out.

Here is a picture of Mr. Barnett reading from his new book with an expert page turner (she claimed to be a volunteer from the audience but I think she was a plant):

After the reading Mr. Barnett kindly signed books for the folks in attendance.  I asked him to sign a couple of books for Marshall Lane and he asked if he'd been to Marshall Lane.  I said 'no, but you've been to Hicklebee's' to which he replied, 'oh I've signed books for Marshall Lane before' and I said 'yes, many.' (Look for Mac Barnett in the list of labels to the right to see evidence of this.)

Here is a picture of me with Mr. Barnett that makes it look like we are good friends.

Mr. Barnett is a very nice man with a high tolerance for stalkery school library techs.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Library Fun Facts

With all the squeesploding going on around here, I haven't had a chance to post some fun circulation stats, which I meant to do on the first, when I ran all the reports. I won't keep you waiting any longer.

Top Ten most circulated titles for the month of March:

1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, by Jeff Kinney
2. We Are In a Book, by Mo Willems
3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal, by Jeff Kinney
4. Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty, by Nick Bruel
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, by Jeff Kinney
6. Cardboard, by Doug TenNapel
7. Listen to My Trumpet, by Mo Willems
8. Bad Kitty Meets the Baby, by Nick Bruel
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Ugly Truth, by Jeff Kinney
10. Amulet: the Stonekeeper's Curse, by Kazu Kibuishi

Any surprises there?  Not really.

Top Ten Search terms entered into the catalog in the last 30 days:

big nate
diary of a wimpy kid
star wars
monster fight club
Graphic Novels
Most Popular
boxcar children

Most of these searches occur on Thursdays and Fridays.

Total number of books checked out in March: 2,683
Total number of books placed on hold in March: 223

And from Renaissance Place, the number of words read so far this year (students who have taken AR quizzes) : 55,142,915

And the top ten books on which students have taken an AR quiz:

1. The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
2. Sea of Monsters, by Rick Riordan
3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J. K. Rowling
4. Thea Stilton and the Mystery in Paris, by Thea Stilton
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J. K. Rowling
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling
7. Big Nate: in a Class By Himself, by Lincoln Peirce
8. A Crazy Day with Cobras, by Mary Pope Osborne
9. Miss Nelson Is Missing, by Harry Allard
10. Road Robber, by Joy Cowley

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A singularity of children's book authors.

Some of you may have read on Facebook yesterday that my head had exploded in a fit of squeee.  This is true.

After I posted here yesterday, I went on Twitter to promote my blog post.  While scrolling through my feed, I noticed that Jon Klassen and Lemony Snicket had kicked off their book tour for The Dark, a book I knew was coming. This made me excited and hopeful that they'd make an appearance somewhere in the Bay Area so I could stalk them together, as I've already stalked them separately as evidenced here and on my author shrine wall in the library.
Then someone tweeted that Neil Gaiman had shown up and joined the presentation.  How cool is that? But what was Neil Gaiman doing there?  I know he's pals with Lemony Snicket but is that enough cause for him to pop in on a book tour?  I decided to do a little digging and that's when I discovered that he was there because he is the reader of the audio book version of The Dark! Squeeeesplodey!
So here is a third author - my all time favorite author, no less - that I have stalked separately:
Working in collaboration with two of my other favorite authors on one project!  And they were all in one space for some very lucky children in New York.  You can read about it and see pictures here.

And, of course, I had to have this amazing work so that is when I discovered that the ebook is an enhanced ebook with Neil Gaiman's audio reading built into it so you have Jon Klassen's beautiful illustrations, Lemony Snicket's amazing words, and Neil Gaiman's velvety voice all at once.  This was my bedtime story last night and it made me so happy.

Also, it turns out Mr. Klassen and Mr. Snicket will bringing their book tour out this way on April 29 at  the Burlingame Public Library.  I'm going, who's with me?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Peace through Catastrophic Sneezing

Last week in the library for storytime I was reading Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Adam Rex.  The target audience of this book is very young but it was universally enjoyed by kinders as well as 4th graders.

