Top Ten Tuesday: Picture Books for Halloween

25 Oct

PB for HAlloween.png

There are probably a billion Halloween books for little ones – some a little more scary than others, but these are some that I think are great to share with kids as this fun holiday and celebration nears!  Check them out at your local library or independent bookstore!

  1. Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara
  2. Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas
  3. Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak
  4. Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
  5. Shivery Shades of Halloween: A Spooky Book of Colors by Mary McKenna Siddals
  6. Ten Orange Pumpkins: A Counting Book by Stephen Savage
  7. The Monstore by Tara Lazar
  8. Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
  9. Alpha Oops! H Is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis
  10. Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created byThe Broke and the Bookish

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/24/16

24 Oct

This was a strange week in terms of reading – I’m still struggling my way through Start With Why by Simon Sinek.  For whatever reason, I’m not drawn to pick this book up, but when I do, I enjoy reading it.  But, I did get a chance to read The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow which was a lot of fun and the first in a series, so I’m interested to see what happens next.  And I read (nerd alert!) The Weeding Handbook: a Shelf-by-Shelf Guide by Rebecca Vnuk, and yes although its completely nerdy, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to using it to update our collection development plan.

For the week ahead, I finally got my hands on a copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and as happy as I am with how the series ended with book seven, my curiosity is still piqued to read the script.  I’ve also got a new middle grade book in hand for this week – Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur.

imwayrJoin Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

Screen Time – When, What, How Much?

21 Oct

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released a new report on screen time for young children.  And although it definitely is a change from what was originally suggested, there are a lot of similiarities, but with the ability to adjust your screen time as a family for what makes sense for you.

The basic results included:

  • screen time is now defined as “time spent using digital media for entertainment”-CNN
  • For children from birth – 18 months old screen time is still discouraged expect for video-chatting with family and friends
  • Limit screen time to one hour for children from ages  2 – 5 and focus on educational programming where parents and caregivers interact with the child throughout the program
  • And do to results from using media during certain times during the day – create a media-free meal time and no screens at least one hour before bedtime

For more information, check out the AAP’s online publication. And if you’re looking for more information about screen time and the effects on your family or how to create a media plan for you family, check out the Media and Children Communication Toolkit.

Book Review: A Fierce and Subtle Poison

20 Oct

25810644Last week I tweeted, “I’ve got hives from working in my garden… or is it from reading ‘A Fierce and Subtle Poison’ by ” but in all actuality I ended up with a fairly severe case of poison ivy (which I’ve never had before) and let me tell you, it is majorly uncomfortable!  But, I’m laughing to myself because I just finished A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry last week and my poison ivy fits right into the story line.

Lucas spends the majority of his time on the mainland of the  U.S. going to school, but during the summer months he lives in one of his father’s hotels on Puerto Rico.  Lucas grew up listening to the señoras stories of the house surrounded by walls and wild plants growing all around. They say Isabel, a young girl with green skin and grass for hair lives there tending to the poisonous plants that surround the home.  Lucas has heard stories of wished granted and of death if she touches you.  And when a few girls around the island start disappearing, including his girlfriend, Lucas must confront Isabel to learn the truth in the stories and learn what really happened to his girlfriend.

I really enjoyed this story, with a magical realism that permeates the stories told by the señoras and the story surrounding the mysterious house.  I also really liked the relationships between Lucas and the islanders – even though Lucas is biracial, he “looks” white and with an affluent father who can get him out of trouble by paying people off, Lucas finds himself at the heart of the investigation surrounding his girlfriend’s mysterious disappearance.  Although very different in nature, the story reminds me a little of The Jumbies with fantasy wrapped in island culture and stories.

Twitter Booktalk (14o characters or less): Stories about the girl surrounded by walls living with poisonous plants invade Lucas’s dreams until he meets her and learns the truth.

Title: A Fierce and Subtle Posion
Author: Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: 2016
Page Number: 288 pgs.

Library Director – Thoughts #3

19 Oct

Where do I even begin?  This past month has flown by and I finally have fewer meetings and more time to actually start working on plans for next year.  Coming from a children’s librarian position, we would plan a few months out for upcoming programs and as the days would pass I would plan the actual programs.  So in essence, I was never really looking more than three or so months in advance.  We’d sometimes have plans for the upcoming seasons, but those were talked about when the time came.

Now? I’m looking at a year out?  What are my outcomes for December 2017.  A little background for you – our library hasn’t had a strategic plan for at least as long as I’ve been working there 8+ years.  Our mission statement talks solely about books… and I find it hard to educate the public without having a strong strategic plan at our backs. So, for the past month, I’ve been researching strategic plan timelines, what should happen, when it should happen, who should be involved and beginning to create an overall plan to really start this process at the beginning of the new year and have a completed plan in the hands of our stakeholders by mid December of 2017.

This is a HUGE undertaking and one that I need my entire staff behind because everyone will have some say in what happens.  It’s been a daunting task and I’m trying to create a plan that will be useful and successful for our library in the upcoming years. I definitely don’t know a lot about how you go about doing something like this, but I believe that in order to move forward as a library we need to have a strong foundation to stand on adn that’s what a strategic plan will provide.

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