2014-15 Primary Library Blog
Ms. Tanja & Ms. Phyllis
Just a few more days before we will be able to fill our library again with life, with all of you wonderful readers! The books - and we librarians - have had a good rest and look forward to sharing our stories with you again. At the moment, we are still in the process of setting everything up. As you can see from the pictures, our library doesn't look very inviting yet. But we are working on it and will be ready for your arrival next week!
This will be the last post shared through the 2013-14 Library blog. From next week onwards, we will share what's happening in the Primary Library through a brand-new blog page. Here is the link to it:
2014-15 Primary Library Blog
We are looking forward to seeing you next week and hearing about your amazing summer adventures and the wonderful books you discovered.
Ms. Tanja & Ms. Phyllis
Just a couple more days before we will see each other again! While the start of a new school year can be pretty exciting, especially seeing old friends and meeting new friends, I know that most of us are also a bit nervous about it. And I mean all of us, not just students, also teachers and parents, right? Reading First Day Jitters always helps me, as it makes me laugh, and laughing is good when you are nervous and worried. I am hoping you get a chance to read this wonderful picture book. I bet it will make you laugh too!
Here a few other ideas of what you could do during this last full week of holidays:
Look through your journal or list of books you have read this summer. Rank your books. Which book did you like the most? Which one would you put in second place, in third, and so on. You can create you own Top 3, Top 10 or more lists to share with others.
Write and/or draw about a favorite moment during the holidays.
Make a list of things you will need for your first day of school.
Read the letter you wrote to yourself at the beginning of the holidays. Maybe even write an answer to yourself!
Ask a parent or older sibling to read from your favorite book to you.
Enjoy some more reading time in your favorite reading spot!
Here a few suggestions of picture books (as you know, I believe that no one is ever too old for a picture book) related to the first day of school you might enjoy reading:
Seamonster’s First Day (Kate Messner)
Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes (Eric Litwin)
Suki’s Kimono (Chieri Uegaki)
Once Upon an Ordinary School Day (Colin McNaughton)
Don’t Eat the Teacher (Nick Ward)
The Exceptionally, Extraordinarily, Ordinary First Day of School (Albert Lorenz)
See you soon!!!
Well, it hasn’t been 80 days yet since school is out and I am hoping that you did not travel all around the world. I do hope, that so far you have had a fantastic time, whether you stayed in Hong Kong or traveled to spend time somewhere else.
This week, our theme will be around people and places. While I usually start sharing some suggested activities, I want to list reading recommendations first today because I am hoping that the books will inspire you to do some of the activities I am listing below each list of books.
Books from the CitizenKids series:
Read about children who took action and made a big difference to their and/or someone else’s life.
One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (Katie Smith Milway)
Mimi’s Village: And How Basic Healthcare Transformed It (Katie Smith Milway)
Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together (Herb Shoveller)
The Good Garden: And How One Family Went From Hunger to Having Enough (Katie Smith Milway)
When we take action to make a difference, this does not always have to be big. Putting a smile on someone’s face is a great start. How could you do this today? Maybe by reading to someone, making a card for someone? I am sure you have some great ideas.
Books about People:
Already during the past week, I listed some picture book biographies about famous scientists. Here a few more picture books that tell the story of a famous person:
Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People (Monica Brown)
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Doreen Rappaport)
Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder (William Anderson)
Papa is a Poet (Nathalie S. Bober)
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (Jen Bryant)
Flying Solo (Julie Cummins)
Nelson Mandela (Kadir Nelson)
Henri’s Scissors (Jeanette Winter)
Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller (Doreen Rappaport)
Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story From Africa (Jeanette Winter)
After reading about some of these famous people and seeing how their story is told through pictures and words, how about writing and drawing a biography about someone in your family? Write down your questions first: what is it that you want to know about the person? Then go and interview the person. Now you are ready to get started with the writing and illustrating process.
Books about Places:
There are so many amazing nonfiction books about countries and places. Here just a list of some of our library’s most popular series:
Country Explorers (published by Lerner Classroom)
National Geographic Countries of the World
A Child’s Day (published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
Look up in an atlas where you currently are. Then try to find out more about the place: How many people live there? What are some famous landmarks? What is the history? What are the customs and traditions of the place? What are traditional tales told in the area? You can interview a family member knowledgeable about the area (e.g. maybe your grandma or grandpa, an auntie or an uncle).