The story is about a cute little panda who makes bad things happen with a sneeze, such as destroying a circus.  After reading the story to a third grade class, one boy raised his hand very enthusiastically to make a comment.  I'm paraphrasing here now because it's been a few days but I think it's worth sharing.  He said if he was the author of this book, he would put in an army general and then if there was a war, the general could put Chu in front of the army and blow pepper in the panda's face and then Chu would sneeze away the other army.

I guess it wouldn't take long for the other army to counter with a sneezing sloth or marmoset or something.  And then we'd have to come back with a sneezing lemur and so on because we cannot allow a cute-sneezing-animal gap.  Still, I can't help but think that the world would be a slightly better place if wars were fought with cute sneezing animals.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Detour for Knitting

I've designed another hat that I will be posting for sale at my Ravelry store.

This hat, which is really more like a hood, was inspired by my youngest daughter.  Her taste in clothing is a little bit quirky so I wanted to design something different for her that other people might find interesting.  I had made some Christmas hats with pom-pons on them, which was fun, so I wanted to incorporate those, plus some cable knitting, which is my favorite.  This is what came of it.
I think it's super cute.  It's knit in a chunky alpaca, which makes it warm and floppy and slouchy.  And I love the color.  I used Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, and in my test knits, I discovered that substituting with a chunky wool does not yield the same results, even if you get gauge.  You can read more about this pattern and see more pictures on my Ravelry pattern page.

I made a black and orange one for my other daughter to wear to OSU football games.  Go Beavers!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Overheard in the library.

I was originally going to put this up on the Marshall Lane Facebook page, but I decided that it needed to be more than a blurb.

At lunch recess today, a mom came in looking for her son, a third grader.  He was sitting at a table with a friend and they were looking at a book together.  She spotted him at the table and then looked at me and asked, incredulously "Are they here by their own choice?" I said "Yup." She went over to the boys and asked them "Are you here by your own choice?"  They nodded and said "Yes."  She looked at me again and said "Wow, that's really great!"

 I'm not sure why she was so surprised that children would come in to the library of their own volition during recess.  Maybe it was surprising behavior on her son's part.  I don't know but the library is full of children every day at recess and many of them are reading books.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Old Robert and His Darling Cats

I have a new favorite picture book, which I've been reading to the kids this week.  It's called Old Robert and the Sea-Silly Cats, by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by Jan Jutte.  It's a sweet, quiet book and the more I read it out loud, the more I love it.

Old Robert is "a shipshape man who had everything he needed - nothing more, nothing less," the story begins, before the title page.  He is a sailor who lives on his boat and lives a simple routine life, counting all the 'regular things in their regular place' each night before he goes to sleep, never sailing at night.  Then some silly cats come by and change his life.

What I really love about this book is how the author uses words to paint a picture.  For instance, she describes the first cat as 'light as a whisper, soft as a secret.' Each night a cat comes by and the moon becomes a little fuller and golden until, finally, the night is right for sailing.  The author's lyrical writing style pairs beautifully with the whimsical pen and water color illustrations to create something magical.  Do yourself a favor and read this book out loud to someone special.

Barbara Joosse writes songs as well.  Go here to hear Old Robert's Jig.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Knitting News

I haven't posted anything about knitting here in a while because I've been working on some original designs.  I've added test knitting to the process so it's taking a bit longer.  My first test knit project is finally through testing and ready to be posted for sale.  I'm very excited about it!  Here is a couple of pictures:

The pattern is called Diamonte, because of the diamond motif on the hand part of the mitts.  The cuffs are short and done in seed stitch.  These knit up pretty quickly and I've used one of my favorite yarns, Stonehedge Fiber Mill's Shepherds Wool.  They are very cozy.  If you'd like to download the pattern, you can purchase it from my Ravelry store.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cicada Princess

A few weeks ago, in a post titled Connections, I talked about a project that I had backed on Kickstarter.  I've actually backed several projects on Kickstarter, mostly films.  One of the films I backed is called Cicada Princess.  It's a very short animated film and it's currently making the rounds on the festival circuit, including Cinequest which is going on now in San Jose.  This means I had the opportunity to see this film on the big screen, along with some other short animated works.

So, of course, I went Friday night to see it and brought Mrs. Medalen with me.  We enjoyed seeing all the films but I was very excited to see 'my' film.  Plus, the filmmakers were there with one of the puppets from the movie so I was able to say hello and have my picture taken with the Cicada Princess herself!

And here's me with the writer/director Mauricio Baiocchi:

The film tells the story of the cicadas, who spend most of their lives underground, until one day they emerge for one dazzling night of courtship, and then they die.  It's sweet and sad and beautifully done.  Mr. Baiocchi described how making the film helped him get through a very dark time in his life.  

Besides getting a copy of the film as one of my Kickstarter rewards, I also received this cicada doll that was used in the film.  It's one of the cicadas crossing the bridge to the castle to attend the ball. So cool!

If you ever get the chance to see this film, I highly recommend it. The scene at the ball is stunning!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Keeping it fresh.

I decided it was time to change the cover photo on the Marshall Lane Library Facebook page.  It used to be this:

This is the fiction wall showing mainly the shelves containing FIC C through FIC H.  This picture was taken in February of 2005.  Books were in circulation but even at the end of the year, the shelves were not completely full.  There are lots of old books on these shelves. Most notably the top shelf on the right  side of the picture are the Betsy books by Carolyn Haywood. These titles are from the 1940's and '50's. I'm sure these were reprints, but probably from the 1960's.  

Here is a picture I took today.  I tried to take it from the exact same angle.

This is the same section of the fiction wall.  Books are in circulation but the shelves are so impacted that I have to keep books on display on top of the shelf because they don't fit.  Poor Carolyn Haywood is nowhere to be seen.  She got weeded.  Anthony Horowitz now sits in her place.  Quite a number of other dusty old shelf sitters have been replaced by new titles that kids want to read. 

When I stand back and look at the fiction shelves, I feel very proud of what I've been able to accomplish, especially considering how much my budget has shrunk since 2001.  Non-fiction, not so much.  However, with the Common Core Standards coming, non-fiction is going to need some serious attention.

 Here are some fun facts about the collection:

In 2003, the average publication date of the general fiction collection was 1980.  Today it is 1997.  Still not ideal, but better.

The total number of books in the library in 2003 was 11,535 (21.36 books per student).  Today it is 14,525 (25.32 books per student).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Little Gems

Weeding the shelves is sometimes like a treasure hunt.  Within the dusty covers of long neglected books, little gems can be found.

I pulled this book titled Come Away From the Water, Shirley, by John Burningham (1977) because it hadn't been checked out in a decade.
The title and the accompanying picture looked rather ominous to me and I wondered what this book could be about.  The picture makes me think some dark tragedy is about to occur but it turns out not to be the case.  A young girl with an active imagination plays at the beach while her parents lounge on the shore, lazily barking orders at her.

I came across one illustration that hit a little too close to home though.

Father sleeps under his newspaper while mother knits and drinks (presumably) coffee from a thermos.  The only thing that separates this picture from Mr. Richards and I is father's pipe parked on the ground next to him.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ways to tell a story

I'm interested in storytelling in all it's forms.  Verbal, visual, scripted, improvised, static, kinetic, truth, fiction. Everyone has a story to tell and there are so many ways to tell it.

I've been playing around with a new app on my phone called Vine.  It's for making quick and dirty 6 second looping videos.  You can't edit them once they are recorded, you just shoot them and then post them on Vine or Twitter or Facebook. 6 seconds is not a lot of time for a video.  Much of it is pretty mundane but there are master Vine makers already who can tell a complete story in 6 seconds, or a serialized one in 6 second episodes.  They make it look easy until you try it yourself.  And yet you are so inspired by these incredible 6 second videos that you have to keep trying.

By far the best Vines are made by Adam Goldberg.  Do yourself a favor and download this app, follow Adam Goldberg, and watch his vines starting from the beginning.  Using lens filters, camera angles and sound affects, he has created a surrealist documentary of his apparent descent into obsession and madness.  6 second filmmaking at it's finest.

Steve Agee is another Vine master of a different kind.  He is the master of visual one-liners and the 6 second interview show which he calls Hollywood & Vine.  There's been a bit of crossover between Adam Goldberg and Steve Agee as the latter competes with the former for the title of best Vine maker.

The third person you should follow is James Urbaniak.  He is not quite as prolific as the first two, but his stories are fully formed and expertly shot and very funny.