Visit a local museum. Write down a few interesting facts you discovered. Take a brochure or flyer with you as a souvenir.
Ask your parents to help you make a family tree. If you have Internet access, here are some templates you could use: Family Trees for Kids and Genealogy for Kids.
If you have Internet access, explore the Kids National Geographic website, in particular “People & Places”.
During the past two weeks, I was in Singapore, helping my daughter to get settled into college there. Even though I seemed to have excellent Internet access, I was not able to log into Weebly. Therefore, I wasn't able to post last week's activities but hope that did not discourage you from your summer reading. Shortly, I will post Week #7 and Week #8 - choose any titles, any activities listed that interest you. Have fun and enjoy the last couple of days of your summer break!
While in Singapore, I spent some time in the National Library - of course ;) What a fantastic place! I especially enjoyed the bamboo garden which is the perfect place for reading; and the children's library which is the first green library for children and referred to as My Tree House. Have a look at the screenshot below and check out the embedded link for more information!
Text and image source: http://www.nccs.gov.sg/climatechallenge/issue06/ask-dr-green.html
Image source: http://www.kanepress.com
Science Solves It! is a very popular series in our library and you might have already read some of the books. I love how the authors combine fiction with nonfiction, solving mysteries through the scientific method. I hope that reading one or more of the books inspires you to solve your own science mysteries and/or conduct some experiments because this week, it’s all about science and being a scientist.
Here a few ideas on how to go about it:
Check your bookshelves and/or the public library and a bookstore for books and magazines with science experiments for children. Browse through the books and ask an adult to help you plan and do one of the experiments. Write and/or draw about it in your journal.
Be a scientist: equipped with a notepad or your journal (and accompanied by and adult, of course), go and explore your natural surroundings. Draw and/or write about what you notice.
If you are in Hong Kong, visit the Science and/or Space Museum. If you are in another city, find out whether they have a science museum, space museum or planetarium you could visit.
Image source: http://www.lcsd.gov.hk
If you have Internet access, check out these websites:
Science News for Kids
National Geographic for Kids
Science Experiments for Kids
If you have a public library nearby, find some picture book biographies about famous scientists and read them. Here a few suggestions:
Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein (Don Brown)
Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson (Amy Ehrlich)
Starry Messenger (Peter Sis)
Snowflake Bentley (Jacqueline Briggs Martin)
I, Galileo (Bonnie Christensen)
Barnum Brown: Dinosaur Hunter (David Sheldon)
The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos (Deborah Heiligman)
Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau (Jennifer Berne)
The Tree Lady (H. Joseph Hopkins)
The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps (Jeanette Winter)
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle (Claire A. Nivola)
One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin (Kathryn Lasky)
Wishing you a wonderful week!
Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles Into Comics (James Sturm)
"An insightful and enjoyable way for kids to learn about cartooning, presented in a vibrant graphic format. In fairy-tale fashion, the Magic Cartooning Elf helps a young princess with writer’s block produce her first comic. A story-within-a-story emerges, and the princess creates a deceptively silly tale of a knight, a dragon, a whale and a horse that loves candy. Along the way, the Elf drops informative hints to the reader about the structure of the story, introducing basic elements of cartooning and rudimentary techniques. Though seemingly simplistic, this multilayered composition is an excellent teaching tool to whet the appetites of aspiring young doodlers and even offers a pleasant twist in an otherwise apparently straightforward plot. Against the abundance of vanilla graphic nonfiction for kids on the market, this is unexpectedly lively. Simple cartooning basics offered after the story are quite appealing; even the most reluctant artist may be inspired to pick up a pencil and give it a shot. Entertaining and surprisingly edifying. (Graphic nonfiction. 9-12)"
Source: Kirkus Review
Among the most popular shelves in our library are definitely the ones on which we keep the graphic novels or comics, as most of you call them. Only at the beginning and at the end of a school year, is it possible to see how many titles we have because during the year, they are always checked out. Therefore, this week, I will suggest activities related to graphic novels, comics and cartoon art in general.
Let’s start with some ideas of what you could do:
Draw a comic version of your favorite book or story.
Draw a comic about a favorite day you have had so far during your holidays or during the past school year.
Ask an adult in your family to accompany you to a bookstore, supermarket, or public library (depending on where you can get comics where you are right now) to choose some for more inspiration.