A friend of mine, who is a terrific storyteller and artist, came to visit last weekend with his family and we got to talking about art and creating things and he told me about a project he's been working on, a diorama, and how he's been freeing himself some certain constraints while building it by staying focused on the message he wanted to convey rather than worrying so much about the materials he was using.  Because the story is more important than the medium.  The medium is just a tool for telling the story.  If the story is compelling, it doesn't matter how you tell the story, just that you tell it.

I think we are lucky to live in a time when so many tools are available to allow people to get their stories out in the world.

Neil Gaiman's A Calendar of Tales is a fascinating example of using social networking tools to inspire storytelling.  Last week, over the course of a 12 hour period, Neil Gaiman would post a question to his Twitter followers pertaining to a month of the year, for example, "What's the strangest thing that ever happened to you in February?" He then selected one reply for each month and wrote a short story inspired by that reply.  Now that the stories are out, Neil Gaiman has asked folks to send in illustrations inspired by the stories that were inspired by tweets, Tossing it back out to the Internet, like storytelling volleyball.  And the stories are beautiful, you should go read them.

So those are my thoughts on storytelling for today.  Tell your story.  In whatever way suits you.  There's no excuse to not do it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Library Fun Facts

Sometimes, while searching for particular reports in the circulation system, I come across interesting information for which I was not looking. For instance, today, while trying to find out which books circulate the most, I came across a web access report that includes the top ten search terms, which I thought were interesting - and funny.  Here they are (the capitalized ones are preset search icons on the library homepage) :

star wars
monster fight club
big nate
California Missions
Graphic Novels
Most Popular
magic tree house
diary of a wimpy kid
What's New

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Elephants and Piggies and Pigeons, oh my!

Mr. Richards and I went up to San Francisco for the third weekend in a row last weekend to see more comedy shows.  It was the last weekend of SF Sketchfest.  Sunday morning we went to see Don't Let the Comedians Do Story Time.  This was a fantastic hour with Mo Willems and some of his comedian friends reading his books.  Here is a picture of them all from the @SFSketchfest twitter feed:
In the picture: Mo Willems, Maya Rudolph, Ken Marino, Rachel Dratch, Janeane Garofalo, Jo LoTruglio, Andy Richter, David Wain, Lorraine Newman, Patten Oswalt, and Michael Ian Black.

As I said, it was a terrific and very funny show.  The comedians read Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, and We Are In a Book.  Mo Willems taught us all how to draw the pigeon by putting shapes together in the right order. We got a sneak preview of Mr. Willems' new book that will be coming out in the spring That Is Not a Good Idea.  You can see the cover here.  I've already pre-ordered this for the library, I know you all will love it!  Mr. Willems closed the show by reading Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus with Patton Oswalt reading the part of the Bus Driver.

Mr. Willems was kind enough to spend some time after the show signing books for his fans so I bought some books for the library and he signed them for me.  (They're all checked out already!)  Here's a picture (I'm telling him how is books are always checked out and he thanked me for being a librarian):
Happily, this all coincides with our CYRM reading of We Are In a Book this week.  I read it to a second grade class today and told them about meeting Mo Willems and how he taught us how to draw the Pigeon and they wanted to draw the Pigeon too, so we put some shapes together in the right order and drew pigeons.  Then I asked them to write titles for their own Pigeon books and they came up with some great ones such as:

Don't Let the Pigeon Swim in the Magma
Don't Let the Pigeon Babysit Because He Might Be a Vampire
Don't Let the Pigeon Eat at MacDonald's

Their teacher is going to have them write complete stories to go with their titles and then we'll mail them off to Mr. Willems because I know for a fact he doesn't get enough of these, plus ours will be the best he's ever seen.

You can see more about Mo Willems' books at his fun website or follow his blog or follow @the_pigeon on Twitter

Monday, February 4, 2013


I've been reading the California Young Readers Medal Nominees in the library and the one I read last week was Bats in the Library by Brian Lies.  It's a wonderful book and the paintings are beautiful.  In the middle of the story, the young bats settle down for story time, which is illustrated by 2 two-page spreads which contain illustrated references to classic children's literature.  I could name most of the references, there are about 14 or 15. But a couple of them I couldn't figure out, nor could anyone else.  So I decided to do some research.  I found the answers on a blog post from when the book first came out.  The pictures are scanned in there if you'd like to see what I'm talking about.  The ones I didn't get were Drummer Hoff (I don't think I've ever read that book), Treasure Island (I didn't recognize the character) Wind in the Willows (I thought the car was flying and mixed it up with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and the one with the flying bed.

At first I thought maybe it was Bedknobs and Broomsticks but quickly realized that wasn't correct.  Then I thought maybe it was Little Nemo in Slumberland, which is close but not quite.  The answer is that it is in reference to a comic strip from 1904 called Dream of the Rarebit Fiend by Winsor McCay.  (Winsor McCay is also responsible for Little Nemo in Slumberland so you can see how close I was!)

Where the connection comes in is back in 2011, I backed a project on Kickstarter involving the restoration of a short animated film by Winsor McCay called The Flying House.  The restoration was done by Bill Plympton and the film was colorized and voice and sound effects were added.  Here it is in it's original form.

The story in the film is based on the Dream of the Rarebit Fiend comic strip.  Anyway, all of this kind of lit up my brain last week and I got a little excited.  If you can find the restored version to view, I recommend it, it's delightful!

I was really inspired by these connections so I decided to find all the books that were referenced that I actually have in the library and put them on display with the pictures showing to help the kids make the connections.  It's been fun and they've become interested in these other books. 

Bats at the Library by Brian Lies will go back to regular circulation after we've finished voting for CYRM.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Some things that are off topic but mostly things that aren't

I have just enough time to get a post in before January ends so Happy New Year!

I've been procrastinating on my blog posting - obvs! - so I have quite a bit to catch you up on.

I've gotten interested in knit wear pattern design so I've been working on a couple of designs in the last couple of weeks.  One - a pair of fingerless mitts - is currently being tested and the other - a super funky hat - needs to be written so I can get it tested.  It's a fairly time consuming process, I'm discovering.  I come up with an idea and start knitting it.  As I'm knitting it, I have to keep pretty meticulous notes about what I'm doing so I can convert those notes into a pattern.  In the meantime, I'm discovering what works and what doesn't work and then I might have to tweak my design and start the project all over again.  Then I give the pattern to testers and they try it out and find all my typos and math mistakes and provide me with feedback for a final draft.  It's an interesting process and immensely satisfying when it works out the way I want it to.  I will post these projects here once they've completed the testing process.

I've been listening to podcasts mostly while doing all this knitting.  Mostly comedy for grown-ups type podcasts which led Mr. Richards and I to spend this past weekend in San Francisco for Sketchfest. Sketchfest is a festival of comedy and features stand up performances, sketch comedy, improv, and storytelling.  We stayed in the city because we had tickets for 7 different shows, several of them were live versions of some of the podcasts I listen too, including The Thrilling Adventure Hour.  This is a fantastic show that is usually performed monthly at Largo in L.A., recorded, and the segments are released as a weekly podcast.  They're tagline is 'The new time podcast done in the style of old time radio."  The show contains a serialized segment that's basically a western on Mars, and 3 other non-serialized segments.  It is delightful and funny and family friendly and I highly recommend it.  Getting to see it performed live this weekend was so much fun!

So that's what's been going with me, now some news!  The American Library Association announced the winners of they're big awards this week, specifically the Caldecott, Newbery, Geisel, and Sibert awards.  I'm particularly excited about the Caldecott medal as the winner is a Marshall Lane favorite as are several of the Honor books.  The winner is that hilarious follow up to I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen.

This makes me very happy!  Another thing that makes me very happy is that Extra Yarn received a Caldecott Honor.

I just adore this book and its author and illustrator.  I look forward to seeing more of their work and as a matter of fact, Jon Klassen is collaborating with Lemony Snicket on a book called The Dark which will be released in April!  I may lose my mind from the happy!

In other news, we've begun reading the California Young Readers Medal nominees.  I have to keep them in the library until voting is over but I'm sure you can find them at the public library or at Amazon.  The Primary (grades K-2) nominees are:
 And the intermediate (grades 3-5) nominees are:

Finally, all the new books from Book Fair have been processed and are now in circulation and many of them are circulating very well.  My shelves are looking pretty full so I'm going to have to start weeding out some of the older, worn out and poorly circulating books to make room for all these fabulous new titles.  

Well, that's all and enough for now.  Come by the library and say hello and tell me what you are reading!