If you have an iPad, create your own comic with the ComicBook app. Or if you have the software on your computer, use ComicLife to make a comic strip. You can of course also use any other software with a drawing tool.
If you have Internet access, learn more about and from graphic novelist Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet series) by watching these two videos:
And now some title suggestions around our cartooning theme:
Popular graphic novel series in our library:
1. Amulet (Kazu Kibuishi)
2. Babymouse (Jennifer L. Holm)
3. Squish: Super Amoeba (Jennifer L. Holm)
4. Bone (Jeff Smith)
5. Zita, the Space Girl (Ben Hatke)
Graphic novels you might not know yet:
For younger readers (K-2)
1. The Adventures of Polo (Regis Faller)
2. Benjamin Bear in Fuzzy Thinking (Philippe Coudray)
3. Benny and Penny in the Big No-No (Geoffrey Hayes)
4. Robot, Go Bot! (Dana M. Rau)
5. Owly (Andy Runton)
For older readers (G3-5)
1. Amelia Rules! (Jimmy Gownley)
2. Sardine in Outer Space (Emmanuel Guibert)
3. Lunch Lady (Jarrett J. Krosoczka)
4. Magic Pickle (Scott Morse)
5. Chi’s Sweet Home (Kanata Konami)
Chapter books with cartoon/comic art:
1. Big Nate series (Lincoln Pierce)
2. Ellie McDoodle series (Ruth McNally Barshaw)
3. Just Grace series (Charise Mericle Harper)
4. My Life as a Book (and other books by Janet Tashjian)
5. Frankie Pickle series (Eric Wright)
I am hoping you are having a great week with cartooning, doodling and reading! I would love to see some of your art work, read your stories and cartoons. Maybe you would like to show them to me when we return to school in August :)
And here some great books around food and cooking:
Food-themed fiction (picture) books
Eating the Alphabet or Growing Vegetable Soup (Lois Ehlert)
The Ugly Vegetables (Grace Lin)
Thundercake (Patricia Pollaco)
How to Bake an Apple Pie and See the World (Marjorie Priceman)
Boy Dumplings (Ying Chang Compestine)
Food-themed fiction (chapter) books
Chocolate Fever (Robert Kimmel Smith)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl)
Granny Torelli Cooks Soup (Sharon Creech)
The Candymakers (Wendy Mass)
Companion cook books to popular children’s books
The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook (Dinah Bucholz)
The Little House Cookbooks (Barbara M. Walker)
Wookiee Cookies: A Star Wars Cookbook (Robin Davis)
Fancy Nancy: Tea Parties (Jane O’Connor)
Food-themed nonfiction books
The Popcorn Book (Tomie DePaola)
Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum (Meghan McCarthy)
The Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids: The Secrets behind What You Eat (Michael Pollan)
It’s Disgusting and We Ate It! True Food Facts from Around the World and Throughout History (James Solheim)
I hope you discover something you enjoy to read, to eat, to have fun with!
I just returned from a week in Italy where I had the most amazing food, as always. Maybe the photo below (my favourite type of pizza with fresh tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella) inspires you to try out some pizza making. Buon appetito!
You all know how much I love this book. It is definitely my all-time favorite and I love sharing it whenever I can. While the story as such is precious, I also like how the different formats it appears in (a printed picture book, an interactive iPad app and a short film) remind us, that we can enjoy stories in so many different ways. And therefore this week, I want you to explore, read and enjoy stories in as many different ways as you can.
First think of what is available for you to read:
· Newspapers, magazines, picture books, chapter books, nonfiction books, graphic novels and comics, atlases, encyclopedias, e-books, audio books… what am I missing?
Then think of how you can read these:
· Read by yourself, read it to someone, share the reading with someone, listen to someone read it to you, listen to the audio recording, make a picture walk (if it’s a picture book)… any additional ideas?
Then think of what you can do after you have read them:
· Retell the story or favorite parts from the book in words, in pictures, by acting it out, by singing or dancing about it. Be creative!
· Make one of the characters with art supplies or LEGO you have around the house. Or try to become one of the characters yourself by dressing up. Be creative!
· Imagine yourself being a film or audio book producer: what kind of music or songs would you use to accompany the story, book or particular parts of the book? I know some of you have used Garageband already. You could compose your own soundtrack for the book. Be creative!
· Think of a few questions and then quiz someone who has read the book as well. You could even do that in Battle of the Books style once you and your family has read several books together.
If you have Internet access, for more reading recommendations, explore the many fantastic reading resources provided through our Library 2 clicks page, for example in the tabs “Kid Lit Authors”, “Kid Lit Series”, “Book Trailers”, “Summer Reading 2014”.
And of course, none of my posts can go without title suggestions. Here some of my favorite picture books (there are so many great picture books available, it’s difficult picking just a few):
1. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (William Joyce)
2. Zen Shorts (Jon J Muth)
3. The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (Chris Van Allsburg)
4. We are in a Book (Mo Willems)
5. Fly Eagle Fly! (Christopher Gregorowski)
6. The Incredible Book Eating Boy (Oliver Jeffers)
7. The Prince of Butterflies (Bruce Corville)
8. Not so Fast, Songololo (Niki Daly)
9. Ananse and the Moss-Covered Rock (retold by Eric Kimmel)
10. Someday (Alison McGhee)
I am looking forward to discovering more favorites while reading this summer. To keep you informed about books that Ms. Phyllis and I are enjoying this summer, regularly look at these Blendspaces where we will be adding each book read plus additional materials such as a book trailer, review or link to the author’s website:
Ms. Phyllis’ Summer Reading 2014
Ms. Tanja’s Summer Reading 2014
In the past couple of days, I was able to read a book each day - in a beautiful location (see picture below) - coming across some amazing titles from different categories: children's literature, young adult and adult literature. Towards the end of the summer, I might rank them, telling you which ones my favourites were. For now, I hope looking through the Blendspace gives you some additional ideas on what to read next. And maybe you would like to suggest some titles that you enjoyed to me? Just add a comment to this post. I would love to get your recommendations!
Wishing you a great week of reading, relaxing, enjoying and much fun!
Here a few suggestions on what you could do this week in and around Hong Kong:
Did you know that Hong Kong has 67 static and 10 mobile libraries? One is right here in Sai Kung but there are many more libraries spread out all over the city, the most spectacular one definitely the Central Library in Causeway Bay. Here is the link to the Hong Kong Public Libraries’ website. How about exploring one or more of these libraries? See how they are the same and different from our library. And discover some great books, of course!
Explore Hong Kong with the newly published Leap & Hop Hong Kong interactive travel guide for kids. The book is written by Isabelle Demenge who is an HKA parent, isn’t that fantastic?
Visit one of the many fantastic museums around Hong Kong (Hong Kong Public Museums ). If you enjoy museums that have lots of hands-on and fun activities to offer to kids, I recommend especially the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Hong Kong Science Museum.
Take a stroll through Hong Kong Park – or any of the other beautiful parks around the city. I always find that there is so much to see and parks are of course perfect places for reading. So bring a good book along – or two – and enjoy!
With your parents, organize a hike and a picnic to one of the many beautiful islands. They are all just a short ferry ride away: Lantau, Lamma Island, Peng Chau or Tap Mun, for example.
Read, or let someone read to you, a book about Hong Kong.
Here some suggestions:
Hong Kong-based picture books
Chop Sticks (John Berkeley)
Lulu the Hong Kong Cat (Ellen Leou)
My Hong Kong (Joanne O’Callaghan)
Three Years and Eight Months (Icy Smith)
Hong Kong-based fiction chapter books
Tofu Quilt (Ching Yeung Russell)
Music on the Bamboo Radio (Martin Booth)
Hong Kong-based nonfiction books
Leap & Hop Hong Kong, Children Travel Book (Isabelle Demenge and Emilie Sarnell)
Kids Go! Hong Kong: Tell Your Parents Where to Go (Mio Debnam)
This is Hong Kong (Miroslav Sasek)
Have a great week!
Two more days of school and then the first four days of summer holidays! I can’t believe how fast this school year has gone by but then time always flies when you are having a good time, right?
So let’s get started with summer reading!
Enjoy the last two days of school and have a great start into the summer break!
Welcome to the Library!
Ms. Tanja & Ms. Phyllis
My name is Tanja Galetti and I am the Primary School Teacher Librarian at HKA. I am looking forward to an exciting year in our brand new library - with many more wonderful opportunities for amazing journeys of inquiring and reading. Mrs. Phyllis Musco is joining the library this year, sharing her time between the Primary and Secondary School Library